Hi: I am new to this Forum, but am a member of Drumforum.org and Talkbass.com, for drummers and bass players.
Our 16 yr old son has been bugging us for a Banjo for about a year. Last week we started looking and asking questions. Normally, people new to the drum or bass forums would ask about what they should buy. I wanted to do the same here but had a hard time actually signing up.
Instead, after the fact, we have already taken the plunge and I thought we'd let you know about our choice. Our son saved up half the money and we chipped in the other half.
Our son's first banjo is a Deering Goodtime 2. We found a nice used one online with a very good hard-shell case. Our reasoning: (1) nice case shows the owner cared for the instrument. (2) American made, (3) Good reviews and reputation, (4) Advised by a friend and long-time player that Deering and Morgan Monroe are good choices.
The one concern I have with the Goodtime 2 is the lack of Truss rods for neck correction. Other than that, it seems to check all the right boxes. $325, including a very very good case seemed like a good deal. I had been watching a Louzee on eBay that didn't happen. (yet)?
We'd like to believe we did OK. Thanks for opening your Forum to us.
Edited by - Pickinator on 10/20/2019 11:42:16
Jim. You made a good choice, and your son will long remember your generosity - going in half on the banjo. Might not show it now, as a 16 year old, but it will matter as a memory.
As for the truss rod, here is Deering's own explanation of the company's thinking about their wood choices and banjo design, a pretty sensible explanation of the Deering view of their innovation:
Hope your son joins BHO and takes advantage of the resources on this platform, as well as the great concentration of talent that lurks on these BHO forums.
We could have paid for it outright for him, but we thought it would be better and mean more to him if he had some skin in the game.
I love my Deering Goodtime. They don't have a truss rod - but - the necks are made of maple, which is a very hard wood. That's why you see in guitar ads that its "hard rock maple." My Goodtime neck is still solid and as straight as the day I bought it. Send the warranty card in or do it online. Over 50,000 Goodtimes have been sold and I've never heard a complaint about the neck. So, I wouldn't worry about it.
You made a great choice. Also, there are quite a few well known players who use the Goodtime - they're all over Youtube. They are just a great sounding banjo. I hope he enjoys it.
I've seen Goodtimes in the hands of quite a few students. Two of them had problematic necks (these were older, heavily used instruments. But in my experience neck issues related to lack of truss rods are quite rare on these instruments.
And on the plus side, Goodtimes have wonderfully comfortable necks and a pretty good sound. I'm never disappointed to see one coming in with a new student.
At the price you paid for it, you did quite well, IMO. So I suspect you're all good.
We are expecting delivery this week.
I agree with the others, that you made a good choice. Many are concerned with the lack of truss rod, but it appears that very few Goodtimes have neck problems. If there were major issues, that news would have shown up here. So your boy should be all set to enjoy.