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Nov 27, 2021 - 2:07:51 AM

MatteoM

Italy

3 posts since 11/27/2021

Hello everybody! Can someone help me? I would like some information about a Banjo whose "documents" have been lost. I'm in talks with the owner who inherited it, but he can't tell me much about it. The banjo is the one in the photographs.Can you tell me in what years it was produced, what its selling price was and, if possible, the quality of the materials. Thanks a lot to everybody!

Nov 27, 2021 - 2:47:06 AM

2125 posts since 2/4/2013

It looks the same as other rebadged Korean made banjos that have been seen on here. There was one with Ozark on the headstock. I seem to remember they were made by Samick. I've seen people try to sell this type of banjo for about £600 on Ebay UK but I don't think they get much interest at that price. £400 seems a better price (about 500 Euros). They probably originally sold for £800-£1000 but don't hold their value. They can be very decent banjos. However the problem I have with them is that no one can say what the rim and tong ring is and that includes the "brand" on the the headstock.

Nov 27, 2021 - 3:53:04 AM

banjoy

USA

10004 posts since 7/1/2006

Without a close-up look, this appears to be either a Korean or Japanese made Gibson clone from the 1970s or 1980s. It's probably worth around $600 - $800 USD, maybe a little more. In my humble opinion. Others here may have differing opinions or insights.

Nov 27, 2021 - 4:36:04 AM

MatteoM

Italy

3 posts since 11/27/2021

GrahamHawker banjoy I already own an epiphone MB200 with piezo. Do you think Samick SB 4 (the model I recognized in it) is superior? In your opinion, is it a good thing to spend 520 € (440£ / 590$) for this banjo (including fishman pickup)?

Nov 27, 2021 - 4:53:04 AM

2125 posts since 2/4/2013

quote:
Originally posted by MatteoM

GrahamHawker banjoy I already own an epiphone MB200 with piezo. Do you think Samick SB 4 (the model I recognized in it) is superior? In your opinion, is it a good thing to spend 520 € (440£ / 590$) for this banjo (including fishman pickup)?


The Epiphone is a basic aluminium rim banjo (bottlecap). I've read people praise the Samick SB3 which is almost the same as the SB4 without the gold colour. So you'll be going from basic starter banjo to the real thing. It's a good price especially if there is also a Fishman pickup. The answer must be yes in my opinion.

Nov 27, 2021 - 5:23:23 AM

banjoy

USA

10004 posts since 7/1/2006

The banjo you found does appear to be the same a a Samick, so it could be up to 20 years or so younger than I stated earlier, although I've seen banjos like this since the 70s. Samick doesn't make banjos or other instruments, they're an importer.

If this banjo is in good condition with no real issues then I agree, $590 USD is a decent price especially with the Fishman pickup. Make sure a hard case is included and that's the cherry on top. If shipping cost doesn't kill the deal, then yeah it's a fair or better deal. In my opinion.

Keep in mind this banjo will probably weigh a little less than a ton. That may be a consideration...

Nov 27, 2021 - 6:20:51 AM

banjoy

USA

10004 posts since 7/1/2006

Looking closer at the photos you have, there may be a few things to look at closely if you can see this banjo in person. The tension hoop looks like it may be warping out of round, or pulling away in places, it's hard to tell for sure from the photo.

Another thing to look at is it appears all the stings are shifted drastically to the left, including the tailpiece itself, so check that out carefully. That doesn't appear to be right to me but can probably be corrected with a setup.

Anyway just some things to look closely at before committing. My 2 cents.

Edited by - banjoy on 11/27/2021 06:21:53

Nov 27, 2021 - 7:29:56 AM

MatteoM

Italy

3 posts since 11/27/2021

GrahamHawker banjoy Thank you so much for the tips! I will check it on the points you told me to make a good deal!
I still keep the topic open to get any other information from other users! Thanks again

Nov 27, 2021 - 1:02:01 PM

12588 posts since 6/2/2008

For opinions on values in Italy, you might try to contact Hangout member Silvio Ferretti. He's in Genova.

But I agree with the estimates and opinions you've received here.

I think the banjo is newer than the 1980s. I'd guess 1990s to early 2000s. I could be wrong. As others have suggested, the same factory that made these made identical banjos with different names on them for various importers around the world. This one reminds me of Morgan Monroe and Tyler Mountain banjos, among other names. 

I agree with Frank that US$590 is a good price -- especially because there are no new banjos with comparable (or better) components at that price.  You need to spend at least US$1000 to get this style of bluegrass banjo new. 

Good luck.

Nov 28, 2021 - 10:09:10 AM

banjopaolo

Italy

1519 posts since 11/6/2008

Hi Matteo
I’m in Italy too, welcome!
I just want you ti know that here in Italy (Milano) there is a lady selling a Gold Star Banjo that is usually considered the best asian made Gibson clone...
You may contact her via hangout

Nov 28, 2021 - 10:10:52 AM

banjopaolo

Italy

1519 posts since 11/6/2008

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