Determining Cue Values, i.e., Prices.

jazznpool

Superior Cues--Unchalked!
Gold Member
Silver Member
I agree with your pricing analysis Ken, although there are other minor contributing factors of course (e.g., how badly a seller of a highly desirable cue wants to sell). Just for the record Ed Prewitt works by himself. His cue output for the last several years has been in the range of 12-18 cues a year. Increasingly, people send Ed older Prewitt cues for new shafts and refinishes and this seriously cuts into his ability to complete new cues (just as it does with Dennis).




All the cue makers you have mentioned have extreme intensity in their craft.
It would not be fair to say one cue maker has more intensity then the other Hall of Famer, and some future Hall of Famer's.

I don't believe any of the mentioned cue maker's have a helper, but not sure about Ed Prewitt and Dennis.
All the Cue Maker's mentioned have their own way of making cue's. That includes how long it takes, and how many they produce.

Pricing is all about supply and demand.

Barry Szamboti makes approx. 15 cues a years. Supply low, demand High.

Joel Hercek makes approx. 25 cues a year. Supply low, Demand High.

Ernie G. makes approx. triple digits a year. Supply is still low because of the sheer about of people over sea's and in the U.S. that want his cues.
This is what makes Ernie a Hall of Famer and the Greatest Cue maker alive.
He makes some of the Greatest cues in the world with execution second to none, and works by himself, and has the greatest work ethic to produce this amount of incredible cues.

Dennis Searing makes approx.??. 4-5 cues a year. Supply Low, Demand High.

The market is made by how badly people want the few cues that are made available. Looking at the above numbers. Doesn't take rocket science to figure out why prices are what they are.

Ernie is the exception to every rule. For 50 years he supplied the world with amazing cues and alot of them, and his reputation and unbelievable work is what keeps his prices up.

Best,
Ken
 

Bavafongoul

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I had a great conversation today with a fellow Azer and we spent well more than 90 mins on the call. Now this fellow is a cue-maker and has lots of experience
and does work for several noteworthy cue-makers. He took the time to explain some things about how Dennis Searing makes a cue and I'll admit that what I
learned impressed me quite a bit. I think a conversation allows for a much more open exchange of information and allows both parties the opportunity to pause
the conversation when there's a point they didn't quite grasp the significance or importance of.......and you get to ask follow-up questions.

Skins didn't write this but the bottom-line is this...... written words are so much more inadequate than spoken words and so the best thing is to seek out conversations
about Dennis Searing, or any other cue-maker for that matter, with knowledgeable fellow Azers as I was fortunate to have been able to do earlier today. I understand
things about Searing's cue-making a lot better after being able to candidly discuss this with Tim. And as Martin pointed out, people impose upon EP for additional help,
such as myself, He's making me two matching shafts for my cue and that type of request distracts from his time available for new cue-making. Thanks for the replies.

Matt B.
 
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bbb

AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
Silver Member
I had a great conversation today with a fellow Azer and we spent well more than 90 mins on the call. Now this fellow is a cue-maker and has lots of experience
and does work for several noteworthy cue-makers. He took the time to explain some things about how Dennis Searing makes a cue and I'll admit that what I
learned impressed me quite a bit. I think a conversation allows for a much more open exchange of information and allows both parties the opportunity to pause
the conversation when there's a point they didn't quite grasp the significance or importance of.......and you get to ask follow-up questions.

Skins didn't write this but the bottom-line is this...... written words are so much more inadequate than spoken words and so the best thing is to seek out conversations
about Dennis Searing, or any other cue-maker for that matter, with knowledgeable fellow Azers as I was fortunate to have been able to do earlier today. I understand
things about Searing's cue-making a lot better after being able to candidly discuss this with Tim. And as Martin pointed out, people impose upon EP for additional help,
such as myself, He's making me two matching shafts for my cue and that type of request distracts from his time available for new cue-making. Thanks for the replies.

Matt B.

SO ARE YOU CONVINCED NOW HIS CUES ARE WORTH IT??
just askin.......:)
 

maha

from way back when
Silver Member
as with any custom made products some are much more costly. and thats partly because of the better quality of the goods.

then there is the giant add on of the name brand. that added cost you pay for the name is because that particular name is in vogue and has a following of people who want that name brand for their good feeling , or resale later on.
 

logical

sarcasm while you wait
Silver Member
They are worth whatever people are willing and able to pay. All the factors mentioned are part of what drives that willingness: quality, exclusivity, playability, resale value, investment potential, prestige.

Its really no different with art, shoes, suits, furniture, watches and to some degree cars. Why ask why?

I like nice stuff but have no interest in a cue that I wouldn't use. I'm sure I buy art that others can't fathom why I would spend money on something so ridiculous.

