Gold Tone AC-1 Beginner Bluegrass Banjo with Resonator

5.00/5 - 2 reviews

New product

Gold Tone AC-1 with Resonator- Beginner Bluegrass Banjo

Learning bluegrass banjo on the Goldtone AC 1 in my opinion is the best low priced banjo for a beginner and it is for sure the best banjo in the "low priced beginner banjo" price range. I can not even tell you the dramatic difference between these and other import banjos in this price range the big box stores offer.

The design of this type of banjo goes back to the days of the Harmony Banjo "bacolite" design in the 70's. As a banjo teacher, the old Harmony's sounded great and were easy for students to learn on but they had friction 5th string pegs and usually were in some form of disrepair.

Wayne Rogers, owner of Gold Tone knows those banjos well too and what he has done has resurrected this design because of it's strong points and totally overhauled it to make it work great.

The AC1 also comes standard with the ZERO GLIDE nut which normally costs 75.00 installed. You may not know the technical definition of the ZERO GLIDE or what it does yet, but all you need to know is the improvement it makes to any banjo is real and its FREE with this model.

I highly recommend the AC1 and I recommend the Bluegrass Resonator version for tone, ease of playing and maybe most of all it the resonator balances the banjo better on your lap when playing. This is because the resonator balances the weight of the neck so it falls into position in your lap making it easier to balance and play.

The AC-1 Resonator Version was discontinued by Gold Tone in 2020
The AC-5 with Resonator is what they have now.
The AC-5 is more banjo for not much more though.
Details on Gold Tone AC-5

The AC-1 won "Best at Show" at the NAMM show in Nashville this year (2016).
That's a big deal. There were at least 800 vendors there as well as other major Banjo vendors.
Best in Namm Show - Goldtone AC-1

List of FREE Items Included with this Banjo

  • Best beginner Banjo Book 64 Page Spiral Bound Beginner Banjo Book
           with Split Screen DVD and 2 Audio CDs
  • Free Banjo Lessons Online with Banjo Purchase Free 1 YR Access to Silver Members Lesson Site
  • Professional Banjo Set Up Professional Banjo Set up
  • Professional Banjo Set Up FREE Zero Glide Nut Installation
  • Free Banjo Case and Gig Bags with Banjo Purchase Free Gig Bag Case
  • Free US Banjo Shipping Free US Banjo Shipping
  • Shipping a Banjo Overseas from the US $30 Intl. AK, HI Shipping Credit
  • Best Banjo Prices, Price Matching and Serivce Price Matching or Questions 1-866-322-6567

FREE ITEMS don't add to our normal discount price which is the lowest price we are allowed to advertise by the Manufacturer.


The AC-1 with Bluegrass Resonator includes an easy to carry "over the shoulders" gig bag case, a 3 year transferable warranty, The Fundamentals of Five String Banjo a comprehensive Beginner Banjo Book, DVD and CDs by Ross Nickerson, Online Banjo Lesson access and FREE SHIPPING! Banjo comes fully tuned and set up Free too!

Our Beginner Package comes has all you need to get started. Banjo Picks, Strap, Electronic Banjo Tuner, Extra Set of Strings and Ross Nickerson's Book, DVD and CDs. a $79 value for only $20 more.
Travel Banjo or Easy to Play Practice Banjo
If you a more experienced banjo player and already have a primary banjo the AC-1 makes a great travel or light and easy to play practice banjo too. It weighs only 3lbs and 10 ounces so it's perfect for beginners, on the go and also for kids to learn banjo on.

Banjos at come set up and ready to play
Each banjo is played before it leaves the shop!
Along with the strict quality control that Gold Tone is known for and the banjos being checked very carefully before being shipped, each banjo is given a 12 point inspection, full head tuning, setup and will arrive tuned and ready to play Beginner Banjo Package Deal includes


Beginners Package - Retail value $79.00

Call us with questions or for unadvertised special prices anytime
10AM to 6PM at 1-866-322-6567 or contact-us

More details


  • NO - Planetary Tuning Pegs
  • YES - Install Planetary Tuning Pegs $79
  • NO - Beginner Package
  • YES - Add Ross Nickerson Beginner Package $25
  • NO - Not a Lefty
  • YES - Left Handed - No Extra Charge
  • NO- Gold Tone Iucci Mute
  • YES - Add Iuuci Mute at Discounted price - 26.40

- +


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or Price Match on Banjos 1-866-322-6567

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Zero Glide Nut Installed FREE
All Gold Tone Banjos from now come with the Zero Glide Nut installed FREE
The Zero Glide makes the banjo action easier to play, increases the sound clarity and is a significant improvement for any banjo. Installation by a professional is normally done at a cost of $75 or more. It's now installed FREE on all Gold Tone Banjos.
Read more about the Zero Glide


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More info

Adding a Resonator to an AC-1

The AC-1 Beginner Banjo by Goldtone

I was at the NAMM show and played the banjo. This is just what the banjo market has needed. A low priced beginner banjo for "newbie" banjo students on a budget that is not a piece of, (pardon me), junk. Having a new banjo of this quality in this price range will also help to save beginner banjo students that are shopping on a budget from buying a cheap used one that may need repairs or is unplayable. I've seen it happen often and it can literally stop a students dream of learning banjo dead in it's tracks. Not only is AC-1 in that price range but it's solid and works great. All banjos we sell including the AC-1 all come set-up and ready to play, they include free banjo lesson instruction DVD, free online banjo lesson access and a low priced beginner package with all you need. I'm serious about how good this banjo is to learn on. The banjo is stable, stayed in tune and the intonation was perfect. You don't need problems with a banjo when you are just learning to tune one for the first time.

Ross Nickerson at Namm Show in Nashville
Ross Nickerson, Owner of
at Nashville Namm Show (2016)
with the Goldtone AC-1

The AC 1 uses the composite body like an Ovation Guitar. Harmony also made a composite banjo back in the 70's that a lot of students of mine had and they worked good. This AC-1 is a way better banjo than those though. It has a wood neck which those didn't and when I played the AC-1 the intonation was perfect up and down the neck. The composite body is an efficient method for producing a  bright, loud sounding 5-string banjo to learn on. In my opinion the composite design is tons better than the aluminum "bottle cap" banjo design that has been around forever. The bottle cap is the 30 bracket design that you see today on the beginner Washburn, Fender and Epiphone models as well as a host of other generically named Asian banjos. Gold Tone in general is a cut above any of the banjo brands that just stamp there name on imports like newer models of Fenders, Washburn and Epiphone banjos. Gold Tone is a banjo company that designs banjos for banjo players... by.... banjo players.

Feb 23, 2019
Gold Tone AC-1 arrived in perfect condition
Hi Ross, I just wanted to let you know that the Gold Tone AC-1 arrived in perfect condition Friday. Thanks for intervening with Gold Tone to get it expedited. It sounds lovely and I am beginning to get acquainted with it. best regards, Albert Sawyer

Jul 23, 2018
The AC1 is awsome!!!
I've had my AC1 for a week or so, arrived fast and in perfect condition. My musical background is mostly with wind instruments but a life time of listing to bluegrass and folk music means I know what its supposed to sound like and it sounds great. Took it to an old banjo picker from way back and let him play it, he said if I couldn't make good music with it it wont the banjos fault. I got the one with the resonator, took it off for awhile then put it back on, it really does balance better with the resonator. I did play the guitar for awhile when I was younger so I'm learning fast, not much grinning but lots of picking.Really happy with this banjo. Thanks

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