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Kurt
06-20-2010, 10:17 AM
First, a quick introduction. I'm new to these forums, but I've been playing pool for about 7 years. I've played some APA 8-ball and drift between playing as a strong 7 to a weak 6. I currently play with an old Scruggs that I bought off of a friend of a friend 6 years ago for $400. I have a ton of questions regarding what is the "standard". And what I mean by this, is, "what would/do the pro's use?" So please apply that standard to all of my questions, and do your best to answer each and every one as completely as possible. It would be greatly appreciated. A lot of these questions have to do with performance over preference. Please don't say something is just preference if it will actually have a performance impact on your game. (I've never had any formal training, so a lot of these questions will probably seem a bit silly.)

#1. Does a custom "hand made" cue (like my Scruggs) actually enable you to play better pool due to the quality of the materials and workmanship? Or do good pool players prefer custom cues just because of the way they look? i.e. can the best players in the world play just as well with a $200 manufactured stick than a $2,000 custom stick? If they can, why do you see people with expensive hand made custom cues, is it just for prestige, or does it actually effect their game?

#2. What cue tips do most pros use? Soft, medium, or hard, and why? What brand do a lot of them use? Is a layered tip like a kamui black going to be preferable over a non layered tip, or is it just preference?

#3. What is the standard weight of a ball numbered 1-15? What is the standard weight of a cue ball? In an ideal rack of balls, should the cue ball weigh the same as the numbered balls, or should the cue ball weight more or less?

#4. Is it generally better to have a thicker diameter shaft or thinner diameter shaft, or is it just preference? My shaft is around 12.25mm diameter, but I've heard from a couple of local hot shots that a 13mm diameter shaft is "ideal." Is there any science to back up whether it's better to have a thinner or thicker diameter shaft? What tip diameter do most pros use, and what is ideal?

#5. Anybody have any experience with the Predator shafts, such as the 314 (version 2) or the z2? Is it a bad idea to put a 314 on a custom stick? Will the custom shaft that comes with the custom cue generally shoot better than the 314? Or once again, is it just preference?

#6. What is the best quality brand out there for cue balls and numbered balls? I've heard Aramith thrown around quite a lot..are these generally considered to be the best quality? I'd like to purchase a cue ball that I can carry around with me, so I would also like some advice as to what would be the most ideal weight and brand for the cue ball I should purchase.

#7. When my kamui black tip was put on my stick a few months ago, the gentleman "tapered" the tip inwards. So if you were to look at the profile of the tip, the sides of the tip would not be parallel to the shaft, but would be curving inwards towards the tip. Why did he do this, and is this normal, or is it a bad idea?

#8. The butt of my Scruggs stick is slightly warped. When you remove the shaft and lay the butt on the table and roll it, and you look at the collar around the joint as the butt rolls on the table, you can see it come off the table a bit. Does having a warped cue butt effect the accuracy of your shot? I've been told as long as your cue shaft is not warped, the accuracy of the shot would not be compromised, but I want to double check.

#9. How does the butt collar of a cue stick effect one's shooting capability? My Scruggs has a metal butt collar that connects the shaft to the butt. I have seen many cues that have a wooden butt collar and no metal involved. When I try these sticks, it has a much different feel when hitting balls. Is a metal butt collar better or worse than a wood butt collar, or once again, is it just preference?

#10. This question is a bit loaded. It is concerning cue weights. I play with a 19 ounce (actual weight is 18.8). I break with a J&J break/jump combo with phenolic tip that weighs 18 ounces. Is there an "ideal" weight for a regular cue stick? Can you get better english with heavier or lighter cues, or is it just preference? And, concerning break cues, is lighter better, or does it have to do with how fast you can accelerate a cue? I'm aware of the energy equation where mass and cue speed effect how fast the cue ball can travel, but am I doing the right thing by using a break stick that is an ounce lighter than my play stick?

#11. I've seen a lot of good players like Tom Kennedy break with regular sticks with regular leather tips (although the leather tips might be hard tips). When playing 9-ball, as an example, is it a better idea to break with a phenolic tipped break stick, or a leather tipped break stick, or is it just preference once again?

#12. Does the type of wood a cue is made out of effect your game in a positive or negative way, or will they just look and feel slightly different, without having any noticeable performance impact? So, if I were to go over to Jacksonville and have Dale Perry build me a custom cue (wow, expensive), is there a "best wood" to use for shafts and butts, or does it not really effect performance at all?

#13. Is there an ideal "balance" for cue sticks? Meaning, if you were to balance the stick on your finger, should it balance at a particular point on the stick? Do all the best custom cue makers in the world have the same balance point for their sticks, or do they differ? Is one balance better than another for performance, or is it just preference?

