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What can I do to my Deering Goodtime 2?

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Sep 14, 2019 - 8:17:30 PM
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7 posts since 1/6/2017

I hope this is the right place for this- I’ve been a member here for awhile, I read through it everyday but haven’t had much reason to post.

Anyhow, I have 2 banjos, an openback from White Mountain Banjo here in town and a Deering Goodtime 2. My playing style started as clawhammer but I’ve moved to Scruggs. And now I’ve found both banjos lacking for the sound I want. I don’t really want to get rid of the openback, and this area is kinda slim for banjo players looking for an entry resonator.

If I’ve read correctly, Deering has a “tone ring” that can be added to a Goodtime, am I correct? If so, what sound quality does that bring? Is that a worthwhile minor investment?

Thanks for the advice I’ve read through over the past months,

Sep 14, 2019 - 8:37:47 PM

1911 posts since 5/2/2012

There is a thread (or 2) discussing this idea. Here is one Tone Ring Goodtime  and another Tone Ring 2

Edited by - thisoldman on 09/14/2019 20:41:01

Sep 14, 2019 - 9:27:18 PM

7 posts since 1/6/2017

It would appear I was mistaken, I thought I had read somewhere that Deering sold a tone ring that could be added.

I like to tinker, might try what I read in that first link, his banjo sounds pretty not bad

Sep 15, 2019 - 6:02:22 AM

10119 posts since 6/2/2008

Deering makes a tone ring for the Goodtime. It’s original equipment in the “Special” models but I don’t believe they sell it as separate part — most likely because it’s not a drop-in addition. It’s steel and shaped a little like a Mastertone style ring, this means the rim must be modified to accept it. This best done on a lathe, though it can also be done with a router.

Sep 15, 2019 - 8:00:46 AM
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11457 posts since 2/7/2008

I suggest you may be better off upgrading to a more Scruggs oriented banjo.

It maybe more $ and labour effective to sell your Goodtime and buy a instrument more designed for bluegrass.

Sep 15, 2019 - 8:09:07 AM

70093 posts since 5/9/2007

Sell the 2 openbacks or trade them to the store for a bluegrass model.
I once traded a guitar and banjo to Buckdancer's Choice for a new Gold Star hanging in their window.

Sep 15, 2019 - 8:55:36 AM

855 posts since 7/18/2009

Jethro, I have a Goodtime openback and once strung it up for nylgut strings. The conversion of the bridge and nut was east. I am no luthier, either. Despite that, I would recommend not making drastic changes unless you actually are a luthier and are looking to demonstrate something interesting or the thing is damaged anyway. I recommend allowing the Goodtime to be the founding of a banjo collection. Banjo sound is most often the result of the total instrument so even adding a tone ring after an aweful lot of work won’t replicate the sound of a top grade Chuck Lee, e.g.  For that matter the Chuck Lee does not necessarily sound “better” as much as different in important ways. Playing Woody Guthrie, Dink Roberts, or Tommy Jarrel tunes on an expensive banjo may not catch the sound you’re after in those tunes. It may be that your ear is maturing and you are seeking a sound you have heard that your GT doesn’t make. I think Steve Davis had the right idea except I would keep the GT and save for different one. And by the way, used is fine. 

Sep 15, 2019 - 2:26 PM
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10119 posts since 6/2/2008

Folks, take note: Jethro's Goodtime 2 is a resonator model, not an open back.

With a resonator, the Goodtime 2 is supposed to be a beginner's bluegrass instrument, which it is.

I agree with the suggestions that it makes much more sense to sell the Goodtime 2 and buy an economical but good quality tone-ringed bluegrass banjo.  Used Goodtimes can sell for 60%-75% of the current cost of a new on. A new GT2 costs $679. So a used one should fetch $400-$500.  Judging from eBay and the Hangout Classifieds, very few used GT2s are on the market right now, so perhaps a seller can expect to get $500.

Here's a used, "mint" condition, RK-35 in the Classifieds for $499!   (plus shipping) Jethro: Even if you get less than $500 for your Goodtime, this price on an RK-35 is less than the investment you'd have in your GT with the added tone ring.

This is a no-brainer.

Sep 15, 2019 - 3:16:23 PM

7 posts since 1/6/2017

Believe me, I’ve been eyeing that Recording King. I have advertised the Goodtime locally but again, Phoenix is sorta a banjo desert. I’ll post it here and maybe I can move up to something that fits my style.

Sep 15, 2019 - 3:39:58 PM
Players Union Member



447 posts since 4/17/2019

I can help
I’m on the west side in Sun City
Come sit on my tailgate you’ll get a good idea of “where” your banjos are
I do this all the time with people, my wife has an aluminum Madeira you can compare
We used to meet weekly at Howard Anderson’s home

I would change rims before you try to add a ring to the existing one.
Be curious about wooden rim caps on 3 ply rims. I find them wanting at the jams

i roll my own brass rings 

Aside: Fiddlers Dream coffeehouse is at 1702 E Glendale 85020
Thursday’s are open stage, starts at 6:30pm. Come on and meet the musicians, banjos included

Mean Mary in concert at sept 22 $10/$15 at the door. She plays clawhammer 

Banjo is a verb

Edited by - Helix1 on 09/15/2019 15:43:05

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