PDA

View Full Version : My new Meucci black dot shaft



1Time
05-27-2005, 06:09 AM
My "Quantum" by Meucci cue is about 7 years old and is showing wear. So I bought a black dot shaft for $130 shipped mostly out of curiosity and to see if it could replace my original. The black dot is 1 ounce heavier than my original shaft and it plays quite a bit different. I tried it out for an hour the other night and found the following:

The black dot compared to my original shaft:
- My 9-ball break: the 9 went on the first break, a good sign. I more consistantly pocketed a ball on the break and controlled the cue ball.
- Improved accuracy with longer shots. I suppose this is due to the reduced deflection. My original shaft is fairly "whippy", a "non-dot" shaft.
- The cue ball moved around less throughout play and I seemed to have more predictable cue ball control.
- Improved bank shots, perhaps since it seems I impart less English on the cue with the black dot.
- Significant reduction in my ability to draw the cue. I stroked shots that with my original shaft would have easily sucked the cue back a predictable distance, but with the black dot the cue just stopped dead.
- Reduction in accuracy on short and medium range shots; it took me most of the hour just to adapt and bring my accuracy with short and medium range shots close to par. And although I have adapted pretty much, I still have more work to do.

Conclusion:
The black dot shaft shows some promise and may some day replace my original shaft. However, until or unless I fully adapt to it, I can only count on it to perform as a very competent break cue (which I needed). I'm not predicting my new black dot shaft will work out better than my original in every respect, but it will be fun trying.

jed1894
05-27-2005, 10:57 AM
Have you experimented with rotating the black dot around? If so, what were your results. I also have a black dot and it hits differently depending on where the black dot is located during the stroke. I heard somewhere that because of the layered wood the dot needed to be a certain positions during certain shots.

JEd

1Time
05-27-2005, 11:43 AM
I knocked in the first few straight shots without regard to the orientation of the dot. However, it was not long before I started missing other shots and realized this black dot shaft hits quite different than my original.

After a few of these misses it came to me that something may be wrong. It was then I remembered reading somewhere the dot is supposed to be faced up. From then on I played with it face up and just focused on adapting to how it hits. I could say I noticed an improvement right away but that may very well just be my imagination. I really didn't attempt to compare how it hits with the dot faced one way or the other.

I wish it would hit the same regardless of the dot's orientation, as I found it distracting to face it up for every shot.

jed1894
05-27-2005, 07:59 PM
Well, maybe someone who really knows will read these posts and respond.

Troy
05-27-2005, 08:46 PM
If I remember the hype correctly, both the black dot and the red dot shafts were to be used with the dot UP.

Troy
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote 1Time:</font><hr> I knocked in the first few straight shots without regard to the orientation of the dot. However, it was not long before I started missing other shots and realized this black dot shaft hits quite different than my original.

After a few of these misses it came to me that something may be wrong. It was then I remembered reading somewhere the dot is supposed to be faced up. From then on I played with it face up and just focused on adapting to how it hits. I could say I noticed an improvement right away but that may very well just be my imagination. I really didn't attempt to compare how it hits with the dot faced one way or the other.

I wish it would hit the same regardless of the dot's orientation, as I found it distracting to face it up for every shot. <hr /></blockquote>

jed1894
05-28-2005, 08:44 AM
If the dot needs to be up then that means it will also work facing down....since the layered wood looks the same when you flip it over. Furthermore, this only affects side english. It should play the same when hitting the cue ball in the center.

stroker
05-28-2005, 11:36 PM
I would like to know if and when it warps? I love my MTC-4, kept in an instroke case, but both my shafts have a bow to them. The one is really bad is my back up shaft that I hardly play with. I contacted Meucci about it 3 months after I bought it and got the run around and the feeling I may never get another shaft replacement.

I stll love my Meucci. But I play with a Schon now.

Tony "Molassas"

1Time
05-29-2005, 04:32 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote jed1894:</font><hr> If the dot needs to be up then that means it will also work facing down....since the layered wood looks the same when you flip it over. Furthermore, this only affects side english. It should play the same when hitting the cue ball in the center.<hr /></blockquote>

jed1894, I agree with your reasoning and thought the same while I was shooting.

I've searched this forum and found nothing, and I also Google searched and read posts in other forums for over an hour and found very little and nothing that determines how to orient the black dot.