#14. Is having the lowest amount of deflection in a shaft a good thing? I've heard some people say they prefer higher deflection shafts because they are either used to them, or they like the feel better. Predator, OB, and lots of shaft manufacturers advertise low deflection as something that is really good. Are they right, and should I always try to find the lowest deflection shaft when making a purchase?
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When answering, please answer in numbered format so I know what you're referring to. I know a lot of these questions are loaded, but having honest and complete answers to everything above would help me enormously. I would love any help, thanks!

-Kurt

Bob Jewett
06-20-2010, 10:55 AM
> #1. Does a custom "hand made" cue (like my Scruggs) actually enable you to play better pool due to the quality of the materials and workmanship?

In general no. The vast majority of how a cue plays is in the shaft. The butt, so long as it is solid, is mostly along for the ride. Of course the butt does determine things like balance, length and grip, but those are not expensive features to change.

> #2. What cue tips do most pros use?

I think you need to find a tip that works for you. It needs to hold chalk with minimal maintenance, keep its shape and not miscue. In general, I think pros tend to use hard tips for consistency, but it's important to note that few if any tips actually give you a real hardness rating to judge them by. A cue repair guy I know measures hardnesses out of the box and he has found that you can't really trust the labels.

> #3. What is the standard weight of a ball numbered 1-15?

All of the balls should be the same weight. The specifications are HERE (http://www.wpa-pool.com/index.asp?content=rules_spec). Typical reported values are in the middle of the range, say about 162 grams.

Cue balls wear down over time and become smaller and lighter than the object balls. This causes major changes in how the balls play. The object balls wear down too, but not as fast.

> #4. Is it generally better to have a thicker diameter shaft or thinner diameter shaft, or is it just preference? ...

Shaft diameter has a major effect on how much the cue ball squirts. Some people like lots of squirt, others little squirt. Because it is not easy to change back and forth between amounts of squirt, especially if you like to spin the cue ball, you need to find a diameter and stick with it.

> #5. Anybody have any experience with the Predator shafts, s

Yes. They are low-squirt shafts. you can get such shafts from several brands, including Predator. Many cue makers will install the brand of shaft you choose. If you cannot play well with a low-squirt shaft, it would be a major error to try to use one.

> #6. What is the best quality brand out there for cue balls and numbered balls?

You have two choices: Aramith and something made in China. So far as I know, the Chinese have not yet figured out how to make good balls.

> #7. When my kamui black tip was put on my stick a few months ago, the gentleman "tapered" the tip inwards. So if you were to look at the profile of the tip, the sides of the tip would not be parallel to the shaft, but would be curving inwards towards the tip. Why did he do this, and is this normal, or is it a bad idea?

If the tip starts to mushroom a little, this will compensate a little. Also, it may prevent early tears. I think there is no harm in it, but I prefer the sides of the tip to be parallel to the line of shaft.

> #8. ... Does having a warped cue butt effect the accuracy of your shot?

I think it's easier to compensate for than a warped shaft. Since I always shoot with the butt and shaft rotated the same way (same side up on all shots), it probably wouldn't bother me.

Bob Jewett
06-20-2010, 11:04 AM
> #9. How does the butt collar of a cue stick effect one's shooting capability?

It has essentially no effect. Some aficionados will swear up and down that there is only one proper way to make a joint. It's like a religion. If you want to have one, it probably won't hurt you unless you start discussing it with someone who has picked a different one.

> #10. This question is a bit loaded. It is concerning cue weights.

There has been some analysis of this. You may want to read about break sticks in Byrne's "Advanced Technique" book.

Personally, I think a couple of ounces up or down in a break stick will have little effect on maximum break speed (if that's what you feel is important). For me, the balance of the stick is far more important.

> #11. .. is it a better idea to break with a phenolic tipped break stick,

Phenolic tips are illegal according to the equipment regulations. Some tournaments pay attention to the regulations and some don't.

> #13. Is there an ideal "balance" for cue sticks?

I think it depends on the game you're playing and how long a bridge you normally use. A short bridge calls out for a forward balance.

> #14. Is having the lowest amount of deflection in a shaft a good thing?

It is for me.

Tramp Steamer
06-20-2010, 11:11 AM
Answers to:
#1. No. It's your preference.
#7. Do not take your cue back to this fellow under any circumstances. The sides of any cue tip should be dead parallel to the shaft. If it isn't then your ferrule is also tapered and things are going to go from bad to worse.
#8. Yes. Anywhere from minutely to drastically. A warped brain? That's another matter.

Welcome to the forum. :smile:

Kurt
06-20-2010, 11:20 AM
Bob,

Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions. Can you extrapolate on the differences between layered and non layered tips and why one would be better? And, you're saying cue balls need to be the same weight as numbered balls? I always thought the cue ball was supposed to be a bit heavier.

If I am to purchase a cue ball that I bring around with me, you would suggest an aramith cue ball? I'm assuming it doesn't matter if it has a red dot on it or not, that would just be preference.

Input from others is also welcome.

