The Washburn Guitars Forum

Washburn Bluegrass Instruments => Post your thoughts on Banjos & Mandolins => Topic started by: Mountaineermaniac on December 05, 2009, 07:58:11 AM

Title: So what's the difference?
Post by: Mountaineermaniac on December 05, 2009, 07:58:11 AM
Hello all.  I am new to the banjo scene and am currently looking for a nice starter banjo, but I also want a quality instrument.  I am curious to know what is the difference between an Oscar Schmidt OB-5 and a traditional Washburn B-9?  Is it kind of like a Squire v.s. Fender or what?  Also, the B-8 banjo that comes with Washburn's starter pak, how does that instrument measure up?  How does a Gibson M-200 measure up to a Washburn B-9?  Just curious, thanks for any help you might be able to provide.  I am just throwing out these models because it seems as though they were all recommended as nice starter banjos.  I really don't know anything about the J. Reynolds, Trinity River or Johnson banjos.
Title: So what's the difference?
Post by: gregjones on December 06, 2009, 07:46:34 PM
He used the words nice and banjo in the same sentence, without fire or explosion!!!!

[:0]
Title: So what's the difference?
Post by: Junior88 on December 06, 2009, 08:06:23 PM
Heh heh, Please excuse Greg.. Us Mandolin players have something against snare drums with 2x4's attached to em...

Just ribbin with ya, but im sure someone will be along to help.

The small, but mighty collection:
Washburn N2, Barracuda Strat Copy, Art & Lutherie Acoustic, Greg Bennet D-5 Acoustic,Rover RM-50B Mandolin
Title: So what's the difference?
Post by: magoo99 on December 06, 2009, 08:17:39 PM
Hey mountaineer, Welcome the the WBF. i think the OS  and the washburn is the same as the Gibson/epi kind of thing...IMO, Gibson is in its own class when it comes to Banjos..no real comparison there.
The B9 seems like a great little starter..I play a tenor banjo, I have a Epiphone TB75 and love it.  If i was going to buy a 5 string I would def get a washy, they do have a pretty good name with some Banjo players.  but like everything else if its not a Gibson most players turn their noses at it.
I would also Throw in a few extra Bucks and get a better starter and would stay away fr the starter kits..this would save you the trouble of buying or trading up, when you quickly out grow the starter kit and you will if you play at all.
Good luck
Magoo
Title: So what's the difference?
Post by: Mountaineermaniac on December 07, 2009, 09:08:22 PM
Boy you mandolin players sure stick together.  Joel Sweeny would roll over in his grave if he heard that the five string was now referred to as a snare drum attached to a two by four...hahaha.  Thanks for the advice folks.  I found what I think to be a pretty good deal on an Epiphone (Gibson) MB=200.  It is about a year old and has been sitting in a closet, needs new strings and needs to be cleaned up a bit, looks like some corrosion or something on some of the chrome parts.  Any suggestions on how to get that stuff off?  Still sitting on the fence for now.  I am going to need all the help I can get, I am about as tone deaf as the american people are to Obama's healthcare plan...lol.  But I sure do love bluegrass music.
Title: So what's the difference?
Post by: Junior88 on December 07, 2009, 09:25:26 PM
I would say WD-40 for the rust... That stuff is like a magic potion.. But I dunno, I'm just a Mando player [;)]

Those closet finds are the best!

The small, but mighty collection:
Washburn N2, Barracuda Strat Copy, Art & Lutherie Acoustic, Greg Bennet D-5 Acoustic,Rover RM-50B Mandolin
Title: So what's the difference?
Post by: magoo99 on December 07, 2009, 10:37:53 PM
Mybe the clean up question would be better adressed in the Acoustic guitar part of the washy guitar fourm.
I used a peice of fine steel wool to remove some stuff on one of my mandolins but you have to be careful around wood parts, if you have to go close to wood parts, maybe you could tape it with masking tape. I have also seen a luither clean some old tuners that were tarnished with water and bakeing soda and lots of cleaning. Don't know if this is much help.
Thought I'd try.
Title: So what's the difference?
Post by: gregjones on December 08, 2009, 08:02:38 AM
There was a real cool guy that popped in here a little while back.  I think his user-name is racingstude.  He posted some about b@nj0s but I think he may have gotten tired of answering his own posts. Banjo players seem to lurk by themselves around here.  He has a website about racing Studebakers---really cool.  He's a real nice guy and knows a bunch---contact him, I bet he'll be more than happy to help.

There's also a place on the web.  I'm not sure but it's something like banjohut.com or something.  Never been there----it would be like crossing the Mason-Dixon line.[;)]

A group of banjo players was standing around before the nightly jam at a festival.  One of them said Boys, we'd better spread out.  They could get us all with one grenade.[:D]



OBAMA---Oh Boy, America Messed-up Again.
Title: So what's the difference?
Post by: Zeroroaster on December 08, 2009, 11:27:54 PM
Hey Mountaineermaniac,

I'll go out for this one. Being a dobro player, all the shots miss...[:)]

I used to have an Epiphone MB-200. Good starter unit. Is it a Gibson? Absolutely not. In fact, all the pot metal units coming from the Chinese buffet of banjos are pretty much one in the same. Whether it says Washburn, Savannah (Johnson), Epiphone, whatever, it's peas in a pod. That said, what really makes or breaks these things is the setup. I've been playing banjo for over 25 years now (and yeah, it takes a strong man to admit that) and most of the time, if a banjo sucks, it's not setup properly. I've played some pretty high dollar units that weren't much better than a canoe paddle.

