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Jan 27, 2022 - 12:45:06 AM
25 posts since 10/28/2021

Currently have a deering americana artisan, which I am more than happy with. I would be interested to have opinions on the benefits of upgrading to a more expensive banjo if money was no object. (I do not play with a group - purely a hobby interest)

Edited by - Bill Rogers on 02/04/2022 12:06:34

Jan 27, 2022 - 2:24:43 AM

Bill H

USA

1885 posts since 11/7/2010

I love my Nechville banjos.

Jan 27, 2022 - 3:03:43 AM
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HERMES

USA

557 posts since 2/7/2006

You have a fine banjo...both for learning and for growing.

In many ways it will take a little time to even understand why you would want something else. It can be a slippery slope into BAS (Banjo Acquisition Syndrome).

It can also be a slippery slope into endlessly re-setting up your instrument with new parts.
(For some people this is part of the fun, but it can really distract one from learning to play)

That being said....I find banjos that are made by individual luthiers to have something special that you can't always get in a production line banjo.

I see that you are in the UK. I'd look into BALLARD BANJOS(ballardbanjers.com/open-back-banjos.html)
They are quite nice. Here in The States I think one of the best builders currently going is William Seeders Mosheim @ Seeders Instruments.

If you want top of the line vintage you can always find a really well maintained Vega Tubaphone or Whyte Laydie....

however, you can get almost all the banjo you could ever want out of the banjo you already have.

Jan 27, 2022 - 4:50:20 AM
Players Union Member

Helix

USA

15424 posts since 8/30/2006

bypassbazza It is my opinion that you have a "gimmick" banjo, marketed as such with certain specs.

The UK should be a bastion of banjo parts.
Research what your specs are.
I concur with an older Vega Tub-a-phone.
Find a Stromberg Cup-o-phone and see what they can do.

Deering concentrates on his high end dealers and awards them.

However, I jam often and frequently with all the major brands and models, there's the laboratory.




 

Jan 27, 2022 - 5:50:06 AM
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10338 posts since 6/30/2020

quote:
Originally posted by Bill H

I love my Nechville banjos.


+1

Nechville gets my vote also, but I will say that I like OME banjos as well. 

Edited by - Pick-A-Lick on 01/27/2022 05:54:30

Jan 27, 2022 - 5:57:31 AM
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carlb

USA

2367 posts since 12/16/2007

I'm partial to Bacon Professionals, particularly because of the bass response.

Jan 27, 2022 - 6:08:01 AM
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4357 posts since 10/13/2005

What is your motivation for a new banjo if you are "happy" with the one you have? Wanting a different neck profile? Different tone? Vintage mojo? Glitz status? I've had quite a few banjos through the years. Currently I have a Mogi banjo that I am 95% satisfied with for jamming, I'd prefer a non-black rim but the playing and sounding are quite fine. At 95% satisfaction I have decided not to spend a lot of time and energy sending away to try out banjos for that other 5%. As far as playing and sounding, your banjo may be within a few percentage points of satisfaction with banjos costing 5-10X as yours. Quite often more money money doesn't translate to a better banjo, just different. I have a second banjo, a Stone banjo, that I have Minstrel Nylgut strings on to have a very different sound/purpose primarily to back up my singing. For some the thrill of a new girl friend, uh, banjo, is the main motivation. Follow your muse. banjered

Jan 27, 2022 - 6:09:26 AM

2296 posts since 2/4/2013

What you can expect is a banjo with a greater depth and richness to the sound. Of course with luck it might cost less than an Americana. My best banjo cost £220 from an auction.

Jan 27, 2022 - 8:45:02 AM
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HERMES

USA

557 posts since 2/7/2006

quote:
Originally posted by Helix

bypassbazza It is my opinion that you have a "gimmick" banjo, marketed as such with certain specs.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Your Banjo is not a "gimmick" - it is a real banjo...I know plenty of professional musicians who use the Deering Goodtime line...from the most basic to the slightly more refined...like yours. There is a banjo available that uses a tambourine for a rim so that you can get a jingle jangle feeling when you play...that is a "gimmick"...your's IS NOT!

This page can bring out many "put down" opinions and often times one can leave feeling bad about everything they thought they felt good about. 

You have a very playable banjo. Please don't allow someone to suggest that it is less than or inferior. 

I would never put down someone else's banjo. THREE CHEERS for DEERING and their affordable and QUALITY GOODTIME line.....

Edited by - HERMES on 01/27/2022 08:45:51

Jan 27, 2022 - 9:31:48 AM
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25 posts since 10/28/2021

Thanks Hermes.
There is always someone who rejoices in finding something derogatory to spout. Thankful for all the other (and your) useful comments. bypassbazza

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Jan 27, 2022 - 10:07:14 AM

25 posts since 10/28/2021

quote:
Originally posted by banjered

What is your motivation for a new banjo if you are "happy" with the one you have? Wanting a different neck profile? Different tone? Vintage mojo? Glitz status? I've had quite a few banjos through the years. Currently I have a Mogi banjo that I am 95% satisfied with for jamming, I'd prefer a non-black rim but the playing and sounding are quite fine. At 95% satisfaction I have decided not to spend a lot of time and energy sending away to try out banjos for that other 5%. As far as playing and sounding, your banjo may be within a few percentage points of satisfaction with banjos costing 5-10X as yours. Quite often more money money doesn't translate to a better banjo, just different. I have a second banjo, a Stone banjo, that I have Minstrel Nylgut strings on to have a very different sound/purpose primarily to back up my singing. For some the thrill of a new girl friend, uh, banjo, is the main motivation. Follow your muse. banjered


Thanks Banjered.