Kurt
06-20-2010, 11:22 AM
Answers to:
#1. No. It's your preference.
#7. Do not take your cue back to this fellow under any circumstances. The sides of any cue tip should be dead parallel to the shaft. If it isn't then your ferrule is also tapered and things are going to go from bad to worse.
#8. Yes. Anywhere from minutely to drastically. A warped brain? That's another matter.

Welcome to the forum. :smile:

So having a warped butt will effect the accuracy of a shot? How sure are you of this? If you are positive and/or can provide some evidence, I'll work on getting a new cue (although I really hate giving up my Scruggs.)

Bob Jewett
06-20-2010, 11:41 AM
... Can you extrapolate on the differences between layered and non layered tips and why one would be better? And, you're saying cue balls need to be the same weight as numbered balls? I always thought the cue ball was supposed to be a bit heavier.

If I am to purchase a cue ball that I bring around with me, you would suggest an aramith cue ball? I'm assuming it doesn't matter if it has a red dot on it or not, that would just be preference.

Input from others is also welcome.
I tried Mooris on a bunch of shafts for some stroke shot practice. They fell apart, but then I was miscuing from time to time. The theory is that a layered tip can be more consistent. Whether that's true or not depends on how each kind of tip is prepared.

The equipment regulations do not specify matched weights, but it is important. Often in pool halls a ball gets lost out of a well-used set. Replacement balls will be the right size and consequently heavier and draw and follow angles will be different off of that heavier ball.

If the cue ball is heavier or lighter than the object balls, draw and follow will change, but if the object balls are all the same it won't be so hard to deal with. If you get your own cue ball, it will likely be heavier than all the object balls you encounter. This will be a big advantage for you since you will be used to that kind of reaction. The LO in a league I play in brought in his own new measles cue ball one time. It was grossly larger than the object balls, which had been in use for ten years or so.

I've heard that some models of cue ball have different surface treatments. I'd try to find the one with the hardest surface. I don't think there is much difference between the surface preparation of Aramith cue balls.

Kurt
06-20-2010, 11:52 AM
I tried Mooris on a bunch of shafts for some stroke shot practice. They fell apart, but then I was miscuing from time to time. The theory is that a layered tip can be more consistent. Whether that's true or not depends on how each kind of tip is prepared.

The equipment regulations do not specify matched weights, but it is important. Often in pool halls a ball gets lost out of a well-used set. Replacement balls will be the right size and consequently heavier and draw and follow angles will be different off of that heavier ball.

If the cue ball is heavier or lighter than the object balls, draw and follow will change, but if the object balls are all the same it won't be so hard to deal with. If you get your own cue ball, it will likely be heavier than all the object balls you encounter. This will be a big advantage for you since you will be used to that kind of reaction. The LO in a league I play in brought in his own new measles cue ball one time. It was grossly larger than the object balls, which had been in use for ten years or so.

I've heard that some models of cue ball have different surface treatments. I'd try to find the one with the hardest surface. I don't think there is much difference between the surface preparation of Aramith cue balls.


Just so there's no confusion - a cue ball should weigh the same as object balls, correct? If this is correct, how do you know this and where'd you get the information? I'll go ahead and purchase a cue ball, I guess this means my cue ball will almost always weigh more than the object balls I'm playing with though, but like you said, I'll be used to the reaction. And, if a cue ball should weigh the same as object balls, should it also have the same diameter as the object balls?

And, what's a measles cue ball?

And lastly, extrapolate on how shaft/tip diameter effects squirt (deflection) on a ball? Does a thinner shaft produce more squirt, or does a thicker shaft produce more squirt? And, if less squirt is preferable to most over more squirt, the shaft diameter associated with it should be preferable as well, no?

Bob Jewett
06-20-2010, 12:10 PM
Just so there's no confusion - a cue ball should weigh the same as object balls, correct? If this is correct, how do you know this and where'd you get the information? I'll go ahead and purchase a cue ball, I guess this means my cue ball will almost always weigh more than the object balls I'm playing with though, but like you said, I'll be used to the reaction.

And, what's a measles cue ball?

And lastly, extrapolate on how shaft/tip diameter effects squirt (deflection) on a ball? Does a thinner shaft produce more squirt, or does a thicker shaft produce more squirt? And, if less squirt is preferable to most over more squirt, the shaft diameter associated with it should be preferable as well, no?
The equipment specifications for pool do not state that the weights of the balls in a set must match. In games where there is more than one cue ball, for example at English Billiards, it is very important for all the balls to be the same weight. In the rules for English Billiards, the weights must be matched within 0.5 grams (about 1/60th of an ounce). At snooker, matching is specified as 3 grams throughout the set. I think the equipment specifications for pool need to be fixed in this regard.

"Measles cue ball" is the common (and descriptive) name for the Aramith Pro Cup cue ball which has six evenly-spaces red spots. It was designed for TV to allow the spectators to see the spin on the cue ball. It is often used in tournaments and comes with some of the higher-end Aramith ball sets.

