Where are Washburn Banjos Made? Uncover the Secrets of the Banjo-Making Process!

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Are you looking for the answer to the question “Where are Washburn Banjos made?” If so, you’ve come to the right place! In this article, I’ll tell you all about where Washburn Banjos are made, and what makes them so special. From the history of the company to the craftsmanship that goes into each instrument, I’ll explain it all in detail. So read on to learn more about these beloved instruments and their unique place in the music world.

History of Washburn Banjos

History Of Washburn Banjos
Washburn Banjos have a long, rich history dating back to the late 19th century. The Washburn Banjo Company was founded in Chicago in 1883 by George Washburn Lyon. The company quickly gained a reputation for producing high-quality banjos, and by the late 1890s, Washburn banjos were the most popular banjos in the United States. The original Washburn banjos were made from wood in the traditional style, but by the early 1900s, the company had begun producing metal-bodied banjos.

In the 1920s and 1930s, Washburn began experimenting with different styles of banjos, including a five-string banjo with a resonator, which became a popular choice among bluegrass players. In the 1940s, they introduced a line of electric banjos, and in the 1950s, they produced the first 12-string banjos.

In the 1960s, Washburn sold the company to the Tonk Brothers, who continued to produce high-quality banjos. The company went through some reorganization in the 1970s, but it remained a leader in banjo production until it was purchased by the US Music Corporation in 1992.

Today, Washburn Banjos are still made in the USA, in a factory located in the Chicago suburb of LaGrange. The company continues to produce high-quality banjos using traditional techniques and modern manufacturing technologies.

Types of Washburn Banjos

Types Of Washburn Banjos

Name Fretboard Tuners
Washburn B9 Banjo Rosewood Chrome Die-Cast
Washburn B11 Banjo Rosewood Chrome Die-Cast
Washburn B10 Banjo Ebony Chrome Die-Cast
Washburn B12 Banjo Rosewood Chrome Die-Cast
Washburn B14K Banjo Rosewood Geared Tuners
Washburn B17K Banjo Rosewood Geared Tuners

Washburn offers several types of banjos, each with their own unique features. The Washburn B9 Banjo has a rosewood fretboard and chrome die-cast tuners. The Washburn B11 Banjo also has a rosewood fretboard and chrome die-cast tuners. The Washburn B10 Banjo has an ebony fretboard and chrome die-cast tuners. The Washburn B12 Banjo has a rosewood fretboard and chrome die-cast tuners. The Washburn B14K Banjo has a rosewood fretboard and geared tuners. Finally, the Washburn B17K Banjo has a rosewood fretboard and geared tuners.


Washburn banjos have been made in the USA since the late 1800s, when the company was founded by George Washburn Lyon. Their banjo production is located in the Chicago area, where the company has been based since its inception. The USA-made banjos are highly sought after for their quality craftsmanship and vintage look.


In addition to their USA-made banjos, Washburn also produces some models in China. These banjos are of a lower cost than their USA counterparts, and they offer great value for money. However, they do not have the same level of craftsmanship and quality.

Other Countries

Other Countries
Washburn also produces some banjos in other countries such as Japan, Korea, and Indonesia. These banjos are generally of a lower cost than the USA-made models, and are aimed at beginner and intermediate players.

Quality of Washburn Banjos

Quality Of Washburn Banjos

  • High-quality craftsmanship
  • Attention to detail
  • Solid construction with durable materials
  • Rich, vibrant sound
  • Easy to play
  • Reliable and long-lasting

Washburn banjos are renowned for their superior craftsmanship and attention to detail. They are constructed from solid materials and are built to last, providing a rich and vibrant sound that is easy to play. With their reliable construction, Washburn banjos are sure to provide years of enjoyment.

Benefits of Owning a Washburn Banjo

Benefits Of Owning A Washburn Banjo

Benefit Description
Quality Craftsmanship Washburn banjos are made with quality craftsmanship, ensuring a long-lasting and reliable instrument.
Versatility Washburn banjos offer a wide range of tones and styles, making them versatile instruments suitable for many different genres.
Ease of Playability Washburn banjos are designed with ease of playability in mind, making them ideal for both beginners and experienced players.
Value for Money Washburn banjos offer great value for money, with a range of models to suit all budgets.

Washburn banjos are renowned for their quality craftsmanship, versatility, playability and value for money. The combination of these qualities makes them an ideal choice for beginners and experienced players alike. Whether you are looking for an instrument for traditional styles, or something more modern, Washburn has a banjo to suit your needs.

