I have an OB-3 Gold Tone banjo (Twanger) that was part of the original batch from the Banjo Ben General Store, and I absolutely LOVE it. I have recommended it to others, and would not hesitate to do so again. The decision to purchase it was based upon an extensive banjo pilgrimage that took place during and shortly after the inaugural Cabin Camp at Ben Clark’s house in the spring of 2019.
My original banjo was a 3rd-hand open-back Deering Goodtime in need of some TLC, and it has served me well. Before my hands-on banjo pilgrimage, I had dreams of getting a new Deering Sierra, but certainly did not have the budget to match. Fast forward to this summer…an acquaintance of a co-worker had a used banjo for sale, and knowing I had an interest in banjos, he asked if I knew what a Deering Sierra was. My heart fluttered and I said, “Yes, why do you ask?”
I was a little disappointed it was a 2005 model (one year prior to the coveted 2006 Deering tone ring) and before the ornamented inlays were added to this model, but I told myself (and my wife) it was a very fair price for a 2005 Sierra, it was very low-mileage (only driven to church on Sundays for three or four years) and that at the very least I could resell it without losing anything but a little time. She was supportive of the idea and I now have a crow(d) of three banjos in our practice room (A.K.A. guest bedroom).
Well, I put new strings on it and tightened the head with the aid of my handy drum dial (both from the Banjo Ben General Store). It needed a little cleaning and polish, and because I much prefer a wooden armrest (and Deering now offers them on-line), I added that as well. Now, I’m careful to try to prevent my wife from feeding and caring for stray cats (“…and whatever you do, don’t put a collar on it or give it a name!”) But maybe I’m just as guilty with this banjo? It has a very warm, woody tone and is absolutely scratch-free (it purrs a little when I play it), and it came with a set of Keith D-tuners installed from the original dealer purchase by my co-worker’s acquaintance (as attested to by the accompanied receipts, of course.)
Now, I don’t want to sell it…because I’ve fallen in love with it. I don’t love my Twanger any less than before. My wife is not pressuring me to get rid of either one, and has not said a word (but has been eyeing a certain stray ginger tabby). I can clearly tell the difference between the sound of the two, and want them both for different reasons and for different songs or moods. Is it wrong for me to fall in love with TWO different resonator-back banjos?