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The mandolin-banjo is one of the hybrids that resulted.It enabled mandolinists to produce a banjo sound without having to learn that instrument's fingerings.The instrument adds the banjo's volume to the mandolin.The banjolin is different from the banjo-mandolin in the number of strings that it has..95 (.99 postage US) prewar GIBSON tenor banjo string & string envelope- RARE prewar GIBSON tenor banjo string and original string envelope.Original D or 2nd string envelope with old string inside.The instrument was popularized prior to the 1920s, when the tenor banjo became more popular.In the heyday of mandolin orchestras and banjo bands (late 19th–early 20th century), all sorts of instruments were produced.
Larger heads were favored, however, as they were louder, and thus more audible in band settings.
Historically, mass production of mandolin-banjos have been made by several companies, most notably Gibson, but also by Vega and the English company Windsor, all who built and sold 4 and 8 string banjos in the early 20th Century.
Today mandolins-banjos are being manufactured by Vintage, Gold Tone, Rogue, Cumbus, Morgan Monroe and Musikalia - Dr. Gold Tone makes the MB-850 Mandolin-Banjo, with a removable maple resonator (converting the instrument to an open-backed instrument).
Banjolins today are supposed to have four strings instead of 8 strings (in courses or pairs).
However, that distinction is not universal; the banjolin name was patented in 1885 by John Farris for an instrument with 8 strings.