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Feb 23, 2021 - 8:41:35 AM

48 posts since 2/18/2021

quote:
Originally posted by Helix

All the factory banjos compete with various specs. I have seen flat hooks made from alloy, aluminum, steel and fewer from brass.
Flattening helps get the hooks up over the flesh hoop, some of which are grooved, the less expensive specs don't use the groove as you discovered.
Use a magnet if you are curious.

People aren't used to Oregon Weather on the hangout. Listen to an Oregon Weatherman on TV, they start with an apology: "now, now, now, there's going to be some wind and some raindrops, clearing in a few days, maybe."

Be encouraged, play the heck out of that rig.


You must have lived here at some point. lol  But really, if you go east over the Cascades, it's much like Northern AZ. High desert with lots of pines or just grassland. 
 

I like the banjo, but I'm starting to have some buyer's remorse. Looking around on Reverb and Ebay, I probably could have gotten a much higher quality older banjo for the same $$. I went with new though because I've had too many older guitars that have had issues, from mods to just not being taken care of properly. I figured that with new I could avoid it. Alas...

I paid about the same for this Deering as my last Gibson SG Standard, and the quality of the Gibson was leagues better for the $$. Oh well. Live and learn. I will probably sell this one in a year or two and upgrade to a Bacon or Vega. 

Feb 23, 2021 - 8:43:23 AM

48 posts since 2/18/2021

quote:
Originally posted by KCJones
quote:
Originally posted by Sir Illsa Moustache
quote:
Originally posted by Helix

Flat hooks suck
I spec round hooks only


Yes, and I can see why. I can't believe they cheaped out like that. 


If you knew more about Deering, you'd believe it. 10% product and 90% marketing. 

I'm getting that feeling. I probably should have gone vintage. Next time I will. 

Feb 23, 2021 - 8:49:50 AM
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KCJones

USA

1442 posts since 8/30/2012

Sir Illsa Moustache My first banjo was a Deering Goodtime. It did me well and got me interested. I do regret selling it, mostly for emotional reasons though (my first banjo). Be happy with what you have. It's a good instrument that is easy to play and sounds decent. At the very least, it has encouraged you to learn more about how banjos are made. And on your next purchase, you'll have a lot more knowledge and experience on what to buy.

Feb 23, 2021 - 10:41:33 AM
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3967 posts since 5/12/2010

quote:
Originally posted by Sir Illsa Moustache

Thanks for all the responses!

I’ve ordered a better bridge than the stock Goodtime, just because.

But now there’s a new problem. Instead of starting a new thread, I’ll just ask it here.

I went to install my new suede strap cradle style. I loosened the hooks to get the strap under. When I went to tighten up the hooks, they kept popping off the tension hoop. I thought it was from the strap, so I took the strap out and tried; same thing. Two of the stock Goodtime hooks have flattened at the curve over the hoop and will no longer stay on.

Anyone have recommendations for replacement hooks? I’ve about had it with Deering. Too many issues for a brand new banjo.

Thanks.


Your bridge is sagging so you bought a new bridge and considering buying more. Now the hooks are falling off and you want new hooks?

Both issues have a common cause.

IT IS TIME TO TIGHTEN THE HEAD!!  That is what all those nuts are for.

Use the Steve Davis method (just search for it). 

Feb 23, 2021 - 11:05:48 AM

48 posts since 2/18/2021

quote:
Originally posted by OldPappy
quote:
Originally posted by Sir Illsa Moustache

Thanks for all the responses!

I’ve ordered a better bridge than the stock Goodtime, just because.

But now there’s a new problem. Instead of starting a new thread, I’ll just ask it here.

I went to install my new suede strap cradle style. I loosened the hooks to get the strap under. When I went to tighten up the hooks, they kept popping off the tension hoop. I thought it was from the strap, so I took the strap out and tried; same thing. Two of the stock Goodtime hooks have flattened at the curve over the hoop and will no longer stay on.

Anyone have recommendations for replacement hooks? I’ve about had it with Deering. Too many issues for a brand new banjo.

Thanks.


Your bridge is sagging so you bought a new bridge and considering buying more. Now the hooks are falling off and you want new hooks?

