Banjo Hangout Logo
Banjo Hangout Logo

Premier Sponsors

957
Banjo Lovers Online


Banjo Reviews

Review Categories

Most Recent

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.

Bridges  Bart Veerman Mystery Wood Bridge Banjo Part/Accessory Reviews

Submitted by jcking (see all reviews from this person) on 2/6/2020

Where Purchased: Bart's web site

Overall Comments

My goal was to have slightly wider string spacing and adjust the tone to moderate the high frequency bite on my Goodtime Americana. I had already switched to a Fiberskyn head and Rickard tailpiece, both of which made major progress toward the clawhammer sound I was seeking. Bart was easy to deal with and promptly sent the 5/8" untopped mystery wood bridge with 46mm spacing. It arrived meticulously packaged and I installed it easily.

My observations are that although the bridge is somewhat smaller than the factory bridge, there is plenty of volume and the notes seem "rounder" and more "civilized", seeming to lose their hard edges.  I am sufficiently pleased that I will likely order from Bart again when the time comes to replace this one.

 

Overall Rating: 10

Submitted by gratefulbiker (see all reviews from this person) on 3/3/2019

Where Purchased: Bart's Website banjobridge.com

Overall Comments

This review is for a 9/ 16" , A weight, three leg, ebony topped, mystery wood bridge with 46mm spacing. It is installed on a Gold Tone BC 350 with a Renaissance head and medium gauge steel strings.

First off, dealing with Bart was a pleasure. He responded to emails in a timely manner and answered all my questions regarding what bridge would work best with my banjo.

After choosing my desired specs and sending payment via the Paypal link on the site, Bart emailed saying the bridge was en-route and it arrived from Canada to central IL in less than a week. The bridge was packed in a bubble wrap envelope including a small insert with some basic bridge info, installation instructions, and specs.

The bridge itself is quite nice and the attention to detail is obvious. It is hand signed by Bart and is marked on the bottom of the feet for proper orientation. There are no rough edges anywhere and the string slots are flawless. 

I have tried two other bridges on this banjo; the stock ebony topped maple, and a Gary Sosebee ebony topped select maple, both in 44mm spacing. Bart's bridge is significantly smaller in size compared to the two previous ones, but there is absolutely no shortage of tone or volume. The banjo sounded pretty damn good with the other bridges, but now it just has more "pop" and the note separation is more distinct throughout the handful of tunings I use, even when capoed and spiked. I would describe the overall sound as full and balanced.

I wouldn't hesitate to recommend Bart to anyone looking for a bridge. Everything about the experience was top notch. A fantastic product backed up by great communication/ advice and timely shipping/ delivery. 10s across the board. 

Bart's website is also a great resource for banjo information in general; worth checking out even if you're not in the market for a bridge.

 

Overall Rating: 10

Submitted by oldtimememory (see all reviews from this person) on 1/27/2019

Where Purchased: Banjobridge.com

Overall Comments

I sent Bart the order form from his website with a few questions -- his responses were quick and thorough, and a bridge was quickly on its way to me. It arrived within a week shipped from Canada. 

The bridge itself (an uncapped mystery wood 3-foot 5 string) is flawless, the custom slotting was perfect, and the height and spacing are spot on. Compared to a hard maple ebony cap, the mystery wood bridge sounds mellow and full, without any muddy overtones on the low end. It doesn't sacrifice clarity, but is free from the aggressively bright growl that some hardwood capped bridges tend toward, and without losing the belltones on the high strings -- the sound of this bridge on my fretless Reiter is exactly what I was looking for. 

I'm quite happy both with my interaction with Bart as well as with the bridge, and will look to him in the future when searching for a bridge to complement my banjos. Highly recommended. 

Overall Rating: 10

Submitted by Texican65 (see all reviews from this person) on 10/1/2018

Where Purchased: directly from Bart

Overall Comments

Just a VERY positive "shout-out" for Bart and his superb bridges. Everybody deserves to have one of these on your banjo. After experimenting for several years with different bridges, I've come to favor the Veerman bridge, especially on my '63 Vega Scruggs model. Bart's mystery wood bridge "WOKE" this banjo up when 8-10 other professional bridges could not. The clarity, tone, and power achieved through using this mystery wood blew my socks off....especially when this bridge gave my Vega a BOOMING 4th, which I had been unable to find previously. All of Bart's bridges are special. 

