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Calgaryplayer
06-19-2010, 10:47 AM
Aside George Balabushka cues, which one do YOU think is the best? and Why??

Fatboy
06-19-2010, 11:21 AM
Gus, Barry, Black Boar. Gus is #1 by a long shot, I was talking to Tony at Black Boar the otherday and he Said "Gus is my all time hero in cue making and awalys will be". thats a pretty big endorsement. Of Course Barry says the same and I do as well,

Tony is building cues that are vastly different than Gus or Barry build so its hard to compair them. With is all the new tools, technology and practice building cues whats being made by cutting edge cue makers has created many different styles of cues these days, Zinola new and making some great points with great veneers, Fanelli is building fantastic butterfly cues like Watchez cue, then the old school guys like Showman, Tascerlla. Its so hard to pick one, oh yeah! Manzino with great artisrty like Black Boar where they are setting inlays on a jewelers bench like a watch maker.


With all that going on its really hard to say, Tad had his on style, Prewitt, Bobby Hunter. Were sure living in the right time for cues, I dont recall people owning 50 cues 25 years ago when I started playing, I knew guys with 6 or 8 cues and that was considered alot of cues, perhaps It was a local thing or I just wasnt aware of big collections-perhaps it was a east coast thing to have big collections. I had 4 or 5 cues and thought that was alot. So the market is absorbing whats being built and there are more cue makers than ever. Pool might be suffering, and the cue market soft but the cue market is one heck of alot better now that 20 years ago.


So again the "Best" is Gus I believe he had the most influence, was ahead of his time and his cues most of the time are the best hitting cues in a collection-same for Barry and Black boar. Thats why those are my top 3. Boars play great but not better than a good Gus or Barry its a tie at best. But Gus was first.

Fatboy
06-19-2010, 11:45 AM
I commented on all of the list, to the best of my knowlege, i know more about some cue makers than I typed like SW, Gus, but I didnt feel like writing a book today. :)


Bill McDaniel Cues now $ cues are great cues that are well made as any cue maker there is their tollerances are tighter than most cue makers and have great wood

Black Boar Cues-mis understood cues, everyone thinks Tony keeps trying to make his cues look nicer which he is fdoing, but his true passion is to make his cues play better, the newer the BB the better they play the 8pt cues are amazing, he prides his engeneering over the art, the art(inlays etc. thats the profit margine-not what makes Tony tick.


Gina Cues Ernie has been at it for years and turns out beatiful cues for ever it seems, and they will awalys be in high demand.


Gus Szamboti Cues #1


McWorter Cues dont know much to comment on, A friend had one that played great back in the day it was pruple heart and birdseye, he sold it to a guy from Germany who was on vacation here in Vegas.

Paul Mottey Cues Great cues, owned a few of them, but dont know enough to comment


Richard Black Cues Richards older cues played a whole lot better, he is a true artist and has come up with some of the most unique cues ever made, I like one cue he named "Zimbabwe" he has had collections on display in different museumes, I have a Richard Black with rose gold, silver and 4 real diamonds in it, its not gaudy, its very tastefully done, he is a fantastic artist and a great man, i really like him.

South West cues almost 30 years of success, Jerry took the ball from kirsenbok and ran with it, they are well built stout hitting cues, I have hit balls with over 100 different ones over the years, They are very very picky with the woods they use, LAurie is amazing when Jerry unexpectedly passed away she kept on trucking, and that 10 year waiting list isnt a accident or because they are lazy, they take their time and build cues that last I havea friend in Sac who pounds the hell out of the balls, he had his SW since 85, I looked at last month and its still solid as a rock. Top quality cues and worth what they cost, they used to sell for a bit more, but with all the competition they have kept to their roots and the preium prices are gone-good news for players


Tad Kohara Cues The older ones are alot better than the neweer ones, anything before 1990 is a Jam up cue, I have about 10 of them, I love the looks, Tad has some very unique looks to his cues, I plaied with one for 3 years, justa plain no points ring at the bottom traditional Tad-one of the nicest looking and playing cues I have ever owned.


Thomas Wayne Cues he builds some amazing cues, he is very skilled and a fantastic artist who gets it right on the big cues. I did see on mishap that wasnt his fault, when I was in the pool room everyday here in Vegas and people would come to town with a Thomas Wayne cue the dry air was hell on his cues more so than other cues. Anyways after a guy I knew lived here for a month the Ebony was shrinking up bad, I had the same problem with a Tad, anyways we were playing an I saw something go flying when he shot, I said "oops there goes your tip" He looked and the tip was still there. A inlay popped out we looked at it and the wood had shrank so much that the epoxy must have cracked and it worked its way loose, it wasnt Thomas Waynes fault the dry air here in Vegas is hell on cues. The next week or 2 my friend had it fixed and it looked perfect, it was a real nice cue too.

pwd72s
06-19-2010, 12:21 PM
If you're into collecting, probably black boar or southwest...

If you're into playing, then the field widens considerably. I'm repeating myself from other threads...but I love my Keith Josey cue! I'm sure others have found the same with other custom makers. Playing feel is so darned subjective...what one player loves, another may hate...

