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Thread: Need advice on whether to buy Gold-Tone TG-10 or Kala KA-GTR?

  1. #1

    Default Need advice on whether to buy Gold-Tone TG-10 or Kala KA-GTR?

    I've got a no-name player mando. An Old Kraftsmen tenor banjo I fished out of a barn in Maine.
    I played a 1920-ish Martin Tenor and was pretty impressed.

    I've read reviews of the Gold-Tone TG-10 an Kala KA-GTR.

    I can get either for about $200 delivered, though the Kala comes with a plush case, TG-10 no case.

    I see that the Kala's are selling on their home site new for $200.

    What i'd like to know about is the tone and tuners quality of either.
    I like to hear a little bass, since I really only play for myself.

  2. #2
    Registered User bruce.b's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need advice on whether to buy Gold-Tone TG-10 or Kala KA-GTR?

    What tuning? Kala is very nice CGDA, IMO it doesn’t handle GDAE as well. DGBE should be fine.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Need advice on whether to buy Gold-Tone TG-10 or Kala KA-GTR?

    I honestly don't know what tuning I use.
    I know that sounds silly, but I usually just tune it up and play. Funny, I don't even know which chords are what, I just play.

    I think CGDA.

    Which do you think would have resale value 10 years down the road?

  4. #4

    Default Re: Need advice on whether to buy Gold-Tone TG-10 or Kala KA-GTR?

    Never played a gold tone but played a kala tenor in Dublin recently. Tuned GDAE. Nice well made instrument but I agree with Bruce,the Kala felt under powered in that tuning.Not much bass to my ear.

  5. #5

    Default OK. Vintage Glee Club by Regal or Gold-Tone TG-10?

    I heard the video link from the Kala website and even there it sounded a little tinny.


    But, I probably screwed myself by playing the 1920s Martin tenor guitar a few weeks back.

    OK.

    The Kala has a nicer head stock, but I'm going for the Gold Tone.

  6. #6
    Registered User Tim N's Avatar
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    Default Re: OK. Vintage Glee Club by Regal or Gold-Tone TG-10?

    I was also making enquiries a year or so ago about Gold Tones - in my case the TG18, which is probably basically the same design with better wood. I was put off by reports that it tends to be quiet due to it's design, which some might feel to be flawed. In hindsight, volume is not everything, and if the tone really is gold, then it might be a worthy choice. Not an expert, but I've found that for GDAE you'll need a pretty heavy bass string to get a better sound down there with less floppiness.
    "What's that funny guitar thing..?"

  7. #7
    Registered User Charles E.'s Avatar
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    Default Re: Need advice on whether to buy Gold-Tone TG-10 or Kala KA-GTR?

    When you buy a $ 200.oo instrument, you don't think about value ten years out.
    In another thread you said that you purchased a Regal tenor from the 20's and will receive it soon. I owned one of those a while back and enjoyed it. It had a short scale length and sounded very sweet, a lovely tone. However I had to replace the friction tuners with geared banjo tuners to keep it in tune. I hope this works out for you.
    Charley

    A bunch of stuff with four strings

  8. #8

    Default Re: Need advice on whether to buy Gold-Tone TG-10 or Kala KA-GTR?

    Yes. I did just buy that.

    As far as value 10 years down the road, I'm just curious as to what people think.

    Also, it appears to go by trends anyway.

    I have some of those geared banjo tuners on my tenor banjo.

    I'll see how those friction tuners work and take it from there.

    All the best.

  9. #9
    Registered User fox's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need advice on whether to buy Gold-Tone TG-10 or Kala KA-GTR?

    You can now buy mini banjo tuners, design for ukuleles but I have fitted loads and never had an issue.

    Click image for larger version. 

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  10. #10
    Registered User bruce.b's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need advice on whether to buy Gold-Tone TG-10 or Kala KA-GTR?