Bart is also very easy and fun to deal with. Very respectful and obliging, and he delivers on time when he says he will. Aside from his standard work, he also performs custom requests. Along with all the 5 string bluegrass bridges he's made for me, he recently made me an 1890's 2 footed classic style bridge, to spec per my measurements. I must have given him 20 different specs, and he nailed it. Very happy with Bart's service and work over the years, I wont use anything else. 

Just trying to spread the word here....these bridges and Bart are special.  Thanks Bart!

 

Dow

Overall Rating: 10

Submitted by ildertongap (see all reviews from this person) on 4/23/2018

Where Purchased: Bart’s Place !!!!

Overall Comments

Bart invited me to come visit him and try out a bunch of bridges for my 2013 Deering Calico. I wanted to changeout the 5/8 bridge for an 9/16 bridge. So I took him up on his offer, made the trip to Hamilton and spent a wonderful afternoon exploring the world of banjo bridges as guided by Bart. I settled on a mystery wood bridge, it has had some time to settle in on the Calico and sounds fantastic. Thanks Bart !!!!

Overall Rating: 10

Submitted by rockybottom16 (see all reviews from this person) on 8/19/2017

Where Purchased: From Bart

Overall Comments

I have an OME that was just too strong in the upper midrange - kind of clangy.  Bart suggested one of his "mystery wood" bridges (uncapped) and it solved the problem instantly.  Banjo now has a nice dry pop and is extremely well balanced from string to string. And his workmanship is second to none!

Overall Rating: 10

Submitted by Stolkee (see all reviews from this person) on 4/25/2017

Where Purchased: Direct

Overall Comments

I ordered a mystery wood bridge from Bart.  Very prompt delivery.  I wanted to try an alternative with ebony top, and Bart sent it to me right away.  After some other tweaks, I actually decided that I liked the first one better, and Bart was extremely patient and flexible through the entire process.  Very high recommendation.  The bridge is beautifully made, and sounds amazing!

Overall Rating: 10

Submitted by silverface (see all reviews from this person) on 12/8/2016

Where Purchased: Direct

Overall Comments

I purchased a couple of bridges from Bart after email exchanges that delved fairly deep into my tonal targets - and especially variable dynamics (i.e altering picking hand position and attack to adjust volume, drive, tone, sustain, decay, overtones...pretty much every variable).

 

 I recently acquired  '26 TB1 pot with a Ryan Tone ring, Gill  resonator, Gibson  (wreath) neck, vintage Gibson OPF, Presto-type & Prucha hoop/hardware.  I'm also primarily a guitar player and do a little straight bluegrass, but more melodic alternative "from the hip" improvisations and a lot of guitarish styling. 

 

Bart recommended 2 bridges and nailed it.  When I am playing bluegrass, for the prototypical dry, loud, powerful, dynamic "Earl" sound his #6 "Mystery wood/ebony topped" bridge is incredible.  And as loud as you can play with it, it also works great when you need to "reign it in" and p[lay more delicately.

 

I've used a lot of bridges over the years and Bart's products are a huge step forward.  I'm an anal tone freak & I don't casually heap praise on anything - only when it *really* works.   For players looking for THE bluegrass sound, this is it.

Overall Rating: 10

Submitted by Roy L (see all reviews from this person) on 10/21/2015

Where Purchased: Bart Veerman

Overall Comments

Love this bridge!!  I have several bridges which didn't work for my Ome Jubilee, but this plain top, heavy weight bridge has brought warmth with clarity to my banjo.  Accolades to Bart.

Overall Rating: 10

Submitted by bulk (see all reviews from this person) on 1/12/2015

Where Purchased: Direct

Overall Comments

I have the untopped mystery wood bridge 5/8 tall, B weight with 46mm clawhammer spacing. I was pleasantly surprised by how much this  bridge mellowed out the sound of my banjo. I still get an amazingly clear tone, but the edge has been taken off and now its smooth and mellow but still clear. I would highly recommend this bridge for anyone who likes to play old time banjo and likes a more mellow, smooth sound. 

