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What are Gold Star Banjos?

In the mid 1970’s Richard Keldsen was frustrated with Gibson’s manufacturing of banjos and decided to set out to make a banjo that could compete with Gibson. Richard connected with instrument makers in Japan to try and replicate the mastertone type bluegrass banjos made by Gibson. He introduced the first Gold Star banjos through his preexisting instrument company, Saga musical instruments. He continues the production of different musical instruments today in San Francisco, CA.

Sale!
$2,395.00 $1,599.00

Most banjo players agree that the ideal bluegrass banjo was the flathead built in very limited quantities during the 1930's.

Sale!
$2,199.00 $1,599.00

Limited! The banjo pictured on the cover and recorded on the Bluegrass Album was a prewar RB-3 that has been with Saga for more than 30 years.


After a number of years it became close to impossible to continue importing and producing banjos in Japan, so in 1986 Keldsen stopped production in Japan. A few years later he began working with skilled instrument makers in China to continue production of Gold Stars. Gold Star and Saga Instruments continue to produce both arch top and flat top banjo models today. Gold Star banjos accomplish the mastertone bluegrass sound that once only Gibson had achieved.

Gold Star Banjos at Banjo.com

Banjo.com has the flat top Gold Star banjo that produces the bluegrass tone that player such as Tom Adams are looking for. Check out our Gold Star Model GF-100W Pro Banjo with Wreath Inlays. Most banjo players agree that the flat top banjo produces the best bluegrass sound.

The Gold Star GF-100JD Bluegrass Album Banjo is a replication of the prewar RB-3 that was featured on the front “The Bluegrass Album”. “The Bluegrass Album” with Tony Rice, J.D. Crowe, Bobby Hicks, Doyle Lawson and Todd Phillips redefined the direction of the music for the next generation.

Finance a Gold Star Banjo

Gold Star banjos are quality banjos that help you achieve the prewar bluegrass sound at an affordable price. We have partnered with Affirm to give Banjo.com customers the option to buy a Gold Star banjo now and pay for it later.