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spanky
10-24-2003, 11:48 AM
I will be purchasing a custom cue. I have a chance to hit with cues from virtually every custom maker I have ever heard of. My problem is: what do i do other than normal shots. What do you think a good test is for hitting with a new cue. I plan on doing some normal center hits, english, draw, follow, etc. Do you have any special shots that would test deflection, specific feedback through the joint, etc ??
Thanks in advance for the info.

Jimmy B
10-24-2003, 12:10 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote spanky:</font><hr> I will be purchasing a custom cue. I have a chance to hit with cues from virtually every custom maker I have ever heard of. My problem is: what do i do other than normal shots. What do you think a good test is for hitting with a new cue. I plan on doing some normal center hits, english, draw, follow, etc. Do you have any special shots that would test deflection, specific feedback through the joint, etc ??
Thanks in advance for the info. <hr /></blockquote>

First I'd like to know how can it be possible that you'd have a chance to hit with EVERY custom cuemaker you've ever heard of? Either you haven't heard of many or you live in CT. /ccboard/images/graemlins/cool.gif
Now on to the try outs, I believe what you should always do is just strike the cueball, don't worry about english or making balls, close your eyes and hit dead center and just try to feel the cue, after 3 or 4 times you'll know if the feedback is something you like. The after that try some shots and last try extreme english, but the key is just hitting the cueball and not worrying about anything after the feel of it. I think that more times then not you get caught up in the shot (make it or miss it) then just the feel of the cue. Good luck and keep us updated. JB

ceebee
10-24-2003, 12:54 PM
well... let's see. Pick it up FIRST. Ask the person selling the cue if all the misses have been shot out of the Cue. Then ask the person selling the Cue, if the Cue has been determined to be a MAGIC WAND. If the answer is NO, to both questions, try another Cue.

ras314
10-24-2003, 01:11 PM
" Ask the person selling the cue if all the misses have been shot out of the Cue. Then ask the person selling the Cue, if the Cue has been determined to be a MAGIC WAND. If the answer is NO, to both questions, try another Cue."

When such a cue is found please let me know if you want to double your money. /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

I could sure use one!

Anonamus
10-24-2003, 01:43 PM
When you're trying out cues you should be able to tell if the cue feels good in your hands immediately. If it does you should then shoot a few racks with it to make sure you like it.

If you can't tell the difference between several custom or production cues, then you're probably not ready to upgrade.

If you're going to spend the $ on a new cue you should probably already know what kind of joint you want, where the balance point should be and what type of joint material you like.

Keep in mind, a custom cue isn't going to make you a better player. You have to know how to use it first.

So if you still want a custom cue make sure it feels balanced. A well balanced cue will feel lighter than it really is. Make sure you feel the hit vibrate back to your hand so you can judge and commit to memory how a properly hit shot should feel. Also, a good cue will have a stiff shaft. It may be harder to spin the ball, but when you learn how to do it your shot control will be more consistent and you will experience less squirt.

Or you could just pick the one that looks the prettiest.

wolfdancer
10-24-2003, 02:01 PM
Jimmy, I sell a few cues in my p.t. job.I'd like to get the "right" cue into the customers hands..and I'm going to use your eyes closed suggestion.Thanks, jjd

BLACKHEART
10-24-2003, 04:28 PM
Comparing cues from many makers is tough, if you don't use Qs of the same weight. Remember too, that different makers use different tips &amp; when you do pick one ask what kind of tip is on it. Then when you have it replaced, it will continue to have the same hit, as when it was new. Balance is strictly an individual preference. Players of all skills, all of the way up to the pro ranks, play with Qs of different balance points. Balance points can easily be found by balancing the assembled Q on your extended finger. My Qs balance at about 1 - 1 1/4 inches above the wrap. That doesn't make it right for everyone, but it's just an example. GOOD LUCK &amp; if I can be of any help PM me...JER

ras314
10-24-2003, 05:16 PM
Jerry, hope you haven't forgotten me.

