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Deering Goodtime Banjo

Banjer 23 Dec 99 - 08:08 PM
Jon Freeman 23 Dec 99 - 08:39 PM
Roger in Baltimore 23 Dec 99 - 08:49 PM
catspaw49 23 Dec 99 - 09:07 PM
Rick Fielding 23 Dec 99 - 09:09 PM
catspaw49 23 Dec 99 - 09:41 PM
kendall 23 Dec 99 - 09:42 PM
Mudjack 23 Dec 99 - 09:51 PM
Margo 23 Dec 99 - 09:53 PM
Banjer 24 Dec 99 - 03:06 AM
Banjer 24 Dec 99 - 03:23 AM
JedMarum 25 Dec 99 - 12:13 AM
catspaw49 25 Dec 99 - 01:53 AM
Jon Freeman 25 Dec 99 - 02:02 AM
Sandy Morse 25 Dec 99 - 08:24 AM
Fred 25 Dec 99 - 12:10 PM
Banjer 26 Dec 99 - 05:22 PM
Rick Fielding 26 Dec 99 - 06:25 PM
Jon Freeman 26 Dec 99 - 06:45 PM
kendall 26 Dec 99 - 06:53 PM
Rick Fielding 26 Dec 99 - 06:55 PM
Little Neophyte 02 May 00 - 02:22 PM
Arnie Naiman 02 May 00 - 02:38 PM
Little Neophyte 02 May 00 - 03:48 PM
GUEST,Steve Latimer 02 May 00 - 04:05 PM
Wesley S 02 May 00 - 04:25 PM
Uncle_DaveO 02 May 00 - 05:20 PM
Jon Freeman 02 May 00 - 05:22 PM
catspaw49 02 May 00 - 05:30 PM
Margo 02 May 00 - 07:24 PM
Rick Fielding 02 May 00 - 07:28 PM
GUEST,arnie 02 May 00 - 07:38 PM
catspaw49 02 May 00 - 07:40 PM
Little Neophyte 02 May 00 - 09:38 PM
Little Neophyte 02 May 00 - 09:43 PM
catspaw49 02 May 00 - 09:48 PM
Guy Wolff 02 May 00 - 10:44 PM
Sailor Dan 03 May 00 - 12:13 AM
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Subject: Deering Goodtime Banjo
From: Banjer
Date: 23 Dec 99 - 08:08 PM

Has anyone had an opportunity to try one of these banjos? They are in the low end price category, running about $295 for the basic package. I had a chance to play one a few weeks ago and really liked it. I just wonder if any of our more experienced folks have any comment on the instrument or have had any experience with Deering instruments in general.


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Subject: RE: BS: Deering Goodtime Banjo
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 23 Dec 99 - 08:39 PM

I have never come across one but they are often mentioned in alt.banjo and they seem to be universally accepted as being the best beginners instrument available.

Sounds like an excellent banjo for the money. It might be worth you posting there as well.

Jon


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Subject: RE: BS: Deering Goodtime Banjo
From: Roger in Baltimore
Date: 23 Dec 99 - 08:49 PM

Banjer,

I don't play the banjo. And when I fool around with one in the music store someone always says, "Oh, a guitar player trying the banjo." Obviously, I have no banjo skills beyond knowing a chord or three.

I have tried out the Deering Good Time banjo and it seemed quite playable to me. It was not hard to fret the strings and the frets seemed true all the way up the neck. For better or worse, it sounded like a banjo. IMHO it would be a good starter instrument. I noticed that some of the low-price is due to the lack of ornamentation. The only frill I can recall was the name burned into the plain wood of the peg head.

Roger in Baltimore


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Subject: RE: BS: Deering Goodtime Banjo
From: catspaw49
Date: 23 Dec 99 - 09:07 PM

Deering is a hell of a good company and when I mentioned the Goodtime to my phone guy at Elderly about 3 or 4 months back, he said they were selling VERY well. You need to get one Banj...perfect for the reenacter campfires.

I should mention too that Deering is included in the group mentioned in my posting to the "Baby Larrivee" thread which shares the Instrument Return Center for greater customer satisfaction.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: Deering Goodtime Banjo
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 23 Dec 99 - 09:09 PM

The Deering "Good Time" is FAR more than a beginner's banjo. It is excellent in every way. I highly recommend it. Sadly, along with the great sound and low price, goes the worst peghead I've ever seen. I Have no idea what they were thinking.
Rick


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Subject: RE: BS: Deering Goodtime Banjo
From: catspaw49
Date: 23 Dec 99 - 09:41 PM

Hey Rick---I haven't had the "up close and personal" you have had with the Goodtime, so tell me more......What's with the peghead?

Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: Deering Goodtime Banjo
From: kendall
Date: 23 Dec 99 - 09:42 PM

I must have gotten a hold of a bad one last summer...it was real stringy-twangy-ringy. Maybe ok for picking, but, for clawhammer no thanks


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Subject: RE: BS: Deering Goodtime Banjo
From: Mudjack
Date: 23 Dec 99 - 09:51 PM

I have to agree with Rick in his opinion of the peghead. Nothing wrong with it other than "looks". They just could have been a little more traditional. Everyone seems to agree that it is a big nothch up from a novice beginner banjo. Greg Deering just has some great instruments.
Mudjack


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Subject: RE: BS: Deering Goodtime Banjo
From: Margo
Date: 23 Dec 99 - 09:53 PM

I have a Deering Goodtime banjo that I bought a few months back. I am a beginner, and I like it well. I have done three finger picking, and I want to learn frailing. I paid $250 including the case... Margo


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Subject: RE: BS: Deering Goodtime Banjo
From: Banjer
Date: 24 Dec 99 - 03:06 AM

One unique feature I remember from seeing the instrument was the geared fifth string peg as opposed to the traditional friction type peg. It does look like a very 'plain Jane' instument, built not for looks but for functionality. My plans, if I get one, are to add an arm rest device such as my othe banjos have. I missed that when I tried out my friends' Goodtime last month. As for the experience Kendall reports, perhaps the tuning may have been off in the one he tried, I tried both finger picking (what little I know) and frailing and both sounded Ok to me. I appreciate all your inputs and opinions and will give them great thought before buying the instrument.


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Subject: RE: BS: Deering Goodtime Banjo
From: Banjer
Date: 24 Dec 99 - 03:23 AM

For a look at the Goodtime and other Deering instruments Click Here If the clickie thingie doesn't work the URL is: http://www.deeringbanjos.com/


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Subject: RE: BS: Deering Goodtime Banjo
From: JedMarum
Date: 25 Dec 99 - 12:13 AM

Interesting comments on this banjo. I agree with Rick. This instrument has a great neck, and sound ... I enjoyed playing it, but it was so ugly, only its mother could love it! I think it was a marketing ploy. They must have been afraid that they would be stealing customers from their higher priced models, so they gave it that 'dime store' look. It's a shame, really. Nice instrument.


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Subject: RE: BS: Deering Goodtime Banjo
From: catspaw49
Date: 25 Dec 99 - 01:53 AM

I've found three sites with good pix plus Banj's and I was able to do some size gauging. If LOOKS and machine heads are your only problem, I can fix you up cheap. I'm totally serious. Not too hard and plenty of good rock to work with. The more I read about this banjo, the better it seems. If I can get two nickels to rub together to buy one, I'll modify it and take a picture.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: Deering Goodtime Banjo
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 25 Dec 99 - 02:02 AM

Just been back (again) to the Deering website and can't find a sound clip of the Goodtime - I'd love to hear one.

I can not imagine a company with the reputation of Deering producing an instrument that does not play well and every comment I have read here and in alt.banjo seems to back that up.

My doubts are not with the peg head (even though I can see what Rick and others are saying) but the instrument appears to lack a resonator and to the best of my knowledge has no tone ring so I would wonder if it produced a suitable sound for bluegrass for example.

Having said that, I questioned the use of a wooden tone ring a couple of months ago (I met somebody who had just fininished playing in our N Wales bluegrass festival who expressed surprise at the weight of my banjo but then said hers had a wooden tone ring) in alt.banjo and was pointed to the Deering John Hartford which I thought sounded superb - I have a lot to learn (and try to play celtic on tenor - no 5 string work).

Jon


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Subject: RE: BS: Deering Goodtime Banjo
From: Sandy Morse
Date: 25 Dec 99 - 08:24 AM

I used a Deering Goodtime for about 2 years and was very happy with it. I outfitted it with a fyberskin head and 5th string capo, playing it at gigs and on our second recording. One of the best things about it is that it fits well into small group acoustic situations without drowning the others out. Not just a "beginners banjo" IMHO. I also found it pleasant to be playing a banjo that didn't weigh enough to feel like an anchor around my neck.


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Subject: RE: BS: Deering Goodtime Banjo
From: Fred
Date: 25 Dec 99 - 12:10 PM

Is "Sandy Morse" the same guy I knew who played mandolin in Rutland, Vermont twenty years ago? I believe we played some together back when I was a DJ and part-time picker there. I own a Deering 'Little Wonder,'which was Grandpa Jones' model for "Old Rattler." I wouldn't trade it for the world. It projects clawhammer notes better than others I have tried, and this really helps a novice clawhammerer like myself to work on cleanliness. They have bought out Vega, and my Deering has Vega enscribed on the head. I guess I associate 'Vega' with campfire folkies and "Michael Row Your Boat Ashore," and would rather have Deering enscribed there.


