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 Post subject: Banjolele skin tension
PostPosted: Wed Aug 07, 2013 9:15 am 
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I recently aquired a nice 1930's-ish banjolele in good cosmetic condition. The skin was obviously slack and with metal strings fitted was virtually unplayable. Having replaced the strings with a set of nylon soprano ukulele strings, things got a lot better. I've tightened the skin "a bit" but I don't know "how tight is tight", or indeed how one might measure the "tightness", other than possibly by how much the bridge depresses the skin when the strings are in pitch (G C E A with a "high" G).

Any thoughts or references would be appreciated :)

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 09, 2013 6:44 pm 
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Is it a banjolele (4 strings) or banjo mandolin (8strings)?
If it's a banjolele, ask the nice folks at ukuleleunderground.com
If it's a banjo mandolin, try mandolincafe.com

In either case, you can check banjohangout.org. They have a great setup and repair forum where you'll find lots of suggestions. Take some photos and post them there.

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 09, 2013 7:04 pm 
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My smallest banjo has a 10" mylar Remo head set up with nylon strings. A 1/8" bridge depression works for me... Bob.

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 09, 2013 7:33 pm 
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brewerpaul wrote:
Is it a banjolele (4 strings) or banjo mandolin (8strings)?
If it's a banjolele, ask the nice folks at ukuleleunderground.com
If it's a banjo mandolin, try mandolincafe.com

In either case, you can check banjohangout.org. They have a great setup and repair forum where you'll find lots of suggestions. Take some photos and post them there.


There's also the 4-string banjolin to further muddy the waters. But I don't of any current makers of these. All I've seen are vintage, with the Vega Little Wonder probably being the most well-known.


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 10, 2013 1:11 am 
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Quote:
Is it a banjolele (4 strings) or banjo mandolin (8strings)?

It's a 4-string "John Grey & Son. London" with no specific model designation. It's got the "asymmetric" head with offset friction tuners, which appear to be bakelite, so possibly original, a metal "pan" on the back of the body (I'm sure there's a correct term for it!) and only six tension rods around the 8" skin.
Quote:
If it's a banjolele, ask the nice folks at ukuleleunderground.com ... In either case, you can check banjohangout.org.

I'll go and have a look aroung over there, thanks :)

Quote:
A 1/8" bridge depression works for me... Bob.
... thanks, I'll use that as a starting point :)

My main concern is that I shouldn't be overtightening anything and damaging it :oops:

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