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pittpanther
02-08-2004, 08:59 AM
Ok, I was finally able to make it out yesterday to take a look at some of the table brands.

I started at Brizzi's, a small dealer in Laurel, MD who primarily carries C.L. Bailey and Kasson. The owner was the one who alerted me earlier in the week on the phone that many of the Kasson tables are imported now and that he will not carry them. Both tables appeared to be manufactured well, but neither really stood out. There were 2 "sales people" in the store, both of whom were too busy watching some Nascar event to provide any assistance - and I'm not sure how much meaningful information they could have provided anyway.

We then made our way to Champion Billiards in Rockville, MD who carry AMF, A.E. Schmidt and Olhausen among some others. I really liked the appearance of several of the Olhausens, and as luck would have it Donnie Olhausen was in the store for a big weekend sales event. He was very willing to discuss his tables and the manufacturing process (that's why he was there I suppose!) I told him my situation and that I was still leaning towards purchasing a Diamond Pro, and to both his and the store manager's credit they did not try to bash Diamond (except Donnie did say that they did not have many table offerings, kind of in an inquisitive manner). Anyway, to start Donnie led with a discussion of their Accu-Fast cushions and described why they are the most accurate in the industry (citing their rubber supplier's process, and the actual cushion design which leads to perfectly accurate banks). He said their cushions are warranted for life. I asked him about their slates, and he said they only have two (2) suppliers, both in Italy and that the prices for which have gone up quite a bit. Apparently, several of the Italian suppliers have gone out of business making the market less competitive and the Euro currently is doing well versus the Dollar. He also described the accuracy of the CNC automation equipment they employ to carve the hardwoods. Lastly, he mentioned their second to none UV protection process. All in all, he was very willing to offer his opinions on just about anything. He also said that he owns the Seville model (surprising, because its not their top of the line).

We talked for close to an hour - afterwards I began to inspect the tables. Even the Seville (a $7K+ list) only had two width-wise support beams, which seemed much less robust than the Kassons and C.L. Bailey's we saw earlier. In any event, there were a few tables we asked for pricing on - one was the Eclipse (which I later found out is a Veneer on their website), the second was a Remington (a close out of a floor model) and the last was the Seville. All 8' tables. The Remington would be a close out because the sales manager wanted to move the floor model (included Simonis cloth).

Eclipse ~ Price As Marked: $3,585 ~ Sale Price: $2,788
Remington ~ Price As Marked: $4,985 ~ Sale Price: $3,788
Seville ~ Price As Marked: $7,500 ~ Sale Price: $4,988

I am starting to realize just how MUCH of a markup these dealers are working with. While it appears that these tables were deeply discounted, I do not think ANY of them were remotely worth the sales price. In fact, MAYBE the Seville would be worth the sale price of the Eclipse. Also these prices did not include anything else - all accessories/starter kits were separate, and delivery/setup was $199. We said that we would think about it and left. I did appreciate the opportunity to speak with Donnie Olhausen, but other than that was mostly unimpressed. As an aside, I later read in some threads here that many people do not like the significantly different feel of the Olhausen cushions compared to other tables.

To round out the day, we stopped by an outdoor furniture store called Offenbacher's in Columbia, MD just to take a look at the Kasson imported tables (which they carry along with some Peter Vitalies). They indeed had some of the Kasson models - we looked closely at the Avanti from their Havea Series. Structurally, it appeared more solid than the Olhausens, but it did have a cheaper look and feel to the exterior. Maybe it was more related to the poor assembly job - I'm not sure. Like I mentioned, they also had a few Vitalie tables, which are very attractive. They were also the most structurally solid table we looked at all day - by far. I just do not have a feel for how well their tables perform. Even their website is more geared towards how the tables are manufactured from a furniture perspective.

Anyway, sorry for the long dissertation! We are going to try to make it out to a store in Owings Mills, MD called Cagles that sells Brunswick.

Regulator
03-09-2004, 12:59 AM
What did you buy ??

I trying to decide between:

Olhausen - Santa Ana or Eclipse (can get solid wood) - 1" slate from Italy. Old time dealer, but not sure how deep they'll discount.

Brunswick - Bradford has 3/4" slate, either Italian or Brazilian. Dealer seemed willing to make a deal.

American Heritage - Phoenix or Fairfax, haven't been to dealer yet, though I heard they had 1" Italian slate.

The only Kasson dealer is on the other side of Los Angeles, about 75 miles away. As the old saying goes, you can't get there from here - traffic.

kyhogan
03-19-2004, 11:43 PM
Ahh the woes of Table Shopping.

I have set my limit at $1500. And pretty much decided that to get a decent table in that price range it will have to be KASSON.

I then found a dealer in Atlanta who would sell me Havia models for 1300 and the better models like Austin for 1500 but then I have to drive there (10 hours) yadda yadda.

So I email the corporate office of the local business and lay it on the line. Suddenly the local store that would not wheel and deal with me called up and said OK you can have the "AVANTI" installed for $1450.

Wow I'm in business now. Any other brand all wood with 1' slate would be $2500 +.

Next thing you know:

The Brunswick/Olhausen Dealer is calling me saying you gotta to come in the REPs will be here and we will deal.

So not having paid for the Kasson I go in to Brunswick ready to buy because they are ready to deal. The rep doesn't know jack about there own tables doubt she's ever played pool except maybe the back stroke on a pool table and there big deal is they will give me a $750 brunswick chair. To which I said keep your chair and reduce your price. NO go waste of a day.

Two weeks ago I saw a guy pay $1000 for POS table at a moving sale and 3 weeks before that I let an Olhausen go with a $300 asking price because I couldn't get help to go get it.

Yep gonna just buy the new one I can afford with set up and delivery.

P.S. I really crawled on the floor under the Kasson, Olhausen, and Brunswick furniture model in the $2000 range. And I was not impressed with some of the particle board/plywood I saw used as bracing on the more expensive tables that I did not see on Kasson. I know they say it won't warp ((until to much humidity makes it swell)). But in the end I'm a label wearer and I keep thinking there is somthing in a name. Even though I know the better companies also import their tables at the same time critiziciing the other companies for having imported tables.

This week I'm suppose to go in and pay for my Avanti then the qwest will be over.

ceebee
03-20-2004, 12:16 PM
wanna buy a good 9' Diamond for $3000. Shipping is app'x $800, delivery could be less, depending on distance.
cb