My wife and I are looking for a table for our new basement and I notice that the new to used prices for Brunswick, et al drop faster than a Buick leaving the showroom. I could buy a name brand new for $3000 and up while a used brand costs $600 - $2,000 (posted prices on Craigs List).
We have a showroom nearby named Billiardex that sells only Spencer Marston brand and when we looked at the tables, the style suited my wife, the construction was all hardwood (no fake wood) and they really looked good. When I inquired why they were so much less expensive than the tables down the street (Brunswick, et al) the fellow said "China" and all became clear. I had just looked at a 1993 Brunswick at a woman's home that had minor dings, but otherwise looked good and it was priced at $1,800; the table my wife and I liked was $1,900.
So my question is this: has anyone heard anything negative about the play in the Spencer Marston pool tables that would keep me from buying? (By the way, I am the novice of novices, only playing on in-laws pool tables as a young man and never attempting serious play at all).
- billiardsforum on 6/14/2007 11:24:58 AM
Spencer Marston Pool Tables are likely small and local. What I've learned about this is that they usually source their billiard tables from China and brand them with their own name.
There are differences in slate and how foundations are built. For example, the table manufacturers like Olhausen use Italian slate while the smaller Chinese tables use Chinese or Brazilian slate, which is generally considered inferior to Italian. (How true this is, I don't know. I mean it is like Sony for consumer electronics right? At one time, they were truly superior to other brands and could command a higher price, but now, they are getting killed in the marketplace by low-priced competitors with quality products.) They do say that for hundreds of years, the Italian slate has been the best.
There has also been discussion about how poor the Spencer Marston Pool Table warranty is in comparison with other manufacturers. They have lots of "conditions" and generally make the consumer jump through many hoops to get satisfaction from their warranty.
On the other hand, I did read of some good opinions on the tables. One table mechanic who used to work for Billiardex vouched for the quality of the Spencer Marston Pool Tables. He felt that many players are snobbish and just go for the name without having played on the better imports. He said that he would rank Spencer Marston tables highly among some of the other import companies out there.
He also noted that the frequency of problems is very low in the overall scheme of things compared to total number of pool tables purchased, and thus, no warranty is worth thousands of extra dollars.
I'd say, after the reviews i've read, that for your budget, and your skill lever thus far (you said you were novice of novice) If it was me, i'd consider one of these tables.
- jraypfs on 6/14/2007 3:37:25 PM
Thanks so much for the heads up. I'll keep everyone posted on the success/failure of this purchase.
- bayoublaster on 1/10/2008 11:54:33 AM
So can Ya give us an update on the Spencer Marston table? Looking at purchasing one myself and was looking for some human input from personal experience. Thanks!
- jraypfs on 1/10/2008 1:22:46 PM
I wound up buying a used table from Craig's list. Spent 1/2 as much as I would have otherwise.
- guest on 1/29/2008 11:06:32 PM
I'm not by any means promoting so called Chinese tables. Now that I got that out of the way, let me say this. I did my share of research and spoke with numerous table makers, installers and here's what I have found out about slate. Italian slate has been used for over a hundred years in the making of tables but is by no means "superior" to Brazilian slate. If it weren't for all the hype about Italian slate, table makers would have swapped to Brazilian slate years ago as it's a scientific fact that Brazilian slate is denser per inch than Italian slate and doesn't have the flexibility that Italian slate has, so storage amd shipping can be easier. Now on the other hand, since Brazilian slate is denser and harder, it's also harder to to get it down to tolerances. But newer techniques and technology are and have overcome this. I still find it hard to believe that it will be accepted as superior to Italian slate any time soon as no one is promoting it as such but when I purchase my next table, the type of slate definitely won't be the deciding factor, nor will the manufacturer. But rest assured that the top names will eventually be using it on their tables in the future as they continue to try to keep costs down while maintaining quality. The funny part is going to be seeing these same top manufacturers who are tooting their horn about how thier slate (Italian slate) is so much more superior than Brazilian swap over to Brazilian slate. Then you'll see why they aren't telling anyone that the Brazilian slate is actually denser because that's going to be their exact marketing ploy to get everyone to accept the fact that they are swapping over to it. Talk about hypocritical. But that's just business. When I do purchase my next table It'll be based on craftsmanship, warranty and the most important thing of all.....customer service after the sale. I'll gladly pay good hard eraned money for all of those.
