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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  Saratoga Star Banjo Reviews

Submitted by T-Star (see all reviews from this person) on 3/1/2010

Where Purchased: Banjer Productions/Houston

Year Purchased: 2009
Price Paid: $$$$$ ($US)

Sound

This banjo is very versitile. I ordered the 06 tone ring, which I perferred both in sound and in price. It has great sustain at both low and high volumes. Moderate playing brings out both the brightness of the maple along with the richness associated with the Deering Banjo line. Punching it really kicks out the volume without sacrificing the tone or balance of the sound.

Sound Rating: 10

Setup

Set-up was perfect from the Deering shop. Head was tensioned evenly to 91 (drum dial). Bridge was perfectly placed. Not a single adjustment was required.

Setup Rating: 10

Appearance

The quality of the product is better than any I've seen. The mother of pearl inlays and added abalone/ivoroid binding enhance the beauty and unique appearance of the Saratoga Star. The custom engraving and Texas carved heel are meticulous and flawless. The stain and gloss finish are perfectly suited to bring out the beauty of the curly maple neck and resonator. From peghead to tailpiece, this banjo is a work of art.

Appearance Rating: 10

Reliability

Deering's hardware is consistent among their professional line of banjos. Tuners are smooth and reliable. Tailpiece is well made and easy to adjust.

Reliability Rating: 10

Customer Service

Greg and Janet Deering were a pleasure to work with. Greg helped redesign a custom inlay that I wanted, and executed the pattern flawlessly. They were both very gracious and totally committed to make this a first class instrument.

Customer Service: 10

Components

I have no complaint about any of the components, including Deering's radiused bridge. I particularly like the ease of tuning with their planetary geared tuners. But of the overall "parts" of this banjo, my favorite is the V-neck. Having read a number of posted comments, I was concerned that the neck would be too fat for my hand. As it turns out, this neck design has a more natural feel that many of the slimmer designs. Maybe I'm lucky, but it fits "just right".

Components Rating: 10

Overall Comments

Its hard to see how anyone could go wrong with this banjo. It delivers exactly what it promises: amazing sound, ease of playing, and an apearance that is second to none. It's a lot of money to spend on a banjo, but then it's also a lot of banjo. If you can get over the sticker shock and decide to purchase the Saratoga Star, you won't be disappointed. It's an amazing banjo.

Overall Rating: 10

Submitted by AnsacsteveOLD (see all reviews from this person) on 11/6/2009

Where Purchased: Eagle Music

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

Sound

There is no other banjo sound to compare it to, its as simple as that. It can be bright near the bridge or when further away so laid back mellow its almost horizontal. You only need to listen to a top picker to hear what she can do (I am a novice so see Tony Trishka on you tube)

Sound Rating: 10

Setup

Not sure who did the set up, the factory or the dealer. As its an import I imagine it was the dealer. After about 3 weeks a buzz developed on the 5th. It seemed to be the spike on the 7th fret so I installed a 3/4 snuffy and the buzz vanished. It came with light strings and was advised that to fit mediums would require a complete re-set up. Does 1/1000th inch make that much difference? As an engineer I doubt it but as a novice picker I dont know.

Setup Rating: 9

Appearance

Its very easy on the eyes, straight of the case a beauty. As expected the inlays are well fitted with no evidence of filler.

Appearance Rating: 9

Reliability

It looks like it will see me in my box. As its new I cannot say about finish lasting well or not. You can only assume that it will be like other new Deerings and has been thro' the same quality control.

Reliability Rating: 10

Customer Service

Life time warrenty. Its got to be good.

Customer Service: 10

Components

The Saratoga Star hasnt got cheap parts. I might consider a custom nut cover, but I doubt if I would change it

Components Rating: 10

Overall Comments

A true joy. It is a beauty and more words are surplus.

Overall Rating: 10

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