Hello, I just recently purchased a Weymann Orchestra #2 for traditional Irish in GDAE and noticed what I believe to be a resonant buzz that occurs when I play a C# on the A string. I noticed that the metal brace on the back of the dowel stick is loose near the heel; when I hold the brace against the heel, the buzzing disappears. I think it is transferring vibration from the banjo to the resonator.
I have never messed with one of these braces before and I don't want to crack the heel. The neck plays great and it isn't in need of adjustment.
Is tightening those two screws safe to do without risking a crack in the heel and stressing the neck? Or do I stuff some felt back there to dampen any vibration? I have posted photos to help explain what I'm seeing.
Thank you very much for the help!
I am guessing that the holes might be stripped if the screws are pulling out.
If you loosen the screw/bolt on the dowel stick so there is no tension you might be able to screw the ones on the heel back in. The tricky part is when you tighten the dowel screw/bolt back up. That is probably when most damage occurs.
Take it to a good banjo luthier if you are not comfortable doing this yourself.
First you can check if the holes are damaged removing the neck adjuster and tighten only the screws. I agree with maneckep, but be careful tightening the neck adjuster, I remember that loosening the screw/bolt in the middle of the adjuster (counterclockwise) makes more tension, but not sure. Look at this original Weymann information
Thank you both! I think you're spot on. I'll admit that I'm hesitant to try it on my own and the luthier that I use is a bit of a hike away. Right now, the screws aren't budging, so I actually cut a small square of cloth and laid it in between the resonator and the brace. It works like a charm without dampening the tone.
I owned several tenor Weymanns, style A and B (or #1 and #2), they are definitely great instruments. Have fun
It's not typical that the screw further away from heel/pot connection is loose. It's typically the other one as that one takes more stress. You should tighten them, you might need to take some tension off the adjuster/brace by turning the screw, most likely clockwise. I have been cataloging these Orchestra banjos, so I will send you a message asking for a few details if you don't mind.
I also did some experimenting with these banjos for trad music which I play, and the 5 star smooth white head is fantastic on that banjo. Here is a YouTube playlist with the comparisons, which was done on a model 1, but close enough.
'Shaking Down The Acorns' 33 min
'Strange Dreams' 56 min
'Ted Talks' 1 hr
'CUMBERLAND GAP' 1 hr