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Thread: HOW TO BUY A CUE, TELL ME FAST

  1. #1
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    HOW TO BUY A CUE, TELL ME FAST

    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

  2. #2
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    Re: HOW TO BUY A CUE, TELL ME FAST

    I think that an under-rated cue that doesn't cost all that much is a Helmstetter. They are nothing fancy, but one of the better hitting cues I have played with. I have a 19.5 oz Helmstetter with a Moori 13mm tip on a Predator 314 shaft. I have about $600 invested in the whole setup. I think it hits just as good as some of my friends $1200 Schons.
    "Holy Crip, He's a Crapple!"

  3. #3
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    Re: HOW TO BUY A CUE, TELL ME FAST

    Larry, I have played with many of the major brand cues that are on the market today. Ihave also recently ventured into an uncharted territory for me recently, that territory being custom cues. I purchased a Jacoby recently and was able to hit with it first although they wouldnt let me chalk it. If your stroke is good enough I think you can get a good enough hit without chalk to judge a cue. I also have a Blackheart being made for me right now. Being single with a good paying job does have its advantages when you want to purchase high ticket items like cues LOL. I will never abandon my McDermott. I use it for my breaker and back-up player.
    Ralph S.
    I don't want to change the world-I don't want the world to change me~~Ralph S.

  4. #4
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    Re: HOW TO BUY A CUE, TELL ME FAST

    Agreed. I have 2 (Helmstetters) and they both hit like a dream. The cue I like the most in the $200 range is a Mali. Always liked that cue. That being said, I'm far from an authority.

    Kato
    Signature deleted by***********Kato

  5. #5
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    Re: HOW TO BUY A CUE, TELL ME FAST

    It's nice to hear people acknowledge production cues. Custom cues are great and offer pride of ownership, but there's no reason why you can't shoot the lights out with a Joss, Viking, Heubler, ...


  6. #6
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    Re: HOW TO BUY A CUE, TELL ME FAST

    I have a Meucci HOF-1 with a 314 and it really shoots better than the Red Dot. I also have a Pred BK.

    I am wanting to get a custom Cocobola, but am having no luck. Edwin Reyes in the Phils was making me one for me, but he put some rings in it that I did not ask for and did not like. I really wanted the ER240 shaft to see how it was.

    So, I have looked elsewhere. I talked to Mike Lambros about a estimate, as they seem very nice, and he has never gotten back to me,...I guess he is too busy for the business.

    Prather, seems to be Cocobola crazy,...which I love. What is a suggestion for a good hitting, quality such as Lambros?

    Griff
    I can't wait until the next break!!

    http://www.geocities.com/griffith_d/firstwebpage.html

  7. #7
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    Re: HOW TO BUY A CUE, TELL ME FAST

    This is my first time posting but I enjoyed the input about purchasing a cue. It re-enforced that the choices I made were wise. I have a Joss with a Meucci shaft and a McDermott cue. Both are not in the high dollar range with allot of inlay but like was said 'inlay doesn't make a ball". I like having the flexibility of both being at hand for I've found each has good qualities useful to switch between them, at least for me. I do however have a question regarding cues.I'm contemplating getting a Lucasi as an in between cue. From my trial with one I did like the feel and hit that is has. I've asked numerous players for their input about Lucasi cues but none knew anything about them other than being a production cue turned three times, I believe they said. Does anyone know how Lucasi compares with other cues and will it go the distance like the others I have now. I feel the ones I have are good work horses that do what I want them too if I do it correctly.

