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View Full Version : Unbiased OB-1 Review


custmqs
12-24-2007, 08:32 PM
Like many of us, I am on a quest to find the "ultimate hit". I have a pre-date South West that hits pretty darn nice. My current playing cue is an ivory jointed Bender that has a buttery soft feel. I have a few other cues, each of which has its own unique hit profile.

At the risk of public ridicule from the "old school", I decided to give an OB-1 a try. I had not hit one prior to ordering... I just had to try it for myself without prejudice. After playing with it for a day, my feedback is as follows:

1. There is definitely something to the low deflection technology. With this shaft there is no need to compensate for deflection / squirt. Just point and shoot... the cue ball goes where you aim it. And with plenty of spin.

2. The hit is not as crisp as my SW but not as "soft" as the Bender shaft. You get feedback at contact but it is definitely muted as compared to the firmer hitting cues I have tried.

3. The shaft is silky smooth. The taper is unobtrusive. The laminated wood ferrule will not likely be for everyone but it is not as bad as I thought it would be... you really don't notice it while shooting.

I am cognizant of tradition but I also tend to embrace new technology. This shaft won't likely ever be accepted by purists. However, if you are open to trying something new - something that truly has the potential to help your game - you may want to give an OB-1 a shot.

Franky
12-24-2007, 08:43 PM
Interesting review. I'm going to have a custom made with OB-1 shafts eventually...I hope I like it!

Fatboy
12-24-2007, 09:01 PM
i got one just to try it and learn it on a Barry Szam butt, i havent used it enough yet to say anything conclusive except i'll awalys be a old school maple shaft guy, and will never use a manufactered shaft but for the sake of learning i'm gonna use them all.


I only used it for about 2 hours or less what I have noticed with it is I can get alot of juice on the CB, so much I cant control it, i set up a shot and everytime I shot it the CB would react a bit differently, i couldnt get any control of it, it was fine on center ball shots, I did like the fact I could feel the shot more than with a 314 shaft, so far I like the Tiger shaft the best.

dabarbr
12-24-2007, 10:10 PM
i got one just to try it and learn it on a Barry Szam butt, i havent used it enough yet to say anything conclusive except i'll awalys be a old school maple shaft guy, and will never use a manufactered shaft but for the sake of learning i'm gonna use them all.


I only used it for about 2 hours or less what I have noticed with it is I can get alot of juice on the CB, so much I cant control it, i set up a shot and everytime I shot it the CB would react a bit differently, i couldnt get any control of it, it was fine on center ball shots, I did like the fact I could feel the shot more than with a 314 shaft, so far I like the Tiger shaft the best.
Fatboy if you're from the old school then you will have to hit with one of these new type of shafts for at least a couple of months.

About a year ago I played with a predator shaft for about two weeks and did not like it. But now I realized I didn't give it enough time. It also could be that it didn't fit me because I like a smaller shaft and I bellieve that these shafts cannot be turned down much because they lose their playability.

I am now shooting with an X shaft from Tiger and have been using it for about two months. I like it so much that I'm finding myself playing more now then I have in the last couple of years. I'm doing things with it that I thought I would never be able to do again. I don't know much about the OB1 and probably will not try it because of the ferruel, it seems a bit distracting to me. I just received a blank Z shaft and I'm having it fixed to fit my cue. After I get it back from my cue man I will try it for a fair duration of time and then I can compare it to the Tiger Product.

In either case you need to give it enough time to really get a fair opinion of it.

Frankenstroke
12-24-2007, 10:33 PM
How long is the OB-1 taper? To me that means how far down the shaft until the diameter exceeds 13.5 mm.

How long is a 314-2 taper, using the same methed of measurement?

ioCross
12-24-2007, 10:46 PM
i kind of want to try the ob-1, but im a predator man.

i've tried the meucci black dot which i hated b/c i got no "feel" from the shaft at all.

the red dot was ok for me, but i still didn't like it. i'd honestly prefer a regular hard maple shaft like a players cue to a meucci.

i tried the universal smart shaft but i hate it. can't draw a ball at all with it, and every time i try to use english i miss the shot. but my girlfriend loves it. go figure.

i tried the carbon core shafts by mcdermott which i couldn't stand but the guy who owned the cue swore by it, and i saw a noticable improvement in his game after he got it.

