Forum - Banjo Ben Clark

Another Banjo Quandry

After my last deal went south I am now considering either a '09 Deering Golden Era or a 2017 Huber Workhouse. Both are exactly in my price wheelhouse. Can anyone offer pro’s or cons on these models?

I have to endorse the Huber because I’ve played a half dozen of these and all have been stellar.

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My choice would be the Huber

Workhorse I meant.

Sounds like a good quandary to have. Fun getting to shop like that.


Oh, I don’t know. I think I’ll wait until I deserve a new banjo.

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Every recording of the Workhorse I’ve heard was excellent. I’ve never played one, but I love the tone I’ve heard.

Hey, did you get my PM?

Depends on what you play now. I’ve noticed that having a good banjo is a must to play well. Or that is at least my experience.

I am currently working with the seller of the Huber, asking a few questions. It’s already spiked and has a good case. I think I may make an offer tomorrow. The only real problem with my Epiphone MB250 has kind of a horse leg for a neck. It’s an inch thick at the 12th fret. I am inquiring now about the actual neck thickness on the Huber. I am hoping there will be some difference.

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What would the advantage of a Huber workhorse be over a Deering Sierra or Deering Lotus? I am ready to purchase from one of these companies but I can’t find good information about both advantages and disadvantages, is there anyone who can answer that?

Stixx, after playing the Deering the neck feels very flat in my hand. The banjo I currently play has a more rounded neck. Do you know if the Workhorse has a more rounded neck. I have not played one yet.

The Deering is going to be a fine instrument, no doubt. It really depends on what sound and style you’re going after. If you want the old Gibson look and sound, then that is Huber’s “deal.” Deering has their own look and sound that is great, but it’s just different. The Deering will be a more ornate banjo, whereas the Huber money will go more into the materials and effort to get the classic sound.

By the way, if y’all are looking at purchasing any of these new, let me know and I’ll get you the best deal around.

You can’t go wrong with either, by the way. I know that adds to the quandry, but it’s a good quandry to have.

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Huber! I have a Hartford Pop-off resonator and have had other Deerings. If you have a chance to play both you may find the Deering to your liking. Huber is a known deal all the way around especially for Scrugg’s.

What I’m trying to find right now out since I might make an offer without getting to touch it is the thickness of the neck along the length of the neck compared to my MB 250. A few years ago I got to handle a Gibson and the neck seemed considerably thinner along it’s length compared to my MB 250 and the playability between the two was night and day. Now, in terms of measured distance perhaps it may have only been 1/8 to 1/4 less than mine. At least is felt that way. I didn’t get to actually measure it a the time. And perhaps it wasn’t even standard. It might have been a custom for all I know. For reference I can say that my Epihone MB -250 is 1 1/4 nut. It’s thickness at the nut starts at roughly 7/8 ,then 1" at the 12th fret on to 1 1/4 at the 16 fret which is where the radius starts at the heel of the neck. My MB is by no means unplayable and it’s the only banjo I really have any experience with. But I know I have wrapped my digits around something that for me was a much better fit. I’m just trying to find out if I imagined it or if there are thinner necks in the world and what banjo’s I might find them on. If anyone as any insight I would appreciate it!

I’m not much on overdone aesthetic flourish. Personally I’m not fond the gold plated everything kind either. I think it’s a bit garish, but that’s just me. Sounds more like the Huber might be my jam.

I understand the looks are important… but I advise… for what it is worth… go take each model for a test drive… and close your eyes to concentrate on SOUND and FEEL. I want to believe that one will just be “right” in your hands… and you will just know. In my mind, looks are important but AFTER the sound and feel characteristics.

At least you have solid across-the-board consensus that the two are both fine instruments… and therefore, no bad choice is possible.! Seems Huber had a slight edge.

Also, we think of these as marriages almost, don’t we? Truth be told, there is no law to say you cannot buy/sell later… so RELAX and ENJOY the experience.

I also know for me, the “investment” is considerable… but it is what you put into the axe that places the long-term intrinsic value into the instrument - beyond what money can buy.

I hope considering these other factors will help you realize… no BAD choice here… just YOUR choice matters.

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I couldn’t agree more. I just bought the Huber and it ships tomorrow! I do know that at some point the money spent goes beyond function and is purely spent on form, which is fine if that is what someone is looking for but it’s just not for me. I don’t mind a splash mind you, but I don’t get too worked up over the “decoration”. Thanks for your
input. It was a fun thread.


Hopefully, at this hour, let me be the first to congratulate you, sir! Enjoy it and let these good vibes wash away the troublesome ones!

Now, do report back on your experiences with it in the days ahead.

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Absolutely! I will.

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