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May 24, 2022 - 4:09:23 PM
3 posts since 5/1/2022

I have a Morgan Monroe Cascade and I noticed that the low g had a thunk sound to it at the 1st through 3rd frets. It starts to come out at the 4th and starts to ring again. Is that a setup issue?

May 24, 2022 - 4:53:31 PM

4397 posts since 10/13/2005

Perhaps a slightly heavier/thicker string. banjered

May 24, 2022 - 5:04:02 PM

3 posts since 5/1/2022

Interesting. i was actually thinking a thinner one. I'll try anything though. The banjo sounds really great other than that. It has really good reviews too so, I'm convinced it something I'm doing. Thx for the response.

May 24, 2022 - 5:30:33 PM

13303 posts since 6/2/2008

Since the problem happens on fretted notes as well as open, I guess that rules out the nut slot being too deep. But might as well put a piece of paper in there just to be sure.

And since the problem is just one string, I guess that rules out uneven frets or the neck being too flat or back-bowed and needing the truss rod loosened. Still, you might want to measure relief at the 7th or 8th fret and see what you find.

So I go with Tom. Maybe your third string is too light.  Or maybe it's old. My first response to unexplained crappy sound is to change strings. I don't change very often or on any schedule any more, so I let the sound be my guide.

I'd suggest checking the head, but it's a problem on only a few frets of one string. Still, since we don't know what kind of sound "thunk" is, I guess anything in the sound-producing chain could be responsible for what's happening -- even though it's happening on only one string.

Final question: Does "thunk" also happen on the same notes on the fourth string? Not same frets, same notes. It's happening on G#, A, and B-flat on 3rd string.  How about 6th, 7th and 8th frets on 4th string?  Let's see if we can rule out the banjo's response to those frequencies. 

Edited by - Old Hickory on 05/24/2022 17:34:05

May 25, 2022 - 2:54:19 PM

3 posts since 5/1/2022

Well, first appreciate your response. I really don't know how to describe it any better than that, it really doesn't have much in the way of sustain either. I get a good growl and sustain on all other strings with the exception of that area. That's a lot of good advice though and I will check all of those areas when I get a chance. I have recently purchased a drum dial so, I'll be making sure that it is on spec. I think 89 was suggested. I'm really not a very good player so, it might be me. When I fret up and check the tuner those areas are in tune. It seems when I don't play as hard it isn't as much an issue. I usually use the string that are sent to me in a pack for "banjo". What do I know??? Can you buy strings custom or as singles? First chance I get I'm going to dig in and check all those spots out. Again thanks!

May 25, 2022 - 3:37:16 PM

13303 posts since 6/2/2008

You can buy singles. You can buy sets of many different combinations of string gauges.

The things I suggested checking are worth checking to be sure the banjo is set up ok in general. But as I said a couple of times: you're having an issue on just one string and the stuff I say to check would affect all strings. So I'm mostly stumped.

Any Drum Dial setting is just a starting point. Drum Dial has two main purposes for banjo: (1) to help you adjust the head to even tension all around,  and (2) after you've tightened or loosened the head to produce a sound you like, it allows you keep your head tension where you like or to get back to that tension should you change the head or take it off.  Maybe that's three things. But two are related.

The Drum Dial is a reference tool. It's not prescriptive.  Someone suggested 89 to you. I hate 89. I can sort of stand 90. I like the sound of my banjos at 91. Some people like 92. I'm not sure about that.

So start at 89. If you don't like the sound, bump up to 90, using the Drum Dial to get the same reading all around. If that's not right, try 91. Something will eventually sound good to you.

Good luck.

May 25, 2022 - 9:15:35 PM

9620 posts since 8/28/2013

I would suggest checking the 4th fret. It is quite possible for a fret to be high enough in one spot, such as under the affected string, but not be quite high enough to bother the other strings.

Fretting technique might also be an issue. it could be that on those low notes, one of your other fingers is touching that offending string and killing its sustain.

If this "thunk' is on all 4 strings, I would definitely check for high frets.

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