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Epiphone MB-200 Banjo

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The Epiphone MB-200 is a terrific 5-string banjo for beginners that includes all the key features of a professional 5-string banjo but much lighter i...Click To Read More About This Product

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OVERVIEW

Tone as clear as a mountain stream.

The Epiphone MB-200 is a terrific 5-string banjo for beginners that includes all the key features of a professional 5-string banjo but much lighter in weight. The MB-200 reflects Epiphone's 80-year history as a leader in banjo design. At the height of the banjo era in the 1920's, Epiphone had 11 different banjos in production and many of founder Epi Stathopoulo's patents are still in use today and can still be found in our professional banjo line. This affordadble entry-level instrument continues that tradition. It has a mahogany body and neck with a rosewood fingerboard featuring stylish inlays, and a Remo head. All in all, it's a great instrument to get your start on.

Case sold separately.

FEATURES
  • Chrome hardware
  • 26-1/4" scale
  • 1-1/4" nut width
  • Bolt-on neck
  • Mahogany neck with rosewood fingerboard
  • Mahogany body
  • Dot inlays
  • Premium nickel with white buttons
  • U.S. Remo head
  • Case sold separately
Reviews
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Review Snapshot

by PowerReviews
EpiphoneMB-200 Banjo
 
4.4

(based on 57 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (37)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (14)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (4)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (1)

90%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Good tone (25)
  • Consistent (14)
  • Well built / quality (11)

Cons

No Cons

Best Uses

  • Practicing (17)
  • Back-up (5)
  • Concerts (4)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Experienced (18), Novice (14), Professional musician (3)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

Needs work, but it pays off

It arrived unplayable. Very high action, fretboard flush with drum head, and with a bad buzz on the open G (third) string from a poorly cut nut. After opening it up,...Read complete review

It arrived unplayable. Very high action, fretboard flush with drum head, and with a bad buzz on the open G (third) string from a poorly cut nut. After opening it up, adjusting the neck position, tightening the head, filling the nut slot with superglue and re-cutting the slot, and sanding the 3/32 off the bridge (to 17/32's),leaving the feet paper thin. I expected it would need a lot of work out of the box.

The neck arrived straight, which some of the reviews said can be an issue.

It's a real good-looking banjo. The headstock inlay is beautiful. I think the fretboard inlays are plastic, so we'll see how they hold up.

It sounds wonderful. The aluminum tone ring is not tinny at all, which was a worry. It is certainly not as warm as brass would be, but the mahogany resonator seems to more than compensate. The tone is reasonably meaty, and projects like crazy.

Overall I'm a happy camper.

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

Good, but badly needs setup

A novice student of mine just got an Epiphone MB-200 from Musician's Friend.Okay, this is a Chinese-made aluminum "bottlecap" rim banjo, but nicer in many respects than most of those:...Read complete review

A novice student of mine just got an Epiphone MB-200 from Musician's Friend.Okay, this is a Chinese-made aluminum "bottlecap" rim banjo, but nicer in many respects than most of those: better tailpiece, much better tuners, very good neck-to-rim fit, classic Gibson-style headstock and inlays.I had it set up and playing pretty respectably in half an hour, and think it's a real solid notch-above-starter banjo at a good price.... but I've been tinkering with banjos for 50 years! To a real beginner, this banjo as it was delivered might as well be garbage (though it surely is not). It hadn't had any sort of shop adjustment at all.If you can't do your own set-up work, I'd recommend looking for a banjo somewhere other than Musician's Friend. There are several web-based and mail-order dealers I know of who specialize in banjos and won't send out an instrument (even a beginner model) that isn't set up and playable. If you're comparing prices, see if there's a luthier in your area who knows his/her way around a banjo (not as common as you'd think!) and ask what they charge for a setup.....