In one post I found somewhere a guy said he believed he read somewhere that (and I'm paraphrasing) the red dot is to be faced up but with the black dot there is no benefit in doing so; the black dot was used as a trademark and marketing gimmick.

So at this point I've decided to go see if I can tell any difference. I'll shoot several identical shots with it oriented up, down, and to either side. Then I'll move on to different shots and do the same. I'll post back later.

1Time
05-29-2005, 04:52 AM
stroker, I had not read any posts regarding warpage with the black dot shaft; it seems like it would be less likely to warp since it has 35 layers to it. I know if I had a shaft that warped, I'd be looking for a different brand. I just want to shoot with whatever cue works best, Meucci, Schon, or whatever. My original shaft has not warped and still plays well, so for now I'm staying with Meucci.

1Time
05-29-2005, 10:13 AM
For the first 30 minutes of play this morning I tried out my black dot shaft to see if it made any difference how the black dot is oriented, and I am now convinced it does not.

For the next 2 hours I compared the black dot to my original shaft, switching from one to the other about every 30 minutes. I found I can perform only a few parts of my game better with the black dot than I can with my original shaft. And, overall my game is stronger with my original shaft. I no longer find it worth the effort to see if some day I would be able to play a better game with the black dot.

As I understand it the black dot shafts are advertised to have a 12.65mm diameter with a 14" to 16" pro taper. I measured the diameter of my black dot shaft at different points with one of those plastic cards that has different sized holes in it. I held the cue's tip up to my eye with the joint end toward a light so I could best see how the distance between the shaft and the plastic card changed as I moved the plastic card up and down the shaft.

The 12.5mm hole just barely goes over the rounded part of the cue's tip. So, using the 13.0mm hole I estimate the diameter of the ferrule to be close to the advertised 12.65mm. However, the shaft then narrows to its narrowest point at about 1" past the ferrule, 2.5" from the tip. I can only guess this to be about 12.50mm. I checked a few times just be to sure and I can definitely tell the shaft narrows past the ferrule to its narrowest at about 2.5" from the tip. Then from the narrowest part of the shaft, it gets thicker to 13.0mm at 6.5" from the tip and stays at 13.0mm to 8.5" from the tip. For these 2" the plastic card sticks a bit as I slide it, but then at about 8.5" from the tip it loosens until at about 11" from the tip it tightens again showing it to be 13.0mm. Then, using the 13.5mm hole, I found the shaft to be 13.5mm at 15" from the tip, and that from 11" from the tip to 15" from the tip the shaft gradually gets thicker from 13.0mm to 13.5mm.

This is not what I was hoping to find, and so I will attempt to return my new black dot shaft for a refund. If not successful, I will even it out with some 600 grit sandpaper.

It appears Meucci has a quality control problem.

sneakypapi
05-29-2005, 05:21 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote 1Time:</font><hr>

As I understand it the black dot shafts are advertised to have a 12.65mm diameter with a 14" to 16" pro taper. I measured the diameter of my black dot shaft at different points with one of those plastic cards that has different sized holes in it. I held the cue's tip up to my eye with the joint end toward a light so I could best see how the distance between the shaft and the plastic card changed as I moved the plastic card up and down the shaft.

The 12.5mm hole just barely goes over the rounded part of the cue's tip. So, using the 13.0mm hole I estimate the diameter of the ferrule to be close to the advertised 12.65mm. However, the shaft then narrows to its narrowest point at about 1" past the ferrule, 2.5" from the tip. I can only guess this to be about 12.50mm. I checked a few times just be to sure and I can definitely tell the shaft narrows past the ferrule to its narrowest at about 2.5" from the tip. Then from the narrowest part of the shaft, it gets thicker to 13.0mm at 6.5" from the tip and stays at 13.0mm to 8.5" from the tip. For these 2" the plastic card sticks a bit as I slide it, but then at about 8.5" from the tip it loosens until at about 11" from the tip it tightens again showing it to be 13.0mm. Then, using the 13.5mm hole, I found the shaft to be 13.5mm at 15" from the tip, and that from 11" from the tip to 15" from the tip the shaft gradually gets thicker from 13.0mm to 13.5mm.

It appears Meucci has a quality control problem. <hr /></blockquote>

I wanted to point out something about the black dot, first the shaft can be ordered in a couple of different tips sizes. Im not sure where you got 12.65 from, but typically Meucci will have a 12.75 or a 13 mm tip size, that can vary. Secondly measuring the taper with a tip card is not ideal beacuse you are eyeballing it as you go down the shaft. You have to remember that most shaft tapers are estimates and are not perfect due to human sanding of the taper. I would say that is the taper rolls consistent and straight as you look at it as it rolls then the shaft should be perfectly fine. Overall, the playability is the key and how you like the shaft itself.

