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Playing a Washburn B11 with the Resonator off?

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May 28, 2020 - 7:51:32 PM
9 posts since 5/27/2020

Hi All, anyone out there playing their banjo with the resonator taken off?

I'm considering getting a Washburn B11 because I have a opportunity to get it at half off the retail price. I don't like the tone of resonator banjos as much as I do like the open back ones, though. Anyone with this model ever try playing it with the resonator taken off? How was it?

Anyone familiar with this model and know if it even can be played with the resonator off? I saw an old forum post from about a decade ago mentioning that some banjos can easily be converted from resonator style to open back, while others will have some uncomfortable remains around the edge of the pot.

Thoughts on this idea?

Edited by - LokiNefer on 05/28/2020 20:07:13

May 28, 2020 - 8:53:30 PM
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New Zealand

10929 posts since 6/29/2003

The Washburn banjos designs have changed over time. I have an original Washburn catalogue from the 70-80's and it show the B11 as an open back. Looking at images of the modern B11 it seems to show a single plate flange attached to the bottom of the hook shoes by the hook nuts. If this is so, then all you need to do is remove the nuts, remove the flange and reinstall the nuts and you have an open back. If you ever want to return it back to a reso instrument then reinstall everything.

Can you post a photo of the pot assembly showing the reso etc?

May 29, 2020 - 12:38:59 AM

1171 posts since 2/4/2013

The flange might be a bit uncomfortable but as it's not too heavy, apparently with just a rolled brass tone ring, it nothing like as bad as a heavy resonator banjo. However as Wayne says you can remove the flange. The tailpiece will have to come off as well. These usually come with the strings going the wrong way through the tailpiece. They should be like this one:

The advantage of doing the flange removal it that you'll learn a lot about banjo setup which is a good thing.

May 29, 2020 - 9:27:31 AM
Players Union Member



12686 posts since 8/30/2006

It looks like a plate flange instead of cast and it has a steel tone ring

It’s not impossible
Get a swimming noodle to fit the flange if it won’t cone off easy

I looked for photos, but none show what’s underneath

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