Banjo Set Up & Repair
Simply put, if your banjo isn't its best then I can help. With years of experience and know-how I'm able to do most setup related services to get your banjo firing on all cylinders. If your banjo is a lost cause I will be up front about that and not waste your time and money.
If you are new to the instrument and think your banjo isn't ideal then I can set up your banjo to my standard specs. Or, if you are a seasoned player, I can work with you to find that tone you've always wanted. If you need more specialized luthierie needs like a neck heel cut or a better ring fit I can help find the right person to take care of that for you. My rates are very competitive and I can turn around most work in a very timely manner. I've owned dozens of banjos and done setups for many other folks.
Click my contact page to get in touch. Below are some videos of banjos both new and old banjos that I've setup. This will give you an idea of what I try to achieve when setting up a banjo, which is note separation and clarity while still hearing overtones and complexity of tone. It is worth mentioning that different players sound different and technique is certainly part of the equation. But, a good setup is paramount to your banjo sounding and playing its best.
This first video below features my main touring and recording banjo after a fresh head change and setup. It's a Gibson tb-2 conversion from the '30s. Honestly this one will sound great no matter what is done to it even when played in my basement which is the most dead sounding room on Earth.
This banjo has lots of the tonal qualities that I will try to hear when setting up your banjo. Lots of 'sizzle' and deep woody 'thunk'. Volume is great but I'm more interested in getting a banjo to sound open and uninhibited. We want it to project without a lot of force, but if you need to bare down it will respond with more volume. All of this is more easily done with an older Gibson but these qualities can be achieved with modern banjos too.
This next video is of an all original 1960 Gibson Rb-250 archtop banjo. This one was in need of some attention when I got it. Archtops can be tough to make sound 'round' as they are usually thought of as being inferior to flathead tonering banjos. They are just different in my opinion. This one ended up sounding really nice.
Yes, I love Gibson banjos and the older, the better is mostly true. But your modern banjo can sound great too. This is a '90s Deering Sierra that a buddy of mine owned. He got me to set it up so he could sell it. Here is the result.
Here is an older video I made of an incredible 1927 Granada banjo that came my way. The purpose of it was to show off the difference between an archtop and flathead tonering banjo from the Prewar era. My take is they both sound killer but they are different.