I'm new to your list. Am not sure of the protocol. If my question is off topic I apologize in advance.
I recently picked up an Iida banjo. I dont have a digi. camera, so for now I have no pics. First I am NOT trying to find out what its worth, To me its worth what I paid. I bought it to play, not to sell. I am trying to date it, and if possible find out what model it is.
The only markings are Iida, in nice pearl. EST. 1958, that feels like it was stamped and painted, very neatly. A pretty Fluor-d-lis in the middle of the headstock.
The fret decoration starts out as almost square 6 sided pearl that stay 6 sided but turns into a 6 sided rectangular shape as they progress down the neck.. The pot is an Arch-top that appears to be cast from aluminum. It has the double bulls-eye rings on the back of the resonator. There is no checkered decoration on the front edge of the resonator. The tuning machines are the most massive "I" ever saw. Sealed. Stand about 1/2" off the headstock, Oval shaped abt 1/2 " x 3/4". The 5th peg is not geared. The drum head has no markings.
The previous owner got it from a pawn shop in 1985. He never learned to play. Still wearing the 1985 strings that came with it. I asked. New strings on order.
In the 76 Hawthorne catalog there is no match. The resonator has the 4 screws like the 230, but its an archtop like the 229. . None in the catalog 76 catalog say EST 1958.
Did the EST 1958 come before or after 1976?
The banjo has a straight neck, very close action, and a great sound.
Hi, glitch... The "est. 1958" thing came along after the 76 Hawthorne catalog. Iida made guitars before they first made banjos. They got seriously into the banjo market in the mid-70's. I hope you spend hundreds of happy hours playing it! Congrats on your purchase, and welcome to the Hangout! regards, stanger
Thanks for the reply, and words of encouragement. Looks like it weighs in between 77 and 85. The years not that important. Japan, Korea? Dont really matter either. For me, it's a well made quality banjo. Seems to always be singing, pick me up and play me.