i definatly will use low deflection shafts for the forseeable future, altho i'm too comfortable with my predator to make the leap to an ob-1.

i've always wanted to try the x-shaft but never had a chance to hit with one.

on a different note, my current shaft is a z2, but i loathed the original z shaft. when i got my current cue i was really hesitant to buy it until i played a few racks with it.

to me, the original 314 will always be "IT".

tjlmbklr
12-24-2007, 10:51 PM
Interesting and very accurate review. I wanted to add, today decided to knock some balls around in my rec room. I sent my OB-1 shaft to Varney to have a Sniper installed. I will say this, you notice more how much less to no deflection is on your OB-1 when shooting with your original shaft.

leehayes
12-25-2007, 07:14 AM
Ok, here's my .02. I started out with a maple shaft about 4 years ago. I switched to a predator 314 and couldn't pocket balls so I sent it back. I then bought a meucci with black dot shafts, also laminated. That was a good choice then and after using that for a while went to a z-shaft on a Phillipi butt. I played with that til I bought a sneaky pete predator with a z2 shaft and played with that until I bought a new predator with the 314-2 shaft. Then recently bought an MG cue with an OB-1 shaft with a special taper. The issues I found are these. I loved the predators. The z had a better feel but when I quit playing so much you needed to have a much more accurate stroke to pocket balls well with it so I went to the 314 and found that I was a little more accurate. After trying the MG, I found the hit of the OB-1 to be alot different. It's definitely softer than the Predator but I couldn't figure out if it was better or worse, just different. I will say that I shelved a $1500 predator in favor of the $500 MG because I felt like it played much better. It just felt like I struck the balls better and had more control than the predator...but the new Predator I bought has a metal joint and my preference is non metal so that may be contributing. Now that I've said all of this....I recently bought a Mike Stacey that someone has custom made for them and it had 2 FUSION shafts. If you've never heard of them they are the same shafts that Annie O sells as her NT shafts,you can see them on her website. The day I got the Mike Stacey I went to the pool hall and shot with it and one of my singles matches walked in so we played. I shot half the match with the MG with the OB 1 and the other half with the Stacey with the FUSION. I haven't played much with the MG since. This shaft has less deflection than the Predator Z-2, has the tip of the 314 and has more control than the OB-1. It still doesn't have the feel of a pure maple shaft but it does give feedback and I personally like that. This has definitely become my playing cue and I'm sure that it's greatly in part due to the shaft. I think that people who say they will never try these or have tried them and gave them a two hour work out have potentially short changed them selves. You really do need to try them out for a little while. If at that point you honestly feel that you like the maple shaft better then you at least have that thought out of your mind. Each person's choice in cue is a very personal preference but from alot of the forums that I've read there are alot of people who prefer the play of a laminated over a non laminated. I recently saw a Capone on EBay for sale that was Danny Basavich's personal cue. I found it interesting that he had 2 predator shafts that were used and the two Capone shafts were not. Seems to me a non sponsored pro would use what he thinks puts balls in the pocket best.
My preference in order 1) fusion(annie o NT) 2) OB-1 3) Z-2 4) 314-2
As I said, my .02 but as for now? Here's one vote for laminated shafts.

Jaden
12-25-2007, 08:33 AM
Fatboy if you're from the old school then you will have to hit with one of these new type of shafts for at least a couple of months.

About a year ago I played with a predator shaft for about two weeks and did not like it. But now I realized I didn't give it enough time. It also could be that it didn't fit me because I like a smaller shaft and I bellieve that these shafts cannot be turned down much because they lose their playability.

I am now shooting with an X shaft from Tiger and have been using it for about two months. I like it so much that I'm finding myself playing more now then I have in the last couple of years. I'm doing things with it that I thought I would never be able to do again. I don't know much about the OB1 and probably will not try it because of the ferruel, it seems a bit distracting to me. I just received a blank Z shaft and I'm having it fixed to fit my cue. After I get it back from my cue man I will try it for a fair duration of time and then I can compare it to the Tiger Product.

In either case you need to give it enough time to really get a fair opinion of it.

I don't know how you adjust for squirt when you use side spin etc...but I use BHE english and when I was shooting with my predator it was too cumbersome because the pivot point was too far back on the shaft...

