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View Full Version : Should i buy a better cue?


Matt Tatum
11-22-2012, 08:37 PM
hello there, this is my first post so i thought i would say hello....... i played pool alot as a teenager and into my early twenties, but havent played much since then, i recently decided i would start playing again at 43 and just bought a diamond table and am having lots of fun, and getting better with pracitce and games with family and friends........ was wondering if a better cue would help, i have an old $120 Viking cue i bought about 23 years ago, i know technology has changed and wanted some feed back, as well as recommendations

thanks in advance

-Matt

peteypooldude
11-22-2012, 08:45 PM
hello there, this is my first post so i thought i would say hello....... i played pool alot as a teenager and into my early twenties, but havent played much since then, i recently decided i would start playing again at 43 and just bought a diamond table and am having lots of fun, and getting better with pracitce and games with family and friends........ was wondering if a better cue would help, i have an old $120 Viking cue i bought about 23 years ago, i know technology has changed and wanted some feed back, as well as recommendations

thanks in advance

-Matt

Of it hits solid I would play with it. Technology is WAY overrated

dr9ball
11-22-2012, 08:47 PM
Assuming your Viking is straight and has a decent tip that's all you need. If you want to stimulate the economy there areany options from new tips, LD shafts if you like them, or a full custom cue made to your specs. It's really not a matter of needing a new cue but if you want one go for it. Proper Practice will help far more than a new cue or shaft. If you are a little rusty consider getting some lessons on fundamentals with a qualified instructor. Good Luck and welcome back to the game.

Matt Tatum
11-22-2012, 08:53 PM
thanks Doc, so a low deflection shaft, or just a predator sneaky pete would help with shot making??........ i did put a kamui tip on the old viking, so it has a good tip......

Renegade_56
11-22-2012, 08:56 PM
I'd have to agree with the last post. The stick probably won't make you shoot better. There is a certain satisfaction that comes from playing with a stick that particularly suits you, both in looks and specs. Contrary to another poster, technology can help to a degree,,,,,,,,,,,it's true that some shafts shoot straighter, with more predictable results, once you get used to them.

jschelin99
11-22-2012, 08:56 PM
(I posted this same response to your same question in the Ask the Cuemaker section.)

I just had this discussion with a friend that's getting back into pool. He asked me if the low deflection shafts, laminated tips, and expensive chalk is anything but a bunch of b.s. marketing.

In my opinion, there is definitely some amount of *significant* difference between a low deflection shaft and a standard maple shaft. However, I truly don't believe there is a *significant* difference between laminated tips and solid leather tips, and expensive chalk and whatever chalk is sitting on the rail for free.

Yes, I know there are a bunch of people that will scream that brand X shaft is best, brand Y tip is best, and brand Z chalk is best. I'm not arguing that these advanced products aren't "good". I'm just saying that in general there isn't really that much of a *significant* difference than the old stuff.

For instance, a good player can break and run using a warped bar cue, with a 4 year old LePro, using Silver Cup chalk. But, a bad player can't run out with a Predator Z shaft, with a Moori, using Kamui chalk.

"Better" equipment doesn't instantly guarantee better play.

pwd72s
11-22-2012, 08:59 PM
Mark...I'd say buy a "better" cue only if you want one. As far as improving your game goes, time spent on the diamond table will do more than any cue could.

Debates abound about cues, shafts, and tips here...so it's really all about what you personally like.

Me personally? Love my Josey with it's standard shaft...:)

http://www.joseycues.com/

rayjay
11-22-2012, 09:10 PM
Yes, get a good cue, you'll be glad you did. There's really lots of difference between an instrument and a tool.

dr9ball
11-22-2012, 09:12 PM
Quote from Matt Tatum::"thanks Doc, so a low deflection shaft, or just a predator sneaky pete would help with shot making??........ i did put a kamui tip on the old viking, so it has a good tip......" Personally I don't care for LD shafts but to be fair you should try one to see if its for you before you buy one. No matter the shaft you will have to adjust your aim some when you use side spin or otherwise compensate for squirt. I have been playing so long with maple shafts and ivory ferrules that I much prefer the solid maple shafts. I hope this helps clarify my position.