    The trouble with most of us is that we would rather be ruined by praise than saved by criticism.
    Norman Vincent Peale (1898-1993)
    Minister and motivator

    Heywelder

  8. #8
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    Re: HOW TO BUY A CUE, TELL ME FAST

    I am glad others have jumped in & are giving their views & sharing the cue knowledge. Cues are a passion, & once you own one, you sort of get in that camp & defend it's honor so to speak. That cue has to be the best or you would not be using it, but the next guy says you are wrong, the wammer cue is the best, who's right, who's wrong, answer, no body, every one's right. It is works for you, then it is right. So far, I agree with every word written on the follow up posts. You did bring up one very interesting point, Dick Helmstetter is a genius, he has made a zillion bucks making the big bertha golf clubs in Japan, pool cues are a secondary thing. The Helmstetter line I have always highly respected, they are beautiful, and for what you get on the cues, they are priced right. The truth is they are a steal. Any one who wants to view the line, go into the Competiton Games booth at the upcoming BCA show in Vegas this July. I used the Balabushka
    model for years to play 14.l with, my original became so valuable, I now have it in a vault. Helmstetter makes that cue. The balance on it is great, I can hand people a 20oz cue & say guess the weight & most say it's a l8. I have 4 of them, and now that I have retired from playing pool & only do trick shots, the only time I play pool is if I am giving a lesson, I am getting rid of two of them. I have a GB-3 that has been on ebay for 9 days, the final bids take place today. Next week I am going to put up the top end model a GB-7, both cues are 5 years old & brand new mint.
    The only problem with this cue, is you pay through the nose to own a cue with the Balabushka signature, that are badly over priced by as much as 30 to 40%, but I could say the same about every luxury car on the market. There are people who have the money, and want to have the best, and the price is no object. I play with 2 entirly different cues, because they give me the best of both worlds, nobody makes a cue, that does everything perfect, it cant be done. The preditor & the Meucci red dot & black dot shafts do reduce deflection a lot, the Schuler Bankok Birch shafts almost eliminate it. But in the preditor & meucci, they dont jump, so you have to carry a jump cue, the Bankok Birch jumps great. You can learn a lot, if people like me, who know, & others who know, will come clean & begin to tell the players what these cues do well, & what they dont do well, that is what Mr D was asking for. I do the same thing with cars I do with cues, I have always owned 2 cars, a Ford crown vic with the cop package on it, and a Lincoln town car, I loved those old 85 land Yachts, big as a whale, the ultimate road trip car. You could hide 30 mexicans in the trunk going over the border. Where do you park the damn thing. So the crown vic is around town, the whale does the long road trips, best of both worlds once more. MY wife would say, you can buy two crown vics for the price of one Lincoln, how do you justify this, I said I don't, if I can afford it, then it is justified. My wife Sarah Louise, down south, every one has two names, you can't have one, there is a law against that. My name is Larry Lee, it's is pronounced Larawww lee. If you are really a red neck, then you have 3 names, Billy Joe Bob, or if you have papers, 4, Marysuethelmalouise. Yo Adrian, I thougt youse wuz from Philly, now fast tells me youze has 2 names & have to be from da south, you lied to me. Get outta here & take that lousy mutt Bucktis with you. I always thought he wuz some blood hound from ALABAMA. How do you know if you are a Red Neck, if your front porch collapses & kills at least 6 coon dogs.
    Seriously, one of the reasons I have so many cues was I kept searching for the Ultimate weapon, I owned 100 cues & still had not found it. Then I realized they are making cues in the middle, trying to do every thing, & they end up doing every thing so so. I solved the problem, if they would not build it, I did, So I just invented the shaft that did it. The problem was, most people did not like it, and people buy what is pretty. Ray Schuler used to say to me, If you want performance, period, do we take your land Yacht out, or do we get in my corvette. Easy answer, the Vet, see Fast, you cant have both, choose what is important to you he said, I will build what ever you ask for, but I cant build & sell something that only you want & may understand & can use. We build cues for the masses. Come on guys, do you really think Tiger woods, or Jack Nicklaus plays with the same off the shelf driver you buy. If you do, email me your address, I have some really cheap land around Miami I want to sell you, just west of the airport, such a deal on this I would not give to my own grandmother, I will make you millions on this deal. When I was a top amateur golfer & ranked l500 in the USA, and not even a pro, I was going to the Mizummo factory & being fitted with the best driver & doing experiments with every