Gretsch G9460 Dixie 6 Guitar Banjo Review

Today we review the Gretsch G9460 Dixie 6 Guitar Banjo, which has a pleasing twang that will please banjo lovers while being a 6-string guitar style instrument. It’s great for those who want to transition from guitar to banjo because they want to try out a new sound. Whether you want to call this a guitar banjo, banjitar, or a ganjo, it’s an instrument that’s great for Dixieland jazz or folk music. The beauty of being a musician is that you can learn to play it and begin to experiment with the sounds and songs that might seem unconventional. It’s all about what sounds good to you.

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Specifications

  • Maple construction
  • Steel tension hoop
  • Remo Fiberskyn head
  • Brackets and armrest
  • Resonator
  • Dual coordinating rods

First Impressions

The Gretsch Dixie 6 Guitar Banjo has an 11 inch Remo Fiberskyn head that isn’t the traditional white skin that you’d expect. It has a pattern that gives it some interest. In other words, it’s not the same boring white as some other banjos. Aside from the beauty of the skin, the banjo is constructed from quality materials that are covered with an antique stain finish. While it’s a new banjo, it’ll have a vintage look and feel to it.

This banjo will help you stand out from everyone else in the band if you’re hoping to play this in a group. If you’re going to play this solo, it’ll definitely catch people’s attention, but soon they’ll be more interested in the sounds coming from the banjo than how it looks. It’s a banjo with a fantastic punch to the notes.

Required Setup

Every single banjo that comes out of a box from the manufacturer has to be “fixed,” which means it needs to be setup. If the manufacturer were to tighten the strings, neck, head, and bridge, you’d end up with a broken banjo when you opened the box. There are a few ways you can get the banjo set. First, you can do it yourself. Tighten the head, the neck and reposition the bridge. You’ll need to tune the banjo, too. The tuning is the same as a guitar, so if you know how, do that yourself. If you’re unsure, use a tuner app on your phone.

If you’re not comfortable with any of the steps described above, bring the banjo to a professional who will be more than happy to set it up for you. This will cost you money, but you can ask them to show you how to do it.

Lastly, you could bring it to a musician friend who can tune it for you as well as tighten all the parts of the banjo.

Banjo Materials

The banjo was created with maple wood. The neck and fingerboard were made of hard maple. The rim and resonator are maple plywood. There are 18 nickel brackets around the resonator to hold it into place. On the exposed wood, there’s a lovely semi-gloss antique maple finish. It’s a stain that protects the wood, makes it shine, but still allows the grain to show through. It’s really quality workmanship.

Remo Fiberskyn Head

The beauty of the Fiberskyn is that it isn’t purely white. It brings back the days of calfskin heads on banjos. While calfskin heads aren’t necessary anymore because we have incredible modern synthetic materials, it’s a look that some people want to bring back. The material brings warm tones to the music with a roundness that isn’t heard with some other types of materials.

Resonator or Open Back

The resonator basically pushes sound forward to get more of a forceful sound from the instrument. An open-back banjo reverberates before hitting the audiences’ ears. One type of instrument is not better than the other. The Gretsch has a maple resonator that will give you a stronger sound from the instrument.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can the strings be changed out to guitar strings with ball ends?
You should be using loop end strings for this guitar banjo.

Does this guitar banjo come with any accessories?
You’ll need to purchase extra strings, a pickup, or a gig bag separately from this banjo. Nothing is included.

How much does this weigh?
The banjo weighs 9.8 pounds. This is on the high side of banjo weights. Keep this in mind when purchasing a case. You’ll want one that can distribute the weight when you’re carrying it.

Conclusion

The Gretsch G9460 Dixie 6 Guitar Banjo is tuned like a guitar, which makes it a fantastic transition instrument for guitar players. While it’s tuned like a guitar, the playstyle is a bit different. You will pick this banjo, not strum it like a guitar. Although, you can play the instrument any way you’d like if it produces the sounds that you want. Who are we to tell you the “right” way to play the instrument? You can play bluegrass, Dixieland jazz, or folk music with this guitar banjo quite easily.

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