What has always puzzeled me is who is going to let anyone try out several new cues? Especially custom. Once chalked they are probably going to go as used cues.

spanky
10-24-2003, 05:20 PM
thanks for the feedback. I have a friend that is a collector/seller of custom cues and he has a few from most of the cuemakers I have heard of. The cue will be new to me but he has various years from the different cuemakers. I plan on giving him my $$ range, letting him pick out 10-20 cues in that range that he wants to sell and then start testing them. I like a harder hit and prefer a stainless joint. However I am trying to be unbiased by the maker or looks of the cue and perform the tests the same with all cues. I just wasn't sure if there were specific types of shots I should be trying to test the cue with.

thanks

UWPoolGod
10-24-2003, 05:35 PM
Billiards 'n' Bagels in Gresham, OR (east of Portland) has thousands of cues including expensive custom cues. It is owned by Jim Oswald. I have bought two cues from him over the years so when I go in there he will let me shoot with any cue I want and even bring out more to test as I am using them. Hell, I had three Southwest's, two Benders, a Schick, a Runde in a little stand that I was trying out for a few hours. I was interested in the Southwests but wanted over $1700 for them since he had waited 5 years. He'd keep coming back with more cues to try and take back the ones I didn't like. That is what is great about his store that you can try them before buying.

fast_eddie_B
10-25-2003, 07:37 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote spanky:</font><hr> I will be purchasing a custom cue. I have a chance to hit with cues from virtually every custom maker I have ever heard of. My problem is: what do i do other than normal shots. What do you think a good test is for hitting with a new cue. I plan on doing some normal center hits, english, draw, follow, etc. Do you have any special shots that would test deflection, specific feedback through the joint, etc ??
Thanks in advance for the info. <hr /></blockquote>

Personally, I take a straight in shot in the corner pocket, hit it with high left and then high right. This shot gives me a good feeling in my fingers as to the amount of deflection and the solidness of the cue.
Also it is important to know what you are getting in a cue. You don't want to pay a ton for a cue, that was made with crap materials. I prefer ivory joint, ivory ferrule and a morri medium layered leather tip as a must for a custom cue, otherwise why would you pay all that money.
I've hit with Gus and Barry Zambotti's, Paul Mottey's, Joss West( which was like 27 years old, very springy, like almost loaded hit, lot of deflection, lot of spin from very little speed, unlike anything i've ever hit), Tim Scrugg's, and none of them hit the same.
I am fortunate to have a friend who buys these cues in bulk and sells them individually, he is also a cuemaker.
Anyways, the grain in the shaft is important also. The straighter the grain runs up the shaft, the better the shaft will play as well as hold up.

Fred Agnir
10-25-2003, 07:54 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote spanky:</font><hr> I will be purchasing a custom cue. I have a chance to hit with cues from virtually every custom maker I have ever heard of. <hr /></blockquote>I think the last list I saw, there were well over 200, maybe now closer to 400 "custom cuemakers." Surely you don't mean you're going to test with all of those. Even at the VF show, you'd get to test a couple of dozen of the greatest cuemakers ever. Is that what you mean?


[ QUOTE ]
My problem is: what do i do other than normal shots. What do you think a good test is for hitting with a new cue. I plan on doing some normal center hits, english, draw, follow, etc. Do you have any special shots that would test deflection, specific feedback through the joint, etc ??
Thanks in advance for the info. <hr /></blockquote>

For the "hit," I stroke with it hitting no balls.

Then I hit centerball shots, feeling the feedback. If it's annoying, back it goes.

Then I wack balls with english. Again, for me, it's all about the feedback. The sound and vibration. Buzzes or clicks. Anything I don't like, it's back on the rack.

After all that, I test for the pivot point to determine how much it squirts, so I have a good understanding of what my aim compensation would be. I use the Aim &amp; Pivot Test for Squirt Compensation.

For the aesthetics, I take a close look at ood selection, glue joints, finish, inlay fit, point and veneer alignment, etc.

Fred

Fred Agnir
10-25-2003, 07:58 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote ras314:</font><hr> Jerry, hope you haven't forgotten me.

