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Thread: Southern Cross concert Banjo review

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    Location
    Amelia Island Florida
    Posts
    413

    Default Southern Cross concert Banjo review

    Got a beautiful Southern Cross Banjo Uke, concert size....used from a collector.....my review

    I have owned a gold tone, firefly concert, a deering concert, a duke, even a lowly kmise....

    still own a Duke 10 which I like a lot

    By far...its the absolute best concert banjo I ever played. I think it blows away the deering as far a playabilty and ease of fretting, even though its not quite as loud as the deering with the 10 inch head.

    Quality and construction is top notch. However not the lightest uke, it has some weight to it. as heavy as the deeing or close to it imho.

    Its a work of art as well as being a quality sounding intrument. Never played a beansprout banjo so cannot compare.

    For me , the absolute easiest banjo to play and chord is the Duke 10.
    I just love its neck....and sound...and weight and its a far cry better looking than the original duke,
    (and my friend has one we made into baritone banjo uke using Fremont Black line high d bari tuning for tenor size instruments.)

    But its not in the same class of the Southern Cross which takes it to an all higher level in quality of components and attention to detail. The tenor size SC must be
    awesome....I highly recoomend the SC.....although for money should come with a banjo armrest...preferable wood but at very least metal like what comes with the duke.....I think thats a no brainer...

    So..I like them both, The SC and the duke 10(low g).. for different reasons...and sounds....and will keep them both.....although I would like to try the new tenor Firefly and a beansprout out of curiosity some day.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by uketanzon; 02-08-2018 at 12:56 AM.
    (Originally a Northern Yankee
    But now a good old southern boy)

    Martin IZ Commenorative Tenor
    Martin style 1 1950 soprano
    Koaloha Special issue Purple heart Tenor
    Koaloha Long Neck Soprano Koa
    Kamaka 100 year anniversary model hf-1
    Kanilea Concert Koa
    Southern Cross Banjo Concert

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Tampa Bay, FL
    Posts
    7,263

    Default

    Wow, that thing is beautiful. If I could afford a Duke 10 I'd get one, and a Southern Cross too!
    "Those who bring sunshine and laughter to the lives of others cannot keep it from themselves".

    Music washes from the soul, the dust of everyday living.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    751

    Default

    Thanks for the positive review I am delighted that you are enjoying it.
    I have taken your comments about the armrest on board and am investigating how to include a version going forward.
    Kind Regards
    Dennis

    dpophotography@yahoo.co.nz
    Southern Cross Instruments
    New Zealand

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    Location
    Amelia Island Florida
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    Your welcome! You do excellent work.....!!! someone should grab awsome tenor for sale.....
    the armrest would be a big plus.....

    Dennis
    what size is hardware...I want to get a banjo wrench.......
    may also look at remo fiberskyn drum head in future......just prefer the looks of it...
    (Originally a Northern Yankee
    But now a good old southern boy)

    Martin IZ Commenorative Tenor
    Martin style 1 1950 soprano
    Koaloha Special issue Purple heart Tenor
    Koaloha Long Neck Soprano Koa
    Kamaka 100 year anniversary model hf-1
    Kanilea Concert Koa
    Southern Cross Banjo Concert

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    751

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by uketanzon View Post
    Your welcome! You do excellent work.....!!! someone should grab awsome tenor for sale.....
    the armrest would be a big plus.....

    Dennis
    what size is hardware...I want to get a banjo wrench.......
    may also look at remo fiberskyn drum head in future......just prefer the looks of it...
    Hi Mike,

    This is the one I use.
    https://www.amazon.com/3-way-Bracket.../dp/B00TWPV5L2

    I switched over to Fibreskin recently and will probably stay with them. I can't find an eight inch armrest for sale so I may have to look at making my own wooden ones. There is one advertised but $50.00!
    I will see what I can come up with.
    Thanks for the kind words.
    Kind Regards
    Dennis

    dpophotography@yahoo.co.nz
    Southern Cross Instruments
    New Zealand

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Location
    Twin Cities, Minnesota, USA
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    275

    Default

    Not surprised that you can't find an 8" radius armrest. When my Duke 10 arrived I noticed right away that the armrest they use does not match the 10" radius of their pot, and looks more like an 11" or 12" banjo armrest. So affordable 10" ones may not be readily available either. Hope you can work out something, as it would be a nice addition to your beautiful instruments.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
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    Quote Originally Posted by besley View Post
    Not surprised that you can't find an 8" radius armrest. When my Duke 10 arrived I noticed right away that the armrest they use does not match the 10" radius of their pot, and looks more like an 11" or 12" banjo armrest. So affordable 10" ones may not be readily available either. Hope you can work out something, as it would be a nice addition to your beautiful instruments.
    Yes I thought the Duke one looked the wrong size. You are correct it is impossible to get one for an 8 inch diameter, I have made a start on a prototype, will see how it works out.
    Cheers
    Kind Regards
    Dennis

    dpophotography@yahoo.co.nz
    Southern Cross Instruments
    New Zealand

  8. #8

    Default

    Huge cost difference at $975 for the tenor vs $380 for the Duke, do you think it’s worth over double the cost?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
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    JoCo, NC (near Raleigh)
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ukulelerick9255 View Post
    Huge cost difference at $975 for the tenor vs $380 for the Duke, do you think it’s worth over double the cost?
    Apples and oranges. SC is a custom, hand made, instrument. How much value you place on that is a personal decision.
    Current Stable:
    -Ohana TKS-15E - Eb cuatro
    -Iriguchi Tenor "Weeble" - Bb, SC SMU
    -Blue Star 19" baritone Konablaster - DGBE
    -KPK pineapple SLN-GCEA
    -Cocobolo 16" SC#1-gCEA, SC SLMU
    -Ono #42 19" baritone, Ab, LW
    -Imua iET-Bb, M600
    -Covered Bridge CLN pineapple - Eb cuatro, SC XLL
    -Rogue bari
    -Bonanza super tenor, FBL cFAD
    Once upon a time:
    -RISA Concert Stick
    -Bruko sop. custom #6
    -Lanikai lam hog bari
    -Kala SLNG
    -Bruko bari
    -Gold Tone BUT


    Jim's Blog

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
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    under the palms in tempe, az
    Posts
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ukulelerick9255 View Post
    Huge cost difference at $975 for the tenor vs $380 for the Duke, do you think it’s worth over double the cost?
    For a luthier built instrument? I think you need to define that question more clearly. Worth is something that's a personal thing and often debated on every forum I've ever been associated with. The bigger question is what does worth mean to you? Is it construction? Attention to detail or extras like inlay, wood selection? Playability? Rarity? Materials? Popularity? A particular maker? Sound? Or something else? And within each of these categories lies other matters of perception, along with need vs want and so forth.

    There's the old adage that something is only worth what the buyer will pay. And there's that other adage that if you have to ask you can't afford it. For me, I'd rather pay extra for a unique, one of a kind, luthier built instrument, that sounds and plays great (especially when the maker is a member of this forum) than something that's mass-produced or made in China. But that's just a reflection of where I'm currently at, ymmv.

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