Forum - Banjo Ben Clark

Can I order “off the menu”?

Hiya @Jake, @BanjoBen,
I’m thinking more and more about getting an open-back banjo to learn clawhammer.

The General Store has some great options; the Savannah looks like a great low-end option, and the Eastman Whyte Laydie an excellent higher-end one. But neither of them, as far as I can tell, have a scooped neck (which seems very desirable for clawhammer, especially while learning). But, man, I love those whyte laydie inlays!

Your Gold Tone CB-100 has a scooped neck, and lots of other cool features. However, it seems that Gold Tone also makes a CB-100 “Natural” that is the same model and price but has wood-tone headstock and pot. Can you guys order and sell that model, too?

I see these guys all over the interwebs but would love to buy from Ben and take advantage of Jake’s expert setup. Possible?

Thanks as always.


I ordered a Gold Tone MM150 from Ben and Jake for my neighbor and she loves it. Scooped neck and everything.


I would suggest learning some clawhammer on whatever banjo you own first, and then if you’re gonna stick with it, then buy one. I would love to have a banjo with a scoop, but as it is, I mostly play over the head cuz I like the tapping of my thumb, it adds a nice rhythmic effect


Hey @Michael , thanks again for your continued support and loyalty! Yep, we can do that if it’s in stock. I’ll have the guys check on it at Gold Tone then reach out to you with details. Thanks!


Further, to anyone reading this, if there’s something you’re interested in (or even wonder if it exists), give us a call and let us go to work for you. We’re passionate about being accessible to find you exactly what you want. That’s one of the good things about being a small team–we don’t lose sight of our goal of being the player’s advocate. Plus, without advertising anything official, if you are a loyal customer I promise you that we will make it worth your while.


I second @Dragonslayer 's suggestion. You don’t need an open back to play clawhammer, just use what you have. Later on if you’re committed to it, then you can buy one. I have a Derring Artisan that I love, but I only play 3 finger Scruggs style. Both types work for both kinds of playing.