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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!

6628 reviews in the archive.

Deering  Goodtime Special  Banjo Reviews

Submitted by nosepickerbob (see all reviews from this person) on 6/17/2016

Where Purchased: Reverb

Year Purchased: 2016
Price Paid: 642.00 ($US)

Sound

It has great bluegrass tone after a good setup.

Sound Rating: 7

Setup

Deering likes to setup the banjo for beginners with low action and light strings. I pick very hard and fret hard so I couldn't do with the factory setup.
I like to tune my head to Bb, and my action at 3/16" above the last fret. I use GHS PF 145 medium light strings, After this it really rings nicely with a bell like tone.

Setup Rating: 8

Appearance

It is a very nice straight grain maple, with no finish.
Combined with the nickel plating and bowtie inlays it looks very nice.

Appearance Rating: 9

Reliability

Greg Deering only uses U.S.A. made steel, the brackets, flange, tone ring, and tension hoop all feel hefty and long lasting.

Reliability Rating: 10

Customer Service

Customer Service: 8

Components

Many people complain about the guitar style tuners, I upgraded to planetaries so I could go from different tunings quicker and easier, But the stock tuners are great as long as you're not playing "Reuben" every couple hours. And other peope complain about the lack of a truss rod, It really doesn't need a truss rod at all, because of the rock hard maple the banjo is made out of.

Components Rating: 10

Overall Comments

I think this is a great banjo for a beginner or experienced player. I just love how simple the banjo is, and that is what makes it a great choice for one who doesn't want to iinker with their 'Jo too much.

Overall Rating: 9

Submitted by sebastiantravels (see all reviews from this person) on 12/25/2015

Where Purchased: long and mcquade

Year Purchased: 2015
Price Paid: Don't Remember historic exchange rates / currency converter

Sound

sounds beautiful

Sound Rating: 8

Setup

banjo brand new straight out of the box, almost in perfect tune, tuned it and plays great, im stoked to be picking again!

Setup Rating: 9

Appearance

pretty plain but beautiful to play and i try to not look at it when i do.

Appearance Rating: 7

Reliability

solid, bit scared it doesnt have a truss rod, but will i still own it on 5 or ten years, maybe not. i day dream of a john hartford with wooden tone ring, so this ones for now, get pickin'

Reliability Rating: 10

Customer Service

the warranty is like six years, thats awesome

Customer Service: 10

Components

dont love the guitar tuners but what can i say for 650 bucks?

Components Rating: 9

Overall Comments

this is not my first goodtime, i had an openback with electric pickup as my first ever banjo, also bought brand new. Ive owned a few more banjos since then and so far i seem to have a knack of selling them as much as playing, deering always holds god value. This is sure not the prettiest banjo iveowned or the sweetest sounding, but it is up there with the best ive had which was a goldtoneob250 and a epiphone mb350(gold plated). Imhappy with the goodtime for now i returned a goldtone open back which was twice as much for this one. I need to play more than worry about what it looks like at this point and this banjo is a pleasure to play and i dont have to worry that much about it, getting stolen or a bit damaged by my three year old. so all good it feels great in my hands and its not ugly in any way. Hope to have a higher quality deering one day////////////////

Overall Rating: 9

Submitted by BoneDigger (see all reviews from this person) on 4/14/2011

Where Purchased: Amazon.com

Year Purchased: 2011
Price Paid: 560 ($US)

Sound

The Goodtime has a very nice tone that suits my needs as a bluegrass musician very well. I have owned quite a number of banjos over the years and the Special plays just as nicely as the more expensive banjos. Don't get me wrong, it does NOT have quite the projection of a true tone ring banjo, but it is fairly loud and you would have no problem being heard in a jam session. It has good intonation up and down the neck, plenty of bass and highs, and the sound is just very good for a $600-700 banjo.

Sound Rating: 9

Setup

I took the banjo out of the box, tuned it, and started playing. The setup from the factory was spot on.

Setup Rating: 9

Appearance

The Goodtime Special is an attractive banjo but it does not have the flash of the more expensive banjos. With that make a difference in playing? No. I would certainly call it an attractive banjo, just not flashy.

Appearance Rating: 7

Reliability

This banjo seems very well made and it uses quality parts. I really don't see ever having an issue with this one. Although there is no truss rod, the neck is sturdy and I doubt I would ever have any issues.

