I recently received my custom cue from a very reputable cue maker, and while I gave him several specs I forgot to specify shaft taper, and when I went to play with it I discovered this maker uses a conical vs. the more typical pro taper. It is a different look, for me anyway, and it affects how I sight down the shaft. Anyway, I looked at getting a spare shaft with a radial joint and most are in the $275 and above price range. I thought I'd tried a Schmelke to keep the cost low and now that I have it I'm impressed. I picked the tip, shaft diameter, and ferrule and it cost just $110, which is almost free. It fits my custom cue perfectly and plays great. It looks like quality wood and the tip was shaped perfectly. I have a Schmelke cue a couple years old and while I don't play with it any more this company really delivers quality products at bargain prices.