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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!

6920 reviews in the archive.

Deering  Deluxe  Banjo Reviews

Submitted by raysplace (see all reviews from this person) on 5/8/2013

Where Purchased: Turtle Hill Banjo Co. Bryantown MD

Year Purchased: 2013
Price Paid: 2150.00 ($US)

Sound

This jewel is perfect. The sound is strong, clear. The tone is rich and loud with out any buzzing.

Sound Rating: 10

Setup

I think one reason my banjo sounds great is because of the expert setup. Dave asked me numerous questions about my playing and what I expected from the Deering. It has factory spikes on frets 7,9 & 10.
i have not made any setup changes.

Setup Rating: 9

Appearance

The banjo is mahogany with a high gloss finish. Has engraved inlays and Ebony finger board with mother of pearl diamond shaped inlays
I did not find any imperfections.

Appearance Rating: 9

Reliability

I think the Deering will be my last banjo. Well, until I hear something better. It certainly seems like it will last forever.

Reliability Rating: 9

Customer Service

The warranty is lifetime, material & workmanship

Customer Service: 10

Components

I think the bronze tone ring really stands out. I might replace the strings with medium weight.

Components Rating: 9

Overall Comments

Overall Rating: 9

Submitted by MrBoyette (see all reviews from this person) on 2/18/2012

Where Purchased: Deering Factory

Year Purchased: 2011
Price Paid: 1900 ($US)

Sound

Sound is fantastic. I play bluegrass and I like the hard-driving loud bluegrass sound. The Deluxe is crisp and clear without the tinny twang found on my Fender and is capable of delivering in a jam with other instruments.

Sound Rating: 9

Setup

Sounded great right out of the box. Haven't found a need to make any changes other than normal tuning. The bridge had a small chip in in so I replaced it with a Stockwell Moon bridge.

Setup Rating: 9

Appearance

Beautiful clean inlay pattern. Just the right amount, not too plain and not too gaudy. The wood finish is beautiful, and the fingerboard flawless. I particularly like the peghead inlay.

Appearance Rating: 9

Reliability

The plating on the armrest is beginning to show a little wear, but I play it several hours a day, seven days a week and seldom wipe it clean afterwards. The tuners are reliable, the frets all seem to be solid, the tailpiece and other hardware is adequate but not overly done.

Reliability Rating: 9

Customer Service

They answer the phone.

Customer Service: 4

Components

I didn't care for the plain plastic truss rod cover. Replaced it with a MOP one. After a year the resonator edge began to separate. First the split was a small 1 inch crack. A month later it is now a 4 inch long wide crack. The damned thing is falling apart in my hands. I'd been better off with a sawdust-rim Kay.

Components Rating: 2

Overall Comments

Not much to say. A decent banjo if it holds together.

Overall Rating: 3

Submitted by DENNISNDODIE (see all reviews from this person) on 2/2/2012

Where Purchased: Musicians Friend

Year Purchased: 2012
Price Paid: 2100 ($US)

Sound

Sounds like a sweet mahogany banjo not to loud just the right volume. Crystal clear notes up and down the neck. The low d string gives a nice vibration across the whole instrument.

Sound Rating: 9

Setup

Had to adjust the action to high for my tastes. It was shipped over 4000 miles and was still in tune out of the box.

Setup Rating: 9

Appearance

Awesome looking banjo, I love the inlays on the fingerboard and headstock. The wood has very pretty grain. I love the smell of a new banjo, smells like a wood shop with a hint of carpenters glue.

Appearance Rating: 10

Reliability

Quality through and through foresee no problems. Profession level instrument , no back up needed

Reliability Rating: 10

Customer Service

Lifetime warranty, Musicians friend was the cheapest on price and shipping. Was expecting the banjo to be way out of adjustment but all I had to do was lower the action about .032 at the 12th fret. The bridge was spot on perfect.

