View Full Version : Breaking in a new cue

11-29-2007, 01:05 PM
I got very irritated last night as I had purchased a new McDermott cue and was very dissapointed in the feel of the hit. All my 'career' I have shot with a Cuetec and never though much of the feel. Many friends and pool associates tried convincing me many times to get away from fiberglass and use a wood shaft. I was accustomed to the way the fiberglass felt in my bridge hand and would never listen.

My wife shoots with a Lucassi and the feel of the hit on the cue ball was a little better than I usually feel with a Cuetec, since the shaft is more flexible. The slight difference still did not change my mind. It was not until I started shooting with my buddies McDermott that I decided to get a wood shaft. His McDermott is a couple years old now and from what I have seen is the Genesis series purchased from Pool-A-Rama (now The Great Escape).

I bought a McDermott Alpha Plus, which in the description is the same exact cue without any wrap. The hit with my new cue felt no different than the Cuetec that I always shot with, very stiff. I also have a Tiger Laminated soft tip on the cue to help with a softer feel, as this is my preference. His cue still has the standard Triangle that came on the cue.

Other than just the feel you can hear the difference in the hit. My cue sounds almost like a miscue anytime a slight amount of english is applied to the cue ball. I hit the same shot with His cue and it sounds and feels great. Also, playing on bar boxes, I end up with some rocks for cue balls, which with my cue (and my old Cuetec) can only draw minimal. With my buddies cue I get close to 50% draw of what I can with a good cue ball.

Has an adjustment been made in engineering in the past couple years that would make this so crappy, or does my cue need more time to break in, either the shaft or the tip?

Another note: I would love to play with a Meucci, but cannot afford one at this point in time.

All help is greatly appreciated.


11-30-2007, 06:42 AM
There is no such thing a a "break in" for a pool cue...JER

Rich R.
11-30-2007, 07:39 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote BLACKHEART:</font><hr> There is no such thing a a "break in" for a pool cue...JER <hr /></blockquote>There may be a period of "break in", for the player to get used to the new cue, especially if the cue is considerably different from what they are used to using. I suspect that moving from a Cuetec to a McD is a major change.

Just a note to Jager.
Don't be in too big of a hurry to play with a Meucci. People either love them or hate them. You may be more disappointed with a Meucci than you are with the McD.

There are plenty of cues out there. Try as many different cues as you can. It takes a little work to find the one you like the best.

11-30-2007, 08:45 AM
Other than getting used to the way a new cue feels, the main thing I noticed is that you are using a different tip than your friends. Trying a new tip is a cheap and easy thing to do. After all, the tip has a lot to do with how you hit and feel that hit. Go ahead and put a Triangle on your cue, like your friend has and see what happens. Good Luck.

11-30-2007, 10:16 AM
Tip or shaft, I had been debating this one for a while and tried numerous tips on my Cuetec before I switched. I tried a LePro, Triangle, Elk Master, Tiger Laminated Soft, Sniper, and Moori III soft. Out of the layered with the Cuetec the Tiger Laminated Soft felt the best, and the Elk Master had a slightly better feel but was not layered and required much more maintenance so I stuck with the Tiger. Anyway I can even feel a difference in vibration in the shafts in my bridge hand. I was told by an old friend to pay close attention to this.

Also, a Triangle is a hard tip compared to a soft, how could it produce a softer feel? Any engineers around?

At this point if I tried a different tip I would switch to the Elk Master, but would rather sell the cue if it is not going to help.

I know my way around a table, but cue enginnering I am just starting to learn so all advice is welcome and appreciated.

11-30-2007, 11:23 AM
As you have learned, different cues play differently!

Ignore the name printed on the cue, look at the specifications of the cue...

-Shaft size at tip and taper - Can "feel" different.

-Weight of cue - Can change your learned speed control.

-Mass of first 5 inches of shaft from tip (heavy wood, lighter wood, fiberglass, low deflection cue) - Differences in this can change squirt (cue ball deflection) when using english.

-Hardness of tip - Can change how much "grip" the tip gets on the ball (try drawing with a very very soft tip vs a very hard phenolic tip).

-Material tip made of - Can change how well the tip holds chalk.

-Shape of tip - Predator say a dime shaped tip will have less deflection. I feel that differently shaped tips will play differently when using english, follow, or draw.

The bottom line is that if you get a new *different* cue with a *different* tip it is going to play differently. Or just getting a different tip installed can mess up consistent play. I see it all the time. Someone gets a new different tip, different hardness, different brand, different tip shape, and their game goes down the tubes for awhile.

So I say experiment with different specifications of cues. (The name does not matter, the same manufacturer can make all sorts of different types of cues.) Find what you like best.

Then experiment with different tip brands, different hardness, different tip shapes (dime, nickel, quarter).

Then pick what you like and STICK with that forever.

When you play with the exact same specification of cue and tip for many years, neat things start to happen. For example you may want to draw the cue ball back 6 inches and can do it. Or follow 6 inches and can do it.

Basically the cue is always the same in every respect - so you can learn to hit with precision.

It took me a year to fully adjust to a new tip and cue, but this was a radical change...

11-30-2007, 11:35 AM
I have a McD alpha, and it plays just fine. It is a flexible stick, and it takes a snug twist to get the joint tight. No vibration problems, though.

Cracked ferrule or shaft?

Perhaps your buddy with the McD should hit a few with it to see if he notices a problem.