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12-25-2006, 03:21 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by jay helfert
Thanks for your reply. I LOVED China and the people, although we were stared out everywhere we went. I rarely, if ever, saw another mixed couple (Western man and Chinese woman). But people were nice to us and especially to me.

Every once in a while, a young person would approach me and ask to speak English with me. Usually they were quite fluent, and that was also a pleasant surprise. I did not have a sense of being in a Communist land, with an oppressed people. Free enterprise was everywhere, from the marketplace to the malls and night clubs. Everyone had a gig, and if there were homeless I didn't see them.

The parks are beautiful and well kept, and very spacious even in the large cities. And of course, the Western dollar still has a lot of buying power. Of course, you must convert to Chinese dollars. Even Hong Kong dollars are unacceptable most places. It was no problem converting money, and we got about eight Chinese dollars for one U.S. dollar at any bank. And banks are everywhere.

In the bank, they asked for my passport and gave a $100 bill a thorough exam (more so than in a US bank), and then gave me exact change. Like 795.40 Chinese dollars. It was easy for me to travel around because I had a well versed tour guide. In some places we went though, men (like cab drivers and motorbike taxi guys) would openly flirt with her, and make suggestive remarks to me. Amy didn't like it one bit either.

I just brushed them off with a laugh and kept right on walking.
Jay,
Years ago, in Hong Kong, most big stores in shopping malls would give special treatment to Westerners and Japanese, because they were the ones with the most spending power. In the past, to work in a retail store in some high end shopping mall would require fluent Japanese and English.
In the past, some Chinese establishment would discriminate those coming from mainland China.
Nowadays, those from mainland China are the ones with the most spending power, and also most respected by the retail industry.
This last few days during Christmas, there were lots of tourists from China spending on high end watches and other name brands item in Hong Kong making up a hugh piece of the total sales in the retail industry. If you walk into a store that sells Rolex and high end jewelry, over 70% of the customers are from China, and they are paying cash.
In Hong Kong, there is a hugh difference in preception on Chinese from mainland China before and after 1997. Especially in the last 5 years, economy in China has obviously improved a lot, as can be seen from the way Chinese are spending their money everywhere they go.
In Canada where I live, there are lots of immigrants from China in recent years, a lot of them come with lots of cash and spent them on big houses and cars once they landed.
I am sure there is still a big gap between the rich and the poor in China, but it is obvious that there are more opportunities, and more people are making more money because of that.
About doing business in China, it is not about how good you are, but who you know, and who is behind you. A network is very important. If you know the right people, things can be done very quickly; if you do not, you may have to go through a lot of frustration. Bride is still a fairly common thing, and one needs to be able to read between the lines as Chinese do not like to spell out everything.
Foreigners do usually get special treatment in some cases such as yours, they worried you might make a big scene and complain to their superiors and cause them a lot of trouble, their chance of promotion or even their jobs. Since they did not know who you were, they just assumed you may know someone important, or was someone important yourself. You will find that to be a very powerful tool in some cases dealing with the Chinese in China, may be more powerful that you might think.
Happy holidays,
Richard

Last edited by X Breaker; 12-25-2006 at 03:24 PM.
  
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12-25-2006, 03:23 PM

Are Viking Cues made in the U.S.? and is Kaiser the same as Viking? maybe just an import line under a different name?



