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HittMan
10-14-2007, 11:12 AM
This is something I have thought about for quite a while?as I am relaxing around the shop today...practicing and enjoying the weather...I have time tend a thread such as this...

We, as a group, have not developed much in the way of a specialized language to describe the hit of a cue?probably because describing any
sensory experience is difficult...but we talk about it so much....

SO?I was wondering if the AZ Community might be persuaded to participate in a discussion where we try to determine first the most important aspect of a cue and secondly a rating system for each aspect? Let us assume the subject cue is the correct from all objective standpoints such as straight, smooth, total weight, length, shaft/butt diameter, wrap type, ect (whatever you can measure). What we are trying to rate might cover these qualities:

1. Limber to Stiff (deflection issues...whippiness rating) - on a scale of 10, with 1 being on the limber end to 10 being on the stiff end.

2. Solidness Ratings

a) Sound to your ears ? by pitch from low to high, on a scale of 10
b) Report to your hands (vibration)
1) Front Hand ? coarse to fine on a scale of 10
2) Back Hand ? dull to sharp on a scale of 10

3) Weight distribution (balance point) ? from rear weighted to front loaded on a scale of 10.

4) Speed Rating ? I have produced several cues with a high speed rating meaning, regardless of the tip, the ball seems to get off the cue more quickly with this cue than with another under similar conditions. To say it another way the cue seems to amplify the energy put into the stroke. I can also say that I have produced several cues with relatively low speed ratings having the opposite effect. Scale of 10.

5) Any Ideas? Propose the parameters. Anybody interested?

I am routinely asked to build cues with a certain hit but when I actually try to get clear about what they want, very few have been though much mental exercise on how to accurately describe what they want.

If we could talk about what is most important (1-5) and then where you fall on each scale, I think it would be generally informative for us all. All Suggestions and Observations Appreciated. Thanks in advance.

Just my opinion?you be the judge.

Hittman
Andy Bruce
Take a Hitt out on ?em

JoeyA
10-14-2007, 01:39 PM
This is something I have thought about for quite a while?as I am relaxing around the shop today...practicing and enjoying the weather...I have time tend a thread such as this...

We, as a group, have not developed much in the way of a specialized language to describe the hit of a cue?probably because describing any
sensory experience is difficult...but we talk about it so much....

SO?I was wondering if the AZ Community might be persuaded to participate in a discussion where we try to determine first the most important aspect of a cue and secondly a rating system for each aspect? Let us assume the subject cue is the correct from all objective standpoints such as straight, smooth, total weight, length, shaft/butt diameter, wrap type, ect (whatever you can measure). What we are trying to rate might cover these qualities:

1. Limber to Stiff (deflection issues...whippiness rating) - on a scale of 10, with 1 being on the limber end to 10 being on the stiff end.

2. Solidness Ratings

a) Sound to your ears ? by pitch from low to high, on a scale of 10
b) Report to your hands (vibration)
1) Front Hand ? coarse to fine on a scale of 10
2) Back Hand ? dull to sharp on a scale of 10

3) Weight distribution (balance point) ? from rear weighted to front loaded on a scale of 10.

4) Speed Rating ? I have produced several cues with a high speed rating meaning, regardless of the tip, the ball seems to get off the cue more quickly with this cue than with another under similar conditions. To say it another way the cue seems to amplify the energy put into the stroke. I can also say that I have produced several cues with relatively low speed ratings having the opposite effect. Scale of 10.

5) Any Ideas? Propose the parameters. Anybody interested?

I am routinely asked to build cues with a certain hit but when I actually try to get clear about what they want, very few have been though much mental exercise on how to accurately describe what they want.

If we could talk about what is most important (1-5) and then where you fall on each scale, I think it would be generally informative for us all. All Suggestions and Observations Appreciated. Thanks in advance.

Just my opinion?you be the judge.

Hittman
Andy Bruce
Take a Hitt out on ?em

Andy, you pose an interesting set of questions and I am not sure of many of the answers even for myself.

