We use this instrument in a purely acoustic ensemble that consists of several guitars, a trombone and a saxophone, djembe, cajon, castanets and somtetimes other miscellaneous instruments like accordion etc., and this little percussion is loud enough to hold its own and cut through the mix because it occupies a relatively high frequency range. There is a wide array of sounds you can get from it depending on how much you cup your hand, and you can also use it as you would the maracas.
Regarding build quality, it looks sturdy enough and aesthetically appealing with wood rings on top and bottom, but be careful as the handle tends to unscrew itself if you hold it too tight while rotating the beads.
All in all, it is a pretty cool little instrument that can double as a hi-hat in an acoustic band or ensemble and has a pleasant bossanova-ish sound.
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