@mike.thomson, not much I can add here…but that’s never stopped me before!
First of all, I’m glad you asked this question, because I just bought a smile bridge too! Got it from Banjo Ben’s General Store and your question saved me from having to ask it. I put it on a new (to me) 2005 Deering Sierra, and I’m going to have to say I agree with you on being able to immediately hear the difference. I’m only a couple of years in on this banjo thing, and this is the first time I’ve ever tried something like this. I’m now convinced a bridge change can really make a very significant difference.
@BanjoBen, thanks for the answer above, and re-watched the Steve Huber bridge placement video here on your site before swapping them out. ( https://banjobenclark.com/lessons/banjo-setup-with-steve-huber-bridge-placement-banjo?from_track=beginner-banjo. )
@BanJoe, I watched that string video at Deering the day after it came out (in it’s entirety), and floodgates is correct…it could all become overwhelming if you let it! Also watched the one Jens Kruger did on the smile bridge before finally deciding to make the purchase…he really is a banjo geek! Interestingly, several other folks have done reviews and videos about it too. A common thread among the reviewers is that they feel the volume is more even across all the strings with the smile bridge, and I’ll have to say it does seem to be true in this particular example.
And from my limited abilities it (the Smile bridge on the Sierra) was most pronounced (louder) on the 3rd string than before, and the intonation now seems a little different on this string in particular…in a good way…not the same tendency to sound flat after the attack, perhaps? I apologize @Boo, I’m starting to sound like what you warned us about…and it does indeed take away from practice time for me, too.