Both issues have a common cause.

IT IS TIME TO TIGHTEN THE HEAD!!  That is what all those nuts are for.

Use the Steve Davis method (just search for it). 


Thanks. The head was tightened, though not enough, I guess. Tightening it to where it needed to be was what caused the hooks to flatten out and keep popping off. Now that I've got the round, super solid hooks on there, both problems are solved! 
 

I'm an old guitar player, so you'll have to excuse me. We don't see these issues on our REAL instruments! ?? 

 

j/k

Feb 23, 2021 - 11:17:34 AM
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2769 posts since 12/4/2009

Hello,

Even 3-footed bridges sag over time. I was asked to work on a fellow BHO member’s ODE banjo. Apparently, this bridge was many years old. It was smiling quite well.

A fresh bridge and head tightened using my drum dial method made it sing, I now rotate bridges on my banjo.

Feb 23, 2021 - 11:25:44 AM
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Players Union Member

Helix

USA

13770 posts since 8/30/2006

Vintage is great.
I owned a ‘40 Chevy Special Deluxe 4 door w suicide back doors

Used sales is the same, look for what you like

One of my specs would be dynamics, loud and soft
Another more wood sound , less metallic tone ring. A nice blend
Another would b light weight
Another would be pretty, that’s right

Myself and others do rim changeouts
Mine are $275

Oregon is one of a few states to have all the eco zones, Az is another my girls still live up there


Feb 23, 2021 - 11:49:43 AM

521 posts since 1/28/2011

quote:
Originally posted by Sir Illsa Moustache
quote:
Originally posted by OldPappy
quote:
Originally posted by Sir Illsa Moustache

Thanks for all the responses!

I’ve ordered a better bridge than the stock Goodtime, just because.

But now there’s a new problem. Instead of starting a new thread, I’ll just ask it here.

I went to install my new suede strap cradle style. I loosened the hooks to get the strap under. When I went to tighten up the hooks, they kept popping off the tension hoop. I thought it was from the strap, so I took the strap out and tried; same thing. Two of the stock Goodtime hooks have flattened at the curve over the hoop and will no longer stay on.

Anyone have recommendations for replacement hooks? I’ve about had it with Deering. Too many issues for a brand new banjo.

Thanks.


Your bridge is sagging so you bought a new bridge and considering buying more. Now the hooks are falling off and you want new hooks?

Both issues have a common cause.

IT IS TIME TO TIGHTEN THE HEAD!!  That is what all those nuts are for.

Use the Steve Davis method (just search for it). 


Thanks. The head was tightened, though not enough, I guess. Tightening it to where it needed to be was what caused the hooks to flatten out and keep popping off. Now that I've got the round, super solid hooks on there, both problems are solved! 
 

I'm an old guitar player, so you'll have to excuse me. We don't see these issues on our REAL instruments! ?? 

 

j/k


If simply tightening the head to where it needed to be is what caused the hooks to flatten out, how do you explain the thousands of Deering good time banjos that have been played for years without having this problem.  Yes, the round hooks are sturdier than the flat ones, but the flat hooks are plenty sturdy enough to properly tighten a banjo head.  The round hooks were designed for the thicker, notched type tension hoop, but will work on the thin lip tension hoop as well.  Here is what I think your problem was.  You stated you had to loosen the hooks to install your cradle strap.  You should not have to do that.  The strap should slide right under the hooks without loosening the hooks.  If the strap was so thick that you had to loosen the hooks, then when you started to re tighten the hooks the strap was holding the hook slightly away from a proper fit to the tension hoop.  As you tightened the hooks, they had to bend a little bit in order to fit over the hoop, and that bending is what weakened the hook.  There are just too many trouble free Good Time banjos out there, being played successfully every day, to think that Deering is using cheap junk to build them.

Feb 23, 2021 - 12:23:46 PM
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3967 posts since 5/12/2010

That is one of the things that really bugs me about Deering.

Part of their marketing approach is the claim their instruments are made in the USA, but they use those crappy weak flat hooks which come on the cheapest Asian import banjos out there. Those hooks are far too weak to properly tension a head, and I think they should be ashamed of themselves for using that level of junk.

