Epiphone MB 100 Banjo Review: Lightweight quality sound!

If your ears like listening to the sound of the banjo but your fingers are tingling to play one, then you will have to explore before you pick one. If you are thinking about what the best open-back banjo is you will most likely find a better one from among the choice that we review here.

Filtering through and reviewing every one of the various banjos takes a tone of your valuable time. That is the reason we accomplished the work for you.
Don’t worry. Today we introduce one of the top banjos in 2021 featuring a vintage taste, one of the best resonator banjos review right away!

Epiphone MB 100 Banjo – Ultimate Anatomy

Epiphone mb100 banjo review

If you are a beginner and ready to spend around $300 on a banjo, then the first banjo on our list for you is the Epiphone MB-100, which is near to the least expensive model the brand offers. This Epiphone banjo is another masterpiece for beginners that you can consider. Epiphone is a trusted brand that is famous for its guitars yet the brand’s banjos are top-class.

Related: top banjo under $300

People are surprised when Epiphone makes this list since they are improved known for their worth based Fender guitar models. Similar to the guitar models, the resonator banjo will worth your investment. The Epiphone features a mahogany body and neck joined with a classic Remo head. The Rosewood bridge included is a bonus at this price level.

This starter banjo includes many good features and excellent craftsmanship. The geared tuner on this banjo is decent. This Epiphone banjo generates an incredible tone and also has a lot of resonance despite having an open back design. It sounds incredible and is a great balanced banjo option.

The banjo is exceptionally lightweight, so it can be your travel partner as well. As we mentioned above, this beginner banjo produces a bright tone and sounds precise like a 5-string banjo should. You will have full control over the sound of the banjo as it is very customizable.

Alternatives to this product

Vangoa 5 string banjo

Vangoa 5 string banjo

Deering goodtime 2

Deering goodtime 2

The banjo body is mahogany with a rosewood fretboard as we mentioned earlier and it offers a decent, warm and solid sound. The banjo might require a touch of fine-tuning directly out the box.

If you are a learner, you need to have a master friend or instructor help you to adjust everything. This resonator banjo is a mid-level banjo that you can begin with and as you gain experience, you will certainly want to move up to something from a greater scale.

The MB-100 lightweight open back 5-string banjo is the ideal travelling banjo and a perfect first instrument for players inspired by bluegrass and country music. The lightweight open back instruments are recognized for being lightweight and for their attractive smooth tone.

The founder of Ephiphone first patent was for a banjo and Epiphone has consistently been at the lead of banjo design, setting trends, and driving the industry on top in making affordable quality instruments.

If this is your starter banjo, we suggest you get it professionally set up. You may have to install the bridge, set the strings and probably fix the band. This great quality instrument comes with all you require for a starter as well as intermediate ones. As we mentioned that, it is designed with the rosewood fingerboard, it also includes a Remo head top. Everything about this 5 string banjo is great.

It is clear from the feature that this five-string quality instrument is lightweight so that it can be easier for you to travel. It’s because you may want to take this five-string banjo with you wherever you go. The chrome equipment and the classic rosewood bridge are the most exceptional features.

If you want to start your banjo playing with Epiphone MB-100, you could turn into an expert player very soon. If you are searching for that easy-to-use and starter banjo brand, you can manage with this model. It is recommended since this banjo comes at a decent price point.

epiphone mb 100 banjo review


The activity on this beginner banjo was only a little piece high but not ordinary. It’s about what you would anticipate from a quality instrument this way. It’s expected that you may have to change these sorts of things and action is pretty good to change on a starter banjo.

Generally, everything we did to change the activity was to adjust the coordinator rod and we also made a little modification on the truss rod. It had a tiny bit of bow in it for enjoying while playing. It didn’t take much at all to get the activity down to somewhat less than 1/8 inch at the 12th fret.

We were a bit shocked at how close the action was at that point set to the way that we prefer it. We can’t recall truly buying a brand new quality instrument when we didn’t need to adjust the action on it. This also connects to expensive instruments that we own so none of them are cleared from doing this.


  • It’s an ultra-lightweight banjo, so you can travel with it
  • It features beautiful natural wood finish on the body and neck
  • It has surprising tone quality and authenticity regarding the price
  • If you are a clawhammer enthusiast, you will love it


  • You may have to spend some time adjusting the instrument up
  • No tone ring – depending on the way of music you want to play

Is The Epiphone MB-100 is a worthy investment?

This resonator banjo comes at a very affordable price point considering being one of the reasonable banjos on the market. There are some banjos at this price point but the Epiphone stays on top. This brand has a great track record and manufactures quality instruments. With a great customer service, this resonator banjo is no different in terms of the price point without breaking the bank.

How to choose an Open Back Banjo? – Tips

Before going to buy a resonator banjo, think how many strings you would prefer. Most players prefer 5 strings but you can go for 6 to 4 string tenor banjos too. Furthermore, make sure you know that quality strings come with quality instruments.

Make sure your resonator banjo has a great banjo in terms of sound quality and a pretty good while resonating. Know going in which type of sound or type of genre you prefer to find a better banjo.

Compare to other banjos


Ibanez b50

Our full review

Ibanez B200

Our Full Review

Adm 5 string

Our Full Review

Purchasing an open-back banjo from a brand that has years of business manufacturing their banjos to finishing is pretty good in terms of getting wrong with any choice.

The price point of banjos may vary from $1,000 to a starter banjo for around $200. Knowing how much to spend on a beginner banjo and something you may have to decide by yourself. Would you sacrifice the reputed brand and few features or not?


Is it an open back banjo or closed-back?

It’s an open-back banjo.

Is it good for bluegrass player?

Yes, we recommend Epiphone MB-100 if you want to be a bluegrass player.

Is it heavy to carry?

No! It’s completely lightweight.

What does banjo strap work with this banjo?

We recommend “Neotech 5701002 Super Banjo Strap, Black” which is very comfortable, but also plain to look at. However, it worked well.

Is this banjo an open-backed?

Yes. Most resonator banjos will have a way of separating the resonator plate from the back as well.

Does this banjo come with a case?
No, this banjo does not come with a case.

What are the dimensions?
MB-100 is about 37″ long, the body is about 11′ wide. There is more info available at the Epiphone web site.

Who are the best open-back banjo manufacturers?

These following brands are well reputed in terms of manufacturing open back banjos –

  • Epiphone
  • Deering
  • Gold Tone
  • Recording King
  • Oscar Schmidt
  • Rover

credit: astormtocalm

Final Verdict

If you are looking for an open-back banjo, the Epiphone MB-100 at least deserves your attention.
With its astronomical price point and Epiphone’s reliable reputation, you will be hard-pressed to get a better open-back banjo without spending quite a bit more.

5/5 - (1 vote)

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