There are two types of banjos – closed back (also called resonator) and open back. This is the biggest difference between resonator and open back banjo there can be and it significantly influences how the instrument sounds and feels. In this article, we will explore the differences in design, sound, weight, string position, and cost between resonator banjo vs open back.
The design of a banjo is the most significant difference between open back and closed back.
The sound of an open back banjo is much quieter than that of a closed back banjo. This is because the back of an open back banjo is open and the vibrations can escape, rather than being contained in the resonator. This is the reason these two are used in different music styles, for example bluegrass, folk, and old time music use open back banjos, while most other styles of music use closed back banjos.
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The weight of an instrument is another significant difference between open back and closed back. Closed back banjos are heavier than open back banjos because the back of the instrument is a resonator. This means that the back of the instrument is closed, and the soundboard is usually made of wood.
Another difference between the two types of banjos is string position. Open back banjos have the strings at the top, while closed back banjos have the strings at the bottom. Strings that are positioned closer to the deck are really helpful for bluegrass players and this is why this type of banjo is favored by them.
The last difference between open back and closed back is cost. Open back banjos are usually cheaper than closed back banjos because they are easier to produce.
What is the difference between an open back and a closed back banjo?
An open back banjo has an open back, which means there is no resonator. A closed back banjo has a resonator, which is a piece of wood that the soundboard is made of that allows for more loud and deep sound.
Is open back or closed back banjo better?
It really depends on the type of music you are playing. Open back banjos are better for bluegrass, folk, and old time music, while closed back banjos are better for most other styles of music.
What type of banjo should a beginner buy?
A beginner should buy an open back banjo because it is cheaper and easier to produce.
Open back banjos are cheaper, lighter, and produce a quieter sound than closed back banjos. They are also better for bluegrass, folk, and old time music styles. Closed back (resonator) banjos are more professional instruments and allow for a deeper, louder sound. They also suit most other music styles. This doesn’t mean that one or another is better, these two types are suited for different purposes and it doesn’t make much sense to compare them like open back banjo vs closed. You can choose either open or closed back banjo, although, open back is slightly more beginner-friendly and also it’s cheaper.