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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!

6942 reviews in the archive.

Gold Tone: Orange Blossom OB-250

Submitted by yumagah on 10/20/2010

Where Purchased: Amazon.com

Year Purchased: 2010
Price Paid: 525 ($US)

Sound

Nice loud and clear sound for bluegrass. Not as mellow as some other banjos I have played. It has punch and snap to it, a very solid sound. Strong on the low end without sounding dull or boomy.

Sound Rating: 8

Setup

Setup very nicely. New strings, low action but no buzz. I tightened the head very slightly and added spikes at frets 7, 9 and 10. Very playable as it arrived. I may experiment with head tension in the future.

Setup Rating: 9

Appearance

Beautifully decorated banjo. Hearts and flowers inlay, real ebony fingerboard. The natural maple binding in a unique and striking touch. At the price I paid I wondered if it was some kind of factory second, but I see no flaws. There is a 1/4 inch dark section on the maple binding on the resonator, but that is a natural color variation. Not as elaborate decor as some more expensive banjos.

Appearance Rating: 8

Reliability

Built like a tank. Very "beefy" solid hardware. Weight is about 13 pounds, like a real Mastertone. Glossy finish seems strong and durable, but I've only had it for 3 weeks now. I would feel confident using this for a gig.

Reliability Rating: 9

Customer Service

Lifetime warranty is even transferable to second owner. I emailed the company about registration and they replied quickly.

Customer Service: 9

Components

The rim and tone ring are very heavy, solid. The bridge is advertised as a Grover, but does not have the name on it as other Grovers I have seen. Looks like a solid enough instrument to upgrade with a US made tone ring or block rim. No immediate plans for that though.

Components Rating: 8

Overall Comments

Three of us BHO users got in on a rare Amazon sale of banjos at reduced prices. I got this for just over half the usual retail price which feels like a steal. Wondering what was going on at Amazon, but I'm sure not complaining! This may be my lifetime banjo.

Overall Rating: 9

Deering: Goodtime 2 Classic

Submitted by yumagah on 8/29/2008

Where Purchased: DATPro Audio - Ebay

Year Purchased: 2008
Price Paid: 589 ($US)

Sound

This is the Goodtime with resonator and dark finish. JUst added to their catalog this year, and I have not seen too many around yet. The sound is great. I think it holds its own with any banjo under $1000. I play bluegrass style, but to small audiences, in a small band or alone. So I don't need the punching power of a brass tone ring. The Deering Goodtime family have a rich, mellow sound compared to others in this range. Loud enough for me. Maybe not loud enough for a stage band - the only weakness?

Sound Rating: 9

Setup

All set up and ready to play, except that the strings were shot. Must have been hanging in a busy shop and got tried out a lot. I cleaned up the metal parts a bit. After the warranty ends I will replace the tuners with planetary ones. That will make it look like a more expensive Deering model.

Setup Rating: 8

Appearance

The Goodtime series is plain, but the Classics with dark finish definitely look the best. And the fiddle shaped peghead.
I loved the sound of the Goodtime 2 when I played it 2 years ago, but the blond finish kept me from buying. When I heard about the Classic, it was the answer to my quest. Looks simple but elegant.

Appearance Rating: 8

Reliability

Generally the hardware feels real sturdy. The finish is satin semi-gloss, so I don't know how well it will hold up over time. I would feel confident about using it in a show. Deering has a rep. for quality parts.

Reliability Rating: 8

Customer Service

Got one year warranty. Hopefully I won't need it. Company shipped it fast.

Customer Service: 7

Components

The wood and metal parts look great and sturdy. The guitar style tuners are ugly, but they hold the tension good. Swapping them for planetary tuners should really help the looks, but I'm gonna be careful to get quality parts that won't spoil the instrument.

Components Rating: 7

Overall Comments

I shopped around for 2 years, and this was the best deal I saw. I almost got a Gold Tone Bg250f instead, but I think the DG2C tone is even better. The Gold Tone is a nice banjo for the money, probably louder and sharper sounding, and a little better looking. But for my needs, the DG2C has the bet sound. The only better sounding banjos I heard were well over a grand. I'd only spend that kind of money if I were a pro.

I love it, but if it were stolen I could live with the Gold Tone instead I guess.

Overall Rating: 9

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