How Do You Differentiate Imitation Cues by JC 07/30/09

Compilation of advises, tips and tricks from my experience with others  Throughout my time playing snooker, I’ve been trying to constantly improve my game my way and seriously, my way […]


Compilation of advises, tips and tricks from my experience with others 

Throughout my time playing snooker, I’ve been trying to constantly improve my game my way and seriously, my way was taking me to Timbuktu via Holland. My brother is actually quite a snooker player himself but I was not given many lessons from him until later when I seriously wanted to play the game. Throughout the years, I’ve met many good players and here’s a compilations of advises they gave to me.

 

Original Fake : How do you differentiate imitation cues?

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In Malaysia, where I reside, I see many players with O’min and CM1 cue. There are the occasional John Parris, Riley and the likes and also the locally produced Royal cues and what not. But due to the popularity and affordability of O’min cues in Malaysia, unfortunately we’re getting a lot of fake O’min coming in from China.

 

To the untrained eye, the imitation cues have no difference in weight or feel from original cues but as you progress in snooker or have owned an original cue, you’ll notice that most imitation cues will have a few obvious differentiator.

 

To me, I like to firstly look at the logo at the cue butt. Most logos are made of plastics, usually high grade plastic for original cues with some having a pearl effect like O’min, or ivory.

 

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(L-r): Imitation Imagine, Original Imagine, Original Spirit, Original John Parris (note the etching on the logo is more refined)

 

Secondly, the finishing in imitation and cheaper cues are usually lacquer, giving it a shine. Most high end cues are finished in linseed oil and one layer of very little lacquer giving it a more matte/dull look and it glides smoother on your bridge.

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(L-R): Imitation Imagine, Original Imagine (I know it’s a bit difficult to see from the picture but I hope you get my drift)

Thirdly, I look at the grain of the cue (ashwood especially). In most ashwood cues, there are actually arrows on the cue, which helps the player sight the line of the shot. On the opposite side, where the cue comes in contact with your bridge, there are usually little or no grains (a mark of high grade ashwood and workmanship)

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Top view (L-R): Imitation Imagine, Original Imagine, Original Spirit, Original John Parris

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 Reverse View (L-R): Imitation Imagine, Original Imagine, Original Spirit, Original John Parris (note that the grain on the second and last cue is very little while the imitation has much more and the lower end spirit)

Joints of imitation cues are also different.

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(L-R): Imitation Imagine, Original Imagine (The etching on the joint is obvious and also look at the round tip part in the joint, the right side is bigger. Thanks Cosmo for holding up the cue for me!)

 

Then, I will try to feel the cue by either playing a shot if possible or holding the cue 3-4” from the butt and hit the side of the butt firmly with my palm to feel the whip of the cue. As you smack, you can see the top part of the cue whipping. A cue made of good materials will have a whip that is firm and the whip usually regains composure very quickly with little resonant at the butt. Imitation cues, built cheaply, have whips that are loose and it resonates down to the cue butt. However, this cannot be said to be the same with maple cue.

 

*Do take note that I reserve my comments only to O’min and John Parris cues as I’m not familiar with other cue brands. However it shouldn’t be far off.

 

CM1 and O’min: What’s the difference?

 

CM1 is actually a Malaysian brand by Comet M-One. They source their cues from the O’min factory. CM1 cues are actually factory-designed cues, be it hand made or machine made. Meaning that they just select the range that O’min has on the rack and asked it to be made with the CM1 logo. Hence, you can see that a lot of CM1 cues shares the same name with O’min cues. However, they also have lower end cues that are made locally in Malaysia and in China.


While O’min, from OriginalO’min.com, is directly from Thailand to Malaysia. O’min cues are made of the highest grade material that money can buy. Mr O, the owner of O’min cues, selects most of his timber himself. Be it machine- or handmade, the cues are made to a very stringent quality. Ken Doherty has O’min do some reparation for his cue before and it is rumoured the Ronnie owns one too.

 

A little about the writer

jceh

A 26-year-young budding and snooker/pool enthusiast who is still trying to improve his game. Scouring snooker parlours and the internet for tips, he shares a dream with JH Leong to improve the overall snooker game in Malaysia 


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