Reliability Rating: 8

Customer Service

In the few instances where I have called or e-mailed Deering I have never had an issue with the company or its representatives. I have always had quick and USEFUL responses.

Customer Service: 10

Components

Standard parts for this type of banjo. Nothing seems sub-par.

Components Rating: 9

Overall Comments

Have no doubt, this is a good banjo for a good price. I do not consider this to be a "beginner only" banjo and I know of at least two people that use these in a band. The projection is quite good, though it doesn't have the punch of a true tone-ring banjo. It is however, quite loud and more than enough for jam sessions or a gig that includes microphones. This banjo is lighter than most higher end banjos (8 lb versus a standard 12 lb) and that makes a huge difference in comfort. The redesign of the neck is awesome. The headstock is much m ore attractive than the old Gumby looking ones. Plus, the new neck has dot fret markers on the top of the neck where the older ones only had the inlays. Thanks Deering for a great product!

Overall Rating: 10

Submitted by Concorde1 (see all reviews from this person) on 5/21/2010

Where Purchased: Eagle Music store

Year Purchased: 2010
Price Paid: 549 (GB Pounds) historic exchange rates / currency converter

Sound

The tone on this banjo is just what I was looking for. Clear and rings like a bell. I was considering buying a Calico, but how much better can a banjo sound than this one?

Sound Rating: 10

Setup

The banjo was setup by Eagle Music and didn't even need tuning when I got it out of the box. I have had it for 2 months and just put a new set of Deering strings on and it sounds even better than when it was new.

Setup Rating: 10

Appearance

The banjo is made of Rock Maple which is a light coloured wood and it looks superb. The Goodtime series is known for it's no nonsense looks and at this time of my playing career I want all my money to go towards the sound that the banjo produces and not on fancy inlays. Saying that it is a nice instrument to look at.

Appearance Rating: 8

Reliability

This banjo will outlive me I am sure. I do clean it after playing it most times so as to keep it in nice condition. This is because even if I do buy a top of the range model I will keep this banjo for playing in the garden or when camping etc

Reliability Rating: 10

Customer Service

Mine came with a six year limited warranty that was not transferrable to a second owner. I have sent off the coupon to Deering but have yet to receive a reply. Eagle Music as the dealer have always been helpful when speaking to them on the phone.

Customer Service: 5

Components

The quality of the workmanship is superb, you can tell it has been made properly from high quality components. Nothing looks cheap or rushed.

Components Rating: 10

Overall Comments

For anyone wishing to upgrade to a "proper" banjo and who hasn't just won the lottery I can't endorse this model enough. It made me a better player over night and now after 2 months I have improved a lot from when I used to play my Chinese cheapy, but we all have to start somewhere I suppose. This banjo will always be able to match your playing no matter how good you get. A wonderful musical instrument.

Overall Rating: 10

Submitted by drewbanjowebster (see all reviews from this person) on 3/26/2009

Where Purchased: Hobgoblin Music

Year Purchased: 2009
Price Paid: 485.00 (Pound) historic exchange rates / currency converter

Sound

Good for old timey and bluegrass mix, sounds great, really lively range from deep D strings to bright lighter strings, you can get a range of sounds depending on your playing position. Quite a loud banjo considering its weight.

Sound Rating: 10

Setup

Yes, good set up straight out of the box, I did find the strings that it came with far to light and giving, my fingers kept pushing the D string off the fret board, I replaced with a set of Joey Dunlop light strings (09-020-016-013-09) and these are great. Deering recommend only using Light strings (due to no truss rod) which I thought might be a problem for me as I use Mediums on my Countryman, but I am now a converted light string man, the response and brightness is very pleasing. Everything else was spot on.

Setup Rating: 10

Appearance

I love the pared back minimalist look, I think it will age well also.
Even the Gumby head has a simple charm, it had good comments on its first gig.
The finish and parts (including case) came very well presented, all excellent quality.
Even the box was nice!

Appearance Rating: 10

Reliability

It all seems very well built, solid and well finished. It should withstand some action and age well.

I use for all gig work without a backup.

Reliability Rating: 10

Customer Service

Haven't dealt with yet but have been told that they are exceptionally good.

Customer Service: not rated

Components

I think I'll keep this banjo as standard, all components good quality.

(might change the nut, being picky)...

