I found what appears to be a nice looking but very simple second hand five string banjo. I am interested in buying this instrument but have little idea how to evaluate it. I would like to use it to learn how to frail. The neck seems straight, the tone ring feels substantial and it seems that the lining of the ring is wood and it is tightly attached to the ring itself. There is no resonator and there are no holes in the head although it looks as though it has been well played.
THe only inlay is mother of pearn dots to indicate the frets. There are two tiny nicks in the fretboard but they are far from the strings and the wood near there does not seem to be loose.
As you might have guessed, the banjo was made by Lyons and Healy, at least according to the sales tag it was but I can't see any maker's mark.
The asking price is $295. Anyone have any thoughts on the matter?