Deering vs. Gold Tone Banjos (Which One Is Better?)

Pro Music Vault Home Comparisons Banjo Comparisons Deering vs. Gold Tone Banjos (Which One Is Better?)

If you find yourself looking to buy your first banjo, you might be wondering what the difference is between a Deering banjo and a Gold Tone banjo.

Many banjo players will agree that the Deering banjo gives a much better tone and is more comfortable.

Deering banjos are also known for being able to last over a prolonged lifetime of use.

A Deering banjo is made from a firm and sturdy maple finish, and may sometimes actually look more basic than other banjo models.

The sound of your Deering banjo is always going to depend on the specific model that you choose.

On the other hand, we have the Gold Tone banjos.

For some prospective banjo owners, especially beginners looking for a more affordable yet still quality banjo, the Gold Tone banjo might be the best fit.

The Gold Tone banjo has a pitch rim, twin coordinating rods, standard banjo keys, and a chord board.

As far as the price range, the Gold Tone banjo tends to be much cheaper than the Deering banjo.

There are some truly solid options with both brands, and its pretty hard to narrow them into just a couple of recommendations for each. But that’s our job, so here are a couple of great choices for each brand – one is more of a “standard” option, while the other is a “premium” if you want to step your banjo game up a bit.

Deering Goodtime 2 Resonator Banjo with Hard Case
Deering Artisan Goodtime II 5-String Resonator Banjo
Gold Tone CC-100R Cripple Creek Banjo with Resonator (Five String, Clear Maple)
Gold Tone BG-150F Banjo
Our Recommended Deering Banjo
Deering’s Premium Option
Our Recommended Gold Tone Banjo
Gold Tone’s Premium Option
Deering Goodtime 2 Resonator Banjo with Hard Case
Deering Artisan Goodtime II 5-String Resonator Banjo
Gold Tone CC-100R Cripple Creek Banjo with Resonator (Five String, Clear Maple)
Gold Tone BG-150F Banjo
Deering Goodtime 2 Resonator Banjo with Hard Case
Our Recommended Deering Banjo
Deering Goodtime 2 Resonator Banjo with Hard Case
Deering Artisan Goodtime II 5-String Resonator Banjo
Deering’s Premium Option
Deering Artisan Goodtime II 5-String Resonator Banjo
Gold Tone CC-100R Cripple Creek Banjo with Resonator (Five String, Clear Maple)
Our Recommended Gold Tone Banjo
Gold Tone CC-100R Cripple Creek Banjo with Resonator (Five String, Clear Maple)
Gold Tone BG-150F Banjo
Gold Tone’s Premium Option
Gold Tone BG-150F Banjo

Still need to make up your mind? You can explore this article to find out more about each of these banjo brands.

Table of Contents

About Gold Tone and Deering Banjos

Banjo players have a wide range of selections when it comes to brands. However, these two banjo brands have been delivering consistent quality seemingly forever, and are now the top banjo brands chosen by individuals in the market.

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In fact, Gold Tone and Deering banjos are among the most famous and well-known banjo brands of all time. These two are still often duking it out as the number one recommendation of banjo experts to people who want to learn how to play the banjo.

With that, let’s dig deeper into these two popular brands of banjos.

Gold Tone

The first of these popular banjo brands is the Gold Tone banjo. The Gold Tone banjo was created and developed by the Gold Tone Music Group company, founded in 1993.

Since then, the company has released exceptional and high-quality vintage banjo designs.

The origins of the Gold Tone Music Group were established by two folk music lovers, Wayne and Robyn Rogers, in 1970. The brand was once named Strings N’ Things Music Center in 1978, and was eventually renamed to Gold Tone Music Group in 1993.

Wayne Rogers produced the first Gold Tone banjo, called the TB-100.

As their brand became well-known and more frequently reviewed by banjo experts, Wayne decided to create more exceptional vintage collectibles and designs of banjos.

The Gold Tone banjo has proven to be both a high-quality and affordable instrument that is suitable for beginners starting out in their banjo playing journey.


The next banjo brand on our list would be the Deering banjo. The Deering banjo brand also emerged in the mid-70s, specifically in 1975.

It was established and founded by Greg and Janet Deering in the Spring Valley region of California.

After decades of making banjos, the Deering banjo is now one of the most well-known and popular banjo brands in the market.

The Deering banjo brand focuses on making the most well-crafted handmade banjos at a wide range of prices.

Deering banjos, known as the Great American Banjo Company, is led at CEO by Greg and Janet’s daughter, Jamie Deering.

The Deering banjo brand is continuously thriving and creating banjos for new generations of players as time goes by.

Types of Banjos Offered by Gold Tone and Deering

Each brand has its best-selling and unique designs of their banjos. Here’s some more info about the most popular types of banjos that each brand offers.

Gold Tone Banjo Types

Two of the most popular Gold Tone banjos include the Gold Tone CC-100R and the Gold Tone CC-50, which are known as some of the top banjos for beginners.

The Gold Tone CC-100R is a full-featured banjo that still comes with a reasonable price tag. The banjo’s neck, body, and bands are made from maple.