shaft they had until I found the exact one that gave me the proper launch angle & best distance & roll. Hello McFly, knock knock, there is a message here. There are a lot of people who have been in this business over a half century and have leaned so much, they have forgotten more than most of you guys will ever know, they acquire so much knowledge, it is almost impossible to teach them anything, if you have it, they knew about it when you were in dipers. Ray was one of these people, one of the most brilliant minds I ever encountered, Ray just recently passed on, and all that knowledge goes with him, thank God, he passed on most of it to those who loved him and who were around him. Those who have that, have a sacred duty, to pass it on to those who are worthy of it, or who might understand it. Here is my position, let me state it, everyone get ready to cut & paste & save then you can take this out of text & use it against me to embarass me like you have been doing so far. I dont no nuttin. I tell every student that up front. All I know, is that I now know nothing. When Aristotle was 85 & was the most learned man on earth, he was asked that same question, Master, now that you have acquired all of the knowledge on earth & more than any other man, what do you know, & he replied, I Know nothing. The more you really know, you then begin to understand, you have just discovered the tip of the iceberg. I tell the student, it is not Fast Larry teaching you, or from now on talking to you, Fast doesn't know squat, Fast is a dumb S***. It is Shoeless shoe Jackson, Babe Ruth, Sam Parks, Ben Hogan, Jim Ballard, Ledbetter, Yoshi Yamagomo,Joe Hood,Fatty, Kiaman, Jimmy Caras, Bennie Allen, Fast Eddy, Gerni, Rick Wright, & Ray Schuler who is talking to you. They were all his teachers, and all he is doing to passing on to you, what they passed on to him. All I really teach, you can find in the writings & in the books of Willie Mosconi & Wille Hoppe, 30 years in billiards, billiards as it should be played. I teach what the two greatest cueist of all time did, & I tell the student, yes you may argue any point, but when you argue with me, you are now arguing directly with the two Willies. Now before I launch a new giant attack on me, yes a lot of that stuff is dated, I dont teach that, just the core basics that are timeless. I dont teach the tea cup grip, but I make student learn it, because in order to learn many new things, they learn it using that hold. No student of mine can ever use the word grip, that word is verbotten, ya. Willie said you cant hold the cue too lightly, and that soft is best & softer is better. No student of mine is ever allowed to scratch a cue ball ever again. I am a 2nd degree black belt in Karate, have studied under nothing but 6th degree belts since l965, and currently study under a 6th degree & world champion. I am a Zen Master, so a lesson with me, is like going into a dojo, it is different. I teach perfect pool, the 6 p's, perfect practice produces a pure perfect performance. When you become a serious student with me, everything you do from that point on, must be perfect. I teach what perfect is. I find most pool players, have never hit a perfect shot in their life, they dont have a clue even what that is or what if feels like. Also You dont grip the cue, you hold the cue.
    The two Willies taught to hold the cue just behind the balance point, I teach there is no place, every shot is different, requires a different approach, on every shot, I hold the cue in a different place. I hold the cue a lot on the butt, behind the wrap, I can hear it now, Blasphemer, drag his butt tared & feathered now Down to the village square, somebody go get Igor out of the bell tower & have him bring the whips & knives.
    Then let's burn him at the stake....Good riddance, that was kind of the approach you guys did to me when I first came on.

    Hold the cue on the butt, why all the books & the great writers say only hackers do that, Really: Fast is not telling you to do this, Raymound Cuelemans, now the greatest cueist of the 2nd half of the century, & BCA hall of famer is telling you this, Steve Davis, the greatest snooker player of all time is telling you this, Jim Rempe is telling you this. That is how I handle it, you are no longer dealing with me, you are no longer arguing with me, you are from now on, arguing with my teachers, my Masters. And if you do, you better know what your talking about. Regards, Fast Larry

  9. #9
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    Re: HOW TO BUY A CUE, TELL ME FAST

    Larry,

    When I really let myself get into something you write, time stands still. It is like I have been picked up and taken into a room where there is nothing but you and me talkin. Isnt that strange. You are one heck of a writer and yarn teller to be able to have that effect on a person.

    blu

  10. #10

    Re: HOW TO BUY A CUE, TELL ME FAST

    Fast Larry,
    You must have got'n you name for how fast you Type [img]/ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img].
    Anyway thanks for posting, I'm going to Valley Forge and I owe you a Beer.

    Shayne

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