For the Deering John Hartford Banjo, Greg Deering’s years of experience with various woods combined with John Hartford’s research into the design of vintage banjos culminated in the idea of using a “Grenadillo tone-ring” made from a wood used on marimbas.
This unique tone-ring is mounted on a three-ply maple rim with a zinc flange to create lighter weight (8 lbs instead of 11 or 12) banjo; a very good choice for bluegrass as well as other styles!
The Hartford sounds like a vintage pre-war banjo when new but also as it ages, it “plays-in” like a violin and gains in volume and presence the more it is played. We’ve seen it out-do even the best bronze tone-ring banjos in jam sessions!
The Deering John Hartford banjo is made of flamed maple and stained to a rich Cremona brown patina. The finish has a very vintage feel and look as it is hand rubbed to an attractive matte luster that also gives it a “fast” feel. The “Steamboat Gothic” inlay patterns reflect John’s enthusiasm for steamboats!
The Hartford tone-ring comes standard on the John Hartford model and can be ordered as a custom option on other models from the Sierra on up the line. The Hartford has the most surprisingly wonderful tone. You can listen to it on John Hartford’s “Down the River” and “Hartford & Hartford” albums. Other models featuring the Hartford tone-ring can be heard on recent albums by David Holt, John McCutcheon, Tom Chapin, and George Grove of The Kingston Trio!
* 1 1/4″ wide bone nut
* bound ebony fingerboard
* “Steamboat Gothic” inlay pattern
* flamed maple neck
* hand rubbed matte finish
* 22 frets
* 3-ply maple rim
* “Granadillo” wood tone ring
* one-piece zinc flange
* 9.5 pounds overall banjo weight
* double bound flamed maple resonator
Check out some of the artists using Deering Bluegrass banjos
Check out Grant’s Banjo Setup Q&A
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What we like: Deering Banjos
Deering Banjos, Tenbrooks Banjos, Vega Banjos, Goodtime Banjos — all made in the USA by the Deering Banjo company.
We keep an inventory of over 200 Deering banjos at all times, with 40 models including virtually all the Deering 5 string banjos, several Deering 6 string and Tenor models, plus the Vega open back 5 string models, the elite Tenbrooks 5 strings and a huge offering of the entry level Goodtime line of banjos.
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We have 6 full time luthiers on staff with the expertise to setup and service your instruments. All banjos we sill will be very thoroughly setup to suit your right hand attack and playing action expectations. Head tension, action, nut height, bridge and tailpiece positioning and installation of 5th string capo tacks are issues that we deal with as each and every banjo is sold. Plus there is no charge for follow-up adjustments on new banjos for the first year.