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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!

6918 reviews in the archive.

Deering  Maple Blossom  Banjo Reviews

Submitted by Paul Sutherland (see all reviews from this person) on 4/12/2017

Where Purchased: Ebay

Year Purchased: 2017
Price Paid: 1675 ($US) (bought USED)

Sound

Very loud and bright, which is what I wanted. It rings for days. For stage use I'm using an Audio Technica Pro 35 clip on condenser mic and running that into a Fishman Loudbox with a line out to the house systems. It sounds like a banjo, only louder.

Sound Rating: not rated

Setup

The nut needed to be replaced as the string spacing was off. I don't think it was the original nut. Monte Hendricks of Hendricks Banjos installed a new bone nut, dressed the frets that were sharp on the sides of the neck, installed a Kershner tailpiece, added a spike (it only had one), and generally tuned things up. The banjo is now really impressive and a pleasure to play. The wider neck of the Deering has really helped my playing.

Setup Rating: not rated

Appearance

Very good condition for a used banjo. There are a few dings, but nothing major.

Appearance Rating: not rated

Reliability

Very solid banjo. I do gig with it in a country band and an americana band.

Reliability Rating: not rated

Customer Service

Never dealth with them.

Customer Service: not rated

Components

The banjo was built in Nov. 2001 and everything is in great shape, except it might be time for new tuners. They feel a bit stiff.

Components Rating: not rated

Overall Comments

This is a way better banjo than I deserve, but I bought it because I became convinced that the narrow neck of my previous banjo was holding me back.  I think I made the right move.  This is an excellent banjo that I love playing, and I am getting better.

Overall Rating: 10

Submitted by JohnWaters (see all reviews from this person) on 10/26/2013

Where Purchased: Elderly

Year Purchased: 2013
Price Paid: 3289 ($US)

Sound

Plays great up and down the neck. Tuned open G, head to A. It has a warm sound that is definitely not pre-war. It sounds very good, but of you want the clanging pre-war sound, this model is not the best choice. For more progressive bluegrass, it is an outstanding choice.

Sound Rating: 8

Setup

Setup was almost perfect. I have never had a head this tight, but I love the bright pop it gives. I replaced the bridge with a Bart's bridge before the high-register notes cam alive.

Setup Rating: 8

Appearance

Maple and ebony with mother of pearl - beautiful banjo. No flaws that I can find.

Appearance Rating: not rated

Reliability

Seems very well made and should last a lifetime.

Reliability Rating: 10

Customer Service

My second large purchase from Elderly. No problems either time and very fast delivery.

Customer Service: 10

Components

I replaced the bridge (Bart's crowe-spacing) and strings (AMB cryo). I cannot see changing anything else.

Components Rating: 8

Overall Comments

I first ordered this banjo through banjo.com. They are very nice folks, but after two months, they still could not tell me when they could ship me the banjo. So, I canceled my order (which they did promptly). I had the banjo from Elderly 3 days later.

Overall Rating: 10

Submitted by heradoc (see all reviews from this person) on 8/3/2013

Where Purchased: Local

Year Purchased: 03
Price Paid: Don't Remember historic exchange rates / currency converter

Sound

Clear and full sound, not too clangy.
Plenty loud if need be.
Compares well to my other banjo's

Sound Rating: 9

Setup

Added snuffy smith bridge, lowered the action a bit.
Head had to be tightened.

Setup Rating: 10

Appearance

Beautiful. Understated, no frills, but first class.
Inlays are modest, not too flashy.

Appearance Rating: 10

Reliability

Chrome plated, like new.

Reliability Rating: 10

Customer Service

Customer Service: not rated

Components

I like how the neck plays, slim but sturdy.

Components Rating: 10

Overall Comments

9-10

Overall Rating: 10

Submitted by DrBillM (see all reviews from this person) on 6/8/2013

Where Purchased: EBay! Gambling man!

