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Apr 6, 2024 - 5:29:22 AM
124 posts since 11/3/2015

I swapped out an 11/16 bridge for a 5/8 which worked out very well except for the 5th string, which has a barely perceptible buzz. The buzz is not present on 1 - 4 even at the higher frets. I was wondering if anybody here has experimented with a bridge that has the 5th string slotted higher than 1 - 4?

Apr 6, 2024 - 5:43:47 AM
like this

3357 posts since 5/2/2012

Don New (Stringbean45) makes bridges with a raised part for the 5th string. Sells them here in the Marketplace.

Apr 6, 2024 - 7:10:06 AM
Players Union Member

Eric A


1879 posts since 10/15/2019

yes, those are seen now and then, especially for clawhammer players as a way to help grab that 5th string with the thumb. But nowadays I think those same players go for a scoop instead.

Apr 6, 2024 - 7:26:07 AM
likes this

237 posts since 8/31/2015

Does it sound like fret buzz or is it more like a sitar-esque ringing sound? If you fret the 5th string does the sound remain the same on every fret? I ask because It could be related to the way the bridge slot is cut and how the string is sitting in the slot. Worth checking before you start looking for ways to raise the action.


Apr 6, 2024 - 4:05:17 PM

852 posts since 9/7/2005

I have had a few vintage banjos that I did not want to permanently change them by adding a scoop or adding a cut-out on the fingerboard, but could not get a good bite on the 5th string. So I just added a “riser” on the bridge just where the 5th was and re-cit the string slot and it solved the problem. It was easy to do, cheap and reversible without changing the banjo, only the bridge.
In your case if you are just getting a slight buzz, you might fix your problem by getting a slightly taller 5th string pip or filling your 5th string bridge slot and re cutting it, just not quite so deep. What TreyDbanjos said is true too, your 5th string bridge / pip slot could be a bit cockeyed and needs to be “re-freshened” a touch. Go slow, a little bit is all it takes.

Apr 8, 2024 - 6:03:55 AM

124 posts since 11/3/2015

Chris Cochrum, a BHO regular who makes beautiful bridges, is going to do one for me.

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