Forum - Banjo Ben Clark

Deering Goodtime Zombie

Is this a decent banjo, or just a marketing ploy
looks pretty neat

Deering Goodtime Zombie Killer. … 2346867550

1 Like

Probably a bit of both. I like it.

Not many here in Canada. I found one shop that has one in Edmonton and we are here for Xmas. Going to run down and take It for a test drive. Put a lowball bid on ebay for one out of States. I’d be a conversation piece around campfire next year to say the least.

I have to admit I have never played a Goodtime nor this particular model.

For that advertised price though, you can surely pick up a quality tone ring banjo (with a proper fretboard and a truss rod). I think that Goodtime, cool looking though it may be, is not going to be much different from the other models.

ok…i’m an idiot…a ring tone banjo would be???
Also, can u explain proper fret board and truss rod? Please and thanks

a better question I should ask is, if you were going to buy a banjo for about that money, what would you buy? I have a washburn, but looking for something better…sounding and to play. Thanks in advance

I don’t know much about banjos, but I looked at a recording king model in that price range that seemed impressive. It sounded good to my untrained banjo ears and the action looked good to my untrained banjo eyes.

But it didn’t have zombies on it, so there was that drawback…

— Begin quote from "ez2cy"

ok…i’m an idiot…a ring tone banjo would be???
Also, can u explain proper fret board and truss rod? Please and thanks

— End quote

A bluegrass style banjo, say like the banjos that Ben plays, have a heavy brass ring between the wooden rim and the plastic head. This makes the banjo very loud (and heavy, up to 13+ lbs is normal) and, some will say, gives it that distinctive ‘bluegrass’ sound.

So something like a Recording King RK 35 has gotten really good reviews as a cost effective bluegrass style banjo. You can, if you’re lucky and patient, find USED ones in the same price range as that Zombie banjo’s NEW price. The recordings I have heard of this banjo sound good but I know it is heavy, in the 13+lb range.

The Goodtimes, if you know guitars a bit, do not have a separate fretboard, so they are more like vintage Fender electric guitar maple necks, where the frets are inserted into the neck itself. Not in itself a bad thing though most bluegrass style banjos, following the pattern of vintage Gibson Mastertone banjos, will have a rosewood fretboard on a maple neck.

And the Goodtimes have no truss rod. Not a big deal in the tradeoff in price but it does mean if the neck starts to bow or warp, you have to buy a new banjo (or at least a new neck). I also use the truss rod to make very small action adjustments (very UNHIGHLY recommended) so you can’t do that with the Goodtime.

I have seen used Goodtimes for as low as $250 (once on my local Kijiji) but they are more common in the sub $400 range (you cannot get a RK35 for this price). Goodtimes are made in the USA and you do pay more for that. Recording Kings are made in China (under the supervision of Greg Rich who used to be production manager for Gibson when they made banjos).

I also have heard that going from a beginner Washburn banjo to a Goodtime is kind of a sideways move. Going to a RK 35 (not an RK 20) is definitely upward.

bluenote…closing soon but you think this is a good banjo? Thanks … 20f2db4023

read reviews at banjo hangout…I’m bidding and oh so excited! What a Christmas gift to me!

bought it!!!

I really don’t know anything about these older Asian clones but like you, I heard on the Banjo Hangout that they are not bad.
It seems to me that you did not pay a lot for what might be a pretty good sounding banjo.

Congratulations on your Christmas gift. Merry Christmas!