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Thread: Banjo uke advice sought

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
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    Oklahoma and Arizona
    Posts
    17

    Default Banjo uke advice sought

    Lately i have become interested in purchasing a banjo uke...i have seen demos on youtube of the deering goodtime banjo uke and it seems to be a good buy...i ownn a concert kahola opio and am very pleased with the quality..so my budget would be $600 or less...i appreciate any advise. Thanks in advance

  2. #2

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    I started one like this not too long ago. You might want to do a quick search for banjo uke.

    The quick consensus seemed to be that a lot of people liked the Deering, but it is quite heavy. The Duke 10 tenor had a lot of fans as did the Firefly.
    Hope that helps. I'm looking for one as well and since I'm not a fan of the weight, I'm leaning towards the Firefly. If the Duke came in concert size, I'd take that one.

    Waverly St ukes had some nice ones but a little out of my price range. To get a sound clip check youtube and troll for a guy playing "Whiskey in the Jar."

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2017
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    589

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    I just now seen this posted for the first time:

    http://ukerepublic.bigcartel.com/pro...-banjo-ukulele

    A far cry from a Deering Goodtime, but might be fun. I'm actually looking for a Firefly soprano myself.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Chicago
    Posts
    235

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    What kind of sound are you looking for? The Deering is brash and loud. Reminiscent of a bluegrass banjo. I haven't had the chance to play one for more than a few minutes, so I can't say how easy it is (or isn't) to modulate the volume. My first impression was that I would have a hard time singing over it. YMMV

    The Duke 10 is easier to tame, more like a dixieland tenor banjo. Bright and snappy. Makes me want to wear a candy-striped blazer and a straw boater. I'm seriously tempted to get one of these; I wouldn't play it everyday but in the right ensembles and for the right music it's delightful.

    The soprano/concert Firefly is quieter, more like an old-time minstrel gut-strung banjo. It's the one I own because I want to be able to sing and play with other ukes without drowning them out. When somebody comes up to me (of their own free will) and says they loved hearing me play, chances are I'm playing the Firefly. People just love it.

    I haven't played a Firefly tenor but I sure would like to give it a try!

    The Gold Tone BU series are plunky, playable and loud. They sound like... well, like a banjo uke. Vaudeville all the way. Those clear plastic ones look like a lot of fun.

    I would say all of these are high-quality instruments (well, the plastic Gold Tones are probably a step down but nonetheless I feel that I may need a purple one). The trick is finding the right one for you.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Salt Lake City, UT
    Posts
    660

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    I have owned a firefly and currently own a Deering.

    The firefly is lightly built and has a lighter sound. The Deering has a very full tone (it uses the same 11" rim that they use on their standard banjos) but not as brash as some. I've also played the non-plastic Gold tones - they'll remove the paint from your walls if you get the one with the tone ring.

    I really like the way the Deering feels - they use a hard maple neck where the fingerboard and neck are all one piece, which can reduce neck profile changes with weather (you don't have two pieces of wood extracting/contracting at different rates - or so goes the theory).

    If it makes any difference, the Deering and Firefly are both built in the US, while Gold Tone is an import.

    For $600 you should be able to buy most anything on the market if you shop around.
    Blackbird Clara
    Concert Flea
    Pono MB
    Deering Goodtime Banjo Uke (concert)
    Gold Tone Resouke
    Hadean Uke-Bass
    Gold Tone Microbass
    Deering Goodtime Special (5-string banjo)

    Buckle Up
    http://ut.zerofatalities.com/

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    Twin Cities Area, Minnesota
    Posts
    1,756

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    Quote Originally Posted by bsfloyd View Post
    I just now seen this posted for the first time:

    http://ukerepublic.bigcartel.com/pro...-banjo-ukulele

    A far cry from a Deering Goodtime, but might be fun. I'm actually looking for a Firefly soprano myself.
    The demos of this sounded quite nice...for $150! Not bad!
    Playing ukulele since January 2016.

    Have you participated in the thread, "How the Ukulele Found You?" If not, please consider adding your story--they are just fun to read.

    http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/...lele-found-you

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Choirguy View Post
    The demos of this sounded quite nice...for $150! Not bad!
    I couldn't find an online sound clip. Do you have one or did you just see one somewhere?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    JoCo, NC (near Raleigh)
    Posts
    3,565

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    I had a Goldtone BUT for awhile, setup by Mim, and it was a good deal. Pretty heavy as others have noted, but good sound and very playable. Been thinking about getting another banjo uke myself lately.
    Current Stable:
    -Iriguchi Tenor "Weeble" - Bb, SC SMU
    -Blue Star 19" baritone Konablaster - DGBE
    -KPK pineapple SLN-GCEA
    -Cocobolo 16" SC#1-gCEA, SC SLMU
    -Ono #42 19" baritone, Ab, LW
    -Imua iET-Bb, M600
    -Covered Bridge CLN pineapple - Eb cuatro, SC XLL
    -Rogue bari
    -Bonanza super tenor, FBL cFAD
    -Kala KSLNG-C Lava
    Once upon a time:
    RISA Concert Stick
    Bruko sop. custom #6
    Lanikai lam hog bari
    Kala SLNG
    Bruko bari
    Gold Tone BUT
    Ohana TKS-15E


    Jim's Blog

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    Twin Cities Area, Minnesota
    Posts
    1,756

    Default

    Playing ukulele since January 2016.

    Have you participated in the thread, "How the Ukulele Found You?" If not, please consider adding your story--they are just fun to read.

    http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/...lele-found-you

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    PHX, AZ
    Posts
    2,172

    Default

    Buy the anuenue that’s in the marketplace here, so that I won’t have to!
    "If a lot of people play the ukulele, the world would be a better place to live."

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