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Amplify a banjo??

Richard Bridge 13 Oct 14 - 04:45 PM
GUEST,# 13 Oct 14 - 04:51 PM
Richard Bridge 13 Oct 14 - 05:45 PM
GUEST,brianbanjos 13 Oct 14 - 06:04 PM
GUEST,RB-1 13 Oct 14 - 07:20 PM
GUEST 13 Oct 14 - 10:28 PM
GUEST,# 13 Oct 14 - 11:06 PM
Joe Offer 14 Oct 14 - 12:58 AM
Banjo-Flower 14 Oct 14 - 04:51 AM
Dave Hanson 14 Oct 14 - 04:57 AM
banjoman 14 Oct 14 - 05:44 AM
GUEST,Reynard 14 Oct 14 - 05:50 AM
Bounty Hound 14 Oct 14 - 06:22 AM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 14 Oct 14 - 08:33 AM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 14 Oct 14 - 08:56 AM
GUEST,Rahere 14 Oct 14 - 09:22 AM
GUEST,# 14 Oct 14 - 09:36 AM
GUEST,Reynard 14 Oct 14 - 09:44 AM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 14 Oct 14 - 10:36 AM
Richard Bridge 14 Oct 14 - 12:51 PM
GUEST,kendall 14 Oct 14 - 01:00 PM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 14 Oct 14 - 01:07 PM
bubblyrat 14 Oct 14 - 04:05 PM
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Subject: Amplify a banjo??
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 13 Oct 14 - 04:45 PM

OK, rarity! An above the line thread from me AND about banjos.

Some fiends and I are debating on facebook about amplifying banjos.

The suggestion is the Kavanjo system (google it). I reckon this will not resolve feedback problems if it is mounted to the resonant skin.

PUTW also do a "feather".

I'd have thought the best plan to be a minihotrailhumbucker in place of the last two frets on the banjo (nice and rigid, see) and a feather, or maybe something like a B-band between the saddle and a bridgepiece, with either a blend on the instrument or having the soundman do the blend at the desk.

Input, you people who play the things?


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Subject: RE: Amplify a banjo??
From: GUEST,#
Date: 13 Oct 14 - 04:51 PM

"Amplify a banjo??"

OK, I'll bite. WHY?


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Subject: RE: Amplify a banjo??
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 13 Oct 14 - 05:45 PM

The inventor of the Kavanjo wanted to play country rock with a full kit drummer and an electric guitarist. He could not hear himself and nor could anyone else.


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Subject: RE: Amplify a banjo??
From: GUEST,brianbanjos
Date: 13 Oct 14 - 06:04 PM

K and k pickup with a good pre amp. Only this and nothing else.


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Subject: RE: Amplify a banjo??
From: GUEST,RB-1
Date: 13 Oct 14 - 07:20 PM

If you want your banjo to sound like a banjo, there's just one way: microphone.
And it works also in a loud setting (all you'd need is a good banjo and a strong right hand)

The PA engineer wakes up at 3:15

RB-1 plays banjobreak in Orange Blossom Special


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Subject: RE: Amplify a banjo??
From: GUEST
Date: 13 Oct 14 - 10:28 PM

With these noise-cancelling circuits they put in headphones now, it might be time to start thinking about electronic sound systems for banjos. You could put a pickup on the banjo, and have the amplifier produce the negative of the wave pattern of that signal, with a volume control to set how much cancelling it does.


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Subject: RE: Amplify a banjo??
From: GUEST,#
Date: 13 Oct 14 - 11:06 PM

"He could not hear himself and nor could anyone else."

Sounds like a successful banjo player to me.


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Subject: RE: Amplify a banjo??
From: Joe Offer
Date: 14 Oct 14 - 12:58 AM

Amplify a banjo?

That would be cruel....


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Subject: RE: Amplify a banjo??
From: Banjo-Flower
Date: 14 Oct 14 - 04:51 AM

Is it a Tenor or a 5 string?

Gerry


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Subject: RE: Amplify a banjo??
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 14 Oct 14 - 04:57 AM

Amplify a banjo ? that's like spraying perfume on a pig.

Dave H


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Subject: RE: Amplify a banjo??
From: banjoman
Date: 14 Oct 14 - 05:44 AM

Hi - all my banjos (26) have at some time been used in a band and with a range of devices to amplify them. Overall I agree that one of the main problems is maintaining a banjo ,sound and this is best achieved using a good microphone. I also have a system fitted to one banjo which consists of what I would call a Drum Head Mike fitted very close to the inside of the banjo head. Works fine in a single instrument setting but loses a lot when used in a full PA rig.
One of the best bits of kit I have is a simple stick on mike on the front of the banjo head. (Cost the princely sum of £2 in a local charity shop)
Hope this is of use.
Keep Plucking
Pete
PS Pigs are very clean sweet smelling creature if they are looked after in the right conditions.


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Subject: RE: Amplify a banjo??
From: GUEST,Reynard
Date: 14 Oct 14 - 05:50 AM

I have been trying to find a solution to this problem as well so would be interested to hear any recommendations.

I regularly play both acoustically as part of a duo, and with a larger band with electric bass and percussion. Amplification is definitely needed in the second situation. I have been at quite a few venues now that demand you to plug in just to play solo with an acoustic guitar or banjo (which I think is mad, and probably just done because there is little expectation that an audience will remain respectfully silent and listen but that's a separate issue).

I agree that a decent mic is a good option, but it's restrictive and not always available.