Thicker shafts generally produce more squirt. The most important variable for squirtiness seems to be how much mass there is in the front few inches of the stick. Thicker = more mass = more squirt. Predator reduces mass by using a light, short ferrule, a smaller diameter than typical for pool, and drilling out the center of the end of the shaft.

Kurt
06-20-2010, 12:18 PM
The equipment specifications for pool do not state that the weights of the balls in a set must match. In games where there is more than one cue ball, for example at English Billiards, it is very important for all the balls to be the same weight. In the rules for English Billiards, the weights must be matched within 0.5 grams (about 1/60th of an ounce). At snooker, matching is specified as 3 grams throughout the set. I think the equipment specifications for pool need to be fixed in this regard.

"Measles cue ball" is the common (and descriptive) name for the Aramith Pro Cup cue ball which has six evenly-spaces red spots. It was designed for TV to allow the spectators to see the spin on the cue ball. It is often used in tournaments and comes with some of the higher-end Aramith ball sets.

Thicker shafts generally produce more squirt. The most important variable for squirtiness seems to be how much mass there is in the front few inches of the stick. Thicker = more mass = more squirt. Predator reduces mass by using a light, short ferrule, a smaller diameter than typical for pool, and drilling out the center of the end of the shaft.

So if I were to buy a new set of pool balls from Aramith, would the cue ball included in the set be exactly (or very close to) the same weight as the numbered balls?

I saw that measles ball on Aramith's web site. I'm stuck in a bit of a conundrum. All the red dots on the measles cue ball seem to be a bit distracting for me (I'm not sure if that's normal, or if I'm just picky...) But I'm not sure I want to buy a cue ball that is all white or has the single red dot on it either (because my personal ball could easily get mixed up with one of the house cue balls, and how would I know which is which?) So I'm having to think this one through :)

Bob Jewett
06-20-2010, 12:22 PM
So if I were to buy a new set of pool balls from Aramith, would the cue ball included in the set be exactly (or very close to) the same weight as the numbered balls? ...
I'm pretty sure the weights would be equal within 3 grams.

Scott Lee
06-20-2010, 12:29 PM
Kurt...It's important to note that different players prefer different cueballs. I prefer the red circle, and it is the most common ball you find in poolroom ball sets (in good rooms). Many players do not like the measles ball, for different reasons. As Bob stated, Saluc makes all the good balls, and Aramith is a brand name, of which there are several choices. Brunswick Centennial is another brand name (also made by Saluc).

It's also important to note that there are many competitors to Predator out there, that play just as well, or according to individual preference, even better. Custom cuemakers are also making their own custom versions of LD shafts. LD shafts come in almost any diameter, from skinny (11.5mm) to 'fat' (13mm+). They will all 'perform' well for individual players...so the choice remains what the player prefers, in terms of the "feel" of the shaft...which is extremely subjective to each player. You can have the exact same cue, with different joints (what you're calling a butt collar), and they will 'feel' completely different. In the same vein, you can have the exact same cue, with the exact same joint, and put different tips on it, and it will play and feel different to the same person.

Scott Lee
www.poolknowledge.com


"Measles cue ball" is the common (and descriptive) name for the Aramith Pro Cup cue ball which has six evenly-spaces red spots. It was designed for TV to allow the spectators to see the spin on the cue ball. It is often used in tournaments and comes with some of the higher-end Aramith ball sets.

Thicker shafts generally produce more squirt. The most important variable for squirtiness seems to be how much mass there is in the front few inches of the stick. Thicker = more mass = more squirt. Predator reduces mass by using a light, short ferrule, a smaller diameter than typical for pool, and drilling out the center of the end of the shaft.

Scott Lee
06-20-2010, 12:33 PM
...which equates to about 1/10 of an ounce. Just like you wouldn't be able to feel the difference between 18.8 oz (your cue), and a cue that weighed 18.7 oz or 18.9 oz. Pretty much the same with balls...it won't make any significant difference in your play (and 99/100 people wouldn't notice a difference at all).

Scott Lee
www.poolknowledge.com

I'm pretty sure the weights would be equal within 3 grams.

Kurt
06-20-2010, 12:34 PM
Kurt...It's important to note that different players prefer different cueballs. I prefer the red circle, and it is the most common ball you find in poolroom ball sets (in good rooms). Many players do not like the measles ball, for different reasons. As Bob stated, Saluc makes all the good balls, and Aramith is a brand name, of which there are several choices. Brunswick Centennial is another brand name (also made by Saluc).