I completely reject the whole notion of it having anything to do with the cuemaker trying harder or focusing more. That may contribute to the quality but it has no direct impact on the market value. The other thing to keep in mind is that premium priced objects can take dramatic dives in value and it is entirely possible that in 10 or 15 years the cues people scramble to pay $5000 for and lock away in a safe will be worth $1500.
 

xXGEARXx

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I completely reject the whole notion of it having anything to do with the cuemaker trying harder or focusing more. That may contribute to the quality but it has no direct impact on the market value. The other thing to keep in mind is that premium priced objects can take dramatic dives in value and it is entirely possible that in 10 or 15 years the cues people scramble to pay $5000 for and lock away in a safe will be worth $1500.

That's why all of my cues have a TOI (Touch Of Ivory). Some have a STOI (Shit Ton Of Ivory). Lol.....
 

jazznpool

Superior Cues--Unchalked!
Gold Member
Silver Member
Good summary!



They are worth whatever people are willing and able to pay. All the factors mentioned are part of what drives that willingness: quality, exclusivity, playability, resale value, investment potential, prestige.

Its really no different with art, shoes, suits, furniture, watches and to some degree cars. Why ask why?

I like nice stuff but have no interest in a cue that I wouldn't use. I'm sure I buy art that others can't fathom why I would spend money on something so ridiculous.

I completely reject the whole notion of it having anything to do with the cuemaker trying harder or focusing more. That may contribute to the quality but it has no direct impact on the market value. The other thing to keep in mind is that premium priced objects can take dramatic dives in value and it is entirely possible that in 10 or 15 years the cues people scramble to pay $5000 for and lock away in a safe will be worth $1500.
 

PDX

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
It doesn't matter if it is a watch, a car, a pen, a guitar or a pool cue, there will always be someone that is top of the heap. Dennis has the ability to fill that position. While a few of his earlier cues are not my cup of tea, overall his cues rather pleasing to the eye.
If you look back at greats, George, Gus, Balner, Ernie, Tad, Herman, DPK, Peterson, Runde, Spain, all the influential makers from the time span between the 50's and the mid 80's, beside crafting outstanding playing cues, they all have built cues with great aesthetics.
Most people don't like points where the gap is too wide, something as small as a 1/16", and it can look disproportionate. Inlays too large or too small, look odd. Busy cues are generally ugly to most, but when Tad did a cue to the hilt, it looked amazing, as his inlays where in the correct proportion to be found pleasing and well executed. George's short snubbed nosed pins from his early cues are nowhere near as good looking as the gently rounded pins he came to use as a standard, with a specific length to boot.

While I have never laid hands on a Searing, or through unfiltered eyes, but it would seem that his execution is exceptional, using the highest available quality of materials, built under the precise eye of a true professional to the highest calibre, and he has an eye for pleasing proportions and understated elegance. On top of that, they apparently do their job of being a pool cue quite well too.

The statement regarding 80-90% of pool players not knowing who Dennis is, well, ask 100 people who wear watches if they know what Vacheron Constantin or Patek Phillippe is and I'm sure you will get a lot of shoulder shrugs and blank stares.

So, while I can not afford a Searing, I won't bash the prices that the cues demand. There are some exceptionally DEEP pockets in this forum who wouldn't bat an eye at dropping 10-100k at an investment, which is what the custom cue market has been for quite a while.
 

DJ14.1

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Along the lines of this thread, do any of you have the online subscription to the Blue Book of cues? I was thinking about getting one and wanted to get some opinions. Is it worth it?
 

doctorb98

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Along the lines of this thread, do any of you have the online subscription to the Blue Book of cues? I was thinking about getting one and wanted to get some opinions. Is it worth it?

Not worth the paper it's printed on as far as real life transaction values.....lots of other good information though.....
 

WildWing

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
A lot of high spirit on this thread, which I like. But, you have to admit, most of it is a bit general. But, since a lot of known experts have weighed in, and say Dennis is the best, I won't argue with that. Some have more experience than me, and given the experience of some of the members who have spoken, I'll take what they say as the truth, for now.

Here comes the kicker. You have to admit, when you put one person above all else, you have to find some deficiencies in the others in the master rank. Sort of like the Dan rank in Judo. Anyway, I'd like to hear and see, very specifically, where the following cuemakers would come up with slight deficiencies compared to Dennis:

Pete Tascarella
Barry Szamboti
Ernie Guttierrez
Joel Hercek
Tony Scianella
Richard Black
Ed Prewitt
Bob Owen
Jerry Rauenzahn
Tim Scruggs (I know he's retired, but I think his cues are pretty current)

Others may belong in this list, it's only a few off the top of my head.