Unfortunately it is really hard to find a banjo guy who knows his stuff. Good luck with the hunt!...as for the MB-200 witht he corrosion, a light 3M plastic scrub pad will take that off. Just remember to lightly oil the fingerboard after.

Oh and definitely avoid the starter kits. Yes, sometimes you can go too cheap. Those are junk at the best of times. As a side note, check out the Recording King banjos if you have a chance...they're awesome. This being a Washburn site, I've also played some really hot Washburn banjos (and mandos) and no, they don't get enough credit. Yes the Gibson crowd does poo-pooh them but believe me, it's pure out and out snobbery.
Title: So what's the difference?
Post by: magoo99 on December 09, 2009, 10:43:22 PM
quote:
No matter how much your guitar cost, if you suck, you suck.


I just Love this Sig...LMAO
Title: So what's the difference?
Post by: Zeroroaster on December 10, 2009, 12:17:49 AM
*bows graciously*...

Thanks magoo...we like to call a spade a spade out here...[:D]
Title: So what's the difference?
Post by: gregjones on December 10, 2009, 05:21:19 PM
That's why I buy cheap mandos.

A man's gotta know his limitations.

I suck and an Eastman is more mando than I'll ever need.  But, having bought it from Dennis at The Mandolin Store, it's set up as well as a mandolin can be and plays great.

That allows me to suck a little less.[8D]

OBAMA---Oh Boy, America Messed-up Again.
Title: So what's the difference?
Post by: gregjones on December 10, 2009, 05:41:50 PM
Actually, any Washburn would be more mando than I ever need.  They just haven't made anything for those of us that think of two points as a description of a mandolin in several decades.

Now, I'm on the search for a mandola.  Washburn, by their own limitations of offering only the same thing as a host of other importers do, excludes themselves from my considerations.  If they don't sell it---I can't buy it.

Not every one who tries to play mandolin aspires to play bluegrass on a F model.

Title: So what's the difference?
Post by: WB-Nick on December 11, 2009, 09:21:40 AM
Hey gregjones,
I have a proto mandola.  Not sure how many of these we'd sell.  What do you think?
(http://i668.photobucket.com/albums/vv42/wb-nick/mandola-1.jpg)
Title: So what's the difference?
Post by: magoo99 on December 11, 2009, 10:04:37 AM
I love it nick, Greg won't like it that much It don't have any points...LOL
It looks a lot like the custom one I have.
What kinds of wood are used?
Title: So what's the difference?
Post by: gregjones on December 14, 2009, 10:26:54 PM
Points are just a plus.  They are usually only a hundred bucks or so each but on dola's I'm finding they might be out of my league.[;)]

I think it's fantastic[:p][:p][:p]

It would be killer with a radiused fretboard and a pumpkin or black face top.  The flat fretboard is the only thing holding me back from a teen's or 20's H-1---I just can't see another $4-500 into an instrument that would have to be purchased at top dollar ($1600-1800 for the ones that sell, and that's all that has been bid on ones that don't meet reserve----I'd take that range as the upper limits of the H-1)

The only thing I don't like about the looks are the lumps on each side of the peghead above the tuners.  Lob those off and----bingo!!

Nick, it would be a wild guess as to sales numbers.  Who can tell, none of the bigger guys are making one.  Well, Weber has one close, with a horrendous D hole.  Maybe, take the figures for your #10 selling electric guitar, divide that by ten and figure on that being a five year projection??  That would probably still be high.  FYI, Eastman distributed 1510 mandolins amongst it's US dealers in 2008.  I have no break down as to models.

I would:

1. Offer it brown, pumpkin and black face.
2. Radius the fretboard.
3. Use a bone nut.
4. Use a good bridge, like the Cumberland Acoustics.
5. Have the manufacture send it to the US without strings.
6. Keep the cast tail piece.  So what, it's not an H-1 it's modern.
7. Give the peghead a lumpectomey.

I believe that Washburn could have a winner offering a member of the mandolin family that is currently only available through small builders.  That would set Washburn apart from the world of F5 takeoffs, that boat is quite full.

Just my humble and probably unusuall opinions.
Title: So what's the difference?
Post by: gregjones on December 14, 2009, 10:40:50 PM
Oh yeah, no distressing.
Title: So what's the difference?
Post by: Tio Kimo on December 14, 2009, 11:02:58 PM
Hey Greg,
Magoo had asked me to post this for your benefit, and this seems like a good thread to do it in.

This is David Grismans Mandola. Had the privilege of hearing him play it live last week.

Couple of interesting design features, huh?