What has always puzzeled me is who is going to let anyone try out several new cues? Especially custom. Once chalked they are probably going to go as used cues. <hr /></blockquote>I think that a custom cuemaker who refuses to let you chalk a new cue is nutz. Tan chalk helps to hide the chalk if a lot of people are going to use it. Other than that, re-shaping the tip and cleaning the shaft of a cue that's been hit a few dozen times should make it look brand new.

I think every cuemaker lets you chalk the cue in Valley Forge. Could be wrong.

Fred

Sid_Vicious
10-25-2003, 10:03 AM
I guess I'm simplistic. I throw out the balls, grab the CB and start stroking long straight in shots. I know in three stroke most of the time that I LIKE IT! or else I'm not impressed and lay the cue down and forget about it. A cue's got to hop up and play for me automatically to consider it, what can I say...sid

Sid_Vicious
10-25-2003, 10:11 AM
Ok I'm beating an old drum again, but I never have to touch a tip with chalk to know if it hits for me, I stroke center ball, dry tips and never "threaten" the builder with a question about hitting the tip with chalk. I've gone into retail billiard supply stores and hit balls with production cues off the wall on their floor model tables, no chalk. I'm not saying that I would not pursue chalking before laying down cash "if and when a cue plays well for me" but the preliminary test strokes don't rely on chalking(imo.) sid

Rod
10-25-2003, 12:54 PM
Stroke the c/b a half dozen times total with center, left, and right. Shoot a few shots with combinations of top, low &amp; side english. Be sure you aim well, don't just "hit" balls, the cue will send you a message. You need to check accuracy and if you like the feed back, weight and balance during this time. You should ask what tip is used, that can change the feel a great deal and it will need replaced sometime.

If the cue doesn't have your attention early on then it's not likely the cue for you.

Rod

Sid_Vicious
10-26-2003, 08:24 AM
spanky...Another thought came to my mind, hit with more than one if you have several of one maker's cues available. I tried 4 of a builder's cues before I called the guy and asked about getting one from him, and I'm not joking when I say that ALL 4 of these cues simply played good for me. I've known people who had a cue built simply because of hearsay about how good a builder made his cues, only to be disappointed in their finished product. Even reputable cue makers have diminished, less than consistent results, but there are some of them who consistently make a certain hit "happen" regularly, and I like that. Those 4 I hit with all came with the same tips so that helped alot...sid

Fred Agnir
10-26-2003, 09:00 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Sid_Vicious:</font><hr> Ok I'm beating an old drum again, but I never have to touch a tip with chalk to know if it hits for me, I stroke center ball, dry tips and never "threaten" the builder with a question about hitting the tip with chalk. <hr /></blockquote>Well, Sid, many of us actually need to make sure that the hit with center ball is the same as the hit with english. That's a very specific criteria out of camps that enjoy the Lambros Ultra Joint hit as well as the Schuler hit. Tough to find out if the cue hits the same with centerball as it does with english if you don't hit with english.

Fred

tateuts
10-27-2003, 02:10 AM
Custom cues are all about personal taste. The tips above are all really good advice.

Personally, I want to chalk the cue and hit it with some draw shots. I've run into cues that were fine centerball, but when you hit them with draw they sounded like an aluminum baseball bat for some reason. The other thing is that with outside english and draw, harder shots and what have you, some shafts will buzz and vibrate - quite annoying.

Additionally, when I'm checking cues over to purchase, even new cues, I like to sight down the cue and slowly turn it, looking for any roll out in the shaft, ferrule, and any other parts of the cue. I also like the shaft(s) to screw in tight or easily, but never loosely.

Another good thing to check is to gently hold your hands over the points and inlays, and roll the cue back and forth rapidly, checking to see if the inlays are flush. If you can feel them it's no biggie, it's usually just glue that has popped up the finish (the cue was made a while back and not sold, so the problem appeared when everything cured) - but it also may be a signal that down the road there will be finish problems in the clear - again, no real biggie because the stick can always be refinished. The point is, an expensive custom should be right to begin with.

Otherwise, the way a cue plays is pretty much subjective.

Chris