Mitch Alsup on 3/31/2009 5:44:31 PM
What 'guest' describes is often called "unibody" construction. The whole frame is assembled in a jig at the factory so that it is strong, square, stiff, and true. This does make it more difficult to move around impediments, especially stairs. But this is a job for the delivery crew (when a new table is purchased), or a buch (4+) of college football players for a case of beer (or so.......) It also results in a much stronger structure.
However, if you think moving around a couple(3) hundred pound frame is difficult, try moving around a Diamond ProAm (1200 poiunds in 9-foot size). They are shipped form the factory fully assembled ! (less legs).
Back to my research: I have seen the construction of a Connelly Ultimate up close (underneith). This this is built like they used to in 1903 (My old frat house table). Big thick solid timbers, and meaty beams, and 2" slate (4-pieces). very impressive. Further research lead to a thread where the pool mechanics had the general impression that all this was pure overkill as there was absolutely nothing wrong with the non-Ultimate Connelly's. The ball roll on that ultimate I found was dead silent (as were the rails).
The jump one gets from a table has more to do with the slate and frame than on whether its a Diamond or Connelly (or Brusnwick or Olhausen). Once the slate gets to 1", and the slate is sufficiently well supported all the way to the floor, the ball will jump pretty much the same (my opinion). Also, as far as I can tell, the top four names are all sufficiently good that the 98%-ile person is simply splitting hairs in choosing between a C,B,D,O in the same price range and style.
As far as I can tell, once you get into the $2500 range; you have good construction using real wood (no veneres, but some beams and unseen support structures may be ply-woods), 1" slate, and solid rails. A jump to the $3500 range drops the ply-wood inner-liners and used solid wood construction throughout. The next step is to make all the construction materials thicker, heavier, beefier and these are generally sold as professional/tourneyment tables.
For me, I am leaning towards Connelly Cochise over the Diamond Hortesia; but this is still subject to change. Tomorrow I am off to see the undersides of Olhausen and Brunswick tables. Connelly Ultimate is out of the question, as this is a) out of my price range, b) would require some structural jacks to be installed under the pier and beam 85 year old house, c) most likely completely unnecessary. I would like to see the undersides of a Diamond that is not from the Professional or ProAm catagories before finalizing any decision.