Year Purchased: 2013
Price Paid: (bought USED) historic exchange rates / currency converter

Sound

I love Maple. Bluegrass is why I bought it and it doesn't disappoint. Rings like a bell even though it's the old tone ring. Bright and there is more potential than I can tap at this point. I'm a newbie but I haven't heard a sound I like better. Plenty loud with lights. Clear all the way up the neck. Didn't know what chimes sounded like till now.
Update: Don't know why but this 10 year old banjo seems to have settled a bit from when I got it and sounds even better. Maybe it had jet lag. Sustain forever when you want it and you can make it pop and stop too! I love the Deering ring but decided to go with a wood ring to reduce weight. Love that too. Nothing about the review changes.

Sound Rating: 10

Setup

Sent to me with minimal protection. Seller said his girlfriend packed it. Hard case with a mailing label.Currently has a Grover 5/8 bridge but have a Katzeye pegged sitting on my desk. Stutzman's here in Rochester set it up for me with their private label lights. Love it so far. Med-low action. Can't make it buzz.
Update: Grover bridge was good but the Katzeye is amazing. Then I found the First Quality Sullivan Roasted Maple-oh heavens!

Setup Rating: 10

Appearance

Maple Blossom has cute girl next door good good looks. Nothing flashy but it makes you smile. Maple is rich brown and looks like you could dip in and scoop out some hot fudge. After 10 years the finish is still perfect. Hardware is solid and looks like it will last longer than me. Had to clean it up a little when I first got it but the shine came back and now it sparkles.

Update-I put in a wood tone ring that matches the resonator and rim. Matching arm rest. Love the looks!

Appearance Rating: 10

Reliability

Solid so far. Nothing looks like it is getting tired.

Update-Never had a problem-do not think I ever would

Reliability Rating: 9

Customer Service

N/A. No experience. No warranty since I'm 2nd or more owner but I think Deering will take care of me at a reasonable price and will fix whatever I need. By reputation they are good so I'll toss out an 8
Update: I have since spoken with Deering and done a little business with them. As I suspected, they treated me like a favorite neighbor

Customer Service: 10

Components

Thinking about some RR spikes. May upgrade the bridge from my current pinch hitter one as noted above.

Update: Changed the bridge which was not original anyway. Put in spikes which worked really well and then I got a Shubb 5 string capo which I like even better.

Components Rating: 9

Overall Comments

I looked around and shopped hard to find a good deal. Took a chance on Ebay but I'd played a bunch of them and the seller had a good banjo pedigree so I went for it. It will be a while before I can afford/justify another one. Very happy so far. I will update over time.


Final Update 2/16/2018

I really loved this banjo and when it sells somebody will have a great banjo to love.

Overall Rating: 10

Submitted by kmangelos (see all reviews from this person) on 8/20/2010

Where Purchased: eBay

Year Purchased: 2006
Price Paid: 1599 ($US)

Sound

Great sounding banjo, tended to be a little "ringy" so I lined resonator with felt and that toned down the overtones a little more, but still a great sounding banjo, very loud

Sound Rating: 9

Setup

Did not have the usual 5/8 bridge on it as Deering claims, someone had set it up with a 11/16 large volume bridge, so swapped it out for a 5/8" Sullivan old growth and reset the action, but was easy to reset everything. Have been able to get the action at 22nd fret down to about 3/16"

Setup Rating: 8

Appearance

Excellent finish, no flaws, except a very tiny hairline crack where the 5th string peg was tapped in, but doesn't affect playing, was able to weep some CA glue into the crack and no worries.

Appearance Rating: 9

Reliability

Hall hardware is typical Deering quality

Reliability Rating: 10

Customer Service

The couple of times I've dealt with them they've been okay, they sure don't seem to keep very good records of their dealings with customers as it took me almost a year to get the warranty paperwork straightened out on my banjo.

Customer Service: 5

Components

For the most part most of the parts are excellent. I would suggest they upgrade their tuning pegs, the ones that Deering use on this banjo could be better.

Components Rating: 7

Overall Comments

Excellent banjo, would purchase another one if this one was lost or stolen. I like the Deering sound.

