Hey all. I'm looking into getting a new shaft soon, been playing with my stock Viking shaft for over a year now and have no complaints, it feels fantastic and has rewarded me well. But it has a few battle wounds and is starting to get a little grainy, even with my high maintenance habits. Also the tip is nearing it's last days which doesn't really matter but, anyways.
Been doin a lot of research and I like what I hear about the OB-1 and 2. I just hate how it looks. The Predator 314's look nice and sound good but are about $30 more. Now I've been looking at these Lucasi hybrid, very pretty, and highly regarded by most. Also the most expensive of the three.
Called some billiard shops here in town and they don't carry ****. One has a 314 quick release made for Vikings. Sounds good, very spendy, might go see how it pokes anyways.
Any suggestions? Thanks guys. BTW I'm looking for something that feels good, low deflection that can help apply a lot of spin with control. $ isn't really an issue. I want top o' the line, or at least right below the top.
- Justanotherevolutionary on 7/29/2009 4:43:17 PM
Actually the Lucasi's aren't too highly priced, my mistake. Oh and what about the predator Z's?
- Fenwick on 7/29/2009 9:02:13 PM
It just so happens I play with a Viking G-08. I went with a Z-2 and never looked back. I have two Z-2's now, matching ring works, so if I lose a tip I'm still good to go. FWIW I went with the Everest tips. I'm now thinking of changing one out for something harder. The first tip is just starting to go after 2+ years. Maybe a Morri Medium or a Talisman Medium. May even go back to a Le Pro?
Anything else you would like to know like how long it took me to adapt?
- Justanotherevolutionary on 7/30/2009 5:53:57 AM
How long did it take you to adapt? =) And I'm a little confused about the joint. The price jumps by like $60 dollars with different joints. Which did you go with, the silver ring? And what about compatibility? And also, I'm using a 13mm tip wanting to go to 12. That shouldn't matter should it? It's just the end taper that would be different, right?
My cue is a G-O5 so we're in the same neighborhood. As far as tips go I really do like my hard French Le Pro I use now. Thought I might check out the Snipers this time around. My uncle swears by them. I'm always open to new things.
- Justanotherevolutionary on 7/30/2009 6:19:12 AM
Nevermind about the joint and tip compatibility, figured all that out. I just needed to find the right website lol. The one I was looking at didn't give any options on tips, or specs on the shaft.
- Fenwick on 7/30/2009 6:57:50 AM
The reason behind the adapt comment is because the Z-2 is a totally different animal. They say 11.75mm but they vary a few .000 of a inch. I was a machinist by trade in my former life. I went from a 12mm shaft but that .025 and the low deflection was a huge leap for me.
It took me 5 or 6 months to find the center of the cue ball consistently. My stroke was not as sound as it should have been so you may adapt faster. During that time span I would put the shaft away for a few days or weeks out of frustration. Once I found center and could keep it I could begin using english sparingly. Now I can put so much spin on the ball when needed it's if I say so myself scary.
If you know what joint you have it's not a problem. I again wanted the ring work to match purely for looks. No silver ring. I guess it cost a extra $20 to have them match.
I bought my first Z-2 in 2007.
- Justanotherevolutionary on 7/30/2009 7:05:59 AM
Yup, seriously considering this Predator Z-2. 11.75mm with a Kamui Black Hard tip. Viking Quick Release ring. Now I have another question =D About the tips. Anyone use a Kamui Black hard tip b4? Reading about the Kamui they say they are very well made, multi-layered and sound really sturdy, so I was thinking maybe I should just go with a medium instead. Now I've been using a 13mm Le PRo hard for over a year, and it's held up fine even with my constant shaping, scuffing and picking. What differences might I see in my game by switching to a medium, if any? I mean new shaft, new tip, new tip size and firmness. Sounds a little scarey to me. With an 11.75mm tip, is softer a better way to go, and would it cause less deflection on shots where a lot of english is needed? Thanks again for everything guys =)
- Fenwick on 7/30/2009 7:10:01 AM
MHO is stick to what you're used to.
- Mitch Alsup on 7/30/2009 8:37:57 AM
Where performance lies: 80% is in the tip, 15% is in the shaft, 5% is in the taper. Tips are $2 to $30, shafts are $70-$250:: choose wisely.
High performance shafts: Low deflection shafts have low end (tip) mass so that the cue shaft itself deflects instead of the cue ball (conservatio of momentum principle). One can achieve low end mass by making the end thinner (11.5 mm) or by drilling a hole in the end (314, OB 1,2). It is said that a small end tip can achieve more english. Sometimes this can even be used to your advantage.
