View Full Version : Any books or magazines on best playing cues?
I skimmed through The Blue Book of Pool Cues by Brad Simpson. It has some excellent photos and information on collectible cues. But I was also looking for a source to rate and compare the playability of current cues. Something that would help one decide which are the best playing cues in various price ranges. I didn't see much about how well current production line & custom made cues play. The Blue Book did say Predator set out to make the best playing cue. But it never said how close it is to accomplishing this. And I think it mentioned that Viking updated it's machinery so it could make some of the best playing cues.
Are there any books or magazines that rate or tell how well some of the various current cues are in the playability department? From what I've been reading it seems Predators are among the best playing cues in the $500 to $1,000 price range. And Vikings are among the best playing cues in the $100 to $500 price range. But there are some custom cuemakers in around IL. that make some good looking cues in the $300 to $600 price range. And of course there are many in the over $500 and over $1,000 price range. But I haven't found much info about how well these play.
05-01-2002, 06:11 AM
Eddie, here is a Website that claims they will be putting up reviews of different cues starting this month. There are no reviews up yet, but you might check the site. The site also has a bunch of links to cuemakers and other pool stuff. Hope this helps.
It's such a subjective question that I can't see how any meaningful criteria could be created beyond the obvious things such as the stick being straight. There are so many choices of things like : weight, wood types and combinations, joint designs and materials, tip brand and diameter, shaft stiffness, ferrule material, balance point, shaft taper, cue length etc., etc. It always boils down to what feels right for you.
05-01-2002, 08:16 AM
I agree with your post. I was just trying to provide a source that Eddie could go to if he wanted to see ratings/reviews of cue sticks. For me, the tip makes the most difference. If the tip doesn't feel right, then no cue in the world is going to feel right to me. Other than that, as you say, if the cue is straight and solid I'll probably like it ok. But I still search for that special cue that FEELS sweet, solid, and perfect when it hits the ball!
"Subjective". That's the key word. It's who's behind the stick that counts. If a sharp-looking character from Chicago offers to spot you 149 points in a game of 14.1, and shoots with a broomstick, it won't make any difference what cue you're using.
Thanks Dave & Bill. I just received my first issue of Inside Pool. It has a column The Buss Stop. Jim Buss will be discussing everything about cues in upcoming issues. Here's where I'm at. I shot by myself last week. That was my first pool in about 20 years. I have an old Viking I bought back then. The pin isn't right on it. Hopefully by next week I'll know if I can get it fixed. I'm not sure what type of tip it has. Maybe a Le Professional too. It seemed to be one of the main popular tips used back then. Everything is original on my two cues. I also have a Burton Spain. It has a Le Professional tip. I never liked the tip. I don't want to use that stick because I've been told it's a collector's item worth about at least $2250 or more. I also bought that in 1981. From what I read and from some emails, I will try a Moori M tip on my Viking if I can get it fixed. If I can't get a Moori put on, I will try a Tailman Pro. My reasoning is in most of the stuff on tips I've read, everyone seems to try to compare their tip to the Moori. So I will start there and work my way down if necessary. I'm choosing a M because I was told Moori stopped making the M/H tip about a year ago. The tip size is 13mm which seems okay and seems to be one of the main standard sized tips.
I don't know much about joints. My Viking's joint I believe delivers one of the soft hit feels. I think I would prefer a more solid hit feeling if I do have to get a new cue later. But I can easily live with the Viking's joint. I'm not even sure the cue is a Viking. All the Vikings seem to have the Viking name on them. Mine doesn't. But I bought it sometime around 1981 from a reputable pool room. Chris's Billiards on North Milwaukee ave. in Chicago. Chris is and was a Viking dealer. So I'm assuming he was correct and he said it was a Viking 20 years ago when I purchased it. If any papers came with it I lost them.
I don't even know the weight. But my other cue is a 19.5 oz. It feels okay. I believe I can get use to any weight around there. That seems to cover 3 of the basics or main choices. Tip, joint & weight. As far as looks go I would like one of the $2000 cues. Who wouldn't. But I can't afford that. So I would rather have a cheaper, plainer looking cue that plays well or excellent then a fancy, expensive cue that doesn't play as well. Hopefully I can get my Viking's joint pin repaired and then I won't even consider buying a new cue for at least 2 years.
All of you are correct in the points you bring up. Thanks for all the feedback and ideas. But all I want is a decent, good playing, inexpensive cue. Then hopefully I will use it for many years. And then the cue will be one variable I won't worry about. And maybe with a decent cue I can somehow first get my game back to where it was when I played during high school in the 60s. And hopefully then I can start improving. I never expect to be great or even good. I just want to get the feel back. And then try to improve from there. I quit playing in about 70 when the 4 pocket tables & one 3 cushioned table neighborhood pool room closed. Then about 81 someone talked me into getting on their tavern league team. And I just never could play as well as I did in high school. So I ended up quitting again for about 20 years. I also have a bad stomach that has kept me away from almost everything I did like pool & bowling when I was younger. So I'm not out to make money or ever play on a league again. My health would never permit any of that. I stay home a lot and lead a very boring life. Hopefully in the future I will find some way to fit a 9' table in my dungen of a 6' high basement. I've never know anyone that had a table at home that actually used it much. But I keep hoping I would because of my dull existence.
Your right to hold onto the Spain cue. Even if it is plain, it is still worth some bucks. If you're looking for an appraisal, I want to warn you away from John Wright (Palatine, I think). Joel Hercek, of Hercek cues, makes a fine cue and also used to deal collectables. I have dealt with him and he will be fair. Joey Gold, of Cognescenti cues, is one of the top cuemakers in the country. He is on the west end of Chicago. One of his plain cues with no inlays can still be had at a somewhat reasonable price (IF, he still bothers with them?). He may have moved, though, due to some problems with his building. Sorry, I'm at work and don't have their addresses handy.
Eddie, you'll just have to play with them. How a cue plays is just one persons opinion. What others like you may not care for at all. That's the reason for different weights, shaft size, butt size, joints and tips, not to mention the different styles.
05-01-2002, 04:44 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: Eddie G Chgo:</font><hr> Thanks Dave & Bill. I just received my first issue of Inside Pool. It has a column The Buss Stop. Jim Buss will be discussing everything about cues in upcoming issues ..........
Hey Eddie, please share in the message board what Jim will be discussing about cues in the future issue of inside pool. Thanks in advance
05-01-2002, 04:53 PM
Playability of a cue is very different from one player to another.
Weight, shaft dementions, tip and tip demintions, balance, manufacturer, cue maker and even the type of games you like to play will influence the decision you will make.
Lots of players like a small diameter tip (less than 13mm) for the game of BANKS or One Pocket.
Snooker and 3-Cushion require different dementions for the shaft and cue tip than the most popular POOL cues made.
I would suggest chatting with the players in your local pool hall and get to know them... maybe they will let you play with their cue for comparison reasons..
Eddie, Eddie, Eddie...
If you live in Chicago...find Ray Schuler's address on his web page and go see him...He's one of the greatest cue makers in the world...He's in Palentine,IL...Try his cues...Ask him about his unique joint and why it's so good...then make your decision on what cue to buy...He's right at your doorstep...
Tell him Uncle Ron sent you...I guarantee you will be happy you went...
Uncle Ron in SC (RGC)
oh ya...I have played with two of his cues for over ten years...and I just bought a 10 mm snooker shaft from him a couple of months ago...good luck!
I was unable to find Ray Schuler's web page. And I never saw his name anyplace on any of the cue sights or links I have looked at. I'll try looking again.
If anyone is interested I found Ray Schuler's web site at:
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