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View Full Version : Why are Tad Kohara cues so expensive?



08-21-2002, 03:03 PM
It seems that for equivalent/similar work and detail in comparison to other medium to high-end cues by other well-known cuemakers, Tad cues seem to command a premium. So how would one know if they are paying too high a price when its hard to know what the premium is caused by? Are they just that better manufactured? Or is it the relative rarity? Any insights from Forum members that have owned or shot with a Tad would be appreciated. Thanks.

08-21-2002, 07:25 PM
Complexity of design, rarity,older cuemaker(well known) reputation all play roles in this fine cuemakers cues.. I personally have owned two of his cues and except for the workmanship really dont care for the play characteristics.

Bob C
08-21-2002, 08:10 PM
I understand that Tad Kohara has a large Asian following. That, combined with limited production, equates to high prices.

08-22-2002, 06:19 AM
integrity, beauty, scarcity, he goes back to the early 60's and has earned his rep.

price is placed on a value judgement by cue collectors and players alike.

ginacue is double tads. why? cogniscenti is just as pricey, and gold has been making cues for only 8-9 years. why? sigel sells his cues at ridiculous prices. why? joey gold is FAR and away pricier than any cuemaker of his ilk. why?

Fred Agnir
08-22-2002, 07:14 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: val2play:</font><hr> It seems that for equivalent/similar work and detail in comparison to other medium to high-end cues by other well-known cuemakers, Tad cues seem to command a premium. So how would one know if they are paying too high a price when its hard to know what the premium is caused by? Are they just that better manufactured? Or is it the relative rarity? Any insights from Forum members that have owned or shot with a Tad would be appreciated. Thanks. <hr></blockquote>
My own opinion is that there was a transition from old masters using traditional designs to new masters changing cues' designs to add "art" to functionality. The old masters would include Balabushka, Szamboti, Martin, Balner..., the new masters that "started" the transition to today's functional art cues and really were the pre-cursor to today's cue collecting trend were Ernie Gutierrez and Tad Kohara. That's one reason why Tad cues command a price. He was an innovator going beyond standard fare.

Fred

Chris Cass
08-22-2002, 09:15 AM
Hi Arnie,

Joey Gold has been making cues since 1990. Not that that amounts to a hill of beans. LOL I think Fred has touched on the real reasons, myself personally. Ernie Guterrez(sp?) still only works with one other in his small shop. About 3 mths ago he had a good amount of Ivory crack on him, out of the blue. I've seen some resent work with just a plain jane and all I can say is, WOW. That's talent.

Regards,

C.C.

08-22-2002, 11:21 AM
Yes, Fred. I inclined to agree with you. Now that I've had a chance to play with several cues from a lot of the well-regarded cue makers, it seems to me that in terms of functionality (i.e. "hit" and "feel"), its hard to justify the premium. But from an art and historical standpoint, you're probably on the right track. Its a bit disappointing for me since I buy cues to play with and not to collect. Once I'm bored playing with a cue, I tend to just practically give them away to friends and family.

08-22-2002, 12:34 PM
Tad is also known to unload wood to other cue makers, keeping the best stock for himself.

Fred Agnir
08-22-2002, 01:17 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: val2play:</font><hr> Once I'm bored playing with a cue, I tend to just practically give them away to friends and family. <hr></blockquote>
I'll be your best friend if you decide to buy and subsequently get bored with that Tad.

Hope this helps,

Fred

08-22-2002, 04:31 PM
there are many vagueries to perceived value. but there are some standards as well, as fred pointed out. today, i believe, there are three who date back to the 60's, doing custom work. tad, gina, and schraeger. interestingly, these three happen to be the most distinctive from all others.

i think with the abundance of cuemakers today, and the technology available to them, it will be hard for someone to jump out ahead of the others. tad and ernie certainly have earned their rep over the course of decades, so they remain at the top of their class and will stay there past retirement. this is their just due.

guyz like gold and mcworter are fancy shmancy, and there will be others just as fancy shancy. but once ernie, tad and burt go, the link to the "old guard" will end.

the next group is stroud, mottey, black, and schick.