Overall Rating: 9

Submitted by Surveyor (see all reviews from this person) on 8/31/2009

Where Purchased: BHO

Year Purchased: 2007
Price Paid: 1,500 ($US) (bought USED)

Sound

Full bright and deep. It has a Huber ring in it and its set up trick. The Price tail piece seems to add something also.
I play all kinds of music so this banjo is used for more then blue grass. Its loud with a brighter sound. I actually would like to mellow it some but haven't played with it yet.

Sound Rating: 8

Setup

The fella had it set up great when I bought it. Just restrung it and away I went.

Setup Rating: 8

Appearance

Simple and beautiful. Deering does a great job.

Appearance Rating: 9

Reliability

Solid banjo. What else can I say.

Reliability Rating: 9

Customer Service

The folks at Deering are great.

Customer Service: 10

Components

Its all top shelf.

Components Rating: 10

Overall Comments

This is a great banjo. I highly recommend it to anyone. They have their own sound. Deering is Deering and Gibson is Gibson and so on. The Maple Blossom is obviously maple and is bright and beautiful.

Overall Rating: 9

Submitted by akcarter (see all reviews from this person) on 9/11/2008

Where Purchased: hob goblin wadebridge

Year Purchased: 2008
Price Paid: £1500.00 (sterling) (bought USED) historic exchange rates / currency converter

Sound

A beautiful sound.I have set it up for a warm mellow tone. I supose i tend to play a bit melodic.

Sound Rating: 10

Setup

Very slight adjustments were made

Setup Rating: 10

Appearance

Walnut stained maple neck.Ebony fingerboardwith mother of pearl inlays and nickle plated metal work

Appearance Rating: 10

Reliability

Last a life time

Reliability Rating: 10

Customer Service

na

Customer Service: not rated

Components

at about 14 pounds its bit on the hevy side

Components Rating: 10

Overall Comments

exspensive but save up its well worth it

Overall Rating: 10

Submitted by csuscheck (see all reviews from this person) on 3/24/2007

Where Purchased: Janet Davis

Year Purchased: 2006
Price Paid: 2300 ($US)

Sound

I've tried a lot of different banjos. Deering, when compared to Gibsons, has a mellower sound - gibsons have a harsher clangy sound - which is fine for rough and tubmle bluegrass. Deering is a little more melodic - which is what I prefer. Also OME resonators and Stelling seem a little more brash than a deering. So this sound what best for me.

Sound Rating: 10

Setup

The action is SOOO low and SOOO smooth - it's almost mystical how easy it is to play.

Setup Rating: 8

Appearance

Good looking and understated. I added a mother of pearl truss rod cover to brighten it up a bit. I'd rather see some engraving on the armrest, but the banjo is NOT gaudy.

Appearance Rating: 8

Reliability

No data.

Reliability Rating: not rated

Customer Service

No dat.a

Customer Service: not rated

Components

Deering parts are mythical in their quality. The tuners are heavy, the other components are top notch. I just replaced the brudge with a snuffy smith and it brightened up even more.

Components Rating: 8

Overall Comments

If you're looking for a good playing and mellow banjo, this is a nice one. The action can be set so low that you can play at lightning speed and it doesn't overshadow other instruments by being brash and clangy. It's refined. The maple blossom tone ring is very nice. If you buy this banjo, keep in mind it is HEAVY - get a great backpack gig bag (like a reunion blues) so you don't pull a muscle carrying the case at festivals.

Overall Rating: 10

Submitted by Aikipappy (see all reviews from this person) on 2/6/2007

Where Purchased: 12th Fret Toronto Canada

Year Purchased: 2004
Price Paid: 3400 (Canadian) historic exchange rates / currency converter

Sound

Has a deep rich sound,almost like its been played for years

Sound Rating: 10

Setup

Action was well adjusted and soft to play there was no need to change the setup

Setup Rating: 10

Appearance

The wood used in the Maple Blossom is a dark rich maple. If held to the light it is full of tiger stripes and it has a very nice finish

Appearance Rating: 10

Reliability

Have played many gigs and I am never worried about it failing on hardware issues, the finish hasn't lost any lustre as of yet

Reliability Rating: 10

Customer Service

No repairs yet. The hard shell case did start to loosen on the covering but not to the extent that it is a serious issue.