Calgaryplayer
06-19-2010, 11:17 PM
I commented on all of the list, to the best of my knowlege, i know more about some cue makers than I typed like SW, Gus, but I didnt feel like writing a book today. :)


Bill McDaniel Cues now $ cues are great cues that are well made as any cue maker there is their tollerances are tighter than most cue makers and have great wood

Black Boar Cues-mis understood cues, everyone thinks Tony keeps trying to make his cues look nicer which he is fdoing, but his true passion is to make his cues play better, the newer the BB the better they play the 8pt cues are amazing, he prides his engeneering over the art, the art(inlays etc. thats the profit margine-not what makes Tony tick.


Gina Cues Ernie has been at it for years and turns out beatiful cues for ever it seems, and they will awalys be in high demand.


Gus Szamboti Cues #1


McWorter Cues dont know much to comment on, A friend had one that played great back in the day it was pruple heart and birdseye, he sold it to a guy from Germany who was on vacation here in Vegas.

Paul Mottey Cues Great cues, owned a few of them, but dont know enough to comment


Richard Black Cues Richards older cues played a whole lot better, he is a true artist and has come up with some of the most unique cues ever made, I like one cue he named "Zimbabwe" he has had collections on display in different museumes, I have a Richard Black with rose gold, silver and 4 real diamonds in it, its not gaudy, its very tastefully done, he is a fantastic artist and a great man, i really like him.

South West cues almost 30 years of success, Jerry took the ball from kirsenbok and ran with it, they are well built stout hitting cues, I have hit balls with over 100 different ones over the years, They are very very picky with the woods they use, LAurie is amazing when Jerry unexpectedly passed away she kept on trucking, and that 10 year waiting list isnt a accident or because they are lazy, they take their time and build cues that last I havea friend in Sac who pounds the hell out of the balls, he had his SW since 85, I looked at last month and its still solid as a rock. Top quality cues and worth what they cost, they used to sell for a bit more, but with all the competition they have kept to their roots and the preium prices are gone-good news for players


Tad Kohara Cues The older ones are alot better than the neweer ones, anything before 1990 is a Jam up cue, I have about 10 of them, I love the looks, Tad has some very unique looks to his cues, I plaied with one for 3 years, justa plain no points ring at the bottom traditional Tad-one of the nicest looking and playing cues I have ever owned.


Thomas Wayne Cues he builds some amazing cues, he is very skilled and a fantastic artist who gets it right on the big cues. I did see on mishap that wasnt his fault, when I was in the pool room everyday here in Vegas and people would come to town with a Thomas Wayne cue the dry air was hell on his cues more so than other cues. Anyways after a guy I knew lived here for a month the Ebony was shrinking up bad, I had the same problem with a Tad, anyways we were playing an I saw something go flying when he shot, I said "oops there goes your tip" He looked and the tip was still there. A inlay popped out we looked at it and the wood had shrank so much that the epoxy must have cracked and it worked its way loose, it wasnt Thomas Waynes fault the dry air here in Vegas is hell on cues. The next week or 2 my friend had it fixed and it looked perfect, it was a real nice cue too.

good points!!

mullyman
06-19-2010, 11:32 PM
What do you use to define best? None on that list are any better than the others. People are so simple.
MULLY
Mottey gets my vote

Scott Lee
06-19-2010, 11:58 PM
I agree...there are LOTS of cuemakers who belong on that "best" list. For one, how could any list not include Bill Schick? He's been a master cuemaker for decades! Cognoscenti is considered by some to be one of the best (personally I LOVE his cues). How about Samsara, who have won awards for their cuemaking designs (and playability) for almost 20 years now (another one of my personal favorites). Besides...what constitutes "the best"? Cues are so subjective to the individual.

Scott Lee
www.poolknowledge.com

What do you use to define best? None on that list are any better than the others. People are so simple.
MULLY
Mottey gets my vote

jrackman
06-20-2010, 12:07 AM
Mr. Mike Bender, Mr. P.D.K., Mr.Balner, Mr Paradise or how about that Nitti Chris guy and Dennis Searing, or Mr. Mike Capone..they don't get on the LIST for a vote...Yes you have a lot of the other ones I would include on my list, but so would these guys and their wives....I think I have a lot of the Hall of famer's on mine...Just me being me in late at nite.

poolplayer2093
06-20-2010, 12:57 AM
Aside George Balabushka cues, which one YOU think is the best? and Why??

