Hand-crafted Banjo Bridges and Banjos
What folks are saying about Kat Eyz
Kat Eyz Bridges
"The buzz is gone!!! Woo Hooo! This is a great bridge for lower head tensions. Well constructed, and sounds terrific. The engineering is very good as well. I think they call it a 'no-direct-route' approach (every string's path through wood to the head is interrupted by open air). I am impressed."
Tim Hagler (USA)
"This was the easiest process by which to choose a bridge that I've ever been through. Mike emailed me some questions about my banjo and what kind of sound I was looking for. He sent six different bridges for my evaluation. For my Stelling Red Fox I settled on an 11/16 -select maple-purple ebony/topped-pegged bridge with Crowe spacing. ... It is an outstanding bridge with a great sustain and clarity. Up the neck notes are especially clear and sustained and there is a great vibration that you feel while playing. I'm very pleased and plan on keeping this bridge on my Red Fox."
Thom Moore (USA)
After trying about 3 factory made bridges on my Gold Star GF100 I was a bit cynical about how much difference a decent bridge makes to my relatively untutored ear. Boy, couldn't have been more wrong. I bought an 11/16 regular ebony topped bridge from Mike because the current bridge was giving me some annoying string buzz. The Kat Eyz arrived in a neat little plastic foam lined box all marked up with serial number and specs. Looked so good there it seemed a shame to take it out and use it. The craftsmanship was obvious and the string slots crisp and clean which makes a real change. I then played a few tunes with the old bridge and repeated them again with Mike's. Absolute joy. No buzz. clear, richer tones from every string and even the 4th string (which had always seemed a little lacking something in my view) seemed to come alive. Fantastic. And the bridge looks really cool as well! Going to get another for my open back. This bridge was worth every penny and I have difficulty putting the banjo down now when I ought to be getting on with the chores cos I like the sound so much.
Medwin Bews (UK)
I don't have a huge amount of experience, but I've bought a Grover bridge, owned a Goodtime bridge, made my own, and had two beefy factory bridges, one that came with my Fender FB 58. The Kat Eyz 3/5 Crowe spacing is the clearly the best in terms of volume and clarity up the neck. Strangely, the Fender factory is a close second, the difference being more in pronunciation way up the neck than in volume. If you're working with a Grover or Goodtime or Washburn factory issue, the Kat Eyz will make a huge difference. Looks cool, too.
Roy Carpenter (France)
This bridge made my GF-85 explode with both great tone and fantastic action. On the plus side, Mike is a good guy to boot. Easy to deal with.
Leigh Vail (USA)
I have a 70s vintage StewMac aluminum-pot kit banjo that drove me nuts for years with it's jangly, metallic tone. It was my "beater" banjo, and I used a cheap bridge on it thinking it deserved no better. I had the opportunity to talk to Mike and I described the situation. He sent me an ebony-topped McCormick Spice bridge, quite a bit heavier than I'd ever seen. But it woke that banjo up, giving it a sweet mellow tone I never would have thought was in it. It especially shines in low tunings. I lost my beater acquired another valued banjo. I've recorded many of my original songs with it.
Fantastic roundness of sound combined with great 'crack''. Mike's customer service is outstanding. He is someone who has a great ear and is willing to take the time to bring out the optimal clarity and balance in any banjo.
Paul Kirby (Norway)
I HIGHLY RECOMMEND Mike Smith's Katz Eyz Pegged Top banjo bridge. For my Goldtone kit OB250+ bluegrass banjo, I got the 5/8 old maple wood, with medium width, ebony top. This bridge gives better tone than all others I have tried. For my open-back banjo, I am using the 11/16”, old maple wood, wide width, snakewood top... I believe that these pegged-top bridges give the best tone of any bridges in current production, and I recommend them without reservation. Save money and go directly for it, instead of buying a bunch of other bridges first.
Ken Woodruff (USA)
Snuffy Smith New Generation Bridges
I got 3 new Snuffy bridges from Mike and I couldn't be happier. They are awesome bridges, and I knew they would be. I've been buying bridges from Mike for a long time. He's the best.
Don Pettis (Oregon, USA)
Kat Eyz Capo
I became acquainted with Mike Smith a few years ago at a festival. Mike is a very likeable guy, and very passionate about his work. We hit it off immediately. I knew the minute I put a Kat Eyz capo on my banjo neck that it would be the last one I would buy! I have a drawer full of just about every kind, and type of banjo capo imaginable. There is none better in my opinion. It's a great pleasure, to not only endorse Kat Eyz capos, but to call Mike Smith a friend!
Ed Stacey, Blackjack Ridge (USA)
Most impressive capo! Very little, if any, retuning is needed. Doesn't move around and takes very little pressure on the neck. Pretty much everything you've already read about this capo is the truth. I have no regrets and would recommend it to anyone looking to upgrade their capo.
Michael Joe Sagraves (USA)
This capo ... is an excellent choice for a banjo capo. I really like mine because...it doesn't shift in circles around the neck because the V frame keeps it stable. The thumb screw is very rugged so you get a really good grip on the head to turn the screw - it doesn't slip out of your fingers like some capo thumb screws do. It's attractive - sleek narrow design. Weight - this brass model doesn't add weight to the neck so the tone is preserved when it's fretted as well as when it's not. Thanks Mike for a great capo!
Doug Knecht (USA)
Note: Kat Eyz capos are no longer available.
Kat Eyz Cougar Banjo
The Cougar has a rich dry sound with no overtones, great fourth string and the upper register was crystal clear. The banjo has a traditional sound to it that matches the type of music I play. There's no upgrading needed on the banjo, everything is top shelf, ready to take out of the case and start pickin'. What sold me on the banjo, and that I thought really stood out, was the creative inlays in the headstock & fretboard & the overall great sound of the banjo.
Brian Munday (USA)
This banjo feels great. Both hands are very comfortable at work, especially the neck is great. I used one of Mike's KatEyz 11/16" bridges on this particular model. The banjo has a good degree of separation between the notes sonically. The tone is awfully rich and in short, the tone is fabulous. It's one of those banjos that sound as good in front as it does to the player in back. I highly suggest it.