Why buy a custom cue over a national brand?

pwd72s

recreational banger
Silver Member
I've often wondered what the pros would use if cue manufacturers didn't sponsor them. Billy Thorp got dropped by Predator...doesn't look like switching to (Meucci? I forget.) another brand hurt his game any.

No way to know, but makes for fun speculation. Remember reading that SVB started playing with a Schon his mom gave him.
 

chenjy9

Active member
I've often wondered what the pros would use if cue manufacturers didn't sponsor them. Billy Thorp got dropped by Predator...doesn't look like switching to (Meucci? I forget.) another brand hurt his game any.

No way to know, but makes for fun speculation. Remember reading that SVB started playing with a Schon his mom gave him.
Whatever they can afford
 

MurrayNevada

AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
That theory doesn’t hold up in real life, Philly.
Countless examples of how important a cue is....mostly how it spins.
....it’s the arrow AND the Indian.
Geronimo would’ve agreed with me.
I agree that it's the "Indian AND the arrow." I think I know the arrows Geronimo would choose:

Arrrows modern.jpg


Arrow Indian.jpg
 

pwd72s

recreational banger
Silver Member
Sharpness aside I think the modern ones would fly the truest.
No argument there....but cues are cues. arrows are arrows. Couldn't help but notice that both players in the finals of the US open used wood shafts on their playing cues. One broke and jumped with a Carbon fiber shaft.

 

Jimbojim

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I feel like getting a custom made to the very last spec is always gamble because you're never really guaranteed to have the hit that you want anyway. Or maybe I just haven't tried enough customs.
 

gcmortal

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Here is something people may not consider though. How many custom cue makers are supporting the community? Which ones sponsor tournaments? Which ones get new players interested in playing?
Local makers are part of their community and support everyone else by doing repair work. I'm grateful to be lucky enough to drive a short distance and get anything at all done. He will be doing a conversion once I get off my ass and figure out the specs.
 

middleofnowhere

Registered
I feel like getting a custom made to the very last spec is always gamble because you're never really guaranteed to have the hit that you want anyway. Or maybe I just haven't tried enough customs.
I think in most cases most players definition of a custom cue outside of the inlay work is probably the weight, shaft diameter and maybe the style of joint flat-faced steel and so on.

For the last 35 years or so any cues that I seriously played with I built myself. There are so many nuances you can fuss with if you can do them yourself that you could never deal with a cue maker on.

Could you imagine getting a $2,000 cue delivered and then a month later calling the cue maker and saying you know what, can you turn the butt down another .050.

I didn't just come up with that example. There's a guy coming in my pool room not a real real good player but this guy bet hi and he could play a little, some on here would know his name.. He just got a new Joss and was playing with it but he kept putting it down and picking up his old cue and something was wrong.

A few nights later he's playing and next thing you know he's got a knife out and he's cutting the wrap off the cue, this week old Joss. He knew the worst case scenario I can rewrap it for him but that's not the point.

Removing the wrap lightened the cue by about a half an ounce and it made it about .050 thinner. He played with that cue with no wrap for the next couple of years.
 
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philly

AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
Silver Member
That theory doesn’t hold up in real life, Philly.
Countless examples of how important a cue is....mostly how it spins.
....it’s the arrow AND the Indian.
Geronimo would’ve agreed with me.
I see your point.
What is the average Fargo of the dedicated player in a poolroom?
Let's say it's 650, and I am being generous.
Let's say that guy plays with a good maker custom stick that he had made for himself
and he is using a CF shaft no less and he goes against a seasoned pro who has a Fargo of 797.
The pro uses a house stick in a ten ball race to 11, call shot, call safe against this guy.
They play even.
Does the Fargo 650 win one game?
 

Fatboy

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I've often wondered what the pros would use if cue manufacturers didn't sponsor them. Billy Thorp got dropped by Predator...doesn't look like switching to (Meucci? I forget.) another brand hurt his game any.

No way to know, but makes for fun speculation. Remember reading that SVB started playing with a Schon his mom gave him.
Grandpa’s shaft for years he used. I hit balls with that cue lots of times. It played great, was a hell of a cue. Also SVB would wear the tip down to the ferrul, zero sidewall, was a crown sitting on the ferrel. He made it work, it played good like that. Truth be told anything you put in his hands now he’s gonna play great.

best
Fatboy
 

cubswin

Just call me Joe...
Silver Member
Fairly simple for me, I get what I want. I have two cues that I play with, a bluegrass and a joey bautista. Both are customs, and both play better than just about any cue I've owned.

Could I have just brought a predator, mezz, joss, schon, schmelke, mcdermott, or a meucci. I sure could have, but since I have choices I went with something that I liked more.
 

ddg45

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I am genuinely curious what the advantage is. I confess I have never owned or played with an individually made custom cue by a reputable individual maker.

Just to use Viking and McDermott as examples, I can choose the shaft taper, shaft material, diameter, length, and tip. On the butt, I can choose from many different inlay designs, and can specify stain, inlay material, and color, wrap or wrapless, and if wrapped, I can choose many styles of linen, or leather, or stamped leather, or even an exotic material in the color of my choice. I can choose what type of joint I want between the butt and the shaft. I can choose the weight, the butt cap color, and even have my name scripted on the butt if I so choose. For a national brand with a solid warranty, that seems like a LOT of customization to me, and at what appears to be a fraction of the cost of a cue made by an individual maker.

