Set up of the mystical BANJO new video


#1

For those that may have missed it, Ben has a very comprehension video on set up you will learn much from this video . Mr. Huber who I have the utmost respect for as a player and a maker of fine banjos gives out this advice freely to members . It is so worth the time to watch this it takes you from one end to the other .


#2

There’s good stuff on there. I need to go borrow my buddies banjo so I can play with it.


#3

I too would like to thank Mr Huber and Ben for putting this together and perfect timing too. After coming off of a long brutal winter, I now have some extreme string buzz. Tightened the head, looked at the action and determined it was the bow of the neck. Although my supplier gave me a good email on correction, this gave me a lot more confidence to adjust the bow as the warning of “be careful, you can over do it and wreck your banjo” had me living with the buzz. Right now totally flat and buzzing more than the mosquitos. Thanks again, great video series!!


#4

I just watched these and figure my banjo is pretty out of whack. I bought it used and never played one before until I brought it home. I’ve felt like something wasn’t quite right and I’m sure of it now. It’s late now, but I plan to take it apart tomorrow and fiddle with it. Here’s hoping I don’t screw it up! :mrgreen: No, seriously, after watching those videos I feel pretty confident I can do this.


#5

Watched the videos and after tightening the head, was sagging real bad, checked and the neck had no bow and was flat. 5th string was laying on the frets up to 10 and 11. Adjusted for the bow and then had to adjust the action. Sounded good at first and just got worse. Re checked everything and became frustrated. Retreated to garage with cigar in hand and dogs in tow. After some relaxation and a fine Honduras cigar, went back in and started all over. Apparently it is important to tighten the locking nut after changing the action. Oops. Sounds and plays great. I was surprised how little of a turn on the wrench it really takes to change the bow. Thanks again!!


#6

Quick question…don’t know if anyone is on right now to answer! I’m making adjustments per the videos and I wonder if it is normal for strings 3, 4, 5 to be higher (action) than strings 1,2? That’s my current situation and I don’t know if I should fret about it…har, har. :unamused:


#7

I’ve finished making adjustments…don’t laugh…the action was 3/16" and the tail piece was a smidge higher than that. Now the action is just shy of 1/8" and I could only get the tail piece closer to 1/4". I have a Goodtime 2, btw.

I started turning the rod nut and just kept turning and turning wondering why Mr. Huber was only making a few quarter turns. Ha! I’m not sure it sounds much different…but it sure is easier to fret! Not to mention it just looks right.

Thanks for the videos, Ben! They were just what I needed to motivate me to tinker with my banjo.


#8

The nice thing about going thru all this is we will know right where to go next time have a problem. I was more fearful of damaging it, but as you say, plays nicer now!!


#9

— Begin quote from "BanjoBlonde"


I started turning the rod nut and just kept turning and turning wondering why Mr. Huber was only making a few quarter turns. Ha! I’m not sure it sounds much different…but it sure is easier to fret! Not to mention it just looks right.

Thanks for the videos, Ben! They were just what I needed to motivate me to tinker with my banjo.

— End quote

You DO have to be a bit careful about overtightening the co-ordinator rods. You don’t want your rim to go out of shape. Make sure that the rim is still round (so you measure the diameter along different axes and the measurements should all be the same).

If your rim has gone out of round, then rather than lowering your action with the rods, try a shorter bridge.

You could also either shim the neck or take some wood off the neck heel but a lower bridge is a much simpler solution.


#10

That’s good advice, thanks! I will check the rim to see if it’s out of shape. When I was turning that nut, it was just so loose that it took a lot of turns to get it snug. I have wondered about a shorter bridge. Since I bought my banjo used, I really don’t know if the bridge is even original. Guess I should look it up and see. It could be that a stock Deering bridge would be shorter. That would be an easy fix.


#11

The most common sizes for bridges are 5/8 inch, .655 inch (which is about 21/32 inch) and 11/16 inch.

You can get shorter bridges (Stew-Mac sells 1/2 inch bridges) though some (like me) find that this puts the strings too close to the head so your picks hit the head a lot.

You can get taller bridges too though that’s not what you want if you want to lower your action.