Reviewed by 57 customers

Displaying reviews 1-20

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(12 of 15 customers found this review helpful)

 
2.0

Good, but badly needs setup

By Dan Gellert

from Dayton, OH

See all my reviews

Comments about Epiphone MB-200 Banjo:

A novice student of mine just got an Epiphone MB-200 from Musician's Friend.Okay, this is a Chinese-made aluminum "bottlecap" rim banjo, but nicer in many respects than most of those: better tailpiece, much better tuners, very good neck-to-rim fit, classic Gibson-style headstock and inlays.I had it set up and playing pretty respectably in half an hour, and think it's a real solid notch-above-starter banjo at a good price.... but I've been tinkering with banjos for 50 years! To a real beginner, this banjo as it was delivered might as well be garbage (though it surely is not). It hadn't had any sort of shop adjustment at all.If you can't do your own set-up work, I'd recommend looking for a banjo somewhere other than Musician's Friend. There are several web-based and mail-order dealers I know of who specialize in banjos and won't send out an instrument (even a beginner model) that isn't set up and playable. If you're comparing prices, see if there's a luthier in your area who knows his/her way around a banjo (not as common as you'd think!) and ask what they charge for a setup.....

(9 of 9 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Sweet Little Banjo!

By Stringtight

from Winchester, Tn.

See all my reviews

Ask me a question

Comments about Epiphone MB-200 Banjo:

Hey, For the Money, the Sound and Looks You can't go wrong with this MB-200 Its pretty awesome for what it is. Good Luck picking and check this one out, You won't be sorry you did.
This Little Banjo, I bought Used. Its almost Like new, The Features couldn,'t be better for the price. I have seen many High Dollar Banjos not as pretty as this one. I couldn't ask for more for the price.
The Quality of this MB-200 is awesome, of course for the Money, Its a much better Banjo than many costing several hunderd dollars more, If Your a serious player, Yes you can get nicer, and better but Its going to cost you. This Banjo can be Upgraded with better Half Step keys, and You've got it The Sound, The looks and the feel. What more can you ask for. If Your Looking for a Good Playing Banjo This is a good one to have.
I've been Playing Music for over 45+ years, I've had many instruments over that time. This little MB-200 set Up right will hang in there With the Big Boys,. No Its not a Gibson Top Dollar but Its nice and for the Money Its going to be very hard to beat it.

(6 of 6 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

very satisfied

By Telereactor

from Kentucky

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Comments about Epiphone MB-200 Banjo:

I couldnt be more satisfied with this banjo. It sounds and looks fantastic. I play with a gentleman with a very high dollar banjo. I honestly feel that this banjo sounds as good, if not better.

(5 of 7 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Best Low Cost Banjo I Have Ever Played

By Sunday Rocker

from South Central Nebraska

About Me Experienced

See all my reviews

Ask me a question

Pros

  • Good Components
  • Good Tone

Cons

  • None

Best Uses

  • Concerts
  • Practicing

Comments about Epiphone MB-200 Banjo:

This is the third banjo I have owned, and one of the best. High-end Gibson or Deering? NO? But much better than the price would suggest. For one thing, it is very unusual to find actual banjo tuners (instead of guitar-type tuners) at this price point. In addition to the banjo, I have a couple of Epiphone guitars (as well as several high-end instruments) and in my opinion, Epiphone has the best quality budget instruments available. If you are looking for a good beginner/intermediate banjo, this is it!

(5 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

 
4.0

Overall pretty decent

By Tom

from Cincinnati, Ohio

About Me Experienced

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Consistent
  • Good Tone
  • Relatively Affordable

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Practicing

    Comments about Epiphone MB-200 Banjo:

    I bought this as my first banjo although I have played others before. It does its job well and is a solid slightly better than starter banjo for those looking to get into it. The bridge needs to be attached when it arrives but this was no trouble and if you do not know how then I am sure your local music store can take care of it for you. Overall I am pleased with my purchase and it fits my uses well. It looks phenomenal, plays well, and is decently priced.

    (4 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

     
    2.0

    What a let down.