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12-25-2006, 03:36 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by X Breaker
Jay,
Years ago, in Hong Kong, most big stores in shopping malls would give special treatment to Westerners and Japanese, because they were the ones with the most spending power. In the past, to work in a retail store in some high end shopping mall would require fluent Japanese and English.
In the past, some Chinese establishment would discriminate those coming from mainland China.
Nowadays, those from mainland China are the ones with the most spending power, and also most respected by the retail industry.
This last few days during Christmas, there were lots of tourists from China spending on high end watches and other name brands item in Hong Kong making up a hugh piece of the total sales in the retail industry. If you walk into a store that sells Rolex and high end jewelry, over 70% of the customers are from China, and they are paying cash.
In Hong Kong, there is a hugh difference in preception on Chinese from mainland China before and after 1997. Especially in the last 5 years, economy in China has obviously improved a lot, as can be seen from the way Chinese are spending their money everywhere they go.
In Canada where I live, there are lots of immigrants from China in recent years, a lot of them come with lots of cash and spent them on big houses and cars once they landed.
I am sure there is still a big gap between the rich and the poor in China, but it is obvious that there are more opportunities, and more people are making more money because of that.
About doing business in China, it is not about how good you are, but who you know, and who is behind you. A network is very important. If you know the right people, things can be done very quickly; if you do not, you may have to go through a lot of frustration. Bride is still a fairly common thing, and one needs to be able to read between the lines as Chinese do not like to spell out everything.
Foreigners do usually get special treatment in some cases such as yours, they worried you might make a big scene and complain to their superiors and cause them a lot of trouble, their chance of promotion or even their jobs. Since they did not know who you were, they just assumed you may know someone important, or was someone important yourself. You will find that to be a very powerful tool in some cases dealing with the Chinese in China, may be more powerful that you might think.
Happy holidays,
Richard
Thanks Richard for your detailed response. I too noticed the affluence that was evident in every big city that I visited. There are areas that rival uptown Manhattan and Beverly Hills. I saw the people driving their Lexus', Mercedes, BMW's and Rolls'. I visited the upscale shopping areas with quality goods and comparable pricing.

There is a huge divide between the rich and poor, similar to what can be seen in every city across the USA. No question that China is prospering and may well be the most powerful nation on Earth. I don't think any other nation wants to mess with China, except maybe their brethren in Taiwan. I just don't ever forsee a war between the two though. The people see each other as fellow Chinese.
  
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12-25-2006, 03:39 PM

There's also this common idea that companies are duping their customers with low-price and low-quality products. If you are able to determine whether a cue or any other product is manufactured to your own standards, then what is the problem? With forums like this, it certainly can't be kept a secret. Either you are willing to make the price-quality tradeoff or you're not.
  
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12-25-2006, 03:58 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by jay helfert
I don't think any other nation wants to mess with China, except maybe their brethren in Taiwan. I just don't ever forsee a war between the two though. The people see each other as fellow Chinese.
Although I see myself as Chinese (parents from Taiwan), a majority of Taiwanese people do not, and see no prospects for any kind of reunification with China.

The Taiwan strait is considered by many as one of the most dangerous borders in the world, with good reason. We've come close to war a few times in the past decade or so...

-Roger
  
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12-25-2006, 04:04 PM

I think there is a difference between building a cue and putting together a computer or cell phone, the biggest differences are the mystery of a good "hit" and the unstable and inconsistent nature of wood.

If you build a cell phone in China, you can set up shop, give them a blue print, and have strict QC control like you would here in the US. All cell phones should be more or less the same, and it is easy to check if the standards is there. On an assembly line, you can train your workers to be proficient at particular tasks, over time, the production will become more smooth and more efficient. Whether you send you parts to the US or China, the parts are not going to change, they are the same parts.

With cues, we need to use wood, and wood will move due to temperature changes and moistures. A piece of wood, once it has been shipped to China in a container by ship, will change. When it is shipped back into the US, things change again. Is there really a way to prevent this from happening?

Also, wood has differrent density and other properties, so each piece that is used is a bit different. If you pick thirty shafts from the same factory, they will not all weight the same, but if you pick thirty cell phones from the same factory, they will all weight the same, so quality control wise, it is easier to be consistent in terms of weight and density. As we all know, balance point is affected by weight, and the amount of vibration/feedback is also affected by the density, so how do we keep them consistent?

A cue is not a cell phone, a cell phone is good as long as all the functions are functional; a cue is used by a player in a game, a good cue has to have good feedback, power, stability, and so on. These variables are very personal.

