View Full Version : what do players want in a cue?
06-10-2004, 04:11 PM
I am doing some armchair marketing research on billiard cues. I would like to get some feedback from players as to what they look for in their cues? Performance features? Design features? Where do you prefer to buy your cues? Pro shop? Billiards dealer? Internet site? Thanks for the feedback.
06-10-2004, 05:15 PM
Good seasoned wood, straight and stays straight. Performance- one mans performance is anothers nightmare. Design- one mans design is just plain butt ugly to others. Where to buy, well I don't buy unless I can play with it first. That includes off the street.
06-10-2004, 06:02 PM
I look for several things:
1. Shafts with the taper I like (a rather stiff "modified pro" taper) and a tip diameter of 12.75 to 13.0 mm.
2. A slim, wrapless handle with a simple, dignified appearance. No off-the-wall randomly weird inlay designs.
3. Excellent fit of shafts to handle.
4. Simple decoration at the joint, or no decoration at the joint. If a joint sleeve and or rings are present, their total width should be no greater than 1 in. I dislike the appearance of stainless steel joint sleeves and won't own a cue that has one.
5. Cue weight 18.5 to 19.0 oz.
6. I don't want great big stinkin' ugly logos on my cues.
7. Moderate price.
Examples of cues I might actually buy and play with: Huebler AS-H1 sneaky pete with extra shaft, Sanko Group 3 No. 3 with extra shaft, Dominiak DW1007 cocobolo-ebony with extra shaft.
If you're going into the business, good luck!
06-10-2004, 06:16 PM
Good seasoned wood, straight ,stiff taper,a very hard hit.Cues that I like are made by Madison Bob (http://www.madisonbobs.com) They hit like a cannon!
Doc B /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif
06-10-2004, 07:53 PM
1. No wrap feels very comfortable. But I do have a cue with a stacked leather wrap on the way. Linen just does not feel right.
2. No metal in the joint! This adds to the weight to the center of the cue and give a un-natural balance.
3. Pro-taper 13"-14" long.
4. Dime radius on a non-layer tip.
5. Fairly thin butt... not Meucci thin but not thick like Predator.
6. 17.5 to 18 oz.
I think thats about it... /ccboard/images/graemlins/cool.gif
06-11-2004, 01:27 AM
If the staff at the shop are rude/unfriendly when contacted either by phone or in person, then they have lost my business regardless of how famous the brand name is.
Also helps if the person answering the phone knows what the hell they are talking about.
Good straight wood, lots of feel.
How to define feel? Very hard /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif
I guess it depends on the cue and on the individual.
I guess good feel is when you know how and how hard and the results are when you hit a ball. I guess it's soemthing about the balance and getting used to the cue as well.
06-11-2004, 04:31 AM
What do I look for? Well, my cue should be ready when I pull the trigger. Therefore it needs to be able to out-think me.
As far as the design, I've yet to see anything that improves on the classic 6-point hi/low Southwest, unless it is the Coker with the extra 2 rings. Exception: I saw a Richard Black on AZB with some ivory penguins in the buttsleeve. I am definitely willing to pay extra for ivory penguins. /ccboard/images/graemlins/laugh.gif
As to where I would buy this cue, I would like every billiard dealer to stock it. That way I could and test it out 20 times first and then buy it on ebay for 1/2 price.
j/k. I want a 6 point coker with ebony forearm, coco points, 3 veneers (maple, ebony, maple), 3 ivory penguins in the ebony buttsleeve, in coco windows, with ebony and maple trim. 2 shafts, ivory ferrules, custom Lepro tips by Popcorn or Chris Cass, and a nice 1x2 Whitten case with my initials on it.
Oh, yeah, and a 100' sportfisher for when I'm not playing pool.
06-11-2004, 05:25 AM
Personally I don't really care what the cue looks like. I'm more interested in the play. As long as it isn't bright orange with purple polka dots, I'd probably use a cue as long as it had the following characteristics:
1) fairly straight shaft - I don't want a shaft that is always perfectly straight, that's an indicator of the shaft not being flexible enough. Most shafts will pick up a small warp in one direction and then unwarp themselves and go back in the other direction
2) Balance - Extremely important. For me the balance point should be in the vicinity of the top of the wrap or just a bit higher.
