Custom cues vs. Production cues

Rtoron

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I have been a player since I was 13 years old. League play for about the last 25 years or so. I have owned many cues over the years and built cues for over 20 years. I want to enlighten you about cues. I have recently gotten rid of most of my custom cues. I have had over 80 custom cues over the years and have reached this conclusion. The custom cues are simply not worth the money. I have had cues from the best cue makers in the world. If you are looking for a good player you don't have to spend custom prices to get one. If you are looking for art work then maybe a custom is for you. The production cues have come a long way in the last few years. I presently have a Meucci, Predator P3 and a Fury production cue. All three are good hitting cues. The Predator is the most perfect cue. It is dead straight and machined perfectly. I think it is the best cue on the market today. It is the Mercedes of cues. You can do more with it than any other cue. However, it is the least forgiving of all the cues. I wouldn't recommend it to anybody below a 6 average. It is definitely for the better player. The Meucci is a delight to play with. Nice hit and very predictable and affordable. The Fury is very affordable and dead straight. It plays nice with no surprises. The only Custom cues I am keeping is one I built for myself and a Segen S2 model. The Segen is a 59" cue built by a Schon cue builder. The cue is perfect and dead straight. It plays well and is predictable. These cues play as well or better than most of the 80 customs I have had over the years. So why pay custom prices? It doesn't make sense because the customs simply don't play better. I know, I have had them all. There is not a custom cue maker on the planet that can build a cue with the technology that Predator has. They don't have the machinery to do it. That is why Predator shafts are expensive. Bill Stroud said it took him 25 hours to build a $5000 cue. That divides out to him getting $200 per hour for his $5000 cue. If you think it is worth that much then be my guest. As for me I am done with Custom Cue makers.
 
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PRED

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
A little enlightenment for you

Off the wall is the only way to go.
 

HQueen

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
As a cuemaker I only play with cues I make. Doesn’t say much about your cues if you play with a cue from someone else.
Variety is the spice of life. What you think hits great another player may feel hits like crap.
I’d be willing to wager real money on a blind test you couldn’t tell a Predator from any good solid cue.
 

saint1

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Custom cues

I think it comes down to personal preference. For the most part I disagree. I have had a few custom cues from well known builders that were complete duds. But that isn't to say the rest of their cues (from same cue maker) were not great playing cues. I have been through over a hundred and will take the custom cue maker any day. The best hitting, best feedback and best playing cues I have owned and played with were custom cues and for me, not even close. But that's just me. If your reading this and playing with production cues then certainly you will not agree.
 

Rtoron

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
You would lose that wager. A Predator P3 with a Z shaft hits and feels different than any other cue I have played with. It is unique. However, I do have other cues I like and enjoy just because I do like variety. In league play right now I am only using the Predator P3 with Z shaft to play with. I have more control of the cue ball with this cue than any other cue and get better draw with it all with less effort. I have had cues that I built that performed very well but sold them all. I do have one that I kept over the years that plays very nice and is a reliable player. On my own table I play with all my cues at practice but in competition am sticking with the P3 for now. No other cue has the technology a Predator has and is built the way a Predator is built. Custom cues are pretty to look at but they don't have the technology built into them. The Custom Cue players think if the cue does not cost a lot it cannot be any good. This is their EGO talking to them. I even have a low cost $152 Players cue that plays very good after I put a good tip on it and it is dead straight. When I was a teenager I used a house cue and played good with it.
 

saint1

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
You would lose that wager. A Predator P3 with a Z shaft hits and feels different than any other cue I have played with. It is unique. However, I do have other cues I like and enjoy just because I do like variety. In league play right now I am only using the Predator P3 with Z shaft to play with. I have more control of the cue ball with this cue than any other cue and get better draw with it all with less effort. I have had cues that I built that performed very well but sold them all. I do have one that I kept over the years that plays very nice and is a reliable player. On my own table I play with all my cues at practice but in competition am sticking with the P3 for now. No other cue has the technology a Predator has and is built the way a Predator is built. Custom cues are pretty to look at but they don't have the technology built into them. The Custom Cue players think if the cue does not cost a lot it cannot be any good. This is their EGO talking to them.[/B] I even have a low cost $152 Players cue that plays very good after I put a good tip on it and it is dead straight. When I was a teenager I used a house cue and played good with it.


Well I think most folks would agree that the shaft accounts for about 80% of the play-ability or performance of a cue. Most custom cue makers shafts have mostly been around $250 a shaft. What does the Z shaft go for? even more. How about the carbon fiber shafts $500-600? So don't thing your Ego argument about cost holds water. About 50% of every Predator shaft I have had spinning on my lathe was warped and about 35- 40% had cracked ferrules.
Pick up a record or historical book on all the old time greats! How did they do it without someone telling them about low deflection. Amazing.
 

Bob Jewett

AZB Osmium Member
Gold Member
Silver Member
I think this thread is in the wrong forum. It seems to belong in the "Ask The Cuemaker" forum. Or maybe the main forum.
 

The Verbalist

. . .
Gold Member
Silver Member
"That divides out to him getting $200 per hour for his $5000 cue"


So, the woods, inlay materials, rings, hardware, his equipment , etc, etc were all free?
 

Jim Baxter

AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
Silver Member
If its new and Very expensive , Has to be the best thing out there and it will sell , and those that have them will tell everyone , its the best thing since sliced bread . :thumbup:
 

HQueen

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I think you are missing the point. You claim Predator is making the best cue ever. Yet there are plenty of people that can actually play very well that aren’t using them. Maybe it’s because not everyone likes the way they play?
FYI, Predator shafts aren’t expensive because the machinery is expensive. They charge what the market allows.
 