That list is too short. there're a lot of cue makers that aren't as big named but still make a cue that hits as good if not better

tattoo
06-20-2010, 01:26 AM
i vote for dennis searing......o crap he isnt on the list.....there are about 10 top tier cue makers that arent on the list......plus like others have said it is all subjective.....but let me tell you this....scott gracio,tony zinzola,kenny murrell and joe callulaca are putting out some outstanding cues that are still kinda under the radar....a few flying lower than others but they can still be had a what i think is a good price....i have never hit a szamboti before but alot of people say they are the best.....i have played with a searing before and i felt like SVB :cool:when i was playing with it the pockets looked 2in wider:thumbup:....might just be the mystiqe of his cues but damn it was nice.....ps scott,tony,kenny and joe are also awesome guys:smile:....i realize that everyone has there on thoughs on this but really it us up to the one person playing with whatever cue they fill comfortable with....mickey carroll

poolplayer2093
06-20-2010, 04:02 AM
i know they're not up there with szamboti or guys like him but i'd vote for andy gilbert or bryan mordt. i'm real impressed with both of their work

mullyman
06-20-2010, 04:10 AM
I can give a shout out for Tony Zinzola. I got to hit some with one of his cues while he was over here. I liked the hit a lot. The taper of the shaft wasn't my type, it was fairly fat, but the overall feel of the cue was nice and his point work was top notch.
MULLY

Voodoo Daddy
06-20-2010, 05:26 AM
Imcomplete list without;

Searing
Manzino
Showman

A cast of others missing as well...just sayin'

greyghost
06-20-2010, 06:25 AM
I agree...there are LOTS of cuemakers who belong on that "best" list. For one, how could any list not include Bill Schick? He's been a master cuemaker for decades! Cognoscenti is considered by some to be one of the best (personally I LOVE his cues). How about Samsara, who have won awards for their cuemaking designs (and playability) for almost 20 years now (another one of my personal favorites). Besides...what constitutes "the best"? Cues are so subjective to the individual.

Scott Lee
www.poolknowledge.com

Thats what makes each maker so unique...you mention Schick....I don't like the hit of his cues at all but his designs are wonderful....everyone feels diff on the subject....

I guarantee that at least one of the people on the planet wouldn't like the hit of a GUS...hard to believe but its true.

IMOP the reason we put some makers much higher than others such as GUS/BARRY/TONY etc is b/c their cues play so consistent from cue to cue.

Kickin' Chicken
06-20-2010, 08:38 AM
Tascarella, Hercek, Searing, Showman belong on the very short list of the best.

Scruggs, White, Kikel & Prewitt deserve some consideration.

Playability - everybody loves a Jensen.... ;)

Best,
Brian kc

catscradle
06-20-2010, 08:56 AM
What is Tim Scruggs? Chopped liver?
Steve.<-- Can't believe Scruggs isn't in that list.

Tony_in_MD
06-20-2010, 09:11 AM
Me neither.

Fatboy
06-20-2010, 01:31 PM
Like I said in my first post in this thread, were alive to see so many great cue makers it's wonderful, and the differences between their cuss are vast. I remember when Mali, McDermott, TS, Schon cues all kinda looked the same. They'd have a broschour of 15-20 cues that all looked the same the basic cue hadlittle work in it the 4 th or 5thbcue had keyhole looking inlays in the butt-it wasn't until the top 5 cues that there would be much difference between the cues.

Now there are a zillion designs he'll I have seen some decal cues that were cool, sucks the were decal cues.

On another note Andy Gilbert has turned up the creativity in the past couple years, artistically, i saw a rack of his new cues pop up at the Derby thus year that gave his work from 5 years ago the 5!


Gus is still #1 no matter what happens in the future

bazkook
06-20-2010, 02:12 PM
No Paul Dayton? I love mine! :smile:

peteypooldude
06-20-2010, 02:29 PM
How about Lomax

mullyman
06-20-2010, 04:26 PM
There is no "best" cue. What makes a Szamboti "better" than a Mottey or a Gina or a Joss West? Did Gus have some secret sauce he put in the glue of his cues? Let's face it, Gus was a pioneer, as is Ernie, and Bill Stroud etc... A lot of modern day cue makers use the same techniques acquired from these guys. I'm sorry, I just don't see how the word "better" or "best" fits in here. Now, if you want to make a poll on the shittiest cue I think you may have something.

Speaking of Gus being the best, I know a few people that have Szamboti's and each of them hit differently. One of them has a hit that I can't stand. With such variation in hit is it fair to say he made the best cues ever? And I think most here will agree that hit is subjective. That cue that I didn't like may feel like the nuts to someone else.
MULLY

HIRUN526
06-20-2010, 04:52 PM
First I will start by saying the list is not really a list of truly the best top ten cue makers...with the exception of Gus Szamboti,Gina and Black Boar and South West which are the only ones that would make the top ten. The others on the list are very good cue makers...but definetly are not my top ten. The secondary market dictates quality, collectabilty and pricing and resale value and these three hit all four perfectly. So here's my list:

Gus Szamboti - The King was ahead of his time and his forearm/veneer work,inlays,style,design and playability...total over all quality was a 10. Gus had and has the most beautifully styled cues in the world. Gus would use different style rings and inlays in a cue and wow...perfect. With all of the technology and equipment availability today, Gus still surpasses 99% of all cue makers then and today. Gus is probably the ultimate inspiration to cue makers. The man had unbelivable talent and eye for design and execution. Gus is the ultimate collectable cue. Awesome,awesome...Great playing and great investment value and if you don't have one...that is unfortunate, do yourself a favor and find one and spend the money, you will get much more than you paid in a Gus Szamboti cue.

