Deering Banjo Company has added three new gauges to its offerings for banjo players, along with redesigned packaging for the entire line. This brings the total to seven different sets for five string banjoists, plus one for six string, two for tenor, and one for plectrum banjos.
The first of the new sets is designed specifically for their Julia Belle banjo, a variation of their John Hartford model created in collaboration with Alison Brown. As a low-tuned banjo, heavier strings sound best on this model, and the Julia Belle strings come gauged .012, .014, .o20w, .024w, .012. The heavier wound third helps get a deep growl in the low E tuning recommended for this banjo.
The Vintage Light set was made in honor of the Bell Brand strings that were popular in the 1950s. Many bluegrass players prefer this lighter gauge for the crispness of tone and the ease of pull-offs on the third string. This set comes in at .0095, .011,. 012, .020w, .0095.
Deering endorser Jens Kruger likes this gauge, and explains that…
“For an authentic bluegrass sound, the Vintage Light Set will provide the true feel and tone of the good old days. Clean attack, plenty of volume, distinct note separation, as well as excellent properties for sliding and bending.”
The final new set is their Extra Light set, a nod to a gauge that was in common use in the 1970s. These are lighter on the outside than the Vintage Lights, and slightly heavier in the middle: .009, .010, .013, .020w, .009.
All of these new sets are loop end strings, and carry a retail price of $7.99/set. Made by Dunlop Manufacturing, they consist of superior quality carbon steel for longer life and tuning accuracy.
Deering banjo strings are available wherever musical accessories are sold, or directly from Deering online.