Cost of Washburn Banjos

Cost Of Washburn Banjos

Banjo Model Price Range
Washburn B9 $499 – $750
Washburn B11 $599 – $899
Washburn B14 $749 – $999
Washburn B20 $799 – $999
Washburn B17 $599 – $799
Washburn B19 $649 – $899
Washburn B24 $749 – $999
Washburn B25 $649 – $899
Washburn B28 $799 – $999

Washburn banjos are available in a wide range of prices. Prices vary depending on the model of banjo and the features they offer. Entry-level models such as the Washburn B9 and B11 can be found for as little as $499 or $599, respectively. Mid-range models such as the B17, B19, B20, B24, and B25 can be found in the $599 to $899 range. The top-of-the-line Washburn B14 and B28 models can be found for around $749 to $999.

Availability of Washburn Banjos

Availability Of Washburn Banjos
Washburn banjos are widely available for purchase. Many large music stores, both brick-and-mortar locations and online retailers, carry a selection of Washburn banjos and accessories. Washburn products can also be purchased directly from the company’s website. There are several different models of Washburn banjos available, ranging from beginner models to professional-grade instruments. Each model is designed to offer different features and benefits suitable for a variety of playing styles. Washburn banjos also come in a range of prices to suit different budgets. Accessories, such as strings, cases, and pickups, are also available for purchase.

Customization Options for Washburn Banjos

Washburn banjos offer a variety of customization options to fit your preferences. You can choose from a wide selection of necks, tuners, inlays, and finishes. The necks are available in both maple and rosewood, and come in a variety of shapes, including round, v-shaped, and flat. Tuners can be changed to open-back or geared, to suit your playing style. Inlay options include abalone, mother of pearl, and various woods. And finishes come in natural, stained, and distressed, with a variety of colors to choose from. With all these options, you can create a unique look and sound for your Washburn banjo.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Origin of Washburn Banjos?

Washburn banjos have been around since the late 19th century and have been crafted in the USA since 1883. The company was founded by George Washburn Lyon in Chicago, Illinois, and was originally named Lyon & Healy until its banjo production began in the early 1890s. Since then, Washburn has become a leader in banjo production, innovating new designs, materials, and techniques that have made their banjos some of the most sought-after instruments in the world.

What materials are used to make Washburn banjos?

Washburn banjos are typically made with a combination of metal and wood. The neck is made from either mahogany or maple wood and the resonator, tailpiece and tone ring are typically made from metal. The head of the banjo is usually made from Mylar or calfskin. The fingerboard and bridge are typically made from ebony or rosewood.

How have Washburn banjos evolved over time?

Washburn has been in the banjo business for over 125 years, and their banjos have evolved with the times. In the early 1900s, Washburn produced the classic open-back banjo, which had a wooden rim and a flat head. During the 1920s, the company began to produce the modern resonator banjo, which had a metal rim and a tone ring that amplified the sound. Washburn also developed the electric banjo in the late 1940s, which featured a pickup and volume and tone controls. Since then, Washburn has continued to innovate, creating banjos with more advanced features, such as adjustable truss rods, multiple-piece necks, and even built-in effects processors.

How do Washburn Banjos Differ from Other Banjo Brands?

Washburn banjos are known for having a unique sound that is both warm and powerful. They feature a distinct tone that is produced by a special combination of woods and hardware. Washburn banjos also have a very comfortable neck profile, making them easy to play. Additionally, they have a wide range of models that cater to different playing styles, from beginner to professional.

What is the Quality of Washburn Banjos Like?

Washburn banjos are renowned for their high quality construction and excellent craftsmanship. The company has been making musical instruments since the late 1800s and has built a solid reputation for producing durable and reliable banjos. Washburn banjos are made using solid woods, reliable hardware, and come with a variety of features to suit different playing styles. These banjos are also typically known for having a bright, lively, and powerful sound.


Washburn banjos are crafted with great attention to detail and quality materials, making them some of the best banjos on the market. Most Washburn banjos are made in the United States, with many models made in the Chicago area. Some models, such as the Washburn B9 and B10, are made in China. Despite the origin of manufacture, Washburns are still highly respected for their sound, craftsmanship, and playability.


About the author

Hi there! I’m Jack Little – an avid country music fan with tons of live country performances in the past. I used to play banjo in a country band with my best friend John Peters, who’s a true country harmonica master. Those were great years and I’m still mastering new banjo playing techniques, writing my own country songs and lyrics, and collecting banjos!

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