About the black dot's postion up or down? I believe the black dot is on the horizontal portion of the shaft (the positioning of the layers). I think Meucci recommends keeping the black dot up, but the average player will probably never know which way the dot is facing to affect play.

1Time
05-29-2005, 06:59 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote sneakypapi:</font><hr>
I wanted to point out something about the black dot, first the shaft can be ordered in a couple of different tips sizes. Im not sure where you got 12.65 from, but typically Meucci will have a 12.75 or a 13 mm tip size, that can vary. Secondly measuring the taper with a tip card is not ideal beacuse you are eyeballing it as you go down the shaft. You have to remember that most shaft tapers are estimates and are not perfect due to human sanding of the taper. I would say that is the taper rolls consistent and straight as you look at it as it rolls then the shaft should be perfectly fine. Overall, the playability is the key and how you like the shaft itself.

About the black dot's postion up or down? I believe the black dot is on the horizontal portion of the shaft (the positioning of the layers). I think Meucci recommends keeping the black dot up, but the average player will probably never know which way the dot is facing to affect play. <hr /></blockquote>

I thought I read 12.65mm off of a website, but I now recall when I ordered my black dot online that I was told it would be 12.75mm. Thanks for the correction.

The idea of using the plastic card to measure the shaft was not to determine its diameter to the nearest fraction of a milimeter. Rather, it was to observe how the taper varied from the ferrule through the taper of the shaft. And, for this purpose the plastic card works very well. Over the years I've observed several cues off of retail racks in this way and commonly found a very even taper, unlike what I found with my black dot shaft.

About 6 years ago I sanded my original shaft with 600 grit sandpaper while using a plastic card as a guide and the resulting taper still looks very nice. So I would expect it would be no problem evening out the taper of the black dot shaft in the same way, that is, if I don't return it for a refund.

So, someone at Meucci must have done a pretty poor job of sanding. Surely someone at Meucci could have at least looked at this shaft before sending it out.

I recall reading about the average player not being able to tell the difference in another forum, but I believe they were referring to the red dot shaft. However, I don't recall reading on Meucci's website that it is recommended to keep the black dot faced up. As far as being an average player, I used to be one over 25 years ago. Today I estimate my level of play to be about an A- to B+, far from average.

After shooting with my black dot shaft now for about 2 hours, I'd be surprised if anyone produced a legit source that shows Meucci recommends facing the black dot up. Of course I could be wrong, but I would be surprised.

sneakypapi
05-29-2005, 08:04 PM
1Timne qoute:

After shooting with my black dot shaft now for about 2 hours, I'd be surprised if anyone produced a legit source that shows Meucci recommends facing the black dot up. Of course I could be wrong, but I would be surprised.

Actually, that information I received was from a Meucci rep who also works on the cues and shafts. Ideally he said the black dot should be faced up, but the person has to be incredibly picky to see the difference in performance. I have always wondered about the flat style laminated shafts, because of their construction (what I mean is the orientation of the layers horizontal opposed to vertical) to see if it would make a difference in playability. Overall the flat laminated shafts hit quite hard in my opinion. In order to really like a shaft you will have to give it some good table time like playing some racks and not just practice then see if any faults of the shaft stand out in your mind.

1Time
05-29-2005, 09:29 PM
Well, then I am surprised. Apparently I'm not picky enough to detect any difference. I would have thought Meucci would have considered the black dot shaft more marketable by representing it to be just as effective regardless of the dot's orientation, a lesson learned from the red dot perhaps. A layered construction seems counter-intuitive to me. A cross section of the Predator shaft shows it has 10 sections pieced together like a pie, which makes more sense to me.

I agree more table time is best to identify pros and cons, especially for those who are not that familiar with what to look for. And although the only major fault I found with its playability was my difficulty with drawing the cue, in 2 hours of playing 9-ball and 1/2 hour of testing it to see if the dot matters, I found all I need to know. In nearly every way I compare my black dot cue, I shoot better with my original cue. And, I can forsee it taking a major overhall of my stroke and game just to have a chance of playing better with my black dot shaft. No thanks, I like my game as is.