Components Rating: 10

Overall Comments

I would recommend this banjo, I think the price has gone up now (585.00), but I think you'd still be hard pushed to get a banjo of this quality for less money.
I'd be seriously peeved if this got knicked, I'd weep like a school girl and sulk for at least a year.
I do love it, the only thing I don't really like is the black nut (purely cosmetic nerdy pick), would consider changing it for a bone nut in the future, but that's it really.
Before I bought this banjo, I spent a long time testing other instruments within my buget range, I did find some good looking banjos but none that compared to the playability of the Deering.

Overall Rating: 10

Submitted by instntkrma (see all reviews from this person) on 4/28/2008

Where Purchased: Prussia Valley Dulcimers, Waverly OH

Year Purchased: 2008
Price Paid: 600 ($US)

Sound

Having played the Deering Goodtime 2 (available at your local Guitar-Mart) I'd sought out the Special in hopes of some bluegrass tone-ring punch, which this banjo delivers handily. Soft and sweet or loud and bright, just as described.

Sound Rating: 8

Setup

The gentleman at PVDulcimers took this banjo from the wall, adjusted the bridge a bit, picked a few enviable licks and handed it over. I'd recommend shopping locally for this instrument (or any banjo, for that matter) to guarantee no accidents in shipment and to ensure it's set up as you like it.

Setup Rating: 8

Appearance

With its signature unrefined natural satin finish, some people say this is an ugly banjo. Those people are jealous.

Appearance Rating: 10

Reliability

This is a good, solid, American-made hunk of wood that could survive a two-story toss by a jealous lover, though I'd rather not test that assessment. Many online sources (including the Deering website) state that this instrument weighs 7 lbs, which I doubt. It's a good, honest weight. Not as heavy as a full on brass tone-ring, but not 7 lbs, either.

Reliability Rating: 8

Customer Service

Now, this could turn out to be disappointing, but I suppose only time will tell. Upon completing the one-year warranty card, I spied a check box stating "Please Send my FREE Way to Happiness Booklet". I'd assumed this would be a bit of inoffensive religious literature, but I Googled just to be sure. As it turns out, this is a bit of Scientologist literature. I can only assume that, in order to obtain a warranty and the promised Owner's Manual, I'll have to suffer an onslaught of Scientology pamphlets as they attempt to convert my mailbox from its heathen ways. Again, only time will tell, and I would have bought the banjo anyhow, but I wish they hadn't been all sneaky about it.

Customer Service: 5

Components

I've read a few complaints about the Vega-style arm rest on the Goodtime series, and I can confirm that it is much higher than one would expect an armrest to be. However, I think this benefits the beginning player, as it reinforces the proper wrist angle and encourages you to anchor a finger or two. A little discomfort is a small price to pay for good technique.

Components Rating: 8

Overall Comments

The Goodtime Special is somewhat harder to get ahold of than other models in the Goodtime line, and will cost a bit more in a local store than over the Internet, but it's worth the expense in quality, tone, sustain, and style. The instrument has the sound and heft of a banjo twice its cost but comes in under $1k by eschewing the unnecessary gloss and refinements. Support your local luthier and snag one today. And unless Thetans are your thing, consider setting up a fake address for that warranty.

Overall Rating: 8

Submitted by PaddleFaster (see all reviews from this person) on 12/24/2007

Where Purchased: Mullis Music Co.

Year Purchased: 2007
Price Paid: Don't Remember historic exchange rates / currency converter

Sound

It sounds really bright and bluegrassy. It's not up there with the expensive end banjos but the sound it produces is unmistakably a bluegrass banjo. It has pop and ring to it and a mellow low D string.

Sound Rating: 10

Setup

It needed some dusting but that was about it. Great setup.

Setup Rating: 10

Appearance

This banjo is good-looking in the respect that it is very simple. It's has the look and feel of something hand-made (which it is) rather than manufactured.

Appearance Rating: 10

Reliability

This banjo seems like one that will last me a loooooong time. It feels so solid in my hands. The from the tailpeice to the peghead, it is well put together. The only thing that I can see that might get annoying is the tuning machines. They are geared and have some play in them, but they do hold a tune and aren't hard to tune either. The strings feel solid and with that comes the awesome sound. I can't tell you enough how solid this thing feels even though it is very light.

