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Geoff
03-06-2003, 03:35 PM
Hi everyone, I just discovered this board about a week ago, what a great resource! I am pretty much a beginner. I've been playing once or twice a week for a few years now, but only in the last 6 months have I been practicing and playing almost every day. My question is, could some of you recomend a good cue for a beginner to start out with, that will last me a few years? I have been playing with a Palmer Billiards cue that cost me about $50 last year, but the ferrule has begun coming loose, and the tip is done. Rather then even bother to get it repaired I'd rather just invest in a good cue that will suit me as I develop my stroke and learn technique. I have been using a 19 oz. cue with a 13mm tip, but I seem to play better when using a cue with a 12.75 or 12.5 tip. If anyone has any recomendations, I'd really appreciate it. I'd like to keep it under $250, Im a law student on a VERY tight budget.

Sid_Vicious
03-06-2003, 03:40 PM
How about shopping the internet for one of Predator's sneaky pete style cues(Looks like a house cue when assembled)? You get the 12.75 ferrule, plus a great shaft. It might be a little over 250, but would definitely last you a long time and also be a good cue to keep even after you made a move upwards...sid

Cueless Joey
03-06-2003, 03:40 PM
Get a Predator sneakie pete. If you don't like it, it has very good resale value.

Sid_Vicious
03-06-2003, 03:41 PM
Same idea, same time...sid ;-)

Geoff
03-06-2003, 03:47 PM
thanks for the quick responses guys. To add a bit to my question, what are some things I should look for in general when shopping for a cue? I am familiar with the different tips and the pro taper, what about joints? Is wood to wood a good thing or bad? all advice is appreciated. I have been doing a lot of research on the net, and it seems the more I read the more confused I get!

Predator314
03-06-2003, 03:52 PM
I just ordered a Predator from seyberts.com. They are top notch. I was actually sent the wrong cue and I called them about it. He apologized and sent me the correct cue before UPS even picked up the incorrect cue.

You should also check out some Viking's. Predator's are top notch though.

bluewolf
03-06-2003, 04:11 PM
I have the predator sneaky pete wood to wood joint. It has a unilock joint and mine weighs 19oz. The tip is 12.75. It is a superb stick.

Before you grab a deal on a used one, here is the price I got mine for from www.poolndarts.com (http://www.poolndarts.com) , which is meullers. I paid $276 plus shipping. Just so that you know what the new one costs because it is hard to find a deal on a predator. They definately hold their resale, another reason to consider one.

Laura

Geoff
03-06-2003, 04:23 PM
rings, inlays, points...are these all simply decorative items on a cue? /ccboard/images/graemlins/confused.gif

Sid_Vicious
03-06-2003, 06:44 PM
Yep. If you consider the Predator, go wood-to-wood joint, the sneakier the better, plus it's cheaper. That cue will do you a fantastic job, it's a no-brainer...sid

03-06-2003, 06:58 PM
You pay $50 bucks, you got what you paid for, it is supposed to fall apart on you, so trash can it dude. It is hard to get anything of real value in a cue for under a C note, or $l00. Check out the Stealth cues, you can make a deal on one for $125, with a stainless steel joint, real inlays & a irish linnen wrap and they play great. I can perform my entire trick shot show of world class shots with one. If you cant find one in your area to pick up, then call me, I'll sell you one. www.fastlarrypool.com (http://www.fastlarrypool.com) Best Wishes,
Fast Larry Guninger

Geoff
03-06-2003, 07:42 PM
what about Lucassi? They seem to offer a lot cue for the $$. Im getting the impression that if I intend to stick with it, my best bet is to spend a bit more now and go for the Predator, and look at it as an investment?

03-06-2003, 08:49 PM
Definitely consider vikings, they are one of the best valued cues in my opinion. I can't really tell you what to look for except that if youre going under 250, don't go for the expensive decorations and inlays, try as many cues as you can and just see what feels right.

03-06-2003, 10:03 PM
If $250-$300 is in your budget range, then I would agree with others here to look for an entry-level Preditor, Viking, and maybe a Lucasi. Lucasi's seem to be popular for their hit, but there are lot of posts on this board mentioning sub-standard wrap jobs that fall apart very quickly.

If, on the other hand, your budget is more the $50-$100 range, then the only sub-$100 cue I've ever seen that was worth anything was a Dufferin Sneaky Pete. Dollar for dollar its one of the best bargains around. You can get 'em for $60-$70 online. I had one many years ago and loved it, but unfortunately I lost it. I haven't tried their recent cues, but they still sell the same model I had, and from what I hear they are still quality made. I've been thinking of grabbing another just to have as an inexpensive backup or even a break cue. I've got 5 Brunswick Medallions 2-piece house cues with wraps, that retail for around $100 each, and I don't care for them at all compared to the Dufferin.

