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May 21, 2019 - 6:38:58 PM
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84 posts since 5/12/2013

I am fortunate to live in the San Diego area so both Deering banjos and Taylor guitars are close by. Although I have toured Taylor a couple of times, I had never toured Deering until today.

Here in a nutshell are some of my thoughts:

  • Greg and his staff are geniuses in building new machines for producing consistent high quality banjos. Perhaps even more impressive is the repurposing of vintage machines (lathes, etc) to also do the job. There is heavy machinery that must be out of the 20’s that is being used effectively because of engineering special molds, etc. Lots of what I saw would be at home in a museum, but there it sits doing effective work in the 21st Century. 
  • There are more similarities than differences between the production of the humble Goodtmes and the high end products. In fact there are numerous assembly stations that work on both. 
  • The tour (and that of Taylor also) should be on your list if you will be in the San Diego area. Deering tours are on Tuesday and Thursday and they do fill up, so you should call ahead to the factory and reserve a spot. Taylor tours are daily M-F and there is no need to To have a reservation, Just be there at 1PM. 
  • If you’re thinking of a new Deering banjo just bring along your Credit Card. You can play a wide selection of their models and buy them right there at the factory. (My wife who had been on the tour a couple of times told me to have a good time but NOT to bring home another banjo! ??)
May 21, 2019 - 7:44:30 PM
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2115 posts since 7/20/2004

We toured the Deering plant back in about ‘93, when I had just signed on as a dealer. Greg and Janet were extremely hospitable, and I even got to play the ‘Banjorsauras” which was back in the factory for a video shoot. Greg and I were playing Cripple Creek for the reporter, and she asked how long the song was, and Greg answered, “until we decide to stop”...

May 22, 2019 - 7:03:16 AM

10466 posts since 2/12/2011

Just my luck that the lady that gives the tours was on vacation the week I was in S.D. So I never got to do it. Sounds great.

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