I just have to tell everyone how pleased I am with my Hoyt cherry wood Banjo #16, hand made by Zachary Hoyt. It is of the open back variety and has no tone ring other than the block rim itself which comes to a fairly sharp edge very similar to a tone ring shape. The neck is pretty robust, yet surprisingly very easy to play. I believe that the combination of the neck and block rim is what gives this banjo its’ great tone and more volume than you might think you would get from an open back. It has held its’ own in numerous jams right along side “bluegrass” banjos that are supposed to be loud. I play both 3 finger Scruggs and a modified claw hammer style and this banjo serves both styles equally. I play regularly in coffee houses and clubs in the Tampa area, and though I own several banjos, my go to banjo is always my Hoyt #16. If you are looking for a solid, easy to play, elegant looking banjo that is equally at home on the stage as well as on the back porch, look no further than a Zachary Hoyt hand made banjo.