Dennis Searing - The contemporary Gus Szamboti. His execution in his cues are absolutely the best in the world.. from the joint pin to the butt cap and everything in between is as perfect as is humanly possible. His shafts are the finest,truest and cleanest I have ever seen in over 30 years. His veneer work and His inlay work is the tightest and cleanest in the world. The most perfectly executed cues I have ever seen....and using a loop!!! And his cues play like most awesome. Great playing and great investment value and at least one should be in every collection. A Dennis Searing cue is a must to own.

Gina Cues - Cue making genius, his career over the last what over 40+ years is remarkable to say the least.Fabulous designs and an inspiration to many. Beautiful overall execution. Excellent investment value and at least one should be in every collection.

John Showman - Old school and knows how to do it. This is a guy that really knows how to use a pantograph, John is one of the two best pantograph guys in the world. His overall execution is awesome and designs are his old school style. John has his own thing going on... Great investment and at least one Showman should be in every collection.

Frank Paradise - What a cue, Frank was a guy that had his own thing going on, what beautiful designs and the cues played darn good. Overall very good execution. Excellent investment value and excellent playing cue.

Bob Manzino - The Picasso of artistic cue makers. Bob's design's are often and near breath taking. Bob has a true artist mind in his cue's.Overall excecution and his silver work is mind blowing. His work gets more intricate with each new cue. Bob and Tony(Black Boar) have created some of the most amazing designs in cues of anyone to date. Excellent investment value and you should own one of Bob's work's of art.

Frank Coster - Awesome designs simple and some fancy, like the gear design. Just real cool cues. If you have the dough, in the collection.

Barry Szamboti - A cue maker that exemplifies the ultimate in old school.. Each and every cue that Barry build's is beautiful. He learned from the King and went on to create his own style and reputation as a great cue maker. Owning a Barry cue is also a must have. Great playing,Great investment value.

Tony Scianella - Black Boar - Talk about a guy that has his own thing going on, his design work and execution are awesome. This is another gifted guy like Bob Manzino, they have the artist mind and then do the execution.

Herman Rambow- Innovator and one of the fathers of cue making. Treasured and played with by the great pool players like Mosconi. He is often overlooked on the top ten. A cue well worth owning. Excellent collector cue.


The top ten I selected was rather easy...but there are a few others that should be named:

Joel Hercek - Joel's design work is pretty cool. His execution is top notch. A full splice guy and proud of it. Excellent investment value. You should own one.

Pete Tascarella - Old school excellence. Popular cue maker. Nice overall work.

Ron Haley - Awesome execution and design work. Ron's boxed veneer points are awesome.His mitered veneered boxes are....probably the best in the world. Contemporary old school. Very good investment value.

Dave Kersenbrock - An innovator in cue making and has had some real cool designs. One hell of a cue maker. Excellent investment

Jerry Franklin - To me A South West cue is perfect in design and never goes out of style. The family has carried on the tradition and have I am sure made Jerry proud. Excellent investment value, excellent player. You should own one or two...

Eugene Balner- He created so many real cool looking cues and which are still extremely popular today to own by collectors. You can get a real nice Palmer at a very reasonable price compared to most collector cues today.

Cognoscenti - Joe was very wise and instrumental in the use of CNC. He created many awesome designs and some pretty darn nice shafts. He really took the CNC during his era to a whole new level. Nice cue to have in your collection.

George Balabushka - George made real awesome cues with the help of Gus Szamboti(Gus' forearm's) and Burton Spain(forearm's- Gus forearms were vastly superior to Spain's) and the cues were legendary in playability.George's design work was absolutely amazing..rings inlays etc. George is not on my top ten list for the above mentioned lack of the forearm not being built by himself, but other than that a great cue. Great investment value.

Tad - Tad has his own design and is noticeable across the pool room. Real cool looking cues. I think the older Tad's are probably the best. This is another must own cue. Good investment value.

Richard Black - Richard has been around many rears and has built some magnificent cues. His use of gold and silver has been amazing. He has a gift for design. At arms length his cues are stunning....but I believe his execution is not up to that of the top ten. But in saying that he has done many beautiful cues.

Someone to watch -Eric Crisp - Eric has his own thing going on..his use of woods and the designs as simple as they are as beautiful. I think it might be a good idea to get one of Eric's cues.

I could go on......that's my list.

I base my opinion for the top ten at looking at cues through a loop and taking in consideration of the era of which they were made. I have played and/or owned most of the cues listed. I have also based a investment value historically what each cue makers cues have sold for new and then on the secondary market place over the last approx. 15 years.

mullyman
06-20-2010, 04:56 PM
No Paul Mottey in that top 10?

CMD
06-20-2010, 05:30 PM
Aside George Balabushka cues, which one do YOU think is the best? and Why??

How did you come up with this list? What makes you think George Balabushka is the best?

I am very interested in your response...



Chris <~~~~~~ wish there were different choices so I could vote

Kickin' Chicken
06-20-2010, 05:52 PM
A story:

Was visiting with Dennis Searing at his shop a few years ago and he told me that when he was a young player he would get a new Gus every year or two. After a few rounds of orders he sent in his request for another cue; this would be his (Dennis) perfect design.

