Cue Makers - Who Determines The Playability Of Your Cues

HawaiianEye

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
How did you decide upon the "standard/signature" taper or specifications for YOUR cues?

I know that several "hands on" cue makers (i.e., Mike Gulyassy...Mosconi Cup team for two consecutive years) were/are also professional pool players.

I'm assuming that "they" determine that "their" cues play the "best" because that is what they prefer and feel works the best.

For cue makers who don't play at that level, how is the "feel/hit" determined or measured?

Is it based upon the cue maker's playing ability or has the cue maker adopted specifications based upon somebody else's opinion?

The reason I ask is because I've hit with some cues from various cue makers and, to me, they don't play well. It isn't because the cues were made bad. It's because they played nothing like the cues that I like or that MOST of the players I know like.

This question isn't to say anybody makes a "bad" cue.

It just has me wondering why cue makers think that "their" cues hit/play better than somebody else's cue. I'm assuming that they think their way is better or they wouldn't be doing it that way.
 

str8eight

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
How did you decide upon the "standard/signature" taper or specifications for YOUR cues?



I know that several "hands on" cue makers (i.e., Mike Gulyassy...Mosconi Cup team for two consecutive years) were/are also professional pool players.



I'm assuming that "they" determine that "their" cues play the "best" because that is what they prefer and feel works the best.



For cue makers who don't play at that level, how is the "feel/hit" determined or measured?



Is it based upon the cue maker's playing ability or has the cue maker adopted specifications based upon somebody else's opinion?



The reason I ask is because I've hit with some cues from various cue makers and, to me, they don't play well. It isn't because the cues were made bad. It's because they played nothing like the cues that I like or that MOST of the players I know like.



This question isn't to say anybody makes a "bad" cue.



It just has me wondering why cue makers think that "their" cues hit/play better than somebody else's cue. I'm assuming that they think their way is better or they wouldn't be doing it that way.
What cue maker would say their cue didn't hit the best? Would you buy a cue made by someone who said it was just "ok"?

Sent from my SM-N950U using Tapatalk
 

HawaiianEye

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
What cue maker would say their cue didn't hit the best? Would you buy a cue made by someone who said it was just "ok"?

Sent from my SM-N950U using Tapatalk

I'll give you an example of what I was told when I bought my very first custom cue from a maker who is now in the Hall of Fame...Richard Black.

He said his cues were the same specs as Balabushka cues and had the same tapers.

Balabushka was the big name cue of that era and I assume all the top players were using them.

If Richard Black thought Balabushka had the best taper, I guess it was based upon the popularity and playability of that cue among the serious players who could afford them. It wasn't based upon Richard's playing ability.

So, I'm asking "who" or "what" makes a cue maker settle on their particular "signature"?
 

Hungarian

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I think it's a great question. I feel that to customize the hit of a cue can turn into a long drawn out science project. I would guess many makers don't want to take that journey every time they sell a cue. So I guess you need to know the basic things you like and ask for it; ie, tip, shaft taper, diameter, etc. Then it's just trial and error until you find something you like. I always order shafts a bit oversize so I can have them taken down and tweaked until I like it.

How did you decide upon the "standard/signature" taper or specifications for YOUR cues?

I know that several "hands on" cue makers (i.e., Mike Gulyassy...Mosconi Cup team for two consecutive years) were/are also professional pool players.

I'm assuming that "they" determine that "their" cues play the "best" because that is what they prefer and feel works the best.

For cue makers who don't play at that level, how is the "feel/hit" determined or measured?

Is it based upon the cue maker's playing ability or has the cue maker adopted specifications based upon somebody else's opinion?

The reason I ask is because I've hit with some cues from various cue makers and, to me, they don't play well. It isn't because the cues were made bad. It's because they played nothing like the cues that I like or that MOST of the players I know like.

This question isn't to say anybody makes a "bad" cue.

It just has me wondering why cue makers think that "their" cues hit/play better than somebody else's cue. I'm assuming that they think their way is better or they wouldn't be doing it that way.
 

str8eight

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I'll give you an example of what I was told when I bought my very first custom cue from a maker who is now in the Hall of Fame...Richard Black.