Customer Service: 10

Components

Very nice neck shape and inlays,quality bridge and tuners. Finish is outstanding can find a flaw on it. Case is the nicest case Ive owned. Deering tail piece time will tell if I like it.

Components Rating: 10

Overall Comments

Im completely satisfied with my purchase. Dont expect to buy another banjo unless I can get my kids interested in playing music.

Overall Rating: 10

Submitted by steve j m (see all reviews from this person) on 12/2/2011

Where Purchased: uk

Year Purchased: 2011
Price Paid: 1500 (uk) (bought USED) historic exchange rates / currency converter

Sound

the deluxe has a rich mellow sound and has plenty of tone.
it has great defintion and separation of notes, great versatility.

Sound Rating: not rated

Setup

my deluxe was well set up, i havent adjusted the set up recently

Setup Rating: 8

Appearance

a pleasing if plain appearance, mine is the older model with diamond inlays
but it is finely made.

Appearance Rating: 8

Reliability

the deluxe is solid and well made throughout.

Reliability Rating: 8

Customer Service

banjo was sold by eagle music UK they are the main distributors.

Customer Service: 8

Components

no parts are inferior, the neck is excellent, tuning is stable.

Components Rating: 8

Overall Comments

the deluxe is a good well made banjo and has a great sound.

Overall Rating: 8

Submitted by Devon Wells (see all reviews from this person) on 3/19/2011

Where Purchased: Rufus Guitar Shop

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

Sound

I Like the sound alot. Warm and deep with good pop.

Sound Rating: not rated

Setup

It was set up fairly well when I bought it. I've had a few set ups since and replaced the bridge with a Scorpion, then a McPeak and then back to the Scorpion (liked the McPeak alot for the crispness it brought but have been going for a darker sound lately and am really liking the Scorpion again).

Setup Rating: not rated

Appearance

It looks good. It looks like a banjo. The diamond dots aren't what I would choose in a custom banjo but I liked the sound alot.

Appearance Rating: not rated

Reliability

The hardware is good. No problems. Handle on the case broke when I was walking with it (after 2 years) but the banjo is good.

Reliability Rating: not rated

Customer Service

N/A

Customer Service: not rated

Components

Components all have been good thus far.

Components Rating: not rated

Overall Comments

I like my banjo alot. I go back and forth as to what I like in a banjo but overall I think the Deluxe is very good for what I do.

Overall Rating: 10

Submitted by Randyc1959 (see all reviews from this person) on 9/24/2009

Where Purchased: Music Outlet, Sevierville TN

Year Purchased: 1986
Price Paid: 1000.00 ($US)

Sound

I play Scruggs style Bluegrass. The banjo has a very nice and mellow sound but if picked hard it comes alive. It's mahogany so it'll fit any style you want it to.

Sound Rating: 8

Setup

Banjo was set up perfectly even though I did go with heavier strings and I installed 2nd and 3rd string Keith tuners on it.

Setup Rating: 10

Appearance

It's not fancy as far as inlay and cosmetics. It has all the internal parts that the top of the line Deering has which is what is important and at the time I had a limit on what I could spend.

Appearance Rating: 7

Reliability

This banjo will stand up to any brand or model and won't miss a lick. It has been played on stage in a professional show and it got lots of good feedback.. Everybody wants to play it.

Reliability Rating: 10

Customer Service

Customer Service: 10

Components

Components Rating: 10

Overall Comments

Excellent banjo for even the best well known bands out there. It's not a big eye catcher but the sound makes up for that.

Overall Rating: 10

Submitted by slickpicker (see all reviews from this person) on 12/9/2008

Where Purchased: Internet

Year Purchased: 2006
Price Paid: 1000 ($US) (bought USED)

Sound

This banjo to me has a better sound than any other banjo I have ever played. It has "my" sound as I call it. Im very pleased with it. Perfect growl on bass and just the right pop on the treble side.

