I wanted to post a conversation about the quality of the various pool cue brands and custom cue makers. The comments were complied over the past 5-10 years by Keith Chu.
The best way to test a cue is to take it in your hands and shoot with it. If you can't get ahold of one, use this information for what it's worth. This is a compilation of opinions sent to me. The intent is to get subjective information about these cues to help save many hours of asking people for opinions. Take it for what it's worth. I take no responsibility for you selecting the wrong cue or choosing the wrong equipment. I also do not edit the submissions or have the facilities to verify claims, please contact the original sender if there is any mis-information and then keep me updated.
American Cuemaker's Association
Keith Chu: A who's who in the world of Cue Making! Want to make cues? The masters are here! Information on making cues and how to contact the cue makers.
from the site: Richard makes less than 100 pool cues per year. He has no dealer network because he believes that the customer comes first and should receive not only the best quality, but the best value in their investment. By dealing directly with Richard Black, you will be receiving his personal attention to completing the cue YOU want. He works alone and every part of the cue will be created from the best materials he can acquire and the best craftsmanship he can provide. Over the decades he has accumulated a wealth of various exotic hardwoods and shaft stock that is unequaled.
Keith Chu: I have one of six cues he made for the 1997 Super Billiards Expo. I love the cue! The hit is very solid and makes a great sound when you hit the cue just right. I know of a few other people who have his cues and they all love them. Not only do they play great, Richard creates designs that are truely special. Some of his cues can be found in the Smithsonian.
"Robert A. Dzuricky" IMHO this was the most reasonably priced custom cue on the market a few yrs ago. They have gone up in price, but they are bulletproof with very nice workmanship. I base my own cues on this design. I feel it is one of the best out there.
Keith Chu: They have a really nice solid hit. I really like them. Some of the guys in the league I play in also work at the pro shop. They have tried alot of cue's and like the Schon. Hopefully I can get some to post directly from them. (Martin and Lou you out there?) Update: I now have an SL-9 and live the cue, it has a nice solid hit.
Gerry: By far the best cue I've ever played with!
Eric M. Sternberg : 1986 Schon... the model is now called the SL-6...but this one was made before they started to pantagraph everything. Sent it Richard Black to have ebony and abalony inlays put in. Leather wrap...great feeling cue. Very stiff. Black butt cap. Eric M. Sternberg : My general opinion of Schon is this. If you have a little money but you can't wait for a cue maker to build you a cue, buy a Schon. They are by far the best "production cues" on the market. The hit of any Schon cue is consistent with every other Schon cue out in the world today. Good inlay work, good finish and a very consistent playing cue. I own a custom version of the model that they now call an SL-6. I play with it at least twice a week. They are simply just a great cue.
Mitchell Pautz 19.5-20.5 Schon cues are well made and have a great feel for them. The shaft is skinny enough that I can use a closed end bridge comfortable.
Matt Bernardini: Model = Euro - Original--Weight = 19 Comments = If you can find a Meucci Original, buy one. Mine has the best feel of any cue I have ever picked up. It has lasted seven years without warping, cracking, etc and still plays with alot of feeling.
Keith Chu Many of my friends have Meucci's and love them. I talked to a few dealers before purchasing mine. They basically say either you love them or hate them. It's a really flexable stick and which is great for putting on the english, draw and top spin. I got really used to mine in a week and love it. I haven't played with anything else since getting started so my experience is limited.
Marvin Mellott Meucci 95-10:: 18.5 Oz. If you want to learn your game and get a great feel and hit, go with a moderate level, light meucci to start. Get a feel. When you've gotten to a comfortable and improving plateau go to a schon. Best cue around. Love them, meuccis too. Hey, veteran pool player here and i'm good. so, i should know what i am talking about.
Paul Mon 95-11 :: 19Oz. This Meucci hits real sweet, very solid feel. After two years with it I purchased a Predator shaft and the cue plays the same except that deflection of the cue is greatly reduced. I would highly recommend both Meucci and Predator to anyone who is looking for highly functional and well made equipment. NOTE: try to compare the sharpness of the Meucci points to other cues, also note the "lights" in the shafts of Predator and Meucci.......Paul
Meucci originals F-12:: 19.5 Oz.:: love it. nothing better..
Rusty Stewart Meucci Jim Rempe:: 18 Oz. :: Love it, best cue in the world. Very authentic!
Eric M. Sternberg : Tad cues have been around since dirt was created, and they play a whole better than dirt too. Tads cues are more of an investment than a cue that you will want to play with every day. He does fine great ivory work and the cues hit very soft, but they have very little deflection.
