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Apr 21, 2021 - 2:34:47 PM
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1037 posts since 11/9/2012



I was finally able to afford $2,000 for a banjo. I always try to buy American, and I like Deerings. However I was simply blown away with the tone and setup (Banjo.com) of this RK. I never owned a banjo with such good intonation up the neck, this thing really chimes. I'm considering installing one of those Zero Glide nuts, or whichever name is correct. Also I'm thinking of adding a compensated bridge, but I'm thinking such a bridge may not impact the tone much. I have owned a Recording King RK35 for years, but the neck and tuners are of poor quality, and the nut appears to be plastic. In short the RK35 might have the same pot as the RK76, but the neck makes all the difference. My RK76 is extremely easier to play when compared with my RK35 - the neck makes a BIG difference!!

Any stories or advise regarding the RK76? Normally I would change the head for a clear one, and swap out the bridge for a compensated version.... 'but I fear making this thing sound worse if I do. I am impressed by the setup from Banjo.com.

My best.

Terry

Edited by - Toothless in Kentucky on 04/27/2021 18:43:15

Apr 21, 2021 - 3:01:49 PM
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rcc56

USA

3471 posts since 2/20/2016

Even though I make part of living repairing and setting up instruments, my gut feeling here is "if it ain't broke, don't fix it." So if you like the sound, I would leave the head alone. Of course, swapping out a bridge is quick, easy, cheap, and reversible; so if you want to try that, go for it. I do not recommend Zero Glide nuts on any instrument.

Apr 21, 2021 - 3:47:34 PM
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beegee

USA

22316 posts since 7/6/2005
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I have 2 RK-75's and an RK-85. The only thing i have done is upgraded the bridges. They don't need a zero-glide nut. I use Remo heads and AMB cryo strings and they sound good, play well.

Apr 21, 2021 - 5:56:51 PM
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Bart Veerman

Canada

4916 posts since 1/5/2005

Great to hear about the banjo Terry!

When you say, "I never owned a banjo with such good intonation up the neck," then why would you want to get a compensated bridge...?

Apr 22, 2021 - 4:29:21 AM
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4002 posts since 12/6/2009

Listen to advise of others…..if it sounds good and you are blown away….DO NOT MONKEY WITH IT>…..I bought a Washburn B16 while my RB100 was being refurbished. I was really surprised at the sound. It had a banjo growl that blew me away….what did I do???? I started screwing around….tightening the head up, adjusting the neck, fooling with the rim rods…and adjusting a little buzz out of the neck…..now I got a banjo I can no longer get back the original growl that I love…..why do we banjo nut jobs always have to play hot rod mechanic with our banjos????.....it’s a sickness that spreads like the covid virus and we never learn.

Apr 22, 2021 - 6:50:17 AM
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842 posts since 1/17/2011

Try a new bridge and check the head tension, maybe get a Drum Dial or learn to tune the head by ear. I watched Johnny Button’s video where he tears down an RK 75 Elite to check the tone ring fit and decided it was too much monkey business. If it aint broke dont fix it.

Apr 22, 2021 - 12:41:45 PM

1037 posts since 11/9/2012

quote:
Originally posted by Bart Veerman

Great to hear about the banjo Terry!

When you say, "I never owned a banjo with such good intonation up the neck," then why would you want to get a compensated bridge...?


Thanks Bart! :-D That is a good question. In my experience most of the banjos I have owned have always sounded better with a compensated bridges... I often think of the guitar bridges which are often used to offset strings to sound better... https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.lutherie.net%2Fsaddle_angle.html&psig=AOvVaw1owa4nm4JPPaMl3tzUHDzE&ust=1619206293989000&source=images&cd=vfe&ved=0CAIQjRxqFwoTCJCl8tjLkvACFQAAAAAdAAAAABAM 

So I often switch to compensated bridges. But I honestly never owned a banjo that sounded so good out of the box. We seek low action with no string buzz.. I sanded down about 1/16 of an inch off the feet of the bridge, and it seemed to chord even better. lol But I fear any more bridge sanding, we don't want strings buzzing. 

Terry
 

Apr 25, 2021 - 3:04:05 PM
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303 posts since 7/11/2014

Interesting question about zero glide. I’ve watched one or two banjo.CO videos of before and after zero glide. I didn’t like the idea that you don’t get a bone nut sound but y newish Twanger came with one and it’s a great banjo, but I don’t know if the sound would be great but more ‘normal’ with a bone nut. I must say my experience with clear heads is that they add more top and give a less rounded sound to my ears. I’m pleased you like the 76, they look great and I only hear great reviews.

Apr 25, 2021 - 5:44 PM
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3968 posts since 6/30/2020

Congratulations on your RK banjo! They are great a bang for the buck!
As far as the Zero Glide Nut is concerned, I would be Leery of replacing the perfectly good RK bone nut with with a system where the vibrating strings continuously ride on a fret which will eventually wear down much the same as the fret in front of the PIP, or any fret that has seen use for that matter. And as Tim suggests above, I would also be concerned about altering the tone and sound. 

Edited by - Pick-A-Lick on 04/25/2021 17:46:30

Apr 25, 2021 - 9:59:03 PM
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Bart Veerman

Canada

4916 posts since 1/5/2005

Terry: whether a bridge is straight, or compensated, it should have equal performance when designed & made properly, I'm sure I'm not the only bridge maker who can vouch for that.

Tim & Mike: a zero fret "nut" does not wear out the 0 fret prematurely, nor does it affect the tone. The only problem with the zero-glide nut is that, unless it is installed the the proper location/distance from the 2nd fret, intonation can easily become a serious issue.

Apr 26, 2021 - 1:47:10 AM

303 posts since 7/11/2014

Thanks Bart, that’s helpful to know. What are the perceived advantages and surely if the string rests on a fret rather than bone nut and open string would sound slightly different? In fact with my own banjo with zero glide nut I can’t hear a difference ????

Apr 27, 2021 - 1:40:13 PM

1037 posts since 11/9/2012

quote:
Originally posted by Bart Veerman

Terry: whether a bridge is straight, or compensated, it should have equal performance when designed & made properly, I'm sure I'm not the only bridge maker who can vouch for that.

Tim & Mike: a zero fret "nut" does not wear out the 0 fret prematurely, nor does it affect the tone. The only problem with the zero-glide nut is that, unless it is installed the the proper location/distance from the 2nd fret, intonation can easily become a serious issue.


I would sure hate to mess up the intonation, as it's as perfect as I have ever had. It's a risk I rather avoid. Thanks.

Edited by - Toothless in Kentucky on 04/27/2021 13:40:29

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