When the cue arrived from Gus's shop, Dennis was hopeful that the design execution would be what he had envisioned. As he unpacked the cue his excitement grew; it was even better than he had hoped for. Gus hit a home run in taking Dennis's vision and building it to a T.

Excited, Dennis went to hit some balls with it and the cue hit terrible. :( He said that there was no way he could call Gus and tell him this.

What's the moral of the story? I don't really know other than all Gusses don't hit perfectly. Many might, but not all.

Best,
Brian kc

Calgaryplayer
06-20-2010, 05:52 PM
How did you come up with this list? What makes you think George Balabushka is the best?

I am very interested in your response...



Chris <~~~~~~ wish there were different choices so I could vote

very simple, if YOU think the best custom cue is on the list, then YOU vote for it. If YOU think they are not the best, YOU don't have to pick. ;)

CMD
06-20-2010, 05:59 PM
very simple, if YOU think the best custom cue is on the list, then YOU vote for it. If YOU think they are not the best, YOU don't have to pick. ;)

Great answer! :boring2:


Chris

DunnM1
06-20-2010, 06:15 PM
This is all subjective. And yes, I have either hit with or owned each one of these. And I understand that if you asked 20 people you will come up with 20 different answers. But here is my top 10.

1. George Balabuska, Gus Szamboti, Richard Black, Barry Szamboti, Richard Chudy (you can put them in any order you want). If I was forced to, I would put the two Richard's first and second, then both Szamboti's third and fourth and then Balabuska.

6. South West, TAD, Gina, AE Cues, Mike Webb, Tim Scruggs, and Bill Schick and the Nova Cues. Jeff Fugal over at AE Cues is making some great looking and great hitting cues for less $. Michael Webb is another that makes a great cue for the $.

No disrespect to the other cue makers and I do believe those others that were on your list makes good cues. But I'm not sure if they break into my top 20.

Calgaryplayer
06-20-2010, 06:15 PM
Great answer! :boring2:


Chris

Yes, it is!!:thumbup:

Str8PoolPlayer
06-20-2010, 07:19 PM
Gus .... because they will ALWAYS bring more dollars than those other guys.

Calgaryplayer
06-21-2010, 02:26 AM
What is Tim Scruggs? Chopped liver?
Steve.<-- Can't believe Scruggs isn't in that list.

there isn't enough room for those great names.

Lexicologist71
06-21-2010, 04:10 PM
I'll keep my Ray Schuler, thank you.

searingcue
06-22-2010, 06:30 AM
A story:

Was visiting with Dennis Searing at his shop a few years ago and he told me that when he was a young player he would get a new Gus every year or two. After a few rounds of orders he sent in his request for another cue; this would be his (Dennis) perfect design.

When the cue arrived from Gus's shop, Dennis was hopeful that the design execution would be what he had envisioned. As he unpacked the cue his excitement grew; it was even better than he had hoped for. Gus hit a home run in taking Dennis's vision and building it to a T.

Excited, Dennis went to hit some balls with it and the cue hit terrible. :( He said that there was no way he could call Gus and tell him this.

What's the moral of the story? I don't really know other than all Gusses don't hit perfectly. Many might, but not all.

Best,
Brian kc

While part of this story is true, what I said, and especially the context it was put in is not only incorrect but disappointing to me.
From the very first cue I ever built for someone else I've held to the policy that if when you receive the cue from me, if you don't like something about the cue, from playability, workmanship, value I don't care what it is, you'll have three choices. Make another cue with changes made that would make you like the cue, return it for full refund, and last make adjustments that will make the cue right for you. Always the customers choice out of the three. The reason I've held the policy I do, is because I feel that if you don't receive a cue that you can play with, then it's the same as not having a cue at all. When I used to get cues made, I wanted them to play with. Then Many times I've followed telling the customer my policy with the story of one of the cues I got from Gus.
I wanted this cue built by Gus that was kind of my dream cue. It was a hoppe style cue, beautiful birdseye forearm, stainless joint, ebony points/butt sleeve, titlist colors done by him, and a ivory hoppe ring. He nailed exactly what I wanted. It was so perfect, and I wanted to play with this cue more than anything I had before. I knew the workmanship was flawless in this cue, but in the end I couldn't play with the cue, and I tried for a long time. The cue was perfect, just wasn't right for me.
The moral to the story for me, and why I would tell the story. I knew that it doesn't matter how good the maker is, or how perfect the cue is it still has to work for the individual player. I knew Gus did his job, and built me a truly awesome cue. It wasn't his fault I couldn't play with it. The next cue I got of his I played with until I started making cues myself. I only sold the cue when I did because I wanted to buy my first metal lathe to start doing something I knew I would love to do. (making cues) I'm sure many of you know this story because I've told it a lot.
Why I was disappointed when I read how I was quoted, is that I've always idealized Gus, appreciated everything he ever did for me, and is still my inspiration. Gus in my mind is one of the best ever to make cues period.

Thank you,
Dennis

Kickin' Chicken
06-22-2010, 09:38 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kickin' Chicken
A story:

Was visiting with Dennis Searing at his shop a few years ago and he told me that when he was a young player he would get a new Gus every year or two. After a few rounds of orders he sent in his request for another cue; this would be his (Dennis) perfect design.