Fatboy
11-22-2012, 09:14 PM
hello there, this is my first post so i thought i would say hello....... i played pool alot as a teenager and into my early twenties, but havent played much since then, i recently decided i would start playing again at 43 and just bought a diamond table and am having lots of fun, and getting better with pracitce and games with family and friends........ was wondering if a better cue would help, i have an old $120 Viking cue i bought about 23 years ago, i know technology has changed and wanted some feed back, as well as recommendations

thanks in advance

-Matt

you should use what ever cue brings the best out of you. Play with many cues as possible and decide,

FWIW I borrowed a orange Viking cue from a guy in Sale Lake city in 88, I won 2 sets with it $200, It was about a $120 cue at the time, I loved it I offered him the $200 for it(way more than it was worth) but to me it wa worth more than $200 because I loved it and it was much better for me than my cue. He wouldnt sell it. to this day I have never played with a Viking that hit as nicely as that one did.

o.g. (old guy)
11-22-2012, 09:32 PM
Good question! A pool player always wants a new cue. I'll bet most people on here have several! You've gotten some good advice, the only thing I would recommend is trying a few different cues out and see if you think a new one would make a difference.

peteypooldude
11-22-2012, 09:34 PM
I agree with Fatboy. FWIW I play with a 2nd generation Predator, does it make me play better? Of course not. I play the same speed with whatever I use if I am comfortable with it. Anyone that sells cues are going to tell you to buy. If you just want a better looking cue then put some money in the billiard community.
Good luck and welcome back to the game

Scaramouche
11-23-2012, 05:23 AM
Different cues may feel differently, but it is the Indian not the arrow.
Get knowledge, not gizmos.
:grin:

Donny Lutz
11-23-2012, 06:28 AM
Different cues may feel differently, but it is the Indian not the arrow.
Get knowledge, not gizmos.
:grin:

I tend to agree. However, all good Indian archers made their own arrows.

Tramp Steamer
11-23-2012, 08:10 AM
Get the best you can comfortably afford. If that happens to be a cue with all the bells and whistles, great. A good cue will certainly not hurt your game, but a bad cue certainly could.
By-the-way, have you considered one of our Miracle cues? :smile:

BobTfromIL
11-23-2012, 09:27 AM
I enjoy buying cues, doesn't have much effect on my game just a way to
spend money, if you afford it do it. Right now I'm about to buy my third
Schon:smile:

BJTowles
11-23-2012, 09:32 AM
Honestly, it doesn't matter what quality of cue you have. If you can shoot well with it, that's all you need. It doesn't matter if you pay thousands of dollars for a cue if you can't play with it well. Go with what suits your ability and style, and go on from there.

TheThaiger
11-23-2012, 09:39 AM
Only you know the answer. If you're good, and think you're going to get really good, spend the money. If you're average, and think you're only capable of modest improvement over time, save your money.

95% of players will fall into the second category BTW.

Matt Tatum
11-23-2012, 09:41 AM
thanks to all for the cue advice!!

rayjay
11-23-2012, 09:45 AM
Every Samurai had a great sword.
:p

PDX
11-23-2012, 11:03 AM
My first cue was a Birdseye PJ Viking. Got it when I was 14 or 15. I think it was $130 new. I put them cue away from 18-28, got back into the game and wanted to treat myself to a new cue. I sold my Viking to a buddy and 7 years and 40 or so cues later, I wish I had kept my Viking. Granted, I love the few cues I own, wanted nicer looking stuff, but looking back the Viking felt like part of my arm.
So, your back in the game, dropped some nice coin on a diamond, and thinking about another cue? Go for it, but keep your Viking. It can be a dark and perilous road, this strange addiction to wooden sticks where art and function live together harmoniously. If you have the time, do your diligen research, check your local pawn shops, try as many cues as possible, scour your local Craigslist and feel free to take pictures and post them up of potential cue purchases. The people here are more than happy to attemp an ID on a cue or offer up an value.

