Forum - Banjo Ben Clark

Your banjo

i"m always interested in the types of banjo"s fellow pickers have. i own a Deering Golden Era and a Goldstargf 85 and hope to one day own a Huber .

Epiphone Open Back.

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I have 2 banjos. My daily player is a GoldStar archtop. It’s one of the sweetest playing Banjo’s I’ve ever played. Rings like a canon and has a nice, low action.

Then there’s my ~1965 Gibson Mastertone RB800. It’s not really one of the collectible Mastertones, but it is my most prized instrument. I took my first banjo lessons 32 years ago when I was 13. My teacher played a beautiful gold plated Gibson that I always drooled over when I’d go to his house. He was the first banjo player I’d ever seen play in person, so naturally that was the first banjo I had ever seen played.

Fast forward to a couple of years ago. I did some online searching and found my old teacher. I called him up and we got to talking. I asked if I could go see him and he said I’d better hurry because he was moving away. He was also downsizing and asked if I was in the market to buy some instruments.

I went to see him and he pulled out that old RB800. At first, he said he was playing an RB250 when he taught me, but when I asked if the 250 was gold plated, he said that RB800 was the only gold plated Gibson he’d ever owned.

So, that’s the long way of saying that I now own the first banjo I’d ever heard played in person… the banjo that literally started my bluegrass journey 32 years ago. It’s not the best sounding. It’s not the best playing, but I will never part with it. I play it on a regular basis and enjoy every second of it.



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