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Oct 26, 2021 - 1:16:24 PM
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6 posts since 10/9/2021

I’ve been lurking around here for awhile, decided to join the party and see what the consensus is on this. I’m in vapor lock and can’t seem to decide which way to jump.

Recently picked up a Goodtime open back as a secondary/travel banjo and it has highlighted the fact that my primary banjo sounds…well…terrible. I have a Washburn B14 I picked up in the mid eighties and now I can’t decide whether I should try to upgrade it somehow or simply replace it altogether. There’s a Deering and a Huber I kinda have my eye on here on the BHO marketplace, although I’ve never bought anything through the marketplace yet and can’t decide whether to chance it.

So…upgrade or replace? All opinions welcome :)

O.C.

Oct 26, 2021 - 1:21:17 PM
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Alex Z

USA

4556 posts since 12/7/2006

The B14 can be hot rodded with all the new parts currently in vogue.  But it's not going to be an "upgrade." smiley

Deering or Huber?  Go for it!  

Oct 26, 2021 - 1:28:40 PM
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410 posts since 4/11/2019

More banjos = more better

Oct 26, 2021 - 1:31:24 PM

ChunoTheDog

Canada

1123 posts since 8/9/2019

Hard to beat a Huber at a good price. More banjo than most will ever need and high resell value. I say go for it.

Oct 26, 2021 - 1:45:26 PM
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Players Union Member

RioStat

USA

5629 posts since 10/12/2009

quote:
Originally posted by Pick n tired

I’ve been lurking around here for awhile, decided to join the party and see what the consensus is on this. I’m in vapor lock and can’t seem to decide which way to jump.

Recently picked up a Goodtime open back as a secondary/travel banjo and it has highlighted the fact that my primary banjo sounds…well…terrible. I have a Washburn B14 I picked up in the mid eighties and now I can’t decide whether I should try to upgrade it somehow or simply replace it altogether. There’s a Deering and a Huber I kinda have my eye on here on the BHO marketplace, although I’ve never bought anything through the marketplace yet and can’t decide whether to chance it.

So…upgrade or replace? All opinions welcome :)

O.C.


Very little (if any) "chance" through the BHO Classifieds.  Much better "chances" buying here at BHO, than, say...ebay or Craigslist.

You may get a banjo that you don't like or don't care for, after playing it,  but I'd bet that the instrument will be as advertised on the Hangout

Oct 26, 2021 - 1:53:15 PM

166 posts since 2/20/2004

Replace

Oct 26, 2021 - 1:56:04 PM

6 posts since 10/9/2021

quote:
Originally posted by RioStat
quote:
Originally posted by Pick n tired

I’ve been lurking around here for awhile, decided to join the party and see what the consensus is on this. I’m in vapor lock and can’t seem to decide which way to jump.

Recently picked up a Goodtime open back as a secondary/travel banjo and it has highlighted the fact that my primary banjo sounds…well…terrible. I have a Washburn B14 I picked up in the mid eighties and now I can’t decide whether I should try to upgrade it somehow or simply replace it altogether. There’s a Deering and a Huber I kinda have my eye on here on the BHO marketplace, although I’ve never bought anything through the marketplace yet and can’t decide whether to chance it.

So…upgrade or replace? All opinions welcome :)

O.C.


Very little (if any) "chance" through the BHO Classifieds.  Much better "chances" buying here at BHO, than, say...ebay or Craigslist.

You may get a banjo that you don't like or don't care for, after playing it,  but I'd bet that the instrument will be as advertised on the Hangout


I like the sound of that, kind of had that impression anyway but it's good to hear.

Oct 26, 2021 - 2:01:05 PM
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6 posts since 10/9/2021

So far the vote definitely favors…replace.

I’m retiring next year so now would be the best time. Next year I’ll be broke.

Oct 26, 2021 - 2:13:21 PM
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doryman

USA

1078 posts since 11/26/2012

Absolutely replace. Buy yourself a nice banjo for your retirement years.

Oct 26, 2021 - 8:55:11 PM
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12417 posts since 6/2/2008

quote:
Originally posted by Pick n tired

... my primary banjo sounds…well…terrible. I have a Washburn B14 I picked up in the mid eighties and now I can’t decide whether I should try to upgrade it somehow or simply replace it altogether. 


Just to throw more weight on the "replace" side of the scale, have you actually thought about what upgrades could turn the Washburn into a significantly better banjo?

Sure, a new bridge and tailpiece could probably help the sound for under $100 total. The head can be adjusted for zero cost. And the banjo will sound as good as it can sound -- which may still not be very good.

So the two upgrades that can make a real difference would be a 3-ply rim ($140 from Sullivan) and a full weight Mastertone style flathead tone ring ($240 Sullivan).  There's $380. And you still need the labor to drill the wood rim for 24 shoes. And finish the rim. $200 maybe?  And shipping, too. Of course Sullivan isn't the only source. But prices are posted and they're economical.

So, basically, you can put nearly $600 into upgrading a B-14 that's worth maybe $300 to $400, after which you'll have a really good sounding Washburn B-14 that's worth maybe $300 to $400 -- because the resale market doesn't care about your upgrades.

Sell the Washburn for the most you can get. Put the money toward either of the banjos you mentioned in your opening message.

Good luck.

Oct 26, 2021 - 10:09:09 PM
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6 posts since 10/9/2021

quote:
Originally posted by Old Hickory
quote:
Originally posted by Pick n tired

... my primary banjo sounds…well…terrible. I have a Washburn B14 I picked up in the mid eighties and now I can’t decide whether I should try to upgrade it somehow or simply replace it altogether. 

 

So, basically, you can put nearly $600 into upgrading a B-14 that's worth maybe $300 to $400, after which you'll have a really good sounding Washburn B-14 that's worth maybe $300 to $400 -- because the resale market doesn't care about your upgrades.


Well it looks like replace wins hands down, no doubt about it now.

Oct 27, 2021 - 5:55:17 AM
Players Union Member

Helix

USA

14793 posts since 8/30/2006

A Helix rim changeout is only $275. You can come back later, get a custom neck for a fair price , reassemble your old banjo and go forth. You have a complete set of hardware to work with. You retain your old rim, make a wall clock.

Shipping and sales are going to get really tricky in the coming months.

The Helix rim is a true upgrade, wait til they grab YOUR banjo in the middle of a solo. Urban myth is yours for the asking.

I was gifted a users' group, ask them. having a Helix rim in there is the next best thing to owning one. I play them, myself


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