MR D EMAILS me: I would really like to hear more about cues from you. I was getting ready to buy a new cue & some professional input would be valuable. What tip to use on my break cue. What about the playing cue. What is your opinion on the Preditor shafts. What kind of joint do you like. I understand you are sponsored by Meucci, but I also believe you will give me the real info & share it on the board. I guess I basically what you to spill the beans on cues to me & to others...Mr. D...
Finally, somebody knows how to ask a good question, my compliments Mr D. A lot of cues are bought by the Monkey see Monkey do method. A couple of top sticks in your room use a wammer, so you go by one. Bad Idea, dont copy others, make up your own mind, be independent.
But several of my heros on TV play with the wammer, so it must be great. These guys play with the cue that pays them the most money. The truth is, many of the all time greats started out playing with a Meucci, then get a good money cue deal here & there & stray from the fold. If you pay me a lot of loot, I will play with a K mart mop, so dont be swayed by what the big star uses, that means almost nothing. Dont laught about the $3.00 Mop handle, you will actually see me use it at the Hopkins, I can run a rack with it, draw table length, jump over a full ball, & hit a Masse, & it has no tip. If I have a bad night, I can always mop out the joint for money to get home on. Cues get established in some rooms. In a lot of rooms in Atlanta, all you can sell is either a Meucci or a McDermott, that is all they know. Go to another place it might be Players & Joss, it all means nothing. Use a hard tip on your break cue, a triangle, shape it a little flatter than a nickle shape. On your playing cue, if you are now using a soft tip, move up to a lepro, which is med hard, then after you have gotten use to that new feel, when it wears out, move up to the hard Triangle, shape it like a dime. Preditor shafts, I like them, they are OK. I Own 12 of them, used to play with them a lot, they do deflect less. I invented a new wood called Bankok Birch, that has almost no deflection, much less than the preditors. I now use the preditors exclusively to hit some Masses with, they will make a couple of shots no other shaft will, & the reason is they fail at it, it produces a watermellon seed spit jump out from under your finger effect, the ball skids further before the english takes, My other shaft is too good, the english takes too quick. Artistic work, can get very complicated. When I put the preditor on my old Falcon, it cut the deflection down about 25%. The shaft used to cost about a c note, now it is pushing 200, I think now it is very over priced. I used to think the joint was the main thing in a cue, now I know it is not. Its the tip first, then the ferrule, then the shaft taper, then the joint. I use a stainless steel pin, My Schuler has a stainless steel joint, My Meucci power piston has a plastic joint. Both are great. You want me to spill the beans, Ok, Price sells cues, and cues are like buying cars, they have a asking price, & a selling price, do haggle a good deal. If you get 20-25% off list, you are doing well. First set your budjet, then shop cues in that range. $50 to $100 are cheap imports, quality fair, a beginners cue, use it a year & sell it quick for what you can get, before it falls apart. $l00 to $200, this is now a very wide field. A couple of years ago I would not even sell some of the Chinese junk coming in, now some of these cues are really playing nice, & the quality has made a hugh improvement. Stealth has some great cues, stainless steel joints, real inlays, irish linnen wraps, you can buy for $125, and they play great. This is basically the same cue as Players, another fine choice. $200 to 300, now you are in nicer cues, pro line stuff, some lower end Meucci's are now avilable. $400 to $500, top of the line stuff, most top brands. Above this, your getting into custom made cues, or cues with a lot of ivory & fancy markings. I own many of these, buy ivory on a cue never made a ball for me yet. If you have the money, they can be impressive to show off. You will hear, I cant let you hit the cue, if you chalk the cue then it's used. Would you buy a car without a test drive, marry a lady with out a test drive, dont buy a cue unless you play it, find somebody who will let you try it out. I keep several demo cues just for that purpose. So I chalk the tip, big deal, I can sand the chalk off & you will never know it. For me, all I want is performance, I now use fairly plain jane cues, no ivory. You must like the cue, if it does not ring your bell, cry out for you, if you are not hot to have it, dont buy it. Make sure the cue is you. Pick a cue that feels good to you, matches your game, that you can do things with the cue ball with. A good name with a good warrenty is also a thing to consider. Pick a good dealer or pool hall who will stand behind the purchase. File that receipt, dont lose it. The average player should use a l9oz cue, l3mm tip. I use l8.5oz, l2 3/4mm tip. Colors, men tend to like black, brown, red. Ladies like purple, green, it varies.
I like a irish linnen wrap, dont get a cue that has the linnen coated over with plastic, that defeats it's purpose, but I sell a lot of cues with the wrap coated. A Schuler is going to run around $500, and offers 8 different shafts, you can choose from very soft, up to very stiff. There are dozens of other very fine custom cue makers like Schuler, if one is close to you, pay him a visit. I hope this gives you some basic guidelines. Post behind this, Mr D, I want a soft hitting cue, like a Meucci, a med hit cue, like a mcDermott, or a stiff cue, like a Schuler. Tell us which of the 3 you choose. Others will come in & I am sure give you dozens of other brands to look at in that category & offer their views of what these cues are like & what they do & cost. The bottom line, the price must be right & you can afford it, it must lood good, feel & play good. Regards, Fast Larry