Also, the Gold Tone CC-100R banjo includes copper tension rods and two-way adjustable locking tuners.

Another great feature of the Gold Tone CC-100R banjo is its black frame with a curvy maple truss rod cover. It also has moderate string tension which provides for great playing performance in the banjo.

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The Gold Tone CC-100R includes an excellent modulator that is great for producing rich and bright tones. One unique feature about this banjo is its accessible back that you can open to generate pleasant tones.

The Gold Tone CC-100R has five strings and a pitching mechanism that allows you to adjust the tune of your banjo quickly.

Another popular model is the Gold Tone CC-50 open-back banjo. This type of banjo is suitable and recommended for banjo beginners.

It’s lightweight, has satisfactory quality and durability, and its exceptional design and color set this banjo apart from others.

Deering Banjo Types

If you are looking for another brand and type of banjo, then we also highly recommend the Deering Goodtime 2.

The Deering Goodtime 2 banjo features a covered-back design and a solitary connected maple soundboard that is essential in providing excellent sound transmission.

The Deering Goodtime’s lightweight design makes it easy to play for extended periods of time, while the three-ply maple rim provides a bright and articulate tone. The Deering Goodtime also features an adjustable truss rod that makes it easy to adjust the neck, which helps the instrument stay in tune.

The distressed satin finish gives the banjo a vintage look, and the delicate inlay work on the fingerboard adds a touch of elegance.

Overall, the Deering Goodtime Banjo is an excellent choice for both beginners and experienced players.

What Are Gold Tone and Deering Banjos Made From? Where Are They Manufactured?

The Gold Tone Banjo

  • Made from: Maple, Rosewood, Ebony, and Blackwood materials
  • Manufactured from: Korea and China-owned factories

The Deering Goodtime 2 Banjo

  • Made from: Maple and Nickel plated materials
  • Manufactured from: Spring Valley, California

While we’re talking materials and construction, it’s worth a reminder – if you’re buying your first banjo, don’t forget a case! You don’t want to be caught in a situation where you have to lug your banjo somewhere and realize you never got around to picking up that case. It’s worth it to protect against all those bumps and bruises in the long run!

[PRO TIP: Get hardshell protection with this banjo case that doesn’t break the bank.]

Differences Between Gold Tone and Deering Banjos

The main difference between the Gold Tone and Deering banjos are their build, durability, the equipment used, and, of course, their price tags.

The Gold Tone is said to have more variants and designs, and is much more affordable than the Deering banjo. It is also especially recommended for beginners.

On the other hand, the Deering banjo line tends to be much more durable and well crafted. That comes with the trade-off of typically being more costly than Gold Tone.

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The two brands both offer more than enough in terms of sound quality, but Deering packs a little more punch in that regard. Both of them will get you set up to start playing great sounding banjo tunes.

We should also mention here – if you want to keep that sound quality consistent, a good tuner is pretty much a must-have accessory to add on when you’re purchasing a banjo.

There are some cool banjo-specific tuners out there that are worth a pick-up.

[PRO TIP: Avoid tuning frustration with this tuner designed specifically for the banjo.]

The Final Verdict – Are Gold Tone or Deering Banjos Better?

To help you decide between two brands, overall we’d recommend that beginners get the Gold Tone banjo, as it is more lightweight, affordable, and has a ton of variety and designs to choose from.

On the other hand, the Deering Goodtime 2 banjo is much more suitable for intermediate or even professional banjo players.

Whichever you choose, you pretty much can’t go wrong with these two brands!


What is the difference between Deering and Gold Tone Banjos?

Deering banjos are known for their hand-crafted, high-quality construction, while Gold Tone banjos offer more affordability and versatility in their design options.

Is Deering a better brand than Gold Tone?

It ultimately depends on personal preference and intended use. Deering is considered a premium brand, while Gold Tone offers great value for the price.

How do Deering Banjos compare in terms of sound quality?

Deering banjos are known for their warm, clear tone that is perfect for bluegrass and traditional music styles.

How does the price of a Deering Banjo compare to a Gold Tone Banjo?

Deering banjos are generally more expensive than Gold Tone banjos, due to their hand-crafted construction and premium materials.

Are Gold Tone Banjos a good choice for beginner players?

Yes, Gold Tone banjos are an excellent choice for beginner players due to their affordability and versatility in design.

Are Deering Banjos better for intermediate or advanced players?

Deering banjos are well-suited for intermediate to advanced players who are looking for a high-quality instrument with a traditional sound.

What is the warranty on a Deering Banjo compared to a Gold Tone Banjo?

Deering offers a limited lifetime warranty on their banjos, while Gold Tone offers a limited one-year warranty.

Are Deering Banjos made in the USA?

Yes, Deering banjos are made in the USA in their factory in Spring Valley, California.

How do the necks of Deering and Gold Tone Banjos compare in terms of playability?

Deering banjos are known for their comfortable, fast-playing necks, while Gold Tone banjos offer a range of neck options that cater to different playing styles.

What kind of music styles are Deering and Gold Tone Banjos best suited for?

Deering banjos are best suited for traditional bluegrass and folk music styles, while Gold Tone banjos are versatile and can be used for a range of musical genres.

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