Skip to main content Skip to footer
Financing available on 100+ brands. Get Details
Call our Gear Advisors (877) 509-9963 Hablamos Español
MF MD HG01 Electric Guitar Month 06-19-18

Recording King OT25 Madison Old-Time Banjo

  • Write a Review
H87216 000000000
Product Price $549.99
  • Free Shipping (48 Contiguous U.S. States)

The Recording King OT25 Madison Banjo is an old-time picking machine, with a steam-bent maple rim, 24-bracket tension hoop, and the clean look of all...Click To Read More About This Product

In Stock & Ready To Ship

Gold Coverage: (What’s This?)
    Warranty Options
  Add to Cart
Add to Wish List
Set Alerts
Special Financing Offer
$23/month for 24 months
Musician's Friend Platinum Card

0% Interest for 24 months*. 24 equal monthly payments required. Valid through 06/21/2018
Get DetailsAbout Special Financing Offers Opens in new window

Earn Points

Earn up to 4,400 reward points.

Don't Forget

A beautiful 5-string with vintage styling and rustic elegance.

The Recording King OT25 Madison Banjo is an old-time picking machine, with a steam-bent maple rim, 24-bracket tension hoop, and the clean look of all of our Madison banjos. It's built especifically for old-time players, with features like a scooped fretboard, no-knot tailpiece and old-style Remo FiberSkyn head. Case sold separately.

  • Old time, open-back style
  • Steam-bent maple rim
  • Nickel-plated brass hoop
  • Rosewood fingerboard with pearl dot inlays
  • Adjustable truss rod
  • Case sold separately

Get vintage style and modern comfort in your next banjo. Order today.

  • Model Name: Madison Old Time Open Back
  • Banjo Type: Open Back
  • Tone Ring: none
  • Flange: none
  • Truss Rod: two way, adjustable
  • Rim: 3 ply Steam Bent Maple
  • Hoop: Nickel plated brass, 24 hook
  • Fretboard: Rosewood
  • Fretboard Inlay: Pearl Dots
  • Nut: Bone
  • Peghead: Recording King Madison
  • Peghead Overlay Black
  • Peghead Inlay: Recording King Block
  • Hooks and Nuts: 24, American threads
  • Rods: Dual Coordinator Rods
  • Tuners: Planetary, white pearloid button
  • Tailpiece: Presto
  • Bridge: Maple/Ebony
  • Head: REMO Fiberskyn, high crown
  • Crown: high
  • Finish: Satin
  • Hardware: Nickel

Review Snapshot

by PowerReviews
Recording KingOT25 Madison Old-Time Banjo

(based on 3 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars



  • 4 Stars



  • 3 Stars



  • 2 Stars



  • 1 Stars




of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Reviewed by 3 customers

Displaying reviews 1-3

Back to top

(14 of 14 customers found this review helpful)


A Step Above An Entry Level Banjo

By Dr. Mumbo

from Wondering between NYS & NC.

About Me Experienced

See all my reviews


  • Good Tone
  • Plays Incredibly Loud
  • Strong


  • Not Made In Usa
  • Pegs May Need Tightening

Best Uses

  • Clawhammer
  • Frailing
  • Oldtime Banjo

Comments about Recording King OT25 Madison Old-Time Banjo:

