View Full Version : Simonis 860 - Suitable for use by gremlins?

09-14-2004, 10:51 AM
First, I want to thank everyone for their responses to my earlier post, on whether to buy a new Olhausen home table or a used Gold Crown. Well, after (1) lots of delay, (2) a significant change in the price picture, and (3) very close scrutiny of the two tables, we reversed course and got the GC III.

The table is to be installed in about two weeks by a respected local mechanic. When I explained that the table was to be installed in a home and would be used by kids (ages 11+) as well as by experienced players, he immediately steered me towards Championship Titan cloth rather than Simonis 860. His feeling was that (a) most people (including ham-fisted amateurs like us) can't really tell much diffence between the two, and (b) the house cloth will look a lot better in a couple of years after the monsters have had their way with it.

My first reaction was "Hey, we didn't go buy a pro table to make it play slow like a hum-drum home one." On top of that, I hate shedding and pilling. But on the other hand, I very much respect the mechanic's opinion (he will install the Simonis if we really want it), and he knows a lot more about this than I do.

Right now, my inclination is to be bull-headed and go ahead with the Simonis for another $100, on grounds that at least the decent players will appreciate it. But of course I don't want to do something stupid, and would hate to end up with a bunch of holes and tears from miscues by the kids.

So, do any of you have any thoughts or experience with how Simonis 860 (or, for that matter, Championship Titan) will stand up to use by the gremlins (at least they're reasonably well trained gremlins) in a home environment. Or, frankly, is the Simonis worth it or is it smarter to stick with the Championship Titan?

Thanks in advance for your comments.

Pizza Bob
09-14-2004, 12:54 PM
If the kids are taught proper respect for the equipment, at 11 YO and up, it shouldn't be a problem - I'd go with the Simonis. As an alternative, and one that I have to admit I have never played on, you might consider the new Brunswick Centennial cloth. Supposedly a worsted, like Simonis, but treated with Teflon for stain resistance (gremlin-proof?) - may give you the best of both worlds. Good luck - for my $.02 you made the right table choice, but you're on your own with the cloth.


Pizza Bob

09-14-2004, 01:04 PM
It's my opinion that Titan won't outlast Simonis. We used Titan on our bar tables because of the abuse. Meaning it was cheaper to replace. I felt sure Simonis would of lasted longer but but with ball bangers they could have destroyed anything.

We used Simonis on the 9 footers with excellent life. One thing I noticed, Tital is more prone to diviots. Like if someone miscues scooping under the ball. If hard or bad enough it will remove nap or cut the cloth. Simonis is such a tight weave it's less likely to happen or not as bad. Having said that Titan wears well if not abused to badly.

One thing to remember with any cloth is keep the cue tips in good condition. A worn out tip or the edge of a ferrule is deadly to cloth especially if it's a miss-cue. You'll have to decide of course but educating them is a first step. Tell them scooping is not allowed, they probably will you know if not told. Have them make sure a tip is on the cue before play etc. Keep the table vacuumed and clean. Your going to become in fact a pool room owner by doing what you can to keep equipment in good order.

It's hard to say but first time around Titan might be your best bet. They can learn on that, then when replaced put on Simonis. It will get loose much more so than a tight stretched Simonis. I myself shutter the thought of playing with Titan on a 9 footer.


09-14-2004, 01:08 PM
Are you in Northern California? The reason I ask is because I am, and I had a table recovered earlier this year. I wanted Simonis, and the table mechanic talked me into going with Championship as well. (Not sure if it was Titan or not.) Same mechanic, maybe? No kids at home anymore, so that wasn't an issue. He made a big deal out of Simonis being more expensive and would be too fast for my 8' (Brunswick) table. Anyway...I regretted it almost immediately. I noticed that the cue ball would often wobble a bit as it slow-rolled to a stop. I called him back out, and he said it was because the felt needed to wear more evenly over time. I had called Brunswick to get their input, and they agreed about felt needing to be brushed a lot over time to even out the felt. Right or not...What a crock! Ended up knocking out a wall and getting rid of the table a few months later and getting a new 9' Brunswick Gibson with Simonis (installed by a different table mech). I'll never put felt on a table again. I think Simonis requires greater skill to install than felt, and some table mechanics don't like to work with it.