Is there anything that:
1)Can either remain on the Banjo at all times without affecting its acoustic sound, or be easily and quickly removed and
2)Can plug straight into a PA and give a decent sound?

If it's possible to do this for acoustic guitars, why is so hard to find a solution on the Banjo?

(Please no more predictable Banjo jokes!) ;)


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Subject: RE: Amplify a banjo??
From: Bounty Hound
Date: 14 Oct 14 - 06:22 AM

Just for the odd occasions when the rest of the Hounds allow me to use my banjo (4 string) I use a soultion similar to Richard's with a mini humbucker mounted at the end of the neck, (although discreetly under the skin) and a passive transducer mounted on the skin, just under the bridge. The two are wired together to a single output, and the blend seems to work without the need for a blend pot, although I usually run it through an EQ pedal.

The only visible sign is a jack socket in the rim, and the acoustic sound is unaffected.

John


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Subject: RE: Amplify a banjo??
From: GUEST,punkfolkrocker
Date: 14 Oct 14 - 08:33 AM

I have a GOLDTONE 6 string banjo which was factory fitted with a large pickup
attached to the metal rod under the skin.
It can be slid along the rod for favoured positioning closer to the bridge or the neck.

GOLTONE also sold the pickup separately, though would need to check if they still do.

No idea if it's any good as I've never gigged with it ???


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Subject: RE: Amplify a banjo??
From: GUEST,punkfolkrocker
Date: 14 Oct 14 - 08:56 AM

Right then, I can see the banjo in a far corner but can't get to it without climbing over
a barricade of amps and speakers...

Goldtone do sell an updated version of the pickup

Sliding Mag Pick-up

I'd guess it could be retro fitted to banjos other than Goldtone ?

"Sliding Mag Pick-up (SMP)
The SMP was designed by Gold Tone to assure accurate reproduction of authenic banjo tone.
Designed to fit between the coordinator rod and the back of the banjo head,
proper installation will allow it to be positioned in a variety of locations for different tonal qualities."

or..

"Sliding Mag Pickup Plus (SMP+)
The SMP+ is an updated version of the original SMP that requires no soldering or hole cut out in rim.
Can also be adjusted so it does not touch the banjo head."


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Subject: RE: Amplify a banjo??
From: GUEST,Rahere
Date: 14 Oct 14 - 09:22 AM

Banjo couldn't be heard against a full kit drummer and an electric guitarist, Richard? Not surprised, either he had his earpugs wleded to his eardrums or he had no eardrums left. The answer is to stand in front of the bass stack at Glastonbury, finally reducing your axons to powder.


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Subject: RE: Amplify a banjo??
From: GUEST,#
Date: 14 Oct 14 - 09:36 AM

If you can't be good be loud!


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Subject: RE: Amplify a banjo??
From: GUEST,Reynard
Date: 14 Oct 14 - 09:44 AM

After much prevaricating I have just purchased one of these: ABS Banjo/Resonator Guitar Microphone System

I will let everyone know how it works out.


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Subject: RE: Amplify a banjo??
From: GUEST,punkfolkrocker
Date: 14 Oct 14 - 10:36 AM

Reynard..
sorry to do this if you have just paid full retail $261.00
for the Goldtone ABS Banjo/Resonator Guitar Microphone System;

but the included preamp stomp box is most likely a rebranded Artec SE-OE3 Acoustic Outboard EQ
[€43 / £33.85 at Thomann].

I can't identify the mic as that's not an area I'm familiar with.
But chances are it's manufactured by a similar good quality OEM factory.

Sadly the music equipment industry is rife with well known respected names
selling rebranded OEM products at vastly inflated extortionate prices...

AKAI do it, blatantly rebranding good quality excellent value for £££$$$ Biyang stomp boxes
at double or treble the price.


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Subject: RE: Amplify a banjo??
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 14 Oct 14 - 12:51 PM

It might help people to have a look at the Kavanjo system.

http://kavanjo.com/

It seems the inventor found that the pickups that mounted to the rails under a banjo skin were too far from the strings. I infer that this not only led to reduced overall volume but also led to increase hum noise and hiss if the pickup was cranked right up.

You can see that his thing is for 5 string banjo, and he winds his own 5-string humbuckers, but how he controls feedback is not discussed.


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Subject: RE: Amplify a banjo??
From: GUEST,kendall
Date: 14 Oct 14 - 01:00 PM

If you can't hear the banjo, the whole system is too loud.
Remember those tee shirts that say If it's too loud, you are too old ?

I have one that says If it's too loud It's too fucking loud


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Subject: RE: Amplify a banjo??
From: GUEST,punkfolkrocker
Date: 14 Oct 14 - 01:07 PM

Richard, I believe mine is the discontinued Gold Tone Banjitar Lightweight BT-1000,
About 10 years old - got it years ago at very low ebay auction price from a guy in USA.

What you say makes sense, because he'd fitted it with bloody heavy gauge strings.

Here's a photo someone of one else posted:


Rear view - pickup & wiring


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Subject: RE: Amplify a banjo??
From: bubblyrat
Date: 14 Oct 14 - 04:05 PM

Can't say I need one with my "Delta Blue" 6- string ; if I thought I did,then I'd play into a microphone . BTW, "The Atholl Highlanders" sounds GREAT on it . But I am surprised that Mr Reynard doesn't invest the banjo with "racist " overtones, given his aversion to "blacked up" Morris dancers and anything else remotely "Black And White Minstrel Show" .I'd have thought the banjo was positively iconic in that respect.


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