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Tom_In_Cincy
09-22-2002, 04:46 PM
There has been tons of talk about Predator vrs Meucci deflection and squirt reduction qualities. I just read about Meucci's new Black dot shaft.

Is it just me or are we (the pool playing and paying public) being scammed again? Do we really think that a plywood shaft (layered pieces of wood) will make a better cue?

I am not (repeat NOT) a big fan of either the Predator, Meucci Red dot or even the new Black dot claims of deflection reduction.

Even if the claims are true.. there is still deflection properties in the cue. You still have to compensate for the squirt of the cue ball imposed by the deflection of the cue shaft.

Does Predator and Meucci really think they can market these cues to the general public? I don't see either in this area (mid-west) in great abundance. But, in all the Pool magazines there is a lot of ads.

I know there are a few posters in this forum that play with Predators and some play with Meuccis. But, I believe that the majority of posters play with NEITHER.. What's the count?

What do you play with...?

I play with a Joss

09-22-2002, 05:23 PM
Tom, here in the mid-Atlantic I see quite a few Predators, both production cues and the break stick. They seem to generate a lot of interest among players and several dealers/rooms sell them. But I would not say they have an overwhelming market share.

I have owned both a Predature playing cue and a break cue, but did not use them very long before selling them. I personally favor a Hercek (primary cue) or Phillipi playing cue because, at least for me, they tend to disappear and become a natural extension of my arm. Even after playing with the Preadator for several weeks, I never felt comfortable with it--it always felt like I was holding a stick that required some added level on control.

For a break stick, I now use a Gulyassy jump/break cue which I absolutely love. It is the only jump/break I found that works equally well for either purpose.

I really hate to generalize about this kind of stuff, but I have always felt that there are two kinds of players; those sensitive to the feel of the cue, and those that are not. It would seem logical that if you are not too concerned about the feel, that other physical characteristics and claims such as minimized deflection, would be a more important basis for cue selection.

I think many beginners, confused by topics such as squirt and deflection, may be persuaded to purchase a Predator thinking they will not have to deal with such issues. In addition, I know of at least 3 instructors who opening recommend and endorse Predator cues to their students.

Just my observations.

Harold Acosta
09-22-2002, 06:23 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: Tom_In_Cincy:</font><hr> There has been tons of talk about Predator vrs Meucci deflection and squirt reduction qualities. I just read about Meucci's new Black dot shaft.

Is it just me or are we (the pool playing and paying public) being scammed again? Do we really think that a plywood shaft (layered pieces of wood) will make a better cue?

I am not (repeat NOT) a big fan of either the Predator, Meucci Red dot or even the new Black dot claims of deflection reduction.

Even if the claims are true.. there is still deflection properties in the cue. You still have to compensate for the squirt of the cue ball imposed by the deflection of the cue shaft.

Does Predator and Meucci really think they can market these cues to the general public? I don't see either in this area (mid-west) in great abundance. But, in all the Pool magazines there is a lot of ads.

I know there are a few posters in this forum that play with Predators and some play with Meuccis. But, I believe that the majority of posters play with NEITHER.. What's the count?

What do you play with...?

I play with a Joss <hr></blockquote>

Everyone should know by now how I feel about Predators, so I'm not going to talk about this one.

About the Meucci, I once owned a PBT 3 Meucci. It was one of the 1995 models, I can't remember. Anyway, didn't like them a bit. My son could have drawn straighter lines, the lines were bleeding. Very disappointed with it.

I purchased two Meucci red dots for friends, didn't like them. The red dot shaft is a joke, as well as the other one you mentioned.

Haven't seen or played with a Black dot, so no comments can be made.

I owned a Schon ST-7 and a Lucasi L-10U. Recently sent it in for overhaul and Schon did a great job! New wrap, finish and my name on it. The Lucasi was purchased in 2000 after I saw them at Valley Forge. Not a bad cue for the price! It's my banging cue.

Chris Cass
09-22-2002, 06:58 PM
Hi Tom,

I tried a couple shots with a Preditor shaft that Jon Kucharo gotten for free from Preditor, on his Schon. In which he sold later. I could make a spot shot out of 6 tries or so.

I took a couple of shots with Jimmy Wetch' Cog with a Preditor shaft that was made for his cue also. There is something too them but it's way too late in the game as far as my game to start using one. IMO Jimmy I believe has a Meucci taper on the shaft, if that means anything?

