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!
7076 reviews in the archive.
I originally bought one of BHO member Tyri's 5-string bridges from Ebay. I asked that the bridge be left unslotted, so that I could 'tweak' the height by sanding the top a little and then file my own slots. When I received it the cap wood was not quite wide enough for Crowe spacing, which I prefer. No problem... Tyri was very willing to take the bridge back along with the string width feedback, and promptly made me another to my specifications and liking. That second bridge met my expectations. I am using this bridge for CH, and was looking to hasten the note decay on a banjo that despite having a wooden tone ring... just wouldn't stop. Previously I had been using a towel stuffed in the back, but that was at the expense of volume. Tyri's organic bridge seems to have done the trick; It's subtle but there, without killing the volume. I believe he calls these bridges 'organic' because of the appearance. This is a hand carved bridge, with a very flowing organic look to it. Mine is cherry, with a wenge top. I bought the bridge on purpose to be a little high so I could 'tweak' to my desired height. The top cap was nice and tall, allowing me plenty of room to sand down to where I wanted. I prefer to sand from the top as opposed to sanding down the foot; as the latter reduces the stance thickness. This bridge was generically compensated with a flowing curve. It did require a little angling to get the intonation just right, but way less angling than I had been using with an uncompensated bridge. Once properly positioned the harmonic and fretted 12th on all of the strings matched pretty close; verified by both my ear and my tuner. The feet are nice and wide, making the bridge pretty stable. The wood used is quite beautiful looking and the use of different woods for the body and cap provide a nice contrast. The curves are sinuous looking and the finish is very smooth with just a very light oil to protect and bring out the grain. Due to the organic look and warmer tone I see this as a bridge having greater appeal to the CH/Oldtime player. The price was about the same as you'd pay for any custom bridge, but considering that this bridge is hand carved as opposed to made with machine tools (drills, saws), it's actually inexpensive for the craftsmanship and work that went into it.
Overall Rating: 9
'Green Bay stock offering' 42 min
'Tony Bennett' 1 hr
'New Strap' 1 hr