Anniversary, GC or Diamond?

Lawnboy77

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I suspect that those 4’ X 8’ GCs, and any other commercial for that matter was actually 46” X 92” playing surface. All the commercial 8s that I played on growing up were 46” X 92”. The 44” X 88” were home tables. I know I see 44 X 88 being mentioned in Brunswick catalogues, but I never did see one in my travels. I did have a 44 X 88 table at home and they are tiny tables to me. What we call standard 8 ft. these days.
 

rexus31

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I suspect that those 4’ X 8’ GCs, and any other commercial for that matter was actually 46” X 92” playing surface. All the commercial 8s that I played on growing up were 46” X 92”. The 44” X 88” were home tables. I know I see 44 X 88 being mentioned in Brunswick catalogues, but I never did see one in my travels. I did have a 44 X 88 table at home and they are tiny tables to me. What we call standard 8 ft. these days.
I've seen 44"x 88" Gold Crown III's. I believe Brunswick used the term Pro 8' for their 46"x 92" models.
 
Last edited:

Lawnboy77

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I've seen 44"x 88" Gold Crown III's. I believe Brunswick used the term Pro 8' for their 46"x92" models.
I’m sure you are right, but they must be as rare as hens teeth. The OS 8’s are all I ever saw in the commercial 8 ft. Category., not counting those damn coin ops.
 

Bob Jewett

AZB Osmium Member
Staff member
Gold Member
Silver Member
Do you have a link to the "excruciating detail" that I can read? I've played on GCs a lot, but at a time in my life when the nuance of table performance was something I wasn't aware of. Everyone's got tables they love, usually their own, and some faults are easy to overlook or simply don't make a material difference in play.
I had a hard time finding it myself, so I'll just repost my list. You could have made your own list by asking yourself, "What's wrong here?" I first posted this list about 2005. In looking over this list now, I think there are a couple of things that could be added. Any suggestions?
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Try standing back and thinking about how you would change a GC to make it better. If you can think of nothing then you are not afflicted with my problem: engineer's attitude.

I have scars on my knuckles because some Brunswick idiot decided to put scorewheels and nameplates exactly where my knuckles pass if I use a nice, level stroke.

I get nasty, greasy goo on my cue when I have to bridge over the cheap fake rubber pocket liners which often stick out and help balls rattle.

People get dings on their cues because the pocket irons are not flush with the rest of the table.

The rack hanger (GC3) is another idiot design.

The scorewheels often don't work, maybe because they get gummed-up with blood.

Put the balls into the front of the table at 1 pocket and they either rattle back and forth or they slide through to your opponent's side. Sometimes they hide behind the obnoxious Brunswick logo/nameplate, which makes counting difficult.

Pretty much every GC3 installed in this area about 1995 has dead/dying cushions. Technically, this is not a design misfeature, but it is broken supply chain monitoring. They started dying within a few years of installation. It makes every cushion contact an adventure.

The GC3 does not have doweled slates. (Usually there are brass pins that pass between adjoining slates to keep them aligned.) Some idiot at Brunswick decided to save a little money on the so-called top-of-the-line table. Good job, fool. This may not apply to all GC3s, but it does to the one I often play on where the foot slate started to buckle up.

The diamond sites on the curved rails are often hard to see.

The drop pockets ("drop" means there is no ball return) hold only three balls if you care about hard shots not being rejected. I shot a shot last night into an empty pocket and the ball took a loop around the bottom of the pocket and jumped back onto the table. Here's a trick I learned from Tony Annigoni: if you are going to shoot a ball hard, make sure there are exactly two balls in the pocket. One sits centered on the drain hole and is likely to spring the new ball back. Two balls are random enough to damp the extra energy. Three starts to be too full, and four is very, very dangerous.

All of the cheap, thin plating has worn off the pocket irons where I play. That happened in the first five years or so. Probably more cost-cutting on the "Cadillac". On older GCs, the metal trim leaves your light-colored pants streaked with oxide.

You might be interested in this comment from the official history of the Brunswick company, an excellent book called "Brunswick - The Story of an American Company - The First 150 Years", written by Rick Kogan and published in 1995 by Brunswick (page 97):

During the 1960s, billiards experienced a renaissance thanks to a film called "The Hustler," starring Paul Newman, Jackie Gleason, Piper Laurie, and George C. Scott. It re-introduced Americans to poolrooms around the county, and new facilities began to go up in suburban shopping centers and middle income neighborhoods. Many of these featured wall-to-wall carpeting, ersatz Tiffany lamps, and pastel tabletops. Most of them featured Brunswick tables. In 1966, some 3,000 new poolrooms opened, the majority called "family billiard centers." Though families sampled, they didn't stay. By 1970, this boom too was bust, and billiards would not again play a major role in Brunswick's operations .
(emphasis mine)

Addendum: Now that Brunswick Billiards has been sold, maybe the new management will change things.
 