Jimmy still shoots with one and Jon does not. I think for a player with the time to put in learning to use the Preditor shaft technology might do well with it. I have nothing against the billiard industry marketing their ideas and making the claim of it's products if they're true and proven. It is however already proven that you don't need this technology to shoot at a professional level. I also think your trading one aim point for another to reach the same goal. JMHO

Regards,

C.C.~~shoots with a South West with Canadian Hardrock shaft.

Cueless Joey
09-22-2002, 07:37 PM
You don't "need" Predator shafts. Although a lof of people shoot with them. I'm one of them. I wouldn't shoot with anything else.
Black Dot? 28 ply plywood.
I don't really believe anything from Meucci.

socrates
09-22-2002, 07:39 PM
I have experimented with a predator shaft on several ocaisons over the last several years. My observations:

It is a very stiff hitting shaft.

I belive the predator sets up better on a stainless joint than on implex or wood to wood. Just could do more with the cue ball with the stainless set up.

I think an often overlooked factor is the fact that the shaft is 12&amp;3/4 which is most likely a smaller diameter than most people are accustomed to playing with.

While I felt there were certain things I could do easier with the predator (long draw shots) I just never developed a touch (particuarly on softer shots) and felt that my speed control was not as good with the predator.

Do they deflect less? I believe they do. However, as you pointed out there is still deflection and a player needs to get some hours in with the cue and shaft set up to get comfortable.

Its an expensive experiment but I would not discourage anyone from purchasing a predator shaft and drawing their own conclusions.

I now play with a sixty-inch, 19oz Widowmaker, irish linen wrap, wood to wood implex joint, long 3/8 10 pin, 13mm, lepro tip. Love this cue.

The 60" cues are .830 at the joint vs. the normal .850 at the joint on most standard 58" cues.

Since I play primarily on 9ft tables the benefit of the extra length comes into play more than you might think.

Kato
09-22-2002, 08:22 PM
Tom, I've never played with either Meucci cue. I owned a Predator SP which I wasn't particularly fond of. I own a Predator SLP which is too light so I don't use it. I'm now playing with my Helmstetter 97-10 with a Predator shaft. I had Dennis Searing put rings on it for me and a new collar. The Morri Med-Hard tip gives me great action. Too bad I blow as a pool player, the set up is sweet.

Kato

stickman
09-22-2002, 08:35 PM
Tom, I shoot a Viking with the stock shaft. Only one person I know locally uses a Predator. It is a beautiful early model that has the one inch ferrules. He shoots very good with it, but I suspect he would also shoot very good with my stick. I doubt that I'll ever own one.

WaltVA
09-22-2002, 08:54 PM
I shot with a Schon with a 12.5mm shaft for over 10 years. In 1999 I bought a Predator LE and spent a couple of weeks trying to adjust to it. Not only did I have a problem trying to re-learn deflection allowances, but I missed the feel and control of the Schon, especially on soft touch shots.

I finally went back to the Schon, took the weight bolt out of the Pred, installed a hard WB tip, and use it for my break cue. One of my teammates who regularly uses a Pred shaft loves to borrow it if he doesn't have his own cue for a match.

I think it's probably what you get used to - I just didn't see enough advantage to the low-deflection qualities to make up for the loss of feel, so I didn't persist with the Predator.

Walt in VA

Duke Mantee
09-22-2002, 09:05 PM
Hello, Tom.

I play with Viking cues. I was curious about Predator shafts--couldn't resist the advertising--so I had Viking fit one to my everyday butt. I played with this combo for a few weeks and then gave up on the shaft. I couldn't feel the hit with it, and I can't regulate the speed of the CB effectively with a shaft that doesn't give me plenty of feedback.

I will say this for the Predator shaft: it's absolutely spang-free, and that's worth something. Another point: a low-squirt shaft is probably most helpful to players who use a lot of heavy english. A goof like me stays close to center ball most of the time--or else.

Regards,
D.M.

