Washburn B16 Banjo
An intricate pearl inlaid fingerboard and peghead adorn this bound 5-piece maple neck with double adjustable tension rods. A Bell Brass tone ring lines the 14 ply hardwood rim and complements the bookmatched flamed maple resonator.
A word from Washburn
- Hardshell Case
- Bell Brass tone ring
- Engraved armrest
- Maple neck
- Flamed maple resonator
- Mahogany resonator
- 24 tension brackets
- Fingerboard radius flat
- Deluxe inlays
- Rosewood fingerboard
- Black/white truss rod cover
- Maple bass with Rosewood tip bridge
- Tension Tailpiece
- Chrome geared tuning machine
- Remo high tension head
From workhorse to showstopper, our banjos are seen on every stage and played by some of the finest pickers in the country - or the city. See how the addition of a banjo can broaden your sonic pallet and add a new dimension to your music. For traditionalists, you'll find all the tone & projection you'd expect from our world class instruments. From tone ring to inlay, it's what a great banjo should be.
Pros: A good deal, and underrated.
Cons: In a "tweener" price range.
The Bottom Line: It's a good player and worth every cent, especially used.
Ahand's Full Review: Washburn B16 5-String Banjo with Hardshell Case
The Washburn B16 banjo has it roots as the earlier B15, which was one of the company's higher end models around 8 years or so ago. It was upgraded into a more expensive model, and the B14 stayed pretty much the same. I played the B15 for around five years, and found it to be a good old-time player with decent bluegrass capability.
Like most Washburns, the B16 is a good deal; It has a pearl inlaid fingerboard very similar to the old 60s classic banjos with a bound 5-piece maple neck with double adjustable tension rods. The Bell Brass tone ring is combined with a 14 ply rim and complements a book matched flamed maple resonator that has excellent projection.
The brass tone ring, which is a high class item can be a red herring. It can be real bell brass, or recycled brass junk or anything in between. With Washburns, it tends to be up there in quality, and thus up there in weight. A good resonator banjo with a brass tone ring will make a Les Paul feel like a ukelele. It certainly does here, but boy, it sure give give the banjo a wonderful ringing sound with plenty of sustain. The B16 tone is a winner.
What the weight gives you is a solid sound, not plunky like an old timer, but a sharp attack that will cut you into any bluegrass jam with ease. This Washburn will also give you a slightly brighter sound, like a Deering actually, rather than the darker Gibson.
At this price range, what Washburn is giving you is the equivalent of a more expensive Epiphone or Deering, burt maybe 200.00 to 400.00 more value due to overseas savings. It may not be as seriously considered by some banjo players since the desire for the "made in USA" label is very strong.
This has been a mantra for such a long time that it's sort of an accepted truth, but frankly, if it wasn't for Asian banjos, 80% of the players would be playing something else. Vintage banjos have gone up just like guitars, and many banjos make Gibsons seem like cheap imports.
Part of it is economy of scale, less players, less numbers, but a banjo is arguably a simpler instrument. Banjo kits have been around for decades, and the early players, particularly mountain style, didn't have a philosophy that banjos had to be fancy.
However, the "tone" has become a definition rather than individual expression, so there's a feeling these days that the right banjo has to be certain vintage types or expensively made to be like those classics so that you get the "sound," or one that corresponds to a classic type like the old Gibsons. Which can average over 1500.00 for starters.
Which for most, leaves the Asian banjos which have gotten better and better, having become more and more like American models in the fierce competition in the lower price ranges. For example, the B16 wouldn't have a brass ring or the tradition style head decades ago. In this case, you're moving more into the price range of the better American models, or at least, enjoying the features at a lower price.
The one weakness of the B16 is that the price range is close enough to the Deerings (US made), Epiphones, and other top brands that one might want to wait and just pay the extra couple or few hundred. It may have approached too close, even if the value is good.
If waiting gets you the banjo you want, then you should do so, but the B16 is good enough (especially if you can find a used model) that it's worth a try. It's a real looker, most bluegrass people don't turn their noses up at Washburns, and I've always felt the brand was underrated.
Oddly enough, decades ago mountain players took to Asian banjos due to the cheap price. So for every player who uses a Deering or Gibson and feels that tradition, there's another ten playing an import banjo and feeling the spirit of music that rang out in the hills at a later but just as fun time.
About Banjo Corner
Banjo Corner has a variety of banjos for sale with distinguished styles and discount prices. Only brand names with quality you can trust like Oscar Schmidt and Washburn are sold. Banjos can be found for beginners and professional musicians. All banjos for sale are brand new, and satisfaction is guaranteed. With our wide selection, unique products can be found for each individual preference.
Every accessory and banjo for sale comes with a low price and high quality. To ensure the best available deals, price matching is offered for all banjo sales. Accessories and banjos for sale are price match guaranteed to be the lowest price on the internet. I you find one of our products advertised for less on the internet we will match that price plus 10% of the difference.
Banjo Corner is a subsidiary division of the Web Direct Brands Corporation. We are an authorized banjo dealer of Oscar Schmidt, and Washburn banjos. The company is experienced in online sales, and premier customer service. Each banjo for sale is a unique opportunity for extraordinary new experiences. Washburn craftsmanship and exceptional value make their banjos a treasure to own and provide years of playing enjoyment.