In depth semi-custom JB Case Review

johnnysd

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Thought I would give a pretty complete review of my JB case and the overall experience. It is a JB Rugged with the extra deep pockets, an Embroidered Dragon and a Dragon Font name embroidered. 3x6, extra tall to accommodate the Dragon. TLDR version: I like it quite a bit, and would recommend JB Cases definitely. Some thoughts and suggestions below.

Ordering Process B- Ordering a JB case was very simple overall. The configuration tool is pretty neat, and it was fun coming up with different combinations of colors and configurations and the tool is relatively easy to use. It has a good number of custom options. I wanted a Dragon embroidered on mine and it was quite simple to add in the graphic file and indicate placement. You can leave notes and need to but slightly awkward. Still it is a very good teal and offering the customization the tool allows at the price points JB sells for is pretty amazing to be honest.

That said, I think their configuration tool needs an update to 2.0 or so. The tool could be a bit easier to use, but mostly it is missing a lot of options that are available. Now certainly John will say anything custom is available, but I used several "standard" options that were not really documented anywhere. My case used a gold fabric which is not listed and different than tan but saw it available in a ready made case they had available. Also, "Murnak handles" an option I added a little after the order, I only knew existed watching a case of the week video.

Even if it is just a list JB cases should show all these available options. They are likely costing themselves revenue not marketing some of the upgrades more visibly. That said no one else offers this so while there are improvements to be made, it is still a great tool and ordering is simple

Lead Time B+ I ordered on August 20 and it shipped December 13. JB Cases has an 8 week "don't ask for an update" policy which I think is completely reasonable. They did provide updates and pics along the way, asked me to approve the Dragon and for something custom I think roughly 4 months is not bad. Still, it is twice as long as their standard cases, and it is still 4 months which for many will be "too" long. But I am used to waiting for custom cues and Murnak too longer to make a case by quite a bit, as did Whitten. Also note, I ordered right after the APA World Championships so that might have been poor timing and added to the lead time a bit because of how busy they are.

Changes A As I said I added the Murnak leather handles (and at the same time changed the strap to red) about a month into the process when i noticed the option in the video. Asia was super helpful and accommodating for the change and it was great for them to be willing to make the changes. It did lead to some minor issues late though.

Delivery A+ Perfect. When it shipped an email update was sent with complete info and tracking. Delivered a day earlier than the expectation set by the email. Case was securely and protectively boxed and arrived perfect

Quality Control and Post Sales Support B for QC, A for Support
Case came with a couple of issues but JB did everything one could reasonably expect to make it right. I had asked for a towel ring but none was installed. John offered to completely rebuild case. Super generous but not really reasonable to accept and I didnt want to wait another 4 months, so we settled on the add in towel ring which he gave at no charge. Excellent. Case also came with a strap that was half gold, half red. Probably equal fault here as it was a late add on and I could have been more explicit. Still they sent a replacement red strap which again is great customer service so no complaints here

Overall Case Grade A Case is really very nice, The Dragon looks nice, the font treatment well done, materials are high quality (more later) and it is a very solid, very well made case. I am very happy. Some details below

Construction A Construction is very high level. It is a very solid case. All the connecting parts are very secure. There is clearly a lot of thought put into the quality level of materials used. Very sturdy. One small thing which is impressive is that it stands upright pretty securely. Not very heavy for quality and construction methods used. Provides good security for cues (more on interior below. Leather on the handles matches the material excellently.

Interior B- Probably JB Case biggest calling card but in my case I have some reservations many which are personal preferences and will not be shared by all. I owned an earlier JB case with the rugged interior and did not like it that much. I thought that the padding between openings was very thin, and with how tight the interior was the cues scraped against each other in a way that I was not comfortable with. At the APA Championships I looked at their interiors and noticed that they wee much improved in terms of material between the cue butts and shafts and even when loaded did not present that scraping issue I noticed before. Seeing that it was better I decided to order one.

I ordered a 3x6 intending to use it is a 2x3. It works well. I am appreciate of the protection it provides and how the cues cannot come flying out which is awesome. I did fully load it and it still seems just too tight for my comfort that way, but do not think it will causes any damage.

I have had some conversations with John about an interior where there was much more padding essentially creating fabric tubes for each part. Would be reduced capacity for a given case size but would be best of both worlds. I am not sure John every really got what I meant.

Particular to my case, because the case is so tall the interior depth is also proportionally deeper. It essentially swallows up a normal sized cue. John sent 2 spacer kits which is like a stocking with a slot for a little PVC tube. It seems like a decent solution but has not worked so well as what seems to happen since I do not load the interior, the tubes eventually get pushed sideways inside the slot and then the cue disappears again. I used 1 and a half of the PVC tubes for my break cue and that seems to be working better for the butt. Still I will have to use a spacer for every slot and that will be an added expense and a bit of a pain in the butt. The shafts can completely disappear and be difficult to get out.