Cueless Joey
08-22-2002, 05:13 PM
Tad's work is expensive because of so many factors. He started early and bought Harvey Martin's equipment when he quit. His designs are quite elaborate. He does use CNC now I am told. Japanese buyers buy most of his cues. Tad is of Japanese decent of course. Tad's cues can be indentified 100 feet away. They are built better than Gina imo. I don't think Tad's cues hit any better than say a Prewitt.

08-22-2002, 07:48 PM
can you describe a prewitt hit? hard, sharp, whippy, dry(like southwest) etc,etc. what other cue does it hit similiar to, in your opinion? what are his shafts like?

Cueless Joey
08-22-2002, 07:58 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: arnie:</font><hr> can you describe a prewitt hit? hard, sharp, whippy, dry(like southwest) etc,etc. what other cue does it hit similiar to, in your opinion? what are his shafts like? <hr></blockquote>
His cues hit stiff but have great feel. His shafts are as good as Tad's. Ed's a master machinist and it shows. His cues are built tough. No buzzing like tons of cues out there.

Tommy_Davidson
08-23-2002, 01:31 AM
All the Tad's I've seen have been owned by Japanese players,or collectors. He does SUPER nice work,right up there with Ernie. As far as Joey Gold,his cues are truly cutting edge as far as construction,but I'm not real crazy about some of his inlay patterns,as far as the shape of the points,but the hit is a thing of beauty,as long as the tip isn't mushy. I've hit balls with some that had pretty soft tips,and the hit wasn't close to being what it's capable of being. Mike Sigel's cues are really nice,as far as the level of craftsmanship you can see with your eyes,but have yet to hit a ball with one. Both are pretty popular with collectors. Joey really believes his cues are worth what he charges,while Mike is probably getting a lot of sales on his moniker alone. Tommy D.

08-23-2002, 01:43 AM
every cuemaker does that. they're not going to give away their best stuff. at after 40 years tad must have quite a stock of quality wood.

08-23-2002, 01:50 AM
tad sends the bulk of his work to japan, plus he's only doing 5-7 per month, i THINK. so they are scarce.

being a former player, gold likes his hit stiff and sharp, and he builds 'em with that in mind. so he also uses material at the ferrule and joint that no one else has. so i'm thinking it would be counterproductive(the way gold would prefer it) to to use a soft tip on a cognescenti.

08-23-2002, 01:50 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: Cueless Joey:</font><hr> &lt;blockquote&gt;&lt;font class="small"&gt;Quote: arnie:&lt;/font&gt;&lt;hr&gt; can you describe a prewitt hit? hard, sharp, whippy, dry(like southwest) etc,etc. what other cue does it hit similiar to, in your opinion? what are his shafts like? &lt;hr&gt;&lt;/blockquote&gt;
His cues hit stiff but have great feel. His shafts are as good as Tad's. Ed's a master machinist and it shows. His cues are built tough. No buzzing like tons of cues out there. <hr></blockquote>

Hi CJ,

I guess I'd also like to know your opinion and description of a Tad "hit". Thanks.

Val

Cueless Joey
08-23-2002, 04:01 PM
Hi CJ,

I guess I'd also like to know your opinion and description of a Tad "hit". Thanks.

Val <hr></blockquote>
I've tried his cues with stainless steel joint. They hit hard. But, a lot of players love 'em. Tad makes "players' cues" as well. Big pin with phenolic joints. Those hit very well.

08-23-2002, 04:26 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: Cueless Joey:</font><hr>

Hi CJ,

I guess I'd also like to know your opinion and description of a Tad "hit". Thanks.

Val &lt;hr&gt;&lt;/blockquote&gt;
I've tried his cues with stainless steel joint. They hit hard. But, a lot of players love 'em. Tad makes "players' cues" as well. Big pin with phenolic joints. Those hit very well. <hr></blockquote>

The Tad I'm seriously considering buying (and going without food for the next 2 years or so) is a stainless steel jointed one. I don't mind a "hard hit" In fact, one of the best hitting cues I've had was a Dale Perry with a SS unilock piloted joint that had a pretty hard hit. But hopefully, the "hard" Tad hit still provides for a lot of feel and feedback. Is that the case or do you like the Tad "player" cues better in that regard?