Txstang1
11-23-2012, 11:10 AM
Those old Vikings are good cues, not like the ones made today. IF it's straight and hits solid, you're good to go. LD shaft aren;t going to make you shoot any better.

RAMIII
11-23-2012, 11:13 AM
I was in a similar position and after trying a G-core and OB shaft when compared to my Pechauer stock maple shaft, there was no comparison. I was very surprised to see that I could get significantly more cue ball movement from the tech shafts than the standard maple shaft. It's also likely that the lower level production cues only offer moderately grade maple shafts rather than the higher grades you'd find on high end customs or production cues. I decided to keep my Pechauer and swap out the shaft for a G-core, and love the combination of a familiar cue with the power of a nice shaft. The same would probably be the case if you purchased a high end maple shaft from one of the top cue makers.
Good luck!

RED LITE
11-23-2012, 11:22 AM
Contrary to some opinions, I think a new cue can help.... a mental thing.
Discarding the ancient Viking for a $400+ cue that you really like can symbolize your serious intentions to improve; to take it seriously. There is a big mental aspect to this sport/game.

Low deflection shafts are nice, and I think they are best. However, it's important to make your decision now, not later, both on getting a new cue and what type of shaft to use. What you should avoid is playing with one cue for 2 or 3 years and then making the switch.... if you do, much re-learning is involved.

Just my 2-cents. Good luck, and that Diamond is a good start.

RL

the kidd
11-23-2012, 01:21 PM
you over paid if you spent more than $20 on a cue unless for investment?hello there, this is my first post so i thought i would say hello....... i played pool alot as a teenager and into my early twenties, but havent played much since then, i recently decided i would start playing again at 43 and just bought a diamond table and am having lots of fun, and getting better with pracitce and games with family and friends........ was wondering if a better cue would help, i have an old $120 Viking cue i bought about 23 years ago, i know technology has changed and wanted some feed back, as well as recommendations

thanks in advance

-Matt

Pidge
11-23-2012, 01:41 PM
Thers a learning curve when changing a cue. That learning period is amplified when going from a regular or high squirt shaft to a low squirt cue.

You don't have to spend a lot on a new cue. One thing I've noticed since crossing over from snooker to 9 ball is people go apesh*t over fancy cues and custom cues. It seems the name is as important to the way a cue plays. Plenty of fairly cheap plain janes made by lesser known cue makers or companies that play far better than some expensive cues I've played with that were riddled with fancy materials.

I'd go to the local cue store and try as many cues as possible. If one feels great, buy it. If none feel as nice as your current cue, put it back. Simples.

Snapshot9
11-23-2012, 01:59 PM
If the Viking doesn't feel comfortable to you, or it isn't doing what you want it to do, then get a new cue if you intend to spend at least 500 for one.
If you intend to get a production cue, I would only buy a Schon (semi-custom really), otherwise I would have a cuemaker make one with your specs.

If you are just going to spend 2-300 on one, I wouldn't bother. Usually, you have to spend about 700 on a cue by a cuemaker that will play like a more expensive cue, at least in my experience. One exception to that is a good custom made Sneaky Pete can play like a more expensive cue, and they are usually a bargain.

