Sonata Banjo?
October 1, 2010 11:59 AM   Subscribe

Need info on my banjo

I am going insane trying to find information on a banjo I own that was made by a company called Sonata. I found one thing on a message board that was posted in 2000 saying that it is a Korean brand, but that's all I can find. It is a beautiful five string instrument. Anyone know anything about these? Also, if someone can give me an idea of the value, I would appreciate it. I need to pay some bills ASAP.
posted by healthykindofsick to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (4 answers total)
How about posting a picture?
posted by Rad_Boy at 12:38 PM on October 1, 2010

I'd suggest asking at, and possibly Elderly Instruments or Zepp Country Music (or another dealer in your area).

What I was told about 8 years ago was that a lot of nominally different banjos are all essentially the same model coming from the same factory in Korea, and the only difference is the logo on the headstock. In any given year, a top-of-the-line Ozark would be identical to a top-of-the-line Washburn and a top-of-the-line Tangleweed, and also 30 other different names/companies. My guess is that your banjo was one of these, ordered by a short-lived importer or else by Sonata Music Store (Somewheresville, USA) and they, in turn, only bothered to stock their own-brand banjos for a short time.

Which is not to say you don't have a nice banjo that can fetch a reasonable price. But it would be ever so slightly less than an identical Ozark/Washburn/Tangleweed/Rover that was being made that year and stamped with a more recognizable name.
posted by K.P. at 1:23 PM on October 1, 2010

Korea produces tons and tons of wooden instruments, and like KP says they just change the name and artwork. I'm more familiar with this from trying to track down Korean guitars. It probably isn't worth much, maybe $100-150, but many Korean instruments are actually amazingly nice, capable players and improve with age. Some don't improve, though, and just come unglued. In my experience it seems to be luck of the draw.
posted by Miko at 9:01 PM on October 1, 2010

Was the banjo a gift from a former lover? Can you ask him/her about it's provenance?
posted by Bruce H. at 3:54 PM on October 2, 2010

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