Gold Tone Maple Mountain Open-Back Long-Neck Banjo Review

The Gold Tone Maple Mountain Open-Back Long-Neck Banjo is a five-string instrument with a long neck that will make you feel like you’re playing an instrument made for folk and old-timey music. It’s a style of instrument that was made popular by Pete Seeger and others in that time who were creating folk music and iconic songs we still know and love today.

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Specifications

  • Vintage headstock design
  • Rosewood fingerboard
  • Snowflake inlays
  • Vega-style armrest
  • Planetary tuners
  • 11” Renaissance head

First Impressions

The Gold Tone Maple Mountain Open-Back Long-Neck Banjo was crafted by a company that cares about your satisfaction. They create all their instruments in the US using qualified artisans who take care with every banjo they craft. The Maple Mountain has a replica White Ladye tone ring for a strong, soothing sound.

The Maple Mountain was the first open-back banjo created by the company. It has incredible features, which are more often found on expensive banjos ranging from a few thousand and beyond. This is a great banjo for a reasonable price.

Company: Gold Tone Music Group

Folk musicians, Wayne and Robyn Rogers were active in the 1970s years before starting their own music center in 1978. They began Gold Tone Banjos, which became Gold Tone Music Group in 1993. It’s still located in Florida where the company was first incorporated. The company’s first banjo was the TB-100, which was called the Traveler. It was sold by mail order in those days. With some great reviews, the demand for the banjo grew and allowed them to expand their offerings of stringed instruments.

The company creates many fretted instruments with strings of varying numbers from 4-string to 6-string instruments. They believe in providing quality products for less than you’d expect. They want to provide an instrument for every musician. If you want a banjo, guitar, or mandolin, there’s a price range and an instrument for you.

Required Setup

Most stringed instruments have to be sent with their parts loosened. Unfortunately, shipping can take a toll on the instrument itself, so reputable companies don’t want to send you a banjo that will be broken upon arrival.

When you receive your instrument, you’ll need to make your own adjustments. If you’re an experienced player, you’ll know exactly how to adjust the instrument out of the box. It can be confusing for new players, though. They’ll assume that the instrument has been damaged or sent without being fixed.

The Gold Tone Group completely sets up their banjos with a detailed 12-point inspection, but they leave it loosened to ensure that their hard work isn’t destroyed during the shipping process.

Instrument Materials and Details

The tone ring is a replica of the popular White Ladye model with a scalloped tone ring made of three pieces of brass. It encompasses the 11-inch Remo Renaissance head.

The wood of the banjo is a warm Rosewood fingerboard with a maple neck and a ½ inch maple rim.

The banjo doesn’t come with any accessories, so you’ll need to worry about a gig bag if you plan to bring this out with you. The measurements can help you purchase a bag since one isn’t included. The banjo is 44 inches by 3 inches by 12 inches. With the long neck, you’re not going to be able to use another instrument’s bag. You could buy the gig bag that Gold Tone recommends, which is the HPBLNO or purchase one yourself based on the measurements provided. If you want a hard case, they recommend their model HD14LN.

Resonator or Open Back

The resonator or open back is a choice you’ll have to make based on the style and tone of the music you’d like to play. A banjo with resonator will bring a twang and loudness that won’t be audible with the open-back models.

The Gold Tone MM-150 doesn’t have a resonator. The open back produces a warm sound that is warm and rich without being overpowering and twangy. It’s a great instrument for folk music or other music where you want to accompany it with singing. This instrument won’t overpower your singing. We’ve included a video from the company that highlights the beautiful tone of the instrument.

Frequently Asked Questions

How is the banjo tuned?
The strings are .012, .026w, .018, .016, .012, which gives it an EBEG#B sound.

What’s the shipping weight?
The banjo will be 15.4 pounds when delivered because of the packaging, but the instrument itself only weighs 7 pounds.

Conclusion

This review of the Gold Tone Maple Mountain Open-Back Long-Neck Banjo covers the reasons that we believe this banjo is a great instrument for the price. You could spend thousands on the same style and type of instrument from another company. This one rivals those more expensive options at a fraction of the price.

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