The interior of this case could probably support a 68" cue maybe more.

I wish that JB Cases had alerted me of this potential issue before case was shipped. I have no plans on using anything other than a 58" cue. My friend bought a standard sized one and the cues fit perfectly. I wish I had been given the option of just using a standard interior size with maybe like a padded false "floor" in the case so I didn't have to futz with spacers and all that

Whitten cases have a bit of this issue as well. To be honest I quite like the shorter tubes in the Instroke cases as it is uber easy to get cues in an out since they never get buried in the tube.

All that said it is an excellent interior and worthy of the praise it gets. I will likely look into buying a custom sleeve from JB to solve my personal issue

Handles A Indeed very much like real Murnak handles which are very thick all leather handles. High quality and feel great. Recommend people try them it was a very reasonably priced upgrade and a significant improvement IMO. Color matches great with the fabric. Maybe John will copy the single pocket design from Murnak some day, that is killer.

Zippers A+ Zippers are as nice as I have seen on anything I have owned. As good as the zippers on Whittens maybe better. Little thing but it speaks to long life. Leather zipper pulls are great and standard on all cases

Pockets A I bought the deeper pockets and they are great. Material is firm enough to keep the shape and the velcro interior allows great flexibility in adding pockets and dividers

Strap B Decent design with high quality materials but the pad is not super comfortable. Not a big fan of straps anyway. Better than most straps but a bit worse than straps on some other cases I have had

Accessories B- I have a plain pocket and one of the little chalk pockets. They are OK, little difficult to get the mesh front open which limits the functionality a bit. Have the lid mounted cue ball holder. Don't love it, it's fine and many will like it. I dont use it and the bottom pocket is so huge there is no issue just throwing the ball, Q Claw and all the accessories down there

Dragon A- Embroidery is awesome and it really pops. Only slight negative is that is maybe just a little too big as it starts to wrap slightly around the curve of the case. Still love it.

Value A+ For what the standard cases cost, there is really not a better overall case for the money. Quality, design and protection are leaps and bounds above other cases. It absolutely shocks me to see someone at the APA show for example look at the JB and the Acme case and decide the $50-$100 savings makes sense. No comparison at all. My case was semi-custom but still well below $400 with all the adders and completely worth it. Plus I am not sure I could get the case anywhere else

Conclusion Very happy with the purchase and definitely recommend anyone wanting a basic functional case with exceptional cue protection and with a little pizzaz and customized in terms of colors purchase one.

For me personally I still think a Whitten or Murnak is a "better" overall case. They are not as protective, (mostly for cues coming out if it falls) but in the case Whitten there is just this elegance and beauty and impeccable workmanship that is hard to achieve. Murnaks are incredibly well made and durable and the single huge pocket is incredibly functional and beautiful.

That said. I will need another case here soon for a cue that is coming and I think it likely I buy another JB
 

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johnnysd

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
More pictures.
 

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Snooker Theory

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
A really thoughtful review, enjoyed reading it. So I am curious, you said "The shafts can completely disappear and be difficult to get out. The interior of this case could probably support a 68" cue maybe more." I am a bit confused on that part, is this case longer than standard or something?
 

johnnysd

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
A really thoughtful review, enjoyed reading it. So I am curious, you said "The shafts can completely disappear and be difficult to get out. The interior of this case could probably support a 68" cue maybe more." I am a bit confused on that part, is this case longer than standard or something?

Yes. the height was made larger to accommodate the Dragaon embroidery over the pocket. You can see the comparison in the attached pic. Problem is that it makes the depth of the interior maybe 35" or so which a 29" shaft can sort of just disappear if it slides down. The interior usually holds it up a little but it can go pretty far down. Have not installed spacers in every opening yet.
 

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JB Cases

www.jbcases.com
Gold Member
Silver Member
Hello,

The interior can be modified to hold what you want. It can be set to only accept whatever length you want. Spacers can also be made at a larger diameter.

If you have any programmers who can do what I want send the to me. I have spent over 10k getting ripped off by people who don't have the slightest idea what I want the site to do.

Regarding the delivery time, 8 weeks is an estimate and depending on when the design work is done and any change orders have been worked out.

Thank you for the thorough review. While I disagree with some of your grades I am overall pleased I can tell you with 100 certainty though that our padded liner was extremely unlikely to have allowed your cues to be scratched. I have gone to great lengths trying to cause cue damage that way and I can't do it without tearing the cavity liner because of oversized metal joint protectors with the case overstuffed and all of the thickest parts going the same direction.

Regarding cloth tubes, yes I understood and have done similar when prototyping. I find that the way I designed it works the best out of there many different versions I prototyped. However we try to accommodate customers and if they want to pay for the time to develop an interior to their satisfaction we are certainly willing to do the work.