3) Feedback - if I can't FEEL what I am doing with the cue, I can't shoot with it
4) Tip - I shoot with a Moori tip. The tip doesn't *have* to be a moori, but it does need to be high quality and in good shape.
5) Believe it or not - The sound it makes - nothing is more distracting to me when I'm shooting than that hollow sound a lot of cues make. I need a cue that doesn't do that because every time I hear that sound, I expect that I've miscued and I end up making other errors like not following through.
I buy my cues from the manufacturers and to my personal specifications in most cases. I got kinda lucky with the cue I'm using right now as I bought it out of the window at CM's and it is the best hitting cue I've ever owned. It's one of those 1 in a thousand production cues that came out just right.
06-11-2004, 05:26 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote highsea:</font><hr> custom Lepro tips by Popcorn or Chris Cass, <hr /></blockquote>
What does this mean?
Doc B /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif
Read the thread on "Pressing Tips"...
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote dr_billiards:</font><hr> <blockquote><font class="small">Quote highsea:</font><hr> custom Lepro tips by Popcorn or Chris Cass, <hr /></blockquote>
What does this mean?
Doc B /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif <hr /></blockquote>
06-11-2004, 07:17 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote dahintz:</font><hr> I would like to get some feedback from players as to what they look for in their cues? <hr /></blockquote>I want magic. I want looks. I want to feel good every time I look at the cue. Every time I feel the cue. Every time I hit with the cue.
I don't want to play with a cue that someone else in the same state might be shooting with. Unless it happens to be exactly like Rich's Lambros.
06-11-2004, 08:18 AM
Just waiting for someone to ask. Ok, you asked. First, we want good aged Canadian Hardrock Maple shafts and not cut twice and out the door. In order for the shafts to be right they must be cut down in series of small cuts and allowed time to do any warpage from exposure to air. Good straight shafts are important and if you were to ask any highly noted cue makers they'll tell you they cut their shafts about 6-8 cuts with a min of two weeks between cuts. A good shaft weighs about 4 ounces. The shaft when cut must be cut with precision as to keep close attention to the marks of the wood. These small rings in the wood should be straight throughout the entire length of the shaft.
When, installing the wood under the wrap. This should be done with Canadian Hardrock also but the key here is to use a laminated wood to further enhance straightness. Some that don't do this may indeed warp later. Noone wants a warped handle.
The wrap used if any. The wrap if ones used must be the finest of Irish linen. The finest leather, or any other skins if requested should be seemless when applied. The glue used under the Irish linen should be good glue not sprayed on Super 77 like I believe Lucasi uses. That stuff never cures and is a problem when heats applied through your hand and will come loose and frey.
The rings, inlays and joints used. The rings I prefer German Silver but some might like to install Stainless Steel. The rings must be able to fit perfectly and not stick out above the finish applied. That's so tackey.IMHO
The inlays, must be cut perfect and placed in the cue perfect with little or no filler needed. The gaps must be illiminated between the wood and the inlay, to the eye. They must flow through the cue from the butt plate to the joint. This is pleasing to the eye that the design of the cue flows through the cue and not abrupt. The inlays also must be flush as the ringwork and not stick out above the final finish. The inlays must be Straight. Nothing says poor attention to detail more than crooked inlays. You must use the finest quality of what ever inlays you use.
The joints, whether you use Stainless Steel, Ivory, Phenolic or wood to wood without a joint collar must be flush with the shaft. It is also recommended to make it able to fit any shafts made in the future so that the customer doesn't have to send in the butt end for a new shaft to be made. That's user friendly.
The finish, Nothing worse than having a well built cue than having a crapola finish applied. Use only the best finishes and get with the top cuemakers and see how they do this process. There are machines that do this like I believe McDermott has but they're costly. I think one can get the same results with a good sprayer and good quality people to do this.
The balance and hit. The balance of a cue is important and equally as important as the hit. Some hit with a forward balance usually from the weight of the S.S. joints. Some rear balanced through the others. That's someones personal preference but whatever. This balance must be about 2 inches from the start of the wrap or handle if a wrap isn't there.
The hit, is #1. The hit should be solid to reflect a one piece cue. A 17 oz cue should hit just as solid as the 20 oz cue. All the cues made should have this in common from one to the next regardless of the cosmetics(inlays). That will be the main focus of your work. Lastly, nothing says sales like a good Quality Assurance/ Quality Control person. These cues must be checked before these cues leave the building. Cues that are inspected with a good eye can be rejected or sent out. Any company can tell you that's made it. This is an important process extending from the one man operation to the 100 employee place to keep business coming back. One must stand behind their work and only allow the best work to go out. It pays.
