Barnes & Mullins BJM 500 Troubadour 5 String Banjo

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Barnes & Mullins BJM 500 Troubadour 5 String Banjo



Solid and with a clean and neat finish, the BJM 500 certainly looks the part. Listed as an ‘Antique’ look, the Troubadour 5 features a Maple neck, Burl resonator, Rosewood fingerboard and Maple rim. The Burl on the back of the resonator looks very rootsy with some nice grain showing through and a tasteful cream binding. From there the hardware, lugs and tone ring definitely have that antiquated look with a brassy finish and some inlaid detailing and markings for an older look and feel (as opposed to super shiny chrome).



My first impressions were of a slightly warm tone with a bassy sound. There’s some honkiness in there (good honk!) and nice attack that would blend nicely with other instruments and it produces quite a bit of volume. It’s not overly snappy like some other models, but still has a throaty goodness to it that would be good for relaxed chordal playing or quick rolls. You can also pick a little closer to the bridge if you want to add some extra twang.



Keeping in mind the Trouba- dour’s price, tone and sound, I could see it as a solid instru- ment for beginners wanting a step up from the entry level models, intermediate players and even more advanced types who like a nice playing Banjo with a comfy neck. For those doubtful about getting into banjo, they really can open up your eyes (and ears) to new sounds for players coming from the guitar world whilst complete novices might be surprised how easy it is to get a few notes out fairly quickly and get in the swing of things. Bring on Barnes & Mullins’ Troubadour, roll up your skinny jeans and get into some Banjo action!