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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!

7071 reviews in the archive.

Tailpieces  Fults BlueRidge Parallel Banjo Part/Accessory Reviews

Submitted by RicNew38 (see all reviews from this person) on 10/29/2010

Where Purchased: Bob Fults

Overall Comments

I have two Fults tailpieces - one is on my 1927archtop Mastertone and the other on my Sullivan Greenbriar. I am very impressed with the engineering quality and finish. However I can't go along with the 'over the top' enthusiasm about the fantastic tone that they gave to either instrument. I can't really say that I noticed any appreciable difference to either of them tone wise.
The best feature I think is the novel way that they clamp on to the two bottom tension hooks and eliminate the change in tuning when I use the Keith tuners. Why the archaic method of fixing the tailpiece with the single bolt has lasted so long escapes me. Both of mine give me a rock solid string anchorage and correct string spacing. Sorry if my ears are unable to detect all these wonderful tone qualities but I just think this is how banjo tailpieces should have been made about fifty years ago.

Overall Rating: 10

Submitted by kenw3579 (see all reviews from this person) on 5/13/2009

Where Purchased: www.banjotailpiece.com

Overall Comments

The latest creation from Bob Fults! When I custom-ordered it a month ago, reviews were not yet back from his team of banjo testers. It is basically a BlueRidge tailpiece in a parallel design, giving the benefit of all strings being at the same height. Like the original BlueRidge, it allows the use of tone pins and kicker pins (explanation on his site, www.banjotailpiece.com).
I purchased his following models:1933 (bright sound; apparent predecessor to the 1934); 1934 Parallel; and the BlueRidge Parallel with optional lead and silver (special order) tone pins. I tried the BlueRidge on my open-back banjo, and it cut out some tone. When I put it on my Goldtone kit OB250+ bluegrass banjo, it improved the tone, taking out the sharp annoying tones I otherwise had. (Incidentally, the 1933 became my choice for my open-back instrument...great tone).
The result? I highly recommend the BlueRidge Parallel, with the tone pins I selected. Tone pins contact the tension hoop of the banjo, and alter the tone according to the material they are made of. The silver tone pin gives a clarity to the tone, which I like. The lead pin deepens the tone, for a more mellow, sweeter sound. A brass “kicker pin” came with the tailpiece, and is basically a tone pin that is short and doesn’t make contact with the tension hoop. Without these devices, the tailpiece gives a lot of sustain, with very good tone. With the kicker pin, the tone is a bit more focused, with less sustain. This flexibility of tone control is of significant benefit. It is because of the option of these pins that I prefer this tailpiece over the Fults 1934 Parallel.
Incidentally, other tailpieces I have tried on my bluegrass banjo are the Goldtone Straightline and the Kersner. It is my opinion that the Fults BlueRidge Parallel (and 1934 Parallel) are vastly superior.

Overall Rating: 10

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