I know the gold vs nickel/chrome, the tailpieces, the wood finishes and the fretboard inlays are different.
Other than those things are their differences in the major components like the tone rings, flanges, tension hoops, etc.
I’m assuming they are all made in Japan and/or China...which is it?
Are they made pretty much to Gibson specs, i.e. scale length, neck widths, tone ring specs, flange dimensions, etc?
I know the lesser models like the MB-200 and 100s have aluminum rings/rims, right?
Any corrections or help would be appreciated.
I looked over a model 500 many years ago at a Guitar Center (new). I thought it was very well made. Gold plate was obviously thin, but other than that it appeared to be quite nice. I didn't care for the center seam in the nice curly maple resonator veneer, but that's just me. Very nice neck, good frets, good metal (not aluminum), felt and sounded very good. Take the "Made in China" (Korea?) sticker off the back of the peghead and I'd take it anywhere. It was on sale for $900, and I actually considered buying it for a travel banjo. But good sense prevailed.
There was one on the eBay yesterday that was only up to $500 with an hour to go. If the price didn't get out of hand, someone got a nice banjo.
FWIW, yesterday the EBay MB-500 was bid up to $757 + $75 for shipping and whatever your state sales tax is.
I’m thinking the MB-250 is the same banjo without gold plating, plainer wood and with hearts & flowers inlay instead of clouds. The 350 is gold plated, like the 500, has nice wood and the same H&Fs as the 250.
Edited by - 1xsculler on 08/14/2020 08:32:41
My experience with the MB250 is that they are decent intermediate banjos with necks that are a little too large, a bit unrefined overall. The only differences are in appointments and decoration.
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