Drop pockets or ball return?

rexus31

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
No bad answers. Everyone making valid points. I have a ball return and like it but it can be rough on expensive balls. I had chips of slate in my table when new and ruined a box of Aramith tournaments . :mad: $370. I cleaned out the gulleys and it's been fine ever since.
Please explain. What kind of table? I can't see how the rail tracks could damage a ball.

I installed drop pockets after I restored my Gold Crown I but switched to ball return about a month later. It's a give and take. I miss walking around and throwing the balls out and knocking them in but the ball return is nice because the balls are in one place. As a result, I'm now racking every rack I play and my break has improved. To minimize the sound, I cut up a left over carpet tile from my flooring project and it's done a nice job of dampening the sound.

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Island Drive

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
What is your preference for a home table? I'm not asking about preferences for pool halls, tourneys, etc., just home tables. Also, what is the reason for your preference? Drop pockets or ball return?
Until you've owned a home table, it's not easy to reply. Kinda like your first car, did you like it or want a different one after use? I could be wrong, but I'd think some tables it would be difficult to find ball return pockets if replacement was needed. Like a new car, why buy one when no one in your area works on that type. With my height 6'6'', I'd rather NOT bend down to retrieve balls.
 

CocoboloCowboy

Cowboys are my hero's
Silver Member
Matters not to me, but let me make observation anti Diamond Pro-Am.

Should ball become stuck in ball return,you have to deal with doors that require tools to open. To recover lost ball.

Gold Crowns use rails return running outside slate area, so stuck balls are easier to retrieve.

Drop pocket are fool proof, plus back savers.👍
 

TrxR

Well-known member
Matters not to me, but let me make observation anti Diamond Pro-Am.

Should ball become stuck in ball return,you have to deal with doors that require tools to open. To recover lost ball.

Gold Crowns use rails return running outside slate area, so stuck balls are easier to retrieve.

Drop pocket are fool proof, plus back savers.👍
I don't see how a ball would ever get stuck in a Pro-Am. They use very short runs into one big cavity in the middle. If something did happen to stop in that cavity it can be seen and got to with cue from either end I believe.
 

FairladyZ

The Boss Stooge
Silver Member
Drop pockets. The clunking & clanging of the ball return is obnoxious & annoying. If you're concerned about walking around the table to fetch balls, geez; why are you even playing in the first place!! :rolleyes:

Of course that's just my humble opinion.
 

phreaticus

Well-known member
I don't see how a ball would ever get stuck in a Pro-Am. They use very short runs into one big cavity in the middle. If something did happen to stop in that cavity it can be seen and got to with cue from either end I believe.
Happens all the time, chalk dropped into pockets is the usual culprit, similar to coin op barboxes. Often one can jam a house cue up the main chute, but eventually you’ll be unlocking the cabinet doors. Probably not a major factor in a home env, (unless there are teenagers around 😁)
 

CocoboloCowboy

Cowboys are my hero's
Silver Member
I don't see how a ball would ever get stuck in a Pro-Am. They use very short runs into one big cavity in the middle. If something did happen to stop in that cavity it can be seen and got to with cue from either end I believe.

We had it happen once, and reason was apparently someone, couple people dropped chalk down pocket.

Created perfect stopper for ball to get hind up.

That is why Diamond put doors on table bottom.
 

Bavafongoul

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Drop pockets……..sure, all the balls gather at one end with subway rails but the cue ball goes there
as a well as wrongly pocketed balls. Leather drop pockets are my preference. I like the acoustics of
OB going in the pockets versus the sounds of the ball return system. And retrieving the CB and any
OB is easy with DP. I always walk the table when I shoot any shot so when the rack is finished, pulling
the OBs from the pockets already fits in with my routine. Subway ball returns are not my favorite style.
 

TrxR

Well-known member
Happens all the time, chalk dropped into pockets is the usual culprit, similar to coin op barboxes. Often one can jam a house cue up the main chute, but eventually you’ll be unlocking the cabinet doors. Probably not a major factor in a home env, (unless there are teenagers around 😁)
Now are these the barbox smart table versions? Is the ball return different from the normal pro am ?
 

phreaticus

Well-known member
Now are these the barbox smart table versions? Is the ball return different from the normal pro am ?
I see it happen a lot on the Diamond smart table barboxes, but have also seen chalk/balls hang up on regular proAms. I think the overall size/shape of the table & internal return box is the same on the pro-am & smart tables, but the smart table has some electronics gunk inside, and I’m not really sure what the detailed differences are inside. The smart table bb’s also seem to randomly dump the CB into the return box, and OBs into the CB return sometimes, but not chalk related…

BTW, not bashing Diamond bar boxes or ProAMs, both play great and this is all minor stuff in my view.
 
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CocoboloCowboy

Cowboys are my hero's
Silver Member
Well the Diamond people put trap door in because people goof, like dropping thing in holes that are not pool balls.
 

Fatboy

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
My table came with a return so I guess I am in the ball return camp. I could probably learn to like either. For 1P there is nothing better than an old GC, you have plenty of ball storage area for whatever you can think of and there are also counters. As far as ball returns being dirty the GC has open wire ball gullies, not sure how those can get balls dirty and out of habit I clean my pockets and ball box every time I clean the cloth.
Me2 I clean everything. Easier than letting it get real dirty then it’s a job, not a wipe down.
 

FrankieD

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Well the Diamond people put trap door in because people goof, like dropping thing in holes that are not pool balls.

You are speaking solely of coin operated Diamond Pros. Chalk is very easy to get out of pockets of a Pro Am with a ball return that is not coin operated.
 

iusedtoberich

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Strong preference for drop pockets, and this is after growing up on ball return GC's for 20 years before getting my own home table GC4.

The balls stay cleaner. Its quieter (I do put a sock in the bottom of each pocket). Its easier to do repetitive drills because all the balls you just shot are in the same pocket, most likely near where the doughnut was. Less bending to get the balls if you have any joint issues.
 
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