TomBrooklyn
09-22-2002, 09:18 PM
I play with a hand made Thompson. It has tested as creating cue ball deflection equal to a Predator, but maybe I just got lucky with a good piece of shaft wood. It costs a fraction of the price of a Predator. I'm not sure if you can still get them, though. He had a small shop, his website is no longer up, and he didn't awnser my last email. =TB=

Bob C
09-22-2002, 09:38 PM
About a month ago I switched to a Predator shaft on my Dayton cue and although I'm still getting used to it, I must say I like it. One of its features that doesn't get much press is that there isn't a spine to the shaft wood so no matter how the shaft is turned, you get the same feel and reaction everytime. I tried to make sure the same side was up before I switched, but it was a pain and the tip wore unevenly. With the Predator I feel very confident shooting heavy inside english up to and including medium speed. What I really should do is stop using so much spin, then I wouldn't have to worry about the shaft.

Elvis
09-22-2002, 10:00 PM
&lt;blockquote&gt;&lt;font class="small"&gt;Quote: socrates:&lt;/font&gt;&lt;hr&gt;While I felt there were certain things I could do easier with the predator (long draw shots) I just never developed a touch (particuarly on softer shots) and felt that my speed control was not as good with the predator.
&lt;hr&gt;&lt;/blockquote&gt;

I couldn't have typed it better myself Socrates. I just never had the "touch" on soft shots with the Predator. I also found myself consistently rolling the CB farther than I wanted to. I believe Predator has a great product for the right person. Love the way it breaks but I am trying to sell it and get a Jeff Olney cue. Jeff is a local cue maker that sells a lot of cues in Iowa, Nebraska, and Missouri. Making a name for himself and starting to sell alot of cues further out.

Rod
09-22-2002, 10:41 PM
Tom,
I play with a Schön, 13 1/4mm shaft. I guess if any shaft has deflection or creates more squirt then this would be the one. However I don't really notice that being a problem. I have shot with some predator's, the whole cue not just a shaft on another cue. I can't say as I aim any different but I thought I might have hit the pocket a little fat with the pred. My few tests were done with heavy side english. A friend has one on a Schön, next time I see him I'll play with it for a while. Squirt is not the only issue here as described by others.

I think Preadator has a fair market out here in AZ so their advertising apparently works. I'm sure there are a number of very advanced to pro's that use them, but I also think their marketing captures the beginner to somewhat above average player. After all their the ones looking for a miracle. No clue here on a Muccii, shot two balls with one once and gave it back to the guy. It was near new but the shaft, oh I don't remember the color red as I recall, was smaller in the center than at the tip! If anyone thinks I'm going to place a dot up before every shot, they are obviously on drugs.

People need to realize as you mentioned squirt and deflection exists to some degree. These shafts are not a cure but they may help some, especially if they "believe" it does. I haven't met the right salesman as yet. Well I did but he wasn't selling shafts, even though I got the shaft!

TonyM
09-22-2002, 11:41 PM
The difference between the amount of squirt produced by a stock Joss, and a 314 is huge! It is not trivial at all! And yes you still have to compensate for the little amount of squirt, but the compensation is MUCH less. This is a benefit for a large number of players. There are a lot of 314 shafts in the Toronto area. It's not just a scam or a con. Why do you think so many pros use them when they are not paid to do so?

As for the black-dot being "plywood", I think that your comment is a bit facetious. Laminating wood is a time honoured process for engineered wood products. Personally, I never liked the aspect of the red-dot that yuo had to align the shaft each time (same with the black-dot) so I prefer the radial laminations of the 314.

But I see no problem with a flat laminated shaft.

Tony
-likes low squirt shafts, but can use any shaft regardless of squirt....

09-23-2002, 04:56 AM
Myself, I am sold on the Predator Shaft. I have a Predator Break Cue that has a TREMENDOUS hit &amp; feel. My Play cue is a Pechauer with the Radial Pie shaped laminated shaft from Joe Sanko... wouldn't sell it for love nor money.

bluewolf
09-23-2002, 07:04 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: Kato:</font><hr> Tom, I've never played with either Meucci cue. I owned a Predator SP which I wasn't particularly fond of. I own a Predator SLP which is too light so I don't use it. I'm now playing with my Helmstetter 97-10 with a Predator shaft. I had Dennis Searing put rings on it for me and a new collar. The Morri Med-Hard tip gives me great action. Too bad I blow as a pool player, the set up is sweet.

