View Full Version : Whats wrong with the cheap brunswick (contender)

01-23-2004, 07:05 PM
I hate pool table shopping! Just when I'm about to make a decision I hear somthing that says wait!

I'm all set to buy a Kasson and everyone keeps talking about Brunswick. I go there and all I can afford are the cheaper ones (contender model). Brunswick dealer says it's all about the cushion and know one but olhausen can compare(cushions don't look all that excpensive). Then he throws in brunswick and olhausen use superior building material (nuts and bolts etc).

But it seems I've heard some complain or ward off the cheap brunswicks. Other than some cheaper cabinet parts is there any other reason.

01-23-2004, 08:01 PM
I lean towards buying used for the best value. A pool table lasts a long time. There is a good chance if you get the right table you will own it the rest of your life. How many thing you will ever own can you say that about. Don't be in a hurry.

01-23-2004, 08:05 PM
I havent had a cheap Brunswick so I really cant answer that one. All I can say is I have heard several complain about a cheap Brunswick, but really havent heard anything negative about Kasson.

01-23-2004, 08:22 PM
Diamonds - are forever /ccboard/images/graemlins/smirk.gif

01-24-2004, 04:25 PM
I know I have pushed the Kasson table with you in the previous post, so I'll spare you this time...hehe. But for real, I think the biggest difference in all tables is the construction of them. This comes down to several key things:

- Frame construction
- Woods/veneers/particle boards used
- Cushions
- Slate thickness
- Diamonds (pearlized, painted, custom, etc)
- Decorative legs
- Leather/drop in pockets
- Accessory packages
- Cloth (Simonis, "house" cloth, etc)

Many cheaper tables will have cheaper frame construction, utilize veneer or particle board, use 3/4" or 7/8" slate, drop in pockets, cheaper cushions & house cloth. Heck, some cheap tables even use "Slatron" or similar which is a "slate substitute". That is just sick & wrong, end of story.

I know you may not like doing this, but I think it would be wise for you to study the different frame constructions and go and compare them on various models. You will start to see the differences, and how cheaper models are built more poorly. To me, a good frame is very key. As already noted, you will likely have this table for the rest of your life if you make a good selection or don't sell it...don't cheat yourself here. Simply stated, if the frame is well built, it will stand the test of time.

My second thing of importance is the slate. I strongly suggest a 1" minimum slate, and getting either Italian or Brazilian. Although there are other sources for slate, these guys are PROVED for providing quality product. The slate will last longer than you, unless you somehow break it, so don't cheese on it. And please, please don't ever even think about going with a "slate substitute" product.

My third important is the quality of the cushions. And while I rank them as 3rd, I also understand they can be replaced fairly easily and cheaply should you need to do so, which leads me to believe if I found a table with great frame construction, good slate & just "okay" cushions, but for a very good price I would do it knowing I may replace those cushions later. If you save enough $$, replacing them won't be a big factor.

The remaining things may be imporant to others, but aren't deal breakers for me. We all have our own preferences, so debating rather leather pockets vs. drop in pockets are better is pointless in my opinion. Usually the more decorative items you get rather it be legs, pockets, etc. will cost you more money. About the only thing I really think people put alot of value on are the accessory packs that most dealers use to entice someone to buy the table. Usually you get house cues and a cheap set of balls in them, and if you don't have anything at all or can't afford more than I guess they are okay. I just hate all the hype they put on them. Give me a quality package, and you have the right to brag a little. Otherwise, keep your accessory pack and knock some $$ of the table for keeping it.

I know these answers aren't specific to Contender, and that is because I haven't personally laid hands on a Contender table. But I have seen the cheap Brunswick plated tables, and these are suppose to be cheaper...I can't imagine them being any better. But maybe using a general guideline like this will help you to pay attention to details that will allow to select a table to keep a lifetime!

01-25-2004, 07:32 AM
Maybe thinner slate, less bracing underneath, narrower rails...my first table, a $3k Brunswick furniture table, had only 3" rails..hard to play off the rail when they are that narrow.

Read Popcorn's post again. Be patient. Look around, ask around, get newspapers from neighboring towns or look up their want-ads on the internet. Search some.You'll find a first class bargain and be really happy with yourself and your used Gold Crown or Anniversary or?

It will save you THOUSANDS of $$$$.