Just my $0.02...

David

03-06-2003, 10:29 PM
I agree with the others that the Predator sneaky pete is a good choice, but a broader suggestion is to get an entry-level cue from one of the better cue makers. Schon is a good choice, but I think their entry level cues are in the $400 ballpark, but you may be able to find a used one in good condition on ebay in your price range. Also consider J. Pechauer & Dale Perry, though there are certainly other good ones. I still have a fondness for the older McDermott's (C & D series). I recently saw a couple of D-19's (dice cue) on ebay in your price range. The good news is it's hard to go wrong with any of these suggestions, as they all make a good product. I play just as well with my McDermott break cue as I do my custom Chris Nitti.

Wally_in_Cincy
03-07-2003, 08:00 AM
If I may throw something in here, McDermott has apparently lowered their prices by about 30% in order to compete with the Chinese junk cues.

I saw the pool hall owner unpacking some this week and I was shocked at the prices on them. Nice cues for $225 MSRP.

Wally~~ <font color="green">McDermott</font color> fan and agrees with Gayle in Md, buy <font color="red">Amer</font color><font color="blue">ican </font color>

Predator314
03-07-2003, 08:11 AM
I paid $190 for a McDermott that had a panther air-brushed on the side about 10-12 years ago. This was my first "good" cue. I shot with it until last year. Still straight as an arrow.

I guess Mali is still making cues. They have a variety of entry level cues and they play about the same as a McDermott to me.

Also, a Meucci Sneaky Pete might be good if you don't want to spend a lot of money. My buddy has one. I'm not real fond of it, but he loves it.

Ralph S.
03-07-2003, 08:17 AM
A really great cue for the money is something out of the "GENUINE" McDermott series. Very good quality and playability for around $150 bucks. I owned one and they are nice looking too.

Rich R.
03-07-2003, 09:12 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Geoff:</font><hr> what about Lucassi? They seem to offer a lot cue for the $$. Im getting the impression that if I intend to stick with it, my best bet is to spend a bit more now and go for the Predator, and look at it as an investment? <hr /></blockquote>
Don't be so quick to jump on the Predator band wagon. You can do a little research in the CCB archives and find many disagreements about Predator cues. It seems people either love them or hate them.

I wouldn't recommend one and I won't trash them either.

I do recommend you find a cue dealer in your area and try out a number of cues. They will all feel a little different. When you find one, within your budget that you like, buy it from the dealer, if the price is right, or try to negotiate a price with him. You may be able to save a few dollars if you offer to pay cash and do not use a credit card.

When comparing prices with those on the internet, remember to add shipping and handling costs to the internet price, if applicable. Also, give your local dealer a little break, because he has gone to the expense of opening a shop and having cues there for you to try. He is also the one you may need in the future to replace a tip or make a repair.

heater451
03-07-2003, 09:24 AM
(see subject line)

. . .okay, so there is text in here. . . .



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bluewolf
03-07-2003, 11:58 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Rich R.:</font><hr> Don't be so quick to jump on the Predator band wagon. You can do a little research in the CCB archives and find many disagreements about Predator cues. It seems people either love them or hate them.

I wouldn't recommend one and I won't trash them either.

<hr /></blockquote>

I have not read all of the predator threads. Some of the problems that some folks had, though was about the cost. Some felt that the pred shafts were over priced. Some of these threads deal specifically with the predator break cue relating to how much it costs.

I will say this. I do have the predator sneaky pete and also the predator break cue (BK). The BK does break well but the predator sneaky pete breaks super too. That is another thing I like. If a person does not want to buy a separate break cue, then the sneaky pete can be used not only as a good shooting cue but is also a good cue to break with eliminating the need to grab a house cue whenever it is time to break.

Laura~~~ uses a custom cue but still loves the predator

bluewolf
03-07-2003, 12:03 PM
One more thing. In all this confusion about cue brands, there are obviously many good ones. But since you prefer a good cue that is reasonably priced and is also available in 12.5 or 12.75mm is one reason many mentioned the predator. It does not mean that it is better or worse than the other brands but some of the other brands may not be available in 12.5 or 12.75mm, since 13.0mm seems to be the standard these days.