Kato <hr></blockquote>

ww and i each have 2 each of sceptre cues.they were around 250-300 each.they are weighted nice, with minimal deflection and the butts are a little slimmer than lots of butts.

they are inexpensively made but imo good for the money.ww says he loves his so much he will never play with anything else.once i get better at pool, i might consider trying out one of the medium prices (600-1000) cues, so i enjoy hearing about the good ones.anyway some of you guys could mention price ranges. i would like to know good quality medium prices cues you have used as well as good top of the line ones.

just a funny. a three on ww last team had a 1500 meucci and a cheaper stick.he was trying to sell the meucci because he couldnt tell the difference.i hope i am not being judgemental, but for most beginners, i think as long as the stick is straight, relatively stiff,has a decent tip and feels good that is enough.you guys are way outta my league so collecting data for now and love hearing about these fine cues,just would like to know which ones are medium and which are top dollar.

bw

Rich R.
09-23-2002, 10:13 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: bluewolf:</font><hr> you guys are way outta my league so collecting data for now and love hearing about these fine cues,just would like to know which ones are medium and which are top dollar.

bw <hr></blockquote>
Bluewolf, just a little F.Y.I.
IMHO, there is no such thing as a "top dollar" cue stick.
As soon as you think you have found the most expensive cue, some one will make one more expensive. The high prices are driven by craftmanship, decoration and collectability. These prices don't have much to do with playability. There are some very expensive sticks that do not play well and there are some very inexpensive sticks that do.
For a good quality, basic, cue stick, the prices will start around $200 from a respectable cue maker. When you add inlays and other decorations, and a highly regarded cue maker, the sky is the limit. There are many cues valued in excess of $15K. Just check out some of the dealers' websites.
Don't judge the playability of a cue by the price tag.
You always have to answer the questions, "What do I need?" and "What do I want?"
Rich R.

Tom_In_Cincy
09-23-2002, 12:26 PM
Tony
I can always rely on you for good comments.

Scam or not, Radial or Laminated, Meucci or Predator, the reallity is the same. Squirt has to be compensated for in the aimming process. If just a little or a lot, the compensation has to be learned.

Which is easier to learn with? a low or medium or high deflection cue? Small aimming corrections for low deflection cue? or larger for the medium or high deflection cues?

Coach Tony.. what is your opinion.. ?

I am really interested.. thanks in advance

TonyM
09-23-2002, 01:57 PM
"Squirt has to be compensated for in the aimming process. If just a little or a lot, the compensation has to be learned."

"Which is easier to learn with? a low or medium or high deflection cue? Small aimming corrections for low deflection cue? or larger for the medium or high deflection cues? "

I think that these are the correct questions to ask Tom. And they are good questions!

I think that the answer depends on two factors:

1) what method of squirt compensation the player employs - do they use judgement and trial and error, or do they use some sort of compensating system like aim and pivot?

and

2) how good is the players visual "memory" and muscle memory, and how much time do they have for practice.

I first learned to adjust for squirt using trial and error and my judgement. It was a lengthy process (to say the least). I wish I had known what I know now. It would have saved me a lot of time and grief!

What I have found, is that if a player decides to use the trial and error method and use their judgement to compensate for squirt, then a lower squirt cue can be of considerable benefit to them. Having a smaller amount of compensation is (imo) far easier to cope with than having a large amount of compensation. There are technical arguments that can support this, but regardless of those arguments, I have found that with my students, they have a far easier time learning to cope with squirt when using a low squirt cue (and the judgement method).

What I find really happens with a higher squirt cue is not what many people (and perhaps yourself?) think happens. Many players claim that given enough time you can adapt to a larger amount of squirt just as easily as you can with a small amount of squirt. In practice I find that this is not always the case. The devil is in the details.

What really happens is that players with high squirt cues (that use judgement only) often develop a good memory for the compensation required for a standard series of common shots. But often these are for a specific amount of sidespin (like 1 tip only) and a certain speed. They don't neccessarily cope with less common shots that require higher than normal speeds, or longer distances. In other words, they limit the amount of sidespin and speed to limit the number of shots that they have to memorize.

Also, they tend to not use english as often as the players that get used to a low squirt cue (this might not be a bad thing!).

Players that get used to a low squirt cue tend to have a wider range of shots and speeds that they feel comfortable using plenty of english with. (in general, not in every case).

