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View Full Version : How Much Effort is This Adjustment Worth?



SpiderMan
06-04-2003, 11:45 AM
My new cue, for which I paid $900 and waited 9 months for Mike Erwin to complete, is the most beautiful piece of work I have ever seen. And it hits like a dream, by account of several different independent testers.

The grip is the darkest, most highly-figured piece of Cocobolo I could find in an hour of looking at everything my cuemaker had on hand. It was a piece his son had put back for a special cue and never used. The forearm and butt are figured Cannelite, and it's a four-pointer with inlays of micarta and African Blackwood. Where the fancy woods are divided by ringwork, the grains are perfectly matched across the boundary. There is no wrap; every square inch is highly-figured wood or inlay. Every time I put it together, someone walks across the room to ask about it.

Also, it's extra length (60") to accomodate my personal wingspan. It's everything I've always thought I wanted, including two bright-white shafts that are so identical I can't tell them apart.

But I can't play as well with it as my old plain cue that I've been using for two years. I used the new cue once or twice before 'Vegas, but only during the past few weeks have I started in earnest to play with it.

Here are the differences: It's 2" longer, one ounce heavier (a by-product of the length and woods chosen, no weight was intentionally added), and the shafts are about 0.1 mm larger. New joint is linen phenolic and old joint was stainless. Sounds like no big deal, but I can't seem to develop any confidence with the new cue. I've been in a three-week slump. In league last night I decided to play with the old cue, and shot like God. Never lost a game.

I'm thinking seriously of sticking with my old spindly-shafted, short, plain, forward-balanced POS with only one shaft, simply because I've learned to shoot well with it, and quietly sell the new cue. Maybe I'm "equipment-sensitive", and maybe the change is too much. What would you do?

SpiderMan

Pizza Bob
06-04-2003, 11:59 AM
Kind of interesting that you haven't played well (your estimation) from the git-go with your new cue. Usually, if for no other reason than psychological, you play better, initially, with new equipment. I, too, just started playing with a new cue, that plays vastly different than what I had been using. I started off shooting well and now my game has declined. Beyond the psychological, I attribute my high/low performance to initially being totally cognizant of the cue's playability differences and consciously compensating for them. After a short time, when the cue starts to feel comfortable in your hand, you revert - due to muscle memory, stupidity, laziness...who knows? to the way you played with your old cue - which of course doesn't work at all with the new one. So now I'm back to trying to make conscious adjustments every time I'm down over the cue.

Maybe you were so conscious of your new cue's differences that you have actually overcompensated for the perceived differences.

I'm sure you're a stronger player than me, but if you'll accept my advice, you have to stick with it. I 100% believe that you will adapt to the new cue's characteristics and this little slump you are encountering now will be nothing more than a small bump in the road.

My $.02 worth.

Adios,

Pizza Bob

Eric.
06-04-2003, 12:06 PM
Personally, I would continue to stick it out. If you continue to play with the new cue, exclusively, I think eventually you'll either adjust or sell it. Myself, I would give it a good 3-4 months of play time, using nothing else during that time. Hell, if you went through the trouble of picking the woods, specs, etc... why not give it a 101% trial period? Worse comes to worse, you can always sell it later. I would guess that the sticks value would not change between now and the end of Summer.


Eric

Fred Agnir
06-04-2003, 12:14 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Pizza Bob:</font><hr> Usually, if for no other reason than psychological, you play better, initially, with new equipment. <hr /></blockquote>People say this all the time (new cue syndrome), but I've never seen this to be statistically evident with good players. I think it's just a bunch of philosophical fluff.

Fred &lt;~~~ never played better because of buying a new cue

Sid_Vicious
06-04-2003, 12:16 PM
What I'd do is think back to the last cue change you made, and try and remember the doubts from back then, doubts which eventually turned to strengths. Then, apply the same time period and effort working with this cue that you did with this last cue you are now replacing. I think I know what you're thinking, "Man I don't want to "lose" games learning to play with my new cue." You surely lost games with the previous switch, and look how that turned out in the long run...sid

eg8r
06-04-2003, 12:16 PM
Spiderman,

I am sorry the new cue is not working for you. I suggest you PM for my mailing address, pack that puppy off and send it to me. I promise to never let it ruin your game again. If you don't want to send it, I can stop by to pick it up at your convenience. /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif

eg8r

Sid_Vicious
06-04-2003, 12:21 PM
Ask Spiderman if my abilities don't jump up immediately with a new cue purchase, not trying to say I am a "good" player as you mentioned...but with me it's as automatic as automatic gets for an artificial increase in my performance level after getting a new cue. Just wish I could make it last forever...sid

eg8r
06-04-2003, 12:24 PM
[ QUOTE ]
People say this all the time (new cue syndrome), but I've never seen this to be statistically evident with good players. I think it's just a bunch of philosophical fluff. <hr /></blockquote> How exactly have you been statistically testing what you see?

