Deering banjos has two new models in its popular Goodtime line of less expensive, American made instruments. The Goodtime banjos have been a hit with both new banjo pickers wanting to start with a low cost but solidly made instrument, and more seasoned players looking for a more casual, travel or knockaround banjo.
The first new entry is the plectrum version of the venerable Goodtime template. A plectrum is a four string banjo with the same scale length as a five string (22 frets), unlike its shorter-necked four string cousin, the tenor banjo. Like the other Goodtime models, this Deering plectrum is made from rock maple – maple neck with maple/birch laminated rim – and has a simple flange with 16 brackets.
The Goodtime plectrum is available in 8 different configurations, ranging from $499 for the basic, plain maple model with no resonator to a resonator, tone ring model for $1139.
With the addition of the plectrum model, the Goodtime line has grown from a single, open back 5 string to a sub-set of Deering banjos with both open back and resonator, right and left hand strung, short and long neck tenors, and models with tone rings in addition to the plectrum.
The other new Goodtime banjo is a limited edition model called the Midnight Special. It is a five string, resonator model with a solid black stain offset by mother of pearl inlays in the dark-stained fingerboard.
The Midnight Special differs from the basic Goodtime banjos with a number of upgrades. The rim is made with red maple, and has a steel tone ring installed. The tuners are planetary with a geared fifth peg and the resonator is bound.
It sells for $1179 and can be ordered from any Deering dealer, or from the Deering web site.