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User Review

To take in the bayou! - Reviews Epiphone MB-200

We find ourselves before a key instrument in the country, blues, bluegrass and any other type of American folk music from the first half of the last century: the 5-string banjo! The Epiphone MB200 banjo is most likely manufactured in the People's Republic of China (or other Asian countries southeast, anyway it does not change much ...) but it is immediately set confidence by the general appearance of the latter, very classy. 5 strings pass over a floating bridge held only by the string tension. The neck is very thin, and if you get the guitar, it takes getting used to.
22 medium frets without a shadow of a defect from a mahogany covered with a rosewood fingerboard, all connected to a mahogany body which is also painted an eagle holding the American flag (as beautiful as stereotyped ^ ^). Figurative marks of pearl handle (at least it looks like), immediately attract attention and are more for visual appeal. Despite this, it seems necessary to clarify that my MB200, there is a visible imperfection insertion marks, which is a shame even if it does not interfere in any case the game
The skin is a Remo, and it is the skin of a snare, one would prefer a good piece of belly goat for authenticity, but what do you want original ... nowadays it is probably prohibited (or very expensive ...).
I am far from an expert in this type of instrument but it is very promising, and I did not have to complain so far.
8/10!

UTILIZATION

Since this is my first banjo, I have no basis for comparison, then I would find (in part) as a guitarist.
The handle is very nice, although a bit late before the 5th mechanics, but with only 4 strings used to it quickly, especially since it widens considerably thereafter. Funny shape, funny technique, a new style of play in perspective ...
Regarding weight, it is heavier than it looks and also a Gibson SG at this level (therefore quite bearable). Round shape, however, makes the game the way the more delicate guitar: it will have to get used to playing with banjo wedged between the two legs, and neck angle. Access to acute is perfect until the 19th fret, up to the 22nd is more laborious, but it happens very rarely, it is my opinion.

SOUNDS

The peculiarity of the banjo lies as much in its manufacture and tuning in this originality that is the acute rope above the other. We can try to play jazz or other top, but a tenor banjo (4 strings) seems more appropriate, although I did not know more than earlier in the use of the instrument.
I needed it for bluegrass, country and American folk music, so it is with the MB200 right in. I am overwhelmed by his immediately identifiable. Recess must get used to the new chord positions and some perfectly for basic guitar, are a real havoc on the banjo (and vice versa). Minor chords for example are quite tricky to do at first, and while essential, do not always sound. However, do not deprive yourself especially 7th chords, they are really hell, and it seems that it is made for!
In short, a fucking sound that can be obtained immediately by someone who does not horn on the fingertips: strings seems sharper me on my guitars ...

OVERALL OPINION

I use this great instrument for more than two months, and I always take as much pleasure in playing country standards made in the USA and discover more!
I had the opportunity to briefly try the little brother (MB-100), (literally "open-back") a banjo "Openback", the sound is less "full", but less well heard. That said, € 280 for the new MB-200 it does not seem very expensive for an instrument whose use may extend into pubs and recording. I like everything in this instrument, nothing prevents me from taking a blast to play.

The banjo is originally a very basic instrument with inexpensive materials (or recovery), so I do not see how some brands can offer this type of instrument over € 4,000, as some propose archtop guitars Jazz 150 €. But what do you want ... it is the market economy!

You want a banjo? Bah takes one!