Deering Boston Banjo pot

Deering® Boston Banjos

      “The Boston has quite a history behind it. When we started out to build Deering Banjos the very first banjo we made was called the Intermediate and the heart, or basic guts of that banjo is a relatively new concept and that is that the pot is made out of steel. The steel has good weight and a very good ring for a banjo that is made in a little bit of a lower price range. The inspiration came from a gentleman that used to make banjos up on Mount San Jacinto in a community called Idyllwild. His name was Dave Sleeter. He was a fellow that liked living up in the mountains and built banjos in his cabin and he would make a steel pot and the way he made them was very expensive to make, but the banjos sounded really, really good. So I determined that there was less expensive ways to make the steel rim and it would sound just the same as Dave’s. So we started making them and we started using the 24 piece flange on it because it was really hard to get the holes in a steel rim so perfectly spaced that we could put a whole flange plate on it. We originally were buying flange pieces from Liberty banjo but they kept running out and didn’t want to make any more, and about that time Great Lakes Banjo had quit doing business and we started buying flange pieces from Mark Zimmerman and soon they were all gone, so Mark offered to sell us the die. We bought the die from him, his dad had made the die and we still have the die and we have a punch press that is old and rickety and I won’t let any of our employees run it. We still today, all these years later, this is from the late ‘70’s, come in after hours and Janet and I run the punch two or three times a year. We still personally run the punch press to make those flanges.

      The interesting thing about the steel rim is that when we first started making it we went to the San Diego Bluegrass Club. When we got out of the car we could hear the parking lot picking going on and there would always be one banjo that I could hear all the way across the parking lot. We kind of made a game out of going and finding out whose banjo that was, and over a period of time we started to notice that almost every time it was a Boston . That steel rim has a really good clarity of tone. It carries really well and will project beyond banjos that cost a lot more. It is a really good jamming banjo. We call it the Boston because of the banjo heritage of the city of Boston. Over a hundred years ago the whole Mecca of banjos and the banjo world was centered around the city of Boston.” - Greg Deering
      3 products