Washburn b9 Banjo Review | All You Need to Know

Washburn has been creating banjos since the late eighteen hundreds and it is the world’s oldest banjo manufacturer.

Their musical instruments were assessed to be among the prominent ones on the market at the time.

Washburn has a long history of making some of the finest handcrafted banjos available. 

Experts and beginners alike choose these instruments for their superb tone, build, and value. Washburn guitars, mandolins, banjos, ukuleles, and similar instruments have been popular among musicians for some time.

Many famous artists in folk, blues, and rock ‘n’ roll have used these well-crafted, fine-quality instruments. The brand uses premium materials and exceptional manufacturing to produce an instrument that is ready to be played on any stage.

washburn b9 banjo

They provide you with the best combination in terms of maintaining tradition and adopting new technologies. This unique feature gives you the best value for money. 

At an affordable price, Washburn b9 can be the best deal for you.

What Is a Banjo?

A banjo is a famous instrument in the guitar family. It has a tambourine-like body. 

An elastic membrane is attached around the body for the resonation. This instrument became vastly famous in the 19th century.

Banjo became famous all over the world for its incredibly soothing sound. 

At first, it was made with four strings. But as it went on becoming famous, five-string and six-string banjo were also introduced.

5-String Banjo

5 string banjo is quite common nowadays. The difference between a four-string banjo and a five-string banjo is that there is an extra short string in the five-string banjo. 

This extra string gives the player an upper hand to play high pitch tunes.

5 string banjo can be played in different styles.

5 string banjo

Some of them are classical, clawhammer or the typical old school style, and bluegrass. Bluegrass is the single-string strumming.

Players now prefer to play in bluegrass for its different pitch notes over clawhammer. Clawhammer is also quite famous for its easy strumming among beginners.

Resonator Banjo

A resonator is a hard part of the banjo which provides the sound a hard surface to reflect the audience with the help of sound holes. A banjo can also be categorized into resonator banjo and open-back banjo.

Bluegrass or the single-string playing style is traditionally played in a resonator banjo. Frailing style is played in an open-back banjo. 

But what is the difference between these two?

Let’s find out the answer.

open back or resonator banjo

The basic difference between an open back and a resonator banjo is the sound quality. Resonator banjo reflects sound and we get a lot of projection in the sound.

On the other hand, an open back doesn’t have a surface to reflect the sound. 

So, the sound tends to become a bit muffled.

In terms of expenses, an open-back banjo is cheap compared to a resonator banjo. 

So, if the pricing is an issue, you can consider this point while buying.

Which Banjo Should You Choose?

If I were to give a judgment on this, I would say if you are a bluegrass player, then you should go for the resonator banjo.

But, if you are to choose an old-time banjo, go for the open-back one. 

If you are a beginner or didn’t decide you’re playing style, try to play them both and see which one gives you the utmost comfort.

Features of Washburn b9 Banjo

washburn b9 banjo
  • 5 String Banjo
  • Mahogany resonator
  • Aluminum rim
  • 11 Inch grooved tension hoop
  • Authentic Remo head
  • Geared 5th string planetary tuner
  • Die-cast tuners with Pearloid buttons
  • Ebony tipped maple bridge
  • Comfortable chrome armrest

Washburn B9 Banjo Review

Now, addressing and introducing b9 banjos of Washburn, it can be noted that this Washburn b9 is one of the finest and usable products of all time.

Affordable Price

If you’re looking for a great quality banjo at an affordable price, Washburn b9 banjo is the perfect combo for you. The bright sound and the banjo-like twang will mesmerize you for sure. Washburn never compromises with their quality.

Material

Mahogany wood is very famous for its uses in musical instruments. This banjo is built of mahogany wood at back and body with a remote head for premium quality music. 

Its comfortable mahogany back is of great attraction.

Structure

Washburn B9 is a 5-string Mahogany resonator banjo for optimization of volume. 

It comes along with an aluminum rim having an 11-inch curved tension hoop, customary tailpiece as well as modeled 5th string planetary tuner and Pearloid buttons.

Pearloid buttons provide smooth tuning in the banjo. It’s also very easy to repair or sell for a comparatively higher price at a music store.

It comes with a sunburst color having gloss finishing along with pre-installed strings made of D’Addario J60+ light gauge nickel and several frets being 22.

A rosewood fretboard and a smooth-playing neck make playing go soothingly from the first to the last fret and the tune sounds fantastic.

For added longevity, it has ebony tipped maple bridge. The bridge is sold at places separately, and the banjo player is responsible for properly installing it.

The B9 has only one matching rod, and the banjo’s neck is inlaid with pearls for a beautiful appearance.

The banjo also contains a chrome armrest for the musician to rest his hand effortlessly while playing it. The banjo has a length of 28 inches, the thickness being 6 inches, and the instrument’s breadth being 15 inches. 

It has a shipping weight of 8.3 pounds.

Durability

One thing I liked very much about Washburn b9 is its durability. It’s easy to carry and not vulnerable like other banjos. So, you can expect a pretty long life out of it. 

Washburn is in this business for around 200 years. The quality they provide without affecting the price is quite remarkable. 

The well-crafted banjo is built to withstand years of hammering.