Sound Rating: 10

Setup

Head needed to be tightened a little. Had never been played since it was bought and had all original stuff...even the strings.

Setup Rating: 9

Appearance

Very solid looking banjo. Not a overly decorated banjo by any means. Another reason why I like it alot. Simple and nice looking.

Appearance Rating: 9

Reliability

Perfect hardware.

Reliability Rating: 10

Customer Service

Deering is good. But have had a few questions that seemed to go over there head. But they are busy too, so keep that in mind.

Customer Service: 9

Components

Overall everything is real nice.

Components Rating: 10

Overall Comments

The best sound for me.. and everybody else has liked it alot too. Would recommend a Deering to anybody.

Overall Rating: 10

Submitted by robin jones (see all reviews from this person) on 10/12/2008

Where Purchased: West Moble Music

Year Purchased: 2008
Price Paid: historic exchange rates / currency converter

Sound

I love the sound of my Deluxe. I was on the brink of buying a Maple Blossom, which was set up a little better and was somewhat louder and brighter sounding, but I opted for the Deluxe for its mellower tone. It is plenty loud and can produce a variety of sounds/tones depending on right hand placement and attack.

Sound Rating: 9

Setup

I played/considered three Deering models. The Sierra, Deluxe, and Maple Blossom. The more expensive the instrument, the better it was set up from the factory. I didn't care for the Sierra's tone and it had fret buzzes all over the place. The Deluxe had buzzes in the first five frets but they were "minor" to my way of thinking. The Maple Blossom's action was ultra-low but it still produced the bright/brassy tone so many bluegrass banjoist prefer and was deafeningly loud. Several of the bracket nuts were completely loose on the Deluxe I bought. Additionally, I had to loosen the truss road approximately 1/4 turn over several days to eliminate fret buzzes. I haven't had to do anything since but change the strings occasionally.

Setup Rating: 6

Appearance

I prefer the plain appearance of the Deluxe. The only way it could be better would be if it had no fret markers a la Clarence White's flattop. The banjo is red mahogany and very pretty. Not as pretty as the maple models but not as brassy sounding either. The arm rest began to tarnish almost immediately. I don't remember cheap banjos I've owned in the past doing so so quickly but I probably wasn't oozing all the toxins back then that I am now (at 46).

Appearance Rating: 8

Reliability

Sounds the same every time I take it out of the case. I can't imagine ever having to do anything to it other than periodically adjusting the neck, changing the head, and having it re-fretted when indicated. It's an extremely well made, heavy duty instrument.

Reliability Rating: 9

Customer Service

The first two cases I had were faulty. Deering went the extra mile to get me new ones, as they should have. I got the impression from dealing with Carolina (concerning the cases) at Deering that they are running an absolutely first-class operation. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend a Deering to anyone.

Customer Service: 10

Components

I'm not a banjo mechanic and this question would probably be better answered by someone who was and then after a year or two but from my point of view the parts are all high quality.

UPDATED: Had tailpiece problems I'm deducting a point for. A fine instrument should have a fine tailpiece, at least in my estimation, and the stock Deering model leaves much to be desired.

Components Rating: 7

Overall Comments

I love my banjo. The tone if my favorite feature. I highly recommend Deering. If something happens to it I'llalmost certainly replace it with a Deering and probably another Deluxe. Riding out the depreciation on a new banjo can be tough to impossible but sense I have no intention of ever selling it it's not an issue. Buying new I had a good idea of exactly what I was getting for my money versus a supposedly high quality instrument some joker had put an Alvarez tone ring on before putting it up on eBay.

