"What makes a great banjo?" Ask a hundred musicians that question and watch yourself get a hundred different answers - because like all things music-related, taste in instruments is totally subjective. So really, the question should be "what's the best banjo for me?" And if the answer to that is a 5-string model made by one of the world's best-known luthiers, then this lineup of Ibanez 5-string banjos is certainly worth your attention. Although they're most renowned for their guitars, the expertise Ibanez gained in that field can be applied to banjos as well... and one look at these instruments is enough to prove that they've done so.
One of the greatest things about Ibanez 5-string banjos is that you don't have to break the bank to own one, which makes them great choices for beginners or casual players - or anyone who wants to get fantastic bang for their buck. Kicking off the series is the Ibanez B50 5-String Banjo, which marked Ibanez's return to the banjo business in 2012 after a three-decade absence. It's a closed-back design with open-gear tuners, delivering a vintage character that's sort of a throwback to the era when Ibanez collaborated with Earl Scruggs to build his signature instrument. But maybe you're looking for a more powerful bluegrass tone? In that case, check out the Ibanez B200 5-String Banjo. The B200 is a closed-back model as well, but it adds a rolled brass tone ring and mahogany resonator to take volume and projection to the next level.
Whether you like your banjo traditional and straightforward, or equipped with a resonator to help it really cut through and be heard, there's an option for you in this selection of Ibanez 5-string banjos. It might have been a surprise when Ibanez got back into making banjos after a 30-year hiatus, but isn't that what we all love about the banjo? It's such a rewarding instrument that we're always itching to pick it back up and play some more - and obviously, Ibanez felt the same way about building it!