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PTOEguy
02-12-2015, 03:37 AM
Last week I was able to visit the Deering Banjo Factory and play a prototype of their new banjo ukulele. Here's a few impressions:

It is built with the Deering Goodtime parts and ethos. It is built from high quality parts, focusing on the quality rather than on adding features. It has an 11 inch diameter pot made of three ply maple like the base model Goodtime banjos. The neck is made of maple with the neck and fingerboard being a single piece of wood (there is no separate fingerboard).

The sound is very mellow for a banjo uke with a lot of sustain. Notes are well defined and it has nice volume. The sound was way more refined than any banjo uke I've played.

Two things to be aware of:

1. If you're expecting a more typical banjo uke sound (brash with little sustain) you will likely have to get it from this with your technique than as a quality of the instrument.

2. the 11 inch pot makes for an unconventional look. It looks very wide for its length - but it didn't feel out of proportion to hold. I expect finding a case may be interesting.

RichM
02-12-2015, 04:02 AM
I admit to being a little disappointed, but I'm still dying to try one. Deering is my favorite banjo manufacturer, and I have a Maple Blossom five-string that is wonderful. I know some people like larger pots on banjo ukes, but the greater bass response kind of kills that ukey tone I love. Oh well-- it may not be for me, but I still expect they are very well-made instruments.

SteveZ
02-12-2015, 04:10 AM
Am really interested in the Deering B/U. I have a Deering Goodtime 17-fret tenor banjo and the B/U looks like a compressed version by the way the fretboard and neck have been designed.

Question - the bridge arrangement looks interesting compared to the standard banjo bridge. Does it seem to sit more solid?

bazmaz
02-12-2015, 04:17 AM
I used to own a full size Deering Goodtime and it was superb.

Interested in this - and I am never normally interested in uke banjos personally.

Silly question - what is it strung with? Steel or nylon / fluoro?

PTOEguy
02-12-2015, 08:55 AM
Am really interested in the Deering B/U. I have a Deering Goodtime 17-fret tenor banjo and the B/U looks like a compressed version by the way the fretboard and neck have been designed.

Question - the bridge arrangement looks interesting compared to the standard banjo bridge. Does it seem to sit more solid?

Yes - the bridge is set on a wider, solid piece of wood. They mentioned this is a deliberate choice to get the tone they were after.

PTOEguy
02-12-2015, 08:57 AM
I used to own a full size Deering Goodtime and it was superb.

Interested in this - and I am never normally interested in uke banjos personally.

Silly question - what is it strung with? Steel or nylon / fluoro?


I also think my full-size goodtime is pretty cool. The banjo uke was strung with latest generation Aquilas, which seemed slicker than some Aquilas I've played.

staylor
02-12-2015, 09:35 AM
I'm also a Goodtime banjo owner and appreciate that Deering makes left-handed versions of all its Goodtime instruments, including the new banjo uke.

Just happened to be corresponding with Carolina Bridges from Deering about this new instrument today, and she wrote, "The pictures don't really do it justice. It has a wonderful sound...uses the Goodtime pot assembly base with a Renaissance head and nylon strings (specs say Aquila Super Nylgut strings). Sounds very much like ukulele 'on steroids' because it has such great volume and note clarity all the way up its little wee neck."

Can't wait to try one. $499 retail, but Elderly lists them for $399. Should be shipping by March, Carolina said. Can't wait to try one!

PhilUSAFRet
02-12-2015, 01:28 PM
May be getting rid of my soprano and concert size banjo ukes to get one of these babies, but I'll want to try first. Hope they make a case for it. I'd prefer my banjo uke sound more like a banjo than a uke anyway.

SteveZ
02-12-2015, 03:44 PM
May be getting rid of my soprano and concert size banjo ukes to get one of these babies, but I'll want to try first. Hope they make a case for it. I'd prefer my banjo uke sound more like a banjo than a uke anyway.

Ditto on wanting more of a a banjo sound. The 11-inch head ought to help.

igorthebarbarian
02-12-2015, 06:39 PM
Oh man, now I want one of these even though I'm moving into a smaller apartment.... it does look a little goofy with the big pot and short neck.
http://www.deeringbanjos.com/products/goodtimebanjoukulele

PhilUSAFRet
02-12-2015, 07:23 PM
It's basically a concert size. I notice there were a few mandolin banjo ukes with the large pots way back when.

AJ Hill
02-12-2015, 08:27 PM
I have had a Mya Moe Beansprout banjo uke , and also a very nice Kevin Enoch tradesman banjo uke , the Deering looks like a great deal for the money maybe the best value out there when it's released although it's a bit on the ugly side I imagine it will play well

UkuEroll
02-12-2015, 08:52 PM
How Bizaar! I took delivery yesterday of my first ever Banjo, a Deering Goodtime Leader. If the quality of my new baby is anything to go by, the Banjolele is well worth a look at. In the Uk as far as I know the main Vendors who stock Deering are Eagle music, I'll have to go check if they're stocking them anytime soon.

SteveZ
02-13-2015, 02:58 AM
I keep looking at the current stable and don't know where I'd put one of these instruments. SpAce keeps getting tighter, and playing time is finite and divided among a lot already. Will probably have to wait until someone is ready to trade theirs away. In the meantime, back to the 17-fret tenor banjo.

I wonder....considering the parts used by Deering, steel strings may be a possibility for this instrument.