Good luck with your gremlins!

09-14-2004, 02:15 PM
I have never played on the Titan so I am not sure about it, but I can tell you that you wont be sorry if you go with a worsted cloth. They will play better and IMO play longer than the others. If you do something that would really harm Simonis it would probably hurt the Titan as well.

This being said, I put Champion cloth on my table and I love it! But I put the Champion Tour series on and not the Titan series. The tour series cost less than Simonis (at least the best price I could find on line the champion was less) and I cant tell a difference from it and Simonis. My table is played on every day and has done very well. So IMO if you are going Champion, at least make sure it is Tour cloth.

BTW I think you made a great choice on your table /ccboard/images/graemlins/laugh.gif

09-14-2004, 02:26 PM
Hey woody, I thought that was 760 u had on your table. I know it is really fast. In reference to what type of cloth to use, I would say use whatever type of cloth you are planning on competing on. I say it's hard to go wrong with 860 simonis. That's pretty much the universal cloth.

09-15-2004, 09:38 AM
I got Simonis 860 for my table and I'm very glad I did. I got it for practicing jump and Masse' shots and after a few months it looks very used. I also let all my League player friends practice jump and Masse' shots as well. I encourage it!

This wrecks havoc on the cloth of course, but I got the table for practice. I learned to replace the cloth myself, so I'll just replace the cloth as needed. And I can replace it again with Simonis 860 for less than the cost of cheap cloth and having someone else do it.

So I see it as something to use and learn on rather than something to look at...

09-15-2004, 09:52 AM
You've gotten a lot of useful answers here, but the one I like the best is by Pizza Bob. You have to teach your kids to respect the equipment, end of discussion. Tell them what is acceptable and what is not acceptable, and show them how to properly use the cues and table. And if they do start horsing around with the cues and the table, take the cues away for a week or so until they realize that the equipment is to be respected.

And I'd go with the Simonis, but that's my preference. I've played on Championship - not the Titan cloth - but I prefer Simonis.


09-15-2004, 10:08 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Barbara:</font><hr> You have to teach your kids to respect the equipment, end of discussion.<hr /></blockquote>I'm guessing that's easier said than done.

My brother and two of his boys (10 &amp; 12?) were visiting and playing pool when one of the boys slammed his (my house) cue on the side of the table due to the frustration of missing a shot.

My brother reprimanded him "Hey! Don't do that! This isn't the rec center!"


09-15-2004, 10:29 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote caltiki:</font><hr>
When I explained that the table was to be installed in a home and would be used by kids (ages 11+) as well as by experienced players, he immediately steered me towards Championship Titan cloth rather than Simonis 860. His feeling was that (a) most people (including ham-fisted amateurs like us) can't really tell much diffence between the two, and (b) the house cloth will look a lot better in a couple of years after the monsters have had their way with it.

My first reaction was "Hey, we didn't go buy a pro table to make it play slow like a hum-drum home one."
Thanks in advance for your comments. <hr /></blockquote>

Putting old style nappy cloth on your GC III would be like buying a Porsche and putting K-Mart tires on it to save $100. It's just not the same as Simonis.

I have an Olhausen with Simonis. I am more dangerous to the cloth than my 10 year old and her friends. They don't do jump shots, masse's, table length draw shots, and extreme break shots.

Simonis is pretty tough stuff. The installer should stretch it tight - and I mean tight. This makes the cloth less likely to get snagged by the tip.

The wholesale cost for the fabric to do a 9 ft. table in Simonis 860 is only about $150. I get my table done about once a year to keep it looking good for the home.


Scott Lee
09-15-2004, 11:12 AM
caltiki...I'm in agreement with the others...go with the Simonis. It will last a long time, and properly installed, as tateuts mentioned, will outperform most other cloth. Another good alternative is Granito Basalt. Less $$$ than Simonis, but every bit as good a quality cloth. Stretching the cloth very tightly is critical, and is not easy. I've installed many tables with Simonis, and you have to really learn how to install it well. I've seen many tables where the cloth slowed up dramatically after a year or so, because it gets a little loose. Expert installation is always a good investment.

