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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!

7048 reviews in the archive.

Deering: Artisan Goodtime Openback

Submitted by PacificNW-Picker on 2/18/2019

Where Purchased: Music Emporium

Year Purchased: 2019
Price Paid: $749.99 ($US)


I play Clawhammer style, and let me tell you the Artisan Americana fits me playing style perfectly. I also bought the scooped model so it has that old time cluck, while the 12" head give it a wonderful rich warm sound. Plenty of volume without a tone ring too (Which worried me before I got it.) I also love its slender neck, incredibly easy to play up and down the fret board. I also like that the frets are slightly higher making it easier to play your notes without smashing down on your fret board.

Sound Rating: 10


The banjo came set up very well. The box the music emporium shipped it out to me in couldn't have been better protected. The action was set right, along with the bridge. Drum head also seemed set properly.

Setup Rating: 9


I bought this banjo part for its reputation, part for its sound and part for its stunning looks. The maple pot, neck, and head almost have a purplish/brownish stain and the charcoal grey fret board with the inlays are breath taking for this price range! It's honestly what gave it the edge over Gold tones Whyte Lady or MM-150 for me. That and I felt that the Whyte lady tone ring was just a little to blue grassy sounding for me (That's totally my preference though!)

Appearance Rating: 10


Everything seems really high quality and sturdy. Not everything is top of the line obviously, but certainly respectable. Only time will tell for sure though. So I'm giving it a very solid 8.

Reliability Rating: 8

Customer Service

I talked to Deering quite a bit before my purchase and they were always extremly nice, and answered every question I had. All in all they seem like a company that takes pride in their instruments and seem to have a willingness to stand by their banjo's.

Customer Service: 10


I wish it had a truss rod. That worries me a bit, but other than that this is everything I could hope for in a Open back banjo under $1000. Not quite professional grade (I'm no professional nor do I intend to be.) but certainly fantastic banjo for the price! This will last me for the next decade as long as the neck holds up (And I've read hundreds of long term reviews that indicate it will.)

Components Rating: 8

Overall Comments

Overall Rating: 9

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