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: Direct from Jason
I have been using Moon bridges and have been happy with them, but wondered about other bridges. I had a gourd banjo coming from Jason and I had him put in a 11/16" bridge just so I could try it out. All my banjos have Stearn calfskin heads I either get from John Balch or Bob Smakula. After replacing the Moon bride with the Romero bridge, I noticed a considerable difference in tone. I am not good at describing tones, but it was much fuller and warmer to my ear. I'm going to try it on my other banjos and if the sound difference is still very noticeable, I am going to replace them all with Romero bridges. The bridges are thicker and fuller at the feet and body of the bridge. I do not know how the holes in the bridge affect tone, but overall, I really love the bridge.
Overall Rating: 10
Where Purchased: Jason Romero
I purchased this bridge for an Ome Juniper 12" with wooden "tone rim." the banjo came equipped with a Grover compensated that sounded just okay. It was definitely on the tubby side with somewhat dull high and mid range. The Grover was very plunky but pretty boring. I tried a Moon Light i had laying around but it sounded very thin and overall worse than the Grover.
My initial thought being to order a Moon Heavy, I noticed on Jason's website (i peruse often as i'm on his coveted waiting list) that he sold bridges separately for $30 plus $3 shipping. Based on his reputation and the fact that he makes many of his banjos with wooden rims I figured his bridge would be a safe bet. I was right.
I specified bridge height when checking out via paypal and he had the bridge made and sent within a few days. It took about a week to make it to Georgia. The bridge seems about medium weight and of maple construction with a possibly rosewood cap. It features 3 shallow feet and a hole beneath each string. The arc seems to be the same as the Moon, so it is slightly less compensated than the Grover. The top is flat, not arched like the Moon. The width and spacing were perfect as were the slots. I'm sure he could send it unslotted if the buyer preferred.
The bridge drastically altered the sound of the banjo to the point that my non-musician wife commented that it sounded different and better without prompting. It made the high end not only clearer and more pleasing but louder as well. The mid range tones sound fuller and overall i'd describe the tone as crisper and more bell like. Clucks also come out more pronounced. Overall response also increased, the strings seem more sensitive. This may mainly be a function of increased volume.
The one downside is that the banjo did lose some of its low end growl. I guess its hard to have it all. Luckily, since its a 12" banjo there was some low end growl to spare anyway, and the improvement in the high and mid range far out paces the slight loss of bass. Still, this is the only thing that keeps the bridge from getting a 10 rating. For an 11" banjo I would not be sure the bass would be there with this bridge. Then again i do like the bass.
At about the same price as Moon or comparable products, I would recommend Jason's bridges with confidence. He is such a great guy he'd probably take the sucker back if someone received it and didn't care for the tone. I intend to make some sound comparison MP3s once i get my main computer back up, so check those out on the Hangout.
Overall Rating: 9
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