Scott Lee
www.poolknowledge.com (http://www.poolknowledge.com)

09-15-2004, 11:25 AM
Hi Scott,

I just had Ernesto Dominguez come over and change out my rails to Artemis and got fresh Simonis 860 installed. Whew, what a difference! Those old "boingy" rails are gone and the table plays just incredible now - super smooth.

The pockets are 4" in the corners and sides are 4.5". It was a good move. I needed to make my table a little tougher.


Scott Lee
09-15-2004, 11:58 AM
Chris...I hope to see you on my next trip to CA, and play some on your table again! It's always such a pleasure to play on such excellent equipment!

www.poolknowledge.com (http://www.poolknowledge.com)

09-15-2004, 02:27 PM
I would go with the Simonis and just recover more often.

09-15-2004, 04:32 PM
From what i`ve seen over the last 15 years in my own pool room, simonis will be fine for a home table.
Go to almost any pool room and look at the tables where the kids play and look at the tables where the better players play. you will see how much quicker it wears out where the better players play. mainly because 9 ball is played more and it`s a hard game on the equipment with the jumps and masse shots etc. JMOP

09-16-2004, 07:43 AM
simonis is certainly more difficult to install,it can be pulled too tight very easily when covering the rails making the rails look like a set of whoop-de-doos.its very unforgiving around the pocket area too.it costs more so its difficult to keep in stock compared to other types of cloth.

Chris Cass
09-16-2004, 07:50 AM
Hi Houseman,

Don't you agree that the Simonis has a more predictable and consistant break in period? I think it's a better cloth even though the Champion Tour eddition is good too it just seems to wear a bit more quickly. For a home table it doesn't make much difference. At the hall where I work the tables get way more play that any home table would over time and the cloth will last just as long as any home table would. Like 3 yrs I'm thinking?


C.C.~~Mickey isn't it?

09-16-2004, 10:41 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Chris Cass:</font><hr> At the hall where I work the tables get way more play that any home table would <hr /></blockquote>

Obviously you havent been to my house /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

09-17-2004, 07:13 AM
I just went through something similar only my kids are teenagers. I bought a beautiful old Gold Crown II and wanted it covered in the best competition grade cloth I could find (which I believe to be Simonis 860). After all this was a nine foot tournament table and it was special and it was made to be played and it deserved the best dress money could buy. I knew that I wanted my GC II to be as perfect as I could make it and when it came to which cloth to choose, Simonis 860 was a must.

Right? Well, sort of...

Except for 'The teenage factor' -

Because we have two adolescent boys, I knew that no matter what I put on my 'new' table I'd be dealing with the 'teenager factor'. What is the 'teenager factor' you ask? Well... it's something like this: teenagers tend to be a clueless, happy go lucky group of unsocialized beasties who love any kind of fun combined with copious quantities of greasy junk food and sugary soft drinks. They don't have jobs and they don't have mortgages and they don't pay bills - so they really have no idea of how much something is worth or how hard you worked to pay for it or why you might suddenly fly into a rage and want to kill them because they literally have no sense of value and they've just ruined something precious to you without even thinking about it or knowing what they did was wrong or how they could have avoided doing it or why they should have avoided doing it. They just know that for no apparent reason you suddenly want to kill them for something that they didn't mean to do and in their hearts they know that because they didn't mean to do it it wasn't really their fault and to top it off YOU are clearly in the wrong because under no circumstances can killing them ever be right.

Right? Well, sort of...

Teenagers do not care about how much time you spent tracking down the beautiful antique tournament table that now adorns your home - they do not care about how much money you spent on covering it with just the right cloth - they do not have an innate appreciation for what it means to dent your precious cue sticks by banging them on the sides of the table either out of anger or out of joy or of pure carelessness or out of a just plain old 'hey look at me I just made a loud noise' attention getting behavior.

