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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!

7075 reviews in the archive.

Bridges  Bart Veerman Custom Compensated Banjo Part/Accessory Reviews

Submitted by c_t_s_o (see all reviews from this person) on 8/24/2017

Where Purchased: Bart Veerman

Overall Comments

Bridge type: Mystery wood (plain top) with custom compensation and medium (“B”) weight

I have a long-neck banjo that used to have intonation problems that really drove me nuts. Needing to use a capo in order to reach all the scales, I started noticing (in line with my improved hearing and my tampering with the banjo itself) that the intonation was painfully off. And the intonation was impossible to get right – I tried several “standard” compensated bridges.

The level of aggravation was high. It got to the point where I started contemplating selling the whole thing, giving up on the project of using a banjo as accompaniment for my singing. And that was a really depressing feeling, because of all the time and money put into this, not to mention the coolness of playing a 5-string when singing.

Searching for an answer, I came across Bart's concept. It seemed smart, and I went along for the ride. I measured the distance every string needed to intone correctly. There was a bit of difference between the distance needed by each sting – the 3rd string needed a lot of extra length (7mm!). This showed further that “tailor-made compensation” was needed. I sent my findings to Bart.

Long story short: I kept the banjo.

If you're so unlucky to be plagued by intonation problems, there is no need to dabble in standard type bridges anymore. It will be a waste of time and money. I think you have to go the whole nine yards and get a bridge from Bart. It's such a huge relief to know that you can play without having to listen to notes that are all over the place, as if your banjo is cursed.

I'm very happy I went this route.

Overall Rating: 10

Submitted by Cyndy (see all reviews from this person) on 7/4/2017

Where Purchased: Bart Veerman (banjobridge.com)

Overall Comments

Just purchased a 9/16 custom compensated ebony-topped mystery wood bridge with 46 mm (clawhammer) spacing from Bart Veerman and installed it on my 12" Enoch Tradesman (with Rickard Dobson-style tone ring).

It solved a third-string intonation problem and, to my ear and tastes, the banjo now sounds and feels great.

I measured for the compensation and specified the height and string spacing and asked for Mr. Veerman's advice on wood and weight. He was very helpful and his emails were prompt, polite, and informative.

Based on this experience, I wouldn't hesitate to purchase from him again. 

Overall Rating: 10

Submitted by chickenz (see all reviews from this person) on 11/27/2016

Where Purchased: Direct From Bart

Overall Comments

I have the Mystery Untopped bridge and am very pleased with it:

- the custom compensation has corrected intonation that a couple of generic compensated bridges didn't; the first few frets of the 3rd string hold no fears for me now

- The craftsmanship is top notch

- I really like the way the curved, untopped bridge looks, very organic. If Gaudi had made banjo bridges, they would have looked like this.

I may go another round at some point as I think I could have gone a bit further on the 4th string compensation, but that's on me and my measurements, not the bridge! 

Overall Rating: 10

Submitted by Alexmorley100 (see all reviews from this person) on 11/4/2016

Where Purchased: Online

Overall Comments

I have been using Bart's Bridges for a while now.  I have given them to my friends and it always make their banjos sound amazing. first started with a two footer on my Gold Tone CC-100, and it did wonders. MY friend still plays that banjo and it sounds amazing with Bart's Bridge. 

I now play a Cedar Mountain with a 12 inch pot.  I have had a Bart Bridge on there since I got it but I recently purchased and custom compensated bridge. Bart's instruction and very clear and he is very helpful in insuring that the custom compensation is measured correctly.  He is also very nice to do business with. He responds quickly and clearly cares about his work. 

When the bridge arrived and I set it up I notice right away that it really did wonders with the intonation. And it maintained that great sound that all the Bart bridges I have used provide.  One great advantage of the custom compensation is that the string slots are straight on the strings. I used to slant my bridge, and that would choke off the sustain a little bit. Now, it has that same great sound, but with added sustain. 

 

I'd like to thank Bart for his work making banjos sound better and I highly recommend reading his website and ordering a bridge that's right for you.

 

Thanks Bart.  

Overall Rating: 10

Submitted by mtuttle (see all reviews from this person) on 1/21/2010

Where Purchased: Bart Veerman

Overall Comments

I recently purchased a custom compensated bridge from Bart and am very happy with it. I have a Deering Deluxe and, as with almost all banjos I have played, it needs a compensated bridge to be accurate over the whole fretboard. I used a Moon bridge for many years, and the intonation was better than a straight bridge, but not adequate. Determining the correct bridge compensation was straightforward, but Bart spent a lot of time working with me to find the right bridge material to achieve the tone I wanted. Once the material was selected, Bart made the compensated bridge and it works wonderfully. For the first time, I can play a chord at the nut and above the 12th fret, and both are in tune.

Overall Rating: 10

Submitted by Gomer (see all reviews from this person) on 2/4/2008

Where Purchased: Directly from Bart VeermanHimself

Overall Comments

You don't really purchase one of these bridges, you acquire it in phases.
I was having some intonation problems which I though could have been due to inept fingering or holding the banjar in a weird state, but at the end of the day the second was a bit flat and the third a bit sharp.
After your curiosity is piqued at his website you learn enough to make a competent decision for yourself and you decide to order.
Then you go through all the drill in testing the amount of compensation that you might need. The order is sent.
You have about 3 e-mails each way to discuss what you are looking for in terms of sound and timbre. Then there were two phone calls to clarify. I wanted a brighter sound, which Bart clarified as "exuberant"rather than bright so as not to confuse the effect of the tome ring. He went to work and left a note a few days later that it was on the way. Mine was a lighter bridge over stock (4mm v 5mm or thereabouts). There is an immediate difference in the voice of the Banjo. a hear a crisper note with noticeably more sustain and less drop-off as the note decays. I guess another way to say it is that it is much less plunckier that the stock Deering bridge and slightly more brilliant than the Moon bridges I have on my stuff.
It was a pretty impressive process with Mr. Veerman , at one point suggesting that I might not want to purchase his bridge if I could get my own to work by slanting it to flat the 4 and 5 string. That kind of helped but not quite enough and by that time I had invested so much time in figuring out the problem that I ought to do something. I am glad I did not follow his advice. The intonation problem is a thing of the past
I hear a lot about the Snuffies and the like and I am sure that they are really good. But this one was like a design-build process of which I was a part.
Update 30 days after purchase: Bart contacted me about a week after the bridge arrived to see that it met my expectations, I bought another different one just to have in the arsenal. You get the feeling that he doesn't sell these, but rather, he gives them up for adoption to good homes!

update3-3-08
I just put a Veerman ENIGMA bridge. I added a bit of height and went to the 44 (JD CROWE) spacing to help the comfort. This thing Rocks!!! it is as exuberant as hell and yet there is a clear improvement in the bass notes even or the Mystery bridge. By bass, I don't mean mellow or plucky. . . I mean BASS. When we were negotiating the acquisition, I thought I heard Bart to say that the top would mellow a bit with the Enigma. NO WAY! There is no trade off. I am looking for trades to share my library of Bridges, but no further experimentation on the Veerman

Overall Rating: 10

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