This cue is finely crafted, with real inlays and high grade woods. The reddish brown goncola wood looks rich and expensive. This cue looks like it should cost $300 or more. Even the beige rings near the joint collar are real wood inlays. The stick I received is perfectly straight, straighter than my wife's $400 stick, based on the table-roll test. It has a nice medium-firm hit and draws the cue ball well. The center of balance is further forward than on most sticks, which provides more stability on the bridge hand. The shaft is extra smooth, with very low friction. I used #600 sand paper lightly to make the shaft even smoother. I also like to seal the shaft wood on all my cue sticks with fluorinated liquid ski wax (Swix F4).