What I did is cut off the ferrule and drilled out the foam core at the tip and added a new tenon and ferrule and I have to say NOW it is one solid hitting cue...All of the benefits of the solidness of the laminated shaft technology with the feel (well not quite the feel) of the old school shafts. It now has the spinability of a southwest with the solidness of my Frank Paradise... Ok it doesn't really have either of those but it does approximate them..LOL.. I don't think I will ever find a cue that hits as solid as my Frank Paradise....

alstl
12-25-2007, 08:41 AM
If I get an OB-1 shaft will I have to find a new aiming system?

custmqs
12-25-2007, 08:53 AM
If I get an OB-1 shaft will I have to find a new aiming system?

The main difference with the OB-1 is that the cue ball goes where you point the cue... you do not have to compensate for as much cue ball squirt. You will, however, still have to contend with the throw imparted on the object ball.

curly
12-25-2007, 10:03 AM
Interesting and very accurate review. I wanted to add, today decided to knock some balls around in my rec room. I sent my OB-1 shaft to Varney to have a Sniper installed. I will say this, you notice more how much less to no deflection is on your OB-1 when shooting with your original shaft.

tj, you have an excellent idea! I like a longer cue and using a low deflection shaft can offset the deflection that there can be in a longer shaft. I noticed that you play with a 60 inch Josey cue. I have many 59 inchers and a 60 inch cue. I really like playing with a longer cue and I think I'll try a low deflection shaft.
Curly

john schmidt
12-25-2007, 10:15 AM
i thought i would chime in.first i think the little deflection thing is great and the tiger and predator and ob1 all do that.now ive hit balls with all of those shafts and they are all great but i think the ob1 has a cooler hit better look and better price not to mention made in the u.s.. did i mention i just ran 403 playing 14.1 with it.yes they are my sponsor and im supposed to say nice things but believe me im not going to sell out and say they are great shafts and look you right in the eye and say that if its not true.i would not trade my pool game and reputation and tell people these are unbelievable shafts if i did not feel that way myself.anyway thats my 2 cents on that. happy holidays and if you see me at a tourney and want to hit a few balls with my cue to try it out just come up and say hi

Darth
12-25-2007, 10:32 AM
John, what tip are you using on the OB? I tried both the Moori quick and the Kamui hard. The Kamui seemed too hard but the Moori seems to give the best feedback. I would be interested in your experience.

SCCues
12-25-2007, 10:44 AM
John, what tip are you using on the OB? I tried both the Moori quick and the Kamui hard. The Kamui seemed too hard but the Moori seems to give the best feedback. I would be interested in your experience.
I'd like to hear John's answer about which tip he uses on his OB1 shaft also.

James

Fatboy
12-25-2007, 10:45 AM
Fatboy if you're from the old school then you will have to hit with one of these new type of shafts for at least a couple of months.




i agree it would take that long to get 100% dialed in with any of them, I'm not gonna spend that much time, but I know the little time I have spent is far from enough. After the Derby then I'll mess around with them

chicagomike
12-25-2007, 10:45 AM
I recently used my OB shaft for the first time the other night. After hitting balls for about 2 hours the tip popped off. Any similiar experiences? I'll contact the dealer and let him know.

cbi1000
12-25-2007, 11:01 AM
I guess i'll give more then .02.

I've been playing with Predator shafts for 6 or so years. I've been playing pool for about 17 years. I switched over after a friend of mine got a 314 and with in 6 months his game grew so much above mine. So i went and got one myself. I owned many 314 shafts with no issues (due to i'm a cue whore and go through them fast)

Then the 314^2 came out. When i first got one i fell in love with the first shot. But then all the production issues crept in. I have owned about 15 of these shafts and i've had issues with almost about half of them. Everything from ferrules to inserts no being straight. I even purchased a p2 with a pin that wasn't set correctly. Predator's customer service is not what they make it out to me. I did get things replaced, however it was a hassle.

Due to all issues with getting my warranty issues taken care of i decided to purchase a OB-1 shaft. When it arrived the first thing i did was rip that piece of crap Talisman tip off (LOL, my opinion only) and replaced it with a Sniper. I went to my table and starting hitting balls. At first i i was like the hit is different, but i couldn't place my finger on it. But after a few days i can say the difference is "feel" I feel like i have a better touch then i ever did with the Predator shafts. After a few weeks i put on of my 314^2 shafts back on my cue and i couldn't stand it. LOL, at one time the bride and now i would date that 314^2 bit## for anything.

