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Recording King RKO-3S Open Back Banjo

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Sale Price $149.99 Was: $199.99
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The Dirty 30's open back RKO-3S sits at the perfect crossroads of classic sound and historic design. Like the original Montgomery Ward mail order ins...Click To Read More About This Product

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Classic sound and historic design.

The Dirty 30's open back RKO-3S sits at the perfect crossroads of classic sound and historic design. Like the original Montgomery Ward mail order instruments from the first half of the century, this Dirty '30s banjo is the ideal companion for singer-songwriters, folk stylists or traveling troubadours.

This banjo packs excellent playability and historic vibe into a retro-infused package that makes vintage style and traditional banjo sound accessible to every player. With a great looking satin finish, Maple neck and Remo Recording King banjo head, the RKO-3S delivers classic tone and is light enough to take on the road with ease. Case sold separately.

Body type: Open Back Banjo
Cutaway: Not applicable
Top wood: Not applicable
Back & sides: Mahogany
Bracing pattern: Not applicable
Body finish: Matte Brown
Orientation: Right handed
Neck shape: C
Nut width: 1-1/4 in.
Fingerboard: Composite rosewood
Neck wood: Maple
Scale length: 26-1/4 in.
Number of frets: 22
Neck finish: Satin
Pickup/preamp: No
Brand: Not applicable
Configuration: Not applicable
Preamp EQ: Not applicable
Feedback filter: Not applicable
Tuner: Not applicable
Headstock overlay: Black
Tuning machines: Ivory Button
Bridge: Maple with ebony cap
Saddle & nut: Ebony saddle, plastic nut
Number of strings: 5
Special features: No knot tailpiece
Case: Sold separately
Accessories: Not applicable
Country of origin: China

Make new music with this affordable banjo. Order today.

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Review Snapshot

by PowerReviews
Recording KingRKO-3S Open Back Banjo

(based on 2 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars



  • 4 Stars



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  • 2 Stars



  • 1 Stars



Reviewed by 2 customers

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All that's needed for Old Time

By Rick

from North Carolina

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  • Good Tone
  • Strong
  • Woody sound


    Best Uses

    • Backup
    • Concerts
    • Dances
    • Practicing

    Comments about Recording King RKO-3S Open Back Banjo:

    Iv got one of these that I use for old time music dances in Mt. Airy, North Carolina. It's all that needed for the right sound. Most of the old players played on something just like this. I think the best sound comes from and instrument built like this. Put medium gauge strings on it and get someone to put you a couple of small spikes so you can play in different keys with a capo. I even like the guitar tuners better than banjo tuners. Iv played fiddle and banjo for many years for dances, WPAQ radio station, galax old time fiddlers convention, west Jefferson area. This banjo will do it all for old time. The only bad thing I could possibly say abt it is that it doesn't have a scooped finger board to play over the finger board easily. Get one for clawhammer oldtime music.


    Nice Little Openback

    By Bo

    from Florence, Texas


    • Beautiful Finish
    • Consistent
    • Good Tone
    • Strong


    • None Found

    Best Uses

    • Backup
    • Playing on the Backporch or Around the Campfire
    • Practicing

    Comments about Recording King RKO-3S Open Back Banjo:

    I was looking for a cheap, yet nice banjo that would not break the bank. Recording King has a great reputation, so I took a chance on this model. The fit and finish were great as the set-up at the store had been well done, and the stain, rubbed satin finish had a great look. When I got it home and tuned it up it had a great warm, mellow sound. It played very well. And it is very light for playing and transporting. I had only one problem that was in no way a fault of this banjo. I figured out very quickly that I wanted a resonator style. As I only had the money for one banjo I sadly returned this one. If your looking for one with the things I commented on, especially for a starter model, but this! A great starter for clawhammer style.

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