Reliability Rating: 10

Customer Service

Never had to deal with Deering but I've heard from friends that they are great.

Customer Service: 10

Components

The tuning machines as mentioned before seem to have some play in them. Other than that, everything (head, fingerboard, metal components, strings, tailpiece) seems solid and reliable. The factory strings are every great sounding.

Components Rating: 9

Overall Comments

Excellent banjo to get good on. Not too expensive to flip out if it gets a ding in it or something (although I probably would lol). It's the perfect banjo to practice and go to gigs with. I would recommend a hard case for it simply because if you are serious about banjo playing, you'll eventually want to upgrade from this banjo and you already have a hard case. Perfect beginning to intermediate banjo that sounds very bluegrass.

Overall Rating: 10

Submitted by GW in Ohio (see all reviews from this person) on 5/7/2007

Where Purchased: The Music Farm (eBay online store)

Year Purchased: 2007
Price Paid: $489 historic exchange rates / currency converter

Sound

I bought this banjo to do some bluegrass picking, but didn't want a heavy, expensive bluegrass banjo (e.g., a Gold Star). The sound is just fine; it's not the exquisite sound you get from a Gold Star or a Gibson, but it's a good bluegrass sound.

Sound Rating: 8

Setup

The banjo was set up well, but the sound wasn't quite right. I tightened up the head all around and adjusted the tailpiece and now it sounds a whole lot better. The arm rest that came with it dug into my right arm while I was playing, so I took it off.

Setup Rating: 9

Appearance

I like the blond wood finish. It's a no-frills, unadorned instrument that suits me.

Appearance Rating: 9

Reliability

This is where Deering banjos shine. They're made with quality materials, and they've very well constructed. It's a sturdy, well put together banjo. The guitar tuners work very well; the instrument stays in tune.

Reliability Rating: 10

Customer Service

Never had to deal with the Deering folks.

Customer Service: 9

Components

I love the rock maple neck and the maple resonator, The steel tone ring gives it good punch. It's easy to take the resonator off and make adjustments (e.g., to the head tension, or the truss rod).

Components Rating: 9

Overall Comments

This is a perfect banjo for someone who wants to get into bluegrass but doesn't want to spend a whole lot of money. You get the most value for your money with a Deering, I think. It's also lighter (7 lbs.) than the more expensive bluegrass banjos with their heavy tone rings. That makes a difference when you've been wearing it around your neck for a while.
I expect to get a lot of years of good playing. I would recommend this banjo for anyone who wants a great intermediate bluegrass banjo.
The overall rating of 10 isn't because this is the best banjo you can buy. It's because for what this banjo sets out to be (i.e., a good intermediate banjo), it succeeds really well.

Overall Rating: 10

Submitted by banjo-ho (see all reviews from this person) on 4/22/2007

Where Purchased: janet davis music co

Year Purchased: 2007
Price Paid: 700+/_ ($US)

Sound

excellent,bright sound,great sustain

Sound Rating: 8

Setup

out of the box ready

Setup Rating: 10

Appearance

different because it is blond wood, but grows on you. It's not fancy so you feel, gritty and unpretentious!

Appearance Rating: 7

Reliability

plays and plays and plays! I would play this banjo anywhere. It was absolute magic when I picked it up. I had been playing a Johnson JB-100 and fairly content. I started playing the Goodtime and it was like all of a sudden, instant improvement, 100%!

Reliability Rating: 9

Customer Service

you cannot beat JDMco, they are very helpful, personable and available! Every experience I have had with them has been positive. They had made a pricing error on their website that I found. They couldnt sell the banjo at that price but threw in a gig bag for the finding the error! Look no further than JDMco

Customer Service: 10

Components

Deering is all about banjos and customer satisfaction from what I see. I do wish the tuners werent guitar style, but they are accurate and sensitive, it is all about the sound!

Components Rating: 8

Overall Comments

There seems to be two camps for banjos. The under $1000 and the over $1000 buck. For an American made banjo, under $1,000 that is Sound first, appearance 2nd (although like I said it kind of grows on you), this is THE Banjo!

Overall Rating: 10

Submitted by ssmckee (see all reviews from this person) on 1/22/2007

Where Purchased: Andy's Guitar

Year Purchased: 2007
Price Paid: 500 ($US)

Sound

This banjo rocks! I play Scruggs-style and it projects beautifully, loud and bright (not as much as a $$$$ banjo but..) The harmonics are great and I find that left-hand slides/pulloffs and hammer are easier and sustain longer.

