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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!

6986 reviews in the archive.

Mutes: Mike's Banjo Mute

Submitted by jlovette on 9/19/2010

Where Purchased: From Mikes webpage

Overall Comments

The thing works! Even when I tried it with bridges is was not designed to work with.
I was able to try this out with a couple of different bridges that I found in my banjo case. I initially had on my banjo a moon bridge. As I am a relative beginner I bought the straight mute not really considering that the moon bridge is compesnated and radiused. It took a litte finagling to get in on, as well as some minor tuning adjustements because the compensation actually causes the strings behind the bridge to contact and rest on the underclamp as it goes back toward the tailpiece. Still it worked relatively well.

I then found a Grover bridge that had the bone nut inserts on them. This bridge though not compensated and radiused did not work because the the bridge was to big for the clamps to go around. It sat on the bridge half cocked but did not go on properly. For me no big woop.

I also found a regular unmarked bridge that I assumed came on the banjo originally (An eighties alvarez). Uncompensated, straight with the 1 11/16 spacing. I did find that particular spacing to still have issues with installation. By issues I mean it doesn't go on quite as smooth as Bill Evans puts it on in his youtube video. I got it on without too much trouble but the string still contacts the underclamp enough to require a little retuning. After installation it clamps on and works like promised! My wife is so happy! It truly does "promote family harmony". As a beginner you can imagine howmany times i start and stop and restart.....and stop.....throw a pick at the wall......go get it.........restart.

But the magic really happened when I got my Snuffy Smith II bridge in the mail. I got it with Crowe spacing and installation was much improved. The 1/16th of an inch makes a difference. The are no retuning issues that are created by installation although the strings do touch the underclamp a smidge. It works like a dream! I am so glad I bought this. I can practice my banjer to my hearts content while my 17 month old daughter is napping or..... when my wife goes to bed but I don't wanna cause I've not had my fill of grinnin on what I was pickin! It kinda makes the banjo sound like a harp in a way and the mute never gets in the way. This was a good use of 34 dollars.

Had I bought the radiused version I probably could have kept the moon bridge on, yet I don't know how the moon bridges compensation would interact with it. I bet it would work just fine. I may go ahead and get the radiused version and give the straight one as a gift to someone I know who could use it!

The mute gets a nine because I feel that installation should be a bit smoother even when using the 1 11/16 spacing. The Crowe spacing helps with this and I'm guessing theBaucom spacing would alleviate eveything and make this a perfect 10! 9 out of 10 is still awesome which Mike's mute certainly is!

Overall Rating: 9

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