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Epiphone MB-100 Open Back Banjo

4.1 out of 5 stars 27 customer reviews
| 4 answered questions

Price: $219.00 & FREE Shipping. Details
In Stock.
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.
  • Mahogany body
  • URemo Head top
  • Rosewood fretboard
  • 26.25 scale
7 new from $219.00 1 used from $199.99
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$219.00 & FREE Shipping. Details In Stock. Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

Frequently Bought Together

  • Epiphone MB-100 Open Back Banjo
  • +
  • National Finger Picks & Thumb Pick Set - White - MED + Ant Hill Music Pick
  • +
  • Bluegrass Banjo for the Complete Ignoramus (Book & CD set)
Total price: $247.88
Buy the selected items together

Product Description

The MB-100 "First Pick" banjo is the perfect starter banjo or because of its lightweight open-back design, this fun banjo is the perfect travel banjo too! It features a Remo banjo head, Mahogany body and neck, Rosewood fingerboard, traditional floating Rosewood bridge, Chrome hardware.

Product Information

Item Weight 3.9 pounds
Product Dimensions 41.1 x 15.8 x 3.9 inches
Shipping Weight 9.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
Domestic Shipping Currently, item can be shipped only within the U.S. and to APO/FPO addresses. For APO/FPO shipments, please check with the manufacturer regarding warranty and support issues.
International Shipping This item is not eligible for international shipping. Learn More
Shipping Advisory This item must be shipped separately from other items in your order. Additional shipping charges will not apply.
ASIN B001FA9WVC
Item model number EFB0NACH1
Customer Reviews
4.1 out of 5 stars 27 customer reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
Best Sellers Rank #35,867 in Musical Instruments (See Top 100 in Musical Instruments)
Date first available at Amazon.com August 12, 2007

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Customer Questions & Answers

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

I play a Deering Goodtime Special, and it's nice, But I wanted an open back that I could take on the road and on camping trips and such. I was planning on buying another Deering. I happened to stop in at my local music shop and I saw this banjo sitting there. I picked it up and started plinking away, and liked the way it felt. I liked the way it sounded. I liked the way it responded. I liked the way it looked. I really just liked it a lot in general.

There was no price tag, so I assumed it would be around $400 or $500. I asked the guy, "just out of curiousity", how much it was.
When he said $210 plus tax, I said "there must be some sort of mistake".
He went on the computer system to ensure he quoted me the right price, and indeed he had.
I said thanks, and started to walk out, then turned back, picked it up, plucked away for a minute and said "Dammit, I've gotta buy this".

I haven't put it down much since I bought it. It's a nice banjo to play, it holds tones nicely, rings true, allows for slides and hammers and bends, etc and the intonation seems good. I have spent a bit of money on banjos, and this is my third one.
I even like the strings that came on mine!

If I was just starting out, I would go back and start with this one. I recommend it to both noobs and experienced players who want a light, inexpensive travelling/camping/partying banjo. Great for learning on, and great for jamming on. It's obviously a little more quiet than a closed back deering, but when you're sitting around a campfire plucking away without finger picks, it plays at a nice, enjoyable volume for all around.

As far as "value for money" goes, 5 stars.

EDIT, Spring 2013

I have still been plucking away on this and loving it.
Read more ›
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I borrowed this thing from a friend for about 2 months and fell deeply in love with it. This banjo has a deep, dark tone, and being a medium priced beginner's banjo it sounds AMAZINGGGGG if you know what you're doing. I'd experimented with a vintage head on it and threw on some nylgut banjo strings and man this thing can chime better than anything I've heard. If you've got the right set of strings it CAN do a tinny sound for a banjo if you play close to the saddle, but other than that it's dark as can be. I'll upload a video eventually of just a few chords.
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Most instruments that come at such a low price for beginners look, feel and sound just as cheap as their price tag. The MB-100 however sounded AMAZING right out of the box (after the required bridge setup and tuning). I'm new to the banjo and I'm sure a seasoned banjo player would be able to find things they don't like, but I sure can't. It is a little on the quiet side, so if you're looking to really project, you may want to pick up a model with a resonator (the back) but for what I'm doing, this is perfect! Hope you all enjoy yours as much as I do!
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I should say that this is the first banjo I've ever owned, and I've never mastered/invested a decent amount of time in learning any other [string] instrument.
Delivery was within the last two days of the estimated time frame, but the banjo arrived well-protected in a large box. It came fully assembled with the strings installed. Shipped with it were an Epiphone sticker, a bridge, and head tightening tools. The wood on this is a lovely bright orange-red color with a matte finish. tuning pegs are pearlescent white plastic. day after delivery, I took this downtown to the string shop to get the bridge set in and the strings tuned. Now, while I was there the guy asked how much I bought my banjo for, he was surprised and showed his coworker; "Hey, check this out! $200 bucks and it's almost just like your Gold Tone!" this evening I sat down and figured out some basic frailing and chords. this is a great sounding, beautiful banjo. I have no complaints thus far and I'm having fun learning to play.
Now, If you're looking at '5-string armrest open-back' banjos on here, you're probably also considering the Gretsch G9450 Dixie. My friend has that banjo and it's just wonderful. I would recommend both to anybody looking to pick up a killer banjo at a sweet price. If price is your concern, this one's $40 less and the quality does measure up. You'll have a blast with both options!
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The banjo needs a bit out of the box ... the bridge isn't installed and there is e.g. no pencil mark to show a beginner where it should be ... (2X the distance to the 12th fret). When mine arrived it needed to have the head tightened ... one bracket nut was so loose, it fell off. The wrench is in the box ... don't miss it. The banjo sounded terrible out of the box, but much better when tightened (and retightened a couple of times). The neck also needs to be tightened, because the pitch changes with slight pressure) but I haven't tried to improve that yet ...
A disconcerting thing to me was that the neck width is narrow - 1-1/4 vs. 1-3/8" but ... that may be good for kids or people with smaller fingers. As an out of town practice banjo, I reckon it will help when I get back to my better banjos. Also, especially for beginners, it is probably best to lower the action at the nut and bridge (google it) as well as the neck adjustment. I'm writing this review so that beginners won't get frustrated ... Banjo playing is good for you!
Overall, it's not bad for the price I paid ($179). It's a made in China Epiphone and it was my choice over sending money to Deering, which is a Scientologist-owned company and includes literature and may get you on a list ... You can google that too.
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