Laura

Sid_Vicious
03-07-2003, 12:26 PM
EXACTLY! The Predator SP is so versitile, the break stick utility inside it is an added option. One thing though, I believe the 314 shaft is a bear to have repaired if you happen to damage it, which will more than likely happen during pounding at the break. Their play cues might not be the safest to pound-pound-pound racks with. I could be wrong...sid

JPB
03-07-2003, 12:29 PM
There are a lot of choices out there. Check out Hawley's Billiards online. They have a lot of cues in your price range. I just double checked it and they have the brands you are talking about. I would look at a plain Helmstetter too. Those are less than 200 at Hawleys. I had a Helmstetter billiard cue when I was broke in law school that cost less than 300. I also had a plain Adams when I was a broke college student that cost 100. (Adams and Helmstetter the same company.) Like an idiot I sold both cues at different times. Both were solid (the billiard cue extremely so) and I had no problems with either. I recently got a Lucasi and a Predator shaft along with the regular shaft. I like the way the cue plays, but the wrap isn't good. I'm just waiting for my custom cue to arrive though. /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif

Perk
03-07-2003, 12:44 PM
Excellent posts by all. As owner of 3 total predator cues @ different times, I can truly say the SP does the job. I would mention that if you are reasonably new to the game (so far $50 invested in previous equipment), you might try to get to a tourney in your area where alot of shooters show up. Here is why. First, big tourneys even though they might be local amatuer most of the time have a dealer/sales guy come in. You can usually get a good deal through them, and have alot of "opinions" available regarding a choice you might make. This could give you an opportunity to test drive the cues.
Second, with the number of players being large, it is common to find someone willing/offering to sell a used cue. Granted it is used, you can find quality cues. This method you definately will get to hit some balls with. The feel for the cue is more important than the name.

Just my thoughts on the cue issue. Everyone has desires to get new equipment and upgrade. That is why its easy to find deals for quality used cues. I sold my first Predator SPJ for $100 to someone that was just starting, cause I was ready to upgrade. The cue was perfectly straight and fairly clean. For 22.00 He was able to get a new tip and cleaned the shaft. Good $122.00 investment.

People have numerous reasons to get rid of cues. Not always do to being warped or damaged. People get tired of looks, go in slumps with particular cues and blame the cue, amongst other things.

I would take a look at what you want to accomplish with the game of pool. If you seriously want to get competitive and advance to higher levels go all out. You can also take the extra money you saved from getting a discount cue and take a lesson, or use it to pay for practise time.

Good luck in what ever you do!

WaltVA
03-07-2003, 12:46 PM
Geoff – May as well put my $.02 in. I would second most of what Rich R. posted below. If you have a local supplier where you can hit some balls with a variety of cues, it would pay you to try to work with him. If not, try to hit a few with different cues your friends may have. There are a number of good cues within your budget figure, but they will all differ in balance, feel and “hit.” This is a subjective thing; you would want to find the cue that feels right for you.

Mali, Viking, McDermott all make good cues in your price range. I have a friend who bought a Lucasi and likes it fine; I’ve seen others where the workmanship seemed less than first rate (the wrap seems to be a frequent source of complaint.)

As far as the Predator goes, I’d try before I’d buy. They are definitely a different feel and require some adjustment compared to a conventional shaft. I bought an LE-7 in ’99 and after a couple of weeks, relegated it to break stick status and went back to my Schon with the standard shaft. A friend of mine put a Pred shaft on his Schon and wouldn’t use anything else. Just a matter of personal preference.

Once you decide on a cue and model, you can check Hawley’s, Seybert’s, Mueller’s, billiardsexpress, and other on-line suppliers to compare prices and shipping costs. Many will let you order the shaft diameter you want; if you buy from your local dealer, he may be willing to turn down the shaft to 12.5 or 12.75 mm for a small charge. HTH – good luck.

Walt in VA

Rich R.
03-07-2003, 01:07 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote bluewolf:</font><hr>
I have not read all of the predator threads. Some of the problems that some folks had, though was about the cost. Some felt that the pred shafts were over priced. Some of these threads deal specifically with the predator break cue relating to how much it costs.<hr /></blockquote>
Cost is not the main issue.
I was talking about the way they play. They are very different from other cues. As I said, some love them and some hate them. The best thing to do, is decide for yourself.

Geoff
03-07-2003, 01:08 PM
thanks all for your insight. One final question, if I can only get a 13mm shaft, as it seems those are very common, it is possible to have it turned down to 12.75 correct? I know someone mentioned this, but is this done often to cues or will I have a hard time finding a place to have this done?