Sound Rating: 8

Setup

Set up was perfect right out of the box...needed to be cleaned and strings replaced.

Setup Rating: 10

Appearance

I love the blond wood look and the inlay is simple..I don't need a gaudy neck with inlays......
The metal of the tone ring and resonator needed to be cleaned...it was sitting around the shop a while befor I scored it.

Appearance Rating: 7

Reliability

For the price I paid I feel I got a hell of a deal..It has a one year warranty and I I feel the finish will last a lifetime.

Reliability Rating: 10

Customer Service

Not too impressed with Deering..they seem to take a while to respond to my e-mails...when I finally did get a responce it was helpful.

Customer Service: 3

Components

I love the maple finish it is a very beautiful and hard wood. I know the tone ring in steel, not brass, but it looks and sounds great.

Components Rating: 7

Overall Comments

This is an amazing banjo and for anyone who can't spend $$$$ on a great sound and quality banjo this is the one.
I would get another if it was stolen, I dod a ton of research on banjos in this price range and this is the best.

Overall Rating: 9

Submitted by rreconnu (see all reviews from this person) on 12/4/2005

Where Purchased: Ebay

Year Purchased: 2005
Price Paid: 475 ($US)

Sound

The Goodtime Special II comes with a small tone ring and has a little more pop than the standard Goodtime. That said, it is still a far cry from the bluegrass cannon sound you may be familiar with. It is a much more mellow, woody sound. In it's own way, it's a nice sound. If you are just starting out, the rest of the people in your house will appreciate the fact that you don't have a bronze tone ring knocking the walls down.

The score is based on the classic bluegrass sound which this doesn't have. But like I said, it has a pleasant sound.

Sound Rating: 4

Setup

The setup on the banjo was pretty good when I got it. The head was a little lose and the strings needed replaced. Other than tightening the head, all I did was lower the tailpiece a little to try and tighten up the sound.

This is a very simple banjo to work on. Don't expect a huge amout of tone change though.

Setup Rating: 6

Appearance

For a very basic banjo, the Goodtime Special is nice looking. The natural satin finish is done well and gives it a very old timey look. The Special comes with a fancier logo on the peg hed that dresses it up over the basic star on the standard model. I found the flange with the basic round holes a little on the ugly side for my liking but once again, it's a very basic banjo.

Appearance Rating: 5

Reliability

You can't touch the craftsmanship of this banjo with anything in this price range. This is one very well built banjo.

Reliability Rating: 8

Customer Service

Customer service has been very good. I've called twice and both times I spoke with Carolina. She was very friendly and helpfull to deal with.

Customer Service: 9

Components

The components are of good quality.

The guitar type tuners are functional but are a FAR cry from the tuners you will find on the next level banjos. They tend to get moved out of tuned when you put the banjo in it's gig bag.

The arm rest is my biggest complaint about the entire banjo. Instead of giving you a standard "Gibson Style" arm rest that sits nice and close to the head, Deering went with a Vega style arm rest. As it comes to you, the arm rest sits about 3/4 of an inch above the head. Because it is very narrow, if you play for any legnth of time it tends to dig into your arm. VERY uncomfortable.

It was so uncomfortable that I took it off. This proved to be even worse as the hooks then dug into my arm. I called Deering to see if there was anything I could do and they walked me through a new setup that required using two of the hooks and turning the hook nuts upside down to bring the arm rest down to a comfortable level. It seems to work well but I'm skeptical about what basically removing two hooks so close together will do for the tension of the head. If it was a higher level banjo, it might impact the tone more. I can't really hear a difference on mine.

On the VERY positive side I have to say the neck on this banjo is great. The action is very good and the overall slim shape makes fretting very easy for a beginner. The satin finish allows your hand to glide easily up and down the neck. I have very large hands and I was concerned that the narrow neck would prove to be a problem, but it has worked out to be exactly the opposite. I've played much higher end banjos and maybe because I've learned on this Deering, but they all feel thick and slow to me.

One last thing, this Banjo is MADE IN AMERICA. In the banjo market, that still means something. Imports simply don't stack up compared to an American banjo. They may be a bit more flashy or a little cheaper, but when you look at quality and tone they can't touch good old American craftsmanship. Support your American banjo craftsmen!