I do agree to an extent it is philosophical fluff. Only because I don't think, after playing with a new cue, I have ever played to a higher level than before. I think I am just paying closer attention to how I play with the new cue. I guess I am always that good. /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif

eg8r &lt;~~Likes to blame poor play on old cue /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif

Popcorn
06-04-2003, 12:29 PM
If you gave it an honest try, forget it. It may not be the cue for you. There is no reason for the cue to be too heavy. It should be the weight you want. That is not something you can compromise on. In fact, you don't compromise on anything, you want what you want.

cycopath
06-04-2003, 12:37 PM
I'd like to see a picture of it, and then I'll decide if you need to sell it or not. /ccboard/images/graemlins/wink.gif

Qtec
06-04-2003, 12:38 PM
Sounds to me like a thing of beauty , youre a lucky guy. Can you remember when you bought your old cue? How did that feel. If you had a cue before that, did it feel different. Every cue is different. Its normal what you are experiencing, you are used to the feel of your old cue. Now you have something else in your hand ,of course you are unsure.
The fact is you have to LEARN how to play with your new cue.There is nothing wrong with the cue and you are still the same player.Do some specific practise , concentrating on timing .Cue slow and get used to the feel . Sometimes you have to take a step back to go forward .
The best way is to get rid of the old cue. Once you accept the fact that there is no going back, and this cue is YOUR cue, you should have no more problems.
Qtec

Fred Agnir
06-04-2003, 12:44 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote eg8r:</font><hr> &lt;/font&gt;&lt;blockquote&gt;&lt;font class="small"&gt;Quote:&lt;/font&gt;&lt;hr /&gt;
People say this all the time (new cue syndrome), but I've never seen this to be statistically evident with good players. I think it's just a bunch of philosophical fluff. <hr /></blockquote> How exactly have you been statistically testing what you see? <hr /></blockquote>Higher runs is one way. Runlength stats (if you're so inclined.) But, overall, from a "does it make you play better" question, there's nothing I've ever seen from the responses that suggests a statistically meaningful increase in "game."

Fred

pooljunkie73
06-04-2003, 01:16 PM
Spiderman,i would stick it out as long as i could.If you get to the point where you just can't take it any more,then i would change back to your old cue.

I went through the same thing a couple of months ago.I gradually started shooting better with it,now i wouldn't trade it for the world. /ccboard/images/graemlins/cool.gif

Fred Agnir
06-04-2003, 01:19 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote pooljunkie73:</font><hr>
I went through the same thing a couple of months ago.I gradually started shooting better with it,now i wouldn't trade it for the world. /ccboard/images/graemlins/cool.gif <hr /></blockquote>In other words, "new cue syndrome" didn't apply to you either.

Who's keeping track?

Fred

Barbara
06-04-2003, 01:35 PM
Spidey,

You have to give yourself time to learn how the cue plays, and that's entirely up to you. But I would suggest that you play with it exclusively and refrain from going back to your old cue.

When I got my custom cue 5 1/2 years ago, it was totally different from the old Palmer with a snooker shaft that I was playing with. 13mm tip and all. What I did was some very basic drills and worked my way up to my extreme english shots and paid attention to the cue and how I needed to play with it. And I practiced with both shafts, switching every other night. This took a couple months.

When I got my Ted Harris S/P to use in my bar league, I did the same thing, only I stayed away from the extreme english shots because I don't like to play too sporty on bar boxes.

Every cue you will ever own will play differently than what you've replaced it with. You have to learn how the cue plays and give it some time, too.

Barbara

Tom_In_Cincy
06-04-2003, 01:50 PM
[ QUOTE ]
Sounds like no big deal, but I can't seem to develop any confidence with the new cue. I've been in a three-week slump. <hr /></blockquote>

How much time did you put into practicing deflection and squirt shots? Confidence comes with success. You're at a level that you expect more out of your game than most players.

I know that I had a very difficult time with this (confidence) when I switched from my Meucci to my Joss and then from the Meucci with a Predator shaft back to the Joss and finally to the Pete Omen cue.

The Pete Omen cue transitition (last 4 months) has been the easiest of all my Major moves. I had confidence building problems with all the transitions, but the Omen cue seemed to just lend itself better to my use of it for my drills and practice routines. Its still a work in progress, but isn't that ture of all our skill levels?

