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Jul 22, 2021 - 9:40:21 AM
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Enfield1858

England

53 posts since 8/1/2020

Tell me my car looks like it could barely make it to the breaker's yard - and I'll agree, and ask you if you'd care to set it on fire for me, so I can claim on the insurance.

Tell me my apartment looks like I furnished it with stuff left over from a yard sale - and I'll ask you "Who talked?"

Make a sneering remark about my banjo -  angry "On your way, you Spawn of Satan!"

Jack

Jul 22, 2021 - 9:56:50 AM
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4147 posts since 10/13/2005

Banjo – †he ultimate tool for social distancing. banjered

Jul 22, 2021 - 10:08:42 AM

ChunoTheDog

Canada

916 posts since 8/9/2019

I'd say you're doing better than I if people are checking out your banjo ;)

Jul 22, 2021 - 10:16:07 AM
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1853 posts since 2/4/2013
Online Now

quote:
Originally posted by Enfield1858

Make a sneering remark about my banjo -  angry "On your way, you Spawn of Satan!"

Jack


Post some pictures. We can't sneer at something we can't see. Then again we might like it a lot.                          

Jul 22, 2021 - 10:17:49 AM
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Jim Yates

Canada

6741 posts since 2/21/2007

My sister told me, "Jim, you're gonna have to decide between having friends and correcting people's grammar."

Jul 22, 2021 - 10:53:51 AM

Enfield1858

England

53 posts since 8/1/2020

quote:
Originally posted by GrahamHawker
quote:
Originally posted by Enfield1858

Make a sneering remark about my banjo -  angry "On your way, you Spawn of Satan!"

Jack


Post some pictures. We can't sneer at something we can't see. Then again we might like it a lot.                          


Righto, Graham - I've taken some pictures, both of me banjo and of the alleged 'banjo mute' about which I complained. It was my complaint, which I think was fully justified, which triggered the sneer from the seller of said heap of useless junk 'mute'.  Give us a mo to transfer pictures from my camera to computer and sort them out, and I'll get back to you.

Withbest regards,
Jack

Jul 22, 2021 - 11:48:21 AM

Enfield1858

England

53 posts since 8/1/2020

@GrahamHawker - here's the messages I exchanged with the seller of the mute:

(me to seller) I purchased the above item for use on my banjo, and am extremely disappointed with the product. It is supposed to be clipped onto the bridge to mute the strings, and I assumed that the clips were spring loaded, and would open easily enough for me to slide the mute onto the bridge when needed, and slide it off when not needed. I was not happy when I found that there was no internal spring; that the clips were so stiff I could barely prise them open with a screw-driver; and that the spacing and width of the clips was such that it proved impossible to fit the mute as shown in your picture.

Despite my banjo being a wide neck model (Grafton Gem), the only way I could fit the clips in between the strings was to have two of the clips in between three strings, and the third clip off to the outside. As for the muting effect - it's so slight as to be barely noticeable. Frankly, this product is a complete waste of money.

(seller to me) The mute is designed to slot over a regular banjo bridge. It is difficult for it to slot over the thick heavy, unseasoned Chinese bridges which flood our market. To produce the best tone the bridge should be slim and made of well seasoned wood. Andy Perkins Grafton banjos consist of parts imported from Asia, no doubt the bridge is thick and hefty. If you sand it down keeping the feet wide but the bulk much thinner, you will achieve a much better tone and the mute will easily slot on. We have had no complaints and for £6.50 the mute is remarkably good value.

(me to seller) For the mute, as received, to slot on easily, the top of the bridge would have to be about 1mm thick. I have looked at a number of bridges advertised on line, including those priced at as much as £35, and none of them are that thin. Even if I followed your suggestion and thinned the bridge right down, the clips would still be too wide and too widely spaced to fit between the strings. You say "We have had no complaints and for £6.50 the mute is remarkablely good value." Well, you've had a complaint now - and if a product is unusable, it isn't good value at any price. I won't be buying anything from your company in the future.

(from seller to me) £35.00 for a banjo bridge is a complete rip off, only the Americans charge silly money like that. It is against E-bay rules to send you a link to our hand made banjo bridges, but a 1mm thickness at the top is about right. The more wood there is in a bridge the more the tone suffers. I played banjo professionally for 40 years and every time I bought an off the shelf bridge I would put it in the oven on the lowest heat to get rid of the hidden moisture, then I would sand it down to the correct size. But there is no point in discussing this further. If you are not happy, return the mute and we will refund your payment.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

You'll note that the seller ignored the fact that it is impossible to fit his mute so that the three clips fit in between the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th strings. He also ignores the point I was trying to get across, re. the thickness of my bridge - that even the most expensive bridges I could see advertised were nowhere near as thin as 1mm (40 thousandths of an inch - well under 3/64"!).  Unless, of course, he thinks that all of those bridges, made by companies like Deering and Grover are also "thick, heavy, unseasoned Chinese bridges which flood the market"?

