Buy a "small" table?

livemusic

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I bought another house and it has a game room. At my existing house, I have an 8ft Brunswick Windsor. I was going to put it in the new house, get it recovered, new bumpers, new felt. It's 1974 vintage. However, I am concerned about room in the new place. Am considering a 7ft table to have more room in the game room. I see this 6.5ft table below advertised. Is that decent price? I also saw a reconditioned Valley 7ft, for $1400 but it has red cloth and I do not want that!

I see used Valley tables from time to time and I could buy used and get it reconditioned but I would hate to buy a piece of junk. I don't know much about pool tables.

I don't understand why this ad below says "new Ridgeback rails" if the entire table is new.

6 1/2' Valley Black Panther Home Pool Table (new)
New Ridgeback rails
$2,799, $325 for delivery/installation for main level

I also do not know if I have ever played on a 6.5 ft table. I have played on bar tables, yes, but I assume those are 7 ft but beats me. I don't know if I would like a 6.5 ft table.

I also entertained thoughts of buying a Diamond 7 ft table but that's pretty pricey. I could swing it, just not sure about spending that much. I don't think I have ever played on a Diamond but they sure look good! Are they that much more fun, lol?
 

westcoast

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
That seems fair- I was able to purchase a used Valley bar box from West State Billiards for $1400 back in 2014- which included new Ridgeback rails, Simonis cloth, and 4 inch pockets.
 

ShootingArts

Smorg is giving St Peter the 7!
Gold Member
Silver Member
To the best of my knowledge which ain't that much in this area, Ridgeback Rails are not standard equipment on any new table so the cushions have been changed out, probably by special order at the factory. They should play excellently.

Now I am going to throw the poop in the fan! It has been many years since I have played on them but I have played on six and six & a half foot tables. I hated them! The tipping point seems to be seven feet. Smaller than that I would want undersized balls too and then you would have a nice toy to play on but it wouldn't really transfer that well to playing anywhere else. I would stay with a seven foot minimum.

Now, for some thoughts on seven footers. I have an old Valley on the back porch, bought specifically to go there. It can't be leveled except at the legs without a lot of work since the bottom is boxed in. Have to shim to level, a pain to get them right.

The Diamond seven footer isn't really a bar table. It is a nine foot table with all of the features, pockets, slate, leveling, quality, you name it, all straight from a nine footer. Then they reduced the size without changing anything else. A seven foot Diamond is every bit as nice as a nine foot Diamond. Pretty pricey upfront but you will be glad you bought it every time you play on it. If the cash isn't the issue I would buy the Diamond without a second thought. I would not consider anything under seven feet regardless of other decisions.

Good luck and post pictures when you get your room set up! We like to drool on other people's set-ups!

Hu
 

iusedtoberich

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I almost never go to bars but I was under the impression that most tables in an actual bar are 6.5’ valleys, not 7’.
 

Poolplr501

Poolplr501
Silver Member
I have A 7FT Diamond blue label for sale, one year old, one owner, moved from the factory to my home in Huntsville al. No light, I will sell for 1k under factory cost. 860 Simonez, 2 sets of balls.... 210-639-9701 TXT or call if interested....
 

Nyquil

Well-known member
I wouldn't go less than a 7. I just bought a diamond pro am and I can say it plays solid. I understand your concern on price though. Really it comes down to how much your actually into the game and the frequency of use imo. The nice thing about the pro ams is how quiet they play. The ball return system is very well done. They do seem to also hold their value as well as long it's blue label. Good luck.
 

phreaticus

AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
IMO, Hu gave you perfect advice above.

7 ft min, Diamond blue label is 1st choice, hands down. Valley w/tuned Ridgebacks + Simonis 860HR is 2nd choice, plays nice. Note that Brunswick now also has a modern new 7 ft barbox that looks super cool, but its a brand new animal on the market. Try to find the most experienced table mechanic to setup & service, thats almost more important - ask for recommendations in your area. All are great choices for a home table, you’ll enjoy any of them, once setup correctly. Good luck!
 

livemusic

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
The responses are appreciated. Do you guys think that intermediate players (me and my friends) could appreciate the difference in, say, a new Valley 7 ft table vs. a new Diamond 7 ft? The Diamond appears to cost about twice as much. Assuming both have Simonis cloth. As I said, I can afford to buy the Diamond but I just hate 'wasting' money when it really doesn't make any difference. I don't know the answer to this question, I do not have experience on good tables. I always looked forward to a good table and now, I will get one, it's just a matter of which one.

EDIT: I am age 67. I kinda doubt I will improve a whole lot. I've never had a lesson but I have done a bit of practice over a few months and I might have improved a little but not a lot. At this time, I do not see me doing league, my play would just be casual. League would require going into the city, which I detest these days.
 