If you have never played with a OB-1 shaft i suggest you do. If you can try playing with one that has a better tip than the talisman. The shafts are great. I have now purchased 5 more so fit my other cues.

Good luck and enjoy your journey.

cbi

Patrick Johnson
12-25-2007, 11:32 AM
With this shaft there is no need to compensate for deflection / squirt. Just point and shoot... the cue ball goes where you aim it.

Low squirt shafts do produce some squirt - my custom low squirt shaft measures a little less squirt than an OB-1, yet it's still about half as much squirt as "normal" shafts. In other words, low but not zero. But it can feel like it's zero squirt compared to higher squirt shafts, mostly because of swerve.

We tend to think of squirt and swerve as two different things, but they're really two parts of the same thing (squirve?). Squirt "pushes" the CB one way and swerve curves it back the other way, making it look like there's less squirt. If the shot is just the right length/speed/spin, swerve can exactly cancel squirt so there's no aim adjustment necessary. With low squirt shafts this happens more often because it takes less swerve to do it, but still not always.

I could pretend that squirt is eliminated by my low squirt shaft, and that might make it easier for me to aim some shots, but for other shots (the ones where swerve doesn't exactly cancel squirt) I'd have to trick my senses into seeing them as zero squirt too and let my subconscious make the necessary adjustments. One way that might happen is that I'd start shooting all my shots in a narrower range of speed, spin and butt elevation, so swerve will mostly cancel squirt on more shots - letting my zero squirt belief unconsciously influence (and narrow the range of) my shot selection and execution.

I'd rather have limited but real benefits from my low squirt shaft and avoid subconsciously adjusting my perceptions to match my wishful belief. This is one of the reasons it's important to me to learn what's actually going on.

pj
chgo

cyrex
12-25-2007, 12:12 PM
I've been using OB shafts for over 2 years now. Originally they came with Talisman tips but I switched them to Triumph tips. I agree with everyone's overall reviews and in regards to getting used to spin/throw shots.

I don't think you need to adjust your aiming if you're using 'aiming system'. Infact, the OB shaft is better because you can shoot purely (no deflection) with the OB shaft. Most aiming systems are based on center ball shots with a level cue.

If you're in my area and want to hit some drop me a line. :R:

PoolBum
12-25-2007, 12:45 PM
But it can feel like it's zero squirt compared to higher squirt shafts, mostly because of swerve.

We tend to think of squirt and swerve as two different things, but they're really two parts of the same thing (squirve?). Squirt "pushes" the CB one way and swerve curves it back the other way, making it look like there's less squirt. If the shot is just the right length/speed/spin, swerve can exactly cancel squirt so there's no aim adjustment necessary. With low squirt shafts this happens more often because it takes less swerve to do it, but still not always.

pj
chgo

What exactly is swerve? Is it a masse effect?

Fatboy
12-25-2007, 01:55 PM
I recently used my OB shaft for the first time the other night. After hitting balls for about 2 hours the tip popped off. Any similiar experiences? I'll contact the dealer and let him know.


you cant blame anyone for that, tips pop off sometimes, the glue might have been a bit thin etc. you cant tell after the tip is put on, its not a big issue or reflection on the quality control of the OB guys, its an honest mistake, I have close friend who is a great tip guy and sometimes after 20 years of changing tips(ALOT of tips)occasionally he'll have a customer's tip pop off, it just happens.

TWOFORPOOL
12-25-2007, 04:47 PM
I was playing with 314-2 shafts. I went to Las Vegas to play in the APA Masters 3 man team tournament. I decided to take a flyer and buy an OB-1 shaft since the feel was much better. I'M GLAD I DID! Simply put the OB-1 shaft is more efficient and feels much better. You don't have to hit the cue ball as hard to get the same effect which therebye increases accuracy.

jondrums
12-25-2007, 05:22 PM
when the original tip popped of my OB-1 shaft, I had the ferule and tip replaced by Varney. He did a very nice job and kept the low deflection characteristics of the shaft intact, and it hits better (I think) than the original ferule.

