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Bullet Proofing My Banjo

Posted by JedMarum on Thursday, November 17, 2011

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I spoke with Carolina Bridges at Deering about the sound I got out of one of my Goodtime banjos - and how I'd brightened it up by increasing the tension on the head, using medium gauge strings and tuning it up to A. While I was getting a great sound, I was beginning to suffer some unwanted problems from the increased tension; the bridge was curving a bit and the head was sinking beneath it. 

Carolina suggested I consider upgrading my bridge and replacing the head with a Kevlar head. So I did both and I have to say, she was right on! I have a new banjo! It sounds great and has plenty of power.

Kevlar is surprisingly warm but bright sounding, with this setup ... as a longtime guitar player, I tend to be heavy handed on the banjo, so this configuration really suits me. I can wail away at it, and that little Goodtime sounds just fine!

I always joke that there is nothing so permanent as a temporary solution, and I started playing the Goodtime banjo for a while, until I decided what kind of "good" banjo to move to, after I sold my Vega longneck. That was abut 10 years ago and now I have two Goodtimes and no "upscale" banjo (yet). If I keep finding ways to tweak these Goodtimes and get what I'm looking for, I'll probably have them forever!

3 comments on “Bullet Proofing My Banjo”

dthomas Says:
Thursday, November 17, 2011 @12:46:07 PM

i love my good time crow

erikforgod Says:
Friday, January 6, 2012 @4:41:14 AM

I agree I have a Crow and now just recently a Goodtime Classic Scooped neck banjo. My new one is having some set-up issues ( the action is almost flat on the frets ) Janet said to give the nut inside the co-rod a quarter to half a turn to raise the easy fix. But anyways these banjos sound great! Its great to meet a guy that feels the way I do about these little banjos. carolina is super nice also...I have chatted with her a few times....

JedMarum Says:
Monday, March 5, 2012 @4:52:19 PM

Deering has a banjo manual on-line at their website. It is really helpful. I used it to readjust my string height and it worked like a champ!

Look here

and click the Goodtime Banjo link. It will download the whole doc to your computer (in PDF form) and it will walk you through the process of adjusting your string height.

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