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CGM

It'd be a lot cooler if you did.
Silver Member
Buy the Valley. If you get to a point where your game has improved enough to warrant an upgrade to the Diamond you can always sell the Valley for what you paid for it. Assuming you take care of it of course. Valley tables hold their value pretty well if you buy it used. You are going to be inundated with posts here abhoring the bar box and imploring you to buy the Diamond but if you and your buddies are casual players the Valley will serve you perfectly.
 

buckshotshoey

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
The Diamond is 1 in slate.... the Valley is 3/4 in. If that makes a difference to you. You can find good used 7 foot Pro Am's for less money. I do have to say the Valley Black Cat is a pretty good looking table.
 

phreaticus

AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
Buy the Valley. If you get to a point where your game has improved enough to warrant an upgrade to the Diamond you can always sell the Valley for what you paid for it. Assuming you take care of it of course. Valley tables hold their value pretty well if you buy it used. You are going to be inundated with posts here abhoring the bar box and imploring you to buy the Diamond but if you and your buddies are casual players the Valley will serve you perfectly.
Agreed. Everyone is going to tell you the Diamonds rock because they do. Worth the 2x price tag and hold their value. But given everything you’ve shared, get the Valley. Especially w/Ridgeback rails & Simonis, it will play great and sounds like a great fit for your situation. I’m not sure the Valley will hold its value, but their play quality/value ratio is so high it doesn’t matter. Have fun!

P
 
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ThinSlice

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
How is a Diamond superior, what would an intermediate player notice? Anything?

The diamond is a superior build. I am the minority in saying that the don’t play well. They are pinball machines. Overly springy cushions. Artificial in play. Many love them. I don’t. I those that are in love with them don’t have another reference? Maybe they are the pit-pat type of players. In which case that table is perfect for that kind of stroke but, even then you will be chasing your cue ball. I feel if I played enough on them I might get use to that but, as a 9’ player I hope that’s never the case.


Sent from my iPhone using AzBilliards Forums
 

GideonF

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
How is a Diamond superior, what would an intermediate player notice? Anything?

Valley Tables have thinner slate and are basically built like a speaker cabinet, whereas the Diamond has 1” slate and a much more solid slate support.

Perhaps most important are the pockets and the rails. The stock Valley tables have bucket pockets, with extremely shallow shelves. This means that balls that you don’t hit very well may still drop. The Diamond has tighter pockets and a deeper shelf. This means when you miss a ball it will tend to hang up. Now the Ridgebacks do tighten the pockets but they can’t fix the narrow shelf, so again balls that I know I missed on a Diamond will still drop on a Valley even with Ridgebacks.

Equally important, the rails on the Valley screw into the sides and not directly into the slate. This means that the rails are always less solid than a Diamond.

I have a Valley table with Ridgebacks at my cottage and I play leagues on Diamonds. In my view, the Diamonds are significantly better. But they are also more expensive.

If I were in your shoes, I would look for a USED Diamond in your area. It will cost you a lot less than a new one and if you ever sell it you should get most of your money back.

My second choice would be to get a used 7’ Valley, ideally with Ridgebacks. Used Valleys can often be found for like $1,000 and so with new Ridgebacks and installed with new cloth you are probably looking at $2,000 or so.

As to whether YOU will actually notice the difference, it’s hard for me to know. Is there somewhere near you that has Diamond 7’ tables? If so, go play on them, then go to a bar with good condition Valleys and see if you notice a difference. Who knows, you might even enjoy making more balls on the Valley.

The reason I say used is that a new table is like a new car. You lose a ton of value as soon as you buy it and that doesn’t seem to make sense to me for you.
 

VarmintKong

Cannonball comin’!
Noticed ya never gave the room dimensions. You have an 8’ now and your new hacienda has a dedicated game room. Why not just roll with what ya got? Where do you need the elbow room?
 

livemusic

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I don't know dimensions but it's plenty big. Room for the table is not an issue. I put markers down for the size of a table and eyeballed it running N-S and E-W in the room, allowing room for the cue to extend to the walls or obstacles all around. The issue is having room to have a sitting area, including watching tv, even when not playing pool. It's possible that I will sit in this room more than any room, might be my go-to room due to it has lots of glass to view the backyard. So, it might be that every square foot of room is crucial. I will know more when the owner gets their furniture out.

EDIT: The game room in my current house is 20x20 and the one in the new house is larger. Probably 20x30 or more. BUT... there is a bar that juts out into the room at one end.
 
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boogieman

It don't mean a thing if it ain't got that ping.
Penguin rails on a valley with simonis 860HR is a very nice setup. I actually prefer them to ridgeback.
 

buckshotshoey

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Agreed.

I also agree 6.5 table should not be in the considerations.
That's a normal playing surface length for a 7 foot bar table. A 9-foot table is only 8 and 1/3 feet (100" x 50"). It's not even a full 9 feet.
I don't know dimensions but it's plenty big. Room for the table is not an issue. I put markers down for the size of a table and eyeballed it running N-S and E-W in the room, allowing room for the cue to extend to the walls or obstacles all around. The issue is having room to have a sitting area, including watching tv, even when not playing pool. It's possible that I will sit in this room more than any room, might be my go-to room due to it has lots of glass to view the backyard. So, it might be that every square foot of room is crucial. I will know more when the owner gets their furniture out.

EDIT: The game room in my current house is 20x20 and the one in the new house is larger. Probably 20x30 or more. BUT... there is a bar that juts out into the room at one end.
Just think a little bit... How much room are you gaining going from an 8-foot table to a 7-foot table? If it's sitting sideways in the room, you only gaining 5 to 7 inches by going to the smaller table.

Do the math. Using playing surface measurements, 44 wide for the 8 foot, 39 for the 7 foot. So you can move the 7 foot 2.5 nches closer to the wall? You be gaining two and a half inches on both sides of the table..... total of 5. I'd stick with the 8 foot. You're only gaining 10 in total if you figure lengthwise.
 
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