They don't know about why it's not a good idea to set their half finished Pepsi's on the rail while they shoot - or why sliding their pizza grease covered hands over the cloth while banging the balls around will leave a stain that even five gallons of OxyClean and a Maytag Washer might not be able to clean. They don't know that you really can't put the new expensive Simonis cloth in the washer every time it gets so dirty you can't stand it anymore. Like you do with all the socks, jeans, shirts, etc. that cover their bedroom floors on a daily basis. They just don't get it.

So you can see that bringing something nice like an honorable old Brunswick tournament pool table into your home and putting expensive cloth on it combined with having resident teenagers could cause a little tension and some extra stress?

Right? Well sort of...

Is the answer to the tension/stress problem and ‘the teenage factor’, 'forget about the Simonis and use the cheapest most disposable throw away cloth on the market - cuz you're going to have to throw it away after the kids destroy it no matter what'?


Get the Simonis - buy it off the Net and get it for the lowest cost possible - ask your local table mechanic for a reduced price on covering your table that doesn't include his usual high markup on cloth (because you already bought it for less off the Net). Pay attention to how the cloth is installed and think hard about the prospect of either paying to have it done again in a year from now when it's been ruined or maybe even doing it yourself. Above all be ready to teach your children the do's and don'ts of using the new table. Threaten them with death if they break the rules. Maybe sacrifice a farm animal in front of them to show that you mean business. Stand over them constantly until you're sure that they understand how important it is not to do anything to hurt the new table.

Then turn your back and get on with your life because in the end what will be will be and you're helpless to stop it - they are teenagers after all and you can't really kill them no matter how good the reason. Your job whether you like it or not is to love them regardless and to pick up after them and fix what they break until they're old enough to move away and mess things up and break them someplace else out of your sight – and when that time finally arrives you will have learned where to get Simonis for cheap and how to cover your own pool table any time you want – and your fine old table will at long last be safe from further harm. Eventually it will all be ‘win/win’.

Right? Well, sort of...

09-17-2004, 08:03 AM
I just noticed Scott Sherbine sells enough Simonis 860 for a 9' table for $179 - not bad for a retail price.

Proficient Billiards (http://www.proficientbilliards.com/cart/customer/product.php?productid=16524&amp;cat=270&amp;page=1)

09-17-2004, 08:33 AM
SnakebyteXX -- That was absolutely hilarious!

Well...sort of.


09-17-2004, 07:31 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote GeorgeV:</font><hr> SnakebyteXX -- That was absolutely hilarious!

Well...sort of.

/ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif <hr /></blockquote>

I'll second that....Snakebite....LOL..you sure had me laughing...LOL.RJ

09-18-2004, 06:44 AM
Clatiki, As far as gremlins go I have a 3 and 5 year old that play on my table all the time. Even when I am at work. Once they understand that they cannot play on the table unless they follow certain rules you will not have any more problems. Heck I even leave my cues out and they are in the same place when I get home. Not to say this didnt take a little repremanding but it was accomplished. By the way when neighbor kids are over, they cant play unless i am right there. I also have granito basalt and think it plays great

09-18-2004, 01:00 PM
Hi Chris Cass,
I agree with you.
I try to recloth every year but it doesn`t always work out.
I went 2 years the last time and the cloth was worn but very playable. I also make players use a break cloth and this helps so much its unbelievable.
And Mickey it is.

09-18-2004, 01:33 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote houseman:</font><hr> I also make players use a break cloth and this helps so much its unbelievable.
<hr /></blockquote>

For the uninitiated, would you mind describing what you mean by a 'break cloth' as well as how it's used to reduce wear and tear on the table?



09-18-2004, 01:36 PM

A break cloth is a 2x2 inch swatch of cloth that you place underneath the cue ball before you break.

Its purpose is to prevent the burn marks the CB will make on the cloth in its initial journey.


09-18-2004, 01:52 PM
The cloth I use on my table to break from is probably 4X4, some have even said they use larger than that to make it easier to grab after the break. I must say I never thought I would use one, but it has made a tremendous difference in the area around the headstring on my table!