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 ARCHIVED TOPIC: Jida banjo identification

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: http://www.banjohangout.org/archive/383122

jonohl - Posted - 05/10/2022:  12:37:42

I bought this Jida / Aida banjo a year ago, without being clear with the seller about model year manufactured etc. It looked good and played well with great sound. Well, now I need to sell it and lots of inquiries but I lack information.
I would appreciate ANY help in identifying the model of this fine banjo, I did look through the resources referenced on this website and others.

Dan Gellert - Posted - 05/10/2022:  13:19:13

That first letter is an "i". The name is Iida (yep. 2 i's). It's Japanese, pronounced something like ee-ee-dah.

The banjo is probably made in China, and the model doesn't matter much. It's a one-step-above-bottom-shelf banjo. My guess as to a fair private-sale price would be around $300 if it's in decent playing order.

Bob in CT - Posted - 05/10/2022:  13:50:12

Have you checked out the hawthorne.fastie.com website? Tells all about Iidas and other Asian banjos and has catalogs as well.

Bob in CT - Posted - 05/10/2022:  14:00:01

By the way, the earlier ones made in Japan in the seventies were considered to be pretty good banjos. Yours looks pretty nice. I sold my nice lower-end model 227 Iida with an aluminum rim last year for $265.

Old Hickory - Posted - 05/10/2022:  14:02:27

The Hawthorne site doesn't show this model of IIda.

I don't know if they made one like this back in the made-in-Japan 70s or if Dan's right and this is more recent and from China. It's almost certainly structurally similar to an RK-20, Gold Tone BG-150F and similar banjos that have 24 shoes, notched tension hoop, decorative flange, and possibly a rod or hoop style tone ring sitting on top of a thin wood rim.

I understand the desire to know a model number or name, but the reality is a model number is next to meaningless. Banjos like these are cranked out of Asian factories that produce essentially identical instruments that vary mostly in cosmetics and the name on the peghead.

If you can take the resonator off and determine the thickness of the rim, number of plies, and presence of any type of tone ring, that will tell a buyer as much as a model number. Those components are what identify this class of instrument.

Edited to add: RK-R20 sells new for $600 these days. Since your banjo looks to be structurally comparable, this may increase the asking price.  $300 would be 50% of what something comparable costs new. $450 would be 75% of a new RK-20. And 50% of an over-priced (in my opinion) new BG-150F. I think it would sell fast at $300. But with nothing new this good available at that price, you might be able to get more.

Edited by - Old Hickory on 05/10/2022 14:10:06

mrphysics55 - Posted - 05/10/2022:  17:44:01

That is identical to the first banjo I bought! It was 2001.

I played it with the back off.

I sold it almost immediately to pay for a Stewart 2nd Grade.

Thanks for the memory.

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