The Allure of the Tenbrooks Series Banjos

by Carolina Bridges

What is it about a “classic” that draws folks throughout the ages? The timeless draw of a classic of anything is that it combines in its makeup a cross-generational desire for excellence. It is as if the designer was inspired by something greater than himself to create an item that could bring out the best in others.

You would be hard pressed to find two individuals more devoted to the love of banjo than Greg Deering and Jens Kruger. It is their combined passion for all that banjo can be that drove them to create the line of Deering banjos we call Tenbrooks.

From their inception, the Tenbrooks banjos have called out to those players who wanted the ultimate in a banjo playing experience. From the neck profile, to the tone ring construction and alloy content, through to the shape of the armrest and metal for the tailpiece…every detail of the banjo was poked, prodded, trimmed and tweaked by Greg and Jens. Nothing was left to chance; every tradition was challenged. It was a MUST to make it better than any other banjo made.

It has now been over a decade that Jens Kruger and Greg Deering started working together on banjos. Why then, is the world still “on fire” for the Tenbrooks banjos?  Because we have never ceased changing our banjos to answer the needs of our players.  Deering took what they learned about alloy content, subtleties of tone ring shape, and sound production in the Swiss made Kruger tone ring and used it to create the 2006 American made tone ring; now referred to as the Deering '06 tone ring. Tenbrooks players can choose either one and still find the ultimate clarity, resonance, fullness, and power that only a well-crafted tone ring can give.

And what about our rim? In 2008 Jens and Greg discovered that using a violin grade maple would improve the overall sound of the pot assembly. No longer were these elements stifled by a rigid housing. Now they are cradled securely in a rim that helps every last ounce of vibration make a difference in the overall tonality of the banjo; a sound so rich, round, and powerful that our players have taken notice across the line of all Deering banjos.

With the “silent” tailpiece metal, the elegant curvature of the armrest, and the stunning aesthetics of the Victorian fingerboard inlays, along with the new enhancements of the last few years, we can understand why demanding professionals and discerning banjo enthusiasts are still drawn by the allure of the Tenbrooks banjo. Among the award-winning and prominent stage professionals who have made the Tenbrooks banjos their main performing instrument are Scott Avett,  Bela Fleck, Tony Trischka, Ned Luberecki, Eric Gibson, Joe Bonsal (Oakridge Boys), Ryan Cavanaugh, Barry Waldrep, Richard Atkinson, Bob Bartosh, Andy Rau, David Bandrowski and Jens Kruger. While the list holds among it some of  the most elite banjo players in the world, the Tenbrooks is open for all to enjoy.




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