When the cue arrived from Gus's shop, Dennis was hopeful that the design execution would be what he had envisioned. As he unpacked the cue his excitement grew; it was even better than he had hoped for. Gus hit a home run in taking Dennis's vision and building it to a T.

Excited, Dennis went to hit some balls with it and the cue hit terrible. He said that there was no way he could call Gus and tell him this.

What's the moral of the story? I don't really know other than all Gusses don't hit perfectly. Many might, but not all.

Best,
Brian kc

While part of this story is true, what I said, and especially the context it was put in is not only incorrect but disappointing to me.
From the very first cue I ever built for someone else I've held to the policy that if when you receive the cue from me, if you don't like something about the cue, from playability, workmanship, value I don't care what it is, you'll have three choices. Make another cue with changes made that would make you like the cue, return it for full refund, and last make adjustments that will make the cue right for you. Always the customers choice out of the three. The reason I've held the policy I do, is because I feel that if you don't receive a cue that you can play with, then it's the same as not having a cue at all. When I used to get cues made, I wanted them to play with. Then Many times I've followed telling the customer my policy with the story of one of the cues I got from Gus.
I wanted this cue built by Gus that was kind of my dream cue. It was a hoppe style cue, beautiful birdseye forearm, stainless joint, ebony points/butt sleeve, titlist colors done by him, and a ivory hoppe ring. He nailed exactly what I wanted. It was so perfect, and I wanted to play with this cue more than anything I had before. I knew the workmanship was flawless in this cue, but in the end I couldn't play with the cue, and I tried for a long time. The cue was perfect, just wasn't right for me.
The moral to the story for me, and why I would tell the story. I knew that it doesn't matter how good the maker is, or how perfect the cue is it still has to work for the individual player. I knew Gus did his job, and built me a truly awesome cue. It wasn't his fault I couldn't play with it. The next cue I got of his I played with until I started making cues myself. I only sold the cue when I did because I wanted to buy my first metal lathe to start doing something I knew I would love to do. (making cues) I'm sure many of you know this story because I've told it a lot.
Why I was disappointed when I read how I was quoted, is that I've always idealized Gus, appreciated everything he ever did for me, and is still my inspiration. Gus in my mind is one of the best ever to make cues period.

Thank you,
Dennis

Dennis:

Let me sincerely apologize for omitting the context of this story in my post. Absolutely, when you told me about this, it was while explaining your policy where you encourage your customers to provide you with their feedback, good or bad, so if there is any disappointment with a cue you made for them, that you would have an opportunity to make it right.

And for sure, I meant no disrespect to the iconic Mr. Gus Szamboti. I only sought to underscore how even the best of the best cuemaker's cues can have variability, and as you pointed out, that despite your having previous Gusses that worked out well, for whatever reason, this particular one did not work out for you.

My post in no way meant to call into question your high regard and respect for Gus Szamboti.

Sorry if it read that way.

Best,
Brian kc

Cornerman
06-22-2010, 09:54 AM
Aside George Balabushka cues, which one do YOU think is the best? and Why??

My top 5 list of greatest cuemaker would probably include 10 cuemakers.

In no particular order, the list would include (and isn't complete):

Bill
Ernie
Gus
Barry
Dennis
Pete
Mike
Jerry
Tim
Jim & Dave
Tony
Bob

8Ball48043
06-22-2010, 12:55 PM
Aside George Balabushka cues, which one do YOU think is the best? and Why??

Best What? Best looking? Best playing? Best Value? Best What?

Scott Lee
06-22-2010, 01:27 PM
8Ball48043...Hey no fair! I already said that in post #7! :D Ah...just kiddin' ya! It deserved to be said again...and again...and again! There is no best (even separating context as you did), because it's too subjective to the individual!

Scott Lee
www.poolknowledge.com

Best What? Best looking? Best playing? Best Value? Best What?

tattoo
06-22-2010, 01:29 PM
pulled out the master.....dennis i hope all is going well....and i will be calling you in 01/11......thanks again for making such a great cue.....mickey carroll

SCCues
06-22-2010, 01:29 PM
Aside George Balabushka cues, which one do YOU think is the best? and Why??

Best investment cue?
Best playing cue?
Best cue for the money to go out and have fun playing with?

To say one cue makers cues are the best over all of the fine cue makers who have built and are building cues is not a fair question. How many of us have had the opportunity to try all of these cues so we can make a fair comparison - I would say none of us have tried them all. This is more of a popularity poll than a best cue poll......

James

Calgaryplayer
06-22-2010, 06:26 PM
Best What? Best looking? Best playing? Best Value? Best What?

Best "cue"!!