Overall Rating: 9

Submitted by Unknown on 2/21/2006

Where Purchased: Andy Banjo (Faversham, Kent)

Year Purchased: 2002
Price Paid: 1400 (£) (bought USED) historic exchange rates / currency converter

Sound

It is a great bluegrass instrument, although not as loud as some others I've heard. However, it took a great deal of work to get it sounding right. The tone ring was pressed onto the rim and it took some heating to get it off. I scraped the rim down to achieve a loose fit, which improved the sound hugely. I also fitted a Price tailpiece. When the new Deering Presto-style tailpiece came out I tried it, but found it unsatisfactory and put the Price back on. I have also fitted a Kat-Eyz bridge, which also made the tone more rounded. It now sounds terrific, but it's not as Deering made it!

The standard Deluxe is renowned, like other models, for being somewhat "bright" and "jangly" sounding. I have scored it here against the original sound. As it sounds now, after the work I have put into it, I would definitely give it a 9.

Sound Rating: 6

Setup

The banjo had been set up by Andy Perkins and was OK. The bridge was a little out of position, though. The banjo is very easy to play, with a fast, low action and a lovely thin neck.

Setup Rating: 8

Appearance

This mahogany banjo is very simple with little decoration and very basic inlays on the neck. However, the understated appearance is attractive.

Within a year of buying it, the neck suffered some delamination of the finish and I don't know what caused this. I eventually got a response from Deering, who said the problem could have been caused by hand cream contamination (unlikely) or damp ingress (even more unlikely). The instrument went back to Andy who repaired the damage. I suspect that whatever the cause, it did not help that the side of the fingerboard is not protected by the binding that is found on most banjos. I have scored the appearance on the overall basic design, irrespective of the problems I had with mine.

Appearance Rating: 9

Reliability

The hardware is well-made and I think it will last for ages, provided the lack of neck binding doesn't result in a further problem with the finish.

Reliability Rating: 8

Customer Service

Deering gave me a reasonable response to my query, but clearly were not interested much when they realised it was a secondhand instrument.

Customer Service: 7

Components

Deering's standard tailpiece is, in my view, not worth bothering with. I believe the instrument benefits from a heavier tailpiece. The rest of the components are excellent.

Components Rating: 9

Overall Comments

I love the banjo, it is an old friend. But falling in love was hard work, as I had to redesign and rebuild it to produce the sound I wanted. I don't know if the current Deluxes have the problems of this one ironed out. I believe that Deering no longer use a hydraulic press to fit the tone rings, so that problem should have been eliminated. I don't think I would buy another one, though. In fact I don't think I would ever buy a banjo without neck binding.

Overall Rating: 8

Submitted by Ivan (see all reviews from this person) on 7/6/2005

Where Purchased: EBAY

Year Purchased: 2001
Price Paid: Don't Remember (bought USED) historic exchange rates / currency converter

Sound

DELUXE PLECTRUM BANJO. Great sound, loud and crispy but not annoying sound. Responsive and ready to be played since bought.

Sound Rating: not rated

Setup

Yes, the banjo was well set up when purchased, never played before. I changed the tailpiece and put a new head.
It sounds great. I have never played a Richelieu or Ome, but I would say that this is close to the sound that they produce. Very good quality banjo, from head to toe.

Setup Rating: 10

Appearance

I believe it has a mahogany neck. The neck has some finish wearing out/

Appearance Rating: 9

Reliability

Yes

Reliability Rating: 10

Customer Service

Very helpful. Talked with Janet Deering.

Customer Service: 10

Components

Components Rating: not rated

Overall Comments

Love this banjo. If lost I would try to get another one.

Overall Rating: not rated

Submitted by Ivan (see all reviews from this person) on 7/6/2005

Where Purchased: EBAY

Year Purchased: 2001
Price Paid: 400 ($US) (bought USED)

Sound

DELUXE PLECTRUM BANJO. Great sound, loud and crispy but not annoying sound. Responsive and ready to be played since bought.

Sound Rating: not rated

Setup

Yes, the banjo was well set up when purchased, never played before. I changed the tailpiece and put a new head.
It sounds great. I have never played a Richelieu or Ome, but I would say that this is close to the sound that they produce. Very good quality banjo, from head to toe.

