Posted by yellowdog on Tuesday, August 26, 2008
Had a lot of fun this weekend unveiling and demonstrating our improved mechanical tone control amps for banjos and guitars (see classifieds for info) at the Bee Three Vintage Carolina Guitar show in Charlotte, NC. Great show! - Helpful staff and friendly help from the folks at Bag Man Gig Bags in the next booth. (Bag Man sells great looking gig bags - check em out.) We received many compliments on the sound of our tone amp mounted in my Gibson Mastertone and made believers of sound surface waves out of a lot of folks. ("You can't see 'em, you can't feel 'em and you can't hear 'em, folks, but they are there!" - I sounded like a snake oil salesman!) Sound surface waves are the "gospel" that I preach trying to convince people in the musical instrument industry that surface wave management is the key to great sounding but inexpensive instruments.
I was demonstrating this to one fellow - changing the tone of a Gibson by inserting tone squares of brass, steel and wood between the tone amp's sound pickup point (a bolt head) and the banjo's wood rim when he said, "What does paper sound like?" I said, "I've tried all kinds of paper and none of it sounds very good). He said, "Stick one of those business cards in there". When I did the sound of the banjo just died. I said, "Now, do you believe that surface waves exist?" He said, "Yep". (Why else would sticking a business card in a banjo make any difference?) And just like that we invented the "Business Card Banjo Mute"!
A lot of banjo players don't realize that guitar shows such as the one in Charlotte this weekend have a good many banjos for sale. And they are certainly a better place to buy a banjo than over the web because you can try them out, examine them carefully and discuss the price. The Vintage Guitar Magazine web site lists many of the shows. Entrance is usually free if you take an instrument you'd like to exchange or sell. If you don't the entrance fee us usually about $10.
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