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  #1  
Old 05-05-2019, 12:26 PM
gmm55 gmm55 is offline
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Default Anyone ever seen one of these small banjo's?

I have an old banjo and would like to know more about it. It's smaller than a normal banjo. Here are a few photos. Any information would be appreciated. There are no markings on the banjo.





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Old 05-05-2019, 12:52 PM
frankmcr frankmcr is offline
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Eight strings, so it's a banjo-mandolin (a/k/a mandobanjo, banjolin etc etc). Try asking at the mandolin café forum. There's posters there who will know.
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Old 05-05-2019, 01:04 PM
Mandobart Mandobart is offline
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Yep an early 20th century (probably 1940 or earlier) banjolin. I was given one by a friend a few years back. Needed a dowel rod adjustment, neck shim, New bridge and of course strings but once I did all that it plays and sounds great! Don't try to use modern, heavier mandolin strings like J74's or J75's on it. I use Newtone .008 phosphor bronze strings on mine.
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Old 05-05-2019, 01:05 PM
gmm55 gmm55 is offline
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O.k. thanks for the replies. I'll also try the cafe for a brand name if anyone has one.
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Old 05-08-2019, 12:22 AM
Wade Hampton Wade Hampton is offline
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I also own a mandolin-banjo. Mine has an original 1930’s Gibson Mastertone mandolin-banjo neck on modern Mastertone parts.

One key thing about these instruments, gmm55, is that if you use a banjo-style bridge on them you’ll have endless tuning and intonation problems. What works FAR better is the sort of simple one piece mandolin bridge you find on flattop mandolins. They get and stay in tune far better with those.


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Old 05-08-2019, 09:38 AM
Frogstar Frogstar is offline
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I've got a very similar looking one, but it's in need of a new tailpiece as a number of the bits that hold the loop ends of the strings are broken off.
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Old 05-15-2019, 05:27 PM
The Bard Rocks The Bard Rocks is offline
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You will find them handy in a jam session if you want to make a fiddle stop playing. I like to say they combine the bad traits of both banjos and mandolins (in a good way). Great for ragtime.
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