For a while, I was using a half-inch, no-top cheap Grover bridge, and I really liked the sound. When I changed to using heavy nylon strings, however, the lower bridge no longer worked. The only other option I had lying around was a thicker 5/8-inch bridge, which just sounded muddy to me. I tried to modify it by cutting off the middle foot to make a two-footer, which I prefer with nylon strings, but my hack job didn't really work.
|A 5/8-inch, two-footed, no-top "mystery wood"|
bridge from Bart Veerman.
Thinking back to that cheap Grover, I ordered a 5/8-inch, two-foot, no-top "mystery wood" bridge with extra-wide spacing from Bart's website, banjobridge.com.
Bart was quick to respond. I ordered on a Friday, and my bridge was sent out the following Monday. He is based in Canada, so expect a delay in delivery if you order from the United States. Bart estimated a week to 12 days. Mine arrived in a week.
After installing the bridge, the change in sound was unmistakable. My banjo is louder, and the tone is clearer and livelier.
My banjo specs:
- Neck: Walnut, thick boat heel
- Scale: 24.25 inches
- Rim: 12-inch diameter, 1/4-inch thick multiply maple
- Tone ring: Dobson-style