Many of my instruments have been bought from MF, but this was on back order and I did not feel like waiting for it to become available. I was trying to choose between 5 banjos (actually narrowed down to 3), so it worked out better this way, as I got to try each banjo at the same time. This made choosing the one best for me easier. I found a medium sized music store in central NC that specialized in banjos - there were a mind boggling number of banjos there that were a joy just to look at. But I am getting off track - the first 2 I checked out were the ones that I had essentially eliminated already: 1) Fender (they should concentrate on their guitar line), and Epiphone, which tends to be very iffy nowadays. This left me with the three I was seriously considering: 1) Recording King, 2) Deering, and 3) Gold Tone. I found the Deering ti have a tone that was a bit too treble-more suited for Bluegrass. The insets also gave it a cheap look (IMHO). The Gold Tone was nice but the guitar type tuners (also found on the Deering) were a turnoff, at least to me. Both the Deering & Gold Tone Open Back were much lighter than the Recording King, which has real heft. In summary, I went with the Recording King because 1) I felt that it had the better tone, 2) it was solid with plenty of heft, 3) It was LOUD, 4) I liked the Banjo Peg tuners rather than the guitar type tuners.4) The RK looks great (again, subjective), 5) I would place this a notch above an entry level instrument. 6) one downside to note-peg tuner tend to slip. Do not get excited if this happens to you, as the fix is simply to tighten the screws at the tip of the tuners. Barring extreme temperature change, it seems as though this banjo will stay in tune indefinitely.

(3 of 4 customers found this review helpful)


I hope you are handy...

By Hayduke

from San Marcos, CA

About Me Novice

Verified Buyer


  • Came In A Box
  • Nice Hardware
  • Price


  • Defective Nut
  • Head Bottomed Out
  • Junk Tail Piece
  • Quality Control
  • Tailpiece Installed Poorl

Best Uses

    Comments about Recording King OT25 Madison Old-Time Banjo:

    Tailpiece was installed incredibly crooked and a set screw drivng into rim insuring that it stays crooked. The nut was cut improperly and this is not the first review you will find with this issue from an RK. This makes the 1st string almost off the fretwire. Sure you can play it, but this was supposed to be an upgrade from my MB-100 and should be easier playing rather than making you try harder. I changed out tailpiece and put on fresh strings and it sounds just fine. I really like the banjo, but the quality control is really lacking. I also changed out bridge. It does sound nice and is hard to put down. In order to return to MF the banjo needs to be in new condition...the tailpiece has been changed and so have the strings...though I saved them taped to tailpiece in case this was the solution. A return to MF would also mean being charged for the original free I was looking at losing money. I contacted Music Link in hopes that they would make this right. After several email exchanges including proving my purchase and photo documentation Music Link (Parent of Recording King) claims this was set up at their warehouse and suggested maybe MF did a "set-up" I dont believe MF touches these. Also the heel cut is so shallow that the head is already bottomed room to tighten in future. Instead of looking into this, Music Link suggested that maybe MF overtightend the head. ALL photos I can find that show this area of the banjo, including back when it was a 3 ply rim show the head bottomed out. Music Link's warranty mentions that if the part is not deemed defective it will be destroyed at the customer's expense...I asked what the heck that means and was given no clarification. So since they even after being given pictures of the issue wont say yes its defective (so I would be safe in spending a bunch more money to ship this to them for the repair)I am supposed to risk spending more money for no resolution? Save your money like everyone says and buy an American Made Banjo from a maker with integrity that will stand by their product rather than just try to sell as many cheap banjos as possible. All my lessons are painful

    (0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)


    Great instrument!

    By Kaput

    from Denver, CO

    About Me Novice


    • Consistent
    • Good Tone
    • Strong


      Best Uses

      • Concerts
      • Practicing

      Comments about Recording King OT25 Madison Old-Time Banjo:

      This is a great open back banjo! I have only been playing for a year and a half but in that time have played quite a few entry level banjos and none of them compare to the Recording King. The instrument sounds great, it stays in tune, and the neck feels perfect to me. I had nylon strings on it and it had a nice old timey sound for clawhammer. I recently changed the strings to steel as I am moving to scruggs style and the banjo is loud and bright. I'm on the MF site to buy a new Recording King banjo to play bluegrass with. I will likely go back to nylon strings when I get the new banjo and leave this one as my folk/clawhammer banjo.

      I think a previous reviewer was reviewing a bad setup on his instrument rather than the instument itself.

      You will not be dissapointed with this banjo!

      Displaying reviews 1-3

      Back to top

      You are changing the Ship-To country.

      Our product catalog varies by country due to manufacturer restrictions. If you change the Ship-To country, some or all of the items in your cart may not ship to the new destination.