Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. That means that if you click on a link and purchase an item, we may receive an affiliate commission at no additional cost to you.
Trying to find the best professional banjo on the market?
Need a more high-end instrument to use for your needs?
If you’re a professional banjo player who performs on-stage regularly, it’s essential that you have the best sounding instrument that money can buy. Banjos are one of the premier instruments of bluegrass music and come in at all price points – from $100 to $5,000 and more.
At a certain point, however, it’s crucial that you move past the entry-level options. Professional players will eventually want to buy a great sounding banjo that will delight the ears, feel great to play, and look incredibly attractive to the eye.
Luckily, we’ve got you covered. Below we’ll give you our list of the very best professional banjos that will help you start sounding and looking your best.
Trying to speed up your banjo journey? Want to get real feedback from a professional?
Learn Banjo with Grammy-Award Winning Noam Pikelny!
Best Professional Banjos – Quick View
Top Banjos For Professionals – REVIEWED
Ready to find an amazing professional banjo that will serve you well on-stage and off? Here’s our list of the very best professional banjos on the market today.
The first professional banjo on our list of the very best is the Deering Sierra 5-String Banjo.
Deering has a great line of professional high-end banjos, and of those, this is their flagship banjo, one of their most standout options. The Deering Sierra 5-String banjo is truly one of the best pro banjos around.
This banjo sounds like a dream and offers all of the great construction and features to make it sound like a truly professional instrument. This banjo features an adjustable tailpiece, a mahogany neck and resonator, and all of the other great hardware you’ll need.
The aesthetic features of this banjo is a bit less than some of the other best high-end banjos, so the price is also pretty attractive. For the remarkable craftsmanship and quality you get with this banjo, the price is well worth it and it ends up being a great deal all around.
Additionally, this Deering banjo also comes with a high-quality hardshell carrying case to get the banjo from Point A to Point B.
Overall, if you’re looking for a banjo that not only looks incredibly attractive but also has the sound to match, this is the professional banjo you need.
The next banjo on our list is the Gold Star Model GF-300FE Flathead Banjo with Flying Eagle Inlays. This banjo plays great, sounds great, and has a killer look overall.
Gold Star has a special place in the hearts of the many professional banjo players out there. Among others, this particular banjo has been used by such banjoists as Russ Carson of Kentucky Thunder. This company deserves nothing but the utmost respect and many professionals recommend this company and this banjo to players who need a high-end instrument.
The banjo features a flamed maple resonator, a stylish pre-war type of deep arch, and a fingerboard that features tapered wall 3-ply binding. It also has an attached back resonator. The hand-cast inlays also look amazing and feature a stylish Flying eagle pattern.
A deluxe hardshell case also comes with this banjo and emerald green crushed velvet is featured on the inside.
Overall, this banjo isn’t likely to disappoint even the most unreasonable of banjo snobs and is likely to serve any banjo player well no matter where they happen to use their skills.
The next professional banjo on our list is the Deering Calico 5-String Banjo. Serving as a world-class high-end offering from Deering, this is one of the most premium banjos of the bunch.
The Deering Calico features a honey-amber stained, high-gloss finish and a maple neck. The instrument’s ebony fretboard comes with a luxury, curly-que mother of pearl inlays. The inlay and handwork that this banjo feature is second to none and truly of professional-grade and the price has been set accordingly.
The banjo features inside tapered resonator walls that allow for more tone projection. The banjo also features high-quality glued-in frets.
As far as the price goes, this one is starting to climb up compared to many other banjo options that are out there, but for many serious and professional banjo players, its features, tone, and craftsmanship will be more than worth it.
This may just be one of the most attractive banjos that were ever made. The sound of this banjo is pretty remarkable as well. It’s a snappy-sounding banjo that features an immense amount of resonance along with great highs and deep lows.
Overall, this is another great instrument that is perfect for advanced banjo players who have a strong preference for quality.
The last professional banjo on our list is the Gold Tone Orange Blossom 5-String Banjo, otherwise known as the OB-300.
This gold-plated banjo has a beautiful design and has some amazing decorative flourishes that truly help it to stand out from the pack. The sand-cast bronze tone ring is especially high-quality and allows the banjo to have an even louder, more piercing tone.
The neck features curly maple while the ebony fingerboard comes with a beautiful modified tree of life design. It also has a 14″ flame maple resonator.
Considering all of the features on this banjo, you could likely fool someone into thinking this was a $10000 banjo. Luckily, it’s going to cost you a good bit less than that to get your hands on it.
This Gold Tone banjo also comes with a great hardshell case that will serve you well during transport.
Overall, Gold Tone hasn’t let us down with this banjo and it serves as a great option for professional players.
Honorable Mentions – More Great Banjos For Advanced Players
The above banjos are pretty expensive, and even as a professional, some of the prices may seem a little steep. If you want a great banjo that could pass as a professional instrument but that comes in at a lower price point, you may want to check out a few of these instruments on your own.
- Recording King RK-R36-BR Madison Tone Ring Banjo with Mahagony Resonator
- Deering Goodtime Midnight Special 5-String Banjo 2016 Model
- Deering Artisan Goodtime 5-String Openback Banjo
- Ob-150 Professional Bluegrass Banjo
- Washburn Americana Series B16K-D 5 String Banjo
- Gold Tone CC-100R Cripple Creek Banjo with Resonator
There are a lot of great banjos out there, so remember, price isn’t everything. Some of the more budget-friendly professional banjos punch high above their weight and will offer an amazing sound. Be sure to consider your different options thoroughly if you want to find a great option but you don’t have much money to spend.
If you’re looking for a truly amazing professional banjo that will serve your fingers and your ears well for years to come, the list above should serve you well. Each of the banjos above is at the top of today’s banjo market and will help you sound your best no matter where you decide to pull out your 5-string bundle of joy.
Did you land on this page by mistake? Looking for the best beginner banjos instead? Click here to see our list of great starter banjos.