If all cues are made in the same factory, by the same people, with the same machine, with a different brand names, is it really possible that these difference brands will still have different characteristic in terms of the hit to satisfy different players with different personal perferences?

Can "hit" be drawn on a blue print so it can be duplicated by anyone anywhere in the world?

I am just asking, because I really dont know.

I guess my question is similiar to this: Can we duplicate the best violin from Italy in China and build thousands of them with the same performace as the original?

Last edited by X Breaker; 12-25-2006 at 04:07 PM.
  
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12-25-2006, 04:47 PM

Would you expect everyone of your x-breakers to hit exactly the same. I think not! They can't all come from the same piece of wood. Some end up in the damp climate of Louisanna, some in the deserts of Arizona.
  
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12-25-2006, 05:02 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptainHook
Are Viking Cues made in the U.S.? and is Kaiser the same as Viking? maybe just an import line under a different name?

Kaiser is imported and distributed by J&J. Not related to Viking.
  
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12-25-2006, 05:20 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by rackem
Would you expect everyone of your x-breakers to hit exactly the same. I think not!
I really do not want to hijack this thread, so I will keep it brief. I am suprised you actually ask me specific question about the X Breaker in this thread, but I will try my best to answer them.

We take a lot of time to weight and balance each and every X breaker. Some shafts are heavier and some are lighter, but they will be matched accordingly to produce a consistent balance point.

Samsara and us choose the best quality shaft wood out there, and we take a great deal of time to process them to keep them stable and straight. We only use shaft woods within a certain weight range.

We also core the butt section, and dip them in wood stabilizer, to keep them stable.

The coring also allows the balance and hit to be very consisent.

Our shaft tapers and butt tapers are all cut by CNC, all shafts are interchangable.

As you can see, it is my first priority to offer my customers a very consistent and well constructed cue.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rackem
They can't all come from the same piece of wood. Some end up in the damp climate of Louisanna, some in the deserts of Arizona.
Our wood comes from the same source, and most of them are Samsara cues' private stock, which have been seasoned for a long time. Whether they come from the "same" piece of wood shoud not have any bearing. I am afraid I do not really understand that question.

Are you referring to where the wood come from or where they are going to?

With all due respect, I was trying to engage in a discussion about pool cues made in China, if you would like to ask me questions about the X Breaker, would you please start a new thread or email me? I just do not want to hijack a thread and disturb a perfectly fine discussion. I hope you can understand that.

I did a brief check up and noticed that you have been selling a lot of pool cues and cases in the $100 range which are made overseas. May be you can share with us your own experience with these products. I am sure the members here would greatly appreciate your experience and insight, since this is a thread about pool cues made in China.

Thank you.

Last edited by X Breaker; 12-25-2006 at 05:34 PM.
  
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Isn't it the same....
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Smile Isn't it the same.... - 12-25-2006, 05:30 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by X Breaker
I think there is a difference between building a cue and putting together a computer or cell phone, the biggest differences are the mystery of a good "hit" and the unstable and inconsistent nature of wood.

If you build a cell phone in China, you can set up shop, give them a blue print, and have strict QC control like you would here in the US. All cell phones should be more or less the same, and it is easy to check if the standards is there. On an assembly line, you can train your workers to be proficient at particular tasks, over time, the production will become more smooth and more efficient. Whether you send you parts to the US or China, the parts are not going to change, they are the same parts.

With cues, we need to use wood, and wood will move due to temperature changes and moistures. A piece of wood, once it has been shipped to China in a container by ship, will change. When it is shipped back into the US, things change again. Is there really a way to prevent this from happening?

Also, wood has differrent density and other properties, so each piece that is used is a bit different. If you pick thirty shafts from the same factory, they will not all weight the same, but if you pick thirty cell phones from the same factory, they will all weight the same, so quality control wise, it is easier to be consistent in terms of weight and density. As we all know, balance point is affected by weight, and the amount of vibration/feedback is also affected by the density, so how do we keep them consistent?

