Banjolele, the hunt begins!

So, after watching that awesome Mr. B video earlier this week, I really got a taste for a banjolele!  I currently have a metal body resonator ukulele (although kind of a cheap one, I'll take pictures later) and I really like the sound of it.  Every  time I play it, I feel like I should be wearing a straw hat , chewing on a piece of grass and drinking a mint julep.... all the while singing through a old conical megaphone apparatus.   Well.. the banjolele sounds seems like it takes that concept to the next level even.  And I HAVE to get to the next level, right? 😉  In case you need a refresher.  Here's Mr. B, The Rhyming Gentleman, performing on his banjolele live.  I love that he references the Pharcyde in this one!

Yay.  I just watched it again and I'm invigorated!  Ok.  Time to get serious.  The first place I looked was Musician's Friend.  And I found this pretty little Goldtone Banjolele.

[phpbay] goldtone banjolele, , "16224", "", , , , , , , , uke-goldtone-banjolele[/phpbay]

Hay!  That's not too bad, right?  I'm just psyched that someone is still making banjoleles so I don't necessarily have to buy a vintage instrument that I'll never be able to maintain (I'm not handy).  Here's some notes:

Unique banjo-like tone from the Gold Tone Banjolele brings uke parts to the foreground. Curly maple headstock is a perfect complement to the bound ebony fretboard with snowflake inlays. Brass tone ring on the 8" head and maple rim.

Goldtone Banjolele Features:

  • Maple neck
  • Ebony fretboard
  • Curly maple headstock
  • Archtop design for formby-style strumming
  • Brass tone ring
  • Adjustable truss rod
  • Bone nut
  • No-knot tailpiece

Ooh!  I kept searching and found the fancier big brother, who goes by the name of
Goldtone Banjolele Deluxe
. (Yup, just like the sandwich)

Goldtone Banjolele Deluxe - $449.25
Goldtone Banjolele Deluxe - $449.25

Here's some notes about the Deluxe version:

Bound ebony fretboard with snowflake inlays, curly maple headstock, and bound full-walled maple resonator provide luxurious visuals. Resonator design, one-piece flange, 8" head, and bone nut pump out big stage tone with generous volume.

Goldtone Banjolele Deluxe Features:

  • Unique design
  • Maple neck
  • Bound ebony fretboard
  • Maple resonator
  • Brass tone ring
  • One-piece flange
  • No-knot tailpiece
  • 13-3/4" scale
  • 8" Remo head
  • Archtop design for formby-style strumming
  • Bone nut

But... what if you are a handy man (or lady) and you don't mind a bit of a project?  Well, I found a few ebay auctions that you should check out.  These aren't for me, personally, because fixing things makes me have to put money in the swear jar at my house and my kids don't need rocket bikes (see... the swear jar is pretty full).

The first ebay auction I checked out was for freaking 5 banjoleles!?! Banjo Ukulele Banjolele Rolando, Winner, etc. LOT OF 5!

Banjo Ukulele Banjolele Rolando, Winner, etc. LOT OF 5!
Banjo Ukulele Banjolele Rolando, Winner, etc. LOT OF 5!

Defintely check this auction out, there are lots and lots of really detailed pictures so there won't be any surprises when those sweet banjoleles arrive at yer casa.

The next auction that I checked out was for a 1930s-era banjolele that looks pretty similar to the bottom banjolele in the picture above.

Circa 1930s Banjo-Ukulele Banjolele Segmented Wood NICE

Circa 1930s Banjo-Ukulele Banjolele Segmented Wood NICE
Circa 1930s Banjo-Ukulele Banjolele Segmented Wood NICE

The last banjolele project I found was a VINTAGE B & J MELE BANJO UKULELE banjolele project.

VINTAGE B & J MELE BANJO UKULELE banjolele project
VINTAGE B & J MELE BANJO UKULELE banjolele project

There ya go, fixer-upper-types, get a bidding!  Just to be complete, I also searched Amazon to see what they have in the way of banjoleles.  First I saw one for $199 but the review made it sound like garbage.  Then I found the Goldtone instruments again because it looks like Musician's Friend sells them through Amazon also.  But, I'll include one of them because maybe you are already heading to Amazon to buy something else completely random.

Goldtone Banjolele
Goldtone Banjolele - from Amazon.com

So, there ya go.  Say, if one of you guys buys one of the banjolele projects on ebay, please contact me.  If you write a review about it for my site I'll buy you a Uke Thong!

4 thoughts on “Banjolele, the hunt begins!”

  1. I’ve got a banjolele from about 1920ish (I’m guessing anyway, it’s very hard to find anything out about it), which my mum found in a friend’s attic. All I changed on it were the strings, but it sounds beautiful. Well worth it, although I think at some point I’ll need to change the bridge as the top string occasionally pops off.

  2. Lucky! I’m jealous! I’m going to have to get one the old fashioned way. Yup, either steal it or male prostitution. I better start doing sit-ups now.

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