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 ARCHIVED TOPIC: Has anyone tried these banjo necks from eBay.

Please note this is an archived topic, so it is locked and unable to be replied to. You may, however, start a new topic and refer to this topic with a link:

Brice Alms - Posted - 09/28/2019:  08:25:05

I have been looking for a banjo nice banjo neck for a fairly low price and found these on eBay. Has anyone used one, how good are they.;LH_BIN=1

Edited by - Brice Alms on 09/28/2019 08:30:17

desert rose - Posted - 09/28/2019:  08:34:48

There are countless discussions about them.
Bottom line you like risk, you like gambling. The chances of getting a problem free neck is not good. They have NO concept of drying wood, the inlays are paper thin, frets are not seated well....

Search the archives


rudy - Posted - 09/28/2019:  09:38:32

Ditto Scott's post.

In addition, you end up with an "traditional banjo" that looks oddly oriental most of the time.

banjonz - Posted - 09/28/2019:  12:36:09

As said above. There are two makers from Asia. At best it is a lottery as to the quality. I was given a custom neck made by Antonio (Tony) Tsai. It was extremely well made and solid. Caveat emptor (let the buyer beware).

Alvin Conder - Posted - 09/28/2019:  14:48:06

I bought a number of Fretless banjo fingerboards off Antonio Tsai.

Decent quality and interesting inlays. I actually turned a few of them into some beautiful picture frames. Gave a few to a friend who put them on Fretless banjos. Looked nice.

Can’t speak for the necks, but at 100$ or so. Might be worth the risk to put them on a few random pots.

Sped Man - Posted - 09/28/2019:  15:19:23

Does anyone have an idea where one can pickup a decent 5 string banjo neck? Especially a company or person that offers different neck options.

Quickstep192 - Posted - 09/28/2019:  17:11:38

Mark Hickler makes a production neck and will customize it if you’d like.

BNJOMAKR - Posted - 09/28/2019:  18:17:45

They will make a nice banjo clock...

OldPappy - Posted - 09/28/2019:  18:41:33

A nice banjo neck is not likely found for a "low price", I just finished a couple of them, and there is quite a bit of work involved in making a nice neck.

I have heard mixed reviews on these cheap Asian necks, but most of what I have heard was not too good.

There are Saga brand necks out there for a low price, they are decent necks, but very narrow at the nut, and have a peghead shape that reminds me of a squid.

You can't expect much for the price of those you posted, or the Saga necks, but on the cheap the Saga is better than what you are looking at.

A nice handmade neck is going to cost $300 - $500 or more, and usually well worth it, but that probably does not fit with what most might consisder "low cost".

The best bargain out there is one of the Eastman WL necks when they are available. I have bought one of the mahogany versions, no inlay, to build a low cost banjo for a student, and I was very impressed with the quality of the neck. These are usually around $275. They are often out of stock, but they do get more. I think the necks are seconds, and may have some minor defects, but they are good necks. The one I got needed some work on the dowel stick which had been made too thin by tapering. Wasn't difficult to fix that.

Check them out:


Quickstep192 - Posted - 09/28/2019:  19:56:53

Although I can’t say enough good about Mark’s necks, here’s another economical choice.

Im banjobruce - Posted - 09/29/2019:  11:35:45

Are they worth the money? Absolutely! I suspect that most of these negative replies come from people who have never actually personally tried them . I have purchased 4 finished necks frrom Tsai and others and have never been disappointed in any way. I've never found a loose fret or poor inlay quality. I put one neck on a '27 Vega "Professional " pot, one on a '27 Paramount "Style A" pot, another on 20's Majestic pot , and another on a late 20's Washburn pot. The oldest buildup was about 4 yeard ago and no problems have developed. Even as an open back, the Vega with its maple neck will blow the socks off any resonator banjo. The Paramount is a very , very close copy of their upper end banjo neck. It's my showiest banjo. That said, the fitup of the neck to the pot can be quite a challenge. There are 2-3 different stepped radius that need to be cut true to the center of the pot. The radii are also cut with a setback angle. If you are fitting a dowel, the hole needs to be centered, stepped down to align the fret board with the head & angled to the set back angle, and the square dowel, when glued, needs to be set parallel to the fret board. Also some dowels are at a different angle than the setback angle due to where the maker placed the dowel tail. If you are using coordinator rods , the task is simpler. I hope this helps with your desision making.

link-o-sausages - Posted - 09/29/2019:  12:52:44

I live down the street from Bernunzio’s so I’m usually there when the fresh order of Eastman necks come in and they are not B stock.... usually.

As the story goes John was talking to the manufacturer and they were telling him about how 15-25 of the necks from the batch they just made had some minor defects and a few of them made it into 5-9 finished banjos so the shipping would be slightly delayed while they made replacement necks. I guess John told them it was fine and to ship them all out including the blem necks and he sold them all as B stock to extend the error discount to his customers and keep a pile of otherwise perfectly good necks out of the furnace burner. My persona Eastman banjo is one from that batch. A little knot hole in the middle of the neck saved me 400$.

I guess the blems sold so well that he orders extra necks now and sells them. He always marks any blems as such and sells them at a discount. They are a great price for what your getting and the quality.

jan dupree - Posted - 09/29/2019:  16:27:05

Yeah, for 100 bucks you really don't have much to lose, but a lot to gain if it is a decent neck.

Moose_Roberts - Posted - 09/30/2019:  05:46:03


Originally posted by Sped Man

Does anyone have an idea where one can pickup a decent 5 string banjo neck? Especially a company or person that offers different neck options.

There is a luthier in South Georgia that does custom neck work for reasonable money. I know folks that have had necks done by him, quality stuff. He advertises in the classifieds here. This is not to take away from the others that have been listed above.

Edited by - Moose_Roberts on 09/30/2019 05:47:24

Pederpiper - Posted - 10/02/2019:  09:46:57

I have 3 Ron Coleman necks on outstanding banjos and have nothing but praise for his work quality. His prices are fair and the work is exemplary. I am about to order another. He sends pix at every step and it is fun to watch his progress. He has a great reputation with every builder I have spoken with. Keep it going Ron. ( Earl 5 )

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