Z Bridge Pricing
After two years of research and development, and countless samples, the Desert Rose Z Bridge is now available to the banjo playing world.
Research was conducted that confirmed important points about banjo performance related to bridge weight and material density as well as specific dimensions that are related to sound.
A bridge has a very large effect on the power, tone and playability of the banjo. It is also the easiest component for the banjo player to change to search for his or her individual sound. Desert Rose bridges are designed and built to deliver performance suited for all aspects of bluegrass banjo, while having a unique sound at the same time. Depending on set up, they can deliver a wide variety of sound from rich to piercing.
The Desert Rose bridge is being produced in different styles, each having a unique voice. The Z Bridge is made of seasoned AA instrument grade hard maple with an ebony top, while the Z Bridge Vintage is made of recovered hard maple from trees 300 to 500 years old when cut, and have been sitting in the cold waters of the Great Lakes for 100 to 200 years, with an ebony top. This centuries old aging in low oxygen content water has caused changes to the wood at the cellular level that have a direct effect on theacoustic response properties of the wood. These bridges produce a very rich bluegrass response in a properly set up banjo.
In addition, each model is available in an Elite version, which is designed using our own PATENT PENDING propriatary idea utilizing aerospace technology that raises the performance of your banjo to new levels. The Elite technology has shown positive effects on power, clarity, note seperation and balance on a properly set up banjo.
Specifically addressing the point of playability, each bridge is hand slotted using guaged slotting files to give the proper size round bottom slot. In addition each slot is ramped back towards the tailpiece for optimum playability and sound transfer making it possible to use shallow slots for best tone.
The Desert Rose Z bridges are available direct from the maker, and will soon be available in select music stores. Dealer pricing is available, please inquire.
It is recomended that you consider it necessary to change the setup of your banjo anytime you do something as important as changing the bridge. Because bridges and the woods they are made of vary so much in grain, weight and density, it is improbable that your banjo will sound its best without some fine tuning of the setup.
In our expierence, the Elite series and Vintage series bridges perform best with heads tuned in the G to A# range. A loose head (below G), will not give you enhanced bass response without possible compromises in performance and playability. The Elite and Vintage series bridges deliver the best balance of tones, including bass frequencies, without lowering the head tension. Not lowering the head tension has a benifit to playability in that the right hand response remains quick and gives you a full range of picking dynamics that you loose with a loose mushy head.
A further point we have discovered is that the tailpiece should not be raised excessively. In direct opposition to current fads in banjo setup, the Desert Rose Vintage and Elite series bridges deliver the best performance with some tension on the tailpiece. This is especially true of the Elite series. We recomend starting with your tailpiece aproximately 5/32 inch off the head to start and check the sound by playing your banjo. Then raise the tailpiece angle by no more than 1/16 inch, retune your banjo and play. Continue doing this systematically until you find the optimum sound for your banjo and technique of playing.
Please remember that the centuries old recovered wood as well as the aerospace technology in the Elite series bridges are new to the banjo and stereotyped concepts of banjo setup dont necessarily apply to these bridges.
Failure to take this advice into consideration may lead to less than optimum banjo performance.
We invite you to try the Desert Rose Z bridge.
© 2002-2004 by Scott Zimmerman