It's also important to note that there are many competitors to Predator out there, that play just as well, or according to individual preference, even better. Custom cuemakers are also making their own custom versions of LD shafts. LD shafts come in almost any diameter, from skinny (11.5mm) to 'fat' (13mm+). They will all 'perform' well for individual players...so the choice remains what the player prefers, in terms of the "feel" of the shaft...which is extremely subjective to each player. You can have the exact same cue, with different joints (what you're calling a butt collar), and they will 'feel' completely different. In the same vein, you can have the exact same cue, with the exact same joint, and put different tips on it, and it will play and feel different to the same person.

Scott Lee
www.poolknowledge.com

Thanks for your input Scott. I'm thinking of purchasing a red circle Aramith cue ball to bring around with me to different pool halls. The only reason I'm a bit worried about this is, is it might get mixed up with the other red circle cue balls that belong to the pool hall. Do you know of any easy way to differentiate your own personal red circle cue ball compared to a pool hall owned red circle cue ball?

Kurt
06-20-2010, 12:37 PM
And Scott, what's your position on a warped butt? As you probably read earlier in the thread, the butt of my Tim Scruggs cue is a bit warped. When I roll it on the surface of a table, you can see the joint come off the table a millimeter or two and looks a tad wobbly. Will having a warped butt effect the accuracy of a shot, assuming the shaft of the cue stick is not warped and in perfect condition?

Scott Lee
06-20-2010, 12:37 PM
Kurt...There wouldn't be any. Some red circle Aramith CB's are a little different color or lustre, but most are the same. There would be no reason to use 'your' red circle over another red circle (other than Bob's reference to wear...which imo doesn't make much difference overall). Keep yours for use then the cb in the tray is not a quality CB. Then it's easy to tell the difference.

Scott Lee
www.poolknowledge.com

Do you know of any easy way to differentiate your own personal red circle cue ball compared to a pool hall owned red circle cue ball?

Kurt
06-20-2010, 12:49 PM
Kurt...There wouldn't be any. Some red circle Aramith CB's are a little different color or lustre, but most are the same. There would be no reason to use 'your' red circle over another red circle (other than Bob's reference to wear...which imo doesn't make much difference overall). Keep yours for use then the cb in the tray is not a quality CB. Then it's easy to tell the difference.

Scott Lee
www.poolknowledge.com

Checking the az store, I see there's a blue circle Brunswick brand. It was said earlier that Saluc makes both Aramith brand and Brunswick brand cue balls? So is the following link a Saluc product? :

http://www.azbmarketplace.com/products/Brunswick_Blue_Circle_Cue_Ball-398-217.html

And, will it have the same diameter and weight as the red circle ball? If it does, how come it is more expensive than the Aramith red circle?

TATE
06-20-2010, 01:03 PM
Kurt,

Is that all you want to know?





#1. Does a custom "hand made" cue (like my Scruggs) actually enable you to play better pool due to the quality of the materials and workmanship? Or do good pool players prefer custom cues just because of the way they look? i.e. can the best players in the world play just as well with a $200 manufactured stick than a $2,000 custom stick? If they can, why do you see people with expensive hand made custom cues, is it just for prestige, or does it actually effect their game?

Most customs are bought by dedicated players out of a desire to own a particular cue that is somewhat unique and not off the shelf. Many factors such as pride of ownership, hit characteristics, appearance, do affect the decision.

Generally, the better the player the more likely you will find modifications to any cue including customs, meaning LD shafts, special tapers, preference of balance, weight, wraps, etc.

But a good player can adapt to any reasonable cue - even a $10 bar cue, and play 100% with it.


#2. What cue tips do most pros use? Soft, medium, or hard, and why? What brand do a lot of them use? Is a layered tip like a kamui black going to be preferable over a non layered tip, or is it just preference?

Most better players use a medium, medium hard, or hard tip, and there is a tendency to shave them down from full height. The lower height makes the tip side wall "stiffer" on english shots and less likely to mushroom over time. The layered tips are popular because they are extremely durable and hold their shape well - a quality that makes them low maintenance and consistent. Tiger Sniper and Everest's are very popular as well as Kamui, Moori and others. But standard leather tips like LePro's and others are probably the most common because they're less expensive.

#3. What is the standard weight of a ball numbered 1-15? What is the standard weight of a cue ball? In an ideal rack of balls, should the cue ball weigh the same as the numbered balls, or should the cue ball weight more or less?

The most popular premium ball sets are Brunswick Centennials and Aramith Pros or Super Pros (Aramith makes the Centennials too). In a quality set of balls, the weight of the balls will be pretty evenly matched with the cue ball. Typical weight of these sets is 5.8 to 5.9 ounces.


#4. Is it generally better to have a thicker diameter shaft or thinner diameter shaft, or is it just preference? My shaft is around 12.25mm diameter, but I've heard from a couple of local hot shots that a 13mm diameter shaft is "ideal." Is there any science to back up whether it's better to have a thinner or thicker diameter shaft? What tip diameter do most pros use, and what is ideal?

