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PostPosted: Mon Jul 30, 2012 5:56 pm 
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I have a Lark In The Morning banjitar....it is a 19 fret....I cannot keep it in tune...I have replaced the tuners....you can tune it and play it and the 4, 5, & 6 strings sound perfect....the 1, 2 & 3 strings.....off chord....does anyone know if the bridge is set up like a regular 5 string....even distance from the nutt to the 12th fret, even distance from the 12th fret to the bridge? Someone may have changed out the bridge....does anyone know the height of the factory bridge? I understand this intrument is made by Gold Tone. I have tried to email them for technical assistance but to no avail. Can anyone help me? thanks Jim


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 30, 2012 8:20 pm 
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Sounds like you're familiar with banjos, but just to ask the obvious questions:

o Have you changed the strings? Bad stock strings can create tuning problems.

o Have you angled the bridge for proper compensation?

o Have you had the instrument set up by a competent banjo technician, to check for high frets etc. ?

o When you say those strings are out of tune, how do you know? That is, what are the exact symptoms? For example, how far out of tune, and is it random or progressively worse up the neck? Do the octave harmonics sit over the 12th fret?

o When you say you can't keep it in tune, does that mean it tunes and plays fine for a while, then gradually gets worse?

o Are you an acoustic guitarist who is used to pressing heavier gauge guitar strings? If you lighten your finger pressure on the top 3 strings, does the tuning improve?

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 30, 2012 9:18 pm 
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Location: Sudbury, Ontario
Try tightening the head. My "Alabama" brand banjo wouldn't stay in tune until I tightened the head quite a lot.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2012 4:45 am 
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Not only tighten the head, but assure that the tension is even all around. To the list I'll add: Does your instrument have an adjustable tailpiece? Is there any movement in the coordinator rods?

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2012 5:33 pm 
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o Sounds like you're familiar with banjos, but just to ask the obvious questions:

I have two 5 strings and two 6 strings. One of them is home made and plays like a champ....the Lark In The Morning is a problem child.

o Have you changed the strings? Bad stock strings can create tuning problems.

Yes, I have changed the strings several times....doesn't help

o Have you angled the bridge for proper compensation?

I have moved it front to back and etc...not sure what you mean by "angled"

o Have you had the instrument set up by a competent banjo technician, to check for high frets etc. ?

No, haven't had a pro work on it. I like to do things myself, if I can

o When you say those strings are out of tune, how do you know? That is, what are the exact symptoms? For example, how far out of tune, and is it random or progressively worse up the neck? Do the octave harmonics sit over the 12th fret?

I know the strings are out of tune because they sound out of tune..how far out I don't know. I have set the bridge close to the tailpiece and checked with a tuner when the G string is in perfect tune it is also in perfect tune at the 12th fret. On this model I am not sure if that is the correct setting, are you?

o When you say you can't keep it in tune, does that mean it tunes and plays fine for a while, then gradually gets worse?

Yes, you can get it in tune but then you have to re-tune very often.

o Are you an acoustic guitarist who is used to pressing heavier gauge guitar strings? If you lighten your finger pressure on the top 3 strings, does the tuning improve?

I normally play a Martin acoustic with medium strings. Playing the banjitar lightly does not improve the sound.

[ Reformatted for Q/A. - Mod ]


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2012 5:34 pm 
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celtolin wrote:
Try tightening the head. My "Alabama" brand banjo wouldn't stay in tune until I tightened the head quite a lot.

OK, thanks I will try that


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2012 5:43 pm 
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How is the best way to tighten the head to assure that the tension is even all the way around?

Yes, it does have an adjustable tailpiece. If you are familar with the Gold Tone Banjitars, it is exactly the same tailpiece. Does anyone know exactly how to set this tailpiece? Is there a certain measure off the head? Coordinator rods? Are you talking about the adjustment rods? If so, the don't seem to be very sturdy. It is my understanding that Gold Tone makes this instrument for Lark In The Morning, however, I can't get any help from Gold Tone to help with the problem.

Tim2723 wrote:
Not only tighten the head, but assure that the tension is even all around. To the list I'll add: Does your instrument have an adjustable tailpiece? Is there any movement in the coordinator rods?


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2012 8:35 pm 
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Location: Sudbury, Ontario
I took a crescent wrench and tightened in an 'opposite' fashion (picked one at random, tightened it a half turn then tightened the opposite peg a half turn). If you can easily push the head with your finger then it's too loose.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 05, 2012 6:43 pm 
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Hi Jim,

I'm not trying to avoid your question, but the adjustments are difficult to describe in words alone and in the limited space we have here. There are several very good videos of these procedures on YouTube. The information for four and five string banjos applies directly to your instrument. It is, after all, really just a six-string banjo.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 28, 2013 8:26 pm 
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[Thread Revival - Mod]

Cheap 6 strings are a tinkers dream please remenber banjos have about 130 parts and each plays a part in tuning, I tightened my head so that when I drop a nickle on it it ring in G check all the tension parts for tightness inside and out include te resonator in this check the screws on the tuners and Yes the bridge should be set as on other banjos, I use a 5/8 on mine for finger picking and tune it taropatch (open G ) DGDGBD an use light guitar strings on it. I play dixeland hawiian bluegrass folk celtic and blues on it and Mine is a 19 fret from musician friends. Have fun :boggle:


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