Ashthorpe Banjo Review: The Pros and Cons & Complete Guide

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It is said that a banjo does not play a sad tune, or a mellow tune – so add some joy to your life with an Ashthorpe banjo.

With this banjo, as well as some ability to properly execute some basic banjo playing techniques, you will be certain to find a great connection between the instrument and your individual playing style.

So whether you’re playing music for your friends or family, or enjoying the banjo on your own, you’ll get a bright and clear sound that everyone will like.

The Ashthorpe banjo also comes with a cushioned tour bag, additional strings, a cleaning cloth, and picks, so you’ll be prepared to pluck any of your favorite melodies in no time.

Ashthorpe 5-String Banjo
Ashthorpe 5-String Banjo
Ashthorpe 5-String Banjo
Our Score
  • Traditional style: This 5-string banjo is perfect for any style of play with its guitar-style headstock and neck combined with a tambourine shaped body. Whether you’re playing mellow country tunes, folk, bluegrass, clawhammer-style, even rock, you’ll get a great response and sound from this right-handed banjo.
  • Remo head
  • High-quality craftsmanship: Ashthorpe's banjo features a mahogany neck and laurel fretboard with finely manicured, smooth seated frets. The body is crafted from mahogany with a high-gloss finish. The closed-back resonator can be easily removed, allowing this banjo to be played open back. 
  • Geared 5th tuner and adjustable truss rod: This 5-string banjo also includes a geared 5th string tuner, typically found on more expensive banjos. 
  • Banjo bundle kit includes: This banjo is safely stored inside a 15mm premium fabric padded “gig bag” guitar case with pocket, carry handle, and shoulder strap. Extra strings, a polishing cloth, and three celluloid picks are also included.

Table of Contents

Main Takeaways for the Ashthorpe Banjo

Ashthorpe Banjo: Pros & Cons

Pros:

  • The body is made of mahogany and finished in a high-gloss finish.
  • You may adjust the neck with the flexible truss rod to straighten it.
  • Beginners can use geared tuners to make tuning easier and avoid the banjo from going out of tune.
  • Affordable for most people.
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Cons:

  • Picks and straps could be better, but they’re easy to swap out.
  • It’s a little difficult to replace the resonator once removed.
  • The tone is quieter and less punchy.
  • Not a “brand name.”

PRO TIP: If you want to get serious about protecting your banjo, move up to a hardshell case. This banjo case gets you there at a reasonable price.

Ashthorpe Banjo Sound

Some banjos have an open-back. These are often lighter in weight and have a softer sound.

On other banjos, a wooden bowl called a “resonator” is affixed to the rear of the drum. The Ashthorpe banjo is an example of this style, although the resonator can also be removed so that the banjo can be played with an open back.

Because the resonator generally rests on your body as you play, sitting down is more comfortable while playing this banjo, and aids in transmitting the sounds.

Most bluegrass players choose “closed back” or “resonator” style banjos like this, as they’re a little louder.

Unfortunately, they can also be relatively heavy, and standing up to play them can be more tiring. While many people believe that if you want to play bluegrass, you have to use a closed-back banjo, perhaps the most important thing for a beginner is to feel comfortable.

Open-back banjo options will be lighter to handle and easier to play for some people.

PRO TIP: To find that ideal sound, get a quality tuner that is designed to work well with banjos. This tuner comes from a respected brand and is made specifically for banjos, rather than just being a “multi-instrument” tuner.

Ashthorpe Banjo Price Range/Value

A complete beginner kit, like the one shown above, will typically cost between $150 and $300 and is a good choice for those just getting started. Beginner kits like these are an ideal buy if you’re unsure if you’ll persist with the instrument. To take things up a notch, paying between $300 and $425 will usually get you a pretty good mid-range banjo.

Ashthorpe Banjo Style

With a guitar-style headstock and neck mixed with a tambourine-shaped body, Ashthorpe’s 5-string banjo is suited for any performance.

This right-handed banjo will respond and sound wonderful whether you’re playing calm country classics, folk, bluegrass, clawhammer-style, or even rock.

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The closed-back resonator is simple to take off, meaning you can play the banjo open back.

