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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!

6867 reviews in the archive.

Bridges: Bart Veerman "Archie" bridge

Submitted by FlyinEagle on 8/23/2018

Where Purchased:

Overall Comments

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

Banjo mutes: Mike's Banjo Mute

Submitted by FlyinEagle on 5/15/2018

Where Purchased: From Mike's Website

Overall Comments

It’s taken too long to post this review. 

I’ve been using Mike’s Mute for probably close to a year now.  As the many other reviews drive home, Mike’s Mute is very effective at it job, and it is very well designed and well made.   My wife and daughter are very thankful that I made the purchase.

It has certainly allowed me to increase my practice time after the baby has gone to bed, but it has had an unexpected benefit to my picking.  The mute works so well that I became aware of how often my thumbpick was striking the head.  Just be hearing when it was happening, I was suddenly able to make the adjustments – almost subconsciously – to reduce the thumb strikes.  I can’t believe it, never would have predicted it, but that is what happened.

So I recommend the mute for that reason along with all the others mentioned in previous reviews. 

Overall Rating: 10

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