BTW, the weight sizes were 21 oz (Meucci) 20 oz Joss and 19 oz for the Omen cue.

Rod
06-04-2003, 01:55 PM
Spidey,
I didn't read all the replies, I didn't need to. Popcorn suggests near the same as I would. The wood you selected and the extra length made the cue an OZ heavier. Trying to fight that extra ounce, which is a lot BTW probably will never happen. Your rythum and timing is built around your old cue and probably other same weight cues you have owned.
You'll have to slow it down with the new cue. Do you really want to try and change your stroke rythum after all these years? The shaft is no biggie, you might hit balls a little fat until you adjust, if the weight was right you can get past that.

Sorry, If it was me I doubt I'd even try. Just putting in my original weight screw, which is 1/2 OZ heavier completely throws me off. I play at 19 OZ, 20 OZ would be a club to me. Sorry it's not what you wanted weight wise, but it sounds like a beautiful cue.

Rod

Rod
06-04-2003, 01:59 PM
~~rod, agrees with Fred.

~~~ rod, never and I mean never played better with a new cue.

Anonamus
06-04-2003, 02:04 PM
Experiment with different tips. Sometimes that can really change the way a cue hits the ball. Then if you still don't like it, sell it.

06-04-2003, 02:42 PM
Definitely sell it.

To me.

For $100, payable in 36 monthly payments of $2.78.

You'll feel much better afterwards, I promise. /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif /ccboard/images/graemlins/laugh.gif /ccboard/images/graemlins/tongue.gif

But seriously, while these old-timers -- and I mean that in the most respectful sense, guys /ccboard/images/graemlins/tongue.gif -- know far more than I, if it were me I'd keep at it awhile longer. I've always had trouble transitioning to a new cue with any consistency -- sometimes I've felt like the "new-cue-syndrome" was happening, but it didn't last long if it was. Probably psycho-fluff as Fred said. Other times I just couldn't hit anything at first and almost gave up. Gradually I became more consistent and adapted to the new cue.

Good luck with it...

/me wonders if the new custom Jacoby I just received a quote for will throw MY game off too much. 'course, that wouldn't be a far throw... /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif

DoomCue
06-04-2003, 03:03 PM
All this talk about new cues making your game worse... doesn't the talk lend credence to the theory that it ain't the stick which makes a player - it's what you get used to? For instance, I hear a lot of talk about Predator shafts. I personally play with a custom Viking. I've tried a Predator, and I hated it. There are players who swear by them. That's simply personal preference. For me, I shoot better with the Viking shaft. Of course, I've been using it for a few years now, so I'm pretty used to it. There are players who prefer Mooches (with which I also can't personally shoot worth a damn). For somebody who has gotten used to the nooks, crannies, capabilities, and limitations of a particular cue, change should definitely result in a bit of a down-turn. At least, at first. However, with time, once you get used to the nooks, crannies, capabilities, and limitations of the new cue, you should be right back to normal. So is it the cue, or the player?

Talk amongst yourselves, I'm feeling a little verklempt....

cheesemouse
06-04-2003, 03:06 PM
Spiderman,

I'd give them the hot test. Pit them against each other in a bunch of races( new cue=player A, old cue=player B) If the new cue can't bet the old one get rid of it... /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

SpiderMan
06-04-2003, 04:35 PM
Funny you should mention that. Yesterday I cut the water buffalo off one of the shafts and installed a LePro. Didn't play with it yet, though, because I used my old cue last night.

SpiderMan

SpiderMan
06-04-2003, 04:43 PM
Rod,

You and Popcorn might be right .... the old cue is a 20, the new one is a 21. I wouldn't have thought that only 5% in weight would make much difference, and I thought it would be a good trade to get the two extra inches.

The weight went up an ounce not just because of the length but also the wood I selected and not having a wrap (linen weighs less than the wood that gets removed in a cut for wrap). We even used aluminum hardware for all the internal pins where he does threaded joinery, but still we came out an ounce over.

I'll give it a few more weeks, but then maybe I'll find someone whose rhythm is built around a 21 and make him a deal he can't refuse.

SpiderMan

Rod
06-04-2003, 05:33 PM
[ QUOTE ]
But seriously, while these old-timers -- and I mean that in the most respectful sense, guys --- <hr /></blockquote>

Well since your not talking about me I'll reply. /ccboard/images/graemlins/laugh.gif
Usually when a more experienced player, like Spidey, wants a new cue they have a fair idea of what they want. He got very close to what he wanted except the one thing that may have been over looked. In the process was aditional weight that comes with heavy wood. Adding two inches didn't help the matter either. While it is a good thought that, yes I will adapt, it's not always possible. Well I'll say it is possible but how long is one willing to spend? The weight of a cue and how you accelerate that weight has everything to do with the adjustment. Who knows maybe as you said he could adjust, that would be great. What I would say if a cue is given 3 weeks regular play and it still is not comfortable, then it's likely it may never happen.

When people adapt to the new feel of a cue generally it is of the same weight. That is unless they really are not sure of the weight and just buy one. That process normally happens on a first or second cue. Once that is established then items such as appearance, joint material, shaft size, tips etc, can be added to the mixture. Of those items the tip and shaft have the most effect. However one can adjust to or change those parts. Get the weight/balance correct and you can adjust to anything IMO. In this case that does not seem to be a possibility.

I hope he does adapt rather than selling what he thinks was going to be his dream cue. It sure sounds nice. The only way that can happen though is play with that cue only. It could be a rest of patience. Maybe Spiderman will chime in with more specifics as to where he thinks the problem lies.