Overall Rating: 10

Submitted by Kermitthehermit (see all reviews from this person) on 11/8/2014

Where Purchased: direct

Overall Comments

An "enigma" wood/ebony bridge was purchased for a new banjitar that came with a poorly shaped model that made proper intonation impossible.  Now the intonation is spot-on, note separation has improved and the instrument is louder.  The cost including shipping was $40.  Given the obvious improvement in tone and volume, I don't think this upgrade was expensive at all.  Bart's communication was also excellent.  Highly recommended!

Overall Rating: 10

Submitted by Viper (see all reviews from this person) on 9/26/2014

Where Purchased: : direct from Bart Veerman

Overall Comments

What I ordered: Basic two-footed bridge, 5/8-inch tall, mystery wood, no top, 46-millimeter “clawhammer” string spacing. (Cost: $20, including shipping.)

My banjo specs: Short scale, walnut neck, 12-inch thin maple rim (Keller drum shell), Dobson tone ring, thin goatskin head, Chris Sands heavy strings. (See review here.)

Selection: Bart offers a wide variety of bridge styles with a long list of options to customize each bridge order. You can specify number of legs, height, wood, finish, string spacing, compensation and more.

Price: Bart’s bridges start at $15 and escalate in price depending on the myriad options available for customization. Your base option offers choice of height, wood and string spacing. Shipping is $3 within Canada, $5 to the United States and $7 elsewhere.

Availability: You can order Bart’s bridges directly from his website at banjobridge.com or from respected online retailers Elderly Instruments and Janet Davis Music.

Quality: The Bridge is attractive and sturdy. The craftsmanship appears top-notch.

Ordering: Bart’s order form asks a number of detailed questions about your banjo to ensure the bridge you order best matches your instrument. The ordering process is a bit clunky, as you have to submit the order form and PayPal payment separately. However, Bart’s response time is excellent. He responded the next day, asking additional questions about my banjo to ensure the bridge met my needs. I ordered on a Friday, and the bridge was shipped on the following Monday.

Bart is based in Canada, so mailing time to the United States takes some time due to customs, etc. Bart estimated seven to 12 days. My bridge arrived in seven days.

Service: Throughout it all, Bart was in constant communication, notifying me when he received my order, asking questions and following up to make sure the bridge arrived and met my expectations. His customer service is superb.

The bridge arrived in a padded envelope with a business card and invoice. The bridge was marked on the bottom with a “1” on one foot and a “5” on the other to indicate the proper orientation in relation to the strings. I just slipped the bridge under the strings with my old bridge in place and switched it out for the new one with a quick check on the intonation, and I was ready to play.

Playability and sound notes: My banjo immediately sounded louder and crisper upon installing the Bart Veerman bridge. The tone has more clarity, pop and warmth with a quick note decay. Although I have not played my banjo in a group setting as of this writing, my suspicion is that it will be able to cut through better than it was able to previously.

It took almost no time to adapt to the wider “clawhammer” spacing. The difference is so subtle that I didn’t even think about the additional space at first, but now I’m reveling in the ability to drop thumb more cleanly without catching on the other strings. The slots fit my strings perfectly thanks to Bart’s initial emails about my banjo.

I don’t know what Bart’s method is of matching a bridge to a banjo, but he does a masterful job. Part of the secret has to be in his ordering form, which asks for all the particulars of your banjo. I entered nylon strings on the form, and he followed up about which strings to get the exact gauge.

Comparison: Bridge prices vary widely, from $3.50 mass produced no-name products to $60 boutique handmade bridges. I’ve used cheap Grover bridges and more expensive Moon bridges and some in between. Bart’s bridge prices fall nicely in the median between cheap and boutique options, but he sets himself apart by offering such detailed customization and having a knack for pairing his bridges to the banjo you describe. I’ve never had a bridge that made such an immediate difference. I would not hesitate to order another bridge from Bart or recommend his bridges to other players. His prices are reasonable, and his product and service are exceptional.

