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Need help with this banjo

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Aug 8, 2022 - 1:53:05 PM
1 posts since 8/8/2022

I have this degas 6 string banjo that I couldn't really find much information on. Id like to know the model and value. Any help would be appreciated.

Aug 8, 2022 - 2:32:06 PM

615 posts since 5/29/2015

Photos are essential.

Aug 8, 2022 - 2:39:43 PM
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rcc56

USA

4430 posts since 2/20/2016

If you're referring to the banjo pictured on your home page, it looks like an entry-level instrument to me.

I have not encountered a Degas banjo before, but I have seen a few guitars and one electric bass. They were all imported entry level instruments. The brand was around in the early to mid 1970's.

Without more pictures, I will guess that if your banjo is in serviceable condition, it might be worth $100 - $200.

Aug 8, 2022 - 5:16:01 PM
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RioStat

USA

5884 posts since 10/12/2009

It's a 5 string banjo, not a 6 string, and Bob is correct, it's an Asian-made, entry level instrument

Aug 8, 2022 - 8:51:48 PM

13592 posts since 6/2/2008

Looks like a banjo made in Japan a long time ago. The "Degas" name is meaningless. It may have appeared with a model name or number in some wholesale catalog or sell sheet, but there'd be no tracing that today.  The factory that made this could well have made other banjos just like it with different names on the peghead as ordered by different U.S. importers.

This banjo is typical of beginner instruments of the 1970s and decades following: thin aluminum rim, 18 flat tension hooks (maybe 20), three flat screw plates for attaching the wooden resonator, wooden armrest, a neck of unknown hardwood, open-gear guitar style tuners, friction fifth string tuner. My first banjo was built very much like this. "Mayfair" name on peghead. I forget if the fret markers were dots or rectangles. Back of resonator was a red-to-black burst.

Bob is probably right about the value. I expect banjos like these to turn up for $50 at yard sales. But $200 isn't what it used to be and the new banjos you can buy at that price are not much better. If you're thinking about buying, try to get it for as little as possible. First thing you do is replace the fifth string tuner and the bridge. And maybe the tailpiece.

Enjoy.

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