Customer Service: 6

Components

I believe that the case is the only thing that could be improved, this would be the exterior cover only. The inside of the case is nice and provodes lots od support for the Banjo,

Components Rating: not rated

Overall Comments

I would reccomend the banjo to anyone who is serious about playing. The cost might hinder someone who is just starting and might not continue to play

Overall Rating: 7

Submitted by banjobulldog (see all reviews from this person) on 11/8/2006

Where Purchased: Jams

Year Purchased: 2002
Price Paid: 1200 ($US)

Sound

not looking for another banjo so its sounds great

Sound Rating: 10

Setup

ok setup. did some work on it myself and was easy. changed bridge, head and tailpiece.

Setup Rating: 7

Appearance

piece of art love it.

Appearance Rating: 10

Reliability

no problems yet. played all over the country with no problems.

Reliability Rating: 10

Customer Service

wow. great.

Customer Service: 10

Components

no matter what you buy you always think you need to upgrade so upgrade what you will. the sound is still great.

Components Rating: 8

Overall Comments

buy..buy...buy... if were stolen i have my name is on the fret board so it should be easy to find on ebay. played alot of banjos.. gibson...stelling..fender and still come back to the blossom.

Overall Rating: 10

Submitted by MoJo Banjo (see all reviews from this person) on 11/26/2004

Where Purchased: Guitars Etc.

Year Purchased: 2003
Price Paid: 1900 ($US)

Sound

I play bluegrass, and as a step up from my Goodtime, it has the sound i want. The sound gets better and better the more and more I play it.

Sound Rating: 9

Setup

The store I bought it at isn't really a banjo store, they just deal Deering. I had to adjust the head and the tailpiece, but other than that, I have had no other problems!

Setup Rating: 8

Appearance

This is a beautiful banjo! The peghead isnt too fancy, just enough to draw small attention when others give it a look over. The inlay pattern is easy to ready, and the binding around the neck and resonater cleans up the look. It keeps looking great now that my head is dirrrrrrty.

Appearance Rating: 10

Reliability

The hardware used on this banjo seems to be lasting great. I think if I never sell this banjo, I will be able to use it the rest of my life if taken care of. It has a great sound for three finger, or if i decide to do clawhammer, it does me well. I have used the banjo for some gigs, and it has performed beyond expecation.

Reliability Rating: 9

Customer Service

There was a problem with the hardshell case it came with, and deering replaced it within a week of shipping it out. I know that if anything happens to it, I can depend on deering to be there when I need them most. It is a great idea to have a card with the serial number on it that deering gives out so i can Identify the banjo if ever lost or stolen.

Customer Service: 10

Components

Components Rating: not rated

Overall Comments

I think iIa real fair price, and I got lucky to get it before deering had a price increase. I think i would have paid up to $2300-$2500 for this banjo, but I got a good price. If the banjo is stolen, deering gives to a warenty card that has the serial number printed so I could identify it. I love this banjo, and my playing really took off after i had purchased it. I would compare this banjo to higher priced gibsons, becuase they almost sound and play the same ( not pre-war). Oh yes, I Love this banjo!

Overall Rating: 9

Submitted by randall collins (see all reviews from this person) on 9/18/2004

Where Purchased: deering custom shop

Year Purchased: 03
Price Paid: historic exchange rates / currency converter

Sound

deering maple blossom with granadillo wood tonerim.
good rich deep timbre,beautiful bass tones,good clear round notes in high register and does not give out to become harsh and clattery., or nasal with single string runs.and is a very responsive instrument with a wide tonal range.

Sound Rating: 10

Setup

.presently set up with a gary sosebee11/16 bridge and goldtone skin head tuned somewhere around f#.i'd really recommend anyone with a wood tonerim banjo trying out this combination of one of gary sosebees bridges and the GTS head it really seems a good match and to brings out the best of the possibilities of all three .the action doesn't need to be set up masochistically high to retain good clarity also this is a loud banjo.

Setup Rating: not rated

Appearance

though i'm not a luthier i cant pick any fauts with the fit and finish of the parts.nice understated looking banjo.