    By Tiny

    from Clarksville Florida

    About Me Experienced

    See all my reviews

    Ask me a question

    Pros

    • Looks Great

    Cons

    • Bad Tuners
    • No Instructions

    Best Uses

    • No Idea Never Worked

    Comments about Epiphone MB-200 Banjo:

    I bought this Banjo because I wanted one to play. When I opened the box there were no Instructions on how to install the bridge or anything, lucky for me I know how to do it. So I got the bridge on and set it in the right position measuring from the nut to the 12th fret and so on.

    When I went to tune the Banjo the tuners were so bad that as I would tighten the strings as soon as I let go of the tuner it would unwound and detune.

    I called MF and I am returning it. I can say one thing, MF is a great company and give you no hassle when you get a bad instrument. I will continue to use MF for all my gear needs.

    (4 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    My Son is very happy

    By Tinytim

    from Oklahoma

    About Me Professional Musician

    See all my reviews

    Ask me a question

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Consistent
    • Good Tone
    • Strong

    Cons

    • Incomplete Set Up

    Best Uses

    • Backup
    • Beginners To Live Perform
    • Practicing

    Comments about Epiphone MB-200 Banjo:

    My Son loves to learn new instruments. Musicians friend %20 Christmas sale was a must. Read all the reviews and I knew we would have to set up the bridge when it arrived. Musicians friend delivered it as quick as always and it was perfect. Went online and found a guy on Youtube that showed my Son how to set up bridge and it took only a few seconds to measure. Intonation was perfect after that. If you want to perform with it right away order strings and install but the epiphone strings were great for a beginner. Dont forget the bluegrass BANJO strap and finger picks and the epiphone case is also a must. Very happy and My Son is a major Eagle fan and the logo on the back is awsome... But we are Gibson family Epiphone fans to begin with...

    (4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    great instrument

    By andi

    from sedona, az

    About Me Novice

    See all my reviews

    Ask me a question

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Good Tone

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Practicing

      Comments about Epiphone MB-200 Banjo:

      Great sounding banjo, stays in tune: crisp and clear. Beautiful instrument.

      (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

       
      4.0

      Nice Banjo For The Money

      By Flynztone

      from Flint, MI

      About Me Professional Musician

      See all my reviews

      Pros

      • Consistent
      • Good Tone

      Cons

        Best Uses

          Comments about Epiphone MB-200 Banjo:

          This banjo arrived very promptly and was in dire need of a setup. The instrument came strung wrong at the tailpiece (loop banjo strings were over the proper nubs but then fished through the holes designed for ball end strings on the Waverly clone tailpiece then underneath the saddle. These strings should have been looped over the nubs and ran above the tailpiece) the strings felt like rubber bands they were so light and the action was ridiculously high. After putting a real set of strings on this instrument and stringing it properly, adjusting the action, tension on the head and setting intonation via moving the bridge back this instrument plays like a dream. If you don't know how to setup a banjo take it to somebody who does. Plays and sounds well for an inexpensive banjo and I would use it in a live performance situation without hesitation

          (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

           
          4.0

          A great intro/mid-level banjo

          By Turningabout

          from Bamako, Mali

          About Me Novice

          Pros

          • Good Tone
          • Great quality
          • Reasonable price

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • Practicing

            Comments about Epiphone MB-200 Banjo:

            I have played guitar for a while now and I recently decided to pick up banjo. I got this banjo about 6 months ago and I love it. Great sound, great feel, a really good banjo for the price for sure.

            If you are buying your first banjo, this is where you want to go. My only complaint is that the nut that holds the sixth string to the fret broke after about 2 months, but I hear that is not uncommon.

            (3 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

             
            2.0

            Bipolar Features!

