Dating iibanez korean
To ensure this quality, the raw material and hardware we use are the best-grade available in the market.After high-standard manufacture process, every guitar still has to go through strict post-production quality check.
There are about 6-8 levels of hardware and finish overall, ranging from a very plain wood pot (body) or cast aluminum pot to replicas of a pre WWII Gibson RB-Granada flathead Mastertone (the bluegrass holy grail largely because Earl Scruggs used one for decades, and there were only about 12-15 original 5 string ones built in 1931-34). Actually, all of the Gold Stars had the best hardware available, there are some extra supernal touches in the early Gold Star J. The quality also varied across the product lines; there were for instance some very entry level Arias and some better Arias at the same time, sort of like Chevrolets and Cadillac Limousines.The major step in quality is usually to the Gibson Mastertone pattern of construction (Masterclone), with a cast metal tone ring (brass/bronze, steel, aluminum and pot metal all have been encountered) sitting on a wooden rim under the drumhead.For an example of the Mastertone construction, look at the picture of the gold one above.There are a large number of links on my site where you can find pictures and information on banjo adjustment in general, and Gibsons in particular.However, practically any banjo can be adjusted to sound "pretty good", and be playable. The Gibson construction is common because Scruggs, Reno, et al played one, but there have been many other quality brands built in the USA in the past and today. I still have a few entry quality instruments, and they sound like me when I play them.They made numerous brands including Aria, Kasuga and Epiphone, often doing nothing but changing the logo. One of the best sounding Tub-a-phones I have heard. The neck is butterfly with a thin piece of ebony running down the center.
The Kasuga was the last factory producing banjos and mandolins in Japan and it went out of business about 1995.. The head and heel are black acrylic, ebony fingerboard with mother of pearl inlays.
Pro II was a closer replica of the the later RB250. Current, Korean, Masterclone available through Hobgoblin Music in the UK. Some have been reported to have the brass rod ring under the tone ring like the Tokai Blue Bell and Orpheum. Specifics: Has inlaid name "Silver Princess" on the headstock, but no mention of Alvarez anywhere. Here are some pictures of the head and inlay on his "Foggy" model banjo, definitely non Gibson: Head, lower neck, upper neck, pot profile.
Aoyama - similar to Aria, Ventura of early 70's, metal button friction tuners, one piece flange with 3 intersecting ellipse holes, same non Gibson clone peghead shape. BTB75 & BTB85 (carved neck, gold hardware), both maple.
Some of the hardware on quality American banjos is now Asian made (like tailpieces), and some hardware (steel armrests, coordinator rods) is even Chinese in origin. The fingerboard and resonator are trimmed with cream binding.
Please do not ask me the value of an Asian banjo, including how much to buy/sell it for, saying if you got a good deal or to tell you if it is worth repairing. Rosewood FB, diamond inlays, black behind ivoroid binding, side dots. The pot is 7/8 inch thick ten ply veneer maple, two piece flange with 24 hooks/ nuts.
The brown line between the gold tone ring and the resonator flange is the wooden rim.