Posted by Joe Larson on Friday, September 4, 2015
Okay, so let me tell you what happened.
I was with a student, demonstrating some techniques for playing up the neck when I noticed how high the action was on my Deering Maple Blossom - The Great Honking Goose - at the 12th fret. I mean like half an inch!
So I get it home and start tightening the truss rod and it just spins and spins. I'm thinking it must be stripped or broken or something, so I take a pair of pliers and give a tug and sure enough, I'm able to pull it out about 5 inches.
Well, that can't be right so I write to Deering and they tell me that it sounds like the truss rod is broken but I should send it to them and they'll see if it can be replaced.
A few days later after they've taken a look at it, they tell me yes, the truss rod is broken and no, it can't be fixed. I'm dealing with Carolina Bridges (yep, that's her real name) Director of Public Relations at Deering. She asks me if I'm the original owner. Unfortunately I'm not, I bought it used from Elderly Instruments sometime back about 1990.
More bad news: a replacement neck will cost over $2,000 dollars! Gulp!
I start considering my options - Arthur Hatfield lives not too far from me and makes excellent banjos with superb necks, I could get him to make me a neck for a lot less money. But then it wouldn't be a Deering neck. But hell, for not too many dollars more I could have him make me a whole new banjo.
But I'm kind of fond of the Goose, it's the only banjo I own, so I decide to bite the bullet and buy the replacement neck.
About this time Carolina contacts me to ask once again if I'm the original owner, in which case the neck would be covered under warranty. Sadly, I'm still not the original owner.
"Well, I'll tell you what I'm going to do; truss rods aren't supposed to break. I'm going to have a new neck built for you at no charge."
Yumpin Yiminey! I sent the pot back to them and they fitted a new neck to it and sent it back. They even paid return postage.
Quality Companies are built and run by quality people.
5 comments on “Deering Banjo Company”
Friday, September 4, 2015 @9:56:42 AM
No wonder Deering has such a great reputation. I bought a used Sierra a few years ago and not parting with it anytime soon.
Laurence Diehl Says:
Friday, September 4, 2015 @11:45:50 AM
Great story - makes me proud to be a (original) Deering owner.
Friday, September 4, 2015 @12:27:30 PM
Wow..that tells you a lot about Deering as a company and how they stand behind their product..Go Deering!
Joe Larson Says:
Friday, September 4, 2015 @12:42:04 PM
I know right? The other thing they did was tighten my head WAY tighter than I had it. In fact WAY tighter than I'd be comfortable tightening it. For tap tuning fans, I tighten mine to D#. When I got it back I noticed the tension hoop is a whole lot closer to being level with the head, I mean like twice as close. So I do my little resonance check and it's at G#, a fourth above D#! It was great before but now it's a cannon!
Saturday, September 5, 2015 @3:13:32 PM
G# tends to be the sweet spot on many banjos. Great story!
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