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Aug 22, 2019 - 5:03:13 AM
34 posts since 6/24/2019

I have a fairly cheap Epiphone Banjo that has a pretty high action. At the advice of Clifton Hicks, I swapped the 5/8 bridge for a 1/2" bridge and it did seem to help. I also made sure the bridge is properly placed. Next I will replace the strings. My goal is eventually purchase a Deering Americana banjo, as I hear Deering banjos are set up well and pretty easy to learn on.
My question is, should I do anything else to make this banjo easier to play until I can replace it?

Aug 22, 2019 - 5:56:14 AM
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BobbyE

USA

2635 posts since 11/29/2007

If you play bluegrass and it is possible, see if you can shim the neck on your banjo and go back to the 5/8ths inch bridge to get the string height that you are looking for. IMO any bridge for bluegrass playing less than 5/8ths will really effect pull-offs, push-offs, chokes and the likes.
JMO though. Yours may vary.

Bobby

Aug 22, 2019 - 5:57:58 AM
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Players Union Member

rudy

USA

14364 posts since 3/27/2004

Without knowing the mechanics of how your Epi is constructed for neck attachment it's difficult to advise you.

If it has a single coordinator rod then shimming the neck heel is most likely the easiest, quickest solution.

If you have double coordinator rods then you can lower string height over the neck by adjusting the lower rod.

In any case there are specific steps you should take to optimize your setup. They are inter-related, so you should do them in order.

1. It's a good idea to verify your head tension is in the general ballpark for not being too loose (or tight...). It's not as important in your case because your string height is high and you want to lower it.

2. Check your neck relief. It needs to be set for a very slight forward bow for optimal ease in playability. Many low end banjos have truss rods, so adjust yours if its there. If you have no adjustable rod then you should skip relief and get the other things as best you can.

3. Check nut slot depth. The correct nut slot depth is vital for easy playing with no buzzing at the lower end of the fretboard where you'll spend 95% of your playing time.

4. Adjust neck angle. This is the most effective way to correct action problems, but not always the easiest thing to address. Again, shimming the heel or adjusting coordinator rods are the common solutions on a cheaper instrument.

Changing bridge height is the quick n' dirty way of lowering or raising string height, but it has ramifications when volume or tone of your instrument is considered.

How do you do any of those things?

Use the little spyglass over at the left of the screen. All these points have been detailed many times here in past topic posts.


Edited by - rudy on 08/22/2019 06:01:20

Aug 22, 2019 - 7:19:23 AM
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12094 posts since 10/30/2008

If it's the entry level Epiphone M-100, I wouldn't try to fuss with it a lot. Just keep pickin'. It will make you appreciate your next banjo. Stick with the 1/2" bridge for now and make the best of it.

If your action is 1/8" or even 3/16" high above the 12th fret, you're in good territory anyway.

Aug 22, 2019 - 11:43 AM

312 posts since 1/28/2013

quote:
Originally posted by BobbyE

If you play bluegrass and it is possible, see if you can shim the neck on your banjo and go back to the 5/8ths inch bridge to get the string height that you are looking for. IMO any bridge for bluegrass playing less than 5/8ths will really effect pull-offs, push-offs, chokes and the likes.
JMO though. Yours may vary.

Bobby


The picks will hit the head also.

Aug 22, 2019 - 1:49:04 PM

6025 posts since 8/28/2013

If this is the M-100, I'd certainly follow Dick Bowden's advice. There isn't a whole lot that can be done with one of those.

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