Listening Contest & poll


I’ve recorded all 4 of my banjos to the same two short tunes and uploaded them onto my page on

Included are:

'93 Rich & Taylor JD Crowe
'11 Hatfield Buck Creek 10th Anniversary
'11 Yates RS Archtop prototype
'29 Gibson TB-1 conversion w/ original hoop (no tone ring)

Not necessarily in that order.

I’d be interested in hearing which one you think has the best tone, why, and what you were playing the tracks on.

If anyone can guess all four banjos correctly I will send them their choice of one set of Martin SP or Elixer nanoweb guitar strings (Med guage), or two sets of GHS JD Crowe (Med. Lights) Banjo strings. Everyone gets one guess, so take your time listening.

Here is the link to the tracks: … ctId=34185

How’s that for a nice little contest? :smiley:


My vote was for Banjo #3 as having the best tone to me. I felt the notes were more punchy and clear on #3 than the others

Here is my guess for which banjo is which

Banjo #1 = Hatfield Buck Creek
Banjo #2 = Rich & Taylor JD Crowe
Banjo #3 = Yates Archtop
Banjo # 4 = Gibson TB-1 Conversion


You forgot option “5” you know the “You asked us guitar players and there is no such thing as a banjo with tone”

In all seriousness fiddle you should have added them all into a single file so we could jump back and forth between the different ones and compared a bit quicker…it’s easy to compare “this one against the next one and the next one against the previous one, but hard to tell the 4th one you listen to back against the 1st one you listened to”…I guess the “who is on first, and what is on third” thing apply.

And don’t you think that one loud obnoxious instrument in the house is enough let alone 4? And by the way I picked the 4th one!


Brad got one right.

I was trying to make the files small enough to fit on this site, but even cutting them in half they were still too large. Besides it’s not a race it’s an exercise. Exercising your short-term memory for sounds is good for you. :smiley:

oh, who’s on first, what’s on second, I don’t know is on third, tomorrow’s pitching, today is catching, Why is left fieid, Because is in center field, I don’t care is the short stop. (memorized this for a skit in school).


It was between #2 and #4 for which one sounded best to me. I think I like #2 best playing alone, just sounded a little warmer. #4 sounds great and I thought it was brighter than #2, might cut through a little more in a jam. I don’t know, that’s my amateur opinion.

#1 sounded like the one without a tone ring to me, or maybe #4. :confused:

Banjo #1- "29 Gibson

Banjo #2- Hatfield Buck Creek

Banjo #3- Yates Archtop

Banjo #4- Rich & Taylor JD Crowe


I like 'em all. They sound different and that’s a good thang. #3 and #4 are most interchangeable. #2 has a looser sound. Kind of what I might expect hear on someone’s front porch back home in KY. #1 had an even-ness to the attack. Almost like it had a compressor going. If it sounds like I am making up descriptions, I am… I am not a banjo guy (yet). I like 3 and 2 best overall and if I had to pick one, I’d go with #2. I just sounds comfortable.

#1 Hatfield
#2 TB-1
#3 Yates
#4 R&T

Great idea for the poll. I might do something similar later. BTW, will you supply the prizes for my poll too? :slight_smile:


I forgot to include what I was listening on… Klipsch sat/sub combo. And I know I didn’t get all 4 right because I had two the same as Brad :slight_smile:


This has been very interesting so far. Prize is still up for grabs!


This is fun. I don’t know anything about banjos, so I won’t venture a guess. I voted for #1, because it tone sounded a little smoother and more relaxed to me.


It doesn’t cost anything to guess and you might win some strings.


Step right up and give it a shot… even just picking at random, you have a 1 in 16 chance.


Good Point guys. A random guess might serve as a good control for later analysis also.

  1. Gibson
  2. Hatfield
  3. Yates
  4. Rich & Taylor


Sorry, I think I might have given false hope… I think the odds are more like 1 in 24. That’s what I get for doing mental math.


those are still pretty good odds. kind of surprised only 5 people chimed in so far…


I am surprised as well. Free strings are a good thing, but I would have done it just for the “thrill of victory or the agony of defeat.”


Don’t worry about it Mreizs, my random guess wasn’t so random anyways. I copied the original list of banjos!


:laughing: :laughing: :laughing:


I loved the ‘saloon’ type ring that #3 has. I am listening on a Dell computer speaker lol and even on that piece of junk I can still hear a huge difference, although my ear isn’t nearly trained to know what each are supposed to sound like. So my guesses are as follows…NSWAG!
2)Rich and Taylor

P.S. They all sound fantastic


Well, I think we can call an end to the contest now. It’s been over a week and no one has taken another guess.

Here are the Banjos and their track numbers.

1 - Hatfield* Buck Creek*
2 - Yates* RS Arch-top*
3 - "29 Gibson TB-1
4 - Rich & Taylor JD Crowe


Thanks for doing it Dave. If you had to pick one to go with you to a deserted island, which one would it be?