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Sep 7, 2021 - 7:35:21 AM
9 posts since 2/21/2015

Hi everyone! I bought an Alvarez Denver Belle a few years ago. I don't recall how much I spent, but I think it was like $600 if I had to guess. I'm now looking to sell it because I've barely touched it in years. I see them listed for as much as $2,000 on the classifieds here, but there aren't many for sale online so I don't know what I should list mine for. I really appreciate the advice from experts here, and if there are any interested buyers in the Kennett Square/Philadelphia, PA area feel free to make an offer!

Here are some photos: imgur.com/a/ei63Vz6

It's in pretty good shape, doesn't include a case.

Sep 7, 2021 - 8:21:13 AM
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BobbyE

USA

2939 posts since 11/29/2007

This is probably a 1970s something import from Japan. I had a Whyte Eagle from around 1975 and it was an import from Japan. These were some of the better imports around that time that were built to fill a nitch in the banjo market about the time that folk music/bluegrass music boom was taking off. As to price, it won't bring $2K but I would venture $1K a common starting point with a little bit on either side, based on how much owner wants to sell it and/or the buyer would like to have it.  Not having a case is a bit of a negative toward the asking price as well. 

Bobby

Edited by - BobbyE on 09/07/2021 08:22:13

Sep 7, 2021 - 8:59:51 AM
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1385 posts since 9/6/2019

Google shows Banjo Warehouse has one for $1,700, so that means you might get $800 - $1,000 for it. If you Google the banjo several listings come up. One on Banjo Buyer, which is sponsored by the BHO, had an asking price of $1,095.

Edited by - Banjonewguy on 09/07/2021 09:05:11

Sep 7, 2021 - 9:06:40 AM

3584 posts since 4/5/2008

Reverb has one for $435.00 +$45.00 Shipping

https://reverb.com/item/15755420-early-70-s-alvarez-denver-belle-5-string-banjo

( I  )===='---<: :}

Sep 7, 2021 - 10:23:54 AM

9 posts since 2/21/2015

quote:
Originally posted by Banjonewguy

Google shows Banjo Warehouse has one for $1,700, so that means you might get $800 - $1,000 for it. If you Google the banjo several listings come up. One on Banjo Buyer, which is sponsored by the BHO, had an asking price of $1,095.


Thanks! For some reason I didn't see the Banjo Buyer listing when I was researching this. Since mine doesn't have a case and I'm not including shipping, I'll likely list this for $1,000 for now, maybe $800 on this website since I got it for much less a few years ago.

Sep 7, 2021 - 10:26:58 AM

9 posts since 2/21/2015

quote:
Originally posted by 5stringpicker2

Reverb has one for $435.00 +$45.00 Shipping

https://reverb.com/item/15755420-early-70-s-alvarez-denver-belle-5-string-banjo

( I  )===='---<: :}


This listing was from 3 years ago. I looked through the sold listings on Reverb and the prices were all over the place. I guess that's the norm for these vintage import banjos!

Sep 7, 2021 - 12:07:44 PM
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2740 posts since 12/31/2005
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If you want to sell it here, more likely price is 450-500. These were OK banjos, some have had serious plating issues. They don't really hold up against the basic Recording Kings (RK 35/36) or higher end Gold Tones of today. Those sell in the higher three-figure range, so for this to sell higher would be a challenge. In a local sale on Craigslist, who is to say. I would not use Banjowarehouse pricing as a guide for a private seller. He apparently gets a premium on Asian banjos for his reputation, expertise, and setup. People like us don't get that.

Sep 7, 2021 - 1:06:57 PM
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Bill Rogers (Moderator)

USA

25400 posts since 6/25/2005

Banjo Warehouse says they discount heavily from their listed prices, fwiw.
Brian is right about the Alvarez banjos. They may look fancier, but they re not close to the 1k Recording Kings in terms of structure, sound and quality of the tone ring. I’d put your banjo in the $600-800 range. Denver Belles cost more because of decoration, not materials or quality.

Sep 7, 2021 - 2:03:59 PM

12424 posts since 6/2/2008

quote:
Originally posted by Bill Rogers

Brian is right about the Alvarez banjos. They may look fancier, but they re not close to the 1k Recording Kings in terms of structure, sound and quality of the tone ring. I’d put your banjo in the $600-800 range. Denver Belles cost more because of decoration, not materials or quality.


And I agree with both you and Brian.

Another reason I think a Denver Belle could go for $600 to $800 is because the lowest price for a new Mastertone-style bluegrass banjo is $1000 and the used price on decent condition RK-35/36 is now hovering around $800. So a big gap has opened in the used market for step-up banjos for people willing and able to spend $500 to $800.  Old Japanese made Denver Belles or more recent Chinese made Fender, Washburn, Morgan Monroe, Flinthill, Tyler Mountain, etc., etc, Masterclones fill that gap nicely. 

The much-loved and often recommended Leo, imported by Fender, had a multi-ply rim and pot metal tone ring, and people have had no problem saying it's worth $600. I assume the Denver Belle is every bit as good, and quite a bit better looking.

Banjo Warehouse asking $1700 or anybody asking $2000 is unrealistic. Maybe some collector with money to burn has an empty hanger on their wall just waiting for one of these. But anyone able to spend $1700 or more on a jam- or gig-worthy instrument can get a new RK-Elite, Gold Star GF-100JD, or Gold Tone Twanger.  Or any number of vintage US-made banjos that would blow a Denver Belle off the mile-high mountain.

Sep 7, 2021 - 2:05:13 PM

9 posts since 2/21/2015

Really great intel. Thanks everyone!

Sep 7, 2021 - 7:15:47 PM

128 posts since 2/16/2008

there is an immaculate one on EBAY right now for $1900

Sep 7, 2021 - 8:28:35 PM

12424 posts since 6/2/2008

$1999 + $200 shipping. Another Banjo Warehouse offering. Beautiful condition, no doubt. But for the money you can buy a  used current model Deering Sierra or Eagle II. Or a Fender Artist or Ode Style C and have money left over.

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