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No one else does stringed instruments quite like Gretsch, and though they're well-known for guitars today, that's not where they started. In fact, when Gretsch was founded in 1883, they had banjos, tambourines and drums rolling out of the shop. They haven't forgotten their roots, and today, Gretsch continues to make great banjos that stay true to their vintage designs, standards and craftsmanship philosophies. If you're new to the banjo and are interested in something that's big on sound but light on the pocketbook, you'll want to check out the Root Series G9450 Dixie 5-String Banjo. With this instrument, Gretsch has done a great job evoking their early 20th-century models while bringing in modern construction techniques. It's novice-friendly but will also satisfy discerning players, which makes it a great choice for anyone.
Maybe a tenor banjo is more your style? If so, consider the G9480 "Laydie Belle." This 4-string beauty has a 3-ply solid maple rim and bold tone that makes it perfect for playing traditional folk music. It's also a great introductory banjo for mandolin and fiddle players looking to broaden their musical horizons, thanks in large part to its special-gauge Irish Tenor tuned strings. With a simple change of strings, it can also tune in standard tenor or "Chicago Tuning." You won't find a more versatile banjo than this one.
For a player with the absolute highest standards, look no further than the Gretsch G9420 Broadkaster Supreme Banjo. This is a truly gorgeous instrument, loaded with great detailing and finishing touches like a B&D-inlaid fingerboard and engraved armrest. The Broadkaster's flame maple resonator back, brass tone ring and Remo Renaissance head easily deliver the amazing sound to back up its premium looks.
Whichever of these banjos is the right option for you, there's no going wrong with Gretsch. After all, they've been in the banjo business for well over a century. All of these instruments are testaments to the quality and performance that kind of experience can deliver in a modern banjo.