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BanjoMate Tone Enhancer

"Doug....received your BanjoMate yesterday, tried it in one of my two Banjos, a 1973 Aria Bowtie. I adjusted it a few times until I got that mellow tone I was looking for....Sounds Great!  Thanks." James - UK

"Thanks Doug....I placed it in my 1926 Bacon and Day Plectrum, and I do seem to get more volume, which is what I was looking for. Perhaps others in our Banjo group will want to purchase the BanjoMate." Stan Jack, The First Arizona Banjo Band - Gold Canyon, AZ. USA

"The BanjoMate helps project the sound toward the front of the Banjo and out the flange holes. I have one in a 1927 TB-1 Gibson Conversion and it helps to get the sound out. Try one, you'll be impressed".  Dave Pethtel - Silver String Band

"The sound enhancement was immediatley recognizable. I don't normally practice with picks on in the house, and my wife thought I was using picks. That alone should give you an idea of the audible resonance your BanjoMate creates. I wish you great luck and success with this invention. Thank You!" - Mitch, OH. USA

"What a neat invention, volume definately increased, clearer tone too!"  Jim Robinson - FL. USA


"I am very cynical about most gimmick-y things. I have tried my share of gimmicks and devices over the past 44 years of banjo playing. I've tried all the latest fads and tricks and I've usually been pretty disappointed. I've never been a "me-too" guy unless I have satisfied myself that things I endorse are valid and have been proven through my own experience. Three days ago, I ordered a Banjo Tone Enhancer. I figured why not? If it's a rip-off, I'll write a scathing disclaimer. If it works, I'll write a fair review. If nothing happens, so what...? It sounds enough like snake-oil to be, well, snake-oil. So the thing came USPS today, so I stuck it in my Scout. It's a square sheet of thin brass with a dish-shape, sorta pyramidal in shape. Now, years ago, a bunch of were trying saw-blades mounted to the coordinator rods, mirrors in the resonator, reflective hard-gloss paint and whatever else we thought might help the sound. I pretty much gave up on such stuff, because : 1. I don't like gimmicks 2. I figure a banjo either has it or not 3. I'm pretty good at setting up banjos and coaxing maximum sound(tone & volume) from one. Anyway, here I was thinking, "Yeh, yeh...whatever..." I was fully expecting my cynicism to be vindicated, knowing this was just another dust-catcher for the junk-box. I thought I may make a clock out of it. The Scout is one good-sounding banjo and I thought it was as good as it was gonna get. I played the Scout for a few minutes just registering the sound in my head. So, I stuck this puppy in there with it's little velcro fastener and played the same licks I had been playing for several minutes. Then I took the gizmo out and played the same stuff again. I repeated this process for 30-40 minutes, confident that I was going to be able to pooh-pooh the device. My final analysis in the Scout is this: It made a marked improvement in the sound. Not a vast improvement, but a marked one. The sound was fuller, rounder, if you will, and had more sustain. It was slightly louder and I noticed for the first time that the Scout had an ear-crunching quality when I really bear down on it. I don't know how or why it works, but I was impressed enough to call Doug. I tried turning it to different orientations as he suggested and found out that it does make a difference. When I turned it with the points toward the heel and tailpiece, I got the best sound. When I turned it 90 degrees, it seemed slightly more "treble-y." I have yet to try varying degrees between 0 and 90, but I will. I also intend to try it in my Aria alumi-tone, my 28 Granada AT, my Lane and my Sullivan Festival Deluxe. I'm going to stick it in my friend's Asian mongrel-tone I put together for him. I'm trying to buy a USB studio mike, so maybe I'll do some sound files for each banjo. I have a blind friend who plays dobro, and who has a really sensitive set of ears, so I plan to use him as a guinea-pig, for a true "blind" sound-test. . I don't know Doug, and I have no financial interest in his company or product. I give it a thumbs-up. I think it's a winner. ADDENDUM: Mar 6, 09 I just tried the Tone Enhancer in my Aria Alumi-tone. It was even more remarkable than in the Scout. I played the Scout and the Alumi-tone with and without the TE for my wife and she said,"What IS that thing!!?" High praise from her." Bob Gaddis (BeeGee) BanjoHangout 2009


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