Setup Rating: 10

Appearance

I believe it has a mahogany neck. The neck has some finish wearing out/

Appearance Rating: 9

Reliability

Yes

Reliability Rating: 10

Customer Service

Very helpful. Talked with Janet Deering.

Customer Service: 10

Components

Components Rating: not rated

Overall Comments

Love this banjo. If lost I would try to get another one.

Overall Rating: not rated

Submitted by BobbyDog (see all reviews from this person) on 6/23/2005

Where Purchased: Private Party

Year Purchased: 2005
Price Paid: 1000 ($US) (bought USED)

Sound

I am still "new" to the banjo world after deciding at middle age to take it up. I was lucky to learn on a Goodtime II, but wanted to branch out to a really nice banjo that had what I feel is a good sound. Going from a Goodtime to a Deluxe is kind of like going from a a factory built car stereo to one of those custom built systems that reverberate as they go down the road. The Deluxe has a very loud sound and solid up and down the neck.

Sound Rating: 9

Setup

The banjo had sat for a while, but after a little tuning and tweeking it started to shine. I took it into a local luthier who took a look at it and said "Except for a new head and a little cleaning this baby is ready to go." I think this is a testimony to the Deering durability.

Setup Rating: 7

Appearance

Deering Deluxe: Beautiful and understated

Appearance Rating: 10

Reliability

This is one rock solid banjo. I bought it to be my baby forever and I think it will outlast me.

Reliability Rating: 10

Customer Service

This was a private party transaction. However, I have had the opportunity of dealing with Deering and a Deering Authorized dealer and they are second to none

Customer Service: 10

Components

I'm happy.

Components Rating: 10

Overall Comments

I was looking into a variety of banjos in the Deluxe category for the past year. Each of those banjos I tried has pluses and minuses. I narrowed my choice down to a Sierra or a Deluxe. Both are wonderful bajos. The Deluxe had the glossy-finished look I happen to like so my leaning was in that direction.

I would recommend the Deluxe to anyone looking for a long term relationship with a quality banjo.

Overall Rating: 9

Submitted by Unknown on 5/16/2005

Where Purchased: Guitar Gallery Birmingham AL.

Year Purchased: 2005
Price Paid: 1,350.00 ($US)

Sound

has a great sound , good volume , so far i like everything about it

Sound Rating: 10

Setup

set up was good , just a few hours spent to adjust for personal prefference , nothing unusual

Setup Rating: 9

Appearance

it is everything Deering said it would be

Appearance Rating: 10

Reliability

you can easily find a prettier or fancier banjo , but the quality i feel so far is tops

Reliability Rating: 10

Customer Service

no service needed so far , Deering was very friendly and fast to reply to all my questions before the purchase, and most important they were not pushy, they did not degrade any other manufacturer, they just simply answered my questions and left the purchase decision up to me

Customer Service: 10

Components

same components used in some of the more expensive deerings , it just does not have as much cosmetic affect , in lower alabama we say , it ain't as purty , but it's just as good

Components Rating: 10

Overall Comments

i would recommend this banjo for sure , it is worth more than i paid , it just happend the place i purchased it from did not have much demand for bluegrass instruments so they just wanted to move it
up till now the best i had ever owned is a fender fb 58 , but this Deering deluxe , is a great banjo , you just will not want to put it down

Overall Rating: 10

Submitted by JerseyJoe (see all reviews from this person) on 7/23/2004

Where Purchased: Folk of the Wood

Year Purchased: 2004
Price Paid: 1700 ($US)

Sound

Sounds powerful. In fact I stuffed a tshirt into the resonator becase it was too loud to play in my house. It sounds great all the way up the neck. I only rated it a 9 because I'm not good enough to make it sound like a 10 yet.

Sound Rating: 9

Setup

FOTW set it up perfectly. It was the 2nd banjo I bought from them.

Setup Rating: 10

Appearance

Not too fancy, but very nice just the same. I ordered it standard. See the Deering website.

