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Cue Makers

Postby Tonsgalore

With so many cue makers to chose from and all claiming to have the best cues on the market it's very hard to chose these days. We can all get sucked in to an appealing website with lots of fancy cues on display. But who really is the best? Everyone will have there own favourite cue maker so it's very hard to determine any one as being the best.
There has been certain cue makers in the uk claiming to Hand Make their cues when in fact they purchased the cue from a Thai maker and then stuck his own badge on it claiming it was him who made it. Lots of cue makers have been guilty of doing similar things. It's very hard to trust a cue maker these days but to me there is still a handful of guys worldwide making top handmade cues.

I have done a lot of research on cues over the past few months and the names I see coming at the top of most people's lists are,,,,

Mike Wooldridge

Ton Praram

Crispian Jones

I have not owned a cue by any of these makers although after my research I did order a Mike Wooldridge Tiger cue that will be here next week.
Think of it this way, do an eBay search on the names in my list as I did every week for several months and see how often one of their cues is on there. Believe me I only found a around 5 cues for sale over a period of 8 months. This speaks volumes about the quality of their cues. People do not want to sell them. I also search for reviews on cue makers and again I found only one or two negitive (not bad) ones.
I owned a John Parris cue for 20 years and it was a great cue, but I know a lot of people are swapping their JP cues for one in the list above. John Parris used to be the best cue maker on the planet and still makes a great cue but he has let his order books get too big and has put out some bad cues lately. That's why eBay is full of them.

Anyway, enough from me. Let's hear your thoughts on it.

Re: Cue Makers

Postby Cue Guru

Kong cues in Thailand are making a lot of shafts and finished cues (ebony over ash) ready for splicing by UK cue makers.

I believe Parris, TW and CJ are making their own shafts and cues in the UK. Same for Cue Craft. Cheaper Riley models come out of China.

The other famous cue makers; I wouldn't trust them. Rip-off cues from dodgy origins. I wouldn't trust anyone who can make a cue in a few weeks. First reason; the shaft hasn't been properly rested between planings, if they used a plane at all (!). A proper rest time is in months, not weeks. Secondly, if they can make it that fast, the shaft may have come from abroad (think Thailand/China). The exception would be where a cue maker has made a lot of pre-prepared rested shafts ready for splicing. But you'd need to confirm that with the cue maker somehow?

But the Thai makers are very good and I would advise that buying a Phoenix, Mastercraft, Mastercue, Maximus, O'min, Ton Praram and GBL is a very wise choice. Firstly because the quality and finish is second to none. Secondly, because it's terrific value and lastly because you know where the cue came from. And if you see Stu at GBL, you get to try out hundreds of cues and avoid the merry go round of not getting on with the custom cue you ordered and waited 3 years for from TW and Parris.

Custom cues are a nightmare. This is because wood is a natural material. Two identical pieces of wood will behave differently when made into cues. Folk also tend to alter the specs from their current cue to something slightly different (longer, shorter, heavier, different tip size, different splices etc) on the advice of forums or friends and this is the main reason for ordering a custom. What they forget is that a new spec takes time to get used to, maybe 6-12 months. After a month of failing, they're ready to sell the cue. The best thing you can do is try out loads of cues. This will maximise your chance of finding the 'one'. Having the 'one' custom made is akin to winning the lotto. It's rare. But if you do go custom, give the cue some proper time if it doesn't feel ideal at first.

Parris, ah, those joints. And TW comes to mind as well, similar joints. Double collared brass, horrid, like a hammer on the shot, leading to a cracking noise when you strike the CB. He gives pros cues for free, is this part of the reason they use them? I heard Maflin broke his cue and within a week he's got an Ultimate. The wait for an Ultimate is a minimum of 2yrs, usually more! Strange.

Re: Cue Makers

Postby Tonsgalore

Cue makers could have pre rested shafts here in the uk, no way of knowing but that would be my guess as to why reputable makers can produce cues quickly. Take Mike Wooldridge, he only has 3 cues in his range. That means he can pre-make shafts all day long and splice them while waiting for orders to come in. I ordered a Parris Ultimate just because I wanted one and believe they are great cues but I doubt I will play with it because I will already be used to another cue and dont want to go through wasted time getting used to it.
I don't believe you can say a certain cue maker makes all his cues by hand like TW just because You can't get a cue from him in a few weeks.
As I said in my original post, my research speaks for itself and those 3 names are topping people's lists.

With regard to Parris giving cues away to pros, yes I have heard this as well but be sure on this, they still have to be great cues or pros wouldn't use them.

Good debate this and will always yield different preferences to who people prefer

Re: Cue Makers

Postby Cue Guru

It would be easier to make a list of the cue makers WE CAN trust! If a cue maker can't show you a receipt or order of contact of an ash board supplier, you have good reason to avoid them. They have nothing to lose by proving they buy boards and make blanks and then shafts. They have everything to gain.

