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May 18, 2022 - 9:15:12 PM
34 posts since 8/1/2021

I have an Iida 233 that I recently purchased . After setting it up tightening the head checking truss rod both coordinating rods I started playing and I was very pleased with the tone and play ability . then I noticed that when I would play a note and I moved the banjo around the note seemed to go out of tune
kind of like sound wave type of tuning wave. Am I crazy . I will post a video
tomorrow. Thanks

May 18, 2022 - 10:03:06 PM
Players Union Member

TN Time


283 posts since 12/6/2021

Just like when the patient said to the doctor, "Doctor, it hurts when I do that." The doctor replied, "Then don't do that."

If it goes out of tune when you move the banjo around, then don't move the banjo around.

May 18, 2022 - 10:06:02 PM
like this

117 posts since 7/5/2010

Seems like the neck is loose.

May 18, 2022 - 10:14:51 PM


New Zealand

11444 posts since 6/29/2003

It could be that you are pulling on the neck when playing. Or as posted, the neck could be a bit loose on the rim.

May 19, 2022 - 5:44:42 AM

2775 posts since 5/2/2012

I've gotten that "wavering" tone when I've moved the banjo, holding the neck up towards the nut. It only happens when I have that banjo tuned to F. I have a light grip on the neck, and I move the neck (very gently) back and forth about 3 or 4 inches. I also have little or no pressure on the armrest. I discovered that accidentally, and sometimes do it on the last note of that particular tune as it sounds cool, just for fun. Don't know how it would sound to someone in front of me.

May 19, 2022 - 6:11:42 AM

14764 posts since 10/30/2008

Some banjos just have what I call "whippy" necks. Move the neck around while sounding a note, whether by pushing/pulling the neck up by the nut, or by just moving the pot around with your right hand, and notes will "waver". Usually they come back to proper pitch when you hold the banjo still.

As said above, if your grip on the neck is either pushing it forward or pulling it back, you'll suffer with this problem.

I don't know exactly how your Iida is built, but if it's a Masterclone, the only hardware issue that can bear on this is the that neck heel is not SNUG! to the pot. This is accomplished by the coordinator rods BEFORE you do anything to adjust action. With the resonator off, if you can any light at all between the neck heel and the pot where the two lag bolts are, that will also cause wildly wavering notes. Perhaps someone in the past took the neck off for whatever reason and failed to put it back on SNUG!

Good luck.

May 19, 2022 - 6:52:16 AM
likes this

9636 posts since 8/28/2013

Sounds like a loose neck. The lag bolts for the co-rods might be slightly loose in the neck heel.

May 19, 2022 - 10:10:17 AM

13309 posts since 6/2/2008

Originally posted by TeleRey

After setting it up tightening the head checking truss rod both coordinating rods . . .

As others have suggested, it sounds like a loose neck. So when you checked the coordinator rods, did you only check the back end where action is adjusted or also the front end where the neck is attached?

The neck needs to be really snug to the rim.

Loosen the rear outside nut before tightening the co-rod on the neck lag bolt. Re-tighten it after you're done.

May 19, 2022 - 6:57:48 PM



34 posts since 8/1/2021

Here is a video of the sound I was describing. There is also a picture of the rods which only have one nut on each rod and they are
both snug. Thanks

May 19, 2022 - 8:05:58 PM

13309 posts since 6/2/2008

Jens Kruger actually rocks the banjo back and forth gently for a tremolo or warbling sound as a technique. Not as vigorously as you're rocking yours.

Banjos do make this sound.

But, yes, your banjo has a lot of warble. I'm not sure whether the amount you're pushing on the neck is within the range of normal playing or whether it's a lot.


As to coordinator rod nuts: The upper rod (closer to the head) has only an inside nut at the tail end because it doesn't extend through the rim. The lower rod fully penetrates the rim and should have two nuts: one each inside and outside. Both nuts should have washers. A tailpiece L-bracket can take the place of the  outside washer. The lower co-rod must have an outside nut to function.

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May 20, 2022 - 9:16:02 AM

14764 posts since 10/30/2008

Your coord rods aren't threaded on the outside at the neck end, so the way you tighten the neck to the pot is by inserting a short piece of steel (like a nail) into the little hole visible in the center of the coord. rod. and turn the entire rod. As said above, loosen the nuts on the inner side of the rim back by the tailpiece. It's not easy to fetch that heel up good and tight to the rim with the meager leverage you get on that nail through the hole. I've bent finish nails myself doing this (normally on a Gibson the nail in the hole in the coord. rod is used to PREVENT the rod from turning when you tight the other nuts. Also be careful of the length of nail you select (if you use a nail) because the sharp point can easily cut a groove in the underside of your head if the nail is too long!

I tighten those rods to the inner side of the rim by the heel TIGHT, so that the washer makes an impression in the wood on the inner face of the rim.

For the record, older Gibsons have a large/long nut on the bottom coord rod at the neck heel, but NO nut on the upper coord rod at the neck heel. The only way to tighten that top lag bolt to the rim is by turning the upper coord rod with a nail. Iida didn't have the design quite right on your banjo.

I attached a photo of the inside of an old Gibson so you can see the "long nut" on the bottom coord rod, which you are missing.

May 20, 2022 - 5:38:04 PM



34 posts since 8/1/2021

Thanks . I will try this as I didn't know that .

May 20, 2022 - 5:46:27 PM

9636 posts since 8/28/2013

Nails are a little soft and bend easily. I'd use something harder like an awl. Whatever fits in the hole but isn't so bendable. (I usually use a piano "capstan wrench," but not very many people have one of those.)

May 20, 2022 - 7:48:03 PM



34 posts since 8/1/2021

I went ahead and tightened the rods as per instructions and my action went to hell. I had to work very hard at getting the action
back to were it was and for the most part the tuning problem has gone away . I didn't realize how much tightening the rods would
affect the string height . Thanks for advice . You don't learn unless you do.

May 20, 2022 - 9:11:20 PM

13309 posts since 6/2/2008

Originally posted by TeleRey

I didn't realize how much tightening the rods would affect the string height . 

Well, if you loosened the outside nut at the tailpiece end so that the lower rod was free to be tightened on the neck, then you undid anything the co-rods were doing related to the banjo's action.

Plenty of people argue against using the co-rods to adjust action. The rods should be neutral: tight on the neck, snug without exerting force at the tail.  But your simple description says to me the rods on your banjo were definitely affecting the action.

Glad to hear you got it back.

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