Banjo Hangout Logo
Banjo Hangout Logo

Premier Sponsors

Banjo Lovers Online

Sep 9, 2021 - 7:13:28 AM
likes this
151 posts since 9/4/2005

If you like the old Ibanez banjos, you might want to look at this:

Sep 9, 2021 - 9:01:29 AM
likes this



1863 posts since 11/3/2016

Rare Hearts & Flowers inlay   wink

Sep 9, 2021 - 9:10:58 AM

12268 posts since 6/2/2008

A real education!

The photo of the peghead backside shows that the neck was theee-piece (not counting the ears) same as Gibson of that era. With its two-piece flange and hearts and flowers inlay, or was pretty much a copy of an RB-800.

Sep 9, 2021 - 9:37:43 AM
likes this

Alex Z


4523 posts since 12/7/2006

I've played plenty of these types of import banjos back in the 1970s.  Ibanez in this model was a decent, solid instrument compared to others at that time.

In light of what is available now -- compared to  1970s --  I would not say that age or limited availability has made these banjos more desirable.  

Sep 9, 2021 - 1:23:50 PM
likes this


New Zealand

11248 posts since 6/29/2003

I have owned two of the RB5 clones (Artist) and have played many other models. While they looked like the Gibson's of the time, many of them didn't sound good, even after setting them up.

Sep 9, 2021 - 2:11:54 PM
like this

116 posts since 2/16/2008

i have had two Alvarez Banjo's that sounded as good as anything out there.
Maybe i was just lucky to have gotten two great ones. but i have no complaints.

Sep 9, 2021 - 6:51:54 PM
likes this

1535 posts since 5/19/2018

Some of these 70’s and 80’s Japanese Masterclones were better than anything that Gibson put out before G Rich got involved with Gibson and put them back on the right track.

The Ibanez as mentioned was kind of a hybrid of various Gibson designs, most notably the RB-800. Quality on them for the most part on the better models was very good. Set up right and tweaked, they make fine players and are still a pretty good value.

975...would be a great beginner instrument with a bit of vintage vibe to it.

Sep 9, 2021 - 8:41:09 PM
like this



22475 posts since 7/6/2005

I had a wreath model. At that time the only way I could get a decent sound was by replacing the tone ring with a Stew-Mac flathead

Sep 9, 2021 - 10:03:51 PM
likes this

Bill Rogers (Moderator)


25208 posts since 6/25/2005

It’s overpriced—whatever its virtues.

Sep 9, 2021 - 10:13 PM
likes this

Bill Rogers (Moderator)


25208 posts since 6/25/2005

Frank Ford made me a unique hybrid out of an Iida 223 (or some number in there). Key was the two-piece flange and fat shell. I bought a complete Gibson ball-bearing tone ring, springs, bearings, washers and all, from Jon Lundberg in Berkeley. Frank drilled the Iida shell for the spring-and-ball setup, and I had the world’s only Iida ball-bearing banjo. Not at all bad, either. Better, I thought,, than with the stock tone ring. I sold it to a banjo student when I went back to grad school It may yet be kicking around Northern California

Sep 10, 2021 - 12:02:08 AM
likes this

4369 posts since 5/29/2004

I've owned two 76 Ibanez Artist banjo that both sounded better than a 68 Gibson that I owned no matter how it was tweaked...

Sep 10, 2021 - 6:29:47 AM
likes this


Virgin Islands (U.S.)

416 posts since 5/11/2021

I almost bought a nice 70s Ibanez Artist with the "Vine of Life" inlay and motifs. It was a beautiful banjo and actually did sound pretty good although I planned on swapping the rim/ring for a Sullivan. Unfortunately, the guy wanted $2000 and "knew what he had" and refused to come down. I offered him $700, which I felt was about $200 more than it was worth, just because I liked how it looked so much. Still kinda bummed I didn't get it.

Hangout Network Help

View All Topics  |  View Categories