In terms of tone and playability this 15 years-old Deering Sierra has everything Deering puts on their expensive bluegrass models: thick 3-ply maple shell, cast one-piece resonator flange, cast bronze flathead tone ring, and a slim neck with ebony fretboard. Deering kept the price low on this model by keeping the binding and inlay simple and using a rather plain single-color stain on the mahogany with a satin-sheen finish. This example is even less expensive than usual because the resonator has light spots where the outer layer of the finish has lost adhesion to the finish layers below it (see photos 3-5, the neck doesn't have this problem at all). This is strictly a cosmetic issue as the resonator, like virtually all banjo resonators, is of laminated construction and would be perfectly stable even if all the finish fell off. Almost no fret wear, comes with the original Deering hardshell case. A lot of American-made bluegrass banjo for a very reasonable price.