Gold Tone IT-250 Irish Tenor Banjo (Vintage Brown)
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- Excellent tone and volume is a result of a quality White Ladye tone ring, thin maple rim
- Maple neck and quality components.
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The Irish Tenor 250 (IT-250) is a short scale tenor designed for playing in the common keys of traditional music. This is an excellent addition to any tenor player's arsenal of instruments. Irish Tenor players have often revered the White Ladye pot for a plunky tone and lasting sustain. This 17 fret model, tuned to GDAE (octave lower than a mandolin) has the power and volume needed for Celtic banjo leads and enough mids to cut through the mix. Excellent tone and volume is a result of a quality White Ladye tone ring, thin maple rim, maple neck and quality components. MOP headstock inlay, hearts and flower position markers, two way adjustable truss rod, and chrome plated hardware are standard equipment. With final assembly and a complete setup at the Gold Tone Factory in Florida, this model delivers exactly what the Irish tenor banjo player is looking for!
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Playability is also top-notch. I was very surprised to discover that this was almost in tune right out of the box. I think I had to tune the G, and that was it. I’ve just had this instrument a few days, and the only thing I can see that I want to change is to lower the action a bit, but that’s normal as most factory setups tend to be high, and leave some room for the buyer to fine-tune it to their likes. The bridge is totally playable, but not of high quality, so I'll be replacing that with a much better brand as soon as possible.
I play Irish music almost exclusively on my tenors, along with some Old Time tunes, so I like a nice low and quick action. But this is completely playable right out of the box, and has excellent tone. You really shouldn’t have to do anything but tune this up when you get it. I’ll probably go to a more expensive bridge in a bit, and add a pickup, but those are personal likes.
If you’ve been playing 19-fret tenors, and this is your first 17-fret, you’ll be in for a treat, as the scale is a tad shorter and feels much faster and easy to move around on. I also play a Trinity College octave mandolin, and this scale feels almost identical to it, so it’s easy to switch back and forth without adjustments. And if you play mandolin, or octave mandolin, this is a great addition to your arsenal with its GDAE tuning. Overall, this is an excellent, top-notch instrument of very high quality, and well worth every penny.
These are just observations, not necessarily good or bad.
This unit was louder.
Super Glossy Shinny.
heavy strings (compared to what we are used to).
Quite a bit heavier than Little Wonder.
It played slightly easier.
But it was not that much better than the little Wonder (which we bought for $500)
At the cost of extra weight.
But if you want that loudness with an open back, it may be worth it.
The Glossy Finish was flawless, to a flaw, it made it look like plastic. even though it's not.