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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!

7193 reviews in the archive.

Tailpieces  Presto Tailpiece Banjo Part/Accessory Reviews

Submitted by Sniperdoc (see all reviews from this person) on 6/10/2015

Where Purchased: : Came on Banjo

Overall Comments

I just upgraded from a Goodtime 2 to an old style Deering Deluxe, which was equipped with a Presto Tailpiece.

I am quite dissatisfied with this item.

Let me start off clarifying that I have only been around banjos a couple of years, and have never owned or played any high end banjos, or messed around with tailpieces. My Goodtime tailpiece was just fine, though, and never gave a moment's consideration.

I have been a gunsmith, machinist, tool / die maker for a number of years, though, and am no stranger to good mechanics. I can tell you that the key to building an accurate rifle is to eliminate all the little things that detract from accuracy. You can't just go add in accuracy, you solve the problems. I have to believe that to a certain extent, the same holds true to a banjo. So that the major components are a good quality and design, they key is to put them together in such a way that is correct and you get the best sound feasible for that instrument, is my thought.

So I looked at the tailepiece, the Presto, and right away, I see a problem. There is a screw loose that looks like it is supposed to bear against my tone ring. That make no sense whatsoever to me why anything should contact the tone ring and disrupt the beautiful sound waves traveling through it, but perhaps I don't know anything.

Moving on, I look at the strings and their respective grooves, and am baffeled. There are five hooks for strings, and only four grooves indented for the strings to lay in. One string (the center one) is pulled over and laying over another string. This is now disturbing me, as this certainly cannot be right, but yes it is the way this one was made. I go back to look at the Goodtime, and none of the strings are touching each other, for contrast.

The way the piece is mounted to the banjo is very unstable. One small tension hook sized bolt holds the tailpiece to the flange. The Goodtime has a big nut that mounts the tailpiece solidly to the coordinating rod sticking through the rim.

Lastly, I look at this lightweight piece of potmetal cover that lays over the strings and think, well it should be okay, until I start to play and hear this awful buzzing sound coming from the tailpiece. Well the cover is pressing down on one of  the strings so I flip it back. It stops buzzing for a  bit. Then it starts buzzing again, so i flip it back some more. The buzzing completely stops when I flip the cover all the way back. Such crap.

In summary I think this is a junk quality tailpiece of questionable design. If I hadn't already ordered a Fults, I would be cutting the cover piece off altogether. The old ones must be a whole different animal than the one I have.

Stay away!

Overall Rating: 1

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