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!
7088 reviews in the archive.
Where Purchased: Bart Veerman
Bridge type: Mystery wood (plain top) with custom compensation and medium (“B”) weight
I have a long-neck banjo that used to have intonation problems that really drove me nuts. Needing to use a capo in order to reach all the scales, I started noticing (in line with my improved hearing and my tampering with the banjo itself) that the intonation was painfully off. And the intonation was impossible to get right – I tried several “standard” compensated bridges.
The level of aggravation was high. It got to the point where I started contemplating selling the whole thing, giving up on the project of using a banjo as accompaniment for my singing. And that was a really depressing feeling, because of all the time and money put into this, not to mention the coolness of playing a 5-string when singing.
Searching for an answer, I came across Bart's concept. It seemed smart, and I went along for the ride. I measured the distance every string needed to intone correctly. There was a bit of difference between the distance needed by each sting – the 3rd string needed a lot of extra length (7mm!). This showed further that “tailor-made compensation” was needed. I sent my findings to Bart.
Long story short: I kept the banjo.
If you're so unlucky to be plagued by intonation problems, there is no need to dabble in standard type bridges anymore. It will be a waste of time and money. I think you have to go the whole nine yards and get a bridge from Bart. It's such a huge relief to know that you can play without having to listen to notes that are all over the place, as if your banjo is cursed.
I'm very happy I went this route.
Overall Rating: 10
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