The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #85738   Message #1590661
Posted By: Claymore
25-Oct-05 - 02:10 PM
Thread Name: Banjo: Does string size make a difference?
Subject: RE: Tech: Does string size make a difference?
As one who has played the Goldtone 750 for years, as opposed to the 500 which is the model I suspect you have, go pick up some Peavey stainless steel "Matched 11s". Then try and get a 58 stainless for the bass E.

Next, tighten up the head until the strings are off the middle frets to prevent a buzz. Don't go too tight on a mylar head or try one of the Fyberskin thicker heads. Try adding a small round piece of rubber backed carpet in the resonater to mellow out the twangy part of the upper stings while keeping the mellow bass notes.

The instrument works very well at contra dances as a foil for the 5 string or tenor banjo. Using the bass notes, you can do rolls and bass runs which set up their melody.

Spend some time with the resonator off and plugged into an amp if you are going to use the pick-up as sensor placement is everything. About 3 inches down from the top edge of the interior rim and as close as you can set it without picking up face buzz from the head works for me.

It does not work well as a single pick instrument, but works very well picked with finger picks, folk style (especially with plastic instead of metal finger picks).

As noted above, if you tune the high E perfectly using an electric tuner and then fret the same sting one octive higher, it should read about the same. If it is sharp, move the brige back a little and try again until the soundings are about the same at both frettings. Then do the same with the bass E . The result should look as though the high E end is closer than the low E end of the bridge to the top nut. Good Luck!