            By Bearded Fellow

            from Little Rock, AR

            About Me Experienced

            Pros

            • Looks Beautiful
            • Very Affordable

            Cons

            • Poorly Manufactured
            • Poor Tone Quality

            Best Uses

            • Bare fingerpicking
            • Learning
            • Practicing

            Comments about Epiphone MB-200 Banjo:

            This banjo is not only very pleasing to the eye and the wallet. When it arrives, the bridge is not assembled, the hooks are somewhat loose, and the coordinator rod did not have the proper tension. As expected, the strings it arrived in were garbage. The neck and resonator look beautiful and are of ok quality. I like the Remo head a lot. The drum however, ruins all efforts of making this a good sounding instrument. The drum is made of very poorly machined aluminum, and the chrome bolts are very poorly coated. I would describe the tone of this banjo as pretty buzzy, quick fading and a little too many high frequencies are produced. The third and fourth strings sound the best, but are too loud. The fifth string is ridiculously buzzy. I suspect this is because of the angle the tuner was inserted in. I have had a hard time playing this banjo with fingerpicks because of the the awful buzz it produces. If you plan on strumming a lot, this is not the right banjo for you. In terms of pitch consistency, this has to be the worst banjo I have ever played. Clearly, the neck was not designed for the rest of the banjo. Beginners this is the banjo for you. Be sure to take it to somebody who can adjust the instrument for you. As for me, well lets just say from the first week I got it I started looking for a better banjo.

            (3 of 9 customers found this review helpful)

             
            4.0

            okay for a beginner

            By Anonymous

            from Undisclosed

            Comments about Epiphone MB-200 Banjo:

            i got this as my 1st banjo.ive had it for 9 months.it has alot of string noise,though.action is preatty high.my other epiphones play relativley better.

            (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

             
            5.0

            Amazing- Couldn't Go Wrong!

            By Lucybelle

            from Atlanta, Georgia

            About Me Novice

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • Beautiful
            • Consistent
            • Good Tone
            • Made Well
            • Sounds Great!
            • Strong

            Cons

              Best Uses

              • Beginner/Learner

              Comments about Epiphone MB-200 Banjo:

              I bought this banjo for my boyfriend who loves bluegrass and he taught himself the guitar. Since he is a beginner I did not want to get anything too fancy but I also wanted to get him a nice banjo and this was perfect! I know nothing about banjos so I did a lot of research before making my purchase and it was definitely the right decision. I have only heard good things about this banjo. The mahogany is absolutely beautiful as well as the rose wood. My boyfriend loves it! He loves the way it sounds, plays, and looks. I don't think anyone could go wrong with this banjo whether they are a beginner or professional. Again, it's beautiful and made very well.

              (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

               
              4.0

              Needs work, but it pays off

              By John K

              from Danbury, Ct

              About Me Experienced

              See all my reviews

              Ask me a question

              Pros

              • Good Tone
              • Really good looking

              Cons

              • Needs a set-up

              Best Uses

              • Jamming with friends

              Comments about Epiphone MB-200 Banjo:

              It arrived unplayable. Very high action, fretboard flush with drum head, and with a bad buzz on the open G (third) string from a poorly cut nut. After opening it up, adjusting the neck position, tightening the head, filling the nut slot with superglue and re-cutting the slot, and sanding the 3/32 off the bridge (to 17/32's),leaving the feet paper thin. I expected it would need a lot of work out of the box.

              The neck arrived straight, which some of the reviews said can be an issue.

              It's a real good-looking banjo. The headstock inlay is beautiful. I think the fretboard inlays are plastic, so we'll see how they hold up.

              It sounds wonderful. The aluminum tone ring is not tinny at all, which was a worry. It is certainly not as warm as brass would be, but the mahogany resonator seems to more than compensate. The tone is reasonably meaty, and projects like crazy.

              Overall I'm a happy camper.

              (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

               
              2.0

              Nice Banjo - poor set up

              By Scott

              from Dresher, PA

              About Me Novice

              See all my reviews

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Great Instrument

              Cons

              • Poor Set Up

              Best Uses

              • Fun

              Comments about Epiphone MB-200 Banjo:

              Banjo arrived with a twisted neck. Had to pay to have it straightened and re-strung before it could be played. The botton string was not even on the neck.

              After this the instrument played great.

