Five-Star Banjo Pickup

Installation instructions for the Five-Star Banjo Pickup.


Five-Star® banjo pickup

The Five-Star® banjo pickup is a high quality magnetic-coil device for standard Mastertone-style banjos having dual internal rim rods. It is a design which has been proven by many satisfied professional players.

Clamp the pickup onto the banjo's rim rods (see picture) and center it beneath the bridge. There must be a gap (the thickness of a credit card) between the top of the pickup and the underside of the banjo head.

Insert the inductor element (.004" steel shim) beneath the middle foot of the banjo bridge, or tape or glue it to the underside of the banjo head at the same location. The pickup will not work without the inductor.


Assemble the output jack bracket assembly as illustrated below. The plastic spacers and metal washers should rest snugly on the resonator flange, without dropping into the flange holes. Use either the offset washers or the flat washers beneath the flange as necessary. Replace the resonator, check the fit of the bracket assembly, and readjust as needed.

Unscrew the rear shielding sleeve from the output jack. Run the pickup wire through a flange hole and through the jack sleeve. Solder the insulated portion of the wire to the center terminal of the jack, and the bare portion to the ground terminal. Using pliers, gently clamp the ground terminal strain relief tabs around the wire's jacket. Screw the jack sleeve back into place, and install the jack in its bracket as shown in the photo below.

Installing the jack

You can move the pickup to different positions along the rim rods to experiment with clarity and volume, but be sure to maintain the correct distance between the pickup and the banjo head. A preamp is recommended for stage or studio use.