Re: Cue Makers

Postby Tonsgalore

I have been playing with a cue that 58" and im 6.1'. I have been playing well with it so have been in touch with Dave at Mastercraft to shorten it. Great customer service all round. I have also emailed JP to change the spec of my JPU on order. Although I know I wont be playing with it when it arrives in 3 years.

I would take note of the David Wu cues the Guru has mentioned. You can tell by his posts he knows what he is talking about so a budget Wu cue is definitely worth a look.

Re: Cue Makers

Postby Cue Guru

Tonsgalore wrote:I have been playing with a cue that 58" and im 6.1'. I have been playing well with it so have been in touch with Dave at Mastercraft to shorten it. Great customer service all round. I have also emailed JP to change the spec of my JPU on order. Although I know I wont be playing with it when it arrives in 3 years.

I would take note of the David Wu cues the Guru has mentioned. You can tell by his posts he knows what he is talking about so a budget Wu cue is definitely worth a look.


This post is on the wrong thread?

Anyway, I've shortened my bridge to ball from 11'' a few years ago to 8'' now, a massive change over time. Ex pro and county mate advised this, so I've achieved that (Ronnie also advises this as does Selby). What then happens, assuming you hold the cue with the grip hand with the forearm at the same angle, is, you need less cue. With a 58'' cue, I'm about an inch up now which is trickty to get used to. I'm not 3 inches up because I do stretch my bridge arm forward a bit more as well. So yeah, I guess I am shorter cueing so a 57'' would suffice. Which then begs the question of why I searched for a 58'' angel ash cue all those years! :emb: Nevermind, love the cue anyway.

Re: Cue Makers

Postby Pilgrim15

I have an O'min cue which is excellent and I do like the maximus cues
If I had the money I'd only buy one cue which would be a Jason Owen his cues are superb He hand makes everyone and there's no question as to the heritage of the cue
I do like Reg Wright cues and Exquisite by Raymond Cohen but an Owen cue would top my wish list

Re: Cue Makers

Postby Shockerz

Cue Guru wrote:Kong cues in Thailand are making a lot of shafts and finished cues (ebony over ash) ready for splicing by UK cue makers.



Hi

New to the forum so hello all. Thought I'd heard of most cue manufacturers, not heard of 'Kong" cues. Tried searching for them on the internet to see some background information but could't see them?

Re: Cue Makers

Postby HemiRR

My money is on Kevin Deroo. This Canadian maker builds everything from scratch including regular and spliced maple and spliced ash shafts. His shaft tapers and ferral combination create LOW DEFLECTION cues.

Re: Cue Makers

Postby jamiee89

What do people think of OT cues? (Thai make) Are they as good as Maximus and gbl etc?

Re: Cue Makers

Postby Tuliprose147

I would bring Will Hunt into the equation here. I have owned cues from each of his eras and know him to be very trustworthy, he was also the first big name to admit his link with Thailand. Although he uses Thai makers in his current business, he does a lot more than just stick a nameplate in and sell the cue for a mint. I recently purchased a cue from him and it's fantastic, ordering a shaft doesn't mean there's no work involved.

It's worth pointing out that his bespoke cues are made over a period of 3-4 months.

I think John Parris has, as it's been said, taken on too many orders to fulfil as I know one person who's been waiting over 5 years for a cue; making him wonder if he'll get it before he's in a wheelchair. The cues are overpriced for what they are too in my opinion. I did own one a long time ago though and it was good.

Mike Wooldridge is now questionable as there's a lot of rumours going around that he uses Thai cue makers but hasn't announced it yet (if the rumours are true). He makes a good cue though.

Trevor White is a good maker but direly difficult to get through to.

Tyrone cues are very interesting, often a bit off the wall sporting unusual designs.

Tom Snooker cues, from Thailand, are also a good brand.

Robert Osborne is another cue maker who makes his cues from scratch having stopped using Thailand in favour of his own.

I think there are far too many cue makers now. It'll end up being difficult for them to make a living.

Re: Cue Makers

Postby HKhan

Hi everyone, I'm new to this forum.

I recently placed an order for JP Edition 5 cue. I would like to know:
1) How long will it take to receive the international delivery (I'm based in Dubai)
2) Any reviews on Edition 5 cue quality wise is it the best that JP makes?

Re: Cue Makers

Postby Tonsgalore

Hi everyone,

I'm back after a long time away.

I received my MW cue and I have to say it was quality and played brilliantly. I had a lay off from snooker and sold my cue. I've actually sold 3. I am now looking for another cue so am interested in speaking to a few makers.
I have been speaking with Lewis Roberts from Stamford Cues as I know they make good cues.
I might buy a Ton Praram cue.

It's good to be back.