Results 1 to 9 of 9

Thread: Help identifying a mandolin banjo / banjolin

  1. #1

    Default Help identifying a mandolin banjo / banjolin

    Hi, my first post, hope this goes right. My friend has a mandolin banjo / banjolin, and we'd appreciate some help identifying it. A similar one is listed on ebay, link here: https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/175329567...AAAOSwQTpitPPU

    Would anyone have thoughts on what it is, based on these photos? Thanks!

  2. #2
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    High Peak - UK
    Posts
    3,721

    Default Re: Help identifying a mandolin banjo / banjolin

    Difficult to say exactly what it is but I suspect that the body and neck aren’t contemporary. The body looks British whereas the neck doesn’t and the price of the one on evilBay is getting on for $500 too much!

  3. #3

    Default Re: Help identifying a mandolin banjo / banjolin

    How similar? Photos of your friend's actual model would be helpful..
    Prices in the US depend on manufacturer to a large extent, but generally are, as said, much lower than $500. The name, if any, will often be found inside.

  4. The following members say thank you to Richard500 for this post:


  5. #4

    Default Re: Help identifying a mandolin banjo / banjolin

    Quote Originally Posted by Ray(T) View Post
    Difficult to say exactly what it is but I suspect that the body and neck arenít contemporary. The body looks British whereas the neck doesnít and the price of the one on evilBay is getting on for $500 too much!
    Thank you! The seller seems to be selling mostly other stuff than musical instruments. I would have thought the price is indeed too much, unless it is a rarity from well-known branch.

  6. #5

    Default Re: Help identifying a mandolin banjo / banjolin

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	banjolin jpg.jpg 
Views:	18 
Size:	196.6 KB 
ID:	202485 Cheers! Here's the only photo I have at the moment. The body seems identical to me, but the neck is indeed different. Outside the photo, the round coinlike thing (ahem) at the back of the body seems to be from different material. There is no name visible & I wonder if it is safe for an amateur to disassemble it oneself.

  7. #6
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    High Peak - UK
    Posts
    3,721

    Default Re: Help identifying a mandolin banjo / banjolin

    As I said, the body and neck don’t look contemporary to me.

    Disassembly - easy enough - remove the strings and the eight screws into the wooden ring. It should lift off completely, without affecting the head tension and your only problem will be putting the strings back on and getting the bridge back in the same/right place.

    That said, I doubt you’ll find anything inside. Most banjos have a makers name on the perch pole inside but this one won’t have a perch pole - the neck will be simply be screwed onto the wooden rim. As for the “coinlike thing”, there will probably be a couple of bent bits of metal on the other side to stop it falling off. It’s purely decorative and helps stop the back getting scratched when you lay the banjo on a table.

  8. #7

    Default Re: Help identifying a mandolin banjo / banjolin

    Quote Originally Posted by Ray(T) View Post
    As I said, the body and neck don’t look contemporary to me.

    Disassembly - easy enough - remove the strings and the eight screws into the wooden ring. It should lift off completely, without affecting the head tension and your only problem will be putting the strings back on and getting the bridge back in the same/right place.

    That said, I doubt you’ll find anything inside. Most banjos have a makers name on the perch pole inside but this one won’t have a perch pole - the neck will be simply be screwed onto the wooden rim. As for the “coinlike thing”, there will probably be a couple of bent bits of metal on the other side to stop it falling off. It’s purely decorative and helps stop the back getting scratched when you lay the banjo on a table.
    Thanks! Ah, should have tried that when changing the strings, I suppose . The neck (or the position of the neck & rim) is a bit skewed, I wonder if there's much that can be done for that.

  9. #8
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    High Peak - UK
    Posts
    3,721

    Default Re: Help identifying a mandolin banjo / banjolin

    Shims? The rims on these often get distorted over time.

    Should have made it clear; the neck on the one in post #5 still doesn’t look original - I bet it’s off something else. They didn’t usually have slotted headstocks but the zero fret definitely suggests European.

  10. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Ray(T) For This Useful Post:


  11. #9

    Default Re: Help identifying a mandolin banjo / banjolin

    Agree entirely with RayT. The neck may even be a recent graft from a mandolin. If it is just screwed into the rim (screw heads inside, or maybe bolts) the skew may be adjusted without even using shims as there will be some slack. If the action (string) height is way out of line, a shim could be used. However, and this is where it gets picky - those 8 strings have a lot of tension on them, and the geometry strung up can be warping the rim inwards, and the bridge rests on something pretty soft, so iteration may be required. Advice on this forum often is to use tenor banjo strings instead of mandolin, and some people may revert to four strings. The bottom line is that your friend doesn’t have to worry about disturbing some perfect sonic balance.

  12. The following members say thank you to Richard500 for this post:

    armala 

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •