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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  Basic  Banjo Reviews

Submitted by mbj35758 (see all reviews from this person) on 9/30/2012

Where Purchased: used

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


the tone is different, not bad, just not what I am used to (it is kinda unfair to compare any banjo tone to my Tommy George)
the notes are clear all the way up the neck, very consistaint.
Across the board it sounds pretty darn good.

Sound Rating: 9


I have not done any thing but play it, it was very used so I assume it was set up proir to my getting it, but, it is possilbe that Deering set up is great out of the box.

Setup Rating: 10


it is pretty basic, very simple, but, flawless workmanship. it is put together in the same class as most top end banjos (George aside...shameless plug)
I like the way it looks

Appearance Rating: 10


the thing is built like a tank, only lighter

Reliability Rating: 10

Customer Service

Greg and Janet ALWAYS deliver, they even answer the phone.

Customer Service: 10


it is VERY light given how loud it is, simple, but plays great. across the board it is just hard to beat a Deering neck and the level of service they deliver

Components Rating: 10

Overall Comments

the Basic seems light compared to the Boston I played and I belive has better bass, but, tone is subjective. It is easy to critize the tone of this because everyone in the campgrond can hear it...

Overall Rating: 9

Submitted by thomas15 (see all reviews from this person) on 2/20/2006

Where Purchased: Mandolin Brothers

Year Purchased: 1986
Price Paid: 550.00 ($US)


I try to play Scruggs style. The banjo has a fairly bright sound and is fairly loud. When I play with other people in a jam, I have no problem being heard. The sound is unique, not twangy, not mellow either, hard to explain but the tone is good.

Sound Rating: 8


The instrument was set up when I bought it very well. I had to fine tune the bridge placement and tighten the head. I lowered the action just a hair and now would like to return it to a higher setting but I don't enjoy tinkering with the banjo. The bridge and everything else is still where it was from the factory, I haven't changed a thing.

Setup Rating: 8


As the name suggests, it is basic in appearence. Dots on the fretboard, satin finish, deering put most of the effort into the playability and not the appearence.

Appearance Rating: 6


The finish on the metal, the plating is worn off. Mainly due to the fact that I never wiped it down after playing and for most of the 20 years I owned the thing I lived 1/4 mile from the ocean, salt air, high humidity and all. Other than the plating, this thing is solid as a rock and built like a tank.

Reliability Rating: 9

Customer Service

Never had a problem which required contacting deering.

Customer Service: 9


Mandolin Brothers replaced the stanard guitar tuners with planitary tuners before I bought it and it came with a HSC. I have had no problems with this instrument in 20 years of ownership.

Components Rating: 8

Overall Comments

Today, Deering sells this banjo as the "Boston" model. I don't know if they made any changes or not but I think it is very close to the Boston. I haven't been playing the banjo for 20 years stright but I have spent lots of time playing it. I is a good banjo and a used basic would make a good reliable first banjo for a beginner. The neck is thin like most deerings and I get lots of complements from experienced players who try it. It is way more banjo than my abilities warrant. It is a good solid intermediate banjo and after 20 years I can honestly say I got my dollars worth out of it. When I finally get around to upgrading, I will still keep it.

Overall Rating: 8

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