Gold Tone vs Recording King Banjo (2022 Review)

Country music is refreshing to hear and soothing to the heart.

Have you ever wondered why country music sounds so soul-soothing and different from other genres?

It’s the traditional instruments used in these genres that make the music in the folk genre so pleasing to the ear.

Most of these instruments were handmade by the locals. 

But now, because of the widespread popularity of these kinds of music, all the instruments are professionally made. 

One such instrument is a Banjo.

goldtone vs recording king banjo

Introduction to Banjo

A banjo is a musical instrument with usually four-five strings used by bands playing country and folk music. Sometimes rock and pop music has the use of a banjo. 

Banjo has originated by American Black Community. It’s been a part of their culture and they used it in rock, pop, and even in hip-hop songs. Later, when blacks were brought as a slave in America, it somehow got incorporated with American classics.

Even, 70’s rock music god-like Eagles used banjo in a lot of their songs.

Before deciding on a banjo, you should know all the components of a banjo. 

Once you know which part does what, you can pick whichever works best for you. 

A normal banjo has two main parts.

The neck and the pot.

The neck part comprises the peghead, truss rod, a fingerboard, inlays, and spikes, as well as important things like frets and strings. There is a heel located with the hanger bolts that connect the neck to the pot. 

5 string banjo

The pot is combined with a banjo rim, co-ordinator, tone ring, banjo head, banjo bridge, tension hoop, armrest, and a tailpiece.

Then there’s a defining part called the resonator. It’s like a wooden cover in the back. The banjos that have this wooden back are called closed back or resonator banjo. 

In contrast, the banjos without a wooden back are called open-back banjos. 

The resonator ones are for reflecting the sound forward towards the audience and the open back is for a combined music setup where the banjo doesn’t have to be at the forefront of the music.

Gold Tone Vs Recording King Banjo

Just like the guitar, a banjo also has different brands. 

Such as Deering, Gold-tone, Schmidt, Fender and Recording King, etc. 

Because of its various and widespread use in multiple genres, different companies produce different kinds of banjos.

There are distinct differences between Gold-Tone and Recording Banjo – 


To begin, you must first determine what type of music you wish to play. 

You’ll need a 5-string resonator banjo if you want to play bluegrass. The clawhammer, which is normally played on an open back, is more of a free-hand style played with bare fingers. It is used to play a lot of popular songs. 

You can play clawhammer style on a resonator or bluegrass on an open back.

The Recording king has eye-catching bright designs. That is why it’s highly popular and sought after by banjo lovers. From glossy brown finish to the hand-rubbed rustic look, every banjo model is there. 

For example, the most popular Recording king banjos are RK-R35 and RK-R36. 

The banjo model of RK-R36 has a glossy brown finish. Whereas the RK-R35 one comes with a hand-rubbed brown satin finish.

In Gold Tone, there are a variety of options in the case of design. 4 string, 5 string, 6 string, Banjola, Cello banjo, Dojo, Longneck, Solid Body, Travel, etc.


For powerful better quality sound, Recording King uses a classic Mastertone-style bell brass cast tone ring. On the other side, most of the Gold Tones have Pre-War Mastertone style sound.


The kind of elements used in making a banjo decides the quality. 

For instance, the type of wood used to make resonators affects the tone. 

Even though there’s ever-lasting debate on which wood is better for an instrument, there are mostly two types of woods used in banjo construction. Maple and Mahagony.

The Banjos made with Maple wood sounds a bit louder as Maple wood is quite hard. Whereas, Mahogany wood gives a smooth softer tone. 

While Recording King uses both wood types, Gold-tone has Maple preference within the same price range. The Gold Tones are quite weighty claimed by a few of its users.

They can be quite heavy, even by mastertone standards. But the travel specials are completely lightweight or as they say featherweight.

Price Range

The cost of a banjo can be a very important variable for most people who are considering buying a banjo for the first time. I mean, you don’t want to be willing to sell your house for buying a banjo right?

price of banjo

The Recording King comparatively has a lower price range than other brands while providing the same quality. RK also has a wide range of models to choose from. 

The variety of models allows you to carefully weigh the pricing versus construction specifics like tone rings, wood selection, tube and plate flange versus one-piece, etc.

Some of the best pieces you can buy even if you’re on a budget. The average range of good quality ranges from $700-$1200. You can them at a cheaper price in sales and discount.

Even though Gold Tone has a flexible price range for a good banjo, you still have to spend a considerable amount of money.

Read More: Gold tone banjo review

If you want a fancy banjo, you can go for the gold-tone. Otherwise, you should go for Recording King if you are looking for better quality at a lower price.

Let us recommend you, banjo models, for both of the brands.

From Recording Kings brand, you should narrow your choice down to the RK-R35 model or the RK-R36 series banjo. These are hot favorites in Recording Kings.

As for the Gold Tone brand, we recommend AC-1 Acoustic Composite 5-String Banjo.

This model is an open back that is without a resonator.

For a banjo with a resonator, we recommend CC-100R Cripple Creek Banjo.

Final Thoughts

Wise men say -‘a bad workman quarrels with his tools. 

It doesn’t matter which banjo brand you use or how much expensive banjo you have. Yes, quality matters but so is your skill. Our success doesn’t depend on which tool we use or how we use it. 

goldtone vs recording king banjo

Music is all about creativity and passion. 

To be a successful banjo player all you need is dedication and skill then you can play every instrument. But if you still want a one-word answer our suggestion would be to buy the Recording King one. You won’t regret it with an RK-R35 or an RK-R36.

4/5 - (2 votes)

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