(http://i93.photobucket.com/albums/l58/tiokimo/photo7.jpg)
Title: So what's the difference?
Post by: svgustin on December 15, 2009, 08:49:41 PM
poor Greg! that's got to get your drooling. I wonder if that scroll makes the darn thing heavy? Very cool though and I bet it belts it out. Tio, how'd you get that close? Small venue?

Washburn WD54SW
Gold Tone(PBSM)Resonator
2006 Collings MT Mandolin
Title: So what's the difference?
Post by: Tio Kimo on December 15, 2009, 09:17:02 PM
I work there.
I've gotten to personally handle some priceless instruments over the years... (very blessed is all, dumb luck)

a bit more info...link to the venue in my sig
http://forums.washburn.com/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=16775


~kimo
http://www.oldtownschool.org/
81 Washburn D-60S(W) Timber Ridge (Yamaki)
'88 Washburn HB-35TS
'92 Washburn EA20-12N
'03 Washburn Idol WI-67PROQTS
'04 Larrivée LV-03 w/ Fishman blend
Roland Cube 30X
Songworks Little Lanilei 3350LT

Title: So what's the difference?
Post by: gregjones on December 16, 2009, 09:49:29 PM
quote:
Originally posted by svgustin

poor Greg! that's got to get your drooling. I wonder if that scroll makes the darn thing heavy?


[:p][:p][:p][:p][:p]

That combined with a little talent would make me a 'dola player!!

Were it a mandolin, I would guess it to be a L&H A.  It's desired by classical players, the weight of the scroll in the head is supposedly a significant factor in it's tone.  It would be from before the very early 20's since the points are symmetrical.  Around '21, '22 something like that they dropped the point on the trebel side to make the asymmetrical shape we all know and love.

I lust after a B style.  About the same thing except it has a normal peg head.  Alas, the classical players have driven the price of those out of reach also.  Washburn had one close to it, the M7 but it's long gone.

But; this being a mandola, I don't know anything.[:)]

I still like the Washburn proto 'dola.[;)]
Title: So what's the difference?
Post by: magoo99 on December 16, 2009, 10:12:30 PM
quote:
I still like the Washburn proto 'dola.


Me to, but I don't like the head stock. and I could take or leave the color...sure would love to play her or at least hear her being played.
Title: So what's the difference?
Post by: magoo99 on December 19, 2009, 06:08:29 PM
Greg, You now have me wanting this kind of mandolin, your like of the two pointers and Kimo's pics of David Grisman's Mandola, has me Gassing
anyone have any clips of one being played?
Title: So what's the difference?
Post by: Junior88 on December 19, 2009, 08:57:51 PM
I can't stand F models.. Hmm, what? Sorry.

Hey Nick, Here's a thought, send your 3 most dedicated Bluegrassers one of those Mandola's to test drive.. Greg, Magoo and I.

The small, but mighty collection:
Washburn N2, Barracuda Strat Copy, Art & Lutherie Acoustic, Greg Bennet D-5 Acoustic,Rover RM-50B Mandolin

If it seems like you are playing around and not practicing, that's when you know you really love it. -Jack Johnson
Title: So what's the difference?
Post by: gregjones on December 20, 2009, 04:38:42 PM
Proving that points are a disire and not a need is Orrin Star:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=li2LqnPzwtA&feature=player_embedded


But, they are sure one hell of a desire.[:D][:D][:D]

So is talent.
Title: So what's the difference?
Post by: svgustin on December 20, 2009, 08:22:58 PM
hhahhahhahhahahahahahh....that was great Greg.....too funny. Hey, save your pennies and get yourself the points man. Anything less and you'll always be wanting eh? Is the mandola fret board bigger than a regular mandolin? my main problem at this point is getting my fingers to hit the right fret. I'm usually half off and it takes total concentration to find it just right. I know ...in time.....just my frustration button that's all.

Washburn WD54SW
Gold Tone(PBSM)Resonator
2006 Collings MT Mandolin
Title: So what's the difference?
Post by: gregjones on December 23, 2009, 10:41:39 PM
This is funny.

Thread So what's the difference? starts out with a question about B@nj0s and ends up discussing mandolas.  

Who says we don't suffer from ADD[?]

To answer the question in the overall scope of things is that a mandola has more harmonic resonance than a vacuum cleaner.

[:D][:D][:D][:D][:D]
Title: So what's the difference?
Post by: Tio Kimo on December 23, 2009, 11:06:53 PM
quote:
Originally posted by gregjones

That's why I buy cheap mandos.

I suck and an Eastman is more mando than I'll ever need.  But, having bought it from Dennis at The Mandolin Store, it's set up as well as a mandolin can be and plays great.



You know Eastman has been getting some GREAT press lately, as one of the finest manufacturers there are for ALL kinds of stringed instruments.

The store at the School where Grisman played that 'dola carried Martin Larrivee Seagull Blueridge, on electric its Eastman, Fender, and the new Danalectros. The Eastmans are without exception GORGEOUS archtop electrics.

The Latest issue of Fretboard Journal just did an article on Eastman, and that rag usually only gives space to the highest quality builders. FWIW