And what kind of a mute is so stiff that you can only open the clips out with hard levering on a heavy screwdriver?  But here are the pictures, so you can judge for yourself:

With best regards,
Jack

 


Jul 22, 2021 - 12:41:21 PM

1853 posts since 2/4/2013
Online Now

quote:
Originally posted by Enfield1858

@GrahamHawker - here's the messages I exchanged with the seller of the mute:

 

I know nothing about banjo mutes although that design would make banjo playing impossible for me. I only know whether or not to sneer at banjos. Generally not. Certainly not a Grafton Gem.

Jul 22, 2021 - 1:05:22 PM
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Enfield1858

England

53 posts since 8/1/2020

quote:
Originally posted by GrahamHawker
quote:
Originally posted by Enfield1858

@GrahamHawker - here's the messages I exchanged with the seller of the mute:

 

I know nothing about banjo mutes although that design would make banjo playing impossible for me. I only know whether or not to sneer at banjos. Generally not. Certainly not a Grafton Gem.


Hi, Graham - when I bought it, I didn't know anything about banjos at all, but my well qualified banjo teacher was impressed.  She said that despite selling for £380 (I think?), it was well made and that the sound was very good - certainly good enough to take me a long way before it would start holding me back!

Kate was even more impressed when I fitted it with Nylgut strings - and commented on how well it made the old-time sound that I was after, especially when I switched to g-DGCD sawmill tuning!

With best regards,
Jack

Jul 22, 2021 - 1:43 PM
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151 posts since 2/20/2004

That’s an old school fiddle mute.
Gravity from above keeps it in place.
Sometimes they work on banjo if string spacing is correct. However they tend to fall off.
Maybe try a clothespin or alligator clip

Jul 22, 2021 - 2:18:05 PM

Enfield1858

England

53 posts since 8/1/2020

quote:
Originally posted by Gallaher

That’s an old school fiddle mute.
Gravity from above keeps it in place.
Sometimes they work on banjo if string spacing is correct. However they tend to fall off.
Maybe try a clothespin or alligator clip


You're right, Gallaher!  See the link below - and that probably explains why the width and spacing of the clips was all wrong for my banjo.  Frankly, for him to advertise it as a banjo mute is a damned cheek! angry

https://caswells-strings.co.uk/product/tonwolf-violin-mute/

I'll stick with this one that I got from Eagle Music, which not only works very effectively, but once adjusted to match the bridge thickness (an easy job) can be put on and taken off without making the bridge move. As far as I can see, it's the same as the Deering version, but half the price in England.

 https://www.eaglemusicshop.com/prod/banjo-mutes/eagle-ultimate-usa-banjo-mute.htm

With best regards,
Jack

Thought for the Day: "Those who beat their swords into plough-shares usually end up ploughing for those who don't."

Jul 23, 2021 - 3:28:24 AM
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Bill H

USA

1652 posts since 11/7/2010

quote:
Originally posted by Jim Yates

My sister told me, "Jim, you're gonna have to decide between having friends and correcting people's grammar."


I'm with you on that. My particular peeve is with the demise of written language in the setting of social media. Without capitalization, punctuation and correct spelling, communication is less effective and poor grammar often leads to misunderstanding. 

Jul 23, 2021 - 7:21:16 AM

Enfield1858

England

53 posts since 8/1/2020

quote:
Originally posted by Bill H
quote:
Originally posted by Jim Yates

My sister told me, "Jim, you're gonna have to decide between having friends and correcting people's grammar."


I'm with you on that. My particular peeve is with the demise of written language in the setting of social media. Without capitalization, punctuation and correct spelling, communication is less effective and poor grammar often leads to misunderstanding. 


@Bill H - I share your views on the importance of clear communication, especially on social media, and in e-mails and text messages.  I once did a course at work about that subject, and the trainer told us that about 80% of our message comes across in body language - and that we use body language even when we're completely hidden from the listener.

She said, "If you don't believe that, watch someone when they're on the phone, and they know they can't be seen by the other party - yet they still use all sorts of facial expressions, hand gestures, body movements;  they're so embedded in us that they're difficult to hide even if we want to.  But written messages like e-mails and text messages are even worse.  At least on the phone you can hear the tone, pitch, and volume, and all the nuances conveyed by the stressing of certain words or syllables."

To illustrate her point, she gave us a simple sentence: "He wasn't there", and then she asked us to close our eyes and listen, as she said that sentence three times, stressing one word, each time:

"He wasn't there;  he wasn't there;  he wasn't there."

Three different meanings, just from the tone of voice. 1. He wasn't there (but somebody else was); 2. He wasn't there (contradicting somebody who said he was there);  3. He wasn't there (he was somewhere else).

But all of those differences vanish in an e-mail or text message, unless you take care to emphasise the crucial word, by typing it in upper case, or bold - and, as you say, it's just asking for confusion if you don't, because you might mean example 1, but what if the recipient thinks you mean example 3?

