Deering Banjo Company has introduced a new banjo bridge design, so new that they have applied for a patent. Their Smile Bridge is so named for it’s unique shape, which does resemble a smile.
The idea is to restrict the amount of stress on the bridge when it’s installed on your banjo, to allow stronger low and mid-range frequencies to transfer to the head. When the bridge is under great stress, those valuable tones are less able to vibrate freely and cross the bridge.
So Deering’s new Smile Bridge has curved feet, or more specifically, a curve that is applied along the plane of the bottom of the bridge. As a result, the ends of the feet create less of an intense depression into the head, and follows a natural curve.
The new bridge is getting rave reviews from Deering’s family of bluegrass endorsers. Tony Trischka says…
“The Smile™ bridge totally transformed the sound of my already wonderful sounding Golden Clipper. The tone was richer, fuller, louder (in a good way), with a touch of pre-war sizzle. I continue to be wowed!””
Jens Kruger is also impressed…
“There is no more pressure in the bridge so it is already like a played in bridge…. It really works and it sounds fantastic.”
…as is Greg Cahill:
“I have never heard such a drastic positive change in tone and volume with a new bridge on any of my banjos. It sounds fabulous on my 1935 Kel Kroyden.”
At this time, the Smile Bridge is only available in a standard spacing, 5/8” configuration for 5 string banjo. Deering expects to add more heights and styles in the coming months.
The Deering Smile Bridge can be ordered online for $45.