Cueless Joey
08-23-2002, 04:38 PM
Val, you liked a DP? LOL
I know one guy who dumped one for a Prewitt sneaky.
I just don't like ss joints. They kill the feedback to the hands. The only ss jointed cues I somehat like are Mcdaniels. Somehow his are quiet and do not hit like ss jointed cues.
Tad's players cues are superb. Absolutely superb. They are a lot more "alive" imo.

08-24-2002, 05:58 PM
Yes, I know it sounds laughable, but that DP was great. I know what you mean about ss jointed cues. In my experience, the ss jointed cues I've played with takes more effort to put action on the cue ball (i.e., they're less "alive") when compared to the wood-to-wood or similar joints. But ss jointed cues seem to give me more consistent control and direction of my shots.

Also, just wanted to tell you that your posts are one of the reasons I like going to check the messages on this board. Sometimes, I just need that shot of entertainment at work. Thanks again, for the feedback.

Cueless Joey
08-24-2002, 10:28 PM
Good luck in your order of Tad,V.
I wished I ordered his players cue two years ago so I'd have it by now.lol

Chris Cass
08-25-2002, 10:10 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: Cueless Joey:</font><hr> Val, you liked a DP? LOL
I know one guy who dumped one for a Prewitt sneaky.
I just don't like ss joints. They kill the feedback to the hands. The only ss jointed cues I somehat like are Mcdaniels. Somehow his are quiet and do not hit like ss jointed cues.
Tad's players cues are superb. Absolutely superb. They are a lot more "alive" imo. <hr></blockquote>

Hi Joey,

Voodoo knows Prewitt, personally. Then again, he knows all the biggies in the industry, personally. I've seen some of the cues on the net. They're pretty nice looking. Voodoo tells me that Prewitt is a fisherman, if I recall right. He makes very little amount of cues. When he does, they're real special. Tons of Ivory in the ones I've seen on the net.

Regards,

C.C.

Cueless Joey
08-25-2002, 11:17 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: Chris Cass:</font><hr> &lt;blockquote&gt;&lt;font class="small"&gt;Quote: Cueless Joey:&lt;/font&gt;&lt;hr&gt; Val, you liked a DP? LOL
I know one guy who dumped one for a Prewitt sneaky.
I just don't like ss joints. They kill the feedback to the hands. The only ss jointed cues I somehat like are Mcdaniels. Somehow his are quiet and do not hit like ss jointed cues.
Tad's players cues are superb. Absolutely superb. They are a lot more "alive" imo. &lt;hr&gt;&lt;/blockquote&gt;

Hi Joey,

Voodoo knows Prewitt, personally. Then again, he knows all the biggies in the industry, personally. I've seen some of the cues on the net. They're pretty nice looking. Voodoo tells me that Prewitt is a fisherman, if I recall right. He makes very little amount of cues. When he does, they're real special. Tons of Ivory in the ones I've seen on the net.

Regards,

C.C. <hr></blockquote>
CC,
Ed lives by the ocean up in L.A. HIs cues are rock solid. I heard he caught a ton of attention at the Hopkins show. He sold those two 12,000 dollar cues to Classiccues. Lucky in Japan orders a ton of his work.

08-25-2002, 02:35 PM
l know lot's of cuemakers sell in japan. good for ed. bad for ed if japan dries up. good for ed if he only makes a few cues and doesn't rely on them for a living(selling to japan). i think they're very, very expensive.

Cueless Joey
08-25-2002, 03:42 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: arnie:</font><hr> l know lot's of cuemakers sell in japan. good for ed. bad for ed if japan dries up. good for ed if he only makes a few cues and doesn't rely on them for a living(selling to japan). i think they're very, very expensive. <hr></blockquote>
Arnie, Ed's basic cue can be had for around 800 with a leather wrap. Nobody does leather wrap better than Ed. His is as good as Ernie's. His forearms are doweled uniquely.
He has a good following here in Socal.
Are your Arnot btw? I had an Arnot basic purpleheart one time. My brother has it now.

08-25-2002, 05:15 PM
no i'm not. just a guy who sees lot's of cues.:)

08-26-2002, 03:14 AM
That may be so, but I just spoke to Ed a couple of weeks ago and he told me he is not taking any new orders for the forseeable future due, in large part, to the existing orders for Japan. I even told him I would be willing to wait years for it. Maybe I need to order a cue with a 5-figure price range before he'll pay attention to it. Good for Ed, but kinda sad for us local blokes in Socal who can't afford to shell out that kind of cash.

