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Apr 23, 2024 - 7:50:17 AM
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Dean T

USA

60 posts since 4/18/2024

Several weeks ago I was innocently watching banjo videos on YouTube, and saw a demo video for a Goodtime made from Cherry. Intrigued , I went to the Deering website. Apparently last summer, they had a run on some cherry wood, and decided to make 100 limited edition Goodtimes out of it.

They were listed at $799, and apparently there isn't a lot of interest, because when I checked around, there are still plenty of them available at the dealers, for sale. One place in particular, Firehouse Guitars, in Granville Mi, had eight left, and marked down to $699. So, still intrigued, I put one in my shopping cart, and auto filled it to see what taxes and shipping was. I decided to pass, and that was that.

So the next day I got an email from geartree, which is Firehouse’s online site, saying the banjo was still in my shopping cart, and they knocked the price down to $634. Dammit. I bought it. I know, I'm a suckerlaugh

Holy smokes, this thing is a punchy little firecracker. Light as a feather, and louder than it should be. Feisty as all get out, and vibrates like crazy. The rim is two layers of cherry with maple in the middle, and the headstock is cherry on top of maple. It doesn’t say anywhere, but I think the inlay is cherry too, if not, it sure looks like it. I really like it, it’s definitely a keeper. And looks really good too. Also the first time I've ever had a skintone head, and I like it. I'm really glad I bought it, and I can see it becoming my lifetime favorite.  

I will say that it arrived with some of the worst fret sprout I’ve ever seen. It literally cut me when I first tried to play it. So… I watched some YouTube videos, and ordered a fret end file, and a pack of micro mesh pads. After about 4 hours of fret beveling, end filing, dressing, some fretboard edge rounding, and polishing… I think I have the fastest, most comfortable banjo neck I’ve ever had. I was very disappointed with the condition at first, but making lemons into lemonade … I now have a new skill, and have even revisited the neck on my other banjo with it. So thanks Deering!

It’s also the first time I’ve ever seen a serial number on a Goodtime. If I was to guess, I’m thinking it’s number 6, produced August 1, 2023? It hangs on the wall, and I can't keep my hands off it. I haven't been this happy with a banjo in a long time.heart




Edited by - Dean T on 04/23/2024 08:10:41

Apr 23, 2024 - 10:36:26 AM
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kwl

USA

648 posts since 3/5/2009

I'm glad that you are happy with your new banjo and new skills. It is very nice looking . I like my Goodtime (and old Gumby headstock model). Enjoy the banjo!

Apr 23, 2024 - 5:33:59 PM
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DSmoke

USA

1434 posts since 11/30/2015

Collectible, doubtful. But, if I were you I would be looking for another one. If this banjo is that good for you, you should have a backup. I enjoyed reading your post and have experienced finding a new banjo that just blew me away.

Apr 23, 2024 - 6:50:22 PM
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Bill Rogers (Moderator)

USA

27976 posts since 6/25/2005

The essence of collectibility is demand—not scarcity. Ask any stamp collector. Since there is little demand for the cherry Goodtimes, they are not collectibles.

Apr 24, 2024 - 10:38:53 AM
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13121 posts since 10/27/2006

Collectible + Goodtime in the same sentence — who'd a thunk? Ypu might want to ask Janet about it in her thread. Deering may still be looking for ideas to commemorate their 50th coming up.

Otherwise, probably a question best asked a hundred years from now. The answer may just be, "Well, there are still a few dealers with some on the shelves..."

Alright, I'm just having some fun.

I am surprised we don't see more use of cherry. It's a good wood for building and quite musical. Vega was using it nearly 120 years ago. I used to give Rick Turner a heads up when some nice, figured lumber showed up at a local yard and CF Martin has used it now and then. IIRC, Gibson made some RBs in cherry before banjo production stopped.

Then there's this 1959 Les Paul Jr. Plectrum

Apr 24, 2024 - 10:59:41 AM

15209 posts since 6/2/2008
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So for $134 over the cost of a 100% stock Goodtime (originally listed at $200 extra), you got a beginner's banjo with a few pieces of cherry wood and an unplayable neck. Yeah, that's definitely my idea of a collector's item.

Apr 24, 2024 - 12:32:24 PM
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1670 posts since 1/9/2012
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I love my limited production Goodtimes, both for their sound and playability, and I wouldn't part with them for the world.




Apr 24, 2024 - 5:25:37 PM

Dean T

USA

60 posts since 4/18/2024

quote:
Originally posted by DSmoke

Collectible, doubtful. But, if I were you I would be looking for another one. If this banjo is that good for you, you should have a backup. I enjoyed reading your post and have experienced finding a new banjo that just blew me away.


Thanks Dan! I also have an Americana, so in effect they back up eachother. 

Apr 24, 2024 - 5:27:17 PM

Dean T

USA

60 posts since 4/18/2024

quote:
Originally posted by davidppp

I love my limited production Goodtimes, both for their sound and playability, and I wouldn't part with them for the world.

We have simlar tastes! 

 

Apr 24, 2024 - 5:35:16 PM

Dean T

USA

60 posts since 4/18/2024

quote:
Originally posted by mikehalloran

Collectible + Goodtime in the same sentence — who'd a thunk? Ypu might want to ask Janet about it in her thread. Deering may still be looking for ideas to commemorate their 50th coming up.

Otherwise, probably a question best asked a hundred years from now. The answer may just be, "Well, there are still a few dealers with some on the shelves...

 


Actually, I've been keeping an eye open for a good old early Gumby head Goodtime, with the original hardware. I've noticed they have become harder to find, and when they do show up on Reverb, Craigslist, eBay, GC, or FB classifieds, they are still getting premium prices for them, and disappear quickly. 

Apr 24, 2024 - 6:01:40 PM

Dean T

USA

60 posts since 4/18/2024

quote:
Originally posted by Old Hickory

So for $134 over the cost of a 100% stock Goodtime (originally listed at $200 extra), you got a beginner's banjo with a few pieces of cherry wood and an unplayable neck. Yeah, that's definitely my idea of a collector's item.


Wow. I only wish I would have had something like this as a beginner. And when I finally did get my hands on an old Gumby head Goodtime, I didn't realize just how good it was, because I was naive enough to buy into all the beginner banjo bulls*** I read here 20 years ago. I played an ES I hated, for years, until coming back around to the simplicity, weight, and sweet sweet sound of an Americana, 5 years ago. 

Apr 24, 2024 - 6:10:34 PM

15209 posts since 6/2/2008
Online Now

quote:
Originally posted by Dean T
Wow. I only wish I would have had something like this as a beginner. And when I finally did get my hands on an old Gumby head Goodtime, I didn't realize just how good it was 

The Goodtime's excellence as a beginner instrument and your enjoyment of it are totally separate issues from the collectibility and $799 asking price of a version with a few pieces of cherry.

Enjoy that cherry Goodtime.

Apr 24, 2024 - 6:58:43 PM

DSmoke

USA

1434 posts since 11/30/2015

quote:

I am surprised we don't see more use of cherry. It's a good wood for building and quite musical. Vega was using it nearly 120 years ago. I used to give Rick Turner a heads up when some nice, figured lumber showed up at a local yard and CF Martin has used it now and then. IIRC, Gibson made some RBs in cherry before banjo production stopped.

 

I have had some custom bridges made in cherry with ebony and they were great. I did a recent build comparing a cherry and walnut archtop woodie rim. I liked the walnut better but still feel like there is a place within my world of Irish music for a cherry build.

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