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Aug 17, 2019 - 2:11:17 AM

Thallea

Czech Republic

4 posts since 7/15/2019

Hello everyone,
I've been looking for a banjo for a while now and ended up with two main options which are deering goodtime midnight special and deering artisan goodtime special. Ibanez B200 also caught my eye, especially the inlays, but I'm worried about its overal quality. I'd like to hear your opinions on these three banjos.
Thank you!

Edited by - Thallea on 08/17/2019 02:15:42

Aug 17, 2019 - 2:52:07 AM
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52132 posts since 12/14/2005

If at all possible, play all three, with your eyes shut.
Have someone hand them to you, one after the other.
One will possibly FEEL better and SOUND better.

Otherwise, you might be buying a banjo based on how it LOOKS.

You can't HEAR inlays or gold plating.

Aug 17, 2019 - 3:02:43 AM
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942 posts since 2/4/2013

The Ibanez is unusual in that has a block rim which you don't find elsewhere in Asian made banjos. It's made of basswood which is also unusual. It has some type of cheap metal flathead tone ring.

The Deering banjos are more expensive. At that price in Europe I would be getting a Recording King RK-R35 from Thomann if I wanted a resonator banjo.

Aug 17, 2019 - 4:29:53 AM

169 posts since 12/16/2012

Great idea Mike!

Aug 17, 2019 - 4:58:07 AM

3175 posts since 7/12/2006

If the banjos are at hand, get someone other than yourself to play each one so you can hear them from the other end

Aug 17, 2019 - 5:33:37 AM

1620 posts since 2/21/2011

Why not contact Jaroslav Prucha in Prague.  He may have some used instruments of high quality that might be affordable.

KONTAKTY

Informace / Kontakty

Sídlo firmy - dorucovací adresa:

Jaroslav Prucha Bluegrass Instruments 
U klubu 63/2
143 00 Prague 4
Czech Republic
Telefon/ Fax: +420 241 760 704
Mobil: +420 777 590 219
E-mail: prucha@pruchabanjos.cz

Prucha Banjos

Edited by - Stu D Baker-Hawk on 08/17/2019 05:35:35

Aug 17, 2019 - 6:03:35 AM

10030 posts since 6/2/2008

quote:
Originally posted by Thallea

I've been looking for a banjo for a while now and ended up with two main options which are deering goodtime midnight special and deering artisan goodtime special. Ibanez B200 also caught my eye, especially the inlays, but I'm worried about its overal quality. I'd like to hear your opinions on these three banjos.


Midnight Special appears to be the same banjo as the Artisan Special, in black instead of brown.

Ibanez B200 rim is basswood, which less dense and lighter weight than the 3-ply maple rim of the Goodtimes -- and other quality banjos.

As Graham suggests, the Recording King RK-35 is available at Thomann. A better choice as a bluegrass banjo. Cast bronze tone ring vs steel of the Goodtime. Cast zinc-alloy pre-war Gibson style 1-piece flange vs flat flange plate on Goodtime. Notched tension hoop and 24 hooks vs flat hoop and 16 hooks on Goodtime.  Adjustable truss rod in neck vs none in Goodtime.

Good luck.

Aug 17, 2019 - 7:18:53 AM

78 posts since 7/28/2019

deering artisan goodtime special

Aug 17, 2019 - 7:49:58 AM

217 posts since 7/11/2014

Prucha also make a student or Pioneer model which is an excellent instrument.

Aug 17, 2019 - 8:12:28 AM
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Alex Z

USA

3603 posts since 12/7/2006

You asked a simple question.  You want a clear answer.

The Deering Goodtime Special banjos are "better" than the Ibanez 200.  Ibanez doesn't even know how to string them up properly, if you look at the tailpiece in the pictures.  

The Artisan and the Midnight versions of the Goodtime Special are the same banjo with slightly different finishes.

The Deering Artisan in the U.S.A costs about $1,000.  The Ibanez 200 about $400.

You didn't ask about price or value for the money or alternatives for the same cost.

So, directly to your question, of the three, I'd pick the Deering Artisan Special, as the  best of the three -- better made than Ibanez and a little more aesthetic than the Midnight.

Hope this helps.

Aug 17, 2019 - 10:07:02 AM

307 posts since 1/28/2013

quote:
Originally posted by Stu D Baker-Hawk

Why not contact Jaroslav Prucha in Prague.  He may have some used instruments of high quality that might be affordable.

KONTAKTY

Informace / Kontakty

Sídlo firmy - dorucovací adresa:

Jaroslav Prucha Bluegrass Instruments 
U klubu 63/2
143 00 Prague 4
Czech Republic
Telefon/ Fax: +420 241 760 704
Mobil: +420 777 590 219
E-mail: prucha@pruchabanjos.cz

Prucha Banjos


Yeah, he might have access to some used ones of high quality.

Aug 17, 2019 - 7:17:11 PM
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10030 posts since 6/2/2008

quote:
Originally posted by Alex Z

The Deering Artisan in the U.S.A costs about $1,000. 


The Artisan Special, which he asked about, costs $1169 at Musicians Friend, $1199 at Guitar Center.

For the same money, or less, you can get an RK-35 or 36 and get way more banjo.

Or get a used RK-Elite-75.

Aug 17, 2019 - 11:56:10 PM

AndyW

UK

447 posts since 7/4/2017
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Being from Europe so having no burning issue with wanting a US made banjo as opposed to Asian made which many Americans do, surely you'd be an idiot to overlook an RK35 or 36.

Aug 18, 2019 - 9:43:48 AM

10030 posts since 6/2/2008

quote:
Originally posted by AndyW

...surely you'd be an idiot to overlook an RK35 or 36.


A bit unkind, don't you think?

He's new to banjo. I'd assume the RK35/36 didn't turn up in his search.  Or may he found it and wasn't attracted to the seagull inlay -- and didn't understand that it's components make it far superior to both the Goodtime and the Ibanez.

Deering banjos from the Goodtime up through their top of the line are much better values used than new.

Edited by - Old Hickory on 08/18/2019 09:44:02

Aug 18, 2019 - 11:07:05 PM

AndyW

UK

447 posts since 7/4/2017
Online Now

quote:
Originally posted by Old Hickory
quote:
Originally posted by AndyW

...surely you'd be an idiot to overlook an RK35 or 36.


A bit unkind, don't you think?

He's new to banjo. I'd assume the RK35/36 didn't turn up in his search.  Or may he found it and wasn't attracted to the seagull inlay -- and didn't understand that it's components make it far superior to both the Goodtime and the Ibanez.

Deering banjos from the Goodtime up through their top of the line are much better values used than new.


Not really, it was a 'sit up and take notice' post.  Hopefully your kinder post will also help convince the OP.

Aug 19, 2019 - 10:34:42 AM

95 posts since 4/8/2013

I'd also recommend considering a Recording King banjo, as those are at a good quality/price point.

Aug 19, 2019 - 12:03:47 PM

874 posts since 12/8/2006

Goodtime Artisa Special, a thousand bucks and NO truss rod. C'mon!

Aug 19, 2019 - 8:06:15 PM

110 posts since 6/22/2012

The GT special can sound excellent when set up properly, and it's a bit lighter than average.
@ $800 for a used excellent condition Artisan  would be a fair deal. Especially if it's had a professional setup.


The OP needs to consider what work it might need, hopefully none.

Edited by - sirtwangalot on 08/19/2019 20:07:22

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