Here's a fully functional vintage tenor banjo, with modern geared tuners and a new head and it's original hardshell case, for barely over five hundred bucks. What gives, you ask? Simple answer, while Ludwig was a major force in the Jazz Age banjo era, they're still remembered primarily as a drum manufacturer and not a fretted instrument maker. It's clear that back when banjos were all the rage in the 1920s, Ludwig looked at the tenor banjos on the market and realized that a banjo was little more than a drum with a banjo neck stuck on it. And since Ludwig had making drums all figured out, well, you get the idea. But today, it's the "pure" banjo maker brands that are remembered, such as Bacon, Paramount, Vega, and of course Gibson. But this Ludwig Kinston model isn't on a par with $2,000 Silverbell, it still functions as well or better than an inexpensive new Deering tenor and has that vintage vibe throughout. Frets are good, there are some cracks in the binding on the fingerboard and some nicks and dings in the original finish. A great banjo to start on, or to use when you want to add some vintage banjo tone to a recording without spending a fortune.