The banjo reviews database is here to help educate people before they purchase an instrument. Of course, this is not meant to be a substitute for playing the instrument yourself!
7071 reviews in the archive.
Where Purchased: DC BANJOWORKS
Back in 2014 I was put in contact with bridge maker David Cunningham, owner of DC BANJOWORKS by luthier John Bowlin with happy results. The bridges David crafted for me were the best I have ever used (See this review: http://www.banjohangout.org/reviews/search.asp?m=s&v=7955&redir=true ).
Recently I was looking to optimize the sound of one of my banjos, a 24" scale open-back with a Dobson tone-ring in 12" diameter. I tried several brands of strings but opted for Nylguts, medium tension, with a Nylgut 4th. When it came to bridges though, I didn't need to shop around. I knew that David Cunningham was the maker to contact. I ordered a three-foot model from him which arrived quickly. In addition to the bridge I ordered, David sent along a two-foot bridge in Walnut with a Padauk cap for me to try. I was intrigued by this bridge and David's tasteful design, that while original, definitely had a traditional look that would not be out of place on a vintage instrument. Both bridges were exceptional, but I was especially impressed by David's two-footed model. I got back in touch with David and ended up receiving an Osage Orange capped Maple bridge along with an Ebony capped Maple one. Both 11/16" two-footers with Crowe spacing. Though he provides a couple different types of maple, it was a hardwood floor maple that David crafted the bridges from. All three were outstanding. I was having a truly difficult time deciding which I liked best. I took the banjo and bridges to visit John Bowlin. After switching the bridges back and forth, we both agreed that on my particular banjo, the Maple/Ebony was the best. As an element of the overall set-up, David's bridge provided a strength of tone, and most notably a clarity that was impressive to say the least. I have rarely heard or played a banjo that combines such clarity with the sort of plunkiness that many old-time players seek. Furthermore, precision is a hallmark of David's product. If you order a bridge of a specific height, weight, and string spacing, you will receive *exactly* that. This bridge is a major factor in the superlative tone and playability of what is now my favorite fretted banjo. I immediately ordered a second bridge with the same specs as a back-up. Keep in mind that every banjo is different, both in design, and set-up. David has the knowledge to give valuable advice as to woods and design that will have your banjo sounding its best. Be sure to avail yourself of his experience.
Not only does David continue to provide an outstanding product at a good value, his customer service and response times are exceptional. He is truly interested in providing a quality product that is right for your playing and your banjo. He is a true craftsman. It was his generosity in sending along a two-footed bridge for me to try that resulted in a surprising result that I scarcely could have predicted.
I wrote in my review of 2014 that DC BANJOWORKS could be assured of my future business, well here we are in 2016, and I'll go one better: David can be assured of my business *everytime* I am in the market for a bridge.
Contact David at:
Overall Rating: 10
'SAILING OVER ENGLAND' 2 hrs
'Cindy' 2 hrs
'Tablature ' 2 hrs
'Wanted BURLILE TONERING' 11 hrs