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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!

6919 reviews in the archive.

Deering  little wonder Banjo Reviews

Submitted by Tatersoup (see all reviews from this person) on 6/4/2013

Where Purchased:

Year Purchased:
Price Paid: 1000 ($US)

Sound

I play clawhammer. The sound of this banjo is bright yet reasonably full for a woody.

As mentioned in another review, when it is tuned "perfectly" it sounds like an angel's harp.

Sound Rating: 10

Setup

The banjo was set up perfectly when I got it.

Setup Rating: 10

Appearance

It is a simple banjo but handsome. The neck and fret board are smooth and easy to play. The fit and finish is flawless.

Appearance Rating: 10

Reliability

It appears to have all quality well fitted parts that will last a long time. I'd depend on it without a backup for sure.

Reliability Rating: 10

Customer Service

I've talked to a lot of folks at Deering and have had nothing but positive experiences. It has a lifetime warranty to the original owner.

Customer Service: 10

Components

All the components are quality. There's no cheap or weak parts that I'm aware of.

Components Rating: 10

Overall Comments

I love this banjo. I do wish it had an option for a fiberskyn head but that's just me. My other banjo is a Deering 5 Deluxe but my Vega is the one that sits on my lap most of the time.

It's light and easy to play. The sound is good and the sustain is more than adequate for a wood rim banjo. It has a broad dynamic range and when I lay into it, it comes alive.

Overall Rating: 10

Submitted by senorstew (see all reviews from this person) on 9/19/2012

Where Purchased: San Francisco

Year Purchased: 2010
Price Paid: 1250 ($US) (bought USED)

Sound

I really like the sound of this banjo. I play a little clawhammer and old folk music and this banjo sounds great on both. It has a rich, "woody" sound" that sounds especially good on the folk music. It's plenty loud (if that's what you're looking for) but still has a very pleasant tone. Frankly, I was pleasantly surprised by the sound from an intermediately-priced banjo.

Sound Rating: 10

Setup

I bought this banjo used, so I knew I would have to make some changes. The action was fine but I did lower the tailpiece in search of the sound I was looking for. I also had to change the strings to medium gauge, which also helped a lot. But, like I said, I bought it used so I expected to make some changes.

Setup Rating: not rated

Appearance

This is a very attractive banjo (at least I think so). It has a satin finish on the neck and rim and is stained a rich brown finish. It has an ebony fingerboard, Mother of pearl position markers, and is nickel plated. I certainly wouldn't be ashamed to show it off to anyone.

Appearance Rating: 10

Reliability

I haven't had ANY problems with this banjo. It seems very durable and well-made. I've had some slight tarnish on the armrest but, that's because I play it in short-sleeves during the summer and I probably sweat on it. No troubles with the tailpiece, brackets, or bracket shoes and it seems to respond well to any adjustments I've had to make.

Reliability Rating: 10

Customer Service

I bought it used so, there wasn't any warranty. I've contacted Deering a number of times and they have always responded quickly and cordially. I haven't had any problems with it so I haven't had to send it to Deering but, I wouldn't hesitate to if I had to.

Customer Service: not rated

Components

Everything I can see on the banjo is of good quality. Although I didn't have a warranty, I understand Deering has a lifetime warranty to the original buyer. Doesn't seem that they would offer that if it wasn't a quality made product.

Components Rating: 10

Overall Comments

This is an intermediately priced banjo so, I wasn't expecting professional quality sound from it. I am more than satisfied with the sound, appearance, and quality of the instrument and would heartily recommend the Little Wonder to anyone looking for a great openback banjo. I expect to keep it a very long time.

Overall Rating: 10

Submitted by spoonfed (see all reviews from this person) on 9/1/2011

Where Purchased: Eagle music Huddersfield

Year Purchased: 2011
Price Paid: £850 (GBp) historic exchange rates / currency converter

Sound

somewhere between clucking and bright, just the sort of sound I hoped for from an openback, you can frail this baby or pick it or strum it ! I do all three.

Sound Rating: 10

Setup

superb setup straight out of the case, this banjo made a road trip to my house of several hundred miles and was in tune when it arrived ! good courier ? great banjo! this instrument is very precisely made and needs to be in tune to the Nth degree to sound right but , when it is !!

Setup Rating: 10

Appearance

the look of this banjo for me was one of its major plus points, beautifuly plain and understated giving it a "ready to go to work" appearance, superb satin finish to the neck make it a pleasure to play for long periods (I cant put it down !) the lovely ebony fingerboard adds a touch of class and the fretwork is superb, You get the picture, I just love the thing !

Appearance Rating: 10

Reliability

I gig this banjo sometimes three nights a week without a backup and it gets better and better, I think it will go on improving and last for years to come, obviously this is a real lightweight instrument and would not benefit from bashing it about, word of caution; it blew off its stand at an outdoor gig and crashed to the floor ! no harm done but, it is very light !

Reliability Rating: 10

Customer Service

All Deerings come with a lifetime warranty, so no issues there so far ! so unable to comment on the company.

Customer Service: not rated

Components

like I said, the ebony fingerboard and satin neck are outstanding ! I like also the nickel plated hardware, the armrest is tarnishing already but thats through playing in a short sleeved shirt all summer outdoors, but I think that just looks cool!

Components Rating: 10

Overall Comments

I have heard lots of comment with regard to the price, too much is what most are saying but, I am very happy with this banjo and only time will tell if it turns out to be good value, if it lasts like its namesakes have done , and being made by Deering there is every hope that it will, in summary, I think this little banjo shows every sign of carrying a much revered name into the next century.

Overall Rating: 10

Submitted by john bange (see all reviews from this person) on 5/14/2007

Where Purchased: Buffalo Brothers

Year Purchased: 2006
Price Paid: 700 ($US) (bought USED)

Sound

suites my attempt at adding a "folk Banjo" sound to our trio. sound was quite bright when I first played it. I changed the strings to La Bella #17 nylon. This changed the brightness to a more full/mellow character while still being loud enough to be heard over the dreadnoughts

Sound Rating: 9

Setup

It was set up dead stock and I left it so. The string height is good for me and my longish fingernails and the oddball clawhammer/three finger picking style I have evolved. the change to nylon required nothing but pencil lead on the nut and bridge...no buzzing at all.

Setup Rating: 9

Appearance

The maple neck is very pretty. I choose this banjo over another used one or even a new on they had in stock. It even has a star inlaid on the 5th fret like the Senator I want next. I am not wild about the appearence of the shiny plastic head but as I said earlier, I like the tone.

Appearance Rating: 10

Reliability

drop dead reliable...the satin finish is superb...looks like it will last forever

Reliability Rating: 10

Customer Service

not much contact but very friendly on the phone...Deering,that is:...Buffalo brothers is the greatest!

Customer Service: 10

Components

best OEM stuff I have ever had...save the 10 for my Pete Seeger long neck...if I can ever afford one

Components Rating: 9

Overall Comments

I think this is the best banjo for the price available and a good used on is really a great find. The included TKL case is really a plus also

Overall Rating: 10

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