10 Best Open Back Banjos (2021) – Buyer’s Guide & Reviews

If you’re wondering what the best open back banjo is the you will surely find the the perfect one from among the selection that we review here. They are truly the top of the line that are available on the market today.

Sifting through and researching all the different banjos takes a tone of your precious time. That’s is why we did the work for you.

Without further ado, we present to you some of the most outstanding open back banjos on the market.

Top 10 Open Back Banjos

#1 Deering Goodtime 5-String Banjo – Editor’s Pick

When you want an open back banjo that is high quality and that can produce a powerful sound when you play it, then there is no doubt that you will be greatly benefited when you get the Deering Goodtime 5-String Banjo.

Truly this open back banjo is made with ultra quality in regard to all its components and it will always produce the powerful sound that you crave every time that you play it. As a result, it is no wonder that this open back banjo is one of the most preferred ones among open back banjo players today.

Indeed, this amazing banjo comes with a top quality maple neck that also comes with the highly desirable element of a truss rod that is adjustable. The rim is made of sturdy steam bent maple that is noted as being three-ply. The fretboard is scooped for maximized comfort during playing.

This banjo comes with a cutting-edge compound angle head that will enhance your playing agility when you use this finely crafted open back banjo.

#2 Rover RB-20 Open Back 5-String Banjo – For Beginners

When you want a banjo that provides high quality, so that you can have that extra boost of confidence as a new banjo player that your music sounds really great, then there is no question that you will really enjoy playing the Rover RB-20 Open Back 5-String Banjo.

This is truly a terrific selection of a banjo that displays amazing quality concerning each element of the instrument. It will always be ready to sound forth the kind of tone that you desire for your music to sound clear and powerful whenever you take the time to play this fine quality instrument.

Therefore, this top of the line banjo is regarded by many beginner banjo players as being their favorite type of banjo. This impressive banjo is constructed with a fine quality maple neck and it also has a beneficial truss road that you can adjust to your preference. The rim is ultra sturdy, as it is crafted of maple that is three-ply.

You have the advantage of a scooped fretboard when you get this banjo, which will truly maximize your comfort during playing for extended periods of time as a new banjo player. Also, you will be pleased at how well the compound angle head enhances your agility while you play this amazing banjo that will indeed bring much pleasure every time you play it. 

#3 Deering Artisan Goodtime Open Back Banjo – Best Under $1,000

When it is of prime importance that your open back banjo be crafted with the implementation of a top of the line Remo fiber skin head, then you need to get the Deering Artisan Goodtime 5-String Open Back Banjo.

This banjo has a terrific and smoothly refined Remo fiber skin head that makes your music seem more magnificent in clarity and quality every time you strum or pluck the strings of this banjo that makes music sound like music for the old banjo days of former generations.

Therefore, if you love that quality of music, then this banjo will be your servant and will submit to many long hours of strumming or plucking to produce the kind of music that you love. The rim has been steam-bent with meticulous care.

It is noted that the tension hoop has twenty-four brackets. This banjo provides a pristine professional look, which makes you look like a music pro whenever you play this thrilling banjo. The tailpiece adds to your playing pleasure and you will appreciate the addition of the fretboard that is scooped for maximized comfort during usage. 

#4 Mulucky 5-String Banjo – Best Budget Option

If there have been instances where you have tried banjos that disappointed you as a result of them not seeming as solid around the rim as you thought they should be, then you can have the peace of mind that the rim of the Mulucky 5-String Banjo Is truly solid and will result in a highly durable banjo that you can enjoy playing for many years.

This banjo always sounds wonderful every time you play it, which will make you want to play to all that more. You will not have the problem of any tension on your hands when you play this meticulously constructed banjo due to the fact that the neck of the banjo has a scalloped design. This banjo is pleasant in that it stays finely tuned for long periods of time.

The strings are highly durable, so they are truly up to the challenge of accommodating your many hours of adventurous banjo playing. This banjo produces a powerful resonance output, so that you and others will be able to hear the music well and you will indeed like the clear quality of each note as well. 

#5 Recording King RK-OT25-BR Madison Open Back Banjo

If you are the kind of person who loves the sensational experience of an old time type of banjo with an open back, then you will be delighted that you will get that type of experience with the Recording King RK-OT25-BR Madison Open Back Banjo that demonstrates superb quality in all its components.

Your music will sound like the old time songs when you pluck away or strum away on this terrific banjo that comes to you with a lovely maple rim that is steam-bent. This instrument is designed with a world class Remo head.

This instrument also comes with a cozy armrest to ensure your maximized comfort for long banjo playing expeditions for your utter enjoyment. It is noted that the hardware of the bridge of this banjo is designed with the usage of nickel-plated material.

This banjo is relatively light in weight, which is why it is so enjoyable to play. Moreover, due to the fact that it is light in weight, it is easy to transport with you when you are traveling and cannot be without your banjo or when you do a lot of banjo playing for groups of people at various venues. 

#6 Oscar Schmidt OB3-O-U Open Back 5-String Banjo

In such instances that you have been disappointed by other banjos that you have tried in prior times that seemed not as solid around the rim as you would have liked them to be, then you can rest assured that when you get the Oscar Schmidt OB3-O-U Open Back 5-String Banjo, you are indeed getting a truly solid banjo.

This is due to the fact that this wonderful sounding banjo has been crafted with solidness in mind, since there is the application of a rim that is three-ply. You will most assuredly appreciate the scalloped neck of this well tuned banjo that makes the playing experience more comfortable with less tension on the hands.

