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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  Goodtime Classic Scooped neck open back Banjo Reviews

Submitted by Ed Banjer (see all reviews from this person) on 3/23/2019

Where Purchased: Strait Music Austin Texas

Year Purchased: 2015
Price Paid: $650 ($US)

Sound

I installed a Schatten B-02 pickup on this banjo and when plugged into my LR Baggs Gigpro preamp, sounds great through a live PA. This banjo makes bad sounds, but in a good way!

Sound Rating: 10

Setup

I had the banjo setup by a professional banjo technician. I do this automatically every time I buy a new instrument. I put a fiberskin head on it. Also, when I switched to medium strings, the bridge snapped in half so I bought a Bart bridge and it works great. Comes installed with standard planetary tuners. Tuners have a sweet spot, not as smooth as the Gotoh tuners.

Setup Rating: 8

Appearance

I like the mahogany stain. Never was a fan of the blonde look of regular Goodtime banjos. But the reddish mahogany stain has a classic look to it. Also, the tuner pegs are located on the back of the headstock, unlike the standard Goodtimes that have tuners on the sides like a guitar.

Appearance Rating: 10

Reliability

The fifth string peg broke one time and I had to have an aftermarket fifth string peg drilled in and installed. My instructor joked that I turned the peg too much but I told him I only turned the knob to tune it and I never took a screwdriver to the screw in the top of the tuning knob. Anyways, this banjo is reliable. I use it onstage for open mics because of the pickup I installed on it. I have a nicer custom banjo but no pickup on that one.

Reliability Rating: 8

Customer Service

All of my repairs have been done local. Never shipped banjo to Deering for anything.

Customer Service: 10

Components

Well, considering I have had to change out fifth string peg and bridge as well as putting a new head on it. I would say this is a Frankenstein banjo put together with TLC but out of spare parts and cemetery finds.

Components Rating: 8

Overall Comments

Nice little banjo. Despite its shortcomings, I have invested in keeping it playing and onstage as best I can. If I have to buy another gigging banjo, I will probably try to steer towards a company that does not support the NRA.

Overall Rating: 9

Submitted by nyartist (see all reviews from this person) on 10/27/2015

Where Purchased: Capos Music Store

Year Purchased: 2015
Price Paid: 399 ($US)

Sound

I've shied away from the older Goodtimes. Never did like those guitar tuners and lack of scoop. I play clawhammer and gave this a try. Capos was great to work with and I'm finding the sound suits me: not too loud not too muted.

Sound Rating: 8

Setup

Capos did a great job: changed out the tuners for planets, added a spike.

Setup Rating: 10

Appearance

Very nice to look at. Beautiful light blond maple neck and pot.

Appearance Rating: 9

Reliability

I didn't expect to find high end hardware on the banjo.. and like I said the guitar tuners were replaced with planetary tuners that hold the tune well.

Reliability Rating: not rated

Customer Service

They were great to deal with: changed the tuners to the ones I sent them and didn't charge for that. nor did the spike cost me.

Customer Service: 10

Components

The tuners are what I replaced and would recommend that.

Components Rating: 7

Overall Comments

What I love most is the weight. Half of what my Recording king and Ramsey weigh. Makes a difference considering I've had numerous rotator cuff surgeries and find this banjo to be most comfortable to hold for extended periods of time.

Overall Rating: 9

Submitted by erikforgod (see all reviews from this person) on 1/1/2012

Where Purchased: Elderly Instruments

Year Purchased: 2011
Price Paid: Don't Remember historic exchange rates / currency converter

Sound

This Banjo is excellent for clawhammer banjo. It comes direct from Deering with the neck scooped for over the neck playing for that mellow clawhammer sound. The banjo has a fuller sound and more volume than my Goodtime Crow ( which I also love. I am having a minor set-up issue with the third and fourth strings buzzing that should be resolved with some minor adjustments.
UPDATE: Set-Up issue has been solved...this banjos is near perfect now..I am still very pleased with it!

Sound Rating: 9

Setup

Other than the buzzing 3rd and 4th strings the banjo was set up well. I tightened the head slightly when I got back to Argentina but I think more attention is needed. The banjo still looks and sounds great!
UPDATE: "In the 5 months or so I have purchased a custom bridge from Tim Purcell and problem solved! It was recommended a new slightly higher bridge for this banjo and I have to say it really did the trick! I have since switched to custom bridges on both of my Goodtime banjos...the difference is like night and day!

Setup Rating: 7

Appearance

This banjo is all maple...the standard Deering 3 ply "violin maple" rim, Rock Maple neck with fiddle style peghead...nice planetary tuners that work really well. The brown satin finish is very nice and gives this Goodtime a more traditional look. The tension hoop is thicker on this banjo and has a few ripples in it...so its not perfect but you have to get real close to see it.

Appearance Rating: 9

Reliability

The hardware seems to be standard Deering fare...simple, nice and very functional.This banjo could definately be played in a gig and I would recommend this banjo to anyone.

Reliability Rating: 8

Customer Service

Janet Deering and Carolina have always been attentive to my questions and requests.

Customer Service: 9

Components

These Goodtime Banjos are tinkerable...maybe down the line I will switch out for some Rickard parts but for now its very functional and nice.
UPDATE: "The Deering tailpiece is nice but I have recently purchased a No-Knot tailpiece from Elderly for a more "Old-Time" Look and sound.

Components Rating: 9

Overall Comments

overall a nice simple and functional but elegant Goodtime banjo I recommend it ..I dont know why more folks are not considering this Goodtime model more...I would think with the scoop and more Old-Time sound it would sell more.

Overall Rating: 9

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