This question came from my recent experience with my favorite cue. I own a Meucci 97-11, a McDermott, a Lucasi, and a Viking F50. All of these are medium to high end for the respective maker. My viking F50 is my go to, personal favorite cue. I have enjoyed it for about 17 years. Recently one of the two shafts seemed to be warped a little. I called Viking and they took it in for repair under their Lifetime Warranty at no charge, and even paid the shipping back to me. I realize that companies come and go, and even Viking went silent for a little while and made a comeback, but if a custom cue maker retires or is no longer able to repair a cue, it just seems buying from a national brand that has a lifetime warranty backed by a company that may remain for many decades makes more sense.

Custom cues can certainly be more personal I suppose. They MAY be more carefully made. I totally want to support small business whenever I can. Still, a custom cue is significantly more expensive, may be difficult or in some cases, impossible to get warranty repair for, and the major American made brands offer a tremendous amount of customization in building a cue just the way you like it.

Other than collectability, what, if any, is the advantage? I can't imagine that a custom made cue could actually change the game for a player to a large extent. Certainly not as much as lessons and practice.

What are the thoughts of those here who have played quite a bit with both?
Companies that make "production cues" can also make unique, one-of-a-kind cues. QC can also be as good or better than any custom cue maker can equal. Pechauer, for example, bought their own timberland, chooses their own trees, processes them in their own sawmill, cures them in their own kilns, and built their own machine shop so every screw, joint, and collar is made in-house. CNC machines can be more precise than any human hand. Their customer service is outstanding. They will build absolutely anything you design for them. For their pro series Joe Pechauer inspects and hand signs each cue. How is a "custom cue maker' going to top any of that? I did order a Keith Josey recently, by the way, so I'm looking forward to comparing what he makes with my Pechauers.
 

chenjy9

Active member
Companies that make "production cues" can also make unique, one-of-a-kind cues. QC can also be as good or better than any custom cue maker can equal. Pechauer, for example, bought their own timberland, chooses their own trees, processes them in their own sawmill, cures them in their own kilns, and built their own machine shop so every screw, joint, and collar is made in-house. CNC machines can be more precise than any human hand. Their customer service is outstanding. They will build absolutely anything you design for them. For their pro series Joe Pechauer inspects and hand signs each cue. How is a "custom cue maker' going to top any of that? I did order a Keith Josey recently, by the way, so I'm looking forward to comparing what he makes with my Pechauers.

By doing all that and inspecting their work every step of the way, like when they are coring the butt, they can check every piece. They can do the same between turning as well as when installing joints.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

Bavafongoul

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Although some might think it’s hit or miss with a custom cue, that only applies to unaccredited cue makers.
Have you heard anyone complain about a Searing cue? Hercek? Szamboti? Prewitt? Great cue makers just
wind up making great cues or the cue doesn’t get released to the client. They think of customers as clients
which means they look forward to doing repeat business with them. That’s why they strive to get it right even
though it could be the only cue they sell that individual. Bob Owen is a cue maker like that & delivers perfection.
Bob’s cues are surprisingly affordable; his wait list is growing due to being recognized as a top notch cue maker.
 

hang-the-9

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Which arrowheads are sharpest here? The Obsidian ones. Volcanic glass, has an edge sharper than a scalpel.

But the edges are more brittle, not as hard, and also would not be as accurate for overall construction. If you used it to slice that is one thing, but I don't think they will have the same penetration less hardness if there was any armor.
 

hang-the-9

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I see your point.
What is the average Fargo of the dedicated player in a poolroom?
Let's say it's 650, and I am being generous.
Let's say that guy plays with a good maker custom stick that he had made for himself
and he is using a CF shaft no less and he goes against a seasoned pro who has a Fargo of 797.
The pro uses a house stick in a ten ball race to 11, call shot, call safe against this guy.
They play even.
Does the Fargo 650 win one game?

The point of equipment would be comparing players of equal skill or at least similar skill. Most equipment vs skill examples are way out of line as to what can be expected from equipment along, like spending $500 vs $100 magically gives you skill to use what you bought. What it does is enhances the skill you have. Say like an exoskeleton that doubles muscle force. Some 120 lb guy that lifts his cat as the heaviest thing would have his force multiplied to the level of a strong person, but a 200 lb bodybuilder will be that much stronger using the exact same thing since his double of strength starts already with a stronger base so they would still be ahead of the game.

If some woodworker got a chisel and some saws and I bought $10,000 worth of electrical machines to cut and shape wood, the experienced woodworker would be able to build a nice door while I would end up with some rough shapes of wood and maybe a missing finger.

Both of the extreme sides of the argument are wrong. It's not JUST the Indian, and it's not JUST the Arrow, it's the combination of both. You need the Indian to know how to use the arrow and you need a well built arrow to maximize the skill of the Indian. If you have two Indians, one is at 90% max skill one is at 80% max skill, the guy at 80% can probably win out vs the higher rank if his equipment was better. If you have some guy that is at a 30% skill level vs that 90% one, then no amount of equipment will help unless you have some auto aiming crossbow he is using.
 
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