Also, the low end frets are impressive and there are no weak areas of the neck that sometimes can be present in other types of banjos that are on the market at this present time. With this being the case, this is one of the most preferred banjos among banjo players in terms of the high level of comfort during usage.

This banjo is not intended just for casual use just at home or with family and friends. It is truly a high caliber banjo that is of professional quality when you want to play to entertain crowds with top quality banjo music at the professional level. This banjo is able to keep up with all your plucking and strumming in order to produce clear notes and good volume to make your music thrilling to listen to every time. 

#7 Gold Tone CC-Mini Cripple Creek Banjo

When you want a banjo that plays with an impressive sound that is not grating or tinny in essence, then you need to get the Gold Tone CC-Mini Cripple Creek Banjo. This is a well constructed banjo that will most assuredly live up to your expectation when it comes to the production of impressive sound of real quality that does not contain any grating or tinniness.

The tail piece is good to use with this banjo for added support for a more balanced playing experience. The head is world class and contributes to the wonderful quality of the music of this open back banjo. The strings of this banjo are ultra durable, so that you can have the confidence that you will be able to play your songs through to completion without the strings breaking. The bridge is of great quality and the overall composition of the banjo is delightful.

This banjo is easy to play, as the strings are strong enough; yet they have the right kind of flexibility to accommodate comfortable playing to easily produce notes that are on key with the good completion of each note.

You will have the peace of mind that no note will die halfway through. As a result, all notes will blend well to fulfill the intention of the rhythm and melody of your song for real enjoyment in terms of top quality banjo music. 

#8 Savannah SB-060 Travel Banjo

The Savannah SB-060 Travel Banjo is truly an amazing artisan quality banjo that is crafted with the incorporation of a Remo head that is world class. Therefore, it cannot be denied that this is the banjo that you need to get when it is of prime importance that your banjo be made with only the very best elements.

This banjo will produce music that sounds smooth and refined, which will make your music playing sessions with this thrilling banjo all that more impressive and enjoyable. Because of the quality of the sound of this banjo that is clear without the presence of any tinniness, this will inspire you to learn your banjo songs with super enthusiasm and dedication.

You will always be strumming away or plucking away on this banjo, as it is highly responsive to your fingers even just with a light touch to produce beautiful banjo music every time. That is why this banjo is a great choice for beginner banjo players.

The rim has been crafted with ultimate care and the tension hoop comes with the provision of twenty-four brackets. This banjo really has a well defined professional appearance, which will add to making you look like a banjo playing superstar. 

#9 Rover RB-20P Plectrum Open Back 4-String Banjo

The Rover RB-20P Plectrum Open Back 4-String Banjo is a pristine looking banjo and it also produced music that is thrilling in quality that will make you seem like a banjo playing pro even when you are just starting out in the adventurous world of playing banjo music.

Rover RB-20P Plectrum Open Back 4-String Banjo The tailpiece is a terrific addition to enhance your playing pleasure. Moreover, you will be happy to realize that the fretboard is developed in a scooped style, as this will aid to maximize your comfort when you are playing this fun and impressive banjo that demonstrates real quality in all its various components.

This banjo will indeed provide a sensational experience for all banjo users and will allow you to perform well the first time that you perform in public. Therefore, this banjo really does boost your confidence as a new banjo player. The grey metal rim is lovely and well made and the Remo head is world class, so what you know that this banjo is made with real quality.

Also, the cozy armrest will provide the support that you need, so that you will be able to play this banjo for long periods of time during your practice sessions when you really want to advance well in regard to your banjo playing skills.

#10 Morgan Monroe RT-B15-OP Rocky Top Banjo

When you have tried other banjos that did not have a sound that appealed to you, then the good news is that surely you will not be disappointed when you get the Morgan Monroe RT-B15-OP Rocky Top Banjo, as it produces the kind of vibrant sound that you crave.

This banjo is made with meticulous care, such as the fact that this beautifully styled banjo comes with a rim that is made of fine quality maple and a Remo head that is definitely top notch. The hardware of the bridge has been plated in nickel. Many new banjo players like the fact that this banjo is light in weight.

This fact contributes to it being highly enjoyable to play. As well, since it is light in weight, this makes it easy to transport when you just have to take your banjo along with you when you are traveling or when you desire to entertain some folks who are eager to hear your music to see how far along you have come in your banjo playing skills. This banjo is easy to tune and stays tuned for long periods of time.

Choosing An Open Back Banjo – Buying Guide

Strings

Decide how many strings you want. 5 strings are the most common but you can opt for 6 to a 4 string tenor banjo as well. Also make sure that they come with quality strings already equipped.

Sound

This sounds obvious but make sure it has a good sound to it and one that you resonate with and you want. Know going in what type of sound and type of music you want before your buy.

Brand/Manufacturer

Buying an open back banjo from a brand that has years of business crafting their banjos to perfection is a great way to not go wrong with any choice.

Best Open Back Banjo Makers:

  • Deering
  • Gold Tone
  • Recording King
  • Oscar Schmidt
  • Rover

Budget

Knowing how much you want to spend is very important and something you will have to evaluate for yourself. Can you sacrifice the brand name and some features or not?

Banjos can get expensive. The best can go from $1,000 to a beginner banjo for around $200.

See how much banjos cost.

FAQ

Can you play bluegrass on an open back banjo? Yes, but it may not sound like you would want like with a resonator.

Can you add a resonator to an open back banjo? Yes, depending on the banjo and how many brackets it has. You will have to do some research to get the one for your banjo.

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