1. Limber to Stiff: 7
2. Solidness: Sound: Unfortunately I don't hear well. Actually I can hear my buddies whispering he's gonna dog that shot clear across the pool room.:p Report to hand-vibration- It isn't that important to me, however that may be what I and others refer to as "It hits solid". :) I very much dislike tick noises. Sometimes people claim air pockets under the tip and other such phenomena.
3. Weight Distribution: My Bender's balance point is 20" from the end of the butt. It feels pretty good to me. I like a more forward balanced cue than a rear balanced cue but that's me. Ithink maybe newbies would prefer a more rear balanced cue but I can't speak for them.
4. Speed Rating: I guess I haven't hit with enough cues to be able to tell when a cue ball leaves the cue tip. Every once in a while I seem to be able to tell that a tip is soft or hard based upon the sound or the feeling (solidness ;-) of the hit and so I thought that a hard tip compresses less and thereby provides more power. I would be interested to hit with different cues with different speed ratings. If I am everup in your part of the world I would like to look into this aspect of rating the speed of a cue.
5. I am torn between the new technology shafts and traditional shaft. I think that too may depend upon your skill level and your experience with either. It is probably a bit easier for a newbie to learn to play with a new technology low deflection shaft than it is to play with a traditional big piece of 13MM timber with a conical taper. I am a bit shocked that you didn't ask what diameter as well. And just for the record I am leaning toward a traditional shaft with a 12.0 to 12.5 mm ferrule. Maximum diameter is 12.5. but I do like a slightly increasing conical taper for at least 14 inchs. I would have thought you would be more interested in knowing precisely what tapers people prefer rather than if it is stiff or flexible. I think cue makers should have different tapers for test purposes in their shop, so a customer can hit with different tapers to determine which taper works best for them.

Anyway, thanks for the interesting post. Am kind of curious if you get many responses. As you know there is no right answer on this but I don't think most people give this subject the thought it deserves. AZers may be different.

If you get a chance I would be interested in knowing how you can change the speed of a cue. It is not by making the cue stiffer is it?
JoeyA

HittMan
10-14-2007, 02:21 PM
Hey Joey,

Thanks for the answer. I didn't know you played with a Bender...is it new?

I guess I didn't ask about the size of the shaft because you can measure that. I am really trying to solve the riddle of the subjective measures...those you cannot measure.

Speed rating, of course, is borrowed from the track. I borrowed it because I will occasionally build a cue that SEEMS to speed up or slowdown my stroke. By far and large, most of th cues I build and/or hit with fall within the range of my expectations for the stroke applied.

I just finished one of those exceptions which makes me ask the question. This particular cue seems to speed up my stroke...can't really explain it any better. Actually I wonder if anyone else has ever noticed something like this.

As far as sound goes, I notice you conspicuously didn't respond to the "report" question from you back hand. I suspect the popularity of the leather wrap has a lot to do with measure as the leather deadens the "report" of the cue. I play with my cues prior to any wrap because I'd love to come to understand the full effect of the wrap on my cues...I wind mechanically and can vary the tension pretty accurately...I have notice that tighter wraps (irish linen) tend to lower the pitch of the audible sound. Just opposite of what I might have expected.

Thanks for the balance point on you Bender...most of mine balance in that range...but I think that is pretty far north from the cues I have studied.

Funny about your PM.

Later,

Andy
Take a Hitt out on 'em

JoeyA
10-14-2007, 04:11 PM
Hey Joey,

Thanks for the answer. I didn't know you played with a Bender...is it new?

I guess I didn't ask about the size of the shaft because you can measure that. I am really trying to solve the riddle of the subjective measures...those you cannot measure.

Speed rating, of course, is borrowed from the track. I borrowed it because I will occasionally build a cue that SEEMS to speed up or slowdown my stroke. By far and large, most of th cues I build and/or hit with fall within the range of my expectations for the stroke applied.

I just finished one of those exceptions which makes me ask the question. This particular cue seems to speed up my stroke...can't really explain it any better. Actually I wonder if anyone else has ever noticed something like this.

As far as sound goes, I notice you conspicuously didn't respond to the "report" question from you back hand. I suspect the popularity of the leather wrap has a lot to do with measure as the leather deadens the "report" of the cue. I play with my cues prior to any wrap because I'd love to come to understand the full effect of the wrap on my cues...I wind mechanically and can vary the tension pretty accurately...I have notice that tighter wraps (irish linen) tend to lower the pitch of the audible sound. Just opposite of what I might have expected.

Thanks for the balance point on you Bender...most of mine balance in that range...but I think that is pretty far north from the cues I have studied.

Funny about your PM.

Later,

Andy
Take a Hitt out on 'em

Hey Andy,
I forgot that you had mentioned the part about the measurements...and that's why i referred to the diameter of the shaft. Another thing, as a cue maker, I have a suspicion that some people would like to remain ignorant about certain things, maybe just subconsciously, so that if they continue to play poorly, they will have a whipping boy close at hand. They also don't want to make a mistake and order a particular feel only to get what they asked for. ;)

It is a new Bender. It is kind of old since it's gestation period was 3 1/2 years. I've had it since February and have been adjusting the taper a little at a time. For a while I simply switched to an OB1 shaft on a Gulyassy (about 3 months). Since I have my Bender playing much better than it was, I'm back using the "new" Bender. It may appear in November's issue of Billiards Digest with its unique design. We'll see. And yes, it has a leather wrap on it (funny your comment about lack of report) :D

JoeyA

Patrick Johnson
10-14-2007, 04:25 PM
Wrapless Joss butt & custom shaft with 10mm tip (Moori Q), conical taper

Stiff hit: 7
Medium sound: 5
Medium report to front hand: 5
Low report to back hand: 4
Balance point: 17.25" from butt cap (not counting bumper)
Speed rating: same as any other cue with same tip?