Eric M. Sternberg :Bill Stroud - The second half of the origional Joss cue company. Bills cues are quite frankly incredible. After Bill and Dan Janes split the company, Bill moved out west to begin making cues. These cues demand some of the consistantly highest prices of any custom cue on the market. If you can ever afford one, you will never want to put it down. An average used cue from the Joss West line will run you $2500 minimum. You get what you pay for though.
Eric M. Sternberg :Danny Janes- Danny has been in cuemaking so long that he probably remembers the origional Brunswick catalog! Just kidding Danny. The cues that Danny and his son Stephen have been making since Danny split from origional Joss partner Bill Stroud, are really fine cues. if you don't have a whole lot of money and still want a good cue, Joss East is probably a good choice. 3/4 of a Schon hit at about half the price. Nice cues. By the way the company started in 1969 and the name "Joss" means "luck."
Don :Joss Model n14 wight 19 oz. Love it bought it 12yrs ago. Have new predator shaft for it. Hits great.
From: "Robert A. Dzuricky" Stiff cue, excellent finish, consistently straight shafts. If you wanted to buy a new cue and couldn't afford one of mine, I would recommend a McDermott.
From: Wade Fallat: Don't have much experience with different cues but I certainly love the feel, balance and energy emmitted from this cue. A little stiffer would be nice.
Keith Chu :: Made By Meucci kinda like Karella now makes Orchid's I haven't played with one.
I won an Orchid (made by karella) in the local league raffel. It's a $170 Model retail. It has a 13mm tip on it and hit's great. It has a nice hit with much less deflection than my Meucci. It's more difficult to get draw on the ball, but it's much more stable on straight shots. The shaft is a bit more coarse than my meucci. I've sanded it with 2000 grit sand paper and polished it up alot to make it feel better. The recessed metal to wood joint is a dream. The plainer models are about $90.
(LUKE24): from rec.sport.billiard: I've owned a KARELLA K12 WITH ivory,mahogany and ebony inlays the same as a shoen cue that retailed at $1700.00 i received it at wholesale through a friend of mines pool room for $560.00 with 2 shafts 13mm and 12and 3/4 mm and ivory ferrules I bought it sight unseen never touching it to see how it hit and was very pleased when I got it they're great hitting cues and very collectable as with other fine production Cues I would like to suggest your other pick a Prather cue I toured his shop and home this man loves wood and you can see it in his home ALL WOOD KITCHEN and his cues. Usually one of a kinds and only 750.00 to 1700.00 for those. I MEAN C'MON ONE OF KINDS. Well I hope i enlightened your decision. RIDE DA 9
Greg405: Cue: 12 (top of the line) weight: 19 oz. This is a very beautiful cue, though you pay a lot for the looks. It retails for 1,000.00. it has lots of real bone ivory inlays, along with ebony and purple heart. Stainless steel joint. Good hitting cue, but pales in comparison to the Schuler.
From: white: I have shot with a Huebler cue for about 5 years now. It's a great cue. Originally, it only cost me $140.00 which at the time was a lot (for me). I break with it, I have left it in the trunk of the car during summer and winter weather and the damn thing is still straight. Sure, I'll buy other cues in my lifetime, but I doubt if I'll get rid of this one. T. That's my 1/2 a cent worth. (cost adjusted due to inflation)
Keith Chu: I just found out, they Just went out of business
Keith Chu: You can get a lower end cue with a case for $60.00 It plays well, and for those who can't afford the extra $40-80 for a Meucci or McDermott. The lower end cue has a nylon wrap that really buggs me. It's rough on the hands and feels like I'm playing with sand paper around the butt. It's pretty stiff for less deflection than my Meucci. One guy in the League has a higher end cue and he likes it.
Keith Chu: A Little less expensive than Meucci or McDermott. They have metal joints and are a bit stiffer than a Meucci.
Dufferin Cues at the BCA Site
Dufferin Custom Cues at tribilliards
Keith Chu: Many House cues in my area are Dufferin one piece cues. The hi-run one piece cues are a must for any house or office pool room.
Cuetec cues at the BCA
Keith Chu: The House I play-in have all cuetec on piece cue's they have nice feel with the fiberglass coating and they stay straight. I have only seen one warped in the entire house. Actually, the one piece house cue are two piece cues that have a thin laminate on it. People unscrew them all of the time.
