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May 18, 2022 - 8:18:34 AM
5 posts since 5/18/2022

I have a prototype Guild banjo from the eighties. Anyone have any idea how rare it may be?

May 18, 2022 - 10:12:21 AM

1626 posts since 4/29/2013

I'm sure I as well as others would like to see what you've got. Post some pictures full length front and back, peghead, fingerboard, inside the rim, etc. Is it a 5-string? Six-string?

A friend of mine collects Guild guitars, but I guess I never realized they made banjos. 

May 18, 2022 - 10:28:16 AM

150 posts since 12/6/2019

Subscribed. I have a guild guitar from 1971. Excellent instrument. Curious to see what a guild banjo looks like

May 18, 2022 - 11:08:19 AM
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375 posts since 2/11/2009

Guild is known to have built one prototype banjo (and one prototype mandolin) ca. 1972. I assume they used someone else's parts for the rim, since they weren't tooled up to build banjos.

Is there any chance this is a Madeira "by Guild" banjo? Those were mostly generic east-Asian imports sold as Guild's budget line in the '80s, and there were banjos as well as guitars.

As everyone else said, pictures are key here.

May 18, 2022 - 7:00 PM
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jfilion

USA

5 posts since 5/18/2022

OK, here are some pictures. BTW, the banjo has a "Made in Japan" sticker on it.


May 18, 2022 - 7:10:46 PM

1853 posts since 5/19/2018

OK, that’s an absolute first for me. I had zero idea that Guild even made one banjo.

The instrument in your photos looks like a Kasuga made Japanese instrument from the 1970’s with Guild branding. I don’t think that instrument came from the same place that Guild was making Guitars then. Guild most likely sourced from them and branded the instruments with a Guild logo. Can’t have made too many of them. Yours actually might be the only one.

May 18, 2022 - 8:56:09 PM
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288 posts since 11/4/2012

That’s a nice looking banjo,I agree with Alvin looks to be a Kasuga they are decent banjos,have a mid 70’s Guild F20 and I love that guitar.

May 18, 2022 - 8:57:38 PM

288 posts since 11/4/2012

Where did you get it?

May 19, 2022 - 2:41:44 AM

375 posts since 2/11/2009

As bizarre as this sounds, I think someone took an existing (maybe unbranded) banjo and added the name to the headstock.

That logo is not very accurate; even when Guild had to shrink their logo for a small headstock, such as for a ukulele or tenor guitar, the underline always extended a little past the letters. The letters themselves are a bit too thick as well, as if they were copied from a mid 1950s Guild instead of a 1980s one. The name is also not made of the same material as the other inlays. This is a 1980s Guild logo:

May 19, 2022 - 4:51:22 AM

1853 posts since 5/19/2018

I don’t know. That’s a banjo case behind it with a Guild case sticker on it. Looks like a matched set.

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May 19, 2022 - 4:53:12 AM

375 posts since 2/11/2009

The sticker is a generic one that Guild gave out with instruments. Cases at the time either had the Guild name painted/silkscreened on, or they had metal badges - no stickers.

May 19, 2022 - 7:26:18 AM
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jfilion

USA

5 posts since 5/18/2022

I bought this at the same local guitar store that I bought my guitar (a Guild F45-CE built at the Westerly RI factory). I live near Rochester, NY and the store was Stutzman's Guitar Center. The owner would travel to the Westerly factory and buy blemished guitars that only had small cosmetic issues. He would then sell them heavily discounted. Being only a few years out of college and not having a lot of money available, I decided I could live with the blemish to get the discount.

I started looking into the banjos he had in stock and eventually (and maybe because I was so happy with my guitar) he showed me one of his personal banjos that he said he acquired from working with the people at the Guild factory. He told me it was a prototype and that he used it when he went on camping trips but would be willing to sell it to me.

My guitar case is very similar to my banjo case. I believe the dealer likely placed Guild stickers on the cases he sold me for the two instruments. He may have even told me that at the time, I can't remember. I see that he is still in business (although no longer selling Guild). I suppose I could ask him if he remembers anything else about my banjo if I ever feel like driving to the opposite corner of my county.

