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Nov 22, 2020 - 11:44:49 AM
88 posts since 1/7/2019

I am thinking about picking up a iida banjo locally and I am looking for the groups thoughts. I eventually want to get something like an RK36 or OB150 but, for the price I was wonder if this could hold me over for a while. Interestingly, it has a block rim, which I didn't know iida's had. I think it is a 237 as well but if there are other opinions I am all ears.

Thanks in advance.
Jeff

Edited by - Gixxer340 on 11/22/2020 21:11:48

Nov 22, 2020 - 11:52:58 AM

GeorgeG

USA

25 posts since 9/13/2019

I had one back in the mid-70's. I thought it was a nice sounding instrument, was well made, and played well. That's a good price if it plays like new. Buyer beware. I'm sure you'll get a ton of opinions here.

Nov 22, 2020 - 12:47:57 PM

1153 posts since 5/19/2018

My first “real” banjo was an Iida, got it around 1974 or so. It actually was a really nice banjo and an excellent one to learn on.

Because it was not extremely valuable, I hauled that thing with me everywhere, subways, camping trips, to the beach, on my bicycle running around Central Park -every where- even two trip across the US hitch hiking way back when. It held up.

If it’s cheap, has a wood rim, grab it.

Nov 22, 2020 - 1:17:55 PM

3923 posts since 10/13/2005

Good drop-kick banjo. Also great for the banjo-tinckerer neophyte to conduct macabre innovations and experimentations upon. banjered

Nov 22, 2020 - 1:19:06 PM

13477 posts since 10/30/2008

Can you try it out? If you like it and nothing's busted or half assed repaired, you can get your money back in future if you step up to something better. Especially if it has a case.

Iida was one of the first Masterclones from Japan back in the 1970s -- pretty good intermediate banjos for that time. Don't know how old this one is and where it was made.  However the photo of the inside of the pot shows a very poor fit of tone ring to top of rim -- it's overhanging even though the rim looks quite thick at the bottom.  Odd.

Edited by - The Old Timer on 11/22/2020 13:20:17

Nov 22, 2020 - 1:23:34 PM

1153 posts since 5/19/2018

Just took a second to check out the posted link.

375....Grab it quick. That’s an incredible deal. Folks here ask 800-900 even 1K for that particular model.

Good luck!

Nov 22, 2020 - 1:34:03 PM
Players Union Member

RioStat

USA

5315 posts since 10/12/2009

The block rim is probably a replcement for the original, multi-ply, lightweight, mystery wood rim.....and is definitely an improvement!

If it was "local" to me, I'd be all over it for $375.00.

Edited by - RioStat on 11/22/2020 13:35:01

Nov 22, 2020 - 1:38:26 PM

88 posts since 1/7/2019

I posted a better link. I am very much a tinkerer and I think I could have a lot of fun with this one. I think I am going to try to pick it up.

Nov 22, 2020 - 1:48 PM

11218 posts since 6/2/2008

Another vote for do it. Quick.

I agree that at that price, you can get 100% (or more) of your money back when you sell and upgrade to the RK36 or OB150.

I also agree the tone ring hanging over the inside of the rim isn't typical. But some people modify their banjos so that the inside base of the ring doesn't sit on the rim, so trust your ears on this one. If it sounds good, don't worry about that detail. For all you know, it could be why it sounds good.

Nov 22, 2020 - 2:02:34 PM

88 posts since 1/7/2019

quote:
Originally posted by The Old Timer

Can you try it out? If you like it and nothing's busted or half assed repaired, you can get your money back in future if you step up to something better. Especially if it has a case.

Iida was one of the first Masterclones from Japan back in the 1970s -- pretty good intermediate banjos for that time. Don't know how old this one is and where it was made.  However the photo of the inside of the pot shows a very poor fit of tone ring to top of rim -- it's overhanging even though the rim looks quite thick at the bottom.  Odd.


Do you think this is a problem? I thought all tone rings overhung the rim. 

Edited by - Gixxer340 on 11/22/2020 14:03:20

Nov 22, 2020 - 2:48:16 PM

88 posts since 1/7/2019

I am going to look at it now. Hopefully it is as nice as it looks and sounds good too. We'll see. It will be something fun to mess around with, either way. I will let you know how I make out.

Edited by - Gixxer340 on 11/22/2020 15:01:27

Nov 22, 2020 - 3:15:18 PM

272 posts since 3/19/2018

I Have just brought a Lida Banjo five string .
from the local recycle shop here in Japan,if you are interested I can load a video on my tube channel of the Banjo.

Nov 22, 2020 - 9:06:49 PM

13477 posts since 10/30/2008

Except for the late 1960s "thin rim" Gibson Mastertones which overhung the inside of the skinny rim, most all good banjos I know of, the inner circumference of the tone ring fits flush with the inner surface of the rim.

Nov 23, 2020 - 5:52:51 AM
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88 posts since 1/7/2019

OK, I picked it up last night. The thing is in perfect (I mean like new) condition and came with a nice hardshell case. When I played it at pickup, it sounded terrible. The head was super loose (80 on my drum dial I would later find out) Bridge in the wrong location, tuners too loose, just a mess. I could see it had potential though.

I brought it home and tore the whole thing down and did a full setup on it. Set the head to 90, adjusted the neck angle, Cleaned everything. Got it all back together last night at midnight. While it was apart I weighed the tone ring and it is 3.5 lbs and feels like a nice piece. I may look to do a rim swap sometime in the future but that is all I can see doing and, even there, I don't think it really needs it.

Man, this thing is powerful and loud. Rings really nice and has a super low action with the bridge that was on it. It is a .656 and I think I will go up to an 11/16 but there seems to be no buzzing, even with the low action.

All-in-all, a really nice banjo
Thanks for all the input
Jeff

Nov 23, 2020 - 6:02:50 AM
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88 posts since 1/7/2019

Pics








Nov 23, 2020 - 6:53:20 AM

13477 posts since 10/30/2008

Good for you!

Nov 23, 2020 - 7:07:45 AM

GeorgeG

USA

25 posts since 9/13/2019

Looks like you know what you're doing and found the "old banjo in the attic" nugget. Congrats.

Nov 25, 2020 - 12:17:55 AM

485 posts since 2/5/2014

I was hoping you ended up with it, and thanks for the photos!

 I have a question, what is the actual spelling of that word? Is it with a L or I?? I am curious, because my sister’s name is Lida, and I would love a banjo with her name on it.

Edited by - talljoey on 11/25/2020 00:18:54

Nov 25, 2020 - 4:47:17 AM

88 posts since 1/7/2019

It is iida. Pronounced EE-da. It was a really nice pickup. Super nice for an Asian tube and plate banjo. Should hold me over for a long time. 

 

Jeff

Edited by - Gixxer340 on 11/25/2020 04:48:07

Nov 26, 2020 - 5:00:15 AM

Helix

USA

13101 posts since 8/30/2006

There's Aidas and Iidas, the name inlay is quite similar on purpose.

An Asian tube and plate has the most wood of any type of rim, same in USA. They're upside down. I now build tube openbacks, I rolls my own.

I do rim changeouts, and the first Aida I saw was the definition of "drop fit." They waste extra wood making the rim ledge for the tube.\
I install a U-channel ledge like Gibson , I use black walnut like Stelling did.

The Mahog rims have a great knock note, but nothing about the hardware lets them "develop" or vintage like they should.

Looks like you got a good dose of tinkering. I tinkered my way into a trademark in 2007. Get in there. More fun lately.

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