              (2 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

               
              5.0

              I would buy this product, again

              By Juke

              from Highland, il

              About Me Novice

              Verified Buyer

              Comments about Epiphone MB-200 Banjo:

              Bought this for my Grandson, He said he likes it, so thats good enough for me.
              Price and shipping was good also.

              (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

               
              3.0

              Looks good but.....!

              By Deltason

              from Somewhere in Mississippi

              About Me Experienced

              See all my reviews

              Ask me a question

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Strong

              Cons

              • Poor Tone Quality

              Best Uses

              • Practicing

              Comments about Epiphone MB-200 Banjo:

              Looks good for the price but needs setting up from the start. Sounds bad. I tightened the head and adjusted bridge but think it needs rods adjusted. "D" string just sounds "bong". Make it hard to play when it dosen't sound right. I own several Epiphone guitars and they sound good. Banjo may be OK when setup is finished. Haven't got there yet.

              (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

               
              4.0

              Worth the buy if youre dedicated enough

              By Mitchell

              from NY

              About Me Experienced

              Pros

              • Good Tone

              Cons

                Best Uses

                • Concerts
                • Practicing

                Comments about Epiphone MB-200 Banjo:

                I got this banjo as a graduation gift from my parents. I had never played, so I wasn't quite sure how to judge it. The first one that I was sent had a broken tuning knob, so I sent it back and they replaced the entire banjo. I had it set up (pretty simple) and had new strings put on immediately. It falls out of tune every now and agian, but it isn't anything that is too drastic. I have never had to retune it during a gig or anything. I did, however, have a Rare Earth acoustic-electric pickup installed for gigs (it's a personal preference so that I don't have to stand up against a microphone throughout the show). All in all, I suggest a beginner to go for it. The pros honestly outweigh the cons in this scenario. It's a pretty beautiful piece, too.

                (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                5.0

                Good instrument for a beginner

                By stringman

                from Carey, OH

                About Me Experienced

                Verified Buyer

                Comments about Epiphone MB-200 Banjo:

                I have played guitar for five years along with bass, mandolin, and violin; so I am pretty versed in good stringed instruments. I did not have the money to pay for a Deering so I came here to find one for a lower price. I know Epiphone makes good guitars, for the most part, so I knew this would be good quality. I had to set up the bridge, but that was easy. I bought some new strings for it and it sounds wonderful. For anyone beginning this is an awesome instrument for the price!

                (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                5.0

                MB-200 Banjo - Pretty Good for the Price

                By stratmanforever

                from Southington, CT

                About Me Experienced

                See all my reviews

                Ask me a question

                Verified Buyer

                Pros

                • Good Tone

                Cons

                  Best Uses

                  • Playing and having fun

                  Comments about Epiphone MB-200 Banjo:

                  I purchased the Epiphone MB-200 banjo to add something different to my almost 50 years of guitar playing/recording. So I am a novice when it comes to banjos and I will say that I like it. A lot! What do you get in the box... A nice looking banjo built with the typical Epiphone made in China quality. Meaning it's not bad, and I consider it comparable to the quality I've seen on Epi Les Paul guitars. The banjo comes with strings assembled, a 5/8" bridge that you need to install, and some tools to tighten the head and other screws/nuts. To set it up just google "how to set up a banjo" and you will see many vids about it. Pretty easy really. First, check to make sure all bolts and nuts are tight. Second, if necessary you tighten the head evenly. Third, you loosen the strings enough to fit the bridge under them. Forth comes tuning strings and adjusting the bridge for correct intonation. Fifth, start playing.

                  My set up resulted with the strings positioned exactly 1/8" above the 22nd (highest) fret. That's what the vids recommended and it seems OK but, at some point I probably will shave a bit off the bridge to bring the string height down. At 1/8" there is no string buzz at all so I might just try to get used to the higher than guitar string height.

                  Now, go purchase some finger picks, a strap, and a case for your banjo as I'm sure you will like it too.

                  I'll mention one more thing... When looking at the Epiphone website the MB-200 Banjo is listed as a "discontinued product". Too bad. Maybe they did not sell enough?

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