May 19, 2022 - 10:59:40 AM

12205 posts since 10/27/2006

I have seen a few Guild banjos that were made in Sweden when Avnet Corp. owned both Guild and Goya in the late 1960s — I no longer remember if those were made by Levin or Bjärten. Interestingly, I've also seen Goya banjos made by Gretsch from around the time they were making ODE—aftter Martin sold Vega to Galaxy.

Thi one — who knows? Could be a prototype for a line that never went into production like the Martin/Galaxy Vegas where the 10(?) prototypes were shown at the 1979 Winter NAMM and the ephemera printed but, when not enough orders resulted, the decision was made to sell Galaxy to Vega.

It could also be an interesting fake as has been suggested.

Edited by - mikehalloran on 05/19/2022 11:00:07

May 19, 2022 - 11:01:54 AM

12205 posts since 10/27/2006

quote:
Originally posted by OldFrets

As bizarre as this sounds, I think someone took an existing (maybe unbranded) banjo and added the name to the headstock.

That logo is not very accurate; even when Guild had to shrink their logo for a small headstock, such as for a ukulele or tenor guitar, the underline always extended a little past the letters. The letters themselves are a bit too thick as well, as if they were copied from a mid 1950s Guild instead of a 1980s one. The name is also not made of the same material as the other inlays. This is a 1980s Guild logo:


That's from the time that George Gruhn was involved with Guild. 

May 19, 2022 - 2:46:53 PM
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csrat

USA

1118 posts since 9/14/2008

quote:
Originally posted by OldFrets

Guild is known to have built one prototype banjo (and one prototype mandolin) ca. 1972. I assume they used someone else's parts for the rim, since they weren't tooled up to build banjos.

Is there any chance this is a Madeira "by Guild" banjo? Those were mostly generic east-Asian imports sold as Guild's budget line in the '80s, and there were banjos as well as guitars.

As everyone else said, pictures are key here.


Nice! I like the looks of her!

Bought a Madeira guitar in the early 80's from the shop where I was giving banjo lessons. I wanted to have a guitar so my students could learn to play with others. I was just going to borrow one of the guitars in the shop and when I picked up the Madeira it was just a real sweetheart! Played well, looked beautiful and the owners gave me a good price so students and customers could see me playing it. Didn't really play it too much and now, 40 years later, it still looks new. My son loves it and counts it among the things he will collect upon my demise.

Some people think that's not a good thing, but I've been to cemeteries and crypts. I'm happy that my instruments will be played and seen and talked about after I've left. What better than stories about learning to play and songs sung, and the old grandpa that wasn't always old, all why singing new songs and old favorites with my grandchildren.

Don't scratch my name on some cold, lonely stone. My name will be spoken around fires, Christmas trees and living rooms by people who knew me, and people who came to know me from music and a few, well loved stringed instruments passed down for many years to come.

May 19, 2022 - 3:31:02 PM

Bill Rogers (Moderator)

USA

26051 posts since 6/25/2005

Any markings inside the shell? Could you post some pix of the inside?

May 19, 2022 - 9:30:49 PM

banjonz

New Zealand

11447 posts since 6/29/2003

When I saw this, the first thing to come to mid was the similarity to the Ibanez Mountaineer BJ350. There are certainly differences in the design of the inlays, peghead shape and flange holes etc, but close enough, at least to my eye that it was designed and made in the same factory perhaps?

May 20, 2022 - 10:49:27 AM

jfilion

USA

5 posts since 5/18/2022

As requested, here are pics of the inside. Not much to see. No numbers or anything.


May 22, 2022 - 6:57:53 AM

1853 posts since 5/19/2018

Definitely Japanese. Definitely a nice instrument. Very high quality Masterclone. Good score! Even for back then.

my first Mastertone type banjo that I got in the mid-late 1970's was Kasuga made. Wish I still had it  

do you remember what you paid for it decades ago?
 

Edited by - Alvin Conder on 05/22/2022 07:00:14

May 23, 2022 - 7:53:46 AM

jfilion

USA

5 posts since 5/18/2022

Actually, I just found the receipt on Saturday. I bought it in August of '83 for $535.00. Also, the case was $40.00 - so definitely just a case with a Guild sticker.

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