I would like to build a cigar box banjo for my next build. I’ve seen people place small tambourines with a skin head and bells removed inside the box in the same place you would put a reso cone. But what style pickup should be use. I’ve have bad luck trying to use a piezo in my banjo and banjolele but it sounds like crap.
Any suggestions

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Hi Jeremy, try adding a preamp to the pick up either on board or as  pedal. If you mounted one in a small box {pedal style] you could use it with your other banjos.

I have built a number of wood top banjos and the sound of these is a bit more forgiving  with a cheap piezo than the sharper sound of a plastic or velum head. 

I have just mounted a piezo pickup {expensive over $200] it used two transducers one under each leg of the bridge. They were mounted to the head using thick double-sided [1.5mm] tape. Sounded not too bad, but you'll never get microphone quality without a microphone Ha ha.

Here's a Banjo Mandolin conversion I did.

Taff

Thanks for the advice, a pre amp pedal is not something i thought of. I may try a wood top banjo now instead, I like idea of that.

That banjo/mandolin looks really nice! A CB-mandolin is something I’ve always been interested in building. I don’t know how to play one and would like to learn. I’ve heard there are many issues with the soundboard crushing from high string tension. Did you have any issue with that?

Hi Jeremy, here are some pic's of the style of banjo I build.

The tin one [only photo I have] has a cross brace in the bridge area.

The wood top banjo has a thin tone wood Cedar top so I brace it with an X bracing pattern. I think I over braced it, but you don't know until you try.

The last one is a full box cbg style 5 stringer and has one cross brace. It is made of pine fencing and some pallet wood for the top. All are acoustic and the sound [except for the tin one] is like that of an open back frailing/clawhammer style 5 string banjo.

 

Taff

wow Taffy .,.,I really like that last one.,, its on my to do list.,,.

I recently saw a post where Wishnevsky puts the piezo on the rim/hoop of his banjo's., Shane recommended adding a pre-amp., I have heard banjo players say don't put the piezo on the head, as it will feedback and sound like crap.,

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