23 August 2016

How important good setup can be

At Dr Průcha's banjo clinic (photo: Tim Hawkins)

The BIB editor writes:

The Gibson Mastertone I play was last given a setup at the North Wales Bluegrass Festival four years ago (above) by master luthier Jaroslaw Průcha (CZ), who meticulously retuned the head and added a new Průcha bridge. Not much more was possible in half an hour in a merchandise booth tent, but the results were strikingly positive.

Simon Humphries, co-founder of Bluegrass Camp Ireland, described in detail yesterday on the Camp Facebook the differences made to his banjo by a thorough overhaul and reset at the hands of Conor Daly, who has recently performed a similar job on Paddy Kiernan's Deering Golden Era. Simon thoroughly recommends having it done, and notes among those differences:

... it sounds great. All notes up and down the neck ring true. There's a richness, tightness, and volume that wasn't there. Playing at higher tempos, I can feel extra power in the instrument, it's more exciting.

It should be noted that Dr Daly's prescription included a new Scorpion bridge made by Silvio Ferretti of Red Wine, which can be bought direct from Silvio or from Kieran Moloney in Galway.

Simon has not given up the search for the ideal banjo; he describes some of the ups and downs of the search in another recent post.

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