I think the "speed" of the cue is probably perceptual rather than real. I'm betting that cues with "deader" (more dampened) hits generally feel faster because you get the same speed with less "shock".

pj
chgo

HittMan
10-14-2007, 04:39 PM
Glad to hear you are working with Bender (I don't know him so I don't know his first name to use it here) to achieve the results you want. Lots of people don't avail themselves of this part of the service and don't get the results they want. I have bought some really nice cues for some pretty amazing prices from people disillusioned with buyer's remorse.

At the end of the day that is what this thread is about for me ... trying to establish some common language and some considerations that potential custom cue buyers should cover in advance of their tremendous outlay.

Interested to see your Bender...maybe I will deliver Keith Fremin's cue to him and get over to Buffalo's for a thrashing...how was it...9-7? I saw your remarks about the guy playing Jerome ... that's what it ought to be cause jerome beat me last time out at Jamie's. Ho Ho Ho! electronic woofing is loads of fun.

Soon,

Andy
Take a Hitt out on 'em

JoeyA
10-14-2007, 04:40 PM
Wrapless Joss butt & custom shaft with 10mm tip (Moori Q), conical taper

Stiff hit: 7
Medium sound: 5
Medium report to front hand: 5
Low report to back hand: 4
Balance point: 17.25" from butt cap (not counting bumper)
Speed rating: same as any other cue with same tip?

I think the "speed" of the cue is probably perceptual rather than real. I'm betting that cues with "deader" (more dampened) hits generally feel faster because you get the same speed with less "shock".

pj
chgo

That is an incredibly small diameter for a pool cue shaft. Do you have proportionately smaller hands? I thought you were a tall guy which I would have guessed with larger hands rather than smaller. Just wondering.
JoeyA

Patrick Johnson
10-14-2007, 04:45 PM
That is an incredibly small diameter for a pool cue shaft. Do you have proportionately smaller hands? I thought you were a tall guy which I would have guessed with larger hands rather than smaller. Just wondering.
JoeyA
I'm about 6'-3" with proportionate (big) hands. The conical taper means the shaft gets thicker quicker than you might think, and I mostly use an open bridge anyway.

pj
chgo

HittMan
10-14-2007, 04:57 PM
Wrapless Joss butt & custom shaft with 10mm tip (Moori Q), conical taper

Stiff hit: 7
Medium sound: 5
Medium report to front hand: 5
Low report to back hand: 4
Balance point: 17.25" from butt cap (not counting bumper)
Speed rating: same as any other cue with same tip?

I think the "speed" of the cue is probably perceptual rather than real. I'm betting that cues with "deader" (more dampened) hits generally feel faster because you get the same speed with less "shock".

pj
chgo

Hey Patrick,

Thanks for the reply

Explain "conical taper" to me...is this like a billiards cue where the whole stick is one continuous taper from butt to tip? Upon reflection, I don't think that would be right because that would not be a 7 in stiffness to me...billiards cues would likely rank around the 9 area. So what is it?

Medium to front hand - is this vibration? Do you notice the audible sound it makes when it hits the ball. Have you noticed the melody of other cues. Sometimes when I sit in a pool hall, I think of it like a band...some low some high, some carry their notes for longer.

Low report to rear hand - I would have suspected a high rank for a wrapless cue.

I know what you mean about the speed rating and deadness...I wrote it off as my fertile imagination for a couple of years...but now I'm not so sure.

Who built (or customized) your shaft...does Joss do this?

One more question...I assume chgo means Chicago...have they overturned the smoking ban in pool rooms there yet? Ruined my last trip to the old hall downtown.

Thanks Again,

Hittman
Take a Hitt out on 'em

CaptiveBred
10-14-2007, 06:32 PM
I describe the hit of my cue by the sound the back of the pocket makes...

Patrick Johnson
10-14-2007, 07:47 PM
Explain "conical taper" to me...is this like a billiards cue where the whole stick is one continuous taper from butt to tip? Upon reflection, I don't think that would be right because that would not be a 7 in stiffness to me...billiards cues would likely rank around the 9 area. So what is it?

It's just what you describe (continuous conical taper from tip to butt). It's the stiffest cue I've played with, but I haven't played with too many, so I guessed how it would compare with other stiff cues, considering it starts out so small at the tip. You may be right about it really being a 9.

