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anyone ever owned a lyda banjo...gibson knockoff...

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Mar 31, 2020 - 9:00:01 PM
181 posts since 11/21/2015

I picked one up recently and tried it out...pretty amazing for being japan or china model... plays very well, seems to be good quality...what are these going for lately? Scruggs tuners were also on it. and I got a ton 1960's and 70's banjo books with it...here is a book from sonny on it... mel bay...

thanks.
Gary










Mar 31, 2020 - 9:24:39 PM
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10697 posts since 6/2/2008
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Iida.   Not Lyda.

Mid to late 1970s Japan. Better than the early 70-s pre-Masterclones, but still had multi-ply rims and mystery metal tone rings. With good set-up they sound pretty good and are excellent second banjos for someone stepping up from a bottlecap or other beginner's instrument.

$400-$600. Some people ask more, but at that level a used RK-35/36 is a much better buy.

Enjoy.

Mar 31, 2020 - 9:41:42 PM

181 posts since 11/21/2015

ok thanks so much... it did cost me 325.00 so I do not feel to bad since I know nothing about these... I will keep it for a while and play as a knock around banjo... at least I have the tuners to keep...

Mar 31, 2020 - 11:26:10 PM
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Bill Rogers (Moderator)

USA

23446 posts since 6/25/2005

Pretty decent banjos. I had one back in the 70s, when they stood out more. We eventually put a full ball-bearing tone ring in it. Worked out well.

Apr 1, 2020 - 12:18:41 AM

Emiel

Austria

9451 posts since 1/22/2003

Iida banjos were made in all kinds of levels. Also as Masterclones with flathead or archtop tonerings. They did have multiply rims, but so did the Gibson banjos from that era.

The nice thing about Iida is that is was a real banjo factory, I don't think the produced anything but banjos. Mr. Iida himself was a big banjo lover. Scott Zimmerman  could provide more details, I'm sure.

Edited by - Emiel on 04/01/2020 00:22:17

Apr 1, 2020 - 1:13:48 AM

1517 posts since 11/17/2018

The Hawthorne site has some information as well -

hawthorne.fastie.com/asianbanjos/gk.php

Scroll down to the Iida section.

Edited by - OldNavyGuy on 04/01/2020 01:15:22

Apr 1, 2020 - 3:56:28 AM
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2182 posts since 12/31/2005

Did anyone ever explain to the Japanese what "Custom Made" means? You see it on just about every mass produced factory truss rod cover of the era. I always wanted one of those covers just for the heck of it.

Apr 1, 2020 - 5:44:45 AM
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870 posts since 5/19/2018

Iida. I bought one in 1976. It was the coveted “Custom” model. Somewhat similar to yours. It was my first new not used banjo and I loved it. I preferred it over a Gibson Banjo the music store had. A used RB800. Had the choice and grabbed the Iida. The banjo to my very young ears sounded decent. had a fair amount of bling and a big bonus was that it came with a decent quality case. Hauled that banjo back and forth across the USA playing gigs in some of the most unusual and hazardous places I have ever set foot in. I can say with all honesty that I got a better education in two years behind that Iida than in ten years of University.

Even though I own and have owned some absolutely incredible instruments over the years, It is the one banjo that I really wished I never got rid of.

Play it and enjoy.

Apr 1, 2020 - 5:58:32 AM

10697 posts since 6/2/2008
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quote:
Originally posted by Gary r voigt

ok thanks so much... it did cost me 325.00 so I do not feel to bad since I know nothing about these... I will keep it for a while and play as a knock around banjo... at least I have the tuners to keep...


$325 is a great price for one of these in good condition. You can’t buy anything close to comparable new for that little.

The whole thing is a keeper. Back when these were new, people used to upgrade them with 3-ply rims and bronze alloy tone rings. Their total investment would still be less than a Gibson.

Apr 1, 2020 - 6:13:06 AM

5317 posts since 12/20/2005
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I didn't start playing the banjo until 1980.

I recall, Iada (iada) banjos were high on the list.
It was a different era.
That's just how it was back then.

We have come a long, long way since then.

Apr 1, 2020 - 6:51:19 AM

1534 posts since 10/12/2011

I have one, its in my profile pic. Great banjo. I do have a 3 ply rim and brass tone ring. Its one of my favorite banjos. Plus I love a Wreath pattern neck.

