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70’s epiphone or new Morgan Monroe?

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Apr 20, 2019 - 10:03:12 AM
12 posts since 7/9/2010

I was out looking around at upgrading banjos and I ran across a 1970 epiphone made in Japan. I liked it but I’ll have to replace the 5th string tuner. It looks like it has a little corrosion around the hardware, needs a head change etc., which none of is a big deal for me. Also while I was there I was shown a new Morgan-Monroe pro series maybe? I kinda dig it too, seems well made. The epi was $350 and Morgan was $450. I’m fine paying either price even with the work involved with the epi, and I enjoy working on older instruments so it’s not a factor. Any suggestions on which one would be the better all around in the long run? Thanks!

Apr 20, 2019 - 11:13:35 AM
Players Union Member



871 posts since 3/22/2017

5th string tuners are cheap to replace, I usually get stuff from stewmac, balsam, elderly or Bob Smakula. Often you have to shim the reamed hole with toothpick slivers and woodglue. This is used buyer's guide from my memory, I'm too lazy to copy/paste /reformat here, sorry!

Edited by - gtani7 on 04/20/2019 11:16:28

Apr 20, 2019 - 11:33:58 AM
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Players Union Member



94 posts since 4/17/2019

The Epiphone. Later change the rim

Apr 20, 2019 - 12:40:14 PM
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1749 posts since 4/7/2010

Early 1970's Japanese banjo, guitar, and mandolin frets are poorly installed. Give that detail a close look before purchase.

Bob Smakula

Apr 21, 2019 - 10:47:13 AM

12 posts since 7/9/2010

Thanks everyone! I guess I needed validation that the epiphone was the right choice. Ha! I like older instruments like I like older cars. Didn’t want my want of an older banjo to over power my need of a good quality banjo. My main player is actually a kit from the 70’s or 80’s, but it’s well built and maintained. I also have an Ibanez and a gold tone cc50 that for some reason I just don’t seem to like the feel of, if that makes sense. I guess that’s why I chose a les paul over a Stratocaster early on.

Apr 21, 2019 - 10:28:21 PM

4647 posts since 5/14/2007

$350 seems high for the epi, especially since it needs some fixing. Offer $200 and see what happens.

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