Medium to front hand - is this vibration?

Yes. It's not very noticable, but more than the back hand.

Do you notice the audible sound it makes when it hits the ball.

Yes; it's a little "tinky", but again not annoyingly so. This is probably mostly due to the fact that the front 6-8 inches are hollow like a Predator.

Have you noticed the melody of other cues. Sometimes when I sit in a pool hall, I think of it like a band...some low some high, some carry their notes for longer.

I'll have to listen more carefully.

Low report to rear hand - I would have suspected a high rank for a wrapless cue.

Yeah, me too. I'm guessing it must be the conical taper and stiff hit that dampen the vibrations in the butt.

I know what you mean about the speed rating and deadness...I wrote it off as my fertile imagination for a couple of years...but now I'm not so sure.

I'm not sure either, but I'd be surprised if there's a significant difference between cues.

Who built (or customized) your shaft...does Joss do this?

Ed Young (Dave Kersenbrock's partner) made the shaft to my design. It originally replaced a Predator shaft on a linen-wrapped Predator butt, so the 3/8-15(?) pin matched the wrapless Joss butt which I eventually switched to. That's the only reason for the Joss butt - it doesn't match the shaft's joint trim or diameter, and the whole cue looks like the mutt it is.

But it plays just the way I like.

One more question...I assume chgo means Chicago...have they overturned the smoking ban in pool rooms there yet? Ruined my last trip to the old hall downtown.

To tell you the truth, I don't pay attention to it because I don't smoke. The owners of Chris's tell me that their business is off, but they don't say it's because of a smoking ban.

pj
chgo

Thunderball
10-14-2007, 08:08 PM
I get what you are shooting for HitMan and it's an interesting idea no doubt.

But without a base line....or a known cue equals 2,7,4,8,5 ect...it's still going to be as subjective as ever.

What's very whippy to some is standard to others ect.

bigskyjake
10-14-2007, 08:54 PM
Jack Madden custom ebony forearm ebony butt

Stiffness: 6, 12.5 mm fairly long pro taper

Sound: 8, it's got the high pitched ping that I love

front hand: 8
rear hand: 6

balance point is around 21" from butt, gotta have that forward balance

steev
10-14-2007, 09:39 PM
I like the idea, of course a standard is going to be hard to enforce...

1. Limber to Stiff (deflection issues...whippiness rating) - on a scale of 10, with 1 being on the limber end to 10 being on the stiff end....

Mine's a little whippy (for a dpk), call it 7-8?

2. Solidness Ratings

a) Sound to your ears ? by pitch from low to high, on a scale of 10
b) Report to your hands (vibration)

1) Front Hand ? coarse to fine on a scale of 10
2) Back Hand ? dull to sharp on a scale of 10

I'd just sum up this concept into one value. Mine's SOLID, 9+

3) Weight distribution (balance point) ? from rear weighted to front loaded on a scale of 10.

This is a measurable value and should be with diameters, etc. in the specs.

4) Speed Rating ? I have produced several cues with a high speed rating meaning, regardless of the tip, the ball seems to get off the cue more quickly with this cue than with another under similar conditions. To say it another way the cue seems to amplify the energy put into the stroke. I can also say that I have produced several cues with relatively low speed ratings having the opposite effect. Scale of 10.

As far as the 'speed' rating, this intangible value I refer to as Liveness/deadness. I want my cues to be as live as possible. Mine comes in strong here, also 9+ (very live).

No, it's not for sale :D

-s

davidwoj
10-15-2007, 07:31 AM
Hittman,
I really like your idea and something that I've been thinking about lately. Since all of the cue attributes you are looking at are subjective, I believe it will be important to capture a large amount of user feedback.

I'll PM you with some ideas that I've been thinking about...

davidwoj

HittMan
10-15-2007, 10:24 AM
Patrick...
I am becoming more and more aware that there are a lot of people who prefer (or will tolerate) a high pitched cue.
Speed Rating - I agree about the significant difference as far as my current ability to measure it but in this case the Devil is in the details. A small change will yield surprisingly different results. More on this later.
Thanks

Thunderball...
Agreed...any suggestions??? All suggestions appreciated...thanks in advance.

BigSkyJake (Zat'U Keith?)...
It interests me that you love the high pitched ping...
Given your stroke I completely understand the limber shaft...but I haven't seen you play for a few years.
Front balance of course ... Would you agree that players need a little more weight on their bridge than the average cue provides?
Thanks again

Oh great and powerful STEEV (movie reference)...joke light on!
It will in fact be difficult to establish...any suggestions...
I'm tempted to sum the values except one is a measure of "kick point" and one is a measure (proxy) for inaudible vibration...still a valid point...
I completely agree that weight distribution is a measureable value I just don't think the method is correct because it does not take into account the length of the cue or the relative position of the grip. I included it because I'm searching for a better mousetrap.
Good points all thanks a a bunch...exactly what I was hoping for.

