Banjos are a fairly loud instrument naturally. What do you do when you need to make them louder? You make them electric! Just like we have for many other banjo variations, we shopped around for the best electric banjo so you don’t have to!
As the banjo gains widespread acceptance many popular bands have started to used them including Taylor Swift, The Avett Brothers, and Mumford and Sons.
We start this article with our choices for the four best electric banjos that you can currently get your hands on, then we dive deep into our buyers guide where we cover what we look for when shopping for an acoustic electric, or fully electric banjo!
What is the Best Electric Banjo?
The Gold Tone EB-5 Electric Banjo
We start our list with the Gold Tone EB-5, a great mixture of price and quality! This banjo does not need any tensioning hardware which enhances tuning stability.
In earlier models, some feedback problems were reported but seem to have been fixed and are no longer an issue with the stacked humbucking pick-up.
The neck is crafted out of high-quality Canadian Maple and whether a musician prefers loop end or ball end stringed bridges, this banjo will accept either preference.
Our big drawback on this instrument is the weight and balance, the neck tends to tip forward because it weighs more than the pot. The instrument weighs 27 pounds which is on the heavier side, which is much heavier than other banjos and may not be ideal for some musicians.
- Canadian Maple Neck
- Custom Made Remo Head
- Mahogany Body
- Stacked Humbucker Pickup setup
- Great Value Option
- Neck Heavy
The Gold Tone EBM-5 Electric Banjo
The Gold Tone EBM-5 has an incredibly quick response time that allows musicians to easily use hammer-ons, pull-offs, and slides. This has made the EBM-5 extremely popular for bands that need to plug in and get a little extra volume from their instrument!
For quick time and volume changes, the control knobs are conveniently located in an easy to reach location.
This banjo weighs 8.3 pounds that can be appealing to musicians. The single coil pick-up on the neck and the hidden humbucking under the head provides a dual pick-up feature.
The hollow sound chamber located in the body produces excellent sound even when the banjo is unplugged. This instrument is by far the most expensive on this list, but the quality in construction and sound is well worth it, especially if you are a professional or aspiring musician!
- Extremely Playable
- Looks as Good as it Sounds
- Tobacco Sunburst Really Stands Out
- Sounds Great Played Acoustic or Electric
Vangoa VBJ-4E Acoustic Electric 5 String Banjo
If you are looking for a budget friendly, entry level Acoustic Electric the Vangoa is your instrument!
This instrument has a dual feature to be either a resonator banjo or an open back banjo. The resonator banjo produces a softer sound whereas the open back banjo creates a more vibrant sound.
This instrument has an adjustable truss rod in the neck for adjusting string height to meet the need of any musicians and the 24 brackets that provide the best stability. The thin width of the neck is not suitable for every musician though, but makes finger chords easier for most beginners
The price may be ideal for some buyers but the quality did not meet many verified buyers expectations. The common phrase “You get what you pay for,” may apply here.
- Great Budget Option
- Mahogany Body and Neck
- Removable Resonator for Versatility
- Entry level Acoustic Electric Banjo
- Starter Kit Provides Much of What a Beginner Needs!
- Questionable Quality
- New Musicians Will Outgrow This Instrument Quickly
The Luna Moonbird 6 String Banjo
The Luna Moonbird is a 6 String Banjitar that can be appealing for more modern style musicians. It is made with a standard scale of 25 ½ which is similar to a guitar.
The Moonsong 6 String is a resonator banjo which produces a softer sound and the unique design provides a different look than most banjos that appeals for a more modern crowd.
This instrument weighs 10.1lbs and can be ideal for a musician that prefers a slightly heavier instrument. The 6 strings can be the deciding factor for potential buyers.
Due to the 6-string configuration this instrument will appeal to guitar players more than banjo purest, but can be a great option for either guitar players or banjo players looking to transition to the other instrument!
- Tuned Just like a Guitar
- Black Satin finish will stand out in ANY Crowd
- Mahogany Body with Remo Head
- Single Humbucker Pickup
- Great value Banjitar
- Not for Banjo Purists
Why Choose an Electric Banjo?
Electric banjos produce the same sound as acoustic banjos, so what is the benefit? The biggest difference is the volume level produced by the electric banjos. Electric banjos were designed for commercial performances such as major concerts, movies, shows, etc. They are extremely popular with musicians that play for large crowds.
Taylor Swift is a world famous performer who uses an electric banjo. In her music video for her song “Mean”, she plays a Deering Boston 6 String Electric Banjo. Electric banjos also allow musicians to produce this voluminous sound and adjust it to avoid any feedback issues.
Electric Banjo volume and tone control
Electric banjos come with several knobs. The selector knob is used to switch between pick-ups. The volume knob is used to adjust the pick-up and the master knobs adjusts the tone. With these knobs, musicians can play without the amplification of feedback problems. The best electric banjos also produce a clearer and smoother sound than acoustic banjo, but, because it is digitized, it tends to lose some of the liveliness that banjos are known for.
The sound produced by electric banjos are appealing to performer and musicians. Acoustic banjos are better suited for playing alone or for smaller crowds. Although, some musicians might prefer to jam out along with an electric banjo. For musicians on a budget, choosing the best electric banjo can provide financial relief of having to buy an both electric and a traditional banjo. Musicians on a budget can simply play the best electric banjo without plugging the banjo in. If they need the high quality sound for a performance, they can plug the electric banjo in. Therefore, they only need to purchase one banjo.
Material used for Electric Banjos
Electric banjos are made out of different products such as wood, plastic, etc. whereas the good acoustic banjos are mainly made out of wood. This gives potential buyers more diverse options when choosing an electric banjo. Quality composite material has started to be used for both electric and acoustic, but it is still far from the norm.
Electric banjos also tend to give the buyer more options when shopping. Whether a potential buyer is looking for a more traditional look or a more modern look, electric banjo can give the potential buyer with a plethora of options that can be the deciding factor for buying an electric banjo.
The Final Note
Our pick for the best electric banjo is the Gold Tone EBM-5, and instrument that is backed by both us and professional musicians like Mumford and Sons! One instrument we did leave off the list was the Deering Goodtime Acoustic Electric, which wasn’t in stock anywhere when we were making this list. If you want a traditional look it is better than the Gold Tone and just as high of quality!
Last update on 2021-08-01 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API