    Value ten years down the road. 150 bucks. Just a wild guess.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Need advice on whether to buy Gold-Tone TG-10 or Kala KA-GTR?

    I put those on my tenor banjo about 10 years back. they work well enough.
    I had to drill out the holes to fit.

    Click image for larger version. 

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  12. #12

    Default Re: Need advice on whether to buy Gold-Tone TG-10 or Kala KA-GTR?

    I played a $400 Gold-Tone TG-10 at a guitar store. I also played a $1500 vintage Martin tenor they had there.
    The Gold-Tone neck was a few hairs wider than the Martin which was nice because the outer strings were right on the edge and slipped off a few times.
    The Gold Tone was a little larger and definitely louder with a very pleasant sound over the full range.
    I thought it a very well made instrument.

  13. #13
    Registered User fox's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need advice on whether to buy Gold-Tone TG-10 or Kala KA-GTR?

    I don't think the Gold Tone gets any bad reviews apart from it being a little more expensive than the competition, especially the Blueridge. What did you think of the Martin, was it a mahogany top?

  14. #14

    Default Re: Need advice on whether to buy Gold-Tone TG-10 or Kala KA-GTR?

    Not mahogany,it looked like the one below. I tried to find a pic of it on their site and could not, but it is a 1930ish

    Please don't jump all over me. But I was pretty impressed with the Gold-Tone.

    Click image for larger version. 

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  15. #15

    Default Re: Need advice on whether to buy Gold-Tone TG-10 or Kala KA-GTR?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fire View Post
    I played a $400 Gold-Tone TG-10 at a guitar store. I also played a $1500 vintage Martin tenor they had there.
    The Gold-Tone neck was a few hairs wider than the Martin which was nice because the outer strings were right on the edge and slipped off a few times.
    The Gold Tone was a little larger and definitely louder with a very pleasant sound over the full range.
    I thought it a very well made instrument.
    What store was that?

  16. #16
    Registered User fox's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need advice on whether to buy Gold-Tone TG-10 or Kala KA-GTR?

    I have picked up the goldtone in music stores too, they seem well made and sound really good but they still seemed subdued and over braced, just like the other commercially available tenors.
    I have only ever come across one vintage Martin and although it felt really cool to have it in my hands, I really did not think it was any better sounding than my Blueridge!

  17. #17

    Default Re: Need advice on whether to buy Gold-Tone TG-10 or Kala KA-GTR?

    Lark Street Music on 479 Cedar Ln, Teaneck, NJ 07666

    It is a real old timey store. Thriving, with a boss who sits up front and minions who do his bidding and repairs.

    He has a ####-ton of stringed instruments, guitars, mandos, mandocellos, and almost no junk at all.

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  19. #18

    Default Re: Need advice on whether to buy Gold-Tone TG-10 or Kala KA-GTR?

    Yeah. Me owning the vintage martin would be like me driving my kids to school in a classic car.

    When I look online the Blueridge costs more than the gold-tone.
    From what I gather they are comparable.

    I bought the Regal tenor and I need to get it repaired. Luckily I found a guy who will do so for about $100, cracks, bridge and nut. $60 more for Gotoh uke tuners. So, I'll be into that for $350. That one will get played less than the gold-tone.

  20. #19
    Registered User fox's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need advice on whether to buy Gold-Tone TG-10 or Kala KA-GTR?

    Well the blueridge is pretty much a replica of a T18 Martin & like all blueridge guitars, are very well made.
    In the UK they are pretty expensive but I was lead to believe they can be had for much less in the States.
    Anyway your little Regal will serve you well & the short scale makes them less sensitive to CGDA tuning.

  21. #20
    Capt. E Capt. E's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need advice on whether to buy Gold-Tone TG-10 or Kala KA-GTR?