Hope it helps! ;)

HollyWood
06-22-2010, 09:07 PM
Legendary Cue makers is a different group- For those who don't know who they are Herman Rambo , who knew the difference between making cues for Balk line,Billiards and Pool. Harvey Martin Is the Father of cue making ,In one straight Pool tournament Lassiter missed 7 called balls from 1,200 points he shot to win. with a Martin) ,Gus Szamboti built cues to break with and kept that in Mind,The tone of a Gus became sweet Music to those who tuned in,80% of Gus shaft wood dis guarded,Rarely were the shafts under 4 oz usually closer to 4.5 used,if the shaft is improperly engineered will destroy the playability of any elaborate butt. finnished and sanded by Hand because the final Taper could not be completed by Hand) ,George Balabushka ,Eugene Balmer, Frank Paradise,George Brittner (Poly chromatic construction,and American Design.) others Bert Schrager, Richard and Ricky Phillippi , Danny Janes, Paul Rubino ,Ernie Martinez. Szamboti's are and have been sought after for years,all around the world.

Calgaryplayer
08-02-2010, 12:19 AM
I personally think that McWorter is one of the best nowsaday.

thuglife520
08-02-2010, 12:28 AM
Glen Graham out of tucson az is very proficent and well respected

justin.powell
08-28-2010, 05:20 AM
I did not vote as I do not know who to vote for. I know you can make a case for many many others to be on this list. If I were to add to that list Scruggs and Samsara would be on the list. I recently picked up a Samsara and a friend of mine has one-they are very well built and hit as good as any cue out there IMO.

Antfarm
08-28-2010, 06:03 AM
I've never played with anything that hits like a BB with one of the ferrulless shafts from Tony. I've hit with most of these cues and nothing compares.... both in design and function.

Greg

bobroberts
08-28-2010, 09:28 AM
First I will start by saying the list is not really a list of truly the best top ten cue makers...with the exception of Gus Szamboti,Gina and Black Boar and South West which are the only ones that would make the top ten. The others on the list are very good cue makers...but definetly are not my top ten. The secondary market dictates quality, collectabilty and pricing and resale value and these three hit all four perfectly. So here's my list:

Gus Szamboti - The King was ahead of his time and his forearm/veneer work,inlays,style,design and playability...total over all quality was a 10. Gus had and has the most beautifully styled cues in the world. Gus would use different style rings and inlays in a cue and wow...perfect. With all of the technology and equipment availability today, Gus still surpasses 99% of all cue makers then and today. Gus is probably the ultimate inspiration to cue makers. The man had unbelivable talent and eye for design and execution. Gus is the ultimate collectable cue. Awesome,awesome...Great playing and great investment value and if you don't have one...that is unfortunate, do yourself a favor and find one and spend the money, you will get much more than you paid in a Gus Szamboti cue.

Dennis Searing - The contemporary Gus Szamboti. His execution in his cues are absolutely the best in the world.. from the joint pin to the butt cap and everything in between is as perfect as is humanly possible. His shafts are the finest,truest and cleanest I have ever seen in over 30 years. His veneer work and His inlay work is the tightest and cleanest in the world. The most perfectly executed cues I have ever seen....and using a loop!!! And his cues play like most awesome. Great playing and great investment value and at least one should be in every collection. A Dennis Searing cue is a must to own.

Gina Cues - Cue making genius, his career over the last what over 40+ years is remarkable to say the least.Fabulous designs and an inspiration to many. Beautiful overall execution. Excellent investment value and at least one should be in every collection.

John Showman - Old school and knows how to do it. This is a guy that really knows how to use a pantograph, John is one of the two best pantograph guys in the world. His overall execution is awesome and designs are his old school style. John has his own thing going on... Great investment and at least one Showman should be in every collection.

Frank Paradise - What a cue, Frank was a guy that had his own thing going on, what beautiful designs and the cues played darn good. Overall very good execution. Excellent investment value and excellent playing cue.

Bob Manzino - The Picasso of artistic cue makers. Bob's design's are often and near breath taking. Bob has a true artist mind in his cue's.Overall excecution and his silver work is mind blowing. His work gets more intricate with each new cue. Bob and Tony(Black Boar) have created some of the most amazing designs in cues of anyone to date. Excellent investment value and you should own one of Bob's work's of art.

Frank Coster - Awesome designs simple and some fancy, like the gear design. Just real cool cues. If you have the dough, in the collection.

Barry Szamboti - A cue maker that exemplifies the ultimate in old school.. Each and every cue that Barry build's is beautiful. He learned from the King and went on to create his own style and reputation as a great cue maker. Owning a Barry cue is also a must have. Great playing,Great investment value.

Tony Scianella - Black Boar - Talk about a guy that has his own thing going on, his design work and execution are awesome. This is another gifted guy like Bob Manzino, they have the artist mind and then do the execution.

Herman Rambow- Innovator and one of the fathers of cue making. Treasured and played with by the great pool players like Mosconi. He is often overlooked on the top ten. A cue well worth owning. Excellent collector cue.


The top ten I selected was rather easy...but there are a few others that should be named:

Joel Hercek - Joel's design work is pretty cool. His execution is top notch. A full splice guy and proud of it. Excellent investment value. You should own one.

Pete Tascarella - Old school excellence. Popular cue maker. Nice overall work.

Ron Haley - Awesome execution and design work. Ron's boxed veneer points are awesome.His mitered veneered boxes are....probably the best in the world. Contemporary old school. Very good investment value.