I demonstrated this in the past to doubting players (even some pros) with some test shots that put the players in a situation that is not comfortable. In my tests, the players with the low squirt cues coped better than the players with the high squirt cues. The high squirt players would say things like "but I'd never play that shot, or give me a few more tries and I'll get it down".(This was only players that use judgement for squirt compensation).

I've also seen many cases where players with high squirt cues that use judgement only stick with the cue for a long time because of it's "feel", and continue to try and "get used to" the compensation for squirt. Some eventually do adapt, but some do not.

Likewise, if you first learned with a high squirt cue, there is a need to adapt to a low squirt cue. Some cannot do this as well.

I think that given enough time and effort, it is possible to adapt to a whole range of amounts of squirt, Starting from scratch though, it has been my experience that it is possible to master the effects of sidespin faster with a low squirt cue. "If you use judgement as your method"

Now for those players that want to experiment with something like back hand english, then it is possible to master the effects of english with a high squirt cue very rapidly.

If you can aim with centerball, then you can learn to use english fairly easily using bhe.

I'll teach this method and leave it up to the student if they want to use it as their primary means of compensating for squirt (ideal for players with little practice time available btw)or if they want to use it to develop the visual memory required to eventually "wean" themselves off of the method.

For bhe, it is far better to have a cue with the spp near the standard bridge length. This means that it is better to learn this with a high squirt cue. (spp of 8" to 14").

So how rapidly you can learn to adapt to the effects of squirt will depend on the method of compensation that you employ, how much time you have to bring to bear on the problem, and you natural abilities to visualize the correct cue alignment. So even your memory will play a role.

So for some players, it can be shown that a low squirt cue might be a decided advantage to THEM. For others it might not matter.

So I don't want to endorse a blanket reccomendation for low squirt cues, or for that matter I cannot in good conscience claim that it simply is irrelevant.

While it is true that high performance can be attained with either approach, one or the other might be better suited to a particular player.

A coach will need to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of each player, and chose an approach that "fits".

Tony

09-23-2002, 02:08 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: TomBrooklyn:</font><hr> I play with a hand made Thompson. It has tested as creating cue ball deflection equal to a Predator, but maybe I just got lucky with a good piece of shaft wood. It costs a fraction of the price of a Predator. I'm not sure if you can still get them, though. He had a small shop, his website is no longer up, and he didn't awnser my last email. =TB= <hr></blockquote>

True i was with you at Valley Forge when Muccie put your cue in the contraption he had for testing deflection.
TomB i was wondering about that other machine he put your shaft on,the one that spins it and tells you the optimal side of the shaft to hold. you should have marked it that day... any way what was that test called? i cant remember.

Tom_In_Cincy
09-23-2002, 02:15 PM
Tony..

I just don't like the marketing approach Meucci and Predator are using to influence the pool playing public.

My references to the plywood cue are somewhat facetious, but there is some truth to my observations.

I have played with the red dot and the Predator cues and have found that neither are as low in deflection as they state. I do play with a Joss and it does have a higher deflection than either. But, IMO it isn't that much higher.

If ZERO deflection is a 10... then the Meucci and Predator are about 6 or 7 and the Joss is around 4 or 5.. Just my analogy.

All require a compensation to be able to make the OB and make the CB move to the desired result.

If I could teach how to compenstate for squirt, I would only be able to set up shots (like my practice routine) and let the students draw their own conclusions and learn how to judge the level of compensation.

Your opinion is a personal one, just like mine.. I am just posting to get others to think about it and reply with there opinions.. so far.. there hasn't been too many posters that are 'low squirt' 'low deflection' supporters.

And, Why do (your number) 50% of Pros use Predators? which ones do.. and are they free? or do they have to pay for them? What is your reference? The Predator Web site? if you believe what you read,, then read the Meucci web site's info. Can you believe both?

09-23-2002, 08:50 PM
Yea, Joey, I don't see how anybody can believe this stuff. Like you said, black lipstick. I wonder if ol 'Bob came up with the black dot in October, right after there was a glut of left over Halloween items. Nah, couldn't be, otherwise he would have marketed wax lips as wrap-around cue wax, uniquely molded to fit your shaft.

Bob

Cueless Joey
09-23-2002, 09:09 PM
Bob, Bob M. doesn't care what you think,
because deep down he bleeds Mary Kay Pink.