Davidwoj - check your PM's...we'll talk later

Thanks all

Hittman,
Andy Bruce
Hitt this!

bigskyjake
10-15-2007, 11:03 AM
Nah I'm not Keith, I'm a big Keith fan though

As far as the high pitched ping goes, I like a cue that tells you how your stroking not only by the feedback ( in hand) and visual ( cueball action) but also by the audio

JoeyA
10-15-2007, 01:48 PM
I'm about 6'-3" with proportionate (big) hands. The conical taper means the shaft gets thicker quicker than you might think, and I mostly use an open bridge anyway.

pj
chgo

That's how you were decribed to me but I wanted to make sure because of the small diameter of the shaft. Lots of people with small fingers like thin shafts because it is easier for them to use a closed bridge. With fingers to match your frame, you could easily wrap fingers around a 14mm with no problem. :)

I'm headed smaller because I can pocket the balls with side spin more easily. I assume it's a little less cue ball deflection but sometimes I think it is more than just cue ball SQUERVE.
JoeyA

WesleyW
10-15-2007, 02:14 PM
Wrapless Longoni butt & shaft with 12mm tip (Sniper), modified conical taper

Limber to stiff: around 9, it's a carom shaft, but it's 1,5 inch longer and it has a little lesser conical taper than normal carom shafts, on the other hand Longoni makes really stiff shafts, so I will consider it as a 9.

Solidness/sound: really solid, might be 8+. No vibration of the shaft, but it has a wooden joint, so you will feel the hit pretty good.

Weight distribution: balance point 18.3 inch, total lenght 56.5 inch. Overall, good balanced, but I prefer forward balance point. 19 inch would been better.

Speed rating: perhaps 5+. I think it's quite slow, but I just use too much power on all my strokes.

James
10-15-2007, 02:24 PM
[warning: rambling new guy alert...]

Andy,

While we can all very much appreciate what you are trying to do here, on a large scale it is nearly an impossible task. Unfortunately you are attempting to objectify the playability aspects of the cue that are all completely subjective (except weight balance, although the weight distribution is nearly immeasurable and would have a large effect on playability beyond just weight balance).

These ratings are going to be overwhelmingly dependent on the person rating them. For example, a 9 in stiffness to one shooter may be a 5 to another equally skilled and experienced shooter. With the difference coming from their references for stiffness, and an infinite list of individual receptors.

If I may offer a humble suggestion... While I unfortunately believe your efforts would be wasted in establishing an absolute scale that a customer can order by, I think you are certainly on the right track.

If it were feasible to work with an individual (provided they are a local customer), you could have they play for an amount of time with a set of cues you create for calibration purposes. If you have them rate all of these cues on your scales, then specify what they want for their custom on said scales, you should have a good idea of what they want.

For a little background. I am quite new to pool relative to most everyone here, and I'm working on ordering my first custom cue. Unfortunately I've come quickly to the same conclusions you seem to be quite familiar with. There's almost no way to quantify all these specifications absolutely. The answer that was suggested to me was to just trust the cue maker (Kent Davis) and see what I end up with and go from there. Being new, I don't have a problem with that for now... However I'm an engineer, and for better/for worse, spend my days with things that follow specific rules and are wholly objective. I have a hard time just saying I like or don't like a cue and not making progress on why and not knowing what to do differently the next time around.

Just my $0.01

HittMan
10-15-2007, 04:17 PM
I completely agree that establishing a baseline is necessary. While I do not expect it to be absolute; I do hope to introduce a format for discussions between a maker and a buyer (and between interested parties). I have been through the process you describe with several people and built this list based on the common experience. Every trip down the lane has taught me something, most of all that each of these aspects should be included in the discussions.

I am also aware that developing a some language to describe a subjective preference will not be easy but I do not believe we should should use difficulty as rationale to automatically shrink from a task.

I am also hoping to understand the needs and desires of the public better. This is the real task for me because I thought I knew what people wanted and was amazed at what people thought was important (and not so important).

It really IS about preference and I don't know how to get at an answer without talking about. I do know that if you don't talk about what you want, it may be that you will have to live with what coincidence brings you. As an engineer I am pretty sure you have seen the result of that both good and bad.

At the end of the day, I have come to know that each of these parameters can be controlled in the process of building a cue so why not make the effort to assure a more positive outcome. I actually love it when my client is involved in setting benchmarks for deliverables.

Just my opinion...You be te judge

Hittman
Andy Bruce
Take a Hitt out on 'em



[warning: rambling new guy alert...]