However, it takes time to come to grips with the new playing action of these shafts. Comming from a no-nothing shaft to a 314 took me over 6 hours on the table, and probably another week to settle in.
- Justanotherevolutionary on 7/30/2009 8:49:21 AM
Yea, that is good sound advice (stick to what you're used to) but I feel like mixing it up. Change is never bad imo. I may lose my way for a while, but I could always do as you said, change back to my old shaft for say league nights and other events until I'm adapted and comfortable with the new one. I just really feel like my original shaft has had it's tour of duty and served with honors, it's probably even eligable for a purple heart with the one ding it has near the joint. It took a hefty tumble and I'm kinda worried about a possible internal fracture. Plus I have sadly abused it with side pressure, leaning it on walls and storing it in the trunk of my car, in a good hard case, but still vulnerable to hot temperatures and slacking on wiping it down and removing any chalk before putting it away. I suppose I could just refinish it, and throw a new Kamui on it to see how it feels before committing to a tip I've never used and may not like. But I'm pretty set on the shaft, either the Z or 314. The Ob's sound good but I just can't get past the looks, pretty pathetic, I know.
- Justanotherevolutionary on 7/30/2009 3:16:38 PM
So about the tips again. Rumor has it, but I don't believe it, that softer tips "grab the cue ball" giving it more english. Wives tale, right? So what are the pros and cons in tip firmness? I know hard tips typically last longer and don't mushroom as easily, but will glaze up quicker, so what's the point in even getting a soft or medium if the only statistic is durability, well that, and chalk holding ability. I shoot a wide array of shots as I think anyone does, center ball, lots of english, hard shots, roll shots. Obviously I have overlooked some things here.
Soft n medium = easy to shape and scuff, therefore holding chalk better but don't last and tend to mushroom.
Hard = Last longer, don't mushroom, need less shaping but more scuffing/picking and chalking.
But what are the performance factors?
- Mitch Alsup on 7/30/2009 5:50:01 PM
I have a long diatribe on tips somewhere on this site. Bottom line is that the chalk crystals do all the work. All the shoftness/hardness of the tip does is to spread out the forces of impact so the chalk crystals are compressed hard enough to do their job. That is you have to have impact pressure that is big enough but not too big--a moderately sized window of force.
So, the tip you want is dependent on the game you play. Light and delicate with narry a hard hit (14.1 continuous) and you can get away with a soft-to-medium-soft tip. Bang away like a 9-baller and you need a medium-hard to hard tip. 8-ball is somewhere in the middle. The better your stroke and the more dilligent you are about chalking up the harder tip you can "get away with". Hard tips last a long time, soft tips like lots of maintanence.
Break cues want XX-hard tips, Jump cues need at least X-hard tips, Massé cues want medium-soft-to-medium tips.
- Fenwick on 7/30/2009 7:10:54 PM
Interesting. I've read many posts about tip preference and it seems to be just that. Also a Le-Pro for example can come in several different hardness's depending on lots and or age. Unless you have a Rockwell gauge to check for hardness it's like a pig in a poke picking out a tip IMHO.
I don't know what my Everest tip is rated off hand but I can do all of the things mentioned above with it. Straight pool is my primary game of choice followed by 1 pocket but recently I've started playing in a 9 ball league and will play 8 ball in the fall for the first time since 1982.
Back to the subject at hand. The player puts the spin on the ball but chalk helps a lot IMHO once again.
- Justanotherevolutionary on 7/31/2009 6:21:00 AM
Well as we all probably know by now, hahaha, I'm a 9 baller. Since I've already been using a hard tip for the past year, which is to say, all of my pool life, it would only make sense to stick with another hard tip. I'm also a frequent chalker. It's pretty much a reflex after every shot now. Thanks for your help Mitch and Fenwick, appreciate it.
- buckshotshoey on 8/1/2009 8:48:10 AM
The point of going to a high quality multi-layered tip is consistency. Le pros are a good tip but I have found over the years that lot to lot consistency can be off(IMO). The hardness (density) varies. Also a Le pro tends to get harder over time, especially if you got one from a "softer" lot. The less the tip changes over time, the less you have to adjust to it, and therefore the more consistent you will play. To a casual player this probably wont make much of a difference, but someone who plays as much as I do (50 games a week or more), you do notice a difference.
- Justanotherevolutionary on 8/1/2009 9:40:01 AM
That's an interesting point you make about the Le Pro getting harder. I'm having a lot of trouble with this thing recently, constantly glazing over and not holding chalk very well anymore. Therefore I'm frequently shaping and scuffing which in turn means I'm having to adjust. Very frustrating. Thanks for the insight.