The banjo reviews database is here to help educate people before they purchase an instrument. Of course, this is not meant to be a substitute for playing the instrument yourself!
6919 reviews in the archive.
Where Purchased: Bills Music
This was my first banjo and I consider it an excellent starting point. I had strummed a few and found the 12" pot produced a fuller and more balanced sound than the smaller option and the Goodtime is easy on the fingers and eyes. There is no tone ring on this model, so the sound is a little subdued, but not extremely plunkie. A good middle of the road option.
Sound Rating: 10
Setup did not need to be touched - perfect just the way it was. The neck is straight and flat - albeit a little narrower than I would optimally prefer - but I have not had a problem playing how I want with it. The string height is low to the fretboard with a 1/2" bridge and there is no buzz. I replaced the light Deering strings that came with it and installed medium weight to suit my own taste and desired feel.
Setup Rating: 9
Great looking banjo with a dark finish, nickel hardware, and a fiber skin head.
Appearance Rating: 10
Plating looks durable and after a year shows no wear even though this has been my main banjo for the past year and has been played 1 to 2 hours per day. The fret wire is still good with most of its life remaining and the fretboard only shows a little wear - but probably would look new again with a good cleaning.
Reliability Rating: 10
N/A - I have not needed to contact Deering.
Customer Service: not rated
The dark wood finish and nickel hardware look great. The fiberskin head is good for what it is - simulated skin - and it does produce a nice tone. I changed the nickel tailpiece to a plain, no knot style. I have another banjo that produces a more bright tone, and I will eventually change the Americana's head to real skin and make it my "plunky" option.
Components Rating: 10
The Goodtime Americana is a great option for the price. It is versatile, durable and plays very easily. The action is low and the sound is versatile. Although it was not needed, I tried different heights and different styles of bridges just to experiment with what it does to the sound and found that there were several that were pleasing in various ways. This is a good middle of the road banjo that sounds good and won't break the bank.
Overall Rating: 10
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