09-23-2002, 09:09 PM
Tom,

Not me, not with a Meucci, not over my dead and lifeless body. If you want some laughs and disgusting facts about ol' Bob and the crap he pulls, click here and then read all the responses. By the way, the original Anonymous post and several responses were mine before I signed up to be a member.

http://www.billiardsdigest.com/ccboard/showthreaded.php?Cat=&amp;Board=ccbboard&amp;Number=32407&amp; Search=true&amp;Forum=ccbboard&amp;Words=pot-passers&amp;Match=Entire%20Phrase&amp;Searchpage=0&amp;Limit=2 5&amp;Old=6months&amp;Main=32407

Bob

09-23-2002, 09:43 PM
Good one, Joey, a real ripper.

Bob

TonyM
09-23-2002, 11:37 PM
Some of the marketing hype seems over the top to me as well.

And as far as I'm concerned, the real benfit to a laminated wooden shaft is that it has perhaps a better chance of staying straight over the long term. As far as radial consistency is concerned, I think that this is overrated, and at best only a minor effect. You can get woderfully consistent, stable 1 piece solid wood shaft as well, it's just getting harder and harder to find wood of that sort of caliber. So from a practical standpoint, lamination makes some sense technically.

I personally know quite a few pros (mostly Canadian I am afraid) that use a 314. I don't know if they get them for free. I know some don't. They do prefer the lower squirt characteristics.

As I said, for some players, depending on their abilites, this might be very beneficial. For others it might not be important at all.

With what I know today, I can play with virtually any cue with any amount of squirt and adapt very quickly. And I've played with cues with very close to zero squirt (pivot point of 100" +) and super high squirt (pivot point of 2"!).

But I wouldn't want to play with a cue with a pivot point any less than my bridge length (about 10") for an extended period of time.

Also, I did not find the super low squirt cue to really turn my crank either.

Tony

SpiderMan
09-24-2002, 09:57 AM
I think a laminated shaft is one solution to the increasing difficulty (and expense) of finding great slow-growth shaft wood. Now they've come up with a way to market this as an "improvement".

I'll bet that A glue-laminated shaft will have more pronounced variation in the flex strength (edge vs flat).

SpiderMan

<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: Tom_In_Cincy:</font><hr> There has been tons of talk about Predator vrs Meucci deflection and squirt reduction qualities. I just read about Meucci's new Black dot shaft.

Is it just me or are we (the pool playing and paying public) being scammed again? Do we really think that a plywood shaft (layered pieces of wood) will make a better cue?

I am not (repeat NOT) a big fan of either the Predator, Meucci Red dot or even the new Black dot claims of deflection reduction.

Even if the claims are true.. there is still deflection properties in the cue. You still have to compensate for the squirt of the cue ball imposed by the deflection of the cue shaft.

Does Predator and Meucci really think they can market these cues to the general public? I don't see either in this area (mid-west) in great abundance. But, in all the Pool magazines there is a lot of ads.

I know there are a few posters in this forum that play with Predators and some play with Meuccis. But, I believe that the majority of posters play with NEITHER.. What's the count?

What do you play with...?

I play with a Joss <hr></blockquote>

TomBrooklyn
09-24-2002, 10:50 AM
The other machine you are referring to is called a 'spine gauge' I think. It measures the radial consistency of the shaft. In other words, how far the shaft bends when a side force is applied near the tip. Wood, having a grain that runs a certain way depending on what part of the tree is was cut from, is not equally resistant to bending when the force is applied from different directions.

When a cue stick hits a ball anywhere other than in the center, a certain amount of vector force is generated perpendicular to the shaft, which naturally causes the shaft to bend. This bending theoretically affects how much the cue ball squirts. I believe the more the shaft bends, the less the cue ball squirts.

Meucci puts a dot of some of their shafts at the point opposite from the direction where a constant force causes the greatest bend, and recommends that you shoot with the dot in the same place every time to get more consistent performance. If you didn't do this you wouldn't be at a disadvantage over using a shaft that didn't have the point marked, you just wouldn't be utilizing the potential advantage of the added consistency. And the more radially consistent a shaft was the less important holding it a certain way each time would be.

That being said, I use english infrequently and don't shoot well enough to tell any difference. And I don't know of any highly skilled players that are concerned with it anyway. The above is just the theory as I understand it. A picture of the machine is here: http://www.meuccicues.com/Spine-Gauge.htm =Tom