I use top quality hardware even on what I call my base level banjos. All of it either from Rickard or Balsam. IMHO Deering has priced their base models for about twice what they are worth when they use crappy hardware like that.

Edited by - OldPappy on 02/23/2021 12:27:44

Feb 23, 2021 - 1:12:49 PM

521 posts since 1/28/2011

quote:
Originally posted by OldPappy

That is one of the things that really bugs me about Deering.

Part of their marketing approach is the claim their instruments are made in the USA, but they use those crappy weak flat hooks which come on the cheapest Asian import banjos out there. Those hooks are far too weak to properly tension a head, and I think they should be ashamed of themselves for using that level of junk.

I use top quality hardware even on what I call my base level banjos. All of it either from Rickard or Balsam. IMHO Deering has priced their base models for about twice what they are worth when they use crappy hardware like that.


Pappy, Have you ever seen the flat hooks that Deering uses on thier Good Time banjos?  I don't know where they are made or who makes them, but they don't look anything like the cheap Asian hooks you refer to.  You can go on Deering's website and see some close up pics of the flat hooks used on the Good Time series.  I don't own a Good Time banjo, but I have set up a couple of them, and the hooks seem to be plenty strong enough to me. 

Feb 23, 2021 - 1:29:25 PM

48 posts since 2/18/2021

quote:
Originally posted by latigo1
quote:
Originally posted by Sir Illsa Moustache
quote:
Originally posted by OldPappy
quote:
Originally posted by Sir Illsa Moustache

Thanks for all the responses!

I’ve ordered a better bridge than the stock Goodtime, just because.

But now there’s a new problem. Instead of starting a new thread, I’ll just ask it here.

I went to install my new suede strap cradle style. I loosened the hooks to get the strap under. When I went to tighten up the hooks, they kept popping off the tension hoop. I thought it was from the strap, so I took the strap out and tried; same thing. Two of the stock Goodtime hooks have flattened at the curve over the hoop and will no longer stay on.

Anyone have recommendations for replacement hooks? I’ve about had it with Deering. Too many issues for a brand new banjo.

Thanks.


Your bridge is sagging so you bought a new bridge and considering buying more. Now the hooks are falling off and you want new hooks?

Both issues have a common cause.

IT IS TIME TO TIGHTEN THE HEAD!!  That is what all those nuts are for.

Use the Steve Davis method (just search for it). 


Thanks. The head was tightened, though not enough, I guess. Tightening it to where it needed to be was what caused the hooks to flatten out and keep popping off. Now that I've got the round, super solid hooks on there, both problems are solved! 
 

I'm an old guitar player, so you'll have to excuse me. We don't see these issues on our REAL instruments! ?? 

 

j/k


If simply tightening the head to where it needed to be is what caused the hooks to flatten out, how do you explain the thousands of Deering good time banjos that have been played for years without having this problem.  Yes, the round hooks are sturdier than the flat ones, but the flat hooks are plenty sturdy enough to properly tighten a banjo head.  The round hooks were designed for the thicker, notched type tension hoop, but will work on the thin lip tension hoop as well.  Here is what I think your problem was.  You stated you had to loosen the hooks to install your cradle strap.  You should not have to do that.  The strap should slide right under the hooks without loosening the hooks.  If the strap was so thick that you had to loosen the hooks, then when you started to re tighten the hooks the strap was holding the hook slightly away from a proper fit to the tension hoop.  As you tightened the hooks, they had to bend a little bit in order to fit over the hoop, and that bending is what weakened the hook.  There are just too many trouble free Good Time banjos out there, being played successfully every day, to think that Deering is using cheap junk to build them.


The stock hooks sucked compared to the quality round hooks that I bought to replace them. 
 

How do I explain that others haven't had this issue? 
1: We don't know that's the case. 
2: There are such things as 'bad batches'. 