I'm using a SaberT ferule, with a sniper tip. I am incredibly happy with the sniper tip - it keeps its hit for a very long time with little to no maintenance.

Jon

Patrick Johnson
12-25-2007, 07:15 PM
What exactly is swerve? Is it a masse effect?

Yes, and it occurs exactly the same way as the masse you're familiar with, except on a smaller scale. Your stick is just about always hitting downward on the cue ball, no matter how level you try to keep it, so when you hit offcenter to apply sidespin you're also applying "masse spin", which is rotation about a horizontal axis (in this sense follow and draw are also "masse spin").

So "normal" masse is a sharp curve caused by hitting almost straight down on the cue ball, and "mini" masse (swerve) is a very shallow curve caused by hitting almost (but not quite) horizontally - and there are an infinite variety of in-between curves too, caused by in-between butt elevations and tip offsets.

On long slow shots with lots of sidespin you can clearly see swerve happening if you watch.

By the way, did you know there's a scientific way to aim masse curves? It was discovered by the 19th century mathematician Coriolis (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gaspard-Gustave_Coriolis) and is described in one or two of Byrne's books. It's easy to learn the principle, but it comes with the usual catch: it takes practice to execute it well.

pj
chgo

IA8baller
12-25-2007, 07:55 PM
Yes, and it occurs exactly the same way as the masse you're familiar with, except on a smaller scale. Your stick is just about always hitting downward on the cue ball, no matter how level you try to keep it, so when you hit offcenter to apply sidespin you're also applying "masse spin", which is rotation about a horizontal axis (in this sense follow and draw are also "masse spin").

So "normal" masse is a sharp curve caused by hitting almost straight down on the cue ball, and "mini" masse (swerve) is a very shallow curve caused by hitting almost (but not quite) horizontally - and there are an infinite variety of in-between amounts too.

On long slow shots with lots of sidespin you can clearly see swerve happening if you watch.

pj
chgo

Anyone that hasn't seen this video concerning swerve and squirt needs to see it. It's an outstanding video that clearly shows these effects plainly and simply. Enjoy.:)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mXJ7bDafTms

Patrick Johnson
12-25-2007, 08:13 PM
Anyone that hasn't seen this video concerning swerve and squirt needs to see it. It's an outstanding video that clearly shows these effects plainly and simply. Enjoy.:)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mXJ7bDafTms

Anybody with an interest in "practical pool science" should make a point to see all of Mike Page's excellent FargoBilliards videos (http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=fargobilliards) and encourage him to do more. He knows his stuff better than almost anybody I can think of (way better than me), and he has a real knack for making it understandable and even entertaining.

pj
chgo

tjlmbklr
12-25-2007, 09:24 PM
tj, you have an excellent idea! I like a longer cue and using a low deflection shaft can offset the deflection that there can be in a longer shaft. I noticed that you play with a 60 inch Josey cue. I have many 59 inchers and a 60 inch cue. I really like playing with a longer cue and I think I'll try a low deflection shaft.
Curly

I often wonder how much less deflection the cue would have with a standard 29" shaft. I love those slow spin shots with the object ball on or close to the rail and the CB almost at a 90 degree angle. But if I hit these shots with speed it seems to deflect more. Does anyone or can anyone confirm if this is common?

IA8baller
12-25-2007, 09:27 PM
Anybody with an interest in "practical pool science" should make a point to see all of Mike Page's excellent FargoBilliards videos (http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=fargobilliards) and encourage him to do more. He knows his stuff better than almost anybody I can think of (way better than me), and he has a real knack for making it understandable and even entertaining.

pj
chgo

I have to agree 100%. Some outstanding videos. A must see for most pool players. I really enjoyed a few of them and they were presented very nicely.

chicagomike
12-27-2007, 08:55 PM
you cant blame anyone for that, tips pop off sometimes, the glue might have been a bit thin etc. you cant tell after the tip is put on, its not a big issue or reflection on the quality control of the OB guys, its an honest mistake, I have close friend who is a great tip guy and sometimes after 20 years of changing tips(ALOT of tips)occasionally he'll have a customer's tip pop off, it just happens.
I agree that the tip was not a big deal, just a minor inconvenience. I still can't wait to start using the OB regularly, but am afraid to switch so close to the Derby Tourney. I'll probably wait until after to give it an honest evaluation.