You did well for $350 and all the books. Start picking and enjoy.

Apr 1, 2020 - 7:23:39 AM

2118 posts since 5/2/2012

Check this catalog out to see the different models.  The 235's and above (the masterclones) are nice banjos.  You frequently see the lower quality ones (metal pot) on ebay at $200 and above.  The ones like the OP's don't seem to come up very often, and $350 is a real good deal.  I have a 235 that I won on ebay at a much lower price, but it was in poor shape and has become a "project" for me.  Despite being an ugly duckling, it sounds really good.  

Apr 1, 2020 - 10:18:38 AM

181 posts since 11/21/2015

Ok thanks, I did look on the back of the peg head and saw a small square with this number. 235-3-m03095
I assume mine is a model 235...

Apr 1, 2020 - 10:35:36 AM

clfieds

USA

48 posts since 8/27/2018

I had one back in about 1974, it was an RB-800 clone, with gold plating and everything in fact I’m Playing it in my photo for the hangout! It was really nice looking pretty solid, but as others mentioned it had the multi ply rim... my instructor at the time had a 70’s RB-250 Gibson and mine held its own up against that... but the 70’s Gibson’s were not the best years either!

Apr 1, 2020 - 10:47:24 AM

181 posts since 11/21/2015

Thanks curt, that rb 800 just have been nice... I did look at mine and it is a 235-3-m03095.... I agree on the 70's rb250, I own one of those also, it is not bad..

Thanks,
Gary

Apr 1, 2020 - 3:36:24 PM

729 posts since 11/27/2005

I have a gold one.
My good buddy passed away and his widow wanted me to have it.
I took it to Elderly for an assessment.
They said $500 at that time.
That's what I gave her, even though she didn't want it.
So, I think you got it right!

Apr 1, 2020 - 4:10:41 PM

181 posts since 11/21/2015

Thanks mike,
Gary

Apr 1, 2020 - 6:50:46 PM

10680 posts since 10/27/2006

Here's a link to the 1976 Catalog (was there ever another?)

https://hawthorne.fastie.com/asianbanjos/catalogs.php

My buddy still has his 237. It was the one a rep used to carry to dealers and my friend bought it from him. Only 237 I've ever seen. He's now in his '80s and can't play it comfortably anymore due to the weight. It sounds about as good as anything and weighs a ton.

Apr 1, 2020 - 8:14:12 PM

181 posts since 11/21/2015

Sounds like a great banjo, I will never sell mine till I absolutely have to...

Apr 1, 2020 - 8:14:45 PM

3887 posts since 9/21/2009

You definitely got a good deal on that banjo, especially since it had the Scruggs tuners. I've played them and they're pretty decent banjos for the price. Replacing that bridge with a good Roasted Maple Sullivan bridge would probably be a good investment.

Edited by - banjoman56 on 04/01/2020 20:17:06

Apr 1, 2020 - 9:06:09 PM

181 posts since 11/21/2015

Thank you. I think I will give that a try. Not sure what is on there now... whatever the case it sounds very bright to me and loud...

Apr 2, 2020 - 7:44:28 PM

3887 posts since 9/21/2009

Looks like a Grover with bone inserts. They tend to produce a bit brighter and thinner tone on most banjos that I've heard them on.

Apr 2, 2020 - 8:26:23 PM

136 posts since 4/1/2016

About six months ago, I saw a lesser model 227 for sale and I bought it on a lark for 100 bucks. Has the aluminum rim (not bottle cap) with the integral arch top tone ring. Tuned it, tried it, bought it it and played it at a jam on my way home. I like the tone but the tuners leave a lot to be desired; may live with them or change them.

Apr 2, 2020 - 9:12:19 PM

181 posts since 11/21/2015

Nice.... what is bottle cap?
Am I missing something...

Gary

Apr 3, 2020 - 4:20:31 AM

Emiel

Austria

9451 posts since 1/22/2003

quote:
Originally posted by Gary r voigt

Nice.... what is bottle cap?
Am I missing something...

Gary


Bottle cap banjo:

Apr 3, 2020 - 5:40:27 AM
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Players Union Member

RioStat

USA

5183 posts since 10/12/2009

bottle-cap....




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