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FIRST Act now "WORST ACT" Acoustic/Electric travel banjo/with SOUND file!

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Aug 17, 2019 - 5:49:59 PM
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52532 posts since 12/14/2005

Heading East in September, going to visit a new friend, and visit an old brother.

Don't feel like driving all that way, and so, it's off the the airlines I go.
They charge extra for baggage, so, I thought I'd modify a small garage-sale guitar to be played as a banjo.

Fits inside my big suitcase, plenty of room for clothing etc.

Since it was a FIRST ACT  guitar, I'm re-naming it as a WORST ACT banjo.  cheeky

Will see what I can do about faking the peghead lettering.

Here's the pics so far.

AFTER the epoxy has cured overnight, I'll cobble up a bridge and string it up, and post a sound file.


Edited by - mike gregory on 08/19/2019 11:38:41

Aug 18, 2019 - 2:26:42 PM

52532 posts since 12/14/2005

And here's how it sounds:


Aug 19, 2019 - 11:20:11 AM
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1368 posts since 2/12/2009

well, it sounds like a banjo .

Aug 19, 2019 - 11:40:38 AM

52532 posts since 12/14/2005

That was my dearest hope!

NEXT one I modify, I may as well take out the built-in speaker, as it sound sort of crappy, even to MY crude ear.
That will allow for a bigger head area.

Aug 19, 2019 - 11:52:18 AM

1368 posts since 2/12/2009

listened to your sound file through fairly decent headphones , much better than no banjo at all .

Aug 19, 2019 - 12:17:18 PM
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52532 posts since 12/14/2005

I agree with you...

Up to a certain point. cheeky

Aug 20, 2019 - 3:56:27 AM
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430 posts since 4/13/2011

Sounds more like a banjo than I was anticipating. It’s for travel and convenience, so I’d say it was a success!

Aug 21, 2019 - 3:14:25 PM
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63 posts since 1/23/2017

That looks really cool Mr. Gregory!  The asymmetrically-shaped head is an especially neat solution to the instrument's size and shape constraints.  Maybe instead of ditching the crummy electric speaker, you could do some circuit bending for some really fun sounds.

Now the Hangout needs a group for instruments modified out of First Act guitars!  My own First Act travel banjo is my user photo, and the box bass I put together with a free de-fretted First Act neck from Trade Up Music in Portland, OR is pictured below.  


 

Aug 21, 2019 - 10:21:50 PM

52532 posts since 12/14/2005

 

Too bad the AVATAR photo clips off the BANJO part of the instrument.

Here it is, folks!



A marvel to view.

You feel like giving us a sound file?


 

Aug 22, 2019 - 7:00:28 AM

2418 posts since 6/19/2008

Sounds pretty good, and it would make a nice quiet practice banjo. You didn't show any pictures of the completed banjo, what did you do about the fifth string? I'm guessing tunnel or spike.

Aug 22, 2019 - 1:21:07 PM

52532 posts since 12/14/2005

Completed banjo is in suitcase, first picture.
Will post one OUT of suitcase.
Not right away.

Aug 22, 2019 - 2:58:53 PM

7416 posts since 1/7/2005

It not only sounds like a banjo--it sounds nothing like anything other than a banjo. I would say this is an excellent example that shows how the head is the most important sound producer on a banjo. Tone rings, rims, bridges, resonators, etc. can all add to and/or refine the sound to limited degrees, but it's the head that turns it into a banjo.

DD

Aug 22, 2019 - 3:51:18 PM

52532 posts since 12/14/2005

quote:
Originally posted by Dan Drabek

It not only sounds like a banjo--it sounds nothing like anything other than a banjo. I would say this is an excellent example that shows how the head is the most important sound producer on a banjo. Tone rings, rims, bridges, resonators, etc. can all add to and/or refine the sound to limited degrees, but it's the head that turns it into a banjo.

DD


Thank you, Mr. Drabek

It has been that way since Ancient Times!


Aug 22, 2019 - 4:10:19 PM

52532 posts since 12/14/2005

The 5th string runs full length, because "Why Not?"

My OPINION is that the short octave drone hearkens back to  the days of HORSEHAIR on a GOURD.

Hard to get a long horsehair THAT tight, without snapping.

But, the 12-string GUITAR has an octave G which runs full length.

Anyway, here's a full frontal.

Even turned it ON, so the red L.E.D. would show up better.


Aug 22, 2019 - 4:10:20 PM
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7416 posts since 1/7/2005

"you can pick your banjo and you can pick your nose. But you can't wipe your banjo off on the chariot."
Pluncitus Pixit
44 B.C.

Aug 22, 2019 - 6:40:30 PM

52532 posts since 12/14/2005

quote:
Originally posted by Dan Drabek

"you can pick your banjo and you can pick your nose. But you can't wipe your banjo off on the chariot."
Pluncitus Pixit
44 B.C.


Charlie Heston played a chariot driver in the MGM classic "BEN HUR".

He was a BIG banjo fan, and even tried sneak one into the MGM c.lassic "The TEN COMMANDMENTS".

It was CUT from the final film.

 

But his GREATEST moment was when he defended SQUARED EEL banjo owners at the B.A.S. convention, some years back.


Aug 24, 2019 - 1:14:09 PM

2418 posts since 6/19/2008

quote:
Originally posted by mike gregory

The 5th string runs full length, because "Why Not?"

 

I must confess, to my everlasting shame, that I use my eyes far too often in placing my fingers on the fretboard.  I find the full length 5th strings to be a bit confusing.  

Also, there's this one song where I need the low A in the A minor chord and I find it easiest to get by wrapping my thumb around and fretting the 4th string 2nd fret with the thumb.

Well, you asked!

Aug 24, 2019 - 3:21:32 PM

52532 posts since 12/14/2005

OK, different people have a RIGHT to their own answer for "Why not?"

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