oshua86
11-23-2012, 02:22 PM
I agree and disagree with some of the posters here. I think most people are in each extreme of the spectrum, they either have 100% believe on X Y or Z technology or they think a good player can "break and run" no matter what they shoot with. And I think you are both wrong. For the original poster, how good are you? If you asked this question I doubt you are a run-out player, I actually doubt you might even be a good C player, you may use a bit of English here and there but that's about it. My advise, get lessons, understand mechanics and fundamentals and yes, get the new technology if you are learning, it will make your learning curve a bit easier. I have been playing the last couple of years with Z2 shaft and then OB classic pro shaft and I have not played a single game with any other cue in two years. Last week my shaft broke, had to send it over to OB so they could repair/replace my shaft, next day I had to play league. I took a house cue from the rack and I broke and ran the first rack of my 9-ball match, but that was it, it was an easy break and run, from then on it just felt uncomfortable, any shot that I had to use English I had to really think about where I had to hit it and stuff. Can I play with a crooked house cue and can I break and run? Absolutely, and pros can do it too, now the question is, how often are they gonna do it? I will certainly not play any expensive sets until I get my cue back, you have to have good equipment but more importantly equipment that you used to and you trust. If you are a B+ player and you have been playing 30 years with the same regular maple shafts, then there is no reason for you to change to the new LD shafts and what not, you are not gonna shoot better, you are actually going to shoot worse until you get used to it again, they just play different, like I play worse with any old maple shaft.

Luther Blissett
11-23-2012, 02:50 PM
Diminishing returns are still returns. Even if spending ten times as much only makes you play twice as well, that's still a hell of a difference.

cubswin
11-23-2012, 02:50 PM
those old vikings were decent cues, if you want something different then get it. Probably won't help your game one way or another.

Banks
11-23-2012, 03:07 PM
Buy whatever you play better with and are more in sync with the feel/feedback of. $5, $500, doesn't mean much to a table.

onepocketron
11-23-2012, 03:09 PM
The cue will have little effect on your game. Tons of table time and practice will accomplish more than any cue. I, kind of like you, stopped playing for years, and came back at 45 years old. I bought a Joss cue and played with it for many years. After several years I decided I wanted a custom, just for grins, so I bought one. Most likely I will never buy another.

If you like the way your cue plays, the only reason to upgrade is if you want more eye candy. Cues are very personal. What I like, you may hate in the way of the hit. It's kind of like buying a new driver to stop slicing. If you are swinging outside in, that $500 driver isn't going to help much, except maybe you will slice the ball further off into the woods. It's not the arrow, it's the Indian in my view.

One thing about changing equipment a lot, you have to get used to it, so I just stick with the same gear, and keep real good care of what I've got.

EL'nino
11-23-2012, 03:11 PM
It's nice to have a high end fancy cue, Just remember 1 thing.... Strickland won 5 US Opens & 6 world titles with a Kmart cue:cool:

Pidge
11-23-2012, 03:27 PM
Earls an exceptional player and has proved he can play with anything. On a more realistic level I've got a friend who plays with a 20 cue. 1.25 inch heavy titanium ferrule, idk what the shaft is made of but its really heavy and the butt must have steel rod running through it because it weighs A LOT! It came in at 27oz and he plays a solid game. Can't fault his game. An expensive cue in the hands of a poor player will still make them a poor player. A cheap cue in the hands of someone who knows how to play is just as effective as a predator.

Time and money is better spent playing the game IMO.

poolplayer2093
11-23-2012, 03:47 PM
yes you should. get yourself a bcm aka bryan mordt, and never loom back. after you get dialed in you'll be set for life

dareads
11-23-2012, 05:47 PM
I bought myself a new to me cue when I got back into playing after about a 10 year layoff. I wanted something that I could grow into as my game got better.
I would echo the comments of someone earlier and advise getting a lesson. If for no other reason than to make sure you aren't practicing bad habits.

bbb
11-23-2012, 06:15 PM
i first must put a disclaimer
i havent read the replies here or in the ask the cuemaker section where you also posted the same thread
i would be interested (pm ok)in the comparison of replies in the 2 forums
all that being said
heres my 3 cents worth
you bought a diamond table not a gold crown
a modern standard vs the old school standard
buy yourself a new cue
it will give you enthusiasm(jmho) and will have modern cue making techniques(include low deflection shaft)
im ready to be fried for that
we are in 2012
use whats available
i do agree its the indian and not the arrow