Styles

Washburn B9 is a five-string banjo. The extra string provides you the liberty to play high notes and get a variety of tones. It comes in two different styles. One is Rosewood and the other one is alternative engineered wood.

washburn b9 banjo review

Pros and Cons

Although buyers usually always prefer to buy Washburn banjos, the confusion occurs in the variety of types of banjos. Buyers often get indecisive because of so many variations of the same brand displayed in the store.

Here are some of the pros and cons of the Washburn b9 banjo through which you will be able to compare and make a decision.

Pros

  • It‘s pretty affordable
  • The installation here is simple.
  • Its resonator emphasizes the traditional tone.
  • The neck is made of mahogany and it is quite comfortable.
  • Tipped ebony bridge for long-lasting use.
  • Perfect artistry and smooth body.
  • High-quality music and comfortable use.
  • Smooth tuning 
  • Comfortable armrest

Cons

  • Players have to put the bridge together themself. They might replace the bridge.
  • The pot does not remain tightly closed every time.

Why Should You Choose Washburn B9 Banjo?

I can give you many reasons why you should buy it. 

Here are some of the main reasons to pick this amazing instrument –

  • The mahogany resonator provides the classic banjo tune. You may not find this feature in other banjos. The mahogany resonator makes an impact for sure.
  • Washburn b9 banjo comes at an affordable price. They provide the best instrument, yet they maintain a very reasonable price.
  • Comfortable for beginners and experts both. Beginners often fail to reach the frets easily. But Washburn banjo is quite easy to use for beginners too. 
  • Quality and style are also a game-changer for Washburn b9. Its sound quality and mahogany neck often give you a special vibe. The sound quality is very bright and pleasing to the ears.

Some Reviews from the Customers

  • Washburn B9 banjo is perfect for beginners, according to one buyer. She likes how it looks and how easy it is to handle the frets. She didn’t look too pleased about having to finish the bridge erection. She does, however, suggest it to everyone.
  • Another person claims that the Washburn B9 has both high quality and a budget-friendly price. This banjo, she explains, gives her the perfect tone. The clarity is excellent, and the sound is exactly great. She also added that the bridge that comes along with it is of middling quality, but that the strings are not that good. 
  • One customer mentioned that he is a professional and this kind of banjo is a great start for a budding musician. He added that he had to set the bridge position and head tension to the correct specs to get it to play right and have a decent sound.
  • Coming to price, one customer stated that she desired a solid banjo at a reasonable price, and this one is a superb choice.
  • Some buyers are more concerned with the standard and aesthetic of the product. Its sound appealed to a gentleman. He mentioned that the polish and appearance were fantastic. After a few weeks of use, he claims that its endurance is not that substandard.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)


When Did Washburn Start Making Banjos?

The journey of Washburn started with the partnership of George W. Lyon and Patrick J. Healy in 1864 as Lyon and Healy. Around 1888, under the brand name George Washburn, the company dived into the world of fretted and plucked instruments such as – guitars, mandolins, ukuleles, banjos, and zithers. The first banjo made by Washburn is Washburn Banjorine and it was made in 1892.

Is Washburn Banjo Any Good?

Washburn banjo is one of the pioneers in banjo making. They are making banjo since the 1800s. You can easily depend on the quality they offer in this amazing instrument. I’ll suggest you buy a Washburn banjo for a soothing experience of music.

Where are Washburn Banjos Made?

Washburn banjos are made in the USA. Their headquarters are in Illinois and Chicago. Though they are based in the USA, you can find their banjos and services all over the world. Some of their banjos are made in China. Like the Washburn b9 banjo and the Washburn b11k banjo.

Does Fender Still Make Banjos?

Unfortunately, the answer is no.

Fender is out of the banjo-making business since the ’70s. Once upon a time, Fender was thought to be one of the leading banjo-making brands. They have now become an importer brand for other banjo-making companies.

Who Makes Ibanez Banjos?

Fujigen makes the Ibanez banjos for many manufacturers. Their plant is in the Matsumoto, Nagano. Ibanez banjos are famous for their amazing craftsmanship, combined with modern technologies to bring out the best instrument.

What Aspects to Look For In an Affordable Banjo?

If you’re a beginner and don’t know much about a banjo. Try to notice a few things before buying your banjo. Try to find out what type of wood they use in making their banjo. For example, a mahogany back banjo will indicate It’s a good quality banjo. 

Also, check the wood they used in the fret. These two can be your basic criteria.

Who Provides Affordable Banjos?

There are a few affordable banjos manufacturers in the world. Each comes with its pros and cons. But if I had to name a few I’ll recommend, Washburn, Gold Tone, Oscar Schmidt, Recording king, etc.

Final Thoughts

To summarize, the Washburn B9 Resonator Banjo is an excellent option for beginners. It includes practically everything buyers need to get through with banjos.

It’s not too heavy to carry on the run, yet it’s not too light to feel in hands. The aluminum rim helps to strengthen the tone compared to other manufacturers’ materials.

It has quality at a reasonable price from a reputable manufacturer along with a well-crafted finish. It makes the banjo very suitable for averagely all kinds of players. 

From an overall viewpoint, a person who enjoys playing music with a unique taste will not be disappointed with this instrument. For banjo, Washburn b9 is one of the perfect instruments one can play.

A banjo is an instrument to play the tunes which come out of our hearts. You’ll want a good instrument to be that medium between your heart and the world. If you want a killer banjo at an affordable price, go for the Washburn b9 banjo.

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