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Jan 24, 2021 - 8:31:51 AM

Zach O

Canada

14 posts since 1/20/2021

Hello, I am definitely a beginner when it come to playing clawhammer and my banjo is a cheap one. That being said I have changed the strings, the bridge and have tightened everything down to the best of my ability. Does anyone have further suggestions. I am already in the process of buying something better. Thanks

Zach O

Edited by - Zach O on 01/24/2021 08:45:41

Jan 24, 2021 - 8:46:45 AM
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lmolter

USA

48 posts since 11/9/2015

Not really sure what "rings out really back" is referring to, but perhaps your sound issues are the fault of a "cheap" banjo. If you have a modest budget, a Deering Goodtimes is about 500 USD., and can probably be found used from reverb.com or your local music store for less. They're made in the States and are of good quality. I think they are open-back only, but I may be mistaken. It was my starter banjo.

Jan 24, 2021 - 8:51:48 AM
Players Union Member

Eric A

USA

1036 posts since 10/15/2019

Might be too tight. Loosen that head a little bit. Or try a heavier bridge. If your tailpiece is adjustable maybe raise the end of it a little higher off the head. Or any combination of the three.

When my banjos are too "loose" the 3rd/4th strings don't come in clear. When too "tight" the first string starts to get an annoying Zing. You want that golden middle.

Jan 24, 2021 - 9:01:24 AM

Zach O

Canada

14 posts since 1/20/2021

I feel the hardware is so terrible and due to Covid I Cannot take it in and for a proper tune up. I will try adjusting it some more I suppose. Thanks.

Jan 24, 2021 - 9:03:45 AM

1595 posts since 7/4/2009
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Impossible to say for sure without some clarification/more information. This is probably obvious but: make sure it's in tune. You could even just be hitting the string too hard.

Jan 24, 2021 - 9:12:13 AM

Zach O

Canada

14 posts since 1/20/2021

Well as far as more info goes, the banjo is the epiphone MB100. I have put La bella strings on. A joel Hooks bridge, my action is correct, and A rickard Tailpiece.

Jan 24, 2021 - 9:13:11 AM

8169 posts since 3/17/2005

You said only that it is a "cheap one". A picture would help. Does it have an aluminum pot?

Edited by - chip arnold on 01/24/2021 09:23:41

Jan 24, 2021 - 9:34:50 AM
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1384 posts since 2/9/2007

How about a recording of the sound? I can think of at least 3 or 4 different sorts of sounds that could be described as "rings out really bad"

Jan 24, 2021 - 9:37:15 AM

Zach O

Canada

14 posts since 1/20/2021

Can Anyone see the photos I uploaded?

Jan 24, 2021 - 9:55:30 AM

18 posts since 6/5/2006

I can't.

Jan 24, 2021 - 10:19:48 AM
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Zach O

Canada

14 posts since 1/20/2021

Here are the photos. The Banjo is made of mahogany.


Edited by - Zach O on 01/24/2021 10:23:32

Jan 24, 2021 - 10:56:29 AM

Zach O

Canada

14 posts since 1/20/2021

Any suggestions after seeing the photos of the banjo?

Jan 24, 2021 - 10:56:44 AM

18 posts since 6/5/2006

I would try a lower 3 footed bridge, make sure the bridge is located correctly, check to see if the neck is twisted or warped or a fret is high and make sure the tension hoop is not too close to the 1st string. What are the string sizes?

Jan 24, 2021 - 3:31:07 PM

Zach O

Canada

14 posts since 1/20/2021

Well I appreciate everyones help and suggestions, In the end I feel I need to upgrade. cheers

Jan 24, 2021 - 3:35:50 PM

171 posts since 12/29/2020

do you have a music store nearby? IDK don't quote me on this but when my banjo had this problem the guy at the shop said the neck had to be adjusted. (he adjusted the neck and my banjo plays fine) but ask a professional and don't mess with the neck on your own.

Jan 24, 2021 - 4:18:36 PM
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650 posts since 2/15/2015

That is the strangest bridge I have ever seen. Get a standardized banjo Bridge, this looks like some kind of clothes pin monstrosity.

Jan 24, 2021 - 5:20:58 PM
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1384 posts since 2/9/2007

quote:
Originally posted by geoB

That is the strangest bridge I have ever seen. Get a standardized banjo Bridge, this looks like some kind of clothes pin monstrosity.


That bridge is not at all monstrous.  It is entirely appropriate, if those strings are nylon, which they appear to be.

A standard ebony-capped 3-footed bridge is made for wire strings. It's too heavy and dense for non-metallic strings, and will make their tone dull and muted 

Edited by - Dan Gellert on 01/24/2021 17:25:55

Jan 25, 2021 - 5:01:20 AM
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1595 posts since 7/4/2009
Online Now

It sounds like you just wanted a new banjo (can't blame you). It's worth learning how to fix an issue if there is one, even if you are planning to upgrade.

Jan 25, 2021 - 5:11:45 AM

650 posts since 2/15/2015

quote:
Originally posted by Dan Gellert
quote:
Originally posted by geoB

That is the strangest bridge I have ever seen. Get a standardized banjo Bridge, this looks like some kind of clothes pin monstrosity.


That bridge is not at all monstrous.  It is entirely appropriate, if those strings are nylon, which they appear to be.

A standard ebony-capped 3-footed bridge is made for wire strings. It's too heavy and dense for non-metallic strings, and will make their tone dull and muted 


The angle of the camera makes it look an inch tall, on two pokey feet. These are standard bridges for nylon strings?  

Jan 25, 2021 - 5:21:16 AM

1595 posts since 7/4/2009
Online Now

Yes (at least they were). More info here and here.

Jan 25, 2021 - 7:50:23 AM

Zach O

Canada

14 posts since 1/20/2021

quote:Originally posted by Dan Gellertquote:Originally posted by geoBThat is the strangest bridge I have ever seen. Get a standardized banjo Bridge, this looks like some kind of clothes pin monstrosity.That bridge is not at all monstrous. It is entirely appropriate, if those strings are nylon, which they appear to be.

A standard ebony-capped 3-footed bridge is made for wire strings. It's too heavy and dense for non-metallic strings, and will make their tone dull and muted

I do want to fix this issue if I can, I am being a little overwhelmed with all the suggestions. So if you could, you said there were three different sounds you thought it might be. I am not able to buy a new banjo just yet as they are very expensive so I want to make due with this one for now. I am hooked.

Jan 25, 2021 - 8:35:49 AM

1384 posts since 2/9/2007

Make a recording we can hear.

Jan 25, 2021 - 9:22:34 AM

Zach O

Canada

14 posts since 1/20/2021

Here is an example. I am not sure how clear this is.

Edited by - Zach O on 01/25/2021 09:23:16

Jan 25, 2021 - 9:49:19 AM

Zach O

Canada

14 posts since 1/20/2021

Here is an example. Not sure if this will be very clear.

Jan 25, 2021 - 9:51:14 AM

Zach O

Canada

14 posts since 1/20/2021

sorry third times a charm


Jan 25, 2021 - 10:43:03 AM

1384 posts since 2/9/2007

I don't hear much buzz...
can you take 2-3 closeups of the nut, from straight from the front, and also a couple of other angles?

do you get the same sound on that string when you fret it, or not?

Edited by - Dan Gellert on 01/25/2021 10:45:02

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