You can take the interior out and fill it up and see that there is no pressure capable of scratching a cue. You can also modify that interior that your have to only accept the cue length your prefer. Contact me for instructions on how to do that if you want to try it.
 

johnnysd

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Hello,

The interior can be modified to hold what you want. It can be set to only accept whatever length you want. Spacers can also be made at a larger diameter.

If you have any programmers who can do what I want send the to me. I have spent over 10k getting ripped off by people who don't have the slightest idea what I want the site to do.

Regarding the delivery time, 8 weeks is an estimate and depending on when the design work is done and any change orders have been worked out.

Thank you for the thorough review. While I disagree with some of your grades I am overall pleased I can tell you with 100 certainty though that our padded liner was extremely unlikely to have allowed your cues to be scratched. I have gone to great lengths trying to cause cue damage that way and I can't do it without tearing the cavity liner because of oversized metal joint protectors with the case overstuffed and all of the thickest parts going the same direction.

Regarding cloth tubes, yes I understood and have done similar when prototyping. I find that the way I designed it works the best out of there many different versions I prototyped. However we try to accommodate customers and if they want to pay for the time to develop an interior to their satisfaction we are certainly willing to do the work.

You can take the interior out and fill it up and see that there is no pressure capable of scratching a cue. You can also modify that interior that your have to only accept the cue length your prefer. Contact me for instructions on how to do that if you want to try it.

Just to clarify, I did not experience with scratching in this case, and thought I was clear that I did not think the interior would cause that in this case. The scratching I experienced was with a much older GTF case that I had had for a while.

I would be interested in a revised interior for this one. I will send my thoughts and maybe you can provide a price.
 

CocoboloCowboy

Cowboys are my heros.
Silver Member
Just to clarify, I did not experience with scratching in this case, and thought I was clear that I did not think the interior would cause that in this case. The scratching I experienced was with a much older GTF case that I had had for a while.

I would be interested in a revised interior for this one. I will send my thoughts and maybe you can provide a price.

I have (2) GTF, both One X Two, they are GREAT.

About 1 time per month, I wax my Cue, it offers some scratching resistance. I use Cue Wax in a Can, like a Can of Saddle Soap.
 

buyit

New member
I ordered a 3x6 intending to use it is a 2x3. It works well. I am appreciate of the protection it provides and how the cues cannot come flying out which is awesome. I did fully load it and it still seems just too tight for my comfort that way, but do not think it will causes any damage.

I have had some conversations with John about an interior where there was much more padding essentially creating fabric tubes for each part. Would be reduced capacity for a given case size but would be best of both worlds. I am not sure John every really got what I meant.
In my experience, the interior of a JB case is way too small. I have a 4x8, and practically it's really a 4x6. When I try to fit 8 shafts, just like you found, my shafts hit each other going in, and I'm worried about scraping the rings. Even with only 6 shafts, I have to be very careful sliding in the last shaft on each side. I guess that's fine if all your cues are well worn players--but not great if your cues are pristine collectables. The bottom line is that the cases need to be bigger, and like you posted, there needs to be more separation between the slots, so that you don't bang shafts or butts against each other when sliding them in. Also, with 8 shafts I feel the shafts are in there so tight that they might warp. I don't think a case should put that much pressure on a shaft, but JB has probably tested that, so I assume I am just fretting too much.

Thanks for the suggestion on Whitten and Murnak.
 
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David in FL

AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
Silver Member
In my experience, the interior of a JB case is way too small. I have a 4x8, and practically it's really a 4x6. When I try to fit 8 shafts, just like you found, my shafts hit each other going in, and I'm worried about scraping the rings. Even with only 6 shafts, I have to be very careful sliding in the last shaft on each side. I guess that's fine if all your cues are well worn players--but not great if your cues are pristine collectables. The bottom line is that the cases need to be bigger, and like you posted, there needs to be more separation between the slots, so that you don't bang shafts or butts against each other when sliding them in. Also, with 8 shafts I feel the shafts are in there so tight that they might warp. I don't think a case should put that much pressure on a shaft.

Thanks for the suggestion on Whitten and Murnak.
I look at it completely differently. When the shafts and butts are held tightly, they cannot rattle around and bang into each other.

You are right though, you need to take care putting the butts in when the case is full. But that really just means an extra 5 seconds of care, rather than just slam it in. I’m willing to take that extra 5 seconds. Of course, you may feel differently...
 

johnnysd

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
In my experience, the interior of a JB case is way too small. I have a 4x8, and practically it's really a 4x6. When I try to fit 8 shafts, just like you found, my shafts hit each other going in, and I'm worried about scraping the rings. Even with only 6 shafts, I have to be very careful sliding in the last shaft on each side. I guess that's fine if all your cues are well worn players--but not great if your cues are pristine collectables. The bottom line is that the cases need to be bigger, and like you posted, there needs to be more separation between the slots, so that you don't bang shafts or butts against each other when sliding them in. Also, with 8 shafts I feel the shafts are in there so tight that they might warp. I don't think a case should put that much pressure on a shaft, but JB has probably tested that, so I assume I am just fretting too much.