Appearance Rating: 9

Reliability

Very solid and stays in tune like a champ even though I bend the heck out of the strings.

Reliability Rating: 10

Customer Service

I emailed them twice and they were extremely responsive.

Customer Service: 10

Components

I'm not an expert, but everything seems very solid and high-quality.

Components Rating: 10

Overall Comments

I absolutely recommend it. I play bluegrass, rock, and some funky stuff and this banjo sounds great all around.

Overall Rating: 10

Submitted by bad liver (see all reviews from this person) on 9/20/2003

Where Purchased: E-Bay

Year Purchased: 2003
Price Paid: 1125 ($US)

Sound

Sound is fantastic. I play bluegrass and some jazz style and intonation is great all the way up the neck. Much better than my goodtime.Has a real nice pop to it.

Sound Rating: 9

Setup

Banjo had been just sitting for a year when I bought it, so it was dusty and the strings were corroded. Cleaned it up, put new strings on and it came to life. Have since put an Emerson power bridge on and tweaked the action a touch to eliminate a slight buzz that developed on the high d string, 7th fret. Next up is a new tailpiece.

Setup Rating: 8

Appearance

Beautiful banjo. Mahogany resonator and neck with an ebony fingerboard. Nice diamond shaped MOP inlays. Just a really nice looking instrument.

Appearance Rating: 10

Reliability

Deering knows how to make a banjo that will hold up. Everything on this instrument is solid as a rock. These are built to last a lifetime. Am sure this one will be with me for the duration. ( though maybe not by itself... )

Reliability Rating: 9

Customer Service

Fantastic. E-mailed Deering twice with some info on the banjo before final purchase and got replies within 24 hours from Janet Deering herself. Top Notch.

Customer Service: 10

Components

Have not found a cheap part on this banjo, nor do I expect to.

Components Rating: 9

Overall Comments

In case it hasn't come across, I love this instrument. I would highly recommend it to anyone. I got it for a great price, so I'm feeling like the cat who swallowed the canary ! Now I need to become more proficient to do this banjo some real justice. I have to go practice.........

Overall Rating: 10

Submitted by Devin333 (see all reviews from this person) on 1/18/2003

Where Purchased: Mandolin Brothers Ltd.

Year Purchased: 2003
Price Paid: 1600 ($US)

Sound

Beautiful deep rich tone with a crisp crack. The resonation is pure and warm.

Sound Rating: 10

Setup

Setup was prepared by Deering and double checked by Mandolin Brothers Ltd. by their professional staff for for any needed modifications. They adjusted and marked the perfect location for the bridge.

Setup Rating: 10

Appearance

Beautiful deep rich finish with detailed inlay. Although this model does not have the additional costly trim as the more expensive models, it has a style of its own. I specifically like to diamond inlays on the fretboard of MOP.

Appearance Rating: not rated

Reliability

With Deerings' lifetime warranty and track record, I have confidence that this banjo will last me a lifetime. And if there is a problem, Deering will do whatever it takes to correct it. Believe me, I did my research!

Reliability Rating: 10

Customer Service

This is where Mandolin Brothers stand ABOVE the rest! Without a doubt, I would not buy an instrument anywhere else. They are truly professionals who treat people as they would want to be treated. They hand selected my model with excellent communication.

Customer Service: 10

Components

Many have suggested replacing the bridge and possibly the tailpiece. This may be a personal preference which I will leave up to you. I may try a new bridge (based on some reviews of the Emerson Bridge).

Components Rating: 9

Overall Comments

I cannot stress enough how important it is to buy from a reputable dealer with experience and outstanding customer service like Mandolin Brothers. You will not have a stock boy pick out your instrument, guarenteed! It is well worth paying a little more (if any) to work with professionals. If anything ever goes wrong, I TRUST them. That's where they shine. Simply the Best!

Overall Rating: 10

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