Rtoron

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I agree that Predator shafts are expensive because people are willing to pay for it. However, the research and development in being able to produce those shafts has some bearing on the pricing of the shaft. I still say that most cue makers simply don't have the machinery to produce a shaft like Predator. I have always been able to play with most any cue put in my hands but the Predator P3 with the Z shaft is the best I have ever felt in my hands. I also have a Predator Roadline Sneaky but it does not feel the same as the P3 using the same shaft. The cue in your hands only helps you, it does not win the game for you. There is no substitute for talent. The really good players I have known just seems like they were born with the talent.
 

philly

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I have been a player since I was 13 years old. League play for about the last 25 years or so. I have owned many cues over the years and built cues for over 20 years. I want to enlighten you about cues. I have recently gotten rid of most of my custom cues. I have had over 80 custom cues over the years and have reached this conclusion. The custom cues are simply not worth the money. I have had cues from the best cue makers in the world. If you are looking for a good player you don't have to spend custom prices to get one. If you are looking for art work then maybe a custom is for you. The production cues have come a long way in the last few years. I presently have a Meucci, Predator P3 and a Fury production cue. All three are good hitting cues. The Predator is the most perfect cue. It is dead straight and machined perfectly. I think it is the best cue on the market today. It is the Mercedes of cues. You can do more with it than any other cue. However, it is the least forgiving of all the cues. I wouldn't recommend it to anybody below a 6 average. It is definitely for the better player. The Meucci is a delight to play with. Nice hit and very predictable and affordable. The Fury is very affordable and dead straight. It plays nice with no surprises. The only Custom cues I am keeping is one I built for myself and a Segen S2 model. The Segen is a 59" cue built by a Schon cue builder. The cue is perfect and dead straight. It plays well and is predictable. These cues play as well or better than most of the 80 customs I have had over the years. So why pay custom prices? It doesn't make sense because the customs simply don't play better. I know, I have had them all. There is not a custom cue maker on the planet that can build a cue with the technology that Predator has. They don't have the machinery to do it. That is why Predator shafts are expensive. Bill Stroud said it took him 25 hours to build a $5000 cue. That divides out to him getting $200 per hour for his $5000 cue. If you think it is worth that much then be my guest. As for me I am done with Custom Cue makers.

I do agree with you. Production cues work just fine. I do have one custom, my everyday player, that I designed along with the cue maker. The production cue I was using hit and played just fine. I built the custom simply simply for the aesthetics. I love looking at it's old school classic design.

A very good player can take a stick off of the wall and beat everyone in the house. Many collectors and aficionados of butts and shafts will argue with me on this but I still say it's the Indian not the arrow.
 

JC

The Thread Stops Here
Gold Member
Predator shafts are made out of scrap wood which would be in a burn pile somewhere if they didn't slice it up and glue it back together.

Never saw one yet you could bump into anything harder than your elbow without it getting dented.

JC
 

ddg45

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Your post is more akin to a rant than anything else.
Calling Rtoron's post a rant is ridiculous. He's merely stating his point of view in a reasonable way. It's OK to disagree and if you do feel free to state your opposing points. I tend to agree with him but I also feel that anyone that has the money and wants to buy a $10,000 custom cue should do so. Why not? Pool cues and how they play are completely subjective so there really is no right or wrong on the topic, but it could be argued that the big production companies do have technology and precision equipment that gives them an advantage. Your post is the one that is unhelpful. In the future please add something of value to a conversation or silence would be a preferable course of action.
 

hang-the-9

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Just trying to save everybody a buck.

That is why most people stick with a few cues not 80 hehe.

Just for playing there is no need for a custom cue since most players put on some other LD shaft on the thing. Although there are many makers that make their own custom LD shafts that play as good if not better.

I for one have run across two Predator shafts I like, the Z shaft, and not even all of those, and the Revo. OB I like a few models of that. My favorite two are a shaft that a local custom maker made and the Revo. The HXT shaft is pretty good also but the feel is just not quite there.

There are still reasons to get a custom cue made or bought used, same reason there are 20 car brands and 200 models and that watch makers exist past the Timex level, and pen makers are around not just BIC. Pocket knives, chess sets, everything can be elevated. Heck, you can get luxury bed sheets for $300 vs the $50 wal mart stuff that is still just fine to use.

I don't think I have ever gotten a cue just for it's performance, outside of a shaft. Heck, even the cheap production cues are vanity, there is more than one model of Players for example, with pretty colors and shapes you can pick from.

I like being able to point to some guy and say "he made this for me in his basement" vs this thing came out of some place in China (or Wisconsin even for example) along 3,000 others just like it. No one sees a Predator and asks "hey, who made that cue?" and then starts up a conversation about his production cues and their history. "Ah yes, I remember my first cue from China, it was the 1034 model, they only made 10,000 of those".
 
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knifemakermike

Registered
A dodge demon is a beast off the line and cost $80k, what does a Ferrari that has a slower 0-60 time cost....

Everyone is different and their optimal setup is different. LD shafts are not the end all be all for cues. I know a lot of top tier players that won't get near an LD shaft, doesn't mean they suck it just means they aren't meant for everyone. You should know that as a cuemaker. Balance part & feel of the entire cue is pretty important.

BTW, the majority of opinions I've seen is that Mezz cues are far superior to Predators. I've tried Predator cues/shafts and hated them. I wanted a banger cue when I go out and bought a Mezz with a wx700 to play with and fell in love with it. I've since bought the same shaft for my customs. It doesn't mean my custom shafts suck, it's I don't want to have the variability between shafts. That's why I changed to a production shaft, so as I change cues I have the same deflection.
 
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