Thanks for the suggestion on Whitten and Murnak.

In my opinion you do not want the pieces of your cue held together too tightly. Eventually I went back to JB and had them make me a 2x4 interior for my 3x6 case with tons of extra padding. The shafts and butts do not come close to touching and they are really cushioned well without being locked together. They can move around a bit which in my opinion is far better than rigidly being held to each other. I feel way more comfortable with the case now. I am just not a fan of the standard interior at all. Overall very good cases and tremendous value, but I do not think I would ever buy another unless JB came out with some better interior options.

Just got a Fellini that is in new condition, a It's George 1x2 in 9.9/10 condition and had another 1x2 It's George made new by the ma who is doing them now. Awesome cases
 

JB Cases

www.jbcases.com
Gold Member
Silver Member
In my experience, the interior of a JB case is way too small. I have a 4x8, and practically it's really a 4x6. When I try to fit 8 shafts, just like you found, my shafts hit each other going in, and I'm worried about scraping the rings. Even with only 6 shafts, I have to be very careful sliding in the last shaft on each side. I guess that's fine if all your cues are well worn players--but not great if your cues are pristine collectables. The bottom line is that the cases need to be bigger, and like you posted, there needs to be more separation between the slots, so that you don't bang shafts or butts against each other when sliding them in. Also, with 8 shafts I feel the shafts are in there so tight that they might warp. I don't think a case should put that much pressure on a shaft, but JB has probably tested that, so I assume I am just fretting too much.

Thanks for the suggestion on Whitten and Murnak.
What pressure do you think is being exerted on the shafts? If you hold your shaft with your fingers just snugly enough to stop them from moving that about the amount of force applied to the shaft. There is no pressure applied to the shafts in any way that could warp them.

It is impossible for a shaft to be damaged through pressure in our cases.
 

JB Cases

www.jbcases.com
Gold Member
Silver Member
In my opinion you do not want the pieces of your cue held together too tightly. Eventually I went back to JB and had them make me a 2x4 interior for my 3x6 case with tons of extra padding. The shafts and butts do not come close to touching and they are really cushioned well without being locked together. They can move around a bit which in my opinion is far better than rigidly being held to each other. I feel way more comfortable with the case now. I am just not a fan of the standard interior at all. Overall very good cases and tremendous value, but I do not think I would ever buy another unless JB came out with some better interior options.

Just got a Fellini that is in new condition, a It's George 1x2 in 9.9/10 condition and had another 1x2 It's George made new by the ma who is doing them now. Awesome cases
The interior can be made however you want it. We will do whatever work a person wants to pay for. If I have to spend a week developing an interior specifically for one customer then the work would need to be paid for.

I have built it's George interiors and repaired several it's George cases. If you want that kind of interior we can easily make it.
 

johnnysd

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
The interior can be made however you want it. We will do whatever work a person wants to pay for. If I have to spend a week developing an interior specifically for one customer then the work would need to be paid for.

I have built it's George interiors and repaired several it's George cases. If you want that kind of interior we can easily make it.
John as I mentioned you did make me a different interior for my case which I am quite pleased with which is a 2x4 in the 3x6 space. I left a positive review for the case here to start this thread. I think you make terrific cases. I just personally do not like how tight the standard interiors are but I am mostly in the minority, and the fact you made me a different interior is great.
 

buyit

New member
I was thinking about a fix: each slot could employ a sleeve of stretchy material that extends 3" from the top of the slot. That way you could grab the sleeve with your fingers, then guide the shaft into the sleeve. At the point a shaft would potentially contact another shaft or butt, it would be inside the sleeve, so no scratches. Also, the sleeve would help guide the shaft into the small opening for each shaft slot. I find that inserting a shaft joint first is pretty difficult when my 4x8 case is nearly full and sometimes not possible. After you've inserted a shaft, you could then fold the sleeve over the end of the shaft, or just let the sleeve lay on top of the other shafts/butts. I sort of like the idea of all the slots having a sleeve extension. I guess it's time to try a modification.
 
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Sunchaser

Belgian Malinois
Silver Member
Thanks for a well thought out review of Jb cases. Im just about to get one for everyday use. I dont like the wait time but it is what it is.
 

bignick31985

Life Long Learner
Silver Member
Nice review! Only case I'll use. Sold off my 4ish year old 3x6 for a 4x8. The one I sold looked unused, except for wear on the zipper pulls. To be expected. Impossible to beat for $$$.
 
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