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06-23-2019, 08:13 AM

It is amazing how many people who don't know will consider one of these, Japan made or otherwise, the real thing. "He SIGNED it!" Still run into people like that, same people think the Balabushka in The Color of Money was an original. I worked with a guy for a while who swore it was.


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06-23-2019, 08:20 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pushout View Post
It is amazing how many people who don't know will consider one of these, Japan made or otherwise, the real thing. "He SIGNED it!" Still run into people like that, same people think the Balabushka in The Color of Money was an original. I worked with a guy for a while who swore it was.
Not only was the one in CoM not an "original", it wasn't even a Buska knockoff ( Adam, etc ). It was a Joss Dan Janes made expressly for Scorsese for the film. Did Dan pretty closely copy an original? Yes, that was the purpose of making it. Scorsese could have bought a real Bushka but opted not to considering the value and how it may've gotten beaten up during filming. So he had Dan make a close proximity. At least that's my understanding...




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06-23-2019, 09:26 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Andros View Post
Not only was the one in CoM not an "original", it wasn't even a Buska knockoff ( Adam, etc ). It was a Joss Dan Janes made expressly for Scorsese for the film. Did Dan pretty closely copy an original? Yes, that was the purpose of making it. Scorsese could have bought a real Bushka but opted not to considering the value and how it may've gotten beaten up during filming. So he had Dan make a close proximity. At least that's my understanding...
That's about what Dan has said here a few times, if I remember right. There were three cues made, all later sold at auction for charity.


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06-23-2019, 10:26 AM

Richard Helmstetter of Calloway Golf fame was the cue maker for them. Naturally, they eventually went on to be Production Cues, but they were excellent Production Cues.

The pic is of the Japanese variety Balabushka Cue.

I have an older one & do not know if Helmstetter made it or if it was an early production one. It hits as good as a $5,000 custom cue that sold for about $550.

When Bob Muecci was doing his robot tests for deflection. He put an Adam Balabushka made by Helmstetter on the roto & let it fly. As soon as he saw the result of how very little deflection it yielded, he commented, "This must be very well made Butt. It hit better in that regard than ALL of the others with stock shafts & Meucci's Black Dot Shafts. I think THAT gave him the idea for his Power Piston Butts.

The new ones of today look cheap, but I've not hit one.
  
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06-23-2019, 10:39 AM

From what I read, here I believe, is that the design was chosen to show up well on camera, not specifically to replicate a GB cue.

Yes, I have met people who claim they are "real" as well.

That's common.

There was a guy at my local hall that had a plain Helmstetter. Claimed Helmstetter himself signed it in the 1960's. Worse, he said he met Helmstetter and was told this.

It's one thing to be misinformed or mistaken, another to lie.

These GB cues don't bother me in the least. They are what they are.

That they are no longer what they were does not bother me either.

That they are now made in China does not bother me. It actually is not a secret or hidden.

What someone chooses to buy or play with is totally their thing.

On a positive note the fact these are around helps keep the mystique alive.

I do personally favor and support the US makers, but I do own and seek certain old "vintage" Asian made cues, more as a curiosity.

If I had to buy and play with one cue, it would be US made.


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06-23-2019, 11:42 AM

I thought it was shameful when they first came out. Then people were like, well the licensing will help George's family, so...ok,cool. I'm back to my opinion of shame.
  
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06-23-2019, 02:34 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by ENGLISH! View Post
Richard Helmstetter of Calloway Golf fame was the cue maker for them. Naturally, they eventually went on to be Production Cues, but they were excellent Production Cues.

The pic is of the Japanese variety Balabushka Cue.

I have an older one & do not know if Helmstetter made it or if it was an early production one. It hits as good as a $5,000 custom cue that sold for about $550.

When Bob Muecci was doing his robot tests for deflection. He put an Adam Balabushka made by Helmstetter on the roto & let it fly. As soon as he saw the result of how very little deflection it yielded, he commented, "This must be very well made Butt. It hit better in that regard than ALL of the others with stock shafts & Meucci's Black Dot Shafts. I think THAT gave him the idea for his Power Piston Butts.

The new ones of today look cheap, but I've not hit one.
The power-piston is a plastic sleeve over a laminated wood core. BTW, Helmstetter was manager/director at ADAM. He wasn't involved in hands-on cue production. All the ADAM cues made while he was there play really good. The cue in OP's pic is a Chinese-built cue.
  
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06-23-2019, 09:17 PM

Sample photo's found at eBay , cue sold just under $350.00 with one shaft.
Original "Adam of Japan"
There are several difference's, quality of wood, craftsmanship, including the famous Nickle Thick dress rings.
aZ member "garzar" noticed that.

