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 ARCHIVED TOPIC: Six String Guitar Banjo set up


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civilwartar - Posted - 03/26/2009:  06:39:50


Just purchased a Dean 6 String Guitar-banjo. Other than the OH NO not another one.... Can someone please advise as to the set up of this instrument. Looks simple enough but trying to get a better sound out of it. Top strings sound dead. Guess just looking for some advise on type of strings to use, where the bridge goes, how the snare part of it really works, should it be tight loose etc. Any help would be appreciated. Long tome guitar player and self taught on the mandolin

Thanks

Chief

Oalbretsen - Posted - 03/26/2009:  07:33:03


I would take it to a Luthier and let him do the set up for you.

carlb - Posted - 03/26/2009:  08:05:30


quote:
Originally posted by civilwartar

Just purchased a Dean 6 String Guitar-banjo. ...... Can someone please advise as to the set up of this instrument. Looks simple enough but trying to get a better sound out of it. Top strings sound dead. Guess just looking for some advise on type of strings to use, where the bridge goes, how the snare part of it really works, should it be tight loose etc. Any help would be appreciated.
Chief



Chief,

Here is my experience with two guitar banjos I've had (a Washburn probably from the 1920s and the other made by Kevin Enoch), one of which I still have. First of strings; regular guitar strings (i.e. bronze wound) suck. I use only steel strings (e.g. electric guitar strings; for me I use a set that sort of mimics light guage on the 5-string but with a slightly heavier base; there are sets like that; this choice of steel strings was also independently discovered by Kevin Enoch).

Second, in order to get a brighter sound on my 2nd instrument, I experimented with heads and bridges; mostly having to due with the materials. The banjo came to me with a frosted head. When I tried a Renaissance, it made the sound more mellow, not what I was lookiing for. With the bridge, I first found out if I thinned out the bridge the sound became brighter (I use a Dremel tool router to remove about 2/3 of the wood from the original bridge; I left the dimensions of the bottom the feet untouched; the bridge, in side view, is curved from top to the feet). I also tried a bridge made of maple with a formica type top; that also produced a more mellow sound. So for now, I've remained with the frosted head (kept pretty tight) and ebony on maple bridge. I haven't yet tried a clear head or a bone on ebony bridge, both of which, I figure, might brighten the sound.

Carl

"One more time"


Edited by - carlb on 03/26/2009 10:55:08

civilwartar - Posted - 03/26/2009:  09:43:50


quote:
Originally posted by carlb

quote:
Originally posted by civilwartar

Just purchased a Dean 6 String Guitar-banjo. ...... Can someone please advise as to the set up of this instrument. Looks simple enough but trying to get a better sound out of it. Top strings sound dead. Guess just looking for some advise on type of strings to use, where the bridge goes, how the snare part of it really works, should it be tight loose etc. Any help would be appreciated.
Chief



Chief,

Thanks Carl. will try the electric strings

Here is my experience with two guitar banjos I've had (a Washburn probably from the 1920s and the other madea by Kevin Enoch), one of which I still have. First of strings; regular guitar strings (i.e. bronze wound) suck. I use only steel strings (e.g. electric guitar strings; for me I use a set that sort of mimics light guage on the 5-string but with a slightly heavier base; there are sets like that; this choice of steel strings was also independently discovered by Kevin Enoch).

Second, in order to get a brighter sound on my 2nd instrument, I experimented with heads and bridges; mostly having to due with the materials. The banjo came to me with a frosted head. When I tried a Renaissance, it made the sound more mellow, not what I was lookiing for. With the bridge, I first found out if I thinned out the bridge the sound became brighter (I use a Dremel tool router to remove about 2/3 of the wood from the original bridge; I left the dimensions of the bottom the feet untouched; the bridge, in side view, is curved from top to the feet). I also tried a bridge made of maple with a formica type top; that also produced a more mellow sound. So for now, I've remained with the frosted head (kept pretty tight) and ebony on maple bridge. I haven't yet tried a clear head or a bone on ebony bridge, both of which, I figure, might brighten the sound.

Carl

"One more time"



Chief

kennybguitar - Posted - 03/26/2009:  12:13:31


I too have a dean six string banjitar. It was horrible from the store. I completely took it apart and put it back together making sure everything was tightened up. This helped but after a few addition mods I love it. Heres what I did.
1. Strings - put on a set of High Strung strings.
2. Head - Changed out the head for a black top coated remo head
3. Tailpiece - removed the stock tailpiece and installed a Gold Tone tailpiece that they use on their banjitars. Had to drill a new hole for it but it works good.
4. Bridge - I had a custom bridge made by Greg at Buckeye Banjos. I would highly recommend this. this greatly improved the sound, volume, and sustain of the instrument. Love it.

I also installed an SMP pickup by Gold Tone but that doesn't really effect the sound at all.

Justin

preecher - Posted - 03/26/2009:  15:20:44


I want one of those. The problem is, I can't mentally get pastr the banjo part. I play the five string and I play the guitar. When I've tried to fingerpick one of these in a store, I automatically play banjo rolls and not guitar rolls!

Jack Russel - Posted - 03/30/2009:  16:34:30


screwing everything together tightly is a good idea - the neck's probably loose and the head tension is probably all over the place. you don't need to change the head, just set it up with a reasonable and even tension. Then check the slits in the nut to see that they dip toward the peghead to give a clean edge on the fretboard side. Ditto for the notches in the bridge. Place the bridge (2 x (nut to 12th fret) + 2mm) from the nut at 1st string, raking the bridge so that the bass string is about 3mm longer than the 1st. Re-string with 12-52 strings and set the tailpiece low. It should sound a bit better and the intonation won't be a mile out. Dean guit banjos work better than some others due to their 25" scale length - other brands produce 22" scale models which are a comparative nightmare to set up.

Jack

fred davis - Posted - 03/30/2009:  18:12:25


I did everything that Jack R stated except I have the tail piece high in order to increast sustain ( I hope ) right now I'm taking jass guitar lessons due to the tuning and trying?? to play blues best of luck with your new instrument



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