Generally there are two camps:

- The small tip crowd, 11.75mm - 12mm that prefers shafts like the Predator Z and OB2, , stiffer, longer, straighter taper. Shafts built this way tend to squirt less than the next camp. Seems to me this trend was started with the introduction of the Predator Z which which has a stiffer, straighter type of taper.


- The 12.75 - 13mm camp, 16" pro or modified pro taper. This is more traditional.

Personally, I find the larger tip to be a little more forgiving of cueing errors, but the small tips to be a little more precise for the top level players. No science here at all - just my own thoughts. I use a 12.75 mm tip.


#5. Anybody have any experience with the Predator shafts, such as the 314 (version 2) or the z2? Is it a bad idea to put a 314 on a custom stick? Will the custom shaft that comes with the custom cue generally shoot better than the 314? Or once again, is it just preference?




Most of us have lots of experience for many years with LD shafts.

Besides low squirt, the often overlooked advantage of an LD aftermarket shaft is they tend to be consistent from shaft to shaft because of the way they are made. I use the new OB Classic - and I can shoot with any cue that has an OB Classic with minimal adjustment. I can replace my shaft at any time and have minimal adjustment time. In my book, this is a huge advantage over conventional shafts.


#6. What is the best quality brand out there for cue balls and numbered balls? I've heard Aramith thrown around quite a lot..are these generally considered to be the best quality? I'd like to purchase a cue ball that I can carry around with me, so I would also like some advice as to what would be the most ideal weight and brand for the cue ball I should purchase.

I would buy two or three. The Aramith red circle replacement ball (which is usually a tenth or two lighter than the Super Pro/Centennial) and the Brunswick Centennial blue circle. Also, the measles ball. Then if you're playing in a tournament, practice with the ball they are going to use. The small differences in these balls can make a difference on the table. I think the red circle replacement ball probably matches up the best to the weight of the worn out balls used in most pool rooms.

#7. When my kamui black tip was put on my stick a few months ago, the gentleman "tapered" the tip inwards. So if you were to look at the profile of the tip, the sides of the tip would not be parallel to the shaft, but would be curving inwards towards the tip. Why did he do this, and is this normal, or is it a bad idea?

He probably did this because he used a special angled tool to burnish the edges. If the tip is at a nice, low height, which is about 3 to 4 layers showing on the side (plus the dome) you should not be able to see much of a taper. Having a full height tip with a taper on the sides would be undesirable in my opinion - from many standpoints, but it beats having a mushroomed tip.


#8. The butt of my Scruggs stick is slightly warped. When you remove the shaft and lay the butt on the table and roll it, and you look at the collar around the joint as the butt rolls on the table, you can see it come off the table a bit. Does having a warped cue butt effect the accuracy of your shot? I've been told as long as your cue shaft is not warped, the accuracy of the shot would not be compromised, but I want to double check.

I can play with a crooked butt, but not a crooked shaft. The butt doesn't have much importance in aligning to the shot. Remember, you are only holding a small part of the butt - it is not sliding through your bridge and has no visual role like the shaft does. It should not affect the straightness of your stroke.


#9. How does the butt collar of a cue stick effect one's shooting capability? My Scruggs has a metal butt collar that connects the shaft to the butt. I have seen many cues that have a wooden butt collar and no metal involved. When I try these sticks, it has a much different feel when hitting balls. Is a metal butt collar better or worse than a wood butt collar, or once again, is it just preference?

The joint material has little to do with anything other than balance, durability and appearance. I like the radial screw with a flat faced joint myself, but what's around it doesn't make much difference.#10.


This question is a bit loaded. It is concerning cue weights. I play with a 19 ounce (actual weight is 18.8). I break with a J&J break/jump combo with phenolic tip that weighs 18 ounces. Is there an "ideal" weight for a regular cue stick? Can you get better english with heavier or lighter cues, or is it just preference? And, concerning break cues, is lighter better, or does it have to do with how fast you can accelerate a cue? I'm aware of the energy equation where mass and cue speed effect how fast the cue ball can travel, but am I doing the right thing by using a break stick that is an ounce lighter than my play stick?

There has been a tendency to go toward lighter and lighter cues. The prominence of Simonis cloth and gum rubber cushions has put a premium on feel instead of power. I would say the average cue today is 18 to 19 ounces - a good 2 to 3 ounces less than it was in the 1960's.

Break cues - I can't answer that question but I see average break cues at 18 to 19 ounces quite often.

#11. I've seen a lot of good players like Tom Kennedy break with regular sticks with regular leather tips (although the leather tips might be hard tips). When playing 9-ball, as an example, is it a better idea to break with a phenolic tipped break stick, or a leather tipped break stick, or is it just preference once again?

BCA banned phenolic tipped break cues. Many of us have tried the phenolic break cues - and we have gone back to leather because the phenolic is so hard to control, miscues ands so forth. IMO good for jumping, bad for breaking. I like a hard leather tip - shaved down to about 1/4 inch with a carbon fiber pad behind it.


