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bronxtman - Posted - 09/26/2008:  16:54:36


I am looking for a beginning banjo. I play guitar and would like something new to try. I found a Hondo II banjo on craigslist for $200.00. Does anyone know anything about this banjo. It looks to be in pretty good shape.



Gus Bloch - Posted - 09/26/2008:  16:59:17

Three words: Deering Good Time

smoky - Posted - 09/26/2008:  17:02:14

Hi Patrick,

Most Hondo Banjos are quite low end. Can you paste the link so we can look at the particular one? For $200 a used Hondo may not be the best buy, depending on the model. Check out the great sites such as Elderly Music, Janet Davis, First Quaility Music for other choices.


1990 Gibson RB-250
1978 Washburn B-16
1978? Iida 231-MO5451 w/ gold tone ring??
1970''s Hondo II (yikes - thank you brother-in-law!)


Banjov1 - Posted - 09/26/2008:  17:36:55

Like Gus says...

The Deering Good Tme is a very popular entry model banjo on this site. First you need to determine what type of style you want to play. If it's claw hammer then you'll probably want an open back banjo, 3 finger or Scruggs style will demand a resonator. The Good Time comes in both styles. You should be able to pick one up for around $400.

Also, most of the banjos in this price range come with a tone "hoop" as opposed to an actual tone ring. If you can some how get a banjo with a tone ring that would be a plus. Again some of the Good Time models come with a tone ring


1four5 - Posted - 09/26/2008:  17:56:57

That's a lot. I've seen the Hondo/kay/Harmony/Lotus/you name it type banjos sell on routinely for $50-$100 or so.

Edit: Is this it?
It looks pretty nice, but also doesn't look like it has a tone ring, but I could be wrong. It looks to be in better shape than most of the Goodwill stuff, and whoever owned it cared enough to put a compensated bridge on it. I would say for $200 it would be a better deal than buying any of the other imports new, and it would make an ok starter. If it has a tone ring, than it would be a better deal than anything new in the prace range, and you better snatch it up right now.


Edited by - 1four5 on 09/26/2008 18:09:55

steve davis - Posted - 09/26/2008:  19:11:47

I played a Hondo with a tonering a few years ago.It retailed for 400 and was loud.

concerning gardens...weed ''em and reap

smoky - Posted - 09/27/2008:  04:19:09


I agree with Dean. If this is the banjo you are looking at, $200 is a good price. Looks a lot higher quality than my 1970's Hondo II for sure and $200 does not buy much new.


1990 Gibson RB-250
1978 Washburn B-16
1978? Iida 231-MO5451 w/ gold tone ring??
1970''s Hondo II (yikes - thank you brother-in-law!)


Bradskey - Posted - 09/27/2008:  19:02:13

$200 = too much, IMO. Save another hundred and get a Goodtime.

grm405 - Posted - 09/28/2008:  10:05:21

I had a Hondo II similar to this. Comparable with a lot of the Japanese masterclones of the era. The tone ring was die cast zinc. Not good, not bad, but for $200 it is better than the comparably priced new Chinese stuff.



snapjackson - Posted - 10/01/2008:  23:58:58

Originally posted by zeke_w15

I had a Hondo II years ago still have in fact I used it as a starter and it did fine for me and no mine does not have a tone ring.With a good bridge and with the head tight it sounds good to learn with I played mine for two years and like I said it did ok for me. It is not a good time or a high end banjo but I think it would work just fine for you as a strater.....

"life is always good but music makes it so much better"



steve davis - Posted - 10/02/2008:  06:04:10

It would have been an upgrade for me when I was learning on a $35 Silvertone.

concerning gardens...weed ''em and reap

fisherman551 - Posted - 03/29/2009:  15:36:17

I have come across a 1976 bi-cent. hondo banjo. I have looked all over the internet and can not find anything. CAn someone tell me about this banjo and if it is worth anything.

smoky - Posted - 03/29/2009:  17:52:16

Unless it's really cheap or you want a fun wall hanger, I would skip this one. Hondo II's are nothing special, even a bicentennial one.


1990 Gibson RB-250
1978 Washburn B-16
1978? Iida 231-MO5451 w/ gold tone ring??
1970''s Hondo II (yikes - thank you brother-in-law!)


grm405 - Posted - 03/29/2009:  17:55:44

You are going to have to describe it or post photos. Al rim? Tone ring on a wood rim? 1 or 2 piece flange, or bracket shoes? Banjo or guitar tuners. Etc..... My Hondo had an Eagle on the resonator. So did a lot of really, really cheap bad banjos. The values of Hondo banjos range from perhaps $300 (rare) to $50 (common). Depends on what it is. In my experience, they are seldom worth what an uneducated seller thinks they are. The Eagle on the back adds zero dollars to the value. As does a bicentenial label.



steve davis - Posted - 03/29/2009:  17:59:30

The Hondo I tried out in a music store near Farmington Maine in the 70s had a flathead tonering and a resonator.
It was set up with a clear head(very tight) and was loud and predictably bright sounding.
I was surprised how much fun it was to play.
This one listed new for 400.


Edited by - steve davis on 03/29/2009 18:00:54

fgleich - Posted - 09/14/2009:  09:24:30

I just bought one last night for 20 bucks ( a Hondo II ). The seller says it's about 20 years old, and it needs strings, no case, no strap, etc.'s a bargain for someone just learning like me. I mean, I spend at least 10 when I go to lunch.

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