Andy,

While we can all very much appreciate what you are trying to do here, on a large scale it is nearly an impossible task. Unfortunately you are attempting to objectify the playability aspects of the cue that are all completely subjective (except weight balance, although the weight distribution is nearly immeasurable and would have a large effect on playability beyond just weight balance).

These ratings are going to be overwhelmingly dependent on the person rating them. For example, a 9 in stiffness to one shooter may be a 5 to another equally skilled and experienced shooter. With the difference coming from their references for stiffness, and an infinite list of individual receptors.

If I may offer a humble suggestion... While I unfortunately believe your efforts would be wasted in establishing an absolute scale that a customer can order by, I think you are certainly on the right track.

If it were feasible to work with an individual (provided they are a local customer), you could have they play for an amount of time with a set of cues you create for calibration purposes. If you have them rate all of these cues on your scales, then specify what they want for their custom on said scales, you should have a good idea of what they want.

For a little background. I am quite new to pool relative to most everyone here, and I'm working on ordering my first custom cue. Unfortunately I've come quickly to the same conclusions you seem to be quite familiar with. There's almost no way to quantify all these specifications absolutely. The answer that was suggested to me was to just trust the cue maker (Kent Davis) and see what I end up with and go from there. Being new, I don't have a problem with that for now... However I'm an engineer, and for better/for worse, spend my days with things that follow specific rules and are wholly objective. I have a hard time just saying I like or don't like a cue and not making progress on why and not knowing what to do differently the next time around.

Just my $0.01

James
10-15-2007, 04:37 PM
I completely agree that establishing a baseline is necessary. While I do not expect it to be absolute; I do hope to introduce a format for discussions between a maker and a buyer (and between interested parties). I have been through the process you describe with several people and built this list based on the common experience. Every trip down the lane has taught me something, most of all that each of these aspects should be included in the discussions.

I am also aware that developing a some language to describe a subjective preference will not be easy but I do not believe we should should use difficulty as rationale to automatically shrink from a task.

To be quite frank, I'm not saying it's difficult. I'm saying it's impossible. If what you want is to have a customer say "I want a 7 stiffness, 5 weight balance, 8 report to hand, etc. etc." and have that equal something tangible that you can build, that is nearly impossible. Then if you factor in that for such a system to be useful mainstream, other builders would have to understand and follow said system, it is clearly impossible.

I am also hoping to understand the needs and desires of the public better. This is the real task for me because I thought I knew what people wanted and was amazed at what people thought was important (and not so important).

It really IS about preference and I don't know how to get at an answer without talking about. I do know that if you don't talk about what you want, it may be that you will have to live with what coincidence brings you. As an engineer I am pretty sure you have seen the result of that both good and bad.

At the end of the day, I have come to know that each of these parameters can be controlled in the process of building a cue so why not make the effort to assure a more positive outcome. I actually love it when my client is involved in setting benchmarks for deliverables.

My goal wasn't at all to discourage your attempts only to suggest a slightly different direction. That you work on this same system but on a more individual basis. I think you'll see much more conclusive and constructive results from your time and efforts this way. Either way, nothing bad can come from what you're thinking about. It's great that you're so eager to have communication and feedback from your customers. All customers should be so lucky ;)

HittMan
10-16-2007, 09:43 AM
Hey Wesley,

How tall are you? That's a pretty short cue for a person over 5'5". I take it you are a "stand up" player (don't get your chin very close to the cue).

I think most builders actually use a modified conical design...the devil is in the detail on that.

Do you use an open bridge mostly?

Any idea as to why you think your cue is on the slow side?

Thanks for the input

Hittman



Wrapless Longoni butt & shaft with 12mm tip (Sniper), modified conical taper

Limber to stiff: around 9, it's a carom shaft, but it's 1,5 inch longer and it has a little lesser conical taper than normal carom shafts, on the other hand Longoni makes really stiff shafts, so I will consider it as a 9.

Solidness/sound: really solid, might be 8+. No vibration of the shaft, but it has a wooden joint, so you will feel the hit pretty good.

Weight distribution: balance point 18.3 inch, total lenght 56.5 inch. Overall, good balanced, but I prefer forward balance point. 19 inch would been better.

Speed rating: perhaps 5+. I think it's quite slow, but I just use too much power on all my strokes.

Bastian
10-16-2007, 09:45 AM
My only simple suggestion would be that If you're selling the cue and have only test hit it one or two times, you cannot say it hits 'lights out'.

HittMan
10-16-2007, 10:00 AM
To be quite frank, I'm not saying it's difficult. I'm saying it's impossible. If what you want is to have a customer say "I want a 7 stiffness, 5 weight balance, 8 report to hand, etc. etc." and have that equal something tangible that you can build, that is nearly impossible. Then if you factor in that for such a system to be useful mainstream, other builders would have to understand and follow said system, it is clearly impossible.