#12. Does the type of wood a cue is made out of effect your game in a positive or negative way, or will they just look and feel slightly different, without having any noticeable performance impact? So, if I were to go over to Jacksonville and have Dale Perry build me a custom cue (wow, expensive), is there a "best wood" to use for shafts and butts, or does it not really effect performance at all?

Type of wood is mostly an appearance thing. It can effect the cue but cue makers will compensate for woods that are too dense or too light or too weak by coring them with maple anyway. It's hard to beat maple all the way around. #13.

Is there an ideal "balance" for cue sticks? Meaning, if you were to balance the stick on your finger, should it balance at a particular point on the stick? Do all the best custom cue makers in the world have the same balance point for their sticks, or do they differ? Is one balance better than another for performance, or is it just preference?

Over the years, the balance point has moved forward on cues. The old Brunswick 26 1/2 from the 1920's had fat butts and straight tapers with a balance point as little as 15" from the butt. Today's cues with their thinner handles tend to have a balance point of 18" - 20" from the butt.

There is no ideal balance point and balance points don't mean much. I like a cue to feel light and under control in my hands - to me that is balanced.

#14. Is having the lowest amount of deflection in a shaft a good thing? I've heard some people say they prefer higher deflection shafts because they are either used to them, or they like the feel better. Predator, OB, and lots of shaft manufacturers advertise low deflection as something that is really good. Are they right, and should I always try to find the lowest deflection shaft when making a purchase?

Depends what you're used to but having low squirt is a lot more desirable than having a lot of squirt. However, having "the lowest" squirt is not important. What's important is you get a shaft that you are confident shooting with english without compromising feel. I use the new OB Classic. it's not the lowest squirt but in my opinion it has the best feel of any LD shaft in it's class.

Chris

Scott Lee
06-20-2010, 01:04 PM
Yes...both are made by Saluc. Price will vary a little from dealer to dealer, but not by more than a few bucks. Size and weight will be consistent. All regulation pool balls (CB included) are 2 1/4" in diameter, and weigh very close to 6 ounces. The Centennial CB may weigh a couple of grams more or less than the red circle...not enough to matter (keep in mind a ball weighs about 165-170 grams, so a little less or more doesn't really matter, imo). You're making mountains out of molehills here. Pick one, buy it, and use it...you'll get used to it very quickly.

Scott Lee
www.poolknowledge.com

Checking the az store, I see there's a blue circle Brunswick brand. It was said earlier that Saluc makes both Aramith brand and Brunswick brand cue balls? So is the following link a Saluc product? :

http://www.azbmarketplace.com/products/Brunswick_Blue_Circle_Cue_Ball-398-217.html

And, will it have the same diameter and weight as the red circle ball? If it does, how come it is more expensive than the Aramith red circle?

Kurt
06-20-2010, 01:21 PM
Extremely helpful replies Chris. Thank you!

I definitely want a new shaft for my Scruggs (and eventually a new butt, too...the warped butt just chews at me)

Have you used the 314 version 2 and can compare it to the OB classic?

Also, how does the OB classic compare to the OB-1 in your opinion?

When I go here- http://www.obcues.com/shafts.html ... the OB classic is not shown..why is that, and where can I get more info on it?

And lastly, what are my options if I want to try different shafts before purchasing one? I don't want to have to buy a 314-2 or an OB classic to find out I hate it and then not be able to return it. Is there an option anywhere for me to be able to try a shaft out before purchase?

Tramp Steamer
06-20-2010, 01:25 PM
So having a warped butt will effect the accuracy of a shot? How sure are you of this? If you are positive and/or can provide some evidence, I'll work on getting a new cue (although I really hate giving up my Scruggs.)


Son, you're just gonna have to take my word on it, but let me put it to you this way. If you and I were matched up and we played even with each other, I would put my money on me because your butt is warped.

LAlouie
06-20-2010, 01:39 PM
1...Yes, because if you believe it, it will be. It is erroneous to state that a great player can play with anything. A great player may play great by YOUR standards, but not necessarily by his if he plays with a bad cue. Never make decisions on cues based on what your favorite player plays with. He will play with whatever cue is given to him free by a sponsor. Btw, a pro is no better an evaluator of cues than any fairly well versed player. The pros will hawk the cue they are playing with. I've seen pros trying to move the cr*ppiest cues made just to make extra cash.

2...Whatever you like.

4...Whatever you like.

8...No. But if it makes you feel uncomfortable, it will affect your shooting.

9...Whatever you like.

10...Whatever you like.

11...Whatever you like.

12...Whatever you like.

13...Whatever you like.

14...You learn to adjust to deflection

3RAILKICK
06-20-2010, 08:06 PM
Kurt-

You hit the ground running. Good job.

Welcome aboard.

Take care.