~~~ rod, not exactly an old timer, LOL just been around a few long blocks /ccboard/images/graemlins/laugh.gif

Fred Agnir
06-04-2003, 06:18 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Rod:</font><hr> Spidey,
I didn't read all the replies, I didn't need to. Popcorn suggests near the same as I would. The wood you selected and the extra length made the cue an OZ heavier. Trying to fight that extra ounce, which is a lot BTW probably will never happen. <hr /></blockquote>I agree with this 100% I picked up a friend's cue that was 19oz (same as mine) and balanced like mine. I shot many racks with it never realizing that it was 60" cue. Of course, since I don't grip near the bumper, it never occured to me that there was an extra 2 inches back there.

IIRC, it was maple. I think for Coco handles, coring would be necessary to get that weight down. But, I'm no cuemaker.

Fred

Chalks Billiards
06-04-2003, 07:57 PM
The aded weight may not be the big issue, it may be the added length on the shaft. When I had two custom shafts made an inch longer for my Schon, it took a couple of months before I got used to the extra length.

I would give it a few months of playing exclusively with the new cue before I gave up.

Nick B
06-04-2003, 08:28 PM
I've done this a few times in my life...so I feel for ya.

The extra lenght you should overcome quickly...the weight might be a nother thing though. Suggest getting a hole drilled in the butt and re filling it with cork. I've done this but if your week of heart...get a pro to do it. 1 ounce should be no problem to achieve. It will hit the same but bring the weight down and ballance forward. Suggest you go get a 3/4" extra long drill bit and GO SLOW!

8" refilled should work out to about 1 once. Suggest you don't fill it until your happy with ballance &amp; weight. Note butt bumper also will add a little. I'm only 5'8" and used to play with 60"'s. I loved the reach.

Note don't worry about the sound until it's beem backfilled.
A hollow unfilled butt will make a funny pop.

Nick B.

TomBrooklyn
06-04-2003, 09:26 PM
Comfortable weight, balance and shaft taper are the most important things to me in a cue. If somehow I get a cue that I don't like the feel of, I get rid of it immediately. I have no desire whatsoever to adapt to a cue. I get cues that fit me from the get-go. However, I've never bought an expensive production or custom made cue that I didn't try out beforehand.

=TomBk

marek
06-05-2003, 05:31 AM
Hi spiderman!
I have read your post and it reminded me of my past. When I bought a new cue, it was the SAME brand, SAME weight, maybe little different balance and it took me one whole month to get used to this new cue. I can see your biggest problem lies in the added cue weight. You just cant get confortable with it. There are two possible solutions: 1) Try like hell to work on your stroke and your speed, you MUST endure the suffering 2) Ask your cuemaker if there is possible to remove some weight from your cue
Just my opinion.
Good luck!
Marek

John G
06-05-2003, 12:05 PM
With regret I'd reccomend you retire the new cue. It sounds like it just doesn't fit you. The xtra length and weight can and does make a hugh diff in your stroke. I have a similiar story. I designed and built a cue for myself that is 1 inch longer but the same weight. Everyone that has played with it tell me how great it looks and plays. From players down to shortstops. But I don't play worth a damn with it, and believe me I gave it more then a try.

Personnaly I don't think it's worth the aggravation. There's always a slight adjustment to a new cue but you shouldn't have to learn to play with it. It should feel right because that's how we play, with feel. It sounds like a beauty, you shouldn't have any trouble selling it. Best of luck to you. (Wishing I had a happier solution.)
John