Ridgeback vs. Penguin and a cloth question

Nature Boy

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I think I’m going to get a table soon. I really want a Diamond, but not sure I want to spend that much as a part-time player. I’m probably going to get one of the rebuilt bar boxes from the guy in North Carolina.

I want the table to play a little tougher, and would like to know opinions on Ridgeback or Penguin rails, which to get.

Also, is Simonis Tournament Blue the only option for a serious player? I used to like a more nappy cloth, but understand nobody is using that these days.

Thanks for any and all advice!
 

u12armresl

One Pocket back cutter
Silver Member
I think I’m going to get a table soon. I really want a Diamond, but not sure I want to spend that much as a part-time player. I’m probably going to get one of the rebuilt bar boxes from the guy in North Carolina.

I want the table to play a little tougher, and would like to know opinions on Ridgeback or Penguin rails, which to get.

Also, is Simonis Tournament Blue the only option for a serious player? I used to like a more nappy cloth, but understand nobody is using that these days.

Thanks for any and all advice!
LOVE the penguin pro cut rails, especially on my Valley. I have a video (not real professional) of how it looks.
 

Texas Carom Club

play 1cushion & balkline
Silver Member
Have zero complaints about the penguin procut pockets I put on mine

No one can get ahold of ridgeback anymore.

You can buy them from the penguin site with or without the cloth and find whichever you might like,

Championship has a cheap carpet like cloth
 

boogieman

It don't mean a thing if it ain't got that ping.
I think I’m going to get a table soon. I really want a Diamond, but not sure I want to spend that much as a part-time player. I’m probably going to get one of the rebuilt bar boxes from the guy in North Carolina.

I want the table to play a little tougher, and would like to know opinions on Ridgeback or Penguin rails, which to get.

Also, is Simonis Tournament Blue the only option for a serious player? I used to like a more nappy cloth, but understand nobody is using that these days.

Thanks for any and all advice!
I believe Penguin pro has 4 1/4" pockets. It's such a great table when combined with nice simonis cloth. I hadn't played on a diamond for years, but did recently. After the penguin, a 4 1/2" diamond feels like you're playing on 5" valley pockets. Penguin rails are very fair and playing the tighter pockets on a penguin equipped table will make a diamond seem easy, even with the deeper shelf. The rails are very lively so you won't get away with BS hits, you gotta thread the needle if you want to make a tough cut that is frozen to a rail.

Honestly I love a Diamond, but the Penguin rails turn a bucket pocket Valley into a real enthusiast grade table. The ugly duckling becomes a swan when Penguin comes around. ;) :)
 

crabbcatjohn

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Penguin pro cut are 4-1/8. Play better with 860 on them. Makes a valley a lot better, but the shelf is still a little short. We play with them all the time around here. They also bank good.
 

Cuebuddy

Mini cues
Silver Member
I recently rebuilt a Valley for my oldest son and his wife. My boy loves the game but is not a strong player yet. I did this last spring and was lucky to get a set of rails, I was told that Penguin was having trouble getting raw materials from their supplier.

Penguin strongly advised me to get the regular cut rails since my kid did not compete in tourneys or leagues.
I recovered the table with Simonis Tournament blue and had the rails delivered with the cloth on them.

The table plays very nice and the rails banked great.
IMHO Penguin has a awesome product and they were very easy to work with.
 

garczar

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Just my $.02 here but i think Simonis is too fast for a bar-box. Play like a pin-ball machine to me. Championship MercuryUltra is imo the best bb cloth out there. Fast enough but not stupid. I will also add this: if you live in a really humid place 860 Simonis is ok. The humidity will slow it down enough to be playable.
 

bradsh98

Bradshaw Billiard Service
Gold Member
Silver Member
Just my $.02 here but i think Simonis is too fast for a bar-box. Play like a pin-ball machine to me. Championship MercuryUltra is imo the best bb cloth out there. Fast enough but not stupid. I will also add this: if you live in a really humid place 860 Simonis is ok. The humidity will slow it down enough to be playable.
I fully agree. Valley cabinets sag. Always! Because of that, the slate is always low in the middle. Fast cloth exaggerates the effect.

Go with Championship Mercury Ultra cloth and Penguin Pro Rails.
 

Nature Boy

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Thanks for the advice guys. I’m surprised to see quite a few negative thoughts towards Simonis Tournament cloth.

Now y’all have really given me something to ponder.

I tried to find some contact information for Ridgeback, and couldn’t find anything.

Someone mentioned sag, and I have never heard of that. If a good mechanic rebuilds the table, is this still a problem?
 
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