Last edited:

Bob Jewett

AZB Osmium Member
Staff member
Gold Member
Silver Member
Golly, Bob, you sound so repressed. Let it out, Bob, just let it all out.
I just hate to see incompetence rewarded. I was told that the problem started when ex-Army guys from WWII came in to management positions in the 40s and 50s.
 

Boxcar

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I've been looking for an 8' OS GC IV but I would consider a II if it came in 8 or 8 OS. I know where I can get an Anniversary, but I'm torn between my admiration for it's looks and fear of getting a project more complicated than I am up for (your comments in the mechanic section were instructive). I know exactly what I can get for $8k. I don't really want to spend that much, in part because I know what I should be able to get for around $4k +/- restored and set up, that I would enjoy playing on just as much, if not more.

Is the Anniversary you mention in Illinois?
 

Boxcar

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
With your permission, I'll reach out to the owner and interview him. As an Anniversary owner and enthusiast, I may be able to allay some of your concerns...or not.
 

phreaticus

Active member
I have a matt black GC6 TE at home for about 1 yr now and I’m very happy with it. But if I had a do-over, and $$, timing, & local setup/service logistics were non issues - my new choice for a home table would be a Diamond Pro (not ProAM) with drop pockets and the leg option that looks more like a GC. My second choice would be a restored BW Centennial or Anniversary- with pockets that have been “Diamondized” by a top notch table tech.

Like most folks my age & older, I grew up on GC’s and love them for their play, look and nostalgia. But I’m also an engineer and I can only concur with Bob J’s list. I am happy to report that the CG5 & GC6 seem to have addressed most items from his list, but not all. As another GC6 owner posted earlier in this thread - the fit and finish of the pocket hardware and outer rail trim - is still just not what it should be for a table of this caliber. There is just no question that Diamonds are wonderfully designed and superior built product. Personally, the only knock I have on them is the boxy look of the ProAm, but thats a purely subjective thing, and they have a decent solution for that.

Peace & love.
 

Boxcar

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I was talking to a fella last year who was installing a room of Diamonds and I asked him what he thought. He said, "They're nice, but all they really are is glorified Dynamos with pretty legs and glued on cushions." Thoughts?

Peace, out!
 

phreaticus

Active member
I was talking to a fella last year who was installing a room of Diamonds and I asked him what he thought. He said, "They're nice, but all they really are is glorified Dynamos with pretty legs and glued on cushions." Thoughts?

Peace, out!

i always thought of a Dynamo as a cheaper alternate to a Valley. We all know and love the classic Valley & Dynamo bar boxes - but all it takes is 2 min to look & play on a Diamond bar box - everything about them is amazing & superior IMO - but of course they are roughly 2x the price. But you definitely get what you pay for...

In the 9ft world, new CG and Diamonds are priced fairly competitively (all in), so for many folks making a decision for home 9 ft - its quite a bit tougher decision, at least it was for me.

But if the Q is about best barbox, especially if $$ is not an issue? Absolutely no question, Diamond BB is 100% tits IMO.
 

iusedtoberich

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I just came back from a room I haven't been to in about 3 years. It is full of GC4's and GC5's. I wanted to play on the 5's, but they had a ladies tournament going on in that section. So I played on the 4's. These 4's are the nickel silver trim, not the bronze. It was not pitted/corroded at all, like the bronze 4's get. I was quite surprised. These tables must be 20 years old and this room is packed all day every day.

I think the Diamond is better than the GC in about every way, except the way the cushions play. I wish Diamond would use the same supplier as Bruswick does today for their super speed cushions, and copy the rail geometry 100% exactly. I think that would be the best table one could make.
 

JoeyInCali

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I just came back from a room I haven't been to in about 3 years. It is full of GC4's and GC5's. I wanted to play on the 5's, but they had a ladies tournament going on in that section. So I played on the 4's. These 4's are the nickel silver trim, not the bronze. It was not pitted/corroded at all, like the bronze 4's get. I was quite surprised. These tables must be 20 years old and this room is packed all day every day.

I think the Diamond is better than the GC in about every way, except the way the cushions play. I wish Diamond would use the same supplier as Bruswick does today for their super speed cushions, and copy the rail geometry 100% exactly. I think that would be the best table one could make.
Oh boy. :p
 

gxman

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Get the GC if you want the easier playing table. The Diamond if you want to be challenged.
 

rexus31

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I wish Diamond would use the same supplier as Bruswick does today for their super speed cushions, and copy the rail geometry 100% exactly. I think that would be the best table one could make.
There's much more to the way the rails play than the rubber.
 

iusedtoberich

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
There's much more to the way the rails play than the rubber.
I said copy the exact wood shape the cushion attaches to as well. Do you think there is more than the wood shape and rubber? I’ve often wondered if Diamond using alternating grain oak strips for their rails, instead of poplar, could contribute to the difference in play.
 

rexus31

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I said copy the exact wood shape the cushion attaches to as well. Do you think there is more than the wood shape and rubber? I’ve often wondered if Diamond using alternating grain oak strips for their rails, instead of poplar, could contribute to the difference in play.
Absolutely. Different woods have different densities.
 
Top