Scaramouche
11-23-2012, 06:30 PM
Here is an examination of cues :D

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GB6DLwGHCi8&feature=relmfu

Discussing his own cue starts at about 1:45
With it he won the World Snooker Championship
Six times

Maniac
11-23-2012, 09:22 PM
hello there, this is my first post so i thought i would say hello....... i played pool alot as a teenager and into my early twenties, but havent played much since then, i recently decided i would start playing again at 43 and just bought a diamond table and am having lots of fun, and getting better with pracitce and games with family and friends........ was wondering if a better cue would help, i have an old $120 Viking cue i bought about 23 years ago, i know technology has changed and wanted some feed back, as well as recommendations

thanks in advance

-Matt

Matt, I was once pretty much where you are right now at the time when you started this thread. I also bought myself a home table. Then, I bought myself a new cue.....and another.....and another.....and another......and another..... Holy sh*t, do you see where this is going?

Be careful when the "new cue" bug bites you. The result can be deadly and the symptoms last seemingly forever!!! :thumbup:

Maniac

DelaWho???
11-24-2012, 06:34 AM
yes you should. get yourself a bcm aka bryan mordt, and never loom back. after you get dialed in you'll be set for life

I thought you were shooting with a Mezz. When did you get the Mordt? what prompted you to make the change?

:cool:

thrash attack
11-24-2012, 07:51 AM
Yes you need to get a new cue, but make sure the owner describes it as a "monster" and that it "hits a ton" anything else will just be junk.

Houstoer
11-24-2012, 08:02 AM
if you can afford a diamond table then you probably need a new cue ! ;) honestly I've been a predator guy; just what I started with and got used to so i stick with it. The most solid balanced cue I have though is a diveney sneeky pete with a predator z2 shaft and kamui tip. Its sweet and can't imagine anything hitting better.

jwe711
11-24-2012, 09:14 AM
My suggestion is to try to hit with as many different cues, and also optionally change to their low deflection shafts...

Create a simple series of shots by putting dots on the table, so that you can repeat the shot to exact replication.

As you will see, there will be cues and shafts that you hit the ball clean and pure, and then there will be those that just didn't feel right, and you hit the ball like crap...
The goal is to hit the ball in the same manner with each shaft and cue...(gonna be hard cuz you're not a robot), so give it 10 shots per pattern, and this should give you the feel of whether you like the cue or not.

Try this on about 10 different pattern shots...that are common to the game...

This should give you the feel of each shaft and cue that may offer the best feel and touch that fits your stroke and playing style.

Now, if you have the cue bug...then, you may end up like me, and want a nice cue from one, of each of the high end elder master cue builders, in your collection, regardless of how they play, it's more about the collectablility of the cue rather than actually wanting to play with them...

Though, I've got around 4 cues that I call my playing cue, I usually only carry one, and it gets the job done for me to the best of my ability on any table. I'd say that's the one that you're looking for, but you might have to test a dozen or two dozen+ cues, and shafts, before you find the one that offers the best feel to your playing style.

Anyhow, Good Luck, and, I prefer the original shaft, to the original cue builders...they didn't get their reputation by building crap...or by using wood that's glued together in order to create a niche' market, to sell the wood that had the sugar marks and minor blemishes that would possibly make the custom cue a bit less desirable, than a custom cue with an all perfectly white pair of shafts...

elvicash
11-24-2012, 11:18 AM
The answer to this question is always YES


Next question please

Scaramouche
11-24-2012, 11:20 AM
American pool players can be identified by fancy cues and PayLess shoes.

Suggest that priorities should be reversed for playing pleasure. :grin::grin::grin:

Tokyo-dave
11-24-2012, 05:02 PM
If you have a 20year+ old cue that is still straight, I'd stick with it, as it being straight after all these years means you most likely have an a over average hunk of wood.