3railkick

TATE
06-20-2010, 09:01 PM
Extremely helpful replies Chris. Thank you!

I definitely want a new shaft for my Scruggs (and eventually a new butt, too...the warped butt just chews at me)

Have you used the 314 version 2 and can compare it to the OB classic?

Also, how does the OB classic compare to the OB-1 in your opinion?

When I go here- http://www.obcues.com/shafts.html ... the OB classic is not shown..why is that, and where can I get more info on it?

And lastly, what are my options if I want to try different shafts before purchasing one? I don't want to have to buy a 314-2 or an OB classic to find out I hate it and then not be able to return it. Is there an option anywhere for me to be able to try a shaft out before purchase?

You can probably sells the Scruggs at a premium, even if it is a little warped - they are highly regarded cues.

The OB classic is a new shaft introduced in March - I had the early tester models and they let me try out the shafts. I had used a 314 and a 314-2 for many years but I was looking for an LD shaft that was a little more solid and stiffer. Royce from OB cues remembered my comments to him about the original shaft which was too soft for me and sent me the new Classic. It was a home run.

The OB classic is a 12.75 mm modified pro taper and it's solid and stiff - stiffer than a 314-2 but maybe not as low squirt. It's not hollow inside and there is no foam core, so it feels like a conventional shaft but offers the aiming advantages and consistency of an LD shaft. It has a conventional short ferrule - not the maple ferrule.

The LD shafts basically work by removing weight from the very end of the shaft. Also, the taper and end flex of the shaft have an effect. Basically, the OB classic feels like it is penetraing the cue ball space on extreme english shots, where a Predator has the feeling of bouncing off the cue ball. At least those are my impressions.

To me, the Classic was instantly best of both worlds. It's a compromise between feel and performance, and I was thankful to have great feel and excellent performance.

The next generation of LD shafts will not compromise feel for performance.

Where are you located? Maybe there is someone with a Classic you can test out.

Chris

TATE
06-20-2010, 09:02 PM
duplicate post

Kurt
06-20-2010, 09:04 PM
You can probably sells the Scruggs at a premium, eve if it is a little warped - they are highly regarded cues.

The OB classic is a new shaft introduced in March - I had the early tester models and they let me try out the shafts. I had used a 314 and a 314-2 for many years but I was looking for an LD shaft that was a little more solid and stiffer. Royce from OB cues remembered my comments to him about the original shaft which was too soft for me and sent me the new Classic. It was a home run.

The OB classic is a 12.75 mm modified pro taper and it's solid and stiff - stiffer than a 314-2 but maybe not as low squirt. It's not hollow inside and there is no foam core, so it feels like a conventional shaft but offers the aiming advantages and consistency of an LD shaft. It has a conventional short ferrule - not the maple ferrule.

The LD shafts basically work by removing weight from the very end of the shaft. Also, the taper and end flex of the shaft have an effect. Basically, the OB classic feels like it is penetraing the cue ball space on extreme english shots, where a Predator has the feeling of bouncing off the cue ball. At least those are my impressions.

To me, the Classic was instantly best of both worlds. It's a compromise between feel and performance, and I was thankful to have great feel and excellent performance.

The next generation of LD shafts will not compromise feel for performance.

Where are you located? Maybe there is someone with a Classic you can test out.

Chris

I'm located in Tallahassee, FL. I would love to be able to test out a shaft or two before making a purchase. I'm most interested in trying the 314-2, ob-1, and ob classic.

TATE
06-20-2010, 09:05 PM
I'm located in Tallahassee, FL. I would love to be able to test out a shaft or two before making a purchase. I'm most interested in trying the 314-2, ob-1, and ob classic.

I'll e-mail Royce to see who is the dealer in your area. What joint is on your Scruggs?

Chris

Kurt
06-20-2010, 09:12 PM
I'll e-mail Royce to see who is the dealer in your area. What joint is on your Scruggs?

Chris

That would rock. I am not sure which joint I have on the Scruggs. I need my Scruggs identified anyways, to see if anybody can give me an idea of what year it was made and what it might be worth, so I'll be taking a picture of it and uploading it to the forums probably tomorrow, and then you can tell me yourself, if you would. Thanks for the help man, I would love to learn who the dealers are...I don't think there's one pool store in the entire city..

TATE
06-20-2010, 09:15 PM
That would rock. I am not sure which joint I have on the Scruggs. I need my Scruggs identified anyways, to see if anybody can give me an idea of what year it was made and what it might be worth, so I'll be taking a picture of it and uploading it to the forums probably tomorrow, and then you can tell me yourself, if you would. Thanks for the help man, I would love to learn who the dealers are...I don't think there's one pool store in the entire city..

If you put a photo up here I probably can figure out what joint is on it.

Also, the warp in the handle may be repairable - it depends on where it is. Usually it is in the handle or in the section where the forearm and the handle join. If it is not in the forearm itself, you're in luck.

Chris