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Apr 17, 2024 - 10:35:26 AM
703 posts since 12/27/2012

I’m looking at 70’s Iida banjo , not sure of the model , it’s the one that copies the RB 500 I think. All maple flat head 2 pc. Flng. Fiddle head headstock , wreath inlays .I’m thinking of buying and swapping the rim and ring to make into a Archtop, any thoughts?
Is this a bad idea ? I have an Archtop ring , I would need a rim and someone to fit it together.

Apr 17, 2024 - 10:49:16 AM

3354 posts since 5/2/2012

Have you seen this catalog? Would probably help you identify the model. 

Apr 17, 2024 - 11:24 AM

3022 posts since 2/4/2013

Surely if you swap the rim and ring you have a parts banjo including an Iida neck and some hardware. I guess the rim would need careful cutting for the flange.Personally I think the Iida deserves to be enjoyed by someone who can get a masterclone at perhaps a reasonable price.

Apr 17, 2024 - 2:59:31 PM
like this

15205 posts since 6/2/2008

It's your banjo. And, in my opinion, not a particularly valuable one that demands to be kept intact. Do what will give you enjoyment.

Anyone who turns banjo rims can help you. 

In the past five or six years, I've sent two rims to Eric Sullivan to be fit to tone rings and flanges. In your case, you could buy a new rim from Eric and send him your tone ring and the tube part of your flange. I think these are fairly consistent in size, but you might as well send him your exact part for him to work with.

Good luck.

Apr 18, 2024 - 7:46:49 AM
likes this

3022 posts since 2/4/2013

quote:
Originally posted by Old Hickory

It's your banjo. And, in my opinion, not a particularly valuable one that demands to be kept intact. Do what will give you enjoyment.


Hi Ken - the reason I'wasn't keen is that it is not yet his banjo and Vince is only thinking of buying. I think the cheaper Japanese masterclones are a good resourse for people who want something approaching a fully fledged banjo at potentailly a decent price in a price range where good options are not common.

Apr 18, 2024 - 10:22:20 AM

15205 posts since 6/2/2008

quote:
Originally posted by GrahamHawker
- the reason I'wasn't keen is that it is not yet his banjo and Vince is only thinking of buying. 

That's an excellent point that I totally glossed over. It makes much more economic sense to buy the archtop he wants than to buy a 70s-80s Masterclone (even at a reasonable price), pour hundreds into a new rim and services, and then be left with a rim and tone ring that are not worth a lot.

Only if he could obtain the Ibanez at a steal might he end up with a banjo that is worth his total investment.

Of course, this is all do as I say, not as I do, because I've poured hundreds (thousands) into a parts banjo that is probably not worth the $2000+ I have in it now!

Apr 19, 2024 - 1:29:13 PM

703 posts since 12/27/2012

Thanks guys
The Iida banjo sold so ……

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