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May 23, 2020 - 5:16:42 AM
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MrMoe

USA

37 posts since 5/18/2019

Howdy all, Posting just to show off my second attempt at a Wood Top. I hope to add an audio file soon.

It is strung with a plain.017 drone, .046w, .040w, .032w, .026w and tuned in A.

For G (an octave low) I think it will need slightly heavier strings. I am also going to try it with a sliding capo for a wound .026 drone string.

Rustic Maple back and sides, "OLD STANDARD" Adirondack Spruce Top, Mahogany Neck, Rosewood Fret Board & Peg Head Overlay, Walnut Trim, Spanish Cedar Liners.

Grover 18:1 Sta-Tite Tuners, Schatten Pizeo Pickup.


I am not a banjo player but have been enjoying stumbling around on this.

I am also no music theorist... having the A drone string open to the nut allows some chords that I think sound cool.

Update 5/25 I am trying to come up with an OK audio track, so far my playing is mostly Clam Chowder. However, I am pleased with the instrument. It has some POP and sustain, the tone is nice. I am taking it to a banjo player friend with a web microphone tomorrow.  

Maurice


Edited by - MrMoe on 05/25/2020 04:59:26

May 23, 2020 - 5:30:39 AM
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13062 posts since 6/29/2005

Very nice looking instrument!  Can't wait to hear the sound sample.

Having made a number of these myself, tuned like a banjo, I am intrigued by the fact that they are capable of a large range of pitches with different string gauges.

I had not considered an octave banjo stringing, but will probably use the body to make an octave mandolin, in which case I will use a tailpiece as you have, instead of a pin-bridge.

May 23, 2020 - 5:36:09 AM
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319 posts since 2/10/2016

Very Nice!

May 23, 2020 - 6:15:28 AM

MrMoe

USA

37 posts since 5/18/2019

Thanks. The pin bridge versus the trapeze bridge is a topic I hope to get some data on. Evidently the pin bridge is less suited for claw hammer. I am learning from trial and error that the trapeze bridge does better with higher tension.
Maurice

May 23, 2020 - 7:18:13 AM
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13062 posts since 6/29/2005

I don't think there is any difference between the two concerning clawhammer vs picking. It's easy enough to frail on one of mine, but it's not the best way to get the optimum sound from that kind of instrument.

Normally, tailpieces are used on arched top instruments like violins, mandolins and archtop guitars because they work in different ways and the bridge exerts a downward pressure, which in the case of violins is countered by a sound post, and in other archtop instruments, the, the top is carved in such a way as to counter the down-pressure.  Pin bridges, are normally used on flat-top instruments, and the bridge is subject to a shear stress (totally different), which can cause the top to belly, and the bracing in the top has to be designed to resist those forces.

The heavy strings absolutely exert more tension than lighter ones, but 12-string guitars almost always have pin bridges.

I think the instrument has to be designed differently for different bridge systems, and one big benefit of a tailpiece setup is that you can adjust the bridge, whereas with a pin bridge you must get it exactly right as constructed.

Edited by - Ken LeVan on 05/23/2020 07:32:47

May 23, 2020 - 8:19:51 AM

MrMoe

USA

37 posts since 5/18/2019

Thanks Ken, Very helpful. Do you have a minimum and maximum string tension that you aim for?

May 23, 2020 - 9:55:10 AM
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13062 posts since 6/29/2005

quote:
Originally posted by MrMoe

Thanks Ken, Very helpful. Do you have a minimum and maximum string tension that you aim for?

I am not tuning my instruments to the same tuning as you are, so the tension is probably not germane. 
FWIW, I have a 26.25" scalelength, and am using normal banjo tuning, or double C, and so the tension with steel,  2 wound strings is 85.6# (actually more like 89#)  With Nylon, 2 wound it's 54.9#.
I would guess that with the strings you are contemplating, the tension would be much higher.

May 23, 2020 - 4:47:25 PM

MrMoe

USA

37 posts since 5/18/2019

Thanks again Ken, More helpful insight. Actual data! Thanks for sharing that. I have not calculated total pounds of tension, which is silly, because trial and error is usually trial and error and error and error....
Regarding the pin bridge not being suitable for claw hammer, the complaint was that the strings are too close to the top not leaving room for the "claw" to dig in.
Maurice

May 25, 2020 - 4:55:39 PM

MrMoe

USA

37 posts since 5/18/2019

This link should be an audio video. Hopefully I will be able to post a song later this week.

photos.app.goo.gl/SNvoCGmBrDGkbJYaA

May 25, 2020 - 5:05:53 PM
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13062 posts since 6/29/2005

Very nice sound!

May 26, 2020 - 3:28:56 PM
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13062 posts since 6/29/2005

I listened to your sound file again a couple of times.  I really like it! — not what I expected at all.  I think you are on to something.  I like the way you joined the neck on to the pot as well,  That would make it easier to do necks of varying widths as you develop the instrument.

May 27, 2020 - 9:29:13 AM

MrMoe

USA

37 posts since 5/18/2019

Thanks again Ken. I am excited to hear from the Banjo player who is borrowing it. I hope it can be interesting accompaniment instrument.
Maurice

May 27, 2020 - 11:10:29 AM

MrMoe

USA

37 posts since 5/18/2019

Regarding the neck join. It is a copy of the Gibson 1910 Alrite Mandolin, often referred to as an Army Navy Mandolin.

May 28, 2020 - 7:49:30 PM

MrMoe

USA

37 posts since 5/18/2019

Ethan Froese Is giving this a try. Ethan is also an Admired Educator and Cycling Champion. I hope to get him to post his observations about the Low Banjo in this thread. In the meantime here he is playing Amazing Grace    


Edited by - MrMoe on 05/28/2020 19:54:38

Jun 1, 2020 - 6:33 AM

MrMoe

USA

37 posts since 5/18/2019

quote:
Originally posted by Ken LeVan
 the sound sample

More from Mr. Froese    

Jun 5, 2020 - 7:12:34 AM
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95 posts since 7/24/2003

Ethan Froese here. I have known Mo since junior high and am proud to call him a friend. His craftsmanship skills are exemplary and he is our "go to" person for home remodels. He just built my wife a Goddess solar/green house she shelter and it is magnificent!
On to the banjo. What a lovely instrument. It delivers, as the name suggest, a pleasing mellow sound. Frets nicely and it stays in tune. I'll be trying a few other of Mo's banjos over the next few months and one of them will live beside my Scruggs Gibson soon.

Here is You are my sunshine - last one before I give it back to him!


Edited by - fish1963 on 06/05/2020 07:15:32

Jun 8, 2020 - 5:17:04 AM

MrMoe

USA

37 posts since 5/18/2019

I guess I am going to call it a 5 string tenor lute. The A tuning may turn out to be useless, That can be changed.

gibson-prewar.com/gibson-...er-model-lute/

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