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Strummin' on the New Banjo

Posted by DantheBanjoMan on Thursday, October 21, 2010

I just picked up a Gold Tone CC six string banjo (aka a banjitar) to use as a substitute for my guitar during practice sessions.  I find it much more comfortable to play, but I wasn't happy with the tone as it came from the music shop.  It was really dead and thunky sounding, although the intonation was good and I liked the way it looked so I bought it and took a chance.

This is at least the third time I've updated this blog.  At first I said I was able to make some improvements but the tone still wasn't what I wanted it to be, but after a few weeks of tweaking I am very happy with the tone.

The CC has a simple brass tone ring which is the type of tone ring I prefer on all of my instruments.  Over the period of a decade or so I've learned a lot of tricks to get excellent tone from this often misunderstood tone ring.

I was able to make substantial improvements to the tone by tightening the head and  replacing the bridge with one I made myself .   The factory bridge seemed overbuilt, and I made a lighter one out of Michigan maple and ebony.  The tone immediately improved, and after a few weeks of gently tightening the head it really rings.

My original thought was to replace the Gold Tone strings with a slighlty lighter gauge of strings, but I haven't yet tried it so I don't know what the result would be.  The D'Addario EXL 110W regular light wound 3rd 10-46 electric guitar strings might be a good choice.  According to D'Addario the strings have the same metalurgy as their banjo strings, so it should be a good match.  The strings have ball ends,  which might or might not work with every tail piece, but it will work with mine.  At this point the tone has improved enough that I'm happy with the Gold Tone strings.





1 comment on “Strummin' on the New Banjo”

Frebazak Says:
Saturday, October 30, 2010 @11:18:06 AM

Cool! I have not had much luck selling mine, so I am going to invest in new tailpiece to expand the string spacing... like the one on my OT6. I'm going to have to look into the strings that are on it too.

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