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 from Bart Veerman
I have this bridge set up on a 1928 TB3 no hole archtop (conversion 5 string neck).
It is a razor thin, seemingly very dense and ultra responsive bridge. It does a very good job at transmitting string vibration to the banjo head. Because of this, I have found increased volume and better (to my ears) clarity in both the bass and the highs. This TB3 was a growling beast from the start but I have found the Archie bridges to REALLY make the banjo vibrate through the resonator when you play it.
I've found that with these bridges it actually takes less hand/finger effort to play. Almost as if the strings are at slightly higher tension (although I'm sure the strings are at the same tension as with other bridges). This translates into a lot of volume if you really dig in, should you ever need to peel the paint off your walls.
These bridges are not compensated in any way however I have achieved perfect intonation (12th fret harmonic vs 12th fretted note) on all 5 strings, very cool!
Only reason I gave the Archie bridges a 9/10 and not a 10/10 is that philosophically there is always room for improvement ;)
Overall Rating: 9
I’ve had one of Bart’s Archie bridges on my mid-sixties flathead bowtie for a few months now, and I have been loving it. I previously had a Purcell Roasted Maple on there, and that sounded good, but there was something missing up the neck…it just didn’t have the sparkle and ring I was looking for. I’ve wanted one of Bart’s bridges for a while now, so I was curious to see what he might suggest for me. I filled out the form he has on his website, and after a couple emails back and forth, I was surprised that he recommended his Archie. I wasn’t even considering that bridge…I just assumed it was only good on an archtop.
I trusted him on it, and I’m glad I did. This bridge improved the tone of this RB-250 by increasing its warmth and response – by a lot. In fact, the improvement in response is downright remarkable. I am able to get a beautiful tone out of the instrument with the lightest touch and lowest volume, and it is as loud as you need it be as well. The biggest improvement was up the neck…all the way up. It is getting a really nice, ringing, bell-like tone from 12 all the way up to 22. I love playing on that part of the neck on this banjo now. When I first put it on, I think I noticed a bit of loss on the bottom end, low on the 4th string. I don’t notice that anymore, and the gains all over the rest of the neck more than make up for it.
And a final word about the craftsmanship of the bridge. It’s easily the most well crafted bridge I have seen. Perfectly shaped to a fine edge…the Archie is thin…very thin, especially at the top. It is easy to see the level of care that goes into making a bridge this fine.
I don’t hesitate to recommend Bart’s bridges for a moment. If you are looking to get something more out of your banjo, drop him a note. You won’t be disappointed.
Overall Rating: 10
Where Purchased: From Bart (banjobridge.com)
I'm using the Archie bridge on a mid 1970's Gibson RB800 (rim upgraded to a Cooperman 3 ply, and turned for a Cox archtop ring). I tried several quality bridges that I already own and was not happy. So I decided to try the "Archie" bridge.
The "Archie" has helped me achieve the pop, brightness, and clarity I was looking for. Also, I am very surprised at the presence of the 4th string from such a thin bridge! If you are looking for an archtop bridge, consider the Veerman "Archie".
Overall Rating: 10
Where Purchased: Elderly Instruments
art, Just spent the last few hours tinkering with my new Archie bridge. I put it on a 70s GTR flathead (thick multi ply rim and likely a poor fitting pot metal tone ring). I tightened the head in the mean time. This banjo with new strings and your bridge (plus a lowered tail piece) has been completely transformed. Likely it had a poor setup prior but the Archie certainly allowed the subtleties of this banjo to come right out. The rest of the set up was a breeze. For this level of flathead it's amazing what it now produces. Oh and I appreciate the warning that came in the package. These bridges certainly crank up the volume. Best to exercise caution around those with sensitive ears. Best bridge by far I've ever used. Sincerely a customer for life, Charles
Overall Rating: 10
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