Appearance Rating: not rated

Reliability

no trouble so far .

Reliability Rating: not rated

Customer Service

good friendly servicefrom the custom shop. no complaints.

Customer Service: not rated

Components

replaced the stock deering tuners with waverly two bands, the stock tuners did seem to stick a bit just where you didn't want them to.replaced the stock steel presto with a kerschner.nice easy neck.(I believe deering have started using different tuners and tailpieces on their instruments in the time since this one was purchased)

Components Rating: not rated

Overall Comments

a great sounding banjo.deerings write up on the wood tonerim has so far rung true.it is avery responsive and beautiful sounding instument, theres plenty of volume without ever becoming harsh.it has really sold me on the wood tonerims.

Overall Rating: 10

Submitted by Unknown on 6/10/2004

Where Purchased: Zepp Country Music

Year Purchased: 2004
Price Paid: $2000 ($US)

Sound

Crisp yet not piercing and very clear. Good resonance as well. The lows are pronounced and the highs have just the right ring for me. Nice range and brightness. Very satisfied

Sound Rating: 9

Setup

All I had to do was tune it. The head was already adjusted properly and the bridge was in the right place. Neck is almost perfect for me.

Setup Rating: 10

Appearance

The Maple Blossom isn't anything fancy, just good sound and playability. The fit and finish is very good overall. No blemishes that I can find. Well made instrument

Appearance Rating: 9

Reliability

This appears to be a very well made and crafted banjo. The parts are of high quality and the finish is well done. I don't anticipate any problems at all.

Reliability Rating: 10

Customer Service

Haven't had to deal directly with the Deering company at this point but there is a lifetime warranty and I would expect them to honor it. Bought the banjo through Zepp Country Music and he was a real pleasure to deal with. Very nice guy who seems genuinely interested in serving his customers.

Customer Service: 10

Components

I think the neck is excellent in terms of playability. Right now I'd say that's the standout part of the banjo. It came with a Presto tailpiece which seems to be very good. Standard Planetary type tuners. I don't see any shortcuts here.

Components Rating: 9

Overall Comments

Really like this banjo very much for the price. It should last for years. I think Deerings kind of have their own sound and I'm sure it's not for everybody but I'd recommend the banjo to almost anyone. Would also recommend doing business with Zepp if you're considering buying a banjo.

Overall Rating: 9

Submitted by Unknown on 4/2/2004

Where Purchased: Saitensprung, Switzerland

Year Purchased: 2004
Price Paid: 3000 ($US)

Sound

I've never played on a banjo with such deep sound as in this Maple Blossom. A slide on the low D-string is really powerful and clear, compared to other banjos that I've played on. Overall, the sound is powerful and strong ... and it has a kind of

Sound Rating: 10

Setup

It was well setup. However, there was a slight buzzing when hitting the strings really hard. I changed to a set of thicker strings, and the slight buzzing disapperad. Thicker strings has given it a more compressed tone, yet still with the same sound quality! I probably won't change anything else. I love it the way it sounds!

Setup Rating: 9

Appearance

This banjo is really down-to-earth. No fancy inlays and nothing that attracts (unnecessary) attention. This banjo is what comes out of it. And I like it simple!!!

Appearance Rating:

Reliability

It's definitely a high quality instrument. You can feel it! Deering gives a life time warranty, so ...

Reliability Rating: 10

Customer Service

I've had some e-mail correspondence with Deering, and they seem very helpful.

Customer Service: 10

Components

Everything seems great. There is no reason to start experimenting with the components.

Components Rating: 10

Overall Comments

I just sold my Stelling Sunflower. It was a nice banjo, but I always thought the sound was too crisp and too sharp. The Deering Maple Blossom has a unique sound, compared to other banjos that I've tried. I really love the strong, deep and popping sound.

I recently played on some Gibson and OME models, but sorry ... I like the Maple Blossom better!

And the price is reasonable!

