Banjo Hangout Logo
Banjo Hangout Logo

Premier Sponsors

830
Banjo Lovers Online


May 3, 2021 - 8:14:58 AM
261 posts since 7/3/2005

I recently bought a 1927 TB-3 and sent it to Eric Sullivan @FQMS for him to build a five string neck for it.

He did a gorgeous job perfect in every way. I did period Correct diamonds and squares inlay and he used stainless steel frets and matched the stain perfectly it plays beautifully.

So here's my question the tone is a little green and bear in mind It's only been  together for about a week so it hasn't even come close to settle in. The tone isn't very dry and a little metallic. Particularly on the unwound strings. So my question is how long do you reckon it will really take for it to achieve its potential. I forgot to mention I converted it to a flat top using one of Eric's conversion rings.

I have to admit I've been tweaking it a little here and there and it is getting better so I think there's a lot of potential for this instrument but just wondered what you all thought and what experiences you've had I'll try to download a couple photos....OK no photos tried several times to upload them to this thread but to no avail they are however in all my other photos I think you could probably find them if you want 

Edited by - lestermatt on 05/03/2021 09:01:02

May 3, 2021 - 9:15:09 AM
like this

beegee

USA

22371 posts since 7/6/2005

I think your answer lies more in set-up than "settling-in." A banjo is a machine, unlike a guitar or violin or mandolin.

I know, I know...that there are those who believe that a banjo has some magical characteristic that improves with age. I think the reality is that we just get used to what we hear

May 3, 2021 - 9:38:20 AM
like this

ChunoTheDog

Canada

827 posts since 8/9/2019

If you want it dry, leave it an archtop.

May 3, 2021 - 10:13:44 AM
likes this

ChunoTheDog

Canada

827 posts since 8/9/2019

Edit: Congrats on a sweet old Mastertone. From the pictures the hardware looks in great shape too. Nice!

May 3, 2021 - 11:13:13 AM
like this

Alex Z

USA

4278 posts since 12/7/2006

With new neck and conversion tone ring, it is a modern banjo, made in an older style. 
 

After a week, the parts/head etc. have pretty much settled in. The rest is pretty much set up, as has been mentioned.  Three perspectives, since you asked:

  1.  Each tweak may need a few days to stabilize. Sometimes it's the ears that settle in and stabilize. 

  2.  A banjo may not be able to be set up such that it sounds like a specific other banjo. Otherwise, we'd most all would be playing inexpensive banjos that sound like a 1937 Mastertone flathead. 

3.  I like the concept of "potential."  The banjo may tell you what its potential is, and you have to find it. For me, it takes about 3-6 months to really get used to a banjo and optimize its potential to my ear. It's not constant tweaking , however. It is small adjustments - sometimes very small - one at a time, then playing for days or weeks until something else come up to my ear that I want to explore 

Enjoy your new banjo. 

Edited by - Alex Z on 05/03/2021 11:15:00

May 3, 2021 - 2:24:28 PM

13591 posts since 6/29/2005

quote:
Originally posted by beegee

I think your answer lies more in set-up than "settling-in." A banjo is a machine, unlike a guitar or violin or mandolin.

I know, I know...that there are those who believe that a banjo has some magical characteristic that improves with age. I think the reality is that we just get used to what we hear


You are right about that.

May 3, 2021 - 3:12:08 PM

11718 posts since 6/2/2008

quote:
Originally posted by Alex Z

With new neck and conversion tone ring, it is a modern banjo, made in an older style. 


Yeah, those pre-war banjos sound great.

May 3, 2021 - 5:12:21 PM

4622 posts since 11/20/2004

Sometimes using a heavier bridge for a few weeks while things settle in helps tame down the
"green" sound. After playing a while, go back to your normal weight. I normally like @2.2 and go up to @ 2.6 grams to help tame it for a while. Some just take longer to settle in than others.

May 3, 2021 - 6:31:48 PM

Alex Z

USA

4278 posts since 12/7/2006

There's a difference between "settling in" and "aging."  The poster asked about settling in. 
 

Settling in is an audible fact. For example, who has not installed a new head and the days or weeks or even months later has to tighten it a bit more, to its original tension?  Or a straight bridge sags, and the force on the three legs evens out. Or the tone ring compresses the rim somewhat. The sound is changing during that time. Nothing magical. 
 

Aging is when someone believes the metal in the tone ring "crystalizes" over time, either by being in existence for a number of years or the molecules align due to the vibrations from playing. That's magical. 

Edited by - Alex Z on 05/03/2021 18:33:09

Hangout Network Help

View All Topics  |  View Categories

0.265625