Overall Rating: 9

Submitted by lucas73b (see all reviews from this person) on 4/27/2014

Where Purchased: directly from Bart

Overall Comments

For my 5-string clawhammer banjo I ordered from Bart a 2-legged bridge made from solid mystery wood. The bridge had to be customized to match the radiussed fretboard of the banjo. I am very happy with the bridge Bart made for me: it looks pretty and well made, and it gave the banjo a warmer yet brighter sound with more volume.

Bart is a very friendly and highly professional person to deal with - after I sent him an e-mail he immediately contacted me back to confirm the order and to double check on some of the details. Also, I learned a lot about bridges from Bart's website banjobridge.com.

Overall Rating: 10

Submitted by gabeeg (see all reviews from this person) on 2/23/2014

Where Purchased: Bart Veerman

Overall Comments

This is the second Mystery Wood Bridge I bought, the first was a solid mystery wood bridge and it is fine for my newer brighter banjo but I needed a bridge for an older Celebrated Benary Open back that I have. This banjo has nylgut strings a skin head and is real "Thunky" in tone. It came with a old two foot Grover bridge that someone hand cut to accept the thicker Nylgut strings. I thought of ordering another solid Mystery Wood direct from Bart but decided on the Ebony topped Mystery Wood hoping it might have a more dynamic tone. Bart was very helpful in helping me get the correct slot sizing for my Nylgut with red 4th string. I end up get a bridge with slightly wider than Crowe spacing in 9/16th height to raise the action of the banjo. The end result was perfect. The action is now perfect, the slots were a perfect match for the Nylguts. The tone is just what I wanted, it took the edge off the "Thunkyness" and even gave a bit of enhanced volume. I am very, very happy with Barts Bridge. Highly recommended, especially if you need some customization. Bart was very helpful.

Overall Rating: 9

Submitted by MOUNTAIN GOAT (see all reviews from this person) on 11/23/2013

Where Purchased: Bart Veerman

Overall Comments

I just got to try four different bridges made by Bart Veerman.  One was his mystery bridge, and the other three were made out of different woods of his choice.  Bart wanted to see what his bridge would do on a good woody banjo and I wanted to see what difference they would make.  First off, I haven't seen this good of workmanship on any other bridge, including mine.  And I make nice stuff.

All the bridges sounded very good.  They all had excellent sustain.  They all worked well up the neck.  Each bridge gave my banjo a different character.  One was mellower, one kind of a warm sound.  The other two gave my banjo a more blue grass sound, one more than the other.

The change in character was a big surprise.

What does all that mean?   It means that it might just take trying several bridges before you find the one that makes the sound you want on your banjo.  Or you might one bridge for playing certain tunes and a different bridge for other tunes, or other styles of tunes.  I never would have guessed a bridge could do this.

These are made really nice, and you are missing out on what might give you that sound until you try one or more.  I think you really don't know until you try a few.

 

I also found that when his bridge is set right, the worst string would be about two cents off on intonation.  Not really enough to worry about.

 

 

 

Overall Rating: 10

Submitted by Lester M (see all reviews from this person) on 5/22/2013

Where Purchased: Direct from Bart

Overall Comments

A thing of beauty. Bart is a craftsman. Smartened up the old Gold tone like you wouldn't believe.

Overall Rating: 10

Submitted by chadp (see all reviews from this person) on 8/20/2012

Where Purchased: Direct

Overall Comments

HOLY CRAP. I didn't know it was possible for my banjo to have such clear, loud tone. I love it. It's like having a new instrument, I had to force myself to put it down to write this review.

If you're in any way second guessing it, don't. Just send him your money.

Overall Rating: 10

Submitted by blindjesse (see all reviews from this person) on 3/26/2012

Where Purchased: elderly.com

Overall Comments

Very nice tone. Good workmanship. 1st string slot is a little wide but not bad.

Overall Rating: 10

Submitted by Sultans of Claw (see all reviews from this person) on 6/29/2010

Where Purchased: Bart Veerman

Overall Comments

Immaculate craftsmanship and impeccable service from a scholar and a gentleman!

Overall Rating: 10

Hangout Network Help

View All Topics  |  View Categories

0.078125