Hope this helps,
C.C.~~strickly my humble opinion. /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif
Bottom line, you put out junk and your name is mudd. You'll make money but lifetime customers? Nope.
06-11-2004, 08:47 AM
I want a that would make the balls for me automatically and never miss... /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif
06-11-2004, 08:56 AM
Well said, Chris!
06-11-2004, 09:47 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Jay M:</font><hr> 5) Believe it or not - The sound it makes - nothing is more distracting to me when I'm shooting than that hollow sound a lot of cues make. I need a cue that doesn't do that because every time I hear that sound, I expect that I've miscued and I end up making other errors like not following through.
Jay M <hr /></blockquote>
That pretty much sums it up for me.
If the cue have a 'solid toink' when you hit balls, is balanced well and has the right taper(I like a longer taper) with a slightly thinner butt, I'm happy. I could care less about the looks. When I had my playing cue made, I told the cuemaker that I'm looking for a plain/traditional looking cue. Kinda like the old Hoppe cues. I don't need bells, whistles and lights on it.
06-11-2004, 12:14 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Fred Agnir:</font><hr> I don't want to play with a cue that someone else in the same state might be shooting with. Unless it happens to be exactly like Rich's Lambros. <hr /></blockquote>
Thank you. /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif
06-11-2004, 01:44 PM
Consistancy and feeling like the cue is an extension of your arm.
06-11-2004, 02:36 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote dooziexx:</font><hr> I want a cue that would make the balls for me automatically and never miss... /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif <hr /></blockquote>
Erik...I'm STILL looking for that cue...the one that shoots by itself! LOL It's been more than 30 yrs. and I haven't found it yet either!
06-11-2004, 10:11 PM
Tom Rossman has one with a spring built in. /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif I've seen it and it's cool.
C.C.~~spring loaded shaft.
06-12-2004, 06:20 AM
CC...Yeah, I've seen that one too. You [censored] it, and it has a trigger. But you STILL have to aim it...it doesn't shoot FOR you! LOL See ya in a few days!
I like cues that are either well-balanced, or slightly front-heavy. I like pretty woods like cocabola. I like a 11.75-12mm taper on the shaft. Also, the sound is a big thing to me, just like others. I hate that "dink" sound some cues make. Drives me nuts. I like cues where when you hit a shot smoothly and not too hard, you don't even hear the hit. I also prefer very fine-grained maple for the shaft. No rings or knots in it. If it is a dark wood, I like light-colored inlays in it, and vice versa if it's light wood like birdseye. That's about it /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif
06-13-2004, 11:59 AM
all the players i know are looking for free cues! /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif
06-14-2004, 07:28 AM
The most important part of the cue is the tip. Arthur "Babe" Cranfield asked me how could I play with a one piece cue. This was after I beat him 150-144 in Hudson Ny. He ran 74-70 and I ran 86-64. ####
06-14-2004, 07:51 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote #### leonard:</font><hr> The most important part of the cue is the tip. Arthur "Babe" Cranfield asked me how could I play with a one piece cue. This was after I beat him 150-144 in Hudson Ny. He ran 74-70 and I ran 86-64. #### <hr /></blockquote>
Not to be mistaken as to disagreeing with you. I have no doubt whatsoever in your talent as a champion that I know you are. I'd like to add to what your saying in my thoughts.
My thoughts or interpitation of your words are that, one must have the utmost confidence in the tip and cue for that matter. In order to display ones skills, be it champion level or less.
I know that myself personally must keep every moment of my focus and concentration on the task at hand. In order for me to do this. I must be confident with my equipment. I've always cloth ( /ccboard/images/graemlins/wink.gif), that one can only focus 100% of their attention on one thing at a time. If I'm not confident in the tip then I'm thinking of what the cb will do next instead of having a exact thought of what it's doing. I might not get exactly where I need to be but it'll be in the area or very close. Without that confidence in the tip I'm thinking of that the whole time. Guess why I'm a tip monger like Barbara. /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif It's always the equipment, isn't it? /ccboard/images/graemlins/smirk.gif
C.C.~~if I was Babe, I would have asked, "####, why are you not giving me some weight?" /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif
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