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Subject: RE: BS: Deering Goodtime Banjo
From: Banjer
Date: 26 Dec 99 - 05:22 PM

There is available, according to the Deering web site, a resonated version of the Goodtime. It is known as the Goodtime 2. I had the good fortune of receiving a bit of cash for Christmas from one of our distant relatives and am very close to placing the order! While the head is a bit strange looking, it could be modified to suit individual tastes, like Catspaw says.


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Subject: RE: BS: Deering Goodtime Banjo
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 26 Dec 99 - 06:25 PM

Oops Jon. Nope, the Deering Good Time would NOT be suitable for bluegrass. It's super light weight and works nicely for frailing, and is superior to every one of the oriental imports in the same (or slightly higher) price bracket. What it CAN'T do is project the volume and sustain needed to make bluegrass sound right. Bluegrass banjo is of course played with finger picks and you're going to need a MUCH heavier instrument. If a true bluegrass instrument is out of your price range (Gibson Mastertones and Deering Pro models will set you back WAY over a thousand dollars) you might try to find an older Ibanez, Fender or Washburn, which are not that scarce and can be had for 4 to 6 hundred. Good Luck.

I havent had a chance to try the cheap Deering resonator model.

Rick


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Subject: RE: BS: Deering Goodtime Banjo
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 26 Dec 99 - 06:45 PM

Fred, A couple of years ago, I tried a Vega tenor in a local music shop and it was easily the worst instrument in the shop which only stocks the cheaper banjos and was one of the worst instruments that I have ever tried. I remember wondering at the time how such a famous old name could be attached to such rubbish.

I can only say that I was pleased to learn that Deering subsequently bought the Vega name.

Jon


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Subject: RE: BS: Deering Goodtime Banjo
From: kendall
Date: 26 Dec 99 - 06:53 PM

what I'm looking for, and holding out for is a banjo that sounds like Granpa Jones' more mellow than the Gibson say.. didnt find that in the Deering with the resonator


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Subject: RE: BS: Deering Goodtime Banjo
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 26 Dec 99 - 06:55 PM

Jon, sometimes the brand names mean NOTHING! Gibson, Vega and Martin have all gone through long periods when they turned out total crap. They'd have trouble doing it today because of the competition. Players are MUCH more informed these days. I remember going into a store called Whalley and Royce in the mid 70s and asking to try a Martin D-28 which was in a glass case. The owner looked at me snottily and said "are you prepared to purchase today, sir?" I said, that if I liked it, I might. He said "well, a Martin doesn't need a 'test drive'!!!" He was an idiot of course, and knew nothing about actually "Playing" a guitar. He probably didn't even know that half the Martins made in that era were complete dogs! Check the prices on used ones at places like Elderly and Mandolin Bros. THEY know what years bring the highest prices. Same with Vegas.

Rick


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Subject: RE: BS: Deering Goodtime Banjo
From: Little Neophyte
Date: 02 May 00 - 02:22 PM

I thought about starting a new thread.........
For A Goodtime Call Bonnie, but then I thought, lord knows what thread monster I would have created.

I had the great pleasure this morning of banjo shopping with Rick Fielding.
Nothing like coming home with a new banjo. I wanted something I could carry around with me all the time and not worry too much about. Rick suggested the Goodtime, and it was a wise choice.
I was also fortunate to get the price of $395.00 (Canadian) because from what I understand the price has gone up almost $100.00.
The tone is impressive for such a reasonable cost. It is light weight and much smaller than my Vega long neck which will make it easy to throw over my shoulder while on the road.
Well I am just thrilled.

Little Neo


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Subject: RE: BS: Deering Goodtime Banjo
From: Arnie Naiman
Date: 02 May 00 - 02:38 PM

All right Neo! That's a great deal, and packs a decent tone and response for that kind of money. You might want to consider 5th. string spikes if you want to capo up a lot. (also an armrest and a strap is always good too). Arnie


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Subject: RE: BS: Deering Goodtime Banjo
From: Little Neophyte
Date: 02 May 00 - 03:48 PM

Thanks Arnie, I've already got a 5th string spike in. Rick did that this morning.
But you are right about the strap. Right now I have the banjo duct taped to my chest which is not too attractive I must add.


