A banjo builder moving to a small, isolated mountain town like Bryson City was an unlikely occurrence. Adding the fact that the builder is willing to listen to my thoughts to produce what I consider the ultimate old time banjo is a stroke of very good luck. Jeff Delfield’s passion is putting custom old time open back banjos into the hands of people lucky enough to have found him. I play fretless and fretted banjos made by Jeff and I could not be happier!
Frank Lee (Frank and Allie; The Freight Hoppers)
When you hold one of Jeff Delfield’s custom banjos, you feel like you’re sitting at a luxurious, carved table spread with gourmet delicacies. The high-quality wood feels smooth and full under your hands. The weight is comfortable, heavy enough to feel substantial but light enough to not cause fatigue. From the pot to the heel to the peghead, each detail has been meticulously chosen and crafted to suit your taste.
The craftsmanship alone is a delicious treat for your eyes and hands. Once you play it, the sound you hear and the resonance you feel fills you like a seven-course feast! The width of the fretboard gives your left hand a little more space to move, and the neck feels sturdy and smooth on your palm. Your right hand dances comfortably on the wider-set strings whether you place it over the signature double-scoop or barely over the head to get more volume. You may not feel a strong need to put a mute in the back, although it still sounds good if you do. The overtones aren’t distracting for some reason. Maybe it’s the combination of the deep pot and the Menzies goat skin head. The tone is like a juicy prime rib - more tubby than bright - filling you up with savory auditory goodness that you want to enjoy again and again.
Allie Lee (Frank & Allie; The Freight Hoppers; The Whipstitch Sallies)
I've had my Deep Creek Strings banjo since 2015, and it's an absolute joy! I'm lucky enough to live in the same town as Jeff, and was able to hang out in the shop and actually experience the deep (pun intended) love, care, and skilled craftsmanship he puts into every step of the building process. Since rolling off the assembly line, my Deep Creek Banjo has been on stage over 400 times, and never ceases to turn both heads, and ears, for both it's aesthetically pleasing appearance, and it's rich tone, which, after 5 years of HARD playing, sounds better than ever! 5 stars!!!
Jared (Blue) Smith (The Blue Revue)
I stumbled across Jeff’s website many years ago when he was building quirky cigar box banjos and the like. I followed his work as it kept its personality but got more refined, sculptural and most of all, gorgeous. I was really attracted to Jeff’s use of wood and its natural beauty. Enter opportunity! I bought an 1860s pot on eBay that looked like a whole lot of nothing. When I showed it to Jeff, he was a bit skeptical to re-neck this ugly duckling, but he was willing to take on the challenge. Even Jeff was shocked at the quality of the instrument that he created. It is a stunning piece of musical sculpture and sounds and plays like a dream. I own many many banjos from top makers like Romero, Unger, Fielding, Anderson and others. Jeff’s banjo holds a special place in my collection, not just because it is a beautiful piece of woodworking but because it has a truly unique musical personality. This is why I love Jeff’s work - they have character through and through.
R. Blakeslee Gilpin
Dear Jeff, I wanted to let you know that the banjo that you built for me has exceeded my expectations in every way. Everything from the quality of the materials to the tremendous attention to detail in its construction clearly shows that the banjo was made not only with great skill, but with love and a sense of pride in one’s craft. The photos that you sent me of the building process added to the excitement of receiving the finished product. Beyond all of these things, it is the sound and feel of the instrument that truly stands out. For both clawhammer and fingerstyle playing, I find that this banjo excels. It is a joy to make music with it. Thank you again!
I was stunned right out of the box how gorgeous this banjo is. And I was so happy to find out that looks are only half the story. It sounds phenomenal! It’s louder and more articulate than I was expecting for this style banjo. I am really happy with all the specs we settled on, and you nailed the sound I described to you. I am really excited to see where this goes for me going forward. Hopefully a lifetime love affair with banjo picking.
The Banjo I ordered was perfectly crafted and the intonation is incredible. Jeff worked with me through each part of the design and crafting process. I was updated on progress very frequently and the whole experience was phenomenal. The banjo is absolutely gorgeous and consistently the most asked about instrument in my collection, from other players and occasional passersby. I find it difficult to put into words just how exceptional holding and playing this instrument is, it is truly a work of art. Jeff's work will always come with my highest recommendation, you will not be disappointed.
After checking out one of my favourite banjo players playing his new Deep Creek Strings banjo, I was impressed with the Quality, Simplicity, and Sound. I had not heard of DCS, so I checked them out and contacted Jeff. Once I explained to Jeff what I wanted in a new banjo we chatted over the net, the pro's and con's of the build ( I'm in the UK). Once the Banjo was started Jeff kept me constantly informed by pics on Dropbox. Upon completion and shipping over to the UK I opened the case to find a banjo that was exactly to the specifications we had discuss. What a Beauty. I'd asked for simplicity and sound and I found that in spades. I can not give praise enough.
John Yeaman. Beverley UK
Jeff, the bloodwood Dobson banjo you built for me it sounds FANTASTIC. I´m just over the moon. She has that old sound - you can hear the wood just like a good old cello. Thanks for building such a wonderful banjo for me. It´s my pride and joy.
Just been noodling on the old Deep Creek fretless...You made a lovely instrument there. Its tone is developing nicely..getting richer and with a punchy funky attack if you need it. Folks who hear it always really like it. I like to play in the woods and wig out with it amongst the toadstools....its also got the old grounded - earthy and connected to world - feel to it. Biggest compliment of all … both the cat and my Mrs like it!