Posted by BoneDigger on Wednesday, January 6, 2010
Well, after adjusting the truss rod and two of the tuners, most of the buzz is now gone. This banjo now sounds really good to me and I think it's "close" to beiing setup correctly.
On Monday I will be taking the banjo to Dallas to have it looked at by a good luthier. He'll make some suggestions on tonal quality and how it needs to be setup. I'm excited about getting it looked at by a professional!
Now, some great news! I have just put a Deering Goodtime Classic banjo on layaway at Mundt music (it was one sale). So, I'll now have a travel banjo.
Thursday, January 7, 2010 @7:39:46 AM
Gee Whiz. I've lived in Dallas 30 years and my banjos need some work. Just who is this professional "good luthier". I wasn't aware we had one.
Thursday, January 7, 2010 @7:43:14 AM
His name is Jim Penson of Penson String Works. Do you know him?
Thursday, January 7, 2010 @7:52:05 AM
Thanks for the reply. Yes, I know Jim. He is technically in Arlington, a suburb SW of Dallas, and I live NE. He did do some work for me, but admitted he could not correct the problem; the banjo's fault, not his. He is well respected.
Thursday, January 7, 2010 @8:56:17 AM
So, would you say he's pretty good?
Thursday, January 7, 2010 @11:22:16 AM
I have not dealt with him enough to give a good appraisal, nor have I heard from anybody who has had work done. He is a teacher and a performer. I did see some equipment in his garage, lathe, drill press, stuff like that. I am about to send out a banjo for work to Chris Cioffi in Springfield, Tennessee. He worked for years for Huber Banjos, and is starting his own business. His passion is set-up. I heard him on Banjo Talk radio show and thought I would give him a try. He is on BHO as tubeandplate. Jim Yarboro, our other Dallas-area luthier has retired, and Cliff Fitch has quit building for a while. I would be happy to exchange my experience with Chris with your results from Jim if you like, after the work is done
Thursday, January 7, 2010 @4:32:05 PM
Sounds like a winner. I was going to send the banjo out to a Kyle K. Smith in Tennessee, who also gets good reviews for his luthier work, but I'm concerned about shipping the banjo.
Thursday, January 7, 2010 @5:21:40 PM
Iagree, shipping is a concern. I did purchase a couple years ago a shipping container from I believe Beacon Co. in California. I paid I think about $350 for it. It looks like a small coffin, is full of foam, can be locked, and you ship the banjo in its case inside this container. I mail or ship the key separately with my name and address tag. I paid I think about $100 for UPS shipping and insurance from Dallas to Bill Hayes in Maine. My Beacon favorites link no longer works so I guess company was bought out. Search for heavy duty cases, something should come up. Cheaper than getting a broken neck replaced. If you're interested I'll look and see if I see something similar.
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