As for confused use of words - yep, that one bugs me; your instead of you're, discreet instead of discrete, and so on, but I can live with it;  I can, though, empathise with @Jim Yates on the importance of punctuation - who could forget the example of the panda?

"The Panda eats, shoots and leaves", instead of "The Panda eats shoots and leaves".

With the first conjuring up an image of a deranged Panda, unhappy with the meal he'd been served, blowing away the waitress with a Colt 45 before walking out of the door!

On a motorbike forum I used to belong to, one of the members was very knowledgeable about small BSA four-strokes, and was always to pass on what he knew - but his posts never contained a single comma or full stop (period?), and the spelling and syntax were so garbled that, in many cases, I couldn't make any sense of his posts at all.  It was a great shame, because he really knew his stuff about those bikes, and he was so willing to help.

With best regards,
Jack

Thought for the Day: Young horsemen think they're immortal; old horsemen know they're not - but they don't give a damn.

Jul 23, 2021 - 7:03:16 PM

Alex Z

USA

4380 posts since 12/7/2006

The mute might be for a 4-stringed instrument, such as a tenor banjo, or violin as mentioned

The old Elton banjo mute is similar, except Elton put a groove in the middle leg so it could be used over the center string of a 5-string banjo as well as on a 4-string banjo.  https://picclick.com/Vintage-Elton-Banjo-Mute-Parts-Project-Accessory-362408246445.html

I had one.  Didn't fit the spacing all that well either 5-string or 4-string, but it worked.  These types of mutes are old designs, intended to add a lot of weight to the bridge.  Ends up very quiet with a lot of sustain -- a certain tone more like a quiet dobro guitar.  Neat for certain effects.

Righteous indignation can be a very satisfying feeling.  smiley  

Jul 23, 2021 - 8:55:30 PM
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banjoy

USA

9683 posts since 7/1/2006

"How to Lose Friends and Alienate People" ... ?

That's easy! Just pick up banjo then join BanjoHangout!

Done! You're welcome!

devil

Jul 24, 2021 - 8:11:36 AM

Bill H

USA

1652 posts since 11/7/2010

quote:
Originally posted by Enfield1858
quote:
Originally posted by Bill H
quote:
Originally posted by Jim Yates

My sister told me, "Jim, you're gonna have to decide between having friends and correcting people's grammar."


I'm with you on that. My particular peeve is with the demise of written language in the setting of social media. Without capitalization, punctuation and correct spelling, communication is less effective and poor grammar often leads to misunderstanding. 


@Bill H - I share your views on the importance of clear communication, especially on social media, and in e-mails and text messages.  I once did a course at work about that subject, and the trainer told us that about 80% of our message comes across in body language - and that we use body language even when we're completely hidden from the listener.

Jack, your example of someone speaking on the phone is how some are now posting in social media forums--by using speech to text technology. These postings often ramble on with no capitalization or punctuation and frequent misspellings. What often strikes me is that many seem to understand these sort of posts and respond, while I am unable to decipher the rambling mess. It is inevitable that language evolves over time, but tech devices are accomplishing in a single generation the sort of changes that might occur in the span of centuries.

Jul 27, 2021 - 6:19:12 AM
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Jim Yates

Canada

6741 posts since 2/21/2007

quote:
Originally posted by Bill H
quote:
Originally posted by Enfield1858
quote:
Originally posted by Bill H
quote:
Originally posted by Jim Yates

My sister told me, "Jim, you're gonna have to decide between having friends and correcting people's grammar."


I'm with you on that. My particular peeve is with the demise of written language in the setting of social media. Without capitalization, punctuation and correct spelling, communication is less effective and poor grammar often leads to misunderstanding. 


@Bill H - I share your views on the importance of clear communication, especially on social media, and in e-mails and text messages.  I once did a course at work about that subject, and the trainer told us that about 80% of our message comes across in body language - and that we use body language even when we're completely hidden from the listener.

Jack, your example of someone speaking on the phone is how some are now posting in social media forums--by using speech to text technology. These postings often ramble on with no capitalization or punctuation and frequent misspellings. What often strikes me is that many seem to understand these sort of posts and respond, while I am unable to decipher the rambling mess. It is inevitable that language evolves over time, but tech devices are accomplishing in a single generation the sort of changes that might occur in the span of centuries.


You will read comments like, "It's not important if the grammar and/or spelling are correct as long as people know what you mean," even for things like job applications. 
I am more likely to take a post seriously if it's not filled with grammar and spelling mistakes.  They become such a distraction that it's hard to concentrate on the content.  I'm not talking about the occasional typo or grammar/spelling error, but the posts that have an "I don't care," attitude.

Jul 27, 2021 - 11:01:11 PM

Paul R

Canada

14713 posts since 1/28/2010

I heard, a fairly long time ago, a business executive interviewed on the radio, and he said that correspondence with grammar and spelling mistakes ended up in his wastebasket.

I can understand some people with difficulties, but others who don't make the effort ...

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