Overall Rating: 10

Submitted by Greg Earnest (see all reviews from this person) on 3/27/2004

Where Purchased: http://www.banjo.com

Year Purchased: 2003
Price Paid: 2200 ($US)

Sound

This banjo has tremendous depth and punch but still has the edge and clarity of a great maple banjo. It's extremely responsive all the way up and down the neck. I've been playing for nearly 25 years and few banjos have ever turned my head the way this one did.

Sound Rating: 10

Setup

The setup was excellent right out of the box. I did replace the stock bridge with a Sosebee Submerged Wood 5/8

Setup Rating: 10

Appearance

The appearance of this banjo is understated but quite beautiful. The finish is a plain dark brown and the inlay pattern is a simple blossom design. The craftsmanship is immaculate. The finish of the frets looks almost surgically precise!

Appearance Rating: 9

Reliability

The finish quality is excellent. . . very mirror-like. I do have another banjo (a 1989 Granada) but on gigs since I got the Maple Blossom it's the only one I've taken out.

Reliability Rating: 10

Customer Service

No contact with Deering so far except to register the warranty. . . I quickly received my confirmation and then recently got a newsletter.

Customer Service: 10

Components

The only components I might feel the need to upgrade are the tuners. They're serviceable but are not up to the quality of a set of Waverly V2s.

Components Rating: 9

Overall Comments

This banjo plays like a dream. . . the neck is wide and low-profile and the action is very easy. The fingerboard is slightly radiused (I understand this was a custom order banjo that was cancelled). I'm very happy with this banjo and the people I play with have had only good things to say about it.

Overall Rating: 10

Submitted by Ranger (see all reviews from this person) on 1/25/2004

Where Purchased: Richmond Music Center

Year Purchased: 2004
Price Paid: 2085 ($US)

Sound

Sounds great, with deep growling tones low and crisp notes at higher frets. Great for Bluegrass!

Sound Rating: 9

Setup

Playing as is, but considering an Emerson Power Bridge for a little more volume.

Setup Rating: 9

Appearance

Not overly ornate, so your not afraid to play it. You can buy prettier banjos for less money if that's what your after, but this banjo is all about sound!!!

Appearance Rating: 9

Reliability

So far no problems.

Reliability Rating: 10

Customer Service

Very helpful, but I havn't had the banjo long enough to see if they will back up any problems that may occur.

Customer Service: 9

Components

Very well built banjo.

Components Rating: 10

Overall Comments

I tried a lot of brands, but for my budget, the Deering Maple Blossum blew the competition away. I have not regretted my purchase and look forward to many happy years with my 'blossum.

Overall Rating: not rated

Submitted by Unknown on 11/21/2003

Where Purchased: Wagstaff Music

Year Purchased: 1979
Price Paid: 800 ($US)

Sound

I play bluegrass. I played this banjo in all my bands for the last 24 years(unless I was playing bass in the band). Just this year I took the back off for a richer, softer tone. I like it better than ever!

Sound Rating: 9

Setup

This banjo didn't need too much set up. I messed around with the head a bit and through the years I've tried pick ups in various assortments. I now just mike it with an AKG C100S, like I do my Tacoma PKK40 Koa I got earlier this year.

Setup Rating: 9

Appearance

I've never really cared about how it looked... It looks nice!, but it's like my expensive pair of skiis that don't look absolutely gorgeous. Nobody really has their eye on them to steal them.

Appearance Rating: 9

Reliability

My finish is starting to show the hairline cracks. But I think it adds class to the machine. It will last my lifetime.

Reliability Rating: 9

Customer Service

Never had a problem with it

Customer Service: 10

Components

No problem

Components Rating: 10

Overall Comments

I would reccommend it for the price I paid. But you'll never get a new one today for the price I paid! If this banjo was stolen, I would buy an open back Goodtime banjo and be very content until I could get the bucks for a new one. While I was buying this one I was seriously thinking about an OME banjo. I could have been swayed to that one, but I'm very pleased with what I got. It has help pay a lot of bills over almost 25 years

Overall Rating: 9

Submitted by Unknown on 6/14/2003

Where Purchased: Willis Music, Florence, KY

Year Purchased: 2003
Price Paid: Around $2000 w/accs ($US)

Sound

After adjusting the head tension this instrument sounds incredible!!!
It really has alot of crack and pop. The volume is also very good.
I play traditional bluegrass and gospel bluegrass and this banjo has awesome sound and tone for this style of music.