He said his cues were the same specs as Balabushka cues and had the same tapers.



Balabushka was the big name cue of that era and I assume all the top players were using them.



If Richard Black thought Balabushka had the best taper, I guess it was based upon the popularity and playability of that cue among the serious players who could afford them. It wasn't based upon Richard's playing ability.



So, I'm asking "who" or "what" makes a cue maker settle on their particular "signature"?
When I first got into it building one of the first things I did was mic my favorite playing cues. I think a lot of guys do that starting out. Gives you a solid foundation to start with. When I don't like the feel of a cue I find that it has more to do with the woods used than the taper.

Sent from my SM-N950U using Tapatalk
 

HawaiianEye

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Another example is Southwest.

They have a waiting list of a dozen years, or more.

I'm assuming that lots of people are buying them for their "playability" and not just the name. As a player, I'd hope that is the case.

So, if people are willing to wait that long for a cue that "plays Southwest", why aren't other cue makers using the same dimensions and gobbling up some of the market?

I can see not using the same designs, but the dimensions and tapers aren't something that are patented

Nobody in the production world has any problems with patterning their stuff after something that plays good and is highly marketable. Just how many companies have came out with carbon fiber shafts after Predator introduced them?

This thread is for discussion sake only.
.
 
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HawaiianEye

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
When I don't like the feel of a cue I find that it has more to do with the woods used than the taper.

Sent from my SM-N950U using Tapatalk

Is that because it messes with the weight and balance?

If so, do you only make cues using your "preferred" woods?
 

str8eight

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Is that because it messes with the weight and balance?



If so, do you only make cues using your "preferred" woods?
Sometimes I believe it can be an issue of balance/weight. There are just certain woods I think play better than others. I am wide open when it comes to woods in my cues but If I think a particular wood choice will be a problem I'll let the customer know before hand.

Sent from my SM-N950U using Tapatalk
 

HawaiianEye

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Sometimes I believe it can be an issue of balance/weight. There are just certain woods I think play better than others. I am wide open when it comes to woods in my cues but If I think a particular wood choice will be a problem I'll let the customer know before hand.

Sent from my SM-N950U using Tapatalk

I notice that a lot of cues today are now made with woods that I never saw years ago.

And, due to their characteristics, a lot of them are cored.

What woods do you think may be a "problem" and why?
 

rhinobywilhite

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
More and more customers today want burl wood or lots of figure. Those types of wood can produce problems regarding staying straight, thus, along came coring(and it has been around for many years). Coring can also solve some balance and weight issues issues as well as tonal qualities and hit. Balabushka preferred straight grain woods as did other early builders.

When I started building cues in the early 90's, I measured every cue I could get my hands on.Just when you, as a cuemaker, come up with a taper for the shaft and butt that seems to play well, along comes a player who wants a certain shaft taper. It is difficult to say "no" to your customer(it is his money). The first 8-10 inches from the butt, I tend to use figures that have pleased me and my customers over the years. I like some "meat" in that area.From that point forward on the shaft, I can be more flexible depending on what the customer wants.

Lastly, I would add what most cuemakers over time have determined. Different woods, due to their density, may be used to produce a thinner or thicker butt that is desired by the customer. Those cuemakers also have a regular diameter of a butt that varies from say .850 at the joint and smaller to 1.27" or less at the butt.

Hope this BS was not too long but you did ask, lol.
 

JoeyInCali

AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
Silver Member
Trade secret.
If you are a maker and not very many like the playability of your cues, you should quit.
Unless, you can make them really pretty and people just buy them for looks.
 
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GBCues

Damn, still .002 TIR!
Gold Member
Silver Member
Another example is Southwest.

They have a waiting list of a dozen years, or more.

I'm assuming that lots of people are buying them for their "playability" and not just the name. As a player, I'd hope that is the case.

So, if people are willing to wait that long for a cue that "plays Southwest", why aren't other cue makers using the same dimensions and gobbling up some of the market?

