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Apr 18, 2024 - 12:24 PM
1 posts since 4/18/2024

Hello ! I'm an employee over at Bentley's Drum Shop, and we recently acquired this Banjo, would anyone happen to know some information/price points on it ?

Thank you !
Miles Hernandez
Bentley's Drum Shop


Edited by - Miles840 on 04/18/2024 12:47:39

Apr 18, 2024 - 12:31:54 PM
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1783 posts since 3/1/2012

How about a photo or two?

Apr 18, 2024 - 12:42:34 PM

5728 posts since 5/29/2011

From the photos on your home page it looks like an Asian made Masterclone. The side pictures of the pot look like it's of decent quality but the picture of the whole banjo doesn't show the peghead very clearly. There is no way to make out the brand name.

Apr 18, 2024 - 12:47 PM

2348 posts since 5/19/2018

Asian Masterclone from the late 1970’s to very early 1980’s.

Cant see the name of the peg head, but most likely a Iida banjo made in Japan by Kasuga.

Had one similar. Nice instruments to learn on.

Apr 18, 2024 - 12:49:20 PM

Bill Rogers (Moderator)


27999 posts since 6/25/2005

I read it as a lower-level Iida; likely without a mastertone-type tone ring. Decent entry- or advanced-beginner-level banjo. Retail 300 or so.

Apr 18, 2024 - 12:59:01 PM
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211 posts since 4/1/2016

It’s an Iida ( double ii) pronounced “eye - ee - da. Stylized logo is often hard to read. They’re pretty good banjos. The less expensive ones have a cast aluminum rim with an integral archtop. The one in the pic looks to be one of the better ones. They made about a half-dozen models in the 70s.

Apr 18, 2024 - 1:59:06 PM
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Players Union Member



10437 posts since 1/22/2003

Originally posted by Bill Rogers

I read it as a lower-level Iida; likely without a mastertone-type tone ring. Decent entry- or advanced-beginner-level banjo. Retail 300 or so.

One of the pictures clearly shows the tonering…

Apr 18, 2024 - 2:05:29 PM

3365 posts since 5/2/2012

Here is the '76 Iida catalog  From what I've seen. I think the banjos with the "Est." on the headstock postdate this catalog.  But the catalog will give you an idea of the differences among the many models they offered  at the time.  The side view of this  banjo suggests that this is one with a wood (not aluminum) pot and a tone ring, which would bring more than the aluminum models. Check ebay and Reverb for similar banjos for estimates of value.  I think you'll find asking prices all over the place.  Would  probably make a great beginner/intermediate banjo.  By the way, I don't think there is anything  "custom made" (see the truss rod cover) about these banjos.  

Apr 18, 2024 - 2:17:45 PM
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5728 posts since 5/29/2011

I used to have an Iida that had the aluminum rim with the cast in arch top ring. It was a cheaper model than this one but it played like a dream.
As for the value, $300 to $600 would be a reasonable amount to ask depending on condition. Iida was a respectable name among Japanese banjos but that market has somewhat diminished.

Apr 18, 2024 - 9:32:12 PM

Bill Rogers (Moderator)


27999 posts since 6/25/2005

Looks to be a model 231, based on the inlays. The Iida catalog does not note any kind of tone ring, though it does mention tone rings with the other two banjos on the page. So the ring that appears to show in the picture may be a tone ring or a spun over sheet. Who knows. I any event it is a lesser banjo than the 233 at right on the catalog page. It seems not to be a masterclone. We’d need to see a couple of pix of the inside to really be definitive about the tone ring question.  Here's the catalog page.

Edited by - Bill Rogers on 04/18/2024 21:34:43

Apr 19, 2024 - 10:02:37 AM

13132 posts since 10/27/2006

Yep, a 231. We won't know what kind of ring it has (if any) until the resonator is removed and a picture is taken of the inside. Angle the camera so that we can see where the plastic head touches the bearing point of the rim.

Apr 19, 2024 - 4:17:56 PM

3341 posts since 3/30/2008

I believe Iida had their own factory in Japan, & were not made by Kasuga. 

Edited by - tdennis on 04/19/2024 16:21:49

Apr 19, 2024 - 5:06:54 PM

Bill Rogers (Moderator)


27999 posts since 6/25/2005


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