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Help Topics for Banjo Players

Schatten BJ-02 banjo pick-ups - some guidance on fitting.

25/09/2013

The recommended adhesive is ARALDITE RAPID. This is easily obtained in the UK from most hardware/DIY shops and is a quick-setting 2-pack epoxy resin adhesive. Do not be tempted to use any kind of “superglue” - the crystalline structure of “superglue” is incompatible with this type of pick-up and will impair the sound transference. Follow the instructions on the packet and allow the appropriate amount of “curing” time before using the pick-up - usually 12 - 24 hours. A few bits of common-sense advice - ensure that the banjo head is in good condition and at the tension you require before fitting the pick-up - if the head needs changing, do it before you glue on the pick-up ......... ensure that the bridge is flat (i.e. not “dished” in the centre) as the pick-up will not adhere well to a curved surface - a new bridge may be necessary before installation as bridges do tend to sag in the centre after a period of use ensure that the inner surface to which you are going to glue the pick-up is clean and dry - the pick-up will not adhere well to a dusty surface (many banjos have an unfeasible amount of dust inside them!) When changing the banjo head, it’s simplest to carefully cut the pick-up off the old head. Remove a small rectangle of material from the head with the pick-up in the middle. Take care not to cut through the wire! Carefully pare the piece of old head and the adhesive off the pick-up surface with a sharp craft knife or scalpel. You can then re-glue the pick-up to the new head. There has been some discussion on the web about removing pick-ups by softening the adhesive with heat. The melting point of Araldite Rapid is very close to that of the material from which most heads are made. Great care is necessary to avoid melting a hole in the head and the spot where the adhesive used to be is usually left a bit “baggy” as the head material always stretches a bit under heat. Overall, given the relatively low price of heads, it’s probably not worth the effort to try this method of removal. Whilst the Schatten banjo jack socket is a well-made item, it isn‘t necessarily the most robust fitting that could be used. The very nature of the “universal” clamp dictates this. On many banjos, especially for professional players, other types of jack socket may well be more appropriate. Several other types are available, please phone or e-mail for details. Most of the other types require some modification to the instrument, though not all.

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