2010s Gold Tone MB-850 Banjo-Mandolin

I didn't know if this guy would be for sale or not, so I didn't snag "stair" photos of it. However, it's now here for sale on consignment.

This is the earlier version of the MB-850 model and it has a smaller rim than the current production version. Its build reminds me of early-'30s Gibson instruments and it's loud, poppy, and bright with an clean, archtop-tonering sound to it.

It hadn't been used in years and so my work was a simple restring, setup, and bridge fit/compensation work. These minor tweaks turned an absolute stinker (high action, bad intonation, ugly sound) into a practical, easy-playing instrument in about a half an hour. I'm always surprised at how poor the factory setup was on older Gold Tones.

The build quality is good, though -- it has a multi-ply maple rim, heavy-duty hardware including flange and tension hoop, maple neck, rosewood fretboard, and well-cut maple resonator. Under the hood is a coordinator rod system which makes it very easy to adjust action on the fly as well as keep the instrument rigid and stable.

Its only real issue is that the adjuster-mount knobs for the resonator were missing so I cut-down a couple of bolts with similar thread to run through a pair of the bolt-ports for the short-term.

Repairs included: glorified setup.

Rim wood: maple

Tonering: hoop/archtop

Bridge: maple/ebony compensated

Fretboard: rosewood

Neck wood: maple

Action height at 12th fret: hair-under 1/16" overall (fast)
String gauges: 32w-9 extra light

Neck shape: medium C/soft V

Board radius: flat

Truss rod: non-adjustable

Neck relief: straight

Fret style: smaller/lower

Scale length: 13 7/8"

Nut width: 1 1/8"

Head diameter: 8"

Resonator diameter: 10 3/4"

Depth overall at rim: 3 1/2"

Weight: 4 lbs 8 oz

Condition notes: it shows mild usewear but it's basically an instrument that was used for a short time and then put away. It then got dusty, lost its rim/resonator bolts, and sat. It's more-or-less a newish instrument but shows mild tarnish to the hardware from storage.