The folks at Gold Tone have introduced a number of new banjos – cello banjos, that is.
These jumbos are made with a 24.75” scale, fitted with high-tension nylon strings. They were introduced at the January 2008 NAMM show in Anaheim, CA and Gold Tone co-founder Wayne Rogers tells us that their first shipment of 100 sold out immediately, with back orders for another 100 now in force.
The 4 string model is tuned in 5ths like a cello (C G D A), and designed to play melody lines – though players with large hands could conceivably play chords as well. The 5 string is tuned a full octave below the standard banjo, much like the ones used in banjo orchestras near the turn of the previous century.
Rogers describes how this new set of Gold Tone models was born…
So since we tooled up for the 4 string, we also did a 5 string and a 6 string Lojo… a short high top string with an extra bass string.”
He proudly notes that the 5 string model has already received endorsements from Béla Fleck, Victor Wooten, Rick Shubb, Bob Carlin and Tony Trischka – who will review the banjo for Banjo NewsLetter.
The 5 string (CEB 5) sells for $1199 and the 4 string (CEB 4) for $1099. Both are shipped with a hard shell case and feature a maple rim and neck (ebony fingerboard) and a brass tone ring.
Here is Marcy playing a spirited version on Angeline The Baker on her CEB-4.
The Gold Tone cello banjos are available from selected dealers worldwide.