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 ARCHIVED TOPIC: Six String Banjo Set-Up

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Ridge - Posted - 08/05/2008:  06:36:49

Could someone tell me what gage of strings should be used? Also, are there special strings for the guitjo or will guitar strings suffice? Thanks, Ridge


Edited by - Banjoman on 08/05/2008 07:25:32

Helix - Posted - 08/05/2008:  15:14:29

Welcome to the forum, I really like your Icon.

Use standard guitar phosphor bronze lights, adjust the tailpiece, you should hear honkin' 6th, 5th , 4th, 3rd strings in some new symphony thing here. Let the strings slam overtones over each other to get the boat settling in, these instruments straighten out, you can set them up. Set the harmonic with the bridge and a tuner and stand back. Lights are enough, you can use Mediums, but the tonnage increase may not be worth any gain in intonnation or volume or both, may hinder such.

We used a Gold Tone maple neck last year with a Cherry rim, way full of tone and volume, more than plenty, very driveable. OK?? If lights don't fit your style, mix 'em up.


Edited by - Helix on 08/05/2008 15:43:42

Ridge - Posted - 08/06/2008:  06:41:54

Helix, Thanks for the reply. The icon is throwback to my caving days, in fact, my nickname Ridge came from the countless hours of walking ridges in West Virginia searching for new caves. The guitar player for our band, Wooly Mammoth String Band, just received the six string and your information will really help. Thanks again, Ridge


poohbear85345 - Posted - 08/07/2008:  00:10:03

Hi Ridge you can use guitar strings or the octive set of a 12 string set or do some exspearment what i have on mine are med ga. banjo string and for the 5th and 6th the octive strings for a 12 string set for me this gave the sound that i was looking for so just play with it and see what happens

scruffyeagle - Posted - 08/07/2008:  03:32:13

Originally posted by Ridge

Could someone tell me what gage of strings should be used? Also, are there special strings for the guitjo or will guitar strings suffice? Thanks, Ridge


Yah, hey dere from the Great North Woods, Ridge!

They say that "great minds think alike", so you must be pretty cool. (I logged on tonight looking to find info on the same topic.)

I recently purchased a used Gold Tone banjitar via eBay, and it came with a spare set of Gold Tone strings for banjitar. Those strings are definitely not phosphor bronze; they're more like standard banjo strings, nickel steel wound like electric guitar strings. I see that Helix recommends using Phosphor Bronze light-gauge strings. Those are what I normally use on my acoustic guitars, except I go with the extra-light gauge for the sake of being able to do bar chords without damaging my hands. I wonder if the extra-light gauge would be too light for the banjitar to resonate properly? More specifically (when they're available), I use Ernie Ball "Studio Phosphor Bronze" in the extra-light gauge. An important thing to take into consideration when picking strings for the banjitar, is the tailpiece of the one in hand. Some use little prongs for the string-ends to go over, and so using standard guitar strings necessitates removing the round balls to leave only loops. It's a hassle, but not impossible. I've seen pictures of a few, that are set up with tailpieces designed for the ball-end strings. On those, I think your options are less limited for the sake of experimentation without extra work crafting the sting-ends to fit the tailpiece.

This was a good topic, and I'll be watching to see what kind of recommendations get posted by people more knowledgeable than me.


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