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Dec 7, 2023 - 9:35:13 PM
15 posts since 12/5/2023

I have a super well kept vox in need of some adjustment to the neck to drop the action a bit. I noticed an adjustable tang designed to force a peg on the rod and wondered if it is designed to influence the angle of the neck? Otherwise is there an appropriate method to make adjustments?


Dec 8, 2023 - 8:32:25 AM
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5516 posts since 5/29/2011

The brace in question is designed to hold the neck onto the rim. It cannot be adjusted to affect the angle of the neck. The first (and cheapest) way to lower the action is to use a lower bridge. If your bridge is a 1/2" (the lowest height available commercially) then the most effective (and expensive) way to adjust the action is to have the neck reset by a luthier. Aside from that, you may be able to shim the neck with a thin piece of wood or cardboard but don't expect miracles.

Dec 8, 2023 - 9:57:45 AM

15 posts since 12/5/2023

Thanks for the reply Culloden! think swapping out the bridge may be a good option. I have a 5/8 at the moment, which seems high in relation to the tail anyway…


Dec 8, 2023 - 12:47:23 PM
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13007 posts since 10/27/2006

Vega used 1/2" bridges on most of their banjos but I'm not certain about the Vox. That would be the option to try first.

There is a way to raise the neck a little. Remove the neck. Enlarge the square hole by removing some wood from the top and sliding the neck up towards the head. I wouldn't go more than 1/8". The plate that sits against the rim will cover the resulting gap if it's small.

Resist the temptation to overtighten the brace. You can damage the neck by doing so. Snug so that it doesn't move is all you need.

Dec 8, 2023 - 12:52:57 PM
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13007 posts since 10/27/2006

quote:
Originally posted by dandjune

Thanks for the reply Culloden! think swapping out the bridge may be a good option. I have a 5/8 at the moment, which seems high in relation to the tail anyway…


That Waverly VegaVox tailpiece is not one that is easily replaced. Metal fatigue can set in and cause them to break, however. If the bend is not the correct 90°, take it to a jeweler and have a silver-solder reinforcement bead laid inside the bend.

Dec 8, 2023 - 2:37:01 PM

15 posts since 12/5/2023

quote:
Originally posted by mikehalloran

Vega used 1/2" bridges on most of their banjos but I'm not certain about the Vox. That would be the option to try first.

There is a way to raise the neck a little. Remove the neck. Enlarge the square hole by removing some wood from the top and sliding the neck up towards the head. I wouldn't go more than 1/8". The plate that sits against the rim will cover the resulting gap if it's small.

Resist the temptation to overtighten the brace. You can damage the neck by doing so. Snug so that it doesn't move is all you need.

 

Excellent! Great to know I have some options! Thanks for the tips. I ordered a cheap bridge off Amazon to test the height. If is seems right, any suggestions on bridge manufacturers?

Edited by - dandjune on 12/08/2023 14:41:21

Dec 8, 2023 - 2:39:16 PM

15 posts since 12/5/2023

quote:
Originally posted by mikehalloran
quote:
Originally posted by dandjune

Thanks for the reply Culloden! think swapping out the bridge may be a good option. I have a 5/8 at the moment, which seems high in relation to the tail anyway…


That Waverly VegaVox tailpiece is not one that is easily replaced. Metal fatigue can set in and cause them to break, however. If the bend is not the correct 90°, take it to a jeweler and have a silver-solder reinforcement bead laid inside the bend.


Thanks! I was confused to see that it was a tight 90, resting against the head when the strings were removed. Sounds like that's a good thing!

Dec 8, 2023 - 3:39:22 PM
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13007 posts since 10/27/2006

quote:
Originally posted by dandjune
quote:
Originally posted by mikehalloran

Vega used 1/2" bridges on most of their banjos but I'm not certain about the Vox. That would be the option to try first.

There is a way to raise the neck a little. Remove the neck. Enlarge the square hole by removing some wood from the top and sliding the neck up towards the head. I wouldn't go more than 1/8". The plate that sits against the rim will cover the resulting gap if it's small.

Resist the temptation to overtighten the brace. You can damage the neck by doing so. Snug so that it doesn't move is all you need.

 

Excellent! Great to know I have some options! Thanks for the tips. I ordered a cheap bridge off Amazon to test the height. If is seems right, any suggestions on bridge manufacturers?


I'm not much into custom made bridges except to correct intonation issues. Tag me after you've tried that 1/2" bridge.

As part of your setup process on a 4 string banjo, you will be able to move the bridge around and get two of the strings' intonation close to perfect with the other two not quite as good. Take note which two strings give you the best results. Also include what gauges you prefer and how you tune. I won't recommend a particular bridge maker since the one I like for such work has retired but I'll be able to help you frame the questions and issues.

Dec 24, 2023 - 8:42:30 AM

15 posts since 12/5/2023

mikehalloran , I ordered an inexpensive 1/2” bridge which pretty much made the action perfect. Thanks for the advice!
I messed with the intonation and got the tuning pretty much perfect. As far as I can tell with my Snark, I get super consistent results on the 12th fret on all strings.
I usually use light gauge strings and, oddly, tune my tenor to open A, E-A-C#-E, which is essentially 5 string tuning up two frets.
I’ve been in touch with the folks at Katy eyes to order a snuffy smith narrow bridge with pegs…

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