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: Directly through David Wadsworth
I ordered two bridges from David - 5/8" and .656" maple both Crowe spaced. He told me he has acquired some 150 yr old wood that he has tried on several banjos and believes this wood is possibly the best he has had. I went with the 'Grover' style design.
The bridges came in the mail today and I slipped the taller bridge on the banjo. This bridge has 12 growth rings. It delivers a VERY balanced tone across the frequencies, exactly what I was looking for. I am planning on leaving the bridge on indefinitely because it really does sound amazing.
I highly recommend David Wadsworth bridges.
Overall Rating: 10
Where Purchased: Through Hangout member along with several other parts
I am very impressed with this bridge. While not for everyone, it certainly does the trick in getting what most pickers would want. I purchased it in accordance with my upgraded banjo, since it was recommended to me; although I can't see why it wouldn't work on many other banjos, too.
For those looking for that elusive prewar rumble, this bridge will not disappoint. The key is to leave it on the banjo for 48 hours...every single one I have tried, while slightly different in tone, opens up wonderfully. The bridges sound rather average and unappealing when first installed - it takes a little while being installed and picked to really shine. Don't be affraid to pick it hard for the first few days, either. They all seem to like that. Once the bridge has opened up, they will bounce back amazingly quick to the "ideal" spot even if the entire banjo hasn't been played for days.
One of my favorite things about the bridge is how light weight they are. Because the wood is much drier than most other bridges I have tried, this means you can have a slightly thicker/taller bidge without the normal change in tone and volume usually associated with them. I've been using 11/16" bridges forever, simply because I like that particular height, but I have never been satisfied with the tone they give. The smaller 5/8" bridges have always sounded better to me, since the smaller mass brings out the kind of tones I like to hear in a banjo. With the Wadsworth bridges, that problem is gone!
I don't think they really "add" any particular tonal quality to the instrument as far as "highs," "lows," or "mids." The main thing seems to be that they just don't take anything away - they make each banjo's voice on which they're installed sound their best. I highly recommend Dave Wadsworth's product, especially for Mastertone-style banjos.
Overall Rating: 8
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