Greg405: Cue: SR181 (stained birdeye maple, linen wrap.. no points or inlays.. weight: 18.5 oz taper: 13mm professional taper
This is the greatest hitting cue I have ever hit with. Nice solid hit. It is medium stiffness. Schuler offers 8 tapers from soft to owch. Excellent joint. It locks extremely tight. Its joint screw is hollow, there by taking half of the weight out of the joint.
Keith Chu:: An excellent cue! you can get shafts with different tapers and any of them fit any other Schuler Cue. I believe there are 7 different tapers. They start with a modified pro taper and to to the equivalent of hitting with a railroad tie
Business Bought from Burton
Keith Chu My cousin has a model with a lot of blue mother of pearl inlays. It has a really nice hit. closer to a Schon than the orchid I play with. Greg405: cue: Q22 weight: 19 oz.:: Nice hitting cue. It was my favorite of the mass production cues including McDermott, Mucci and Adams. Nice solid hit and nice looking inlays and finish. Good cue for the price if you insist on cheep inlays.
Greg405: cue: shaft for Viking ::I did not like the Predator shaft at all. It feel like it did not have a solid hit. It was not confidence inspiring. I know a lot of people like it, however, I did not. I happily traded my Viking with the Predator shaft for the Karella.
Paul Mon 95-11 :: 19Oz. This Meucci (with predator shaft) hits real sweet, very solid feel. After two years with it I purchased a Predator shaft and the cue plays the same except that deflection of the cue is greatly reduced. I would highly recommend both Meucci and Predator to anyone who is looking for highly functional and well made equipment. NOTE: try to compare the sharpness of the Meucci points to other cues, also note the "lights" in the shafts of Predator and Meucci.......Paul
Chad Razwick :Predator cue :: Model = #6, $ 1,250:: 19.7oz, 12.75mm The predator cue is a great cue that has made its mark in the pool halls in a very short period of time. The butt of the predator is a solid feel but the shaft is what grabs my attention. The 314 Radially spliced shaft is the straightest hitter of all cues on the market today. With many cues you must compensate for deflection, with the predator shaft their is virtually no compensation, The price is a little high but worth it!
Michael Hall - I purchased a special edition Joss with a Predator shaft and I love it. I was using a Mali before and the predator provides a much truer hit. You can really put the english on the ball, but it will magnify stroking errors. I tend to hit much closer to center ball than before and still get good ball spin. A certified BCA instructor tried it when I was taking lessons & he felt it had an excellent hit.
Greg405: cue: speedstar ::If you are looking for a livable cue under 75.00, this is the best I have seen. Nice birdeye maple butt, Irish linen wrap, nice finish, choice of wood to wood joint or stainless steel joint ( the wood to wood has a harder hit feel, thought I like the stainless steel joint a little better on this cue ), hard rock maple shaft, professional taper, and good leather tip. It is only a half step below the Viking. Excellent for the price for a beginner.
Bob Frey (Hand Made)
Edward Chu,echu: Model=Original:: Weight=19.5 I love it. He was partners with Tim Scruggs for over 10 years and his cues hit just like Scruggs, but they are MUCH less expensive. They hit like a dream!
Charlie Keene: hello i bought a dale perry cue almost three years ago. i have uni lock joints, love them to death. dale perry took time to talk to me. i ended up sending my shafts back and dale perry turned them down to 12.5 mm at no charge! i would recommend them to anyone who wants a custom cue and has questions. charlie keene in wv
Keith Chu: Dale makes very nice cues. The hit like a dream and are of top quality and design. He makes yearly limited runs for collectors.
Vogel Titanium Cues
Keith Chu: Check out their home page, They look really cool and if the feel is anything like a regular cue, I Might get one. Gotta love the 30 day return policy, It makes it worth the gamble. Steve from vogel cues
I designed the Vogel Titanium cue to fit my particular tastes, and it turned out so good, that we decided to market them. We still don't push it very hard, and our web page is the only way that we advertise.
I think that titanium is a very good material for a cue. It is light, strong, attractive, very stable and corrosion resistant!
In regards to deflection, in my opinion, it has medium deflection. With the design of our cue, the shaft is a constant diameter for about 26 inches, as opposed to some wooden cues which taper almost to the end. Our cue has a different feel to it than a conventional cue, and takes a short while to get used to the feel, but all of the people that we have made cues for, have expressed considerable satisfaction.
Of course, the Vogel Titanium Cue is made to your individual specifications. We have many colors available for the wrap, and the weight, length and balance are custom tailored to your tastes as well.
Yes, I have to agree with you that 639.00 is alot of money! I would like to sell our cues for a bit less, and there is a possibility that in the future, we will be able to lower the cost some. This all depends on how we can streamline the manufacturing process. There is quite abit of work involved in the production of our cues, not to mention that titanium is not exactly cheap! We added the 30 day return policy, because we want our customers to be happy with their new Vogel Titanium Cue, and feel that they got at least as much they were expecting.