Feb 23, 2021 - 1:31:15 PM
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Owen

Canada

8218 posts since 6/5/2011
Online Now

It's coming up a decade for my modestly priced GoldTone and an even more modestly priced Morgan Monroe.  I have about a half-dozen bridges [$4.50 ones all the way up to an expensive $8 one] that I very occasionally swap out.... no schedule, and not exactly sure why.  I just checked them against a straightedge.... all are still straight, except one which has a bow so slight it has to be held up to the light to see it.  Where am I going wrong?    wink

Edited by - Owen on 02/23/2021 13:40:27

Feb 23, 2021 - 1:39:05 PM
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3967 posts since 5/12/2010

"Pappy, Have you ever seen the flat hooks that Deering uses on thier Good Time banjos? I don't know where they are made or who makes them, but they don't look anything like the cheap Asian hooks you refer to. You can go on Deering's website and see some close up pics of the flat hooks used on the Good Time series. I don't own a Good Time banjo, but I have set up a couple of them, and the hooks seem to be plenty strong enough to me. "

Yet the hooks on the Deering banjo this thread is about were too weak to tension the head properly.

I have been asked to set up a couple of "Goodtimes" and the hooks were too weak to tension the head. The owner of one of them asked me to improve the banjo and to do that both the hooks and hoop had to be replaced to get the head tensioned.

To me they are crap, whether they seem strong enough to you or not.

I like the "flat" hooks Stewmac sells, which are very much like the flat hooks on the two Langstyle banjos I have owned. They fit a grooved hoop very well and are only "flat" where they need to be, and the rest of the shaft is round. I have heard some call that style flat hook a "Cobra hook". They are a lot stronger than the hooks on a Deering Goodtime, which we see are even used on the more expensive version being discussed here. Just like on the cheapest Asian imports they use those cheap to cut costs on the hooks and they can also use a cheaper tension hoop that the better hooks will not work with.  

Feb 23, 2021 - 2:44:20 PM
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3967 posts since 5/12/2010

"how do you explain the thousands of Deering good time banjos that have been played for years without having this problem. "

Because most players of the things like a duller sounding banjo, and you don't need a tight head for that would be my first guess.

I know you Goodtime owners love your banjos, I am just not sure why, but I guess they are alright for a starter banjo.

I worked on a lot of student's banjos when the local Folk School was still going, and the Goodtimes needed the same modifications as the cheap Asian imports to do a proper set up, which included stronger hooks and a better quality tension hoop.

I want a banjo that will ring out loud enough to drive the rhythm and punch through to be heard when I am playing with a fiddler.

I don't want to hurt anyone's feelings, but If someone offered me a Goodtime for free I wouldn't want it.

Feb 23, 2021 - 3:21:36 PM

48 posts since 2/18/2021

I’m ok with the Goodtime Artisan for now. I’m sure that by the end of the year I’ll have sold it and moved on.

The previous poster a few back was right in that it’s gotten me into the banjo as a decent starter. Now that I am ‘hooked’, I’ll be upgrading.

But the amount I spent on this one ($749 + gig bag) I could have bought a probably much better quality vintage. Oh well...now I know.

I have my eye on a few <$1k Vega, Ludwig and Slingerland. I can’t find any 19 fret Bacon for under $1k. They’re mostly 17 frets.

Feb 23, 2021 - 4:29:08 PM
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3967 posts since 5/12/2010

($749 + gig bag) ?

That would have bought you a much better new banjo as well, there are a lot better choices than a Goodtime in that price range.


 

Feb 23, 2021 - 5:14:29 PM
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mdthib

Hong Kong

524 posts since 8/22/2013

Late to the party, but I'll say this: I have a small box of bridges that I bought during my early years. I haven't bought another in years, but every so often when I haven't done much new with my banjo or life, I'll switch a few around and see how they sound and feel. It can feel like having a new instrument, the sound and feel can be very different! I have been happy with many but come back to my Purcell bridges (clawhammer, skin head). Bridges are one of the quickest and most profound changes you can bring to the setup of your instrument. Getting a few higher end ones will only help the overall adventure—happy picking!

Feb 24, 2021 - 5:29:27 AM

3967 posts since 5/12/2010

Yes, bridges of different weights will sound different.

Being able to tighten the head also greatly improves a banjo.

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