Forum - Banjo Ben Clark

Banjo Help!

I am in the market for my first banjo, and am having difficulty choosing between a Gretsch Broadkaster Special and Recording King RK20! Any of you have either one of those banjos and have feedback about them? Anything would be nice!


Never heard of the Gretsch. The RKs normaly get good reviews on BHO.

I have an awesome 20 yr old Rich & Taylor JD Crowe model for sale for $1500 if your interested. Has some typical wear form years of playing, but plays and sounds great.

I can vouch for the sound of Fiddlewood’s Rich & Taylor. He had previously posted a recording of it. It is punchy and sweet.

Tim, I am not trying to circumvent Fiddlewood’s offer, but that sounds like a great deal… so if you want it, you certainly have first dibs. With that said, I am sending him a PM to ask if he has any interest in a potential trade.

Here are links to a couple soundbites of the R & T. I should mention that the player is my friend Rock Bartley (formerly worked for Larry Sparks among others) … &archived= … &archived=


Thank you for the offer, but I am a college student (and like most college students, doesn’t have much money :laughing: ) and don’t have $1500 to spend on a banjo. Believe me, if I had the money I would definitely snag it!


I have no idea about the two that you are looking at, but I’ll put my two cents in anyway.

I bought a Fender FB-300 to start out. It really is a basic beginner banjo. Nothing fancy, nothing extra. But it was perfect for me to learn on. It wasn’t a huge hit on my wallet, but it still sounded like a banjo and got me on my feet. I was still able to train my ear with it with no problems whatsoever. Later on, once I knew that I was going to pursue this banjo thing as a life-long hobby, I started looking on ebay. I found a Washburn B-19 that I snagged for (I think) a pretty good price. I’m working my way up.

I’m nowhere near my dream Huber Roanoke banjo ($5k), but I’m still very pleased that I spent just a pretty small amount on my first banjo. I still play it all the time. I mainly take it with me on the road since it’s light, and I don’t care if it gets beat up a bit, unlike my B-19 that I want to keep pretty as long as I can. I even have a dream to get Mr. Banjo Ben Clark himself to autograph it if the Purple Hulls ever make it my way.

Whatever you decide on, be sure and let us know and post some pics so we can all gawk and be excited with you!

Alright, guys, so I decided on the Recording King and let me tell you, it is GORGEOUS, the pictures don’t do it justice!! I am really blown away at how good it sounds! I got the banjo, a hard case, a strap (which I’ve already ordered another one because it is uncomfortable, but a it will be used as a spare) and all the picks for $499.99. Which I think is a steal, can’t beat local small businesses!

That IS gorgeous! I bet she plays even better. I must confess, I have a tad bit of banjo envy going on right now.

Have you named it yet?

And I like those boots sticking out in pic one. They look a lot like the toes of my Ariats.

Sweet! Congratulations!


Her name is Lucy. Isn’t it funny how we name inanimate objects! Also, they are Ariat boots, which I love!

I bet they are the same boots I have. I went and bought another pair the other day just to have a spare when these wear out.

My first banjo (Fender FB-300) is named Ol’ Red, and my current banjo is named The Bomber (It’s a Washburn B-19, so The B-19 Bomber).

I’m sure you haven’t put it down much lately. How’s does Lucy sound?

She sounds great! I haven’t put it down much at all, but had to this evening because my fingertips couldn’t take much more! I am signed up for banjo lessons that count as credit hours at my university! I am pretty excited! Not to mention the classes are at Kentucky Center for Traditional Music, so I’m sure I’ll get some good teachin’!

I don’t play banjo, but I still get a contact high when someone gets a new instrument. Congratulations!

— Begin quote from "twright95"

…I am signed up for banjo lessons that count as credit hours at my university! I am pretty excited! Not to mention the classes are at Kentucky Center for Traditional Music, so I’m sure I’ll get some good teachin’!

— End quote

That’s awesome! Makes me want to go back to school just to take a banjo class and get credit for it.


I thought it was pretty sweet!

Congratulations on the banjo… and the boots. It’s good to have some young folks on the site.

Where are you in Ohio? I’m about 35 miles NW of Dayton and I believe “Welder” is around Lebanon or Middletown if I remember correctly.



I’m from Arcanum. It’s a small world!


It is a small world. I’m from Covington. I don’t tell too many people that because everybody thinks Covington, KY. My son graduated in 2011 and played football, baseball and wrestled against you guys.

We have friends (the Fosters) that go to our church, and I think their kids went to Franklin Monroe.

Good Luck in school and keep playing that new banjo.


Just curious how your classes are going at the Kentucky Center for Traditional Music?