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Thread: Goldtone Little Gem Banjo test....big bang for little bucks

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
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    Amelia Island Florida
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    Default Goldtone Little Gem Banjo test....big bang for little bucks

    Sometimes a “gem” happens from a music brand...fairly cheap, pretty well made,,,and sounds great,.

    the Flight TUS35 and 5O travel sopranos do that

    and now...

    I think the Goldtone little gem plastic banjo hits all marks. Listen and you decide..Open back...back plate removed,

    sound clip 1

    https://soundcloud.com/user-67035804...19-12-08-23-pm



    here is a sample from my $1000 custom Southern Cross banjo uke, a work of art, for comparison to the $149 little gem

    soundclip3
    https://soundcloud.com/user-67035804...19-11-55-14-am

    my thoughts, both have same diadarrio black nylon rectified strings, The little gem with the back off, (open back) has a bit more volume and brightness and bark....than the southern cross...the Southern cross is absolutely beautiful display of woods and crafting, i
    the goldtone is plastic, but cute and and cool looking, I like them both,,,,the goldtone gem has a bit more tin pan ally sound, which is not a bad thing at all...



    Note..wish i had a better recording program....it does not do justice to how good it sounds...and plays when adjusted correctly

    (However, you got to ditch the stock crapola strings and put a set of Diadarrio Rectifed black nylons concert size to make it sing..To Me, thicker Nylons play and sound better on banjo ukes , strumming and clawhammer, than flurocarbons. you can manipulate them and wail on them better than higher tension and thinner fluros)....also of course located the bridge correctly
    Last edited by uketanzon; 06-05-2019 at 05:03 PM.
    Koaloha Opio Acacia Longneck Soprano
    Martin IZ commemorative Tenor
    Pono Acaia Taropatch 8 string
    Loprinzi cherry wood tenor (for sale )
    Southern Cross Banjo Concert ( for sale)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    Springfield, IL
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    1,232

    Default

    Thanks, Uketanzon! Sounds really good! I've been thinking about these, and it's nice to have your input!

  3. #3
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    Sep 2015
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    Default

    Its a neat, sharp looking, fairly light weight, good banjo uke.

    I have played and owned
    goldtone regular
    duke reg and duke 10
    flea firefly concert and soprano
    southern cross
    kmise,
    luna,
    kala,

    For 149 bucks, hard to beat. Sounds ok with resonator back on, but to me really shines with back off and the
    diadarrio black nylon rectified strings and adjusting the action height and drum head tension to your liking. I like it so much going to put a set of gotoh tuners on her.

    there was a reason it won best of show in Namm
    Last edited by uketanzon; 06-03-2019 at 04:53 AM. Reason: was a reason it won best
    Koaloha Opio Acacia Longneck Soprano
    Martin IZ commemorative Tenor
    Pono Acaia Taropatch 8 string
    Loprinzi cherry wood tenor (for sale )
    Southern Cross Banjo Concert ( for sale)

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    Location
    Amelia Island Florida
    Posts
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    Default

    I added a sound comparison to my $1000 southern cross banjo uke...
    you decide what you like !!!!!
    Koaloha Opio Acacia Longneck Soprano
    Martin IZ commemorative Tenor
    Pono Acaia Taropatch 8 string
    Loprinzi cherry wood tenor (for sale )
    Southern Cross Banjo Concert ( for sale)

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    JoCo, NC (near Raleigh)
    Posts
    4,628

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    just "tagging" this so I can find it later - I am very curious to hear those samples.
    Ukulele:
    Iriguchi Tenor "Weeble" - A, WoU Clarity
    Blue Star 19" baritone Konablaster - DGBE
    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, cFAD SC LHU
    Kala KSLNG, Eb SC XLU
    Flea soprano, C LW
    Hanson 5-string tenor, dGCEA
    Bonanza SLN GCEA
    Bonanzalele concert
    Guitars:
    Jupiter #47, G, TI CF127
    Pelem, A, EJ45LP

    !Flukutronic!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Location
    Twin Cities, Minnesota, USA
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    I played one at the store the other day, and I must say that if you want to add a banjo uke to your collection, and like concert scale, this is a great way to go. My one concern is that the two I saw both had terrible fret sprout on the neck. Nothing that couldn't be fixed in 5 min, but they would have been quite unpleasant to play.
    Blackbird Farallon Ekoa Tenor
    Beltona Songster Resonator Tenor
    Klos Carbon Fiber Tenor
    Magic Fluke Tenor Firefly Banjolele

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
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    Tampa Bay, FL
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    Do you think the D'addarios would make a Duke sound better?
    I don't like it with the Aquilas at all....
    "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.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    Location
    Amelia Island Florida
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    DUKES ARE GREAT UKES!!!

    Should have kept my duke 10

    Yes , I think the Diadario Black nylon rectified would do well,
    The Diadarrio PRO Art clear nylons
    also, PHD high density clear nylons...
    or the Savez clear nylons
    Koaloha Opio Acacia Longneck Soprano
    Martin IZ commemorative Tenor
    Pono Acaia Taropatch 8 string
    Loprinzi cherry wood tenor (for sale )
    Southern Cross Banjo Concert ( for sale)

  9. #9

    Default

    Bill, I have one. I am new to ukes and previously played a banjo.....so you can see the natural attraction. I was surprised at how heavy it is compared to other ukes I tested and had to improvise a strap to wear for standup playing. Goldtone sells them but they are too expensive. I also agree that sometimes the frets need a little work, but Long and McQuade ( where I bought it ) fixed that instantly the moment it was taken out of the box....so check yours if you are thinking of buying one. I found that it has little sustain up the neck....but as a newbie I will probably live in the lower levels for a while. But since I’m a strummer it may not be too much of an issue. They do have newer models which have LED lights in them...very cool. It is a fun instrument and easy to carry around. I wouldn’t mind a tenor size though....but alas they don’t make one. After playing it a while would I still buy it......yes I think I would and that is probably as good an endorsement that there is. It is brash sounding so in a group setting they will know you are there.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by uketanzon View Post
    DUKES ARE GREAT UKES!!!

    Should have kept my duke 10

    Yes , I think the Diadario Black nylon rectified would do well,
    The Diadarrio PRO Art clear nylons
    also, PHD high density clear nylons...
    or the Savez clear nylons
    I loved the Duke and it's sound but just can't handle the size of the tenor neck. After a year finally decided to sell it and it killed me. Even asked them if they'd make a concert neck for me to put on. Oh well.
    Really wanted to love that Little Gem and maybe it was mine, but it had a really off sound on the A string that I couldn't fix no matter how I moved the bridge or adjusted the string.

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