Cueless Joey
08-26-2002, 09:14 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: val2play:</font><hr> That may be so, but I just spoke to Ed a couple of weeks ago and he told me he is not taking any new orders for the forseeable future due, in large part, to the existing orders for Japan. I even told him I would be willing to wait years for it. Maybe I need to order a cue with a 5-figure price range before he'll pay attention to it. Good for Ed, but kinda sad for us local blokes in Socal who can't afford to shell out that kind of cash. <hr></blockquote>
Yikes! Thanks Val. I could have gotten one a few months back from a very good friend of his. But the cue had a ss joint.

Rich R.
08-26-2002, 09:44 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: val2play:</font><hr> That may be so, but I just spoke to Ed a couple of weeks ago and he told me he is not taking any new orders for the forseeable future due, in large part, to the existing orders for Japan. I even told him I would be willing to wait years for it. Maybe I need to order a cue with a 5-figure price range before he'll pay attention to it. Good for Ed, but kinda sad for us local blokes in Socal who can't afford to shell out that kind of cash. <hr></blockquote>
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: Clueless Joey:</font><hr>
Yikes! Thanks Val. I could have gotten one a few months back from a very good friend of his. But the cue had a ss joint. <hr></blockquote>
You can not blame any cue maker for selling as many cues as possible to the Japanese dealers. I know one prominent cue maker who sells a very large percentage of his cues to a Japanese dealer. He is able to charge them the full retail price for all cues. The dealer comes to his shop a few times a year and buys everything he has completed. He then turns around and sells them for a 100% mark up in Japan.
It is a nice steady income for the cue maker, with out any headaches.
Rich R.

08-26-2002, 12:09 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: Rich R.:</font><hr> &lt;blockquote&gt;&lt;font class="small"&gt;Quote: You can not blame any cue maker for selling as many cues as possible to the Japanese dealers. I know one prominent cue maker who sells a very large percentage of his cues to a Japanese dealer. He is able to charge them the full retail price for all cues. The dealer comes to his shop a few times a year and buys everything he has completed. He then turns around and sells them for a 100% mark up in Japan.
It is a nice steady income for the cue maker, with out any headaches.
Rich R. <hr></blockquote>

I do agree with you. In fact, more power to Ed. But when he refused my order, this was after I told him that I could wait years and just wanted to be on the list with no guaranteed delivery date (basically at his discretion when to deliver the cue). And it would have been a cue between $2K and $3K (and I would have been prepared to put down a significant deposit). After that I just could not understand his refusal.

Rich R.
08-26-2002, 12:21 PM
val2play, I was only saying that you should not blame him for doing business with the Japanese dealers. I in no way meant to imply that I agreed with him refusing your order.
I don't believe any business man/woman should refuse a valid order.
Rich R.

Cueless Joey
08-26-2002, 12:21 PM
Val, just maybe Ed is thinking of quitting 2 to 3 yrs from now? Heck, his waiting is 2 yrs plus now I believe.

08-26-2002, 12:47 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: Cueless Joey:</font><hr> Val, just maybe Ed is thinking of quitting 2 to 3 yrs from now? Heck, his waiting is 2 yrs plus now I believe.
<hr></blockquote>

WIth the prices Ed's getting on his cues, he could probably retire in a few years. Before the Japan orders came in, Ed used to play in my local pool room in Santa Monica, CA at least once or twice a week. Now he doesn't get to play at all.

Cueless Joey
08-26-2002, 01:24 PM
Val, Ed used to go to Hard Times to peddle his wands. This bonehead didn't think much of them then.lol
Hell, even Tang Hoa waited two years for his EP.lol

08-26-2002, 02:59 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: Cueless Joey:</font><hr>
Val, Ed used to go to Hard Times to peddle his wands. This bonehead didn't think much of them then.lol
Hell, even Tang Hoa waited two years for his EP.lol <hr></blockquote>

LOL
Hell, if I have to play like Tang Hoa before Ed makes one for me, I'd have better luck winning the lottery.