- evastein on 1/12/2009 4:16:15 PM
My ex bought a spencer marston pool table about 1.5 years ago, moved out just after and never used it. I don't play. Should I have it dismantled and stored for (until my credit is good enough to have a game room again)? Now I have to sell it because I have to move and he doesn't want it and so I don't know how other than Craigs list. If anyone has any advice, I would very much appreciate it. Don't know how much he paid, but it seems to be the "manhattan" by Spencer Martin and doesn't really have any nicks or dings on the table or the bumpers. Do you measure the bumper to bumper or the outside edge of the whole table? Thanks very much for any advice, Eva.
reply to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- RMCORP2006 on 1/28/2009 9:05:55 AM
- guest on 7/18/2011 5:16:30 PM
Our family with 5 boys has had this pool table for about 6 years. We have moved it 3 times. If you shop around you should be able to find one for about $1,000. Ours has been a very good value and I would buy it again.
- PT2011 on 8/17/2011 10:52:38 AM
If your looking for a high quality pool table but not ready to pay the "Brunswick" price I would absolutely recommend buying a Spencer Marston table. I have had mine for almost a year now and I absolutely love it. I ordered mine from billiards.com. It was easy to order and they helped to install it for free which was something I was worried about figuring logistics for.
- ravihome on 11/2/2011 3:42:02 AM
Spencer Marston is a pool table manufacturer that primarily sells their tables at big box retailers and online. Below you will see their several models. All Spencer Marston pool tables are made quite well for the cost. Normally at under $2,000 you would expect pretty poor workmanship.
- gwarwon2 on 7/4/2013 9:28:31 AM
I am thinking of buying a Spencer Marston and was looking for an update as to whether these tables are a good value. I have been reading reviews online that say they are horrible. Although they are dated from 2007-2011. The representative told me that they have redesigned the tables and hires better installers. Does anyone know if this is true?
- BilliardsBill on 7/9/2013 1:37:34 PM
I have a Spencer Marston table that I had installed in my living room over two years ago. Because it is in the living room and not a basement, it had to look nice, like a piece of furniture and of course I wanted a good table. A friend who has one recommended that I check them out and I am glad that I did. The man who delivered the table and set it up had years of experience putting tables together and he convinced me that for the money, I had made a good choice. He was right. Not only does it look great, but it is an excellent table to play on and I use it every day. The table, including delivery and installation ended up costing me a little over $1700.00 and I consider it money well spent.
- guest on 8/12/2014 12:39:14 PM
You couldn't give me a Spencer Marston Pool Table for free. All of true "Online or China" tables are not worth their "cheap" prices. Buyers be ware you do get what you pay for. I did quite a bit of research before I committed to the purchase of our pool table. Almost all of the online tables use either false advertising or clever use of words, like 100% hardwood. MDF can be considered 100% hardwood. Also many of the truly experienced installers won't even offer to install one, no matter what you pay them. Before you buy a Pool table go to a REAL Pool Table Store, not one that sells online products. You will get a real education, I know I did and got a fantastic Pool table, 100% American Made (not American Assembled), with 100% of all of the parts made in their factory.... NO IMPORTED PARTS and wood from USA Lumber Companies from the Pacific NW...and I paid only a little bit more that the junk from China.
- Zeke on 8/19/2014 7:06:33 AM
Au contraire. The most significant component of any pool table is the slate. According to The American Billiard Table Manufacturer's Association, Brazilian slate is the best, Italian a distant second and no one makes pool table slate in the United States anymore.
Therefore, no table is made of only American components. If it is, don't buy it!
Of some note, the original post starting this thread - was posted over 7 years ago!
- pdxlou on 4/17/2017 3:37:27 PM
Selling pool tables is a highly competitive business and many fake reviews are posted by competing stores. I am one of the owners of Spencer Marston and would like to set the record straight on several points raised here.
- Spencer Marston pool tables use 100% hardwood (Maple, Birch, Oak and Poplar). No MDF, fiberboard, or composite materials.
- We use 1-inch imported slate, sometimes from Brazil but most often from China. We use 2" x 6" cross-members to support the roughly 900 lb. weight of the slate. Most other tables use 2" x 4" cross members.
- Our installer network is the best in the industry. The team that arrives at your home will be experienced and professional and will leave you with a high quality pool table that will last a lifetime.
We have installed over 40,000 tables in the last 10 years. Our customer satisfaction level is unmatched and we pride ourselves in the quality and value that we deliver.
Please feel free to contact us, discuss your needs and concerns and check out these actual reviews;