A cue is not a cell phone, a cell phone is good as long as all the functions are functional; a cue is used by a player in a game, a good cue has to have good feedback, power, stability, and so on. These variables are very personal.

If all cues are made in the same factory, by the same people, with the same machine, with a different brand names, is it really possible that these difference brands will still have different characteristic in terms of the hit to satisfy different players with different personal perferences?

Can "hit" be drawn on a blue print so it can be duplicated by anyone anywhere in the world?

I am just asking, because I really dont know.

I guess my question is similiar to this: Can we duplicate the best violin from Italy in China and build thousands of them with the same performace as the original?
I can't see how these issues or concerns change whether in China or if its produced in SOHO ! The issues of wood shifting its parameters can happen from LA to NY as easily as it can from Saigon to Atlanta! as well as difference in quality control from crafter to crafter and shop to shop! The main element i see as a variable is mass production quality levels stipulated or mandated by having things produced faster and by less trined and skilled workers in order to save money! not to say all asian craftsmen are less skilled this is most definately not the case but the compelling reason for US manufacturers to utilize asian shops is to CUT COST ! which is directly related to High US wages and additional tax / benefits and all of the other reasons we for the most part enjoy a higher living standard than our asian counter parts!


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12-25-2006, 05:43 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by MrLucky
I can't see how these issues or concerns change whether in China or if its produced in SOHO ! The issues of wood shifting its parameters can happen from LA to NY as easily as it can from Saigon to Atlanta! as well as difference in quality control from crafter to crafter and shop to shop! The main element i see as a variable is mass production quality levels stipulated or mandated by having things produced faster and by less trined and skilled workers in order to save money!
Hey, you left out Sledge, MS,,,former/current (or who knows) home of Meucci. His workers in the Mississippi delta had no skills other than tractor driving or receiving welfare. That along with not keeping close tabs on quality control and inventory security will doom any business. Ain't just the third world that has unskilled labor. All 50 states have the same problem....

doesn't take a lot of skill to 'work' in a burger joint; does take some skill to manage it profitably, though ! "Welfare-to Work" ain't working here... J


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12-25-2006, 06:07 PM

A decent quality CNC machinig center, lathe, or milling machine will produce the same quality regardless of where it's located. Provided it's kept in a controlled environment.
Someone complained a few pages back about being able to feel the "inlays". Have you felt a Meucci lately?
  
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12-25-2006, 09:49 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by rackem
Kaiser is imported and distributed by J&J. Not related to Viking.
Thanx for the info. The Kaisers use that Quick release joint, so I thought maybe Viking was making them and private labeling them for J&J under the Kaiser name.

The only other cue I had ever seen that type of joint on was a Viking.


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12-25-2006, 11:04 PM

I have never been to China. However, I speak with my wifes cousin who is a dentist in Heidlberg area of Germany monthly. He just returned from a couple of weeks in China and he was awed by what he saw. The construction that Jay mentioned astounded him. Maps that were only 2 yrs old would be completely outdated. At the same time he was distressed at the enviromental damage he saw daily in the countryside. Strangely enough as large as China is the country has very limited natural resources. The denuding of the rural areas causes massive dust storms that are felt globally. Here in So. Calif the meterologists detect almost daily particles in the air that are directly attributable to China. China's massive growth along with India's are going to change our world as we know it. "Chindia" is the word of our future.
  
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12-26-2006, 09:10 AM

Wow, this post got way off track. The original question asked about the quality of Chinese-made cues. Politics, environment, etc, aside, anytime you mass produce a cue, quality suffers no matter where the cue is made. Do not read too far into that statement.... There are several quality manufacturers out there.

There is something special that goes into a cue that only the cuemaker can give. We "listen" to the cue, from start to finish. We hand select every aspect of that particular cue. Its a labor of love, and we love cues. It is not a job. It is a passion. You cannot get that off of an assembly line.

If cost is a concern, there are plenty of good cuemakers that can make cues for under $1000. Request it and they will come.....


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