    I have compared a Goldtone and a Kala side by side and prefer the Kala. A Blueridge would be a step up from either one.
    Jammin' south of the river
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    My albums: http://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/album.php?u=7616

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  23. #21

    Default Re: Need advice on whether to buy Gold-Tone TG-10 or Kala KA-GTR?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fire View Post
    Lark Street Music on 479 Cedar Ln, Teaneck, NJ 07666

    It is a real old timey store. Thriving, with a boss who sits up front and minions who do his bidding and repairs.

    He has a ####-ton of stringed instruments, guitars, mandos, mandocellos, and almost no junk at all.
    I looked up that Martin tenor they have. That is one expensive guitar. It has Brazilian Rosewood back and sides and looks incredible. Too rich for my blood.

    "MARTIN 0-28T, 1931, Tenor guitar with Shaded spruce top, Brazilian Rosewood
    back & sides, ebony board with snowflake inlays, banjo tuners, herringbone trim,
    no top or back cracks, one small side crack, original, vgc+, ohsc....$7,500"

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  25. #22

    Default Re: Need advice on whether to buy Gold-Tone TG-10 or Kala KA-GTR?

    I had a 1930s Martin 0-18T. Sounded and played very nice. But the neck was starting to bow a bit (no truss rod and had light enough strings on it as it was), frets were getting worn, pickguard was curling, etc. I decided to sell it to someone willing to put the money and time into taking care of it.

    I bought a Blueridge tenor and it's not bad. It has developed a seam crack, but sounds fine. If I played tenor as much as I used to, I'd by something a bit nicer. But, I mostly play 6 string, mandolin, mandola, bass and don't have extra playing time, or money for that matter, to own a nice tenor.

    Good luck.

  26. #23

    Default Re: Need advice on whether to buy Gold-Tone TG-10 or Kala KA-GTR?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cornfield View Post
    I looked up that Martin tenor they have. That is one expensive guitar. It has Brazilian Rosewood back and sides and looks incredible. Too rich for my blood.

    "MARTIN 0-28T, 1931, Tenor guitar with Shaded spruce top, Brazilian Rosewood
    back & sides, ebony board with snowflake inlays, banjo tuners, herringbone trim,
    no top or back cracks, one small side crack, original, vgc+, ohsc....$7,500"
    The one you saw on their website is not the one I played. They have two other martins. One is $1400 and the other I didn't ask.
    But either one of those is too rich for my blood.

    I actually bought a Gold-Tone TG-10 from Facebook marketplace delivered with nice hard/plush case for $110.
    A woman who lived about 3 hours from here was asking $150.
    So, I'm pretty stoked.
    I'll still get the Regal fixed up. Jake Wildwood in Vermont. I'll probably ship that out in the spring when it gets a little warmer.

  27. #24

    Default Re: Need advice on whether to buy Gold-Tone TG-10 or Kala KA-GTR?

    It looks like the online prices for the Blue Ridge, in the US, are about $100-$200 more than the Gold-Tone.

  28. #25
    Registered User fox's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need advice on whether to buy Gold-Tone TG-10 or Kala KA-GTR?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fire View Post
    I actually bought a Gold-Tone TG-10 from Facebook marketplace delivered with nice hard/plush case for $110.
    A woman who lived about 3 hours from here was asking $150.
    So, I'm pretty stoked.
    Wow you were lucky then!
    At that price you could maybe justify some luthier work on it?
    There are a few pretty easy mods that will open up the sound & increase the volume but I doubt any luthier would guarantee the work thereafter & any guarantee that might exist from the manufacture would be void also.
    However, it is not that difficult for a man with the right tools to scallop the soundboard bracing & reduce the thickness of the finish on the soundboard.
    I have done this to dozens of six string guitars and a few Blueridge tenors, the effect may not be dramatic but can be quite noticeable.
    My own BR40 has been treated to the mods & I use it to judge every tenor guitar I make. Nothing leaves my shed unless it can beat the Blueridge....
    Last edited by fox; Dec-19-2017 at 1:53pm.

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