George Balabushka (at one time) used actual Nickle coins, that's why they're called "Nickle Thick", because they are
that's a little known fact.
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06-23-2019, 09:29 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by L I F D 1 View Post
Sample photo's found at eBay , cue sold just under $350.00 with one shaft.
Original "Adam of Japan"
There are several difference's, quality of wood, craftsmanship, including the famous Nickle Thick dress rings.
aZ member "garzar" noticed that.

George Balabushka (at one time) used actual Nickle coins, that's why they're called "Nickle Thick", because they are
that's a little known fact.
I will only add that I had an original Adams cue (when Dick Helmstetter was in charge) and it was a great cue at a very reasonable price. His line of Bushka's were well made cues, but maybe a little overpriced at 750-1,000. A nice one in good condition should still be worth 4-500 imo. I think the thicker rings are the best tell-tale sign you have one of the originals.


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06-23-2019, 11:37 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Andros View Post
Not only was the one in CoM not an "original", it wasn't even a Buska knockoff ( Adam, etc ). It was a Joss Dan Janes made expressly for Scorsese for the film. Did Dan pretty closely copy an original? Yes, that was the purpose of making it. Scorsese could have bought a real Bushka but opted not to considering the value and how it may've gotten beaten up during filming. So he had Dan make a close proximity. At least that's my understanding...
Mike Sigel was hired as the trainer/technical advisor for the film. Mike at the time was sponsored by Joss, and had even worked there making Joss cues for a time.

The cue was a standard model from their catalog line, the J18. Dan changed it up a little, and made it look plainer.





Here is Sigels Joss btw. I used to drool over this cue as a kid.


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06-24-2019, 01:45 AM

Jeeeeze ohh Pete... Helmstetter had cues made by Adam. They had been making cues for years at that point.. The first Signed Balabushkas were made by them as well on the line in Japan and were a great buy on the secondary market... When Adam went up on price vs taking them to their CHINESE production line the name changed hands and they went to CHINA.... That was right around Mezz coming out as ADAM +30%.... Now they have exceed which is Adam +60%... Mr Miki has lots of people fooled..............


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06-24-2019, 03:52 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by L I F D 1 View Post
Sample photo's found at eBay , cue sold just under $350.00 with one shaft.

Original "Adam of Japan"

There are several difference's, quality of wood, craftsmanship, including the famous Nickle Thick dress rings.

aZ member "garzar" noticed that.



George Balabushka (at one time) used actual Nickle coins, that's why they're called "Nickle Thick", because they are

that's a little known fact.


That would be the first time I ever heard of George using actual Nickels to make his “nickel rings” Being that he predominately manufactured his cues on modified wood lathes etc just seems made up to me when pre made rings would have and still are readily available.

Just like why you didn’t see George using much ivory mostly MOP.....cuz MOP was much more available from the luthier industry as still found today.


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06-24-2019, 04:23 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by RiverCity View Post
Mike Sigel was hired as the trainer/technical advisor for the film. Mike at the time was sponsored by Joss, and had even worked there making Joss cues for a time.

The cue was a standard model from their catalog line, the J18. Dan changed it up a little, and made it look plainer.
As I had posted before, it was designed to show up on camera better. Hence the design changes. Yup, based on J18.


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06-24-2019, 05:39 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Renfro View Post
Jeeeeze ohh Pete... Helmstetter had cues made by Adam. They had been making cues for years at that point.. The first Signed Balabushkas were made by them as well on the line in Japan and were a great buy on the secondary market... When Adam went up on price vs taking them to their CHINESE production line the name changed hands and they went to CHINA.... That was right around Mezz coming out as ADAM +30%.... Now they have exceed which is Adam +60%... Mr Miki has lots of people fooled..............
Sorta. In '68 David Forman hired R. Helmstetter to go to Japan to upgrade and oversee the facility(Miki's) to produce ADAM(named after DF's son,btw). This lasted until money got funny and most production went to China/Taiwan. Miki left sometime in early '90's to start Mezz. BTW, ADAM still produces the hi-end Musashi cues at the Sayama plant in Japan. The bulk of ADAM stuff is made by Taican/Universal, maker of Lucasi, Players, Predator and others.
Mezz timeline: http://www.mezzcues.us/history/

Last edited by garczar; 06-24-2019 at 05:47 AM.
  
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06-24-2019, 09:30 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by garczar View Post
Sorta. In '68 David Forman hired R. Helmstetter to go to Japan to upgrade and oversee the facility(Miki's) to produce ADAM(named after DF's son,btw). This lasted until money got funny and most production went to China/Taiwan. Miki left sometime in early '90's to start Mezz. BTW, ADAM still produces the hi-end Musashi cues at the Sayama plant in Japan. The bulk of ADAM stuff is made by Taican/Universal, maker of Lucasi, Players, Predator and others.
Mezz timeline: http://www.mezzcues.us/history/
They also make their own line of cues called Universal, which are very popular cues with the Japanese players. I've seen them in the hands of Pinoys and Chinese players as well. Kind of a discount Predator.


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