What difference do the butt splices make?
The most common butt wood used on a top quality hand made cue is Ebony. This has plenty of natural weight, polishes to a nice finish, and looks good because it is usually black and contrasts well with the light colour of an Ash or Maple shaft.
But you are only limited by your own personal choice as there are many other woods you could choose.
Quite often the base wood in a butt may be Ebony and this is then over-spliced with another type of wood to create a different pattern. This can be done many times with many different colours creating very unique cues.
But ultimately, whatever pattern or woods have been used on the butt, it does not make much difference to the actual playing qualities. This always comes mainly from the shaft. It really is just a case of whether you like the look of the butt of a cue.
If you feel happy with the appearance, you will feel comfortable with the cue. And probably play better...
- The type or number of splices does not dictate the quality of a cue. In fact, cheaper hand made cues often many splices, but this merely disguises an overall inferior build quality.
- Any good quality hardwood can be used for the butt, because it doesn't make that much difference to the 'feel' of the cue. This comes mainly from the shaft, and how the cue is weighted and balanced.
- It is quicker to machine splice rather than hand splice a cue, therefore a hand spliced cue is generally more expensive than a machine spliced cue. Although not always, because some mass produced 'hand' spliced cues are very poor quality and are priced accordingly.
- Any cue, if made and finished well, will play and feel good. Simple as that. It's the quality of the cue maker, not the type of splicing that makes a good cue.
- A cheap hand spliced cue is exactly that - a cheap cue. Don't think you're the first person to have found that incredible bargain.
You get what you pay for
As true for cues as it is for everything else in life...