Sound Rating: 10

Setup

The head was a little loose at purchase and the tuners needed to be tightened.

Setup Rating: 6

Appearance

The fit and finish are good. This model is not overly ornate but it is still very attractive. It does have a couple of places with the neck inlay that could have, or might I say should have, been better.

Appearance Rating: 7

Reliability

I have owned this instrument only about 6 to 8 months and it has developed some problems on the headstock with the finish. I may have to send it back to Deering for repair.

Reliability Rating: 4

Customer Service

I don't know about Deerings customer service yet but I am very disappointed in their decision to push H.Ron Hubbard's philosophy on me, their customer.

Customer Service: 2

Components

As I stated before this is a very well made instrument.

Components Rating: 6

Overall Comments

I have been a musician for about 30 years playing almost all stringed instruments. This Maple Blossom has great tone and playability.

Overall Rating: 5

Submitted by Unknown on 4/10/2003

Where Purchased: Deering Factory-Spring Valley

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

Sound

I play mostly bluegrass and this banjo can handle anything with ease. I prefer maple over mahogany and this maple cannon fits the bill. I had a Price tailpiece and an Emerson Power Bridge put on and it truly is louder with better tone. The Emerson Bridge is for real! This Deering is as high quality as you will find from any maker. They only build top quality banjos, and for that matter, they ONLY build BANJOS, unlike Gibson, Stelling, Gold Tone and a host of others. This is a true banjo builder who's sole business is banjos. They KNOW banjos! This Maple Blossom cracks and pops. It's loud.

Sound Rating: 9

Setup

Since Deering set it up for me, it was EXACTLY as I requested. The head tension is just right to my ear. Like I said, Deering knows what they are doing.

Setup Rating: 10

Appearance

This is a fine looking banjo. A chocolate brown stain and a great gloss.
The maple is curly and is top quality.

Appearance Rating: 10

Reliability

This hardware could take a beating if you were so inclined. The nickle plating is thick and wipes clean after playing. A great deal of work went into this banjo and no corners were cut in quality. The flange is THICK and you know you are holding a quality instrument when you pick one up.

Reliability Rating: 10

Customer Service

Deering went out of their way to help me. They believe in their banjos and regard customers as friends.

Customer Service: 10

Components

Some of the standout components are the thick flange and the top quality woods. The frets are made from top grade wire and should last a long time. They give a lifetime warranty but it's doubtful I or anyone would ever need it. Quality needs no warranty.

Components Rating: 10

Overall Comments

This banjo is a steal for the price compared to the

Overall Rating: 10

Submitted by Unknown on 10/25/2002

Where Purchased:

Year Purchased:
Price Paid: historic exchange rates / currency converter

Sound

Sound Rating: not rated

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 10/25/2002

Where Purchased: Twelfth Fret in Toronto, Ontario

Year Purchased: 2002
Price Paid: 2950 (Cdn) historic exchange rates / currency converter

Sound

I'm a Scruggs and melodic player. When I got the head tension dialed in --- WOW. I had it set up after purchase (not the same place) and the head was far too tight. I backed it off generously and gradually cranked it to optimum. The sound just leaps out of it now, and the "bong" factor is huge. There's a nice growl to the low notes. You can really get a good range of tone color depending on how you set it up.

Sound Rating: 9

Setup

Head was a little loose at purchase, but it could have been in the showroom for a while. I can't stress enough that proper tuning of the head will yield a beautiful tone from this baby.
Tuners needed slight tightening at purchase.

Setup Rating: 8

Appearance

Like others have said here, it's understated. However, the more you look at it the more elegant it appears. The ebony overlay on the peghead has a beautiful grain. Inlays are simple flower design, but if you want lots of pearl, go jump in the Pacific. The neck binding really adds class compared to the lower models in the line, and the inlay is generally well done.

Appearance Rating: 9

Reliability

It's so new I can't tell how the nickel will hold up, but it looks like it's well plated.

