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!
6950 reviews in the archive.
Where Purchased: mikesbanjomute.com
I have spent a good portion of my life, including the present, living in multi-family dwellings. I'm currently in a quadruplex townhouse. Because of this, I tend to only play my minstrel banjo at night, since it is much more quiet than my resonator banjo (an archtop Stew Mac). I like my neighbors, they like me, and I want them to continue to like me!
I've tried various makeshift banjo mutes, over the years. The one I've used the most was a piece of furniture foam stuffed below the bridge, between the strings and the head. While this does effectively lower the volume, it almost completely eliminates sustain. My normally bright sounding archtop produces a dull, but quiet, plunking sound.
Today, I received my Mike's Banjo Mute. The price is very reasonable...I paid $35.49 including shipping. And Mike Stidd shipped it immediately upon receiving my order. I was very pleased at how quickly it arrived, but the true pleasure was in using it for the first time. It is super easy to install and to adjust. I have a Grover Compensated Bridge, so I was a little concerned that it may not fit. There was no reason to be concerned. It fit just fine. Before putting it on, I played through Red Wing, unmuted. Then I put it on, plucked a little, heard some buzzing, adjusted the tension, plucked some more, then played Red Wing, muted. My right hand did not vary from my normal technique, and I immediately felt a huge grin spreading across my face as I played. Not only was the volume low enough to maintain the peace with my neighbors, the sustain was amazing! The overall tone does change, but it's a pleasant change that suits the lower volume well. I played for about an hour and loved every minute of it!
If you're considering a mute for your banjo (no, not that sledge hammer we've all seen), you can't go wrong with a Mike's Banjo Mute. It is money very well spent!
Update: It took me a while to realize it, but my Mike's Banjo Mute was lost in the cleanout of our house (we had moved from the multi-family dwelling to a single family home in June 2015) after the flood of August 2016. I really liked this mute, and I plan to contact Mike soon and purchase a replacement!
Overall Rating: 10
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'Long Neck Banjo' 9 hrs