Components Rating: 5

Overall Comments

Overall, this is an excellent beginner banjo. Before and since I bought it, I've played dozens, maybe even a hundred different banjos and for the money I've never seen one with quality and playability off the Goodtime Special II.

That said, you have to go into it knowing it's the best of the low end banjos. If you have expectations of getting serious about the banjo, you might want to consider spending a little more money up front for something that will last you a lot longer. The next level seems to start at the $1200 range for new banjos. For around the same price there are many respectable used banjos as well all of which will provide tone and playability far superior to the Goodtime.

I got 6 months out of the Goodtime before my playing and appreciation of good tone improved to the point that I had to upgrade. I love playing the banjo and decided to skip the middle and go right for a high end Crafters of Tennessee. My skill may never catch up to this banjo, but the tone and playability is lightyears beyond what I'd gotten used to on the Goodtime. Although I love the new banjo, I'm not planning on selling my Goodtime. It is lightweight, well built and perfect for a knock around, campfire, travel banjo or as a backup to my Crafters.

Overall Rating: 7

Submitted by Kaiser442 (see all reviews from this person) on 6/18/2003

Where Purchased: Folk of the Wood

Year Purchased: 2003
Price Paid: 495 ($US)

Sound

Wonderful full sound - especially compared to my old Fender. Sound is always to difficult to describe - but it has a deeper, more pleasant sound with excellent attack (with a bit of that nice popping sound that comes from the large amount of attack that banjos can produce) and much less of the annoying high pitched twaAAaaang.

Sound Rating: 8

Setup

The banjo was set up well by FOTW - but one of the head tensioner nuts was so loose that it fell off while playing after I'd had the banjo a couple of weeks. I think the heads just stretch a bit when they are new and require retightening after a few weeks. I did my best to tap tune it and it's working fine.

Setup Rating: 7

Appearance

For those familiar with the Goodtime, it's a very spartan instrument. I went to a jam and a lady told me

Appearance Rating: 5

Reliability

This seems like a very reliable instrument - note my above concerns about the finish
The tuners are cheap - but it plays well and stays in tune well.

Reliability Rating: 8

Customer Service

I have not dealt with Deering but I get the impression that they would be pleasant to deal with if there were a problem. Same with Folk of the Wood.

Customer Service: 8

Components

This is the same as the regular Goodtime 2 - but it has a tone ring made from 1/16

Components Rating: 8

Overall Comments

This is a wonderful banjo and the price can't be beat.

I started this adventure with a cheapie $250 Fender and then upgraded to the Goodtime Special as my middle-of-the-road banjo after about 8 months. I would like to get a nicer Deering at some point (Black Diamond!) but will probably always keep the Special as my knockaround instrument.

I HIGHLY recommend the Goodtime 2 or Special to beginners (who mostly can't and probably shouldn't spend $2000 on their first instrument - you've got to play for awile to learn what you like). It is a great sounding, great playing, quality, American instrument - and I haven't heard anything negative said about it yet.

Overall Rating: 8

Submitted by Unknown on 12/27/2002

Where Purchased: Spruce Tree Music

Year Purchased: 2002
Price Paid: 500 ($US)

Sound

The sound is very bright and has quite a bit of sustain. The low-end is also much better than I would have expected for a banjo in this price range.

Sound Rating: 9

Setup

All I had to do when I bought it was install a cradle strap, and that was easy.

Setup Rating: 10

Appearance

The Goodtime series doesn't look very fancy, but it certainly doesn't look bad. The quality craftsmenship is apparent when you look at it closely.

Appearance Rating: 8

Reliability

It appears to be very well built; it seems sturdy.

Reliability Rating: 9

Customer Service

I haven't yet talked to Deering.

Customer Service: not rated

Components

The Goodtime Special comes with a tone ring that gives it a bit more punch than the Goodtime 2. One thing that's missing is planetary tuners, but that's not really a big deal for a banjo in this price range.

Components Rating: 8

Overall Comments

This is my second banjo, my first was a crappy import. The Goodtime Special is so much better than my last one I just can't get over it. It sounds better and is easier to play too. It's not fancy looking, but I think that's how Deering keeps the price down on a banjo that sounds this good. I think it was very worth the money and I'd recommend it to any beginner to bluegrass banjo.