I was just intrigued to know the benefits of spending out on a more expensive banjo.

Jan 27, 2022 - 11:21:37 AM

469 posts since 4/11/2019

Well you won't have all that pesky money filling your pockets!!

You might not have to speak with the Missus for a few days too!!

Jan 27, 2022 - 12:35:59 PM
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565 posts since 5/29/2015

Buy ten banjos in the $1500 to $5000 range. Set them up in a single room and rotate playing them for a full year. The next year, just grab one without thinking about it too much. Gradually you will find yourself grabbing mostly one banjo. That one is the keeper.

Jan 27, 2022 - 12:53:04 PM
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Bill Rogers (Moderator)

USA

25896 posts since 6/25/2005

If you play neither with others nor for audiences, there is no need for another banjo. I suggest availing yourself of any chances to play other instruments, but not engage in a search. If you have a “wow” moment, get that banjo. I had that in 1969 and am still playing that banjo.

Jan 27, 2022 - 1:12:54 PM
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2296 posts since 2/4/2013

quote:
Originally posted by Bill Rogers

If you play neither with others nor for audiences, there is no need for another banjo.


Now you tell me!

Jan 27, 2022 - 3:15:37 PM
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5060 posts since 5/9/2007

quote:
Originally posted by GrahamHawker
quote:
Originally posted by Bill Rogers

If you play neither with others nor for audiences, there is no need for another banjo.


Now you tell me!


laugh

Jan 27, 2022 - 4:33:51 PM
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1331 posts since 11/17/2005

quote:
Originally posted by bypassbazza

Thanks Hermes.
There is always someone who rejoices in finding something derogatory to spout. Thankful for all the other (and your) useful comments. bypassbazza


I find this odd. You asked about upgrading and then got offended when Helix said that you had a gimmick banjo, in his opinion. 

I don't know much about these banjos.  I had a Deering Goodtimes banjo and it was a very simple little banjo. It was OK for what it was, but it was a very far from great.

I've seen Helix post for years and he is a very nice guy. If he said that he thinks you have a Gimmick banjo, then he is probably just being honest. 

He even recommended another banjo to you.

Do you think you have a wonderful banjo? If so, why are you talking about upgrading?

Jan 27, 2022 - 5:36:49 PM
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Players Union Member

Helix

USA

15424 posts since 8/30/2006

First, don't get me wrong, people have the right to market whatever people will buy.

Weight became an obsessive problem. Various people had different solutions. Woodies being one solution.

I'm sorry if I sounded too opinionated.
I do rim changeouts, so I get to see all the major makes and models.
I've seen the imports and the domestics and the patent dodging.
So few feature domestics are still just that. I'm ok with that when the buyer is informed.
Hype just don't get it and falls into that "tastes just like chicken" category.
We all want what works. Stay positive. I'll try to write with less edge.

Jan 28, 2022 - 6:49:50 AM

JSB88

UK

337 posts since 3/9/2017

quote:
Originally posted by Helix

, I'll try to write with less edge.


Please don't do that, I always enjoy your posts on all topics. 

Jan 29, 2022 - 3:50:30 AM
Players Union Member

Helix

USA

15424 posts since 8/30/2006

Once there was some hype about Titanium sound moving through the air faster. Faster than what? The rest of the band? Hype?

Fiberskyn is a gimmick.
The trend towards woodies and the necessary patenting to keep the mice away can be seen as entitlement rather than just providing good clean fun for people.
We see the woodies at the jam, they are banjos all right, just not astounding.

Feb 4, 2022 - 8:12:37 AM
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1292 posts since 8/7/2017

I have 4 banjos. Each sounds different from the others. So, my playing world is enhanced by the differences. That is one reason to own more than one banjo. 99% of my playing is solo at home. I have fun, and that's my goal.
1. Stelling Bellflower, a bluegrass banjo that sounds great played clawhammer. I removed the resonator because I did not need the volume to punch through a bluegrass band.
2. A thick rim banjo with a Whyte-Ladie tone ring, made by Carver banjos. This is my go-to banjo for daily play.
3. A thin rim banjo with a brass rod tone ring, made by Cedar Mountain banjos. This has an old time 'flat' sound to my ears, great with mountain minor tuning.
4. A kit-built mountain banjo (Carver) with tack&glue goatskin head, no tone ring (thus a Woodie, perhaps in Helix's classification). This is fretless, so is harder to play, but is Totally rewarding when I get the left hand fingering right. A primitive design that predates everything except perhaps gourd banjos.

If you have the money (and the storage space!) owning more than one banjo can be a lot of fun. Hope this helps.

carverbanjos.com/

Cedar Mountain "Brainjo"
clawhammerbanjo.net/the-brainjo/

stellingbanjo.com/

Feb 4, 2022 - 9:00:08 AM

25 posts since 10/28/2021

Thanks Brooks - all feedback is appreciated and noted for future reference. I'm trying to avoid the BASyndrome at the moment, until I can improve my negotiating skills with my better half !

Feb 9, 2022 - 3:24:42 AM

25 posts since 10/28/2021

Interesting comparison - given me food for thought.
youtu.be/UGCe_ES3P18p

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