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Straightpool_99
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Big bucks for old production cues? Are you nuts!? - 05-17-2016, 12:58 PM

This is a post I'm making for the benefit of newer players! Don't fall for the sales pitch that older cues were better because of better wood quality etc! Most of the time that is simply not true, if you remove newer cues under 200 dollars from the equation. If your budget is, say 200-400 dollars, you should definitely get a "newer" cue IMO.

I'm always checking Ebay for cues, and it seems a lot of people are shelling out 500+ bucks for "vintage" production cues from the 80's, 90's and of course earlier. I started after 2000, but most of the cues in my poolhall were from the 80's/90's and a few were even older. In my country custom cues were not common until a few years ago, so everyone had some sort of production cue. It was common to swap cues with buddies for a while too, at least I did it several times. That means I've tried all the common brands extensively. Let me tell you, there are none I'd pay 500+ for unless they were VERY elaborate and "golden" examples. Even then I'd think carefully about it, especially if the intention was to play with it.

Before I go on, let me add that naturally it is perfectly possible to play good pool with these cues, but cuemaking has progressed and my impressions are all compared to modern cues. Collecting them is a different question, in that case, who cares how they play? DO NOT buy into the hype that "older is always better" as far as playability is concerned. It's not true when it comes to cues! The comments are about OLDER cues from the brand and does not necessarily apply to newer versions.

Falcon: Not half bad. These are reasonably priced most of the time, which helps. Wouldn't pay much for one, as they are fairly mediocre hitters. Mediocre compared to the cues today IMO, and many of them warped. I did try a high end one with a DYNAMITE shaft! Others tell me that the shaftwood is often quite good on these. Sadly the butt killed the hit and I mostly tried them as complete cues. When I put that shaft on another cue it was night and day different! Falcon did build the butts for early Predators, and they are ok. Maybe I've just been unlucky with the ones I've seen /tried.

Huebler: Perhaps the most overrated cue of all time. This was an extremely popular cue here for a while, because it was one of only a couple of brands widely available. Sadly they had a nasty tendency to warp, I've never seen any other brand of cue warp as often as Hueblers. Ferrule/buttcap problems happened a lot also. My friends cue looked like a "C" in the end. IMO a very mediocre hit as well, sort of soft, even if the shaft could be stiff on some of them. Maybe because of the plastic shaft insert? SOME Hueblers were very good players, but these are usually held onto for dear life by their owners. I'd be very careful about buying a Huebler today. Owned 2, borrowed lots, tried more. Seen and listened to complaints about warping and other problems...countless times.

Meucci: These are known as bad quality cues for a reason. Flaws in inlays, popping rings, flaking finish, cracking ferrules/buttcaps, warping, they've got it all! Some of the really old "Original" ones are decent, but as players they're not worth the price they fetch. Otherwise I'd stay completely clear. Most of them hit like a sponge. I owned 4 Meuccis, before I finally saw the light on how terrible they actually were. I instantly got a ball better when I sold the last one.

Mali: The hit is slightly different than Huebler, otherwise I think it's rougly comparable. Malis were much cheaper, usually. The quality on some Malis seem as good as or better than some Hueblers, strange... If I had to chose between this and a Huebler, I'd choose the Mali, with a couple of exceptions, naturally. I wouldn't pay much for one, but if you can get one dirt cheap, it might be worth considering. These are the cues I know the least about. I did own 2 that I traded. I quickly traded them for another cue. Tried one every now and then.

Viking: Solidly mediocre and visually unappealing in many cases. The old ones often have a funny balance, at least the ones I've tried. Wouldn't pay 100 bucks...

Adam: I haven't tried the really old ones. The ones from the 90's on were very dead hitting cues. Some of them look nice. I don't know anyone that has kept theirs as a player with the original shaft. The first cue I owned, wish I still had it, but ONLY for sentimental reasons.

McDermott: These are actually pretty nice, as far as the quality of the wood/glue is concerned. Nylon wraps are BAD, other than that they're ok. The buttcap will often crack or chip on the older ones, IDK why. Don't buy into the hype that the old ones are better though. If you buy a new one with the 3/8 pin and an old school maple shaft, it will hit the same as an old one. My friend bought one recently that had a very nice, dense shaft, IMO it was a steal and better than any of the old ones I've tried. Overall they are worth the money, except the collectible ones, which are not worth buying as a player. Owned several McDermotts. Tried dozens more, many have been long term "loaners".

Helmstetter:Not too bad, actually. From the same company as Adam. Decent quality as far as durability is concerned. Nice, stiff hit. If reasonably priced (and they often are) they may be one of the better vintage cues.

Joss: I don't know if I should count these among the others. I've never tried a Joss I didn't like and the old ones look much nicer than the new ones. These may be the exceptions to the rule if you can find one that isn't completely overpriced...Sadly you can often buy a NICE custom cue for the same price as an old Joss. Pity.

Last edited by Straightpool_99; 05-17-2016 at 03:13 PM.
  
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05-17-2016, 01:39 PM

I don't know when Meucci's quality went in the tank, but when I started playing in my teens, (early 70's, the Meucci's were OUTSTANDING. The owner of our room was a dealer, and any serious player had one. I've got about 25 "new" cues, and none play as well as those Meucci's
  
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05-17-2016, 01:47 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mole Eye View Post
I don't know when Meucci's quality went in the tank, but when I started playing in my teens, (early 70's, the Meucci's were OUTSTANDING. The owner of our room was a dealer, and any serious player had one. I've got about 25 "new" cues, and none play as well as those Meucci's
My experience with them are mostly with 90's onwards "vintage" cues. Most of them were mid 90's up. Those are mostly TERRIBLE. I've tried only 2 of the really old ones. They were good, but they are expensive today.
  