Our cues are tipped with a LePro hard tip, that is glued onto a custom ferrule. One thing about our cues, is that it is very easy to change the ferrule and the tip as a unit. With the cue broken down, a 1/4 inch diameter steel rod is used to reach down through the shaft of the cue and tap the ferrule and tip out of the end of the shaft. A replacement ferrule is then tapped into place in the shaft, and the cue is ready to use. This whole operation takes about 1 minute! :-) The benefit of this system is that the tip is easily replaced, and if desired, the feel and action of the cue can be altered for specific circumstances.
Eric Sternberg : 1973 made by Gus Szamboti and sold to Palmer cues as a second. Took alot of getting used to considering the Titleist style butt that he used...but oh man... what a hit. Bought it $40 ( guy didn't know what he had!)
Szamboti, A A (Augustine)** CTR ** 1973 made by The claim in the section on Palmer, "1973 made by Gus Szamboti and sold to Palmer as a second" makes it sound as Gus Szamboti sold Palmer a cue. Gus Szamboti never sold Palmer a cue, only 4 prong butts or what some people refer to as blanks. Palmer used these to make cues.
kcchu: Unfortunately, I don't know which is correct, I don't edit or verify the comments, I only post what players send.
one of a kind copied from a Cognascenti design. Ivory floating points with ivory and silver inlays all over the place. Nice hitting cue. Somewhere between a Schon and Tibitts. Jim does good work...but you pay for it. Really fantastic beauty ring work.
Eric M. Sternberg :Dan is a master cuemaker who works out of his shop/garage in Georgia. His cues start at around $700 for a 4 pt. cue w/ 2 shafts. I have visited his shop a few times and really love his work. Danny may very well have the best finish in the industry.
Eric M. Sternberg :What do you get when you learn cue making under the tutilage of Danny Janes and Bill Stroud? You get one of the best cuemakers in the world. The cues are a bit "pricy," however they are some of the best hitting cues I have used. The hit is very pure. Tim also does the best gold work of any cuemaker save Keith of Keith Kustom Cues.
Eric M. Sternberg : Joey Gold of Cognescenti cues is one of the great masters of ivory work in modern cue making. He can do things with a panto-graph that will absolutely scare you. The cues hit somewhat stiff because of the synthetic joint screw that he uses. These cues are a true investment. Great hit.
Eric M. Sternberg : Ernie Guttierez started making cues in the early 60's and closed his shop in the early 80's. In 1989 he came back to the world of cue making with avengence. These cues are incredible. I have one called "the Rasputin," that I refuse to play with because I think that only world champion players deserve a cue like that. The hit is a little different. I don't how to explain "different," but trust me, it is. Ernie's best quality is his origionality.
Chas Hyatt :wood joint:: 18 oz. Comments = Love it! Technically a snooker cue, I use it for pocket billiards. I am a finesse player and appreciate the solid hit from the wood joint and great feedback on light shots. It does have increased shaft flex, but that is easily compensated for. This cue has definitely become an extension of me, and I am looking forward to a lifetime of great billiards with it. The Construction is solid and flawless. Beautiful cue.
Judd Custom Cues
Sherm Adamson Custom Cues
John Guffey Custom Cues
A quote from the site:(My personal guarantee: “An obsession with Perfection and Pride in Workmanship...,” Master Cuemaker, Arnot Q. Wadsworth III.)
Ken Blanton: 19.5 ounces ::I've been using a Phillippi for the last 2 years. After about 6 months of use my cue broke clean in half at the forward edge of the wrap. The cue was sent back to Phillippi and was repaired promptly. I received the repaired cue back within a week. It played fine for about another year but now the butt partion rattles and the cue seems to be absorbing all the stroke energy. Sometimes when the cue ball is struck the cue sounds as if the cue ball was struck with a dowel rod! The cue cost $750, has a wood to wood joint, came with 2 shafts and looks great. Maybe I just was unlucky ... I'm looking for another cue and it won't be a Phillippi.
David: 6point pau birdseye:: 19.25 Oz. comments = I have used Jerrys cues since you could buy them for 250.00 in the 80s the best ive ever played and ive played just about all of them . My friend John Wright deals in all cues from Gina to Bushka if you ask any maker today they will all give recognition to Jerry at Southwest. I have one of the last ones he touched before he passed away you should list him in your page and give him the praise he so deserves.