What I would really like is two fold:
1) to raise the level of awareness that such 'subjective' qualifications are, in fact, controllable. I don't think it will be as easy as filling out a form, but it is NO more difficult than adequate conversation...AND...as you suggested...putting forth the effort to establish common terms that may or may not be universal (but understood between the parties).
2) To get a better understanding of what people are actually looking for. I agree this will be obscured by a lack of baseline but far from useless.

My goal wasn't at all to discourage your attempts only to suggest a slightly different direction. That you work on this same system but on a more individual basis. I think you'll see much more conclusive and constructive results from your time and efforts this way. Either way, nothing bad can come from what you're thinking about. It's great that you're so eager to have communication and feedback from your customers. All customers should be so lucky ;)

I read that you were not trying to discourage me...and I appreciate your input. You have addressed several issues I believe a lot of people who have read this thread have considered and, consequently, chosen not to respond.
So... thanks again...all input appreciated.

Just my opinion...you be the judge.

Hittman
Andy Bruce
Hitt this!

HittMan
10-16-2007, 10:25 AM
My only simple suggestion would be that If you're selling the cue and have only test hit it one or two times, you cannot say it hits 'lights out'.

I think that is the job of a cuemaker (to know his product) and to try to convey the attributes of each cue accurately. What is "Lights Out" to one is a "Dog" to another.

I actually don't have to hit a cue very much to know its personality...maybe 10 minutes...however, I can't tell you how many times I have changed something to achieve the hit I was looking for only to have a customer tell me they they want to adjust something else.

I, personally, avoid terms like 'lights out'..............thus this thread................. to build a better dialogue between 'you' and 'I' ....... so ......... 'I' can do a better job and 'you' get closer to what what 'you' want.

A lot of people I talk to don't really know how to ask for what they want...so I am trying to provide them at least a little vocabulary for discussion.

It's all about satisfaction...I like to say I'm in the 'Happiness Business'...I want to get better at it.

Thanks for the input.

Just my opinion...you be the judge

Hittman
Andy Bruce
Take a Hitt out on 'em

James
10-16-2007, 10:35 AM
Andy,

Where are you located? Do you have a website or anything?

JoeyA
10-16-2007, 10:55 AM
Andy,

Where are you located? Do you have a website or anything?

Andy Bruce, aka: Hittman, must be doign something right. Two of our local good players have ordered cues from Andy in the last few months and one of them recently played in a local tournament and placed VERY HIGH.

I think I will be keeping an eye on Andy and his cues in the coming months.

I like the idea that Andy is seeking better communication between cue maker and customers as it is sorely needed.

(Andy is a Louisiana Man).
JoeyA

WesleyW
10-16-2007, 11:07 AM
Hey Wesley,

How tall are you? That's a pretty short cue for a person over 5'5". I take it you are a "stand up" player (don't get your chin very close to the cue).

I think most builders actually use a modified conical design...the devil is in the detail on that.

Do you use an open bridge mostly?

Any idea as to why you think your cue is on the slow side?

Thanks for the input

Hittman

I'm 5'7", but it doesn't matter how tall I am. This cue is the longest production billiard cue you can buy (normal billiard cues are 55 inch). If there exist longer production billiard cues, I would have bought a longer one. But on the other hand, it's not really that short. You can always use a rest.

I'm not a stand up player. I get my chin like 0-3 inches above the cue.

The shaft is too thick to use an open bridge. I've trained myself using a more stable closed bridge. If I change back to an open bridge, I just feel uncomfortable about that.

I've played with a few cues. I just can't apply that much power with this cue, to get the CB travels enough rails. When using draw, follow or spin, I just don't feel I get enough speed on the CB. But I don't think it is the cue. It might be the tip, I'm using a Sniper tip, don't really satified with that.

HittMan
10-17-2007, 04:22 PM
Hey Nims.

Joey is right...it's happening on the bayou (Louisiana).

I do, in fact have a website but am having some trouble with it at the moment.

If you Google Hitt Cues and follow the link you will get there...for some reason when you go to hittcues.com, nothing happens.

Obviously, I had a friend set up the site and I filled in the blanks. We used a GNU forum database that was hacked within minutes, I was locked out but too stupid to know what was going on...just regained control of that with a few selected code changes...so no more porn links, spam stuff, etc. (no telling what the site was being used for. I guess they were pretty smart 'cause they left up most of the important stuff and I didn't know how to look deeper...just couldn't/can't update the site at this moment...working on it.

I think the site is still informative but not real accurate cause it's pretty old.

You can PM me if you need to.