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05-17-2016, 01:57 PM

I can vouch for the durability of 1980's Helmstetter's. I use my 1987 model 87-6 daily and have never had a problem with it. I'm using an OB shaft on it and a Kamui medium tip, and I think it hits great.

It has dozens of nicks in the base from accidental collisions with pool tables and chairs over the decades, but hey have you ever seen how banged up Shane's cue is?
  
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05-17-2016, 01:59 PM

Did you leave out Schon for a reason?
  
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05-17-2016, 02:08 PM

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Originally Posted by Dimeball View Post
Did you leave out Schon for a reason?
Haven't tried any of the older ones. Only tried 2 and they were both new. They simple were not available here before internet buying took off and they remain quite rare.
  
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05-17-2016, 02:12 PM

First, I don't pay big bucks for any of those cues. And I have no interest in Falcons except their "first run" cues.


Second, I have multiple examples of numerous vintage cues, up to 100 years old, including the brands you mention, and I have to admit that although I respect your views, what I read looks like you have very limited experience with the cues you are talking about. Some I agree with, some I don't.

I actually own the cues and compare them side by side regularly. Not once in a while separate from each other.

But of course, most of what you talked about was very subjective anyway.




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05-17-2016, 02:23 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chopdoc View Post
First, I don't pay big bucks for any of those cues. And I have no interest in Falcons except their "first run" cues.


Second, I have multiple examples of numerous vintage cues, up to 100 years old, including the brands you mention, and I have to admit that although I respect your views, what I read looks like you have very limited experience with the cues you are talking about. Some I agree with, some I don't.

I actually own the cues and compare them side by side regularly. Not once in a while separate from each other.

But of course, most of what you talked about was very subjective anyway.

.


Of course "hit" is subjective. I'm just sick and tired of people hyping up old cues, when in fact several of them are nothing special at all. Of course my experience is somewhat limited, being only a player and not a large scale dealer for instance, but one that has maybe tried more production cues than most players of equal experience. I have at one point or another owned every single one the cues listed (several of most of them), and of course tried lots of other examples on other occations. I've never gotten the chance to directly compare ALL of them against one another at one time, I'll freely admit to that.

Feel free offer your opinion on the things you feel are wrong. I'm curious.
  
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05-17-2016, 02:49 PM

I had and R-12 Schon paid $1200 had it a year sold it for $1200. I could not tell any difference in the hit from my newer Schons. I bought it because of all the hype I learned and at least got my money back.
  
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05-17-2016, 02:53 PM

Most of the reason that I have such cues is nostalgia, so your characterizations of how and why people purchase them seem to be off.

I don't see the "older is always better" hype that you are pointing out. I really don't.

As far as old growth woods etc, there is a case to be made, but I would advise discussing that with the experts, the cue makers. But just because a cue is older does not mean it has superior wood. Right now, better grades of maple for shafts are getting harder to find, so old cues can be a source of that. That's why we see people cutting up old house cues for shaft wood.

As far as your subjective assessment, I didn't say you were "wrong" as you put it, I said I disagreed. I have no interesting in getting into all that.

If you wanted to come over and sample a dozen cues or so then we could do that and discuss their relative qualities. I do enjoy that. But, I think that is unlikely.

The last time at the pool hall we sampled 2 Joss, 2 Mali, 1 Dayton, 1 Meucci, 1 McDermott, 1 Mizerak Professional, 1 Cobra Professional, and 1 Espiritu.



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05-17-2016, 02:56 PM

Meuccis in the 80's were state of the art cues. Many top players used them and loved them. I loved mine and used it happily throughout the 80's.


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05-17-2016, 04:04 PM

To each their own

-Kat,
  
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05-17-2016, 04:28 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by FranCrimi View Post
Meuccis in the 80's were state of the art cues. Many top players used them and loved them. I loved mine and used it happily throughout the 80's.
I do know way back meuccis were the overwhelming choice of the pros, I got my first muecci in the early 90's and HATED IT, as a matter of fact out of the dozens and dozens of cues I have owned and played it is by far my least fav to this day. All a matter of opinion but this is mine.
  
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05-17-2016, 04:40 PM

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Originally Posted by BmoreMoney View Post
I do know way back meuccis were the overwhelming choice of the pros, I got my first muecci in the early 90's and HATED IT, as a matter of fact out of the dozens and dozens of cues I have owned and played it is by far my least fav to this day. All a matter of opinion but this is mine.
I agree. Had one meucci for about 2 months. Ive never owned a McD but have hit some with a couple of different ones. They seem to play pretty decent. Ill prolly regret saying it but ive always liked Lucasi for a production cue. Had one in the mid to late 90s and thought it played pretty fair too.

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05-17-2016, 04:47 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Straightpool_99 View Post
Of course "hit" is subjective. I'm just sick and tired of people hyping up old cues, when in fact several of them are nothing special at all. Of course my experience is somewhat limited, being only a player and not a large scale dealer for instance, but one that has maybe tried more production cues than most players of equal experience. I have at one point or another owned every single one the cues listed (several of most of them), and of course tried lots of other examples on other occations. I've never gotten the chance to directly compare ALL of them against one another at one time, I'll freely admit to that.

Feel free offer your opinion on the things you feel are wrong. I'm curious.
I have some bad news... in no particular order

1. Some people who sell things are going to "HYPE" them DUH... get over it

2. Some vintage production cues do indeed "play" better than their current counterparts... and some don't

3. People who are willing to pay a premium for a vintage cue may very well be
motivated by more than just how it plays

4 and so on...

Dale
  
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