No backup needed.

Reliability Rating: not rated

Customer Service

They're excellent to deal with. Turn around time for email questions is incredible considering how busy they must be. Top shelf service all the way. No need for warranty use yet, but it's lifetime so I'm not concerned.

Customer Service: 10

Components

Changed the Presto tailpiece to a Price and the tone difference is significant. An Emerson bridge also helped boost the volume a bit.

The neck is superbly shaped and plays true all the way up.

It's all solid.

Components Rating: 9

Overall Comments

Rings loud and clear and has so much versatility in tone. If you want an all-round professional level banjo, I can't imagine anything better for the money. It will be my workhorse from now on. Reasonably priced and a dream to play.

Overall Rating: 9

Submitted by sjhilbel (see all reviews from this person) on 3/13/2002

Where Purchased: Homestead Pickin Palor

Year Purchased: Dec. 1999
Price Paid: Around $2000 w/acces ($US)

Sound

I am mainly bluegrass (with a little Bela thrown in) and it has a rich full sound. Very loud.

Sound Rating: 10

Setup

Homestead did it prefectly. I need a high action and they did it. Have not had to change it once.

Setup Rating: 10

Appearance

It is a very pleasing banjo in sound and looks. I mainly like the simplicity of it. I can't stand very ornate instuments. I didn't want mother of pearl. I wanted a banjo. And this was perfect.

Appearance Rating: 10

Reliability

Nothing has loosened up on me. Nothing broke. Always dependable.

Reliability Rating: 10

Customer Service

Homestaed will back anything. They can get the banjo fixed, if I needed it.

Customer Service: not rated

Components

Nothing cheap about this banjo. Solid and sturdy. Deering never makes anything cheap that I have seen. The bast part about the Maple Blossom is the maple. Nice and hard.

Components Rating: 10

Overall Comments

I highly recommend this instument. It was the first banjo that felt good, even after a Gibson (I tried about 8 of them). If it were stolen, I would cry. More like weep. Nothing else has been better.

Overall Rating: 10

Submitted by Joe Larson (see all reviews from this person) on 12/23/2001

Where Purchased: Elderly Instruments-Used instruments

Year Purchased: 1990(?)
Price Paid: $900 (bought USED) historic exchange rates / currency converter

Sound

The banjo is very heavy with a thick 1/4 flange like the old Baldwin Odes and has a similar tone, very chunky with strong bass. I tune the head (5 star) to D# making sure the tension is even. All the super loud banjos I've heard are very mid-rangey. Although this banjo would rate an 8 or so on the volume scale, the tone is much more balanced.

Sound Rating: 10

Setup

The neck is very true and similar to an electric
guitar and so the action can be set much lower
than most banjos. To compensate for the loss of
volume this creates, I've gone from a 5/8ths to an
11/16ths Snuffy Smith bridge. I would recommend one of these to anyone using the shorter bridge. Of all the "simple" things you can do to affect tone and volume, changing the bridge will make the most dramatic difference.

Setup Rating: 9

Appearance

The Maple Blossom isn't terribly ornate, as
someone said to me, "It's kind of a plain jane for the money"

Appearance Rating: 7

Reliability

The hardware seems to be of good quality although
the armrest is going to have to be replaced due to
corrosion. But it's the only banjo I own.

Reliability Rating: 9

Customer Service

Since I got it used, it had no warranty.

Customer Service: not rated

Components

As I said, one of the best things about it is the
neck. I believe that was Greg Deerings specialty
when he was working for other banjo makers. It
came with a non adjustable Presto tail piece which
I replaced immediately with the Kirshner

Components Rating: 10

Overall Comments

Basically, If you think banjos reached their peak
with the pre-war Mastertone then this would not be
the instrument for you. But I personally find that
Gibson sound, while very percussive and ideally
suited for hard driving straight ahead traditional bluegrass, to
be too clangy (like banging on pipes) for the music
that I like to play. Although it took me ten years to
find the sound I wanted, I no longer 'lust' after other
banjos. All in all, one great honkin' goose of a banjo

Overall Rating: 10

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