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Deering goodtime Americana or Recording King Madison?

Jun 18, 2024 - 3:00:27 PM
22 posts since 12/27/2023

Hi! I’m looking for my second banjo, and have been playing the savannah sb-100 since about December, having gotten it as a Christmas gift. It has been very fun to try and learn on, but Im looking for a more traditional old time sound. I’ve managed to narrow it down to these two banjos, and was wondering, between the two, which would you all choose?

Jun 18, 2024 - 3:04:34 PM

193 posts since 3/7/2011

I would go with the RK personally.

Jun 18, 2024 - 3:14:59 PM

Bill Rogers (Moderator)

USA

28088 posts since 6/25/2005

The RK

Jun 18, 2024 - 4:10:43 PM

rcc56

USA

5150 posts since 2/20/2016

You have a choice-- a banjo with very plain features made in the US, or one with better features made in Asia for $30 less. $679 for the Americana, $649 for the RK 25.

RK has proven that banjos of good quality can be made overseas.

Or, if you can swing $799 for the RK 26, you will get an instrument with a Whyte Laydie style tone ring.
The Americana and RK 25 do not have tone rings.

If it were me, I would go with either of the RK's.

Edited by - rcc56 on 06/18/2024 16:21:55

Jun 18, 2024 - 4:55:36 PM

Edwards

USA

199 posts since 3/26/2014

Definitely the recording king, I like the dirty 30 or whatever name it’s going by now. Have a good day.

Jun 18, 2024 - 4:56:35 PM

KCJones

USA

3115 posts since 8/30/2012

Define "traditional old time sound".

If you're going to get the Americana, just get the regular Goodtime instead. They're the same banjo, the Americana just has more glitz.

The Goodtime is Made in USA. The Recording King is Made in China. If that matters to you.

Forced to choose I'd probably go with the RK-26. It's a lot of banjo for what you pay. Enough to overcome my domestic preferences. 

Edited by - KCJones on 06/18/2024 17:01:05

Jun 18, 2024 - 5:31:22 PM
like this

3088 posts since 2/4/2013

quote:
Originally posted by KCJones


If you're going to get the Americana, just get the regular Goodtime instead. They're the same banjo, the Americana just has more glitz.
 


The Americana has a 12 inch pot.

Jun 18, 2024 - 5:50:16 PM

KCJones

USA

3115 posts since 8/30/2012

Good catch, I was mixing it up with the Artisan.

In that case it's a question of 12" pot vs 11" pot. They will sound fairly different. That's a preference thing, and only the player can decide. Get whichever size pot you want.

Of course it all depends on what "traditional old time sound" you're chasing. That could be any number of things. 

Edited by - KCJones on 06/18/2024 17:59:24

Jun 18, 2024 - 6:15:16 PM

15437 posts since 6/2/2008

By Recording King "Madison" are you referring to one of the open backs in the Madison series?

If so, you need to state the model number of the one you're considering.

The RK-OT26 Madison Old Time has a scooped fret board and a Whyte Laydie tone ring.

The RK-OT-25 Madison Open Back lacks the tone ring but has the scoop and for some reason a 1/8-inch longer scale length (26-1/4 vs 26-1/8).

It doesn't matter what any of us would choose. Your choice should be based on which one sounds better making teh kind of music you want to make.

Objectively, I believe both Madisons are more banjo for the money than the Goodtime. So the choice is whether you want the volume and tone of a tone ring or you prefer the sound of a wood rim.

Have fun shopping.

Edited by - Old Hickory on 06/18/2024 18:16:47

Jun 18, 2024 - 6:26:43 PM

3088 posts since 2/4/2013

The Americana should give something closer to the "old time sound" due to the larger pot but is supposed to have light strings due to the lack of a truss rod so is a bit bright. It works better with nylon strings.

Jun 18, 2024 - 6:33:48 PM

22 posts since 12/27/2023

Old Hickory I’m referring to the o-25, just as it fits more into my price range (as the o-26 is at the high end of my price range, and I prefer the mellowed out sound of a wood rim). Although I think I’m going to go with the Americana, just as I personally prefer the sound of the o-25, as it fits the sorta folky old time sound I’m chasing better. Or who knows, I might just take the resonator off my current one and save up for a higher end open back

Jun 18, 2024 - 6:38:47 PM

22 posts since 12/27/2023

quote:
Originally posted by Old Hickory

By Recording King "Madison" are you referring to one of the open backs in the Madison series?

If so, you need to state the model number of the one you're considering.

The RK-OT26 Madison Old Time has a scooped fret board and a Whyte Laydie tone ring.

The RK-OT-25 Madison Open Back lacks the tone ring but has the scoop and for some reason a 1/8-inch longer scale length (26-1/4 vs 26-1/8).

It doesn't matter what any of us would choose. Your choice should be based on which one sounds better making teh kind of music you want to make.

Objectively, I believe both Madisons are more banjo for the money than the Goodtime. So the choice is whether you want the volume and tone of a tone ring or you prefer the sound of a wood rim.

Have fun shopping.


I think I'll go with the o-25, just as if fits the sound I'm going after, or I might just remove the resonator off my current one and save up for a higher end till I don't suck at banjo lol

Jun 18, 2024 - 7:23:02 PM

11 posts since 4/29/2023

Definitely the RK

Jun 18, 2024 - 9:59:45 PM

120 posts since 9/1/2020

I think (for US citizens) buying American made products really does matter.
There are good quality materials to be had in China (if you're the right person) which RK and GT are proving with their high quality/low price offerings. They're moving to dominate the market with quality imports, and seem to be succeeding. But honestly, I don't believe the factories in China can produce these things, add an extra middle man, ship them around the globe, and still be paying their workers a decent wage.
Deering isn't my favorite company by any means, but I'd rather support one of their Californians who's trying to work in an instrument shop for a living, than send it to a company who has the Chinese government as a majority shareholder...(that's every business in China BTW)
My $0.02

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