Apparently there is somene selling a banjo in Colombia. However, I am not so sure about this one...it is in a really bad shape and apparently is quite old...maybe a kind of zither-banjo with a guitar neck? Any ideas??

Old banjo

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German, it looks like  a bad specimen of zither-banjo that was not a good instrument even when new.  It is probably not a guitar neck. Zither-banjos generally have a plate of three tuners on each side of the peg head. Someone has apparently strung it as a guitar and put a tone-killing bridge on it.  I'm confused about the price. Is it 500000 pesos? I'd say that is too high. Really nice zither-banjos in working order can be had for that much or just a bit more.  I advise not buying this banjo.

Hi German,

Good to see you again!

Agreed with Jody, that is a horrible, low grade zither banjo that was never worth much, even when new.

AVOID!

Hi German, I'm with Jody on this one, it looks like a low grade instrument to start with that has been "converted" to six guitar strings and the bridge as Jody says, would kill anything.

Official advice from zither-banjo.org is "not to be touched". 

The banjo may not be up to much but what intrigues me is how and when it arrived in Columbia. It looks as though it's been round the block a few times....Steve. 

I'm wondering if this might not be a banjo at all, but a "Cumbus". There are a wide variety of instruments in the cumbus family and the fretted "Cumbus-Guitar" is just like this one (heavy bridge and all). It is a Turkish instrument invented in the 1930's.

could be! but it's still badly made and overpriced. Every cumbus (jumbush) I've seen has had a metal pot for a body. Something like a device for making popcorn.  But anything is possible in banjo making.

Trapdoor2 said:

I'm wondering if this might not be a banjo at all, but a "Cumbus". There are a wide variety of instruments in the cumbus family and the fretted "Cumbus-Guitar" is just like this one (heavy bridge and all). It is a Turkish instrument invented in the 1930's.

It also looks like someone has used a guitar saddle as a bridge.. how horrible would that sound?

Or would it not sound at all??

...and where are the fret position markers?



thereallyniceman said:

It also looks like someone has used a guitar saddle as a bridge.. how horrible would that sound?

From 1 to 10 on the Horrible-o-meter I'd give it a 7

Or would it not sound at all??

...and where are the fret position markers?

Perhaps they are back in Turkey or they fell off in transit to Columbia.  By the way, I have had banjos and other fretted instruments with no markers and they are good instruments. And also fingerboards that were so loaded with inlays that looking made it worse than looking away.  For instance:

"No markers" is kind of what led me down the Cumbus path. They're usually fretless but the fretted guitar type are usually sans-dots. Most of the cumbii (cumbusses?), I've seen are also metal-backed, jiffy-pop banjo-like-objects but there are examples of wooden ones out there.

For $265 US equivalent, I'd pass.

Hi all, thanks for the advice. Actually I did not have much hopes with this banjo and also I also thought it was too expensive. Anyway, the interesting part is how this guy arrive to Colombia...I will try to find more news about it and I will let you know. I have been outside but for good reasons...in these days I will share a new tune I have been working. 

No it's not a Cumbus, the whole body would be alloy. Even those new are not that expensive.

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