This was my first serious cue purchase. I've been playing for several years now and was tired of choosing from the pile at the local bars and pool halls. I'm OVERWHELMINGLY HAPPY with my decision!! Excellent craftsmanship and performance, a definite advantage over the house sticks. The G-Core Shaft, although not a high-end, low-deflection shaft, just plays amazingly. I've only experienced roughly 2 1/2 inches of deflection with max english and power ( But that's my shaft, yours may differ). Paired with the 3/8X10 joint gives this cue a very solid hit, hardly any vibration (if any) through the rest of the cue, even with forceful strikes. The Everest tip grips the ball superbly ( I have played everyday since I got it, and have not miscued yet, AND I HAVE TRIED). I let some of the old pool hounds where I play try it out, everyone who did play with it had nothing but positive things to say and compared it to their own cues, which are hundreds more dollars than this. The Cocobolo Wood really pops along with the white and silver rings and Brown white Speck Irish Linen wrap, rolls dead straight, secure joint, smooth shaft, holds chalk, and comes with a free case, what more do you want. Seriously, buy the damn thing, it's awesome!!!! McDermott scored a 10 out of 10 with this one!!!