Hittman
Andy Bruce
Hitt this!



Andy,

Where are you located? Do you have a website or anything?

HittMan
10-17-2007, 04:47 PM
Hey Wesley,

I was all prepared to discuss (with you) body mechanics and the length of your cue but you slipped in the billiard qualification and I must admit I can't really speak intelligently about billiards or billiards cues.


I'm 5'7", but it doesn't matter how tall I am. This cue is the longest production billiard cue you can buy (normal billiard cues are 55 inch). If there exist longer production billiard cues, I would have bought a longer one. But on the other hand, it's not really that short. You can always use a rest.

I will hazard to respectfully disagree with you about matching your cue to your height...although I don't think you are that far out of line. Have you tried a longer cue?

I'm not a stand up player. I get my chin like 0-3 inches above the cue.

The shaft is too thick to use an open bridge. I've trained myself using a more stable closed bridge. If I change back to an open bridge, I just feel uncomfortable about that.

Again, I can't really comment on billiards specifically but I wonder about your bridge as well...particularly with a thick shaft (how thick?).

I've played with a few cues. I just can't apply that much power with this cue, to get the CB travels enough rails. When using draw, follow or spin, I just don't feel I get enough speed on the CB. But I don't think it is the cue. It might be the tip, I'm using a Sniper tip, don't really satified with that.

Something isn't adding up here. I'm thinking that a change in your stance and alignment (body mechanics) could have a big effect on the power issues. Unfortunately, there could easily be some generally accepted "billiard thing" that I don't know about. I do, however, have a lot of experience hitting balls with the pointed end of a stick...I suspect there are some similarities.

Maybe we should appeal to the community.

Just my opinion...you be the judge.

Hittman,
Andy Bruce
Take a Hitt out on 'em!

KD Cues
10-19-2007, 09:35 AM
I just thought I would put in my .02 , and hopefully gain some more insight myself. While having an objective scale would be invaluable, I find that it is nearly impossible to maintain an equal reference. For example, I just completed two identical shafts, put two identical ferrules on them, and installed two identical tips. The graining was very similar, and perhaps cut out of the same section of a board (they came from the same place packaged together).The weight of the shafts was within .01 grams and the tone of both shafts was as close to equivalent as I could find, very high. On the same butt, these two shafts hit like night and day, one was super stiff, and the other was much more flexible. I checked the tips and found that one was slightly longer than the other and reduced the size. This helped, but still did not make them the same. I noticed that the more flexible shaft had a tip that cut differently than the stiff hitting cue.
The point is this, if I am very hard pressed to maintain consistency in tips and ferrules (much less shafts and butts with many different types of woods), then the only true yardstick that I can rely on is to take a cue that someone has played with and likes, and make another one that has the same preferable qualities. I test every cue that I make to verify my clients preferences. Every cue that I have ever hit balls with will break down during certain shots, thus my goal is to produce a cue which plays over the widest range of shots. Making a cue for someone that is custom is listening to what they want and being able to give it to them (not always an easy job!). In conclusion Hitt Man, I believe that there is no substitution (numerical or otherwise) for your own experience hitting balls and what you see and feel while you listen to what your client wants. It just seems more direct to have them show you what they are looking for. This is probably the reason why custom cue makers have the most loyal following locally. Hope that helps, Kent Davis.

WesleyW
10-20-2007, 01:46 AM
I will hazard to respectfully disagree with you about matching your cue to your height...although I don't think you are that far out of line. Have you tried a longer cue?

I was saying, it's almost always better to have a longer cue. If you are tall, you should have a long cue, but when you are small, you still should have a long cue. It's just more practical having a long cue. And yes, I've treid a longer cue. I owned a regular pool cue, but I'm playing with a billiard cue. It's just preference. There are few peoples who tried my billiard cue, many couldn't managed to play with it.


Again, I can't really comment on billiards specifically but I wonder about your bridge as well...particularly with a thick shaft (how thick?).

I've tried a few different bridges, the closed bridge works the best with a billiard cue. I used to make a closed bridge making the loop with the thumb and index finger. I recently changed it by thumb and middle finger. The only problem is, my glove is holding me down (the glove is making the loop smaller). About the thickness, I haven't measure it. But I would say, the thinkness measured about 5" starting at the tip will get even thick as a normal poolcue at around 15" starting at the tip.


Something isn't adding up here. I'm thinking that a change in your stance and alignment (body mechanics) could have a big effect on the power issues. Unfortunately, there could easily be some generally accepted "billiard thing" that I don't know about. I do, however, have a lot of experience hitting balls with the pointed end of a stick...I suspect there are some similarities.

The stance and alignment would be a good point. I've recently noticed that my stance isn't that good. I've tried to change it, but it will take some time.