I can see not using the same designs, but the dimensions and tapers aren't something that are patented

Nobody in the production world has any problems with patterning their stuff after something that plays good and is highly marketable. Just how many companies have came out with carbon fiber shafts after Predator introduced them?

This thread is for discussion sake only.
.
One reason, I suspect, is that most cuemakers can't afford a Southwest to use as a model!
:grin-square:
Gary
 

CuesDirectly

AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
Silver Member
How did you decide upon the "standard/signature" taper or specifications for YOUR cues?

I know that several "hands on" cue makers (i.e., Mike Gulyassy...Mosconi Cup team for two consecutive years) were/are also professional pool players.

I'm assuming that "they" determine that "their" cues play the "best" because that is what they prefer and feel works the best.

For cue makers who don't play at that level, how is the "feel/hit" determined or measured?

Is it based upon the cue maker's playing ability or has the cue maker adopted specifications based upon somebody else's opinion?

The reason I ask is because I've hit with some cues from various cue makers and, to me, they don't play well. It isn't because the cues were made bad. It's because they played nothing like the cues that I like or that MOST of the players I know like.

This question isn't to say anybody makes a "bad" cue.

It just has me wondering why cue makers think that "their" cues hit/play better than somebody else's cue. I'm assuming that they think their way is better or they wouldn't be doing it that way.

I never allowed my opinions to rule.

I was lucky enough to have some fantastic players and very knowledgeable people tell how they wanted their tapers.

Many have told me to never change my design.
 

CuesDirectly

AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
Silver Member
Trade secret.
If you are a maker and not very many like the playability of your cues, you should quit.
Unless, you can make them really pretty and people just buy them for looks.

That's says it very nice and quick like, greenie. (Edit, can't give any more rep.)
 

CocoboloCowboy

Cowboys are my heros.
Silver Member
Trade secret.
If you are a maker and not very many like the playability of your cues, you should quit.
Unless, you can make them really pretty and people just buy them for looks.


Playability is like picking the winner in Western Equatation at Horse Show. What judge like, not like a mile race where it is easy to pick first.

First across finisish line wins. Photograph despises phototherapy finish.
 

JoeyInCali

AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
Silver Member
Playability is like picking the winner in Western Equatation at Horse Show. What judge like, not like a mile race where it is easy to pick first.

First across finisish line wins. Photograph despises phototherapy finish.

And the people who decide that are the BUYERS AND PLAYERS.
NOT THE KNOCKERS.
The knockers don't buy.
They just knock.
Their opinions don't count.
 

JoeyInCali

AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
Silver Member
Another example is Southwest.

They have a waiting list of a dozen years, or more.

I'm assuming that lots of people are buying them for their "playability" and not just the name. As a player, I'd hope that is the case.

So, if people are willing to wait that long for a cue that "plays Southwest", why aren't other cue makers using the same dimensions and gobbling up some of the market?

I can see not using the same designs, but the dimensions and tapers aren't something that are patented

Nobody in the production world has any problems with patterning their stuff after something that plays good and is highly marketable. Just how many companies have came out with carbon fiber shafts after Predator introduced them?

This thread is for discussion sake only.
.

Actually, some offer the SW taper.
SW also offers the Gus shaft taper.
 

JC

Coos Cues
Gold Member
Trade secret.
If you are a maker and not very many like the playability of your cues, you should quit.
Unless, you can make them really pretty and people just buy them for looks.

Was it Ernie Gutierrez who said expensive fancy cues are much easier to build because they never get played?
 

CocoboloCowboy

Cowboys are my heros.
Silver Member
Was it Ernie Gutierrez who said expensive fancy cues are much easier to build because they never get played?


That could be a real observation, I know a few folks who have high dollar Cues that are never played with.

Safe Queen stored away for safety, and show displays. Honestly who is going to take something they paid big bucks for, or waited 10 years for to some bar Tournment, just to have it knocked over & damaged, or stolen. NOT me.

Like I said playability is no something that can be measured, it all about what one person like or dislikes.
 
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