Dave Kersenbrock - An innovator in cue making and has had some real cool designs. One hell of a cue maker. Excellent investment

Jerry Franklin - To me A South West cue is perfect in design and never goes out of style. The family has carried on the tradition and have I am sure made Jerry proud. Excellent investment value, excellent player. You should own one or two...

Eugene Balner- He created so many real cool looking cues and which are still extremely popular today to own by collectors. You can get a real nice Palmer at a very reasonable price compared to most collector cues today.

Cognoscenti - Joe was very wise and instrumental in the use of CNC. He created many awesome designs and some pretty darn nice shafts. He really took the CNC during his era to a whole new level. Nice cue to have in your collection.

George Balabushka - George made real awesome cues with the help of Gus Szamboti(Gus' forearm's) and Burton Spain(forearm's- Gus forearms were vastly superior to Spain's) and the cues were legendary in playability.George's design work was absolutely amazing..rings inlays etc. George is not on my top ten list for the above mentioned lack of the forearm not being built by himself, but other than that a great cue. Great investment value.

Tad - Tad has his own design and is noticeable across the pool room. Real cool looking cues. I think the older Tad's are probably the best. This is another must own cue. Good investment value.

Richard Black - Richard has been around many rears and has built some magnificent cues. His use of gold and silver has been amazing. He has a gift for design. At arms length his cues are stunning....but I believe his execution is not up to that of the top ten. But in saying that he has done many beautiful cues.

Someone to watch -Eric Crisp - Eric has his own thing going on..his use of woods and the designs as simple as they are as beautiful. I think it might be a good idea to get one of Eric's cues.

I could go on......that's my list.

I base my opinion for the top ten at looking at cues through a loop and taking in consideration of the era of which they were made. I have played and/or owned most of the cues listed. I have also based a investment value historically what each cue makers cues have sold for new and then on the secondary market place over the last approx. 15 years.

I would say this top ten hit the mark.
of course with only 10 you are omitting others who are as good.
From watching the best you realize just what goes into cue making.
Hirun 526 knows what he is talking about.

I think the original OP has never watched a top tier CM work.

vasilios
08-28-2010, 09:40 AM
were any of these cues at turning stone this past weekend.who were the players using them.

bill

JAW725
08-29-2010, 03:47 PM
What about Richard Chuddy, RC3? I love his designs.

classiccues
08-29-2010, 03:54 PM
were any of these cues at turning stone this past weekend.who were the players using them.

bill

Probably not. Pool players can't afford these kinds of cues. :)

JV

franko
01-05-2011, 02:02 PM
The best cue without a doubt and I have owned most of the top cuemakers cues are Joel Herceks full spliced cues.Since Joel only makes 25 or so cues per year due to the time it takes to make the full splice not many people get the opportunity to play with one.Trust me, there is not a short splice that is going to compete with them.When it comes to designs and detail Joel is the best.He will not send out a cue that is not perfect and up to his strict standards.If you ever have the chance to acquire one of his cues and you have the money jump on it.

Lexicologist71
01-18-2011, 12:29 AM
I'll take my Ray Schuler, thank you.

Str8PoolPlayer
01-18-2011, 12:56 AM
I am perfectly happy with my Collection of Alex Brick "One-Off" Customs even though I own (or have owned) a generous amount from the Cuemakers listed above.

BEST is a very subjective term and most often lies in the mind of the beholder.

OverCutAnything
01-18-2011, 01:22 AM
For playing I'll take Josey, BCM or COG for the money.
Playing cue for more money - Vollmer, Franklin SW & Ed Young.
Collecting: GS, BS, GB, Gina, Early Palmer and some others.
Many of these play great also as well as good investment.

Big difference in great playing cue and great looking cue.
Very few are able to combine both.
Greatness in a cue varies with each person.
Cues - Get what you like to collect and play with what you feel comfortable with.

deanoc
01-18-2011, 07:05 AM
My vote is for Lori Franklin and the southwest cue,she is much better looking than all the other guys and when Jerry passed away her cues have improved slightly over where they were
its no wonder that she has a 10 year waiting list and the cues are selling for $1000 profit the day you get yours

I put Barry Szamboti in the exact same league with Gus,and if Gus were here he would be as proud of Barry as Barry is of Gus

dean

Llama
01-18-2011, 07:09 AM
I am surprised that there are no Lambros on your poll. I have gone through my share of cues over the years, including a R series Schon, a Tim Scruggs as well as a Bill McDaniel. The only one that I still have is my Lambros.

I even had it branded with a Llama... :)

Cdryden
01-18-2011, 07:24 AM
i mean no offense but I find this thread kinda pointless. Seldom are two peoples opinion of "the best" the same.

SCCues
01-18-2011, 02:06 PM
Aside George Balabushka cues, which one do YOU think is the best? and Why??

The old saying of "One man's trash is another man's treasure" may have some meaning here. I may think a certain cue plays terrible and the next man who tries it may say it's the best cue he's ever played with. I've been through so many cues that i've lost count and some I liked a lot and others I thought were terrible......

James

PoolBum
01-18-2011, 02:34 PM
Did Gus have some secret sauce he put in the glue of his cues?

Shhhhhhhhhh!