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 ARCHIVED TOPIC: just got this banjo over this past summer

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bucky katt - Posted - 01/22/2010:  23:53:38

it's a Harmony H409 double eagle 5 string banjo and i'm just trying to get more information on it. first off, what years/era were these produced? what is it worth is another one. on a scale of 1-10 with 10 being the highest it's a good solid 7, there are a couple of small dings and some buckle rash on the back. the head is a clear Remo (looking a bit rough but good and solid) if it's worth something and i can get anough for it, i'd love to sell this banjo and get something a bit cheaper until i decide if i'm ever going to go past just plunking away here at home and an occasional open mike night at Bills Pickin' Parlor over in West Columbia, then use the remainder of whatever i get towards the purchase of an addition to my guitar collection.

i also meant to mention that this banjo has an aluminum pot, looks to be a decent looking casting with a few areas that have been machined.

Edited by - bucky katt on 01/23/2010 00:19:12

BobbyE - Posted - 01/23/2010:  00:45:52

Hate to be the bearer of bad news but there is not a lot of room to go downward in price and get something cheaper. These are very basic entry level banjos that come mass produced from some factory somewhere in Asia. Enjoy using it for what it is; an instrument that will suffice until you decide if you want to move up to something better. I suspect that new they run in the range of somewhere between 125-150 dollars. When used, not much more than a 100 I would say.

Bobby Elliott

xnavyguy - Posted - 01/23/2010:  05:11:17

I own three banjos that are very similar to yours. Two that I got free that were unplayable and a 3rd that I paid $75 for which included a case and a $20 strap. I spent a bit of time on them, setting them up and getting them into playable condition. They can be made to sound pretty darn good and are great "beater" banjos for jamming, practicing, performing and other banjo things. The added benefit is that they are relatively lightweight so you won't wear yourself out in a marathon jam.

A lot of folks don't like them because they don't cost $4000 and don't have a big name on them. They also tend to have pretty beefy necks and longer scale lengths so they can be harder to play than more "standard" banjos.

bucky katt - Posted - 01/23/2010:  16:46:01

ah, i kind of figured something like that after finding the "made in korea" sticker. ah well, it has really REALLY nice action, smooth fretboard, and it sounds good too after i spent a little while working on the action and intonation, so this is a keeper then, which is cool.

Bigbike4 - Posted - 01/23/2010:  21:10:03

I started on one not much different. Mine said "Marquis" by Harmony on the peghead and also had 2 eagles on it-one inside the resinator and the other on the back of the resinator. It had a wooden arm rest on it and was an aluminum pot. By most banjo standards they are NOT very loud instruments at all. Put some decent tuners on it-get rid of the guitar style tuners these usually came with and put in a geared 5th string peg and you should be good to go.

I had mine for 20 years-and it was after I got rid of mine that I discovered what a good banjo actually sounds like and feels like for playing. That old Harmony is entry level, quiet and makes a good starter banjo-thats about it. Good luck being heard at a jam with it, unless you put a pick up in it.

bucky katt - Posted - 01/23/2010:  22:58:50

i've actually put tuners on it from a les paul i put locking tuners on, these are some pretty nice top of the line grovers. i just need to figure out something else for the tuner on the 5th string. that direct connected tuner really blows.

Ronnie - Posted - 01/23/2010:  23:06:01

You can retro-fit a geared 5th tuner for a few dollars.

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