Banjo Hangout Logo
Banjo Hangout Logo

Premier Sponsors

140
Banjo Lovers Online


Apr 11, 2024 - 5:01:58 PM
393 posts since 3/27/2006

Years ago I bought a new Goodtime Deering Banjo which had the guitar style tuners , it was built like a tank and sounded pretty good and you could easily remove the resonator and convert to a openback gave it away to someone who was learning . I think I paid under $300.00 . Looking for a second OB and was surfing Derring's site , Vega Little Wonder $2,119.00 , Vega Vintage Star $2,599.00 ,Vega Old Time Wonder $ 2,349.00 what is a game changer is that at those prices none of these banjos have the traditional dowel stick just the ugly round steel coordinator rods . Are the steel rods better ? Is the wood dowel stick that much more labor and material cost ? Is this where Deering cuts costs ?

Edited by - Bill Rogers on 04/12/2024 11:20:20

Apr 11, 2024 - 5:53:30 PM

5728 posts since 5/29/2011

A wooden dowel stick is more time consuming and labor intensive to fit than co-rods. That alone saves money.
Are they better than co-rods? Not necessarily. They are much easier to adjust if they aren't fitted perfectly at first.
That alone makes them more attractive to manufacturers.

Apr 12, 2024 - 4:23:55 AM
likes this

27 posts since 4/11/2024

Steel rods are cheaper and stronger, but they are certainly an eyesore, and I'm convinced they produce inferior sound compared to a wooden dowel. No reason to pay the Deering premium, either. They don't produce anything of better quality than Gold Tone, for example.

Apr 12, 2024 - 5:33:56 AM
likes this

KCJones

USA

3017 posts since 8/30/2012

Looking at the catalogue it doesn't seem like the Vega banjos are all that much different than any other Deering, other than aesthetic/styling. The rims for the Vega banjos probably come out of the same stack as the rims for all the other Deering banjos. So the reason they have coordinator rods is because all the rest do, and setting up a seperate assembly line just for a different pot style is expensive.

Considering their asking price, it seems to me that it makes much more sense to buy a real vintage Vega. You can get a high quality 1920s Vega for less than anything Deering offers. I mean really, they want $5000 for their #2 Tubaphone... Why would anyone do that when you can spend half that and get the real thing?

Edited by - KCJones on 04/12/2024 05:34:47

Apr 12, 2024 - 6:34:18 AM
likes this

3373 posts since 9/5/2006

There are many Vegas out there and most don't cost $5000. Check the ads here. I have a 17 fret tenor I tried to sell for years with no buyers so I am having a neck made for it and plan to price it much lower than 5G's.

Apr 12, 2024 - 11:25:05 AM
like this

Bill Rogers (Moderator)

USA

27999 posts since 6/25/2005

Bob’s right. A used Vego or Essex costs less than a Deering and has great sound. 20s Tubaphones go in the low-to-mid $2,000 range. Plus they have a cool factor you can’t get with a Deering.

Apr 12, 2024 - 12:37:31 PM
likes this

13132 posts since 10/27/2006

Half of my vintage Vegas have coordinator rods. All of my vintage Gibsons had them. I'm ok with that.

Apr 12, 2024 - 3:00:04 PM
Players Union Member

Helix

USA

17516 posts since 8/30/2006

All of them including Gibson are factory spec. banjos.
The Deerings have made many innovations. Ask how many they make per year.

Take a look at Pisgah, they use solar shop saws.
 

Then the Bacon And Day Super that is authentic and commands $3700

The trouble with dowel sticks is there are two angles to wrangle, one for the 3 degree heel and one for the 5th string offset.

Here's a Pre-war Tub-A-Phone with Style M dowelstick refitted with the lost pre-war Whyte Laydie formula tone ring.
This belonged to "Banjo Fred" here on the hangout before he caught the Westbound.
Note the Vega, then Gibson nuts.
Yes, that is Michele Shocked's signature next to Pete Seeger.
The neck is a "tribute neck"
The unique feature is the "tapered" headstock to keep the tuner posts for #'s 2 & 3 accessible.

Peggy Seeger got a Tubaphone Deluxe to make her longneck.
These guys 12-strings were made one by one from US Navy Surplus foot lockers.

 

You are quite correct about vintage sound.  I count on my dog to tell the difference. 

You will want a skin head. 










Edited by - Helix on 04/12/2024 15:05:48

Apr 13, 2024 - 8:24:38 AM

5728 posts since 5/29/2011

quote:
Originally posted by Culloden

A wooden dowel stick is more time consuming and labor intensive to fit than co-rods. That alone saves money.
Are they better than co-rods? Not necessarily. They are much easier to adjust if they aren't fitted perfectly at first.
That alone makes them more attractive to manufacturers.


I messed up on this post because I was typing it on my phone amid a bunch of distractions.

A wooden dowel is more time-consuming and labor-intensive to fit than co-rods. That makes co-rods cheaper to install.

Is a dowel better than co-rods? Not necessarily. Co-rods are just as strong and are easier to adjust. That makes them more attractive to builders because they can be adjusted once they are installed.

Which one I use depends on the style of banjo I am building.

Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Privacy Consent
Copyright 2024 Banjo Hangout. All Rights Reserved.





Hangout Network Help

View All Topics  |  View Categories

0.171875