Virtually all expensive professional banjos I have seen are really great. That’s easy when you spend a lot of money. Finding an inexpensive banjo that’s great? Most don’t cut it.
I’m Dave Bloxham, owner of Beyond Guitars. I got started playing banjo when I was 12 years old. Even though that’s a long time ago I remember what it’s like to start out.
I’ve seen the cheap banjos you can buy from the biggest retailers out there. Pick a store- If they are a multimillion dollar corporation you can forget about having your banjo arrive playable, They may have cheap instruments, and they come with two big problems. 1. The retailer doesn’t know anything about setting up a banjo, and 2. the retailer doesn’t care enough to learn how, and I don’t expect a new student to know.
You might be hesitant to spend a lot of money on an instrument until you gain some skill and find out how much you like to practice. I agree, it makes total sense.
This is the realm of the Rover RB-20 banjo from Saga Musical Instruments, and our set up at Beyond Guitars. I’d like to point out three things about this banjo: 1. It’s inexpensive. 2. It won’t frustrate you because it won’t fall apart. 3. I set it up for you. I do care how it arrives at your door. It needs to be good!
I’ve carried this banjo for many years. Its basic components meet my quality standards. I don’t take that philosophy lightly, because I need to make sure my customers are not disappointed in Beyond Guitars and what we sell. What I sell represents ME!
The Rover RB-20 is a basic openback banjo. You can learn ANY style of five string banjo playing with this banjo. Scruggs three finger style, Clawhammer style, Pete Seeger style, the choice is yours. C- tuning, G-tuning, Double C- tuning, D and Dminor tunings. This banjo is better than the one I started out on. The RB-20 has features that make a difference for a beginner, not the least of which is low price. Here are many more:
The fifth string tuner is geared, holds its place and is not hard to turn. It makes tuning easy!
The four other tuners are enclosed geared guitar style tuners that work precisely and smoothly. I’ve sen the frustrating cheesy friction pegs that aren’t worth a dime. These are far better.
The pot is a composite design for reliability and strength. Being a composite, it is lightweight, durable, and it sounds surprisingly good!
There are a full 24 brackets to tension the head. This means a more even tension across the head at all points, resulting in a better tone and more stable sound.
The banjo has a plated, wide arm rest. You may not know what a difference this makes, but a banjo without an armrest digs into your arm in a very uncomfortable way.
Genuine Remo Weather King banjo head. This has been the industry standard head since calf skin was largely abandoned. Remo invented the Weather King head that does not change tension due to seasons, and it won’t ever split under normal adjustment. Ever!
The wood neck has a truss rod inside. This is to support the wood in a way that helps prevent or cure any tendency for the neck to change its shape.
Gig bag. It is supplied with a gig bag, you do not have to look for one to go with your banjo.
Our 14-day customer satisfaction guarantee. I do the banjo set ups, and I make sure that your new banjo no matter which one it is, arrives to you in playable condition- the best that it can be!
My years of hunting for an inexpensive banjo for my own students led to the RB-20 for quality and reliability, for basic components that actually work and low price. Many folks think that it’s important for the expensive and professional type instruments need to stay in tune and be easy to play, but I feel it’ even more important than ever when you’re starting out!
Lastly, Inexpensive! Even being under $300.00 is a big deal these days, but the Rover RB-20 is under $200.00!
This banjo is covered by our 14-day customer satisfaction guarantee. If you don’t like it, return it for a refund within 14 days. See details on the “Our guarantee” page you’ll find in the header.