Sid_Vicious
03-07-2003, 01:37 PM
It's my opinion that you will weaken the ferrule and ask for a crack latter on. On my final note I re-suggest that you merely shop the best internet price for a Predator SP, get that 12.75 by default and have a cue that you will always find appealing, if not for a keeper, for resale. There's a large Predator gang inside the pool world. sid~~~feels there's a point where we over analyze and over shop for beginner's cues

Predator314
03-07-2003, 01:40 PM
Seems like everyone (including myself) is recommending a Predator. I definitely think you will want to shoot with a Predator or at the very least a cue that has a Predator shaft. Some people can't play with them. They do take some getting used to. It took me a while before I got comfortable with my Predator shaft.

Rod
03-07-2003, 01:40 PM
Geoff,
Yes it is common to have a shaft turned down. Some sellers or retailers will turn it down for you for a small extra charge. If not they can order a cue from the factory with a smaller shaft. I sold cues and ordered it that way from the factory at no extra charge. Keep in mind it may take a little longer. There might be extra shipping involved unless it is part of a larger order. Be sure and ask so you know your options. Check in your area for a reputable shop that can do this for you just in case.

Rod

WaltVA
03-07-2003, 02:07 PM
Locally, cure repairmen charge $15 to $20 to turn down a shaft from 13mm to 12.5mm. As far as cracking a ferrule on a conventional shaft, I have two 12.5mm Schon shafts that I sometimes break with and have never had a problem.

That said, if you go with a Predator, my advice is DO NOT attempt to reduce the shaft size. Because of the low-mass tip construction, the Predator ferrule is very lightweight and made of a soft, thin-walled material which is subject to melting if overheated.

Again, I'd try as many cues as possible before deciding.

JMO,

Walt in VA

landshark1002000
03-08-2003, 01:45 AM
Hi Walt:
I agree with you.

Imo, try the stick before you buy it. And at that budget why not buy used from a local place? I played with a used Adams for a year and then had it tapered. The same guy did my tipwork and was always there to talk cues with.

This isn't the last cue you'll ever buy is it? --Imo, buy what feels right, enjoy the chance to compare too.

--Ted from Phoenix
P.S. I got the used Adams, a case, and some toys for the bag --all for $125. (especially if you can bargain)

bluewolf
03-08-2003, 06:49 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote landshark1002000:</font><hr> Hi Walt:
I agree with you.

Imo, try the stick before you buy it. And at that budget why not buy used from a local place? I played with a used Adams for a year and then had it tapered. The same guy did my tipwork and was always there to talk cues with.

This isn't the last cue you'll ever buy is it? --Imo, buy what feels right, enjoy the chance to compare too.

--Ted from Phoenix
P.S. I got the used Adams, a case, and some toys for the bag --all for $125. (especially if you can bargain) <hr /></blockquote>

My first blackheart (custom cue maker) was an inexpensive cut that he had done before making a more expensive custom job. He sometimes has these inexpensive cues around and happened to have one and I bought it. It was a basic,no frills stick but it shot like 'da bomb'. I now have a new stick from him that is a custom one, which also shoots great.

Blackheart's cues are weighted more even balance than a predator, which is more back weighted. I love the predator but the even balance blackheart is the perfect balance for me. If you like a more even balance stick then you might want to look up blackheart's emai addie in his profile and write him. He will tell you what he has.

About turning back the shaft from a 13 to a 12.75. We have a stick we are thinking of doing this to. But the thing is this shaft is too front balanced, so turning it will make it about right. We think (myself and my apa 7 hubbie) that when you turn down a shaft, it can change the balance point. So if you find a 13 with the balanc you like and then have it trimmed to a 12.75, the stick might not feel as good to you.

Personally, if it were me, I would find a stick I like at the tip size that I liked.

just my .02

Laura

Sid_Vicious
03-08-2003, 09:10 AM
I don't mean to be arguementatitive, still I must express that a player of moderate cue knowledge comes and seems you want advice on what to select to buy so he doesn't have to go through the rigamorrow of seeking the chance to play with all of these cues. I wouldn't have gone through all the leg work trying to by the most perfect first cue for myself if I had it to do over again. I'd get the most votes about what is a good cue from a knowledgeable group(which we are) and I'd buy the dang thing at a good internet price, and I'd go on with life. I happen to live in a high traffic billiards supply environment, and I don't know for sure that I could(or would want to) surface this array of different cues for sampling, unless of course I knew all of the guys at the PH with these sticks. I wouldn't be the poster asking the questions in the first place to a billiard discussion group if that was true now, would I?

Predator or Lucasi...both are solid performers. The Predator still gets my vote because of the following and the value...sid~~~buy somethin' and get to playing