Overall Rating: 9

Submitted by Unknown on 7/30/2002

Where Purchased: Folk of the Wood

Year Purchased: 2002
Price Paid: Don't Remember historic exchange rates / currency converter

Sound

Did lot of research on buying. Deering kept popping up in many reviews. Couldnot find Deering banjos in Miami and wanted to find out what the three Deering banjos in my price category sounded like.
Called Deering and they were great. They took the time to play all three over the phone...that impressed me as a beginner. I don't know what a $4000 banjo sound like but I am absolutely, positively delighted with the GoodTime Special.
Just a thanks to the folk at Deering and Folk of the Wood.

Sound Rating: 10

Setup

Setup Rating: not rated

Appearance

Appearance Rating: not rated

Reliability

Reliability Rating: not rated

Customer Service

Customer Service: not rated

Components

Components Rating: not rated

Overall Comments

Overall Rating: not rated

Submitted by Unknown on 4/8/2002

Where Purchased: Homestead Pickin Parlor, Minneapolis, MN

Year Purchased: 2002
Price Paid: 475 ($US)

Sound

I'm new to the banjo, but I know when I like the sound of something,
and I like the sound of this banjo! The "Goodtime Special" is alot of fun to play.
I shopped around quite a bit, and played quite a few banjos,
and I liked playing this one as well as any of them (and better than most).
I haven't played it through an amp yet, but I've played it with a mic
through the P.A. and it came through fine.
I'll be trying the good old Dean Markley stick on transducer to see how that works.

Sound Rating: 10

Setup

It was set up great when I got it.
I don't know if they did it at the Pickin Parlor or at the factory in CA,
but it plays very well.

Setup Rating: 10

Appearance

Not too flashy, that's for sure, but the appearance has really grown on me.
I like the light neck. My wife liked the looks of it right off the bat. That's good!

Appearance Rating: 8

Reliability

It seems like everything is screwed on right to me.
I'd definitely use it at a gig without a backup.
It seems like a very solid, no frills banjo.

Reliability Rating: 9

Customer Service

Deering has a great website, and they sent me the catalog I asked for.
It seems like a very easy company to work with.

Customer Service: 8

Components

The guitar tuners look a bit more flimsy compared to the rest of the banjo,
but it stays in tune just fine. I just screwed on a Shubb 5th string capo,
and so far so good.

Components Rating: 8

Overall Comments

I don't think this banjo can be beat in this price range. Period.
I looked at and played alot of them when shopping for this one,
and if you want a great banjo and don't want to drop $1500, I strongly
recommend that you check out the "Goodtime Special".

Overall Rating: 10

Submitted by Unknown on 1/30/2002

Where Purchased: www.folkofthewood.com

Year Purchased: 2001
Price Paid: 475 ($US)

Sound

This banjo sounds great. The resonator and tone-
ring lend themselves to a good bluegrass sound.
I'm new to playing the banjo but more experienced
players that have tried mine agree it sounds great
and is a heck of a steal for the price.

Sound Rating: 8

Setup

All I had to do when I received it was tune it and
play. I have since adjusted the action some to be
more tailored to my preference. It is very easy to
adjust!

Setup Rating: 8

Appearance

I get a lot of compliments on this banjo. The blond
maple and nickel plating are very appealling. It
also has a rather distinctive appearance which I
have grown to really love. Deering did not waste
time and money on unnecessary varnish and inlays
to keep costs at a minimum.

Appearance Rating: 9

Reliability

It is made of quality rock maple and nickel plating.
I expect to get years and years of dependible use
from it.

Reliability Rating: 8

Customer Service

The folks at Deering were very helpful with all
questions and were quick to respond to my e-mails
(www.deeringbanjos.com). The same can be said
for the crew at Folk of the Wood
(www.folkofthewood.com).

Customer Service: 9

Components

The wooden parts are all top quality blond rock
maple and all metal parts have nickel plating. The
head is Deering's own frosted model. I have found
only two drawbacks; I'm not real crazy about the
open gear tuners, and wish there were fret
indicators along the top edge of the neck.

Components Rating: 8

Overall Comments

I love this banjo! Would recommend it to anyone
looking for a quality, inexpensive banjo. Check out
www.folkofthewood.com for great prices on
everything having to do with acoustic instruments.

Overall Rating: 8

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