Again, let me repeat, this is not to start an argument. Think of it as discovery. I'm accepting of the opinion of the experts in this thread. But as many graduate professors told me a long time ago, specifics win debates, while emotions and generalities do not.

More debating lessons available, but not right away...
 
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Shooter08

Runde Aficianado
Silver Member
I am not very familiar with Searing cues, but it seems from the few that I have seen they are not as "artistisic" for lack of a better term. I'm the first to want a player and not care about the looks of one, so please nobody take offense.
 

jasonlaus

Rep for Smorg
Gold Member
Silver Member
A lot of high spirit on this thread, which I like. But, you have to admit, most of it is a bit general. But, since a lot of known experts have weighed in, and say Dennis is the best, I won't argue with that. Some have more experience than me, and given the experience of some of the members who have spoken, I'll take what they say as the truth, for now.

Here comes the kicker. You have to admit, when you put one person above all else, you have to find some deficiencies in the others in the master rank. Sort of like the Dan rank in Judo. Anyway, I'd like to hear and see, very specifically, where the following cuemakers would come up with slight deficiencies compared to Dennis:

Pete Tascarella
Barry Szamboti
Ernie Guttierrez
Tony Scianella
Richard Black
Ed Prewitt
Bob Owen
Jerry Rauenzahn
Tim Scruggs (I know he's retired, but I think his cues are pretty current)

Others may belong in this list, it's only a few off the top of my head.

Again, let me repeat, this is not to start an argument. Think of it as discovery. I'm accepting of the opinion of the experts in this thread. But as many graduate professors told me a long time ago, specifics win debates, while emotions and generalities do not.

More debating lessons available, but not right away...

None of them are in the same league as far as tolerances go, you'd be surprised at some of the guys using filler
 

leto1776

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I knew it was only a matter of time before someone mentioned "tolerances" in a Searing thread.


When determining value, always remember that some people will buy into any hype, and a sucker is born every minute. Some sucker payed $4k for a plain Jane on eBay.
 

Kid Dynomite

Dennis (Michael) Wilson
Silver Member
^^^ Not a sucker.Its actually worth more.
Marc

Marc
Replacement cost is based on the number of man hours to replicate the same level of tolerances and craftsmanship!!!

A cue can have very little labor and show it or have a ton of labor and attention to detail and show it!

Most cues have more labor in them then you would think!

Kd
 

Bavafongoul

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
As owner of a couple of the cue-makers WildWing mentioned, as well as being the OP of this thread, allow me to tell you about one of the cue-makers he mentioned.
I immediately spotted a difference in his cue-making and in fact, called the cue-maker about this specific feature after testing the cue he made for me..

The cue-maker was Bob Owen and I've already gone on record that the cue Bob built for me could be the best playing cue I own. I hesitate to say it's the best until after I
get my new shafts from Ed Prewitt. The new shafts will render my cue about 0.3 - 0.4 ozs lighter which will bring my EP cue closer in weight to all my other cues, including
the Owen cue. Presently, my Owen cue is the best hitting pool cue I own but I have a hunch when the Prewitt cue is able to play just a little lighter, it will be my best hitting cue.

So I noticed something that makes Bob cue-making a little different than the other cue-makers I've owned and my current group of cue-makers. He uses a unique cue shaft taper
and although you can specify the length of the taper or just defer to Bob's standard taper length, the bell shape of the cue shaft gets extended from its collar a longer length before
the taper of the shaft starts. It's a noticeably longer length than any other cue-maker I've owned and it becomes readily apparent when laying cues, or just the shafts, side by side.

When I called Bob to discuss what I observed, he explained that by experimentation with different taper shapes, and cue shafts in general, over the years he discovered this design
to provide the most solid feeling of a cue striking the cue ball. Well, son of a gun, he was darn tootin' right, and I am telling you no holds barred, this Owen cue plays amazing.

And as far as workmanship, I'll let you guys decide but l've got absolutely no gripes with the way Bob made this cue and it's wasn't easy. I drew the design that he had to follow
and I gave him very hard cue specs to meet. Mr. Owen split the fairway with a 400 yard drive when he made my cue.....he got it all right which wasn't easy since I also furnished
a light weight for my cue's butt and a heavy weight for my cue's shafts.

Anyway, that's a genuine cue-making difference I noticed about my Bob Owen pool cue.

Matt B.

p.s. I also messed up the veneers arrangement and should have instead specified thin black/red/blue/green/orange veneers over ebony points. Oh well, live and learn; it was my first attempt.
Anyway, hopefully I got it right with the veneers I picked for the Bushka Tribute Jerry R. almost has completed.....got my fingers crossed......stay tuned for photos.
 

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