What Are the Differences Between the Goodtime and Artisan Goodtime Banjos?

by David Bandrowski

One of the most common questions we get from our customers is “What is the difference between the Goodtime and the Artisan Goodtime banjos?” There are several key differences, with most being aesthetic but there are a couple mechanical differences also. Even though they appear different the tone between the Goodtime and the Artisan Goodtime banjos are the same.

The key differences are as follows:


Both types of banjos are made of maple, but the standard Goodtime banjos are unstained and showcase the beautiful blonde maple wood, while the Artisan Goodtime banjos have a brown stain on them.


The Goodtime banjos have sealed guitar tuners while the Artisan Goodtime banjos have planetary tuners. The guitar style tuners stick out to the side and have a 14:1 gear ratio while the planetary tuners stick straight back from the peghead and have a 4:1 gear ratio. Although the planetary tuners have less of a gear ratio, thus making them harder to fine tune, they are the preferred type of tuner for banjo players mainly because they look traditional.



The Goodtime banjos do not have a separate fingerboard, The neck is all one piece of maple. The Artisan Goodtime banjos have a separate Midnight Maple fingerboard. Watch a video to learn more about the Midnight Maple fingerboard here!

5th String Spikes

On 5 string banjos players most often use model railroad track spikes placed in the neck under the 5th string usually at frets 7, 9, and 10 to act as a capo for the 5th string. The Artisan Goodtime banjos come with these preinstalled.


All of the Artisan Goodtime banjos come with an armrest installed. The Goodtime Two, Goodtime Special banjos (both resonator and openback versions), and Goodtime 6 string banjos, and Goodtime Americana come with an armrest.


The Goodtime banjos come with hardwood bowtie inlays. The Artisan Goodtime banjos come with vintage artisan style inlays.




Kristin Scott Benson chooses the Deering Golden Series banjos
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