Little Neo (who hopes you realize she tends to joke around a lot)


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Subject: RE: BS: Deering Goodtime Banjo
From: GUEST,Steve Latimer
Date: 02 May 00 - 04:05 PM

Neo,

I think I know of a place where you can get a hand tooled leather strap. I've seen this guys work and it's good. He's on Kingston Rd. Rick something or other.

Seriously though, a strap makes a huge difference in ease of playing, although I had never thought of duct tape.


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Subject: RE: BS: Deering Goodtime Banjo
From: Wesley S
Date: 02 May 00 - 04:25 PM

Theres nothing like coming home with a new instrument to brighten your day. It's almost better than s.... Never mind. Enjoy.


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Subject: RE: BS: Deering Goodtime Banjo
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 02 May 00 - 05:20 PM

Little Neo:

I'm sorry to hear that your chest is not too attractive.

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: BS: Deering Goodtime Banjo
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 02 May 00 - 05:22 PM

good news Bonnie!. I have yet to meet a Goodtime but I feel sure it will give you years of pleasure.

Jon


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Subject: RE: BS: Deering Goodtime Banjo
From: catspaw49
Date: 02 May 00 - 05:30 PM

Hey!!! Congratulations BonnAmmie!!!

Nothing like getting a new instrument. Mine's over 50 years old now and I'm considering a new one, or at least adding hydraulics to mine. I use a strap to hold it up....well, more of a reel actually. I like to air it out on high bridges and the like.

All that aside (actually more to the front and shading some to the left), I am very happy for you!!!!

Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: Deering Goodtime Banjo
From: Margo
Date: 02 May 00 - 07:24 PM

Doesterr: LOL!! LilNeo, I too have a Goodtime. I love it. And you're right, the price is right. I suppose one day I'll want something fancier, but not for a while. I've just started learning clawhammer (in March) and am advancing well with it. It really is easy to pick up, isn't it?

I got my one nail done with acrylic, though. When I started playing my nail went soft. The acrylic is great, because it's like having a built in pick! Margo


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Subject: RE: BS: Deering Goodtime Banjo
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 02 May 00 - 07:28 PM

Bonnie's chest is very attractive, and accessorized nicely by the maple finish, chrome plating, and the white head sets everything off nicely.

Rick


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Subject: RE: BS: Deering Goodtime Banjo
From: GUEST,arnie
Date: 02 May 00 - 07:38 PM

Bonita - I think Velcro would on your chest would look much better than duct tape - you must have watched too many Red Green shows.


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Subject: RE: BS: Deering Goodtime Banjo
From: catspaw49
Date: 02 May 00 - 07:40 PM

Blackheads can be very unattractive. Try some good astringent and a facial scrub should you encounter them with the Deering. I doubt if that will be a problem since it likes having a good time and will be ever aware of its complexion and tone.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: Deering Goodtime Banjo
From: Little Neophyte
Date: 02 May 00 - 09:38 PM

David Oesterreich, I can not believe you said that.
Rick thinks my chest is attractive.
Even Catspaw said he hoped in his next life to come back as a banjo head. Right Catspaw?

Arnie has a good idea about the Velcro. It could be part of my stage act where someone off stage throws me my banjo and it just sticks to my chest.



Little Neo


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Subject: RE: BS: Deering Goodtime Banjo
From: Little Neophyte
Date: 02 May 00 - 09:43 PM

I think it is about time I commission Leonardo Da Fielding to make me one of those beautiful straps of his.

Little Neo


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Subject: RE: BS: Deering Goodtime Banjo
From: catspaw49
Date: 02 May 00 - 09:48 PM

Right my dear BonnAmmie....

Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: Deering Goodtime Banjo
From: Guy Wolff
Date: 02 May 00 - 10:44 PM

Congrats Bonnie, Its so much fun having an instroment to take walks with and not have to worry every moment what that clouds going to do.. It sounds perfect for thoughs long cannoe rides into the Canadian outback( I think I have the wrong continent))Good for jay strokes as well!!!! Anyway is that 3 banjos now???? Yay <><><><. your friend, Guy Ps My 1905{?} tubaphone vega was one of the best sounding banjos I have ever heard!!! May they live in musical honor long......


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Subject: RE: BS: Deering Goodtime Banjo
From: Sailor Dan
Date: 03 May 00 - 12:13 AM

For those people that are looking for a good banjo in the previously played category, you might want to contact Janet Davis. If you call she will probably answer the phone personally.. She is quite knowledgeable,friendly and extremely helpful, especially to people like myself who are inexperienced. She is really down to earth as an individual and fair.. She usually has a number of "good" banjos on a consignment basis at some good prices. I bought my Deering from her without a test run. It came completely set up, clean and restrung with light weight Gibson strings and has sounded like a dream ever since I received it.


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