Some of its other design features include:

  • 5-ply maple and mahogany shell
  • 5-ply maple rim
  • 15:1 ratio geared tuners and top-notch tuning pegs
  • Adjustable hinged tailpiece
  • Chrome-plated armrest.

The Ashthorpe banjo also has a geared 5th tuner and adjustable truss rod, features that you may mind more commonly on more expensive banjos. The geared 5th tuner is a step up compared to the common friction tuner, and offers more precise tuning and less slippage.

Quality of the Ashthorpe Banjo

This banjo kit features a Remo head, which the renowned Remo drum manufacturer produces. The crisp white, polished head delivers brilliant sound and clarity.

A magnificent 5/8″ maple/ebony bridge rests on the Remo’s head for enhanced string vibration transfer, and is held with 24 chrome-plated brackets.

The Ashthorpe banjo has a mahogany neck and laurel fingerboard with finely manicured, smoothly seated frets and a mahogany body with an eye-catching high-gloss surface.

PRO TIP: Get your banjo strings from a trusted brand and you’ll notice the difference in sound quality. This set of banjo strings comes from one of the most trusted brands across all stringed instruments.

About The Ashthorpe Banjo Brand

What do music-loving amateurs and professionals have in common? They communicate through music, which is a worldwide language.

Ashthorpe builds their banjos with this in mind. They create instruments to bring the music community together and link musicians with their friends and fans.

Ashthorpe banjos are a good fit for everyone from children to students to performers, allowing all musicians to express themselves artistically.

Everything that you need to get started with playing the banjo comes with an Ashthorpe banjo.

PRO TIP: When you’re first learning the banjo, pick up a good instructional book that covers a variety of types of songs, so that you can find the style that you enjoy the most. This banjo book gives you a 50/50 split of clawhammer and three-finger style songs.

The Ashthorpe brand also provides a large selection of high-quality guitars, including traditional acoustic, electric, and acoustic-electric models. Left-handed guitars are also available.

Regardless if music is a hobby, a passion, something you do for fun or for a career, Ashthorpe instruments help to get you set up with high-quality sound. Ashthorpe instruments are made from high-quality materials and polished with meticulous attention to detail.

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These well-crafted instruments bring excellent sound and tonal quality, with great playability and longevity for anyone from school kids new to music classes to classical musicians in small piece bands.

A musical instrument is a priceless investment, and Ashthorpe is a solid way to start off that investment.

Bottom Line

This conventional 5-string banjo from Ashthorpe is ideal for musicians of all ability levels, regardless of prior experience.

The lovely high-gloss mahogany banjo, made of 5-ply maple with a mahogany shell and an adjustable hinged truss rod, is a great way to have a good time with friends or family.

This is the ideal instrument for someone who has always wanted to learn to play the banjo. It’s an opportunity to uncover your God-given talent that you may not have even known about!

If you know you want to get started with the banjo, but still want to check out some other options, check out our other beginner banjo reviews. Also, ask around and allow the stories of your fellow musicians to guide you along the road. For the most part, you can count on musicians to give you an honest take on how they’ve felt about their instruments and the brands that they choose.

Enjoy your banjo!

FAQs

What type of sound does the Ashthorpe Banjo produce?

The Ashthorpe Banjo produces a bright, crisp sound that is perfect for bluegrass, country, and folk music.

Is the Ashthorpe Banjo easy to play for beginners?

Yes, the Ashthorpe Banjo is designed to be easy to play for beginners and experienced players alike. It features a comfortable neck and low action for easy fretting.

Can the Ashthorpe Banjo be used for live performances?

Yes, the Ashthorpe Banjo is designed to be used for live performances. Its high-quality components ensure a consistent sound even in a live setting.

How does the Ashthorpe Banjo compare to other banjos in its price range?

The Ashthorpe Banjo offers excellent value for its price. It has a solid build quality, good sound, and a comfortable playing experience.

Is the Ashthorpe Banjo lightweight and easy to carry?

Yes, the Ashthorpe Banjo is lightweight and easy to carry. It is perfect for musicians who travel frequently and need a portable instrument.

Does the Ashthorpe Banjo come with any accessories?

Yes, the Ashthorpe Banjo comes with a padded gig bag, a set of spare strings, and several other accessories to get started playing.

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