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Alan Phelps Inlaid Merry Widow: Great Cue
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johnnysd
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Alan Phelps Inlaid Merry Widow: Great Cue - 06-20-2019, 03:24 PM

Overall Design/ Appearance Grade: A-
Overall experience: A-
Cue Hit: A++ (Stroker/finesse players)
Value: A (very reasonably priced to inexpensive)



Cuemaker: Alan Phelps Lusby MD aphelps1 here on AZB https://www.facebook.com/alan.phelps.10

Cue: Goncalvo Alves Forearm and Butt. Rambutan handle. "Symbol" inlays in forearm and butt. Detailed veneer gradient rings with dots at all positions

Specs: 18.3 oz 58" radial joint pin, natural material joint material. Butt 14.8 ounces 2 12.4m shafts (both 3.5oz) .5 inch ivory substitute ferrules (new material, similar to Elforyn),

Background: Have a symbol I like (see cue). Posted on "Ask a Cuemaker Section" if symbol could be used as inlay. Alan replied with an actual CAD file for CNC, so after a few emails back and forth I agreed to have him make a cue in 2017.

Hit: Grade A++ Opinions on hit change over time I am aware of that. I still feel the Treadway I reviewed previously was exceptional, but over time I felt it was just a touch too stiff for finesse shots.

But I will say after having this cue for about a month it is the best hitting cue I have ever played with. Everyone that has tried it has quite frankly loved it.

It is unlike any cue I have ever played with. High level, it feels like a Lambros that is just a little softer and smoother.

First it seems perfectly balanced and just feels solid and right in your hand.

Second it is the most solid cue I have played with, there is not hint of harshness excess vibration of inconsistency in the hit when applying English at all. It feels the same for every shot.

Third, it just plays soft and smooth, almost like the cue is not there. Seems to get through the ball very fast. Shafts are stiff but not overly so. It seems to be really simple to dial in, and provides a LOT of action to the ball. It is super easy to get a ton of draw and follow, and I am finding myself just hitting things soft and smooth with it, and can do anything I want with it. And it is just so solid and smooth. Has a bit of an ivory sound to it, and the smoothness does not prevent you from always having excellent feedback on each shot. It's amazing. Low deflection too.

Now if you are a SW Cue guy maybe this cue is the exact opposite of what you want as people have said that some players are "power" players and like that super stiff, hard, almost harsh hit you get with those cues, but if you like a smooth, soft "fast" hit then your search should start here.

Build Experience: Grade A- Alan is super detail oriented and meticulous. Seems to love the challenge and proicess of designing a cue that meets the customers specific request in playability, hit and quality. Friendly and communicative, provided timely updates and progress pics and videos. Super focused on quality and making sure cue is as perfect as possible.

Build Time: Grade B- Cue ultimately took quite a long time to make, about 17 months total. Initial estimate was a year. I did refine the size of shafts I wanted which added some time. However, the time spent was worth it as the cue is truly exceptional. Just be aware if you order one (you should) that it will take a while.

Packaging: Grade: A Cue was neatly bubble wrapped and put into a hard corrugated tube. Arrived perfect condition.

Appearance: Grade A- I think it is a very modern looking design that works fairly well. The colors of the wood blend and contrast quite nicely, and it is sharp looking. Love the Rambutan, very interesting piece of wood. and definitely 1 of 1 unique.

Finish: Grade: A Deep, clear finish that has a French Polish feel. Excellent if not quite to the level of a Tascarella or Searing. Only negative is the blue colors in the rings don'tr quite pop like they should.

Build Quality Grade A Excellent in every way. Cue just feels solid when you pick it up, and all the little details are quite evident.

Recommendation: I could not recommend Alan more. He makes a truly exceptional cue in terms of quality and hit. I hope more people give him a try as you will be rewarded. The cue is so good I have considered cancelling all other cues I have on order which include a Tascarella.


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Last edited by johnnysd; 06-20-2019 at 03:47 PM.
  
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06-20-2019, 03:26 PM

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06-22-2019, 11:01 AM

I have known Alan for near 30 years. He makes a heck of a cue. My daily player is Phelps African Blackwood, with segmented Amboyna handle



Glad to hear you like the cue.


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