Brunswick v. Olhausen

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Postby mechmat on Fri Aug 27, 2004 5:09 am

Poolschool, I've noticed that you have a slight preference ( 8) ) for Olhausen tables, and have them listed as your website on your profile. Just about every time I've gone to a pool table dealer, they've seemed to 'push' brands that I've never heard of. I was just wondering if you sold any other brands of tables, and what your take is on smaller, lesser known brands that seem to be of very good quality. For example, I know that there is a company called American Heritage Billiards that makes tables in Ohio (I used to live there). They look fantastic, and have prices to match, but aside from what kind of cloth they use, I'd really have no idea what to look for or what to ask to decide if they would play well over time. I've read your posts about slate and cushions. Is there any way to sift through the salesman's bs(pardon my abbreviated french) to know if they use good quality slate? Do you know if companies like this make their own cushions or use cushions from other companies such as Olhausen?

I know that's a lot to throw at you at one time, so just some general comments woud be appreciated if you don't feel like responding to every point.
Thanks!
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Postby Poolschool on Fri Aug 27, 2004 7:19 am

I think my favorite smaller manufacturer would be A.E. Scmidt they have been in the business since 1850 about 5 years after Brunswick began. They make some really unique tables and all of the people who work there are very knowledgable about tables. American Heritage isnt really a smaller manufacturer and the majority of their tables are made over seas. Another good american made table is made right here in Higginsport,Ohio by Chuck Vonderhaar. Vonderhaar tables are built pretty well and he stands behind his work. I believe he buys his cushions from championship though which is a big nono. They get hard really fast, atleast the ones I have woorked on.
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Table Constr.

Postby JPierquet on Mon Aug 30, 2004 9:19 pm

I am in the process of buying a pool table and I am in between a Brunnwick Hawthorn or Highlander or an Oldhausen Tahoe. I was told from a Brunswick and a Kasson dealer that Oldhausen screws the slate on their tables in the playing service area and that this a poor design. I was at a Kasson dealer and he actually had an Oldhausen table with the slate exposed and you could see the screws in the middle of the table. Since I am a layman, this on the surface does not seem to be good, but I am not sure. Can someone set me straight?

Thanks
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Postby Poolschool on Mon Aug 30, 2004 10:31 pm

The Benefits of the Center Slate Screws :
1.) It add additional points of measurement to assure a perfect, accurate, consistant levelness throughout the entire playing surface.
2.) It truly benefits the customer by assuring that the slate will stay secure and the seams will be less likely to pop given climatic conditions that would normally cause the slate to move. Thus leaving you with a unleavel table and a agrevating bump across the entire seam. In time if not taken care of right away, it will cause the cloth to wear in the line of the popped seam.

If you are worried about the center slate screw affecting play. That is bogus. Any professional pool table mechanic knows how to fill the holes so you never know they're there. This isnt a new to the industry at all. Many top pool table manufacturer's use this type of system to secure their slate. Because it works. Most old antiques not only have center slate screws that are in the playing surface but they have all slate screws exposed on the playing surface. Before there were oversized slates that keep the slate screws under the rails and out of the playing surface, there were oversized cabinets. Oversized cabinets require the slate to get screwed directly to the cabinet. By doing this every slate screw that goes into the cabinet was in the playing surface. This design was used for nearly 100 years. Then someone got smart and invented oversized slate.

I will add this...For many years our store in Dayton was top 20 Dealer for Brunswick. They have been open since 1965 and they always monitor their call backs and complaints from their customers. When we carried Brunswick we had an average of 12% call backs. Call backs include loose pockets unlevel tables and the notorious "Popped Seam" Since we began carrying Olhausen tables exclusively are call backs have reduced from 12% to under 2%. Mostly the 2% is because we guarantee levelness of all tables. Well, we make sure the tables are perfectly level by using machinist levels that are very accurate. We cant do anything about settling into the carpet and that sort of thing that is totaly out of our control. But, we guarantee levelness therfore we will come back out and level the table free of charge as long as the table hasnt been moved. We are very glad we made the change to Olhausen. They have customer service that is uncomparable to any other pool table manufacturer. Their quality control is excellent and the list goes on and on.
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Postby Poolschool on Mon Aug 30, 2004 10:38 pm

JPierquet, Im can't find an Olhausen "Tahoe" that is in production today. Are you sure this is an Olhausen?
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Postby mick on Mon Aug 30, 2004 11:21 pm

The story of cutting quality and raising prices is an old one...it nearly bankrupted Harley...(it was AMF that did it...and I seem to recall an association between AMF and Brunswick)...This reverse backhanded thinking might do the same to Brunswick if they don't reverse the trend and start making tables that start on the first kick and don't leak oil! :mrgreen:
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Postby Poolschool on Tue Aug 31, 2004 5:52 am

mick, I'm not sure I understand your comment. I do remember AMF and Brunswick were fixed together at one point.
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Postby badandy on Tue Aug 31, 2004 12:46 pm

AMF had a reputation of buying a good company then stripping it naked and letting it die due to cut backs and diminished quality, basically, take the money and run. i do not know if that is still the case but it was in the past.
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Postby brooksy on Tue Aug 31, 2004 1:25 pm

The Brunswick Contender line has a table called the Tahoe. Table names aren't always unique to a given manufacturer so I don't know if this is the one that was being referred to.
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Postby JPierquet on Tue Aug 31, 2004 2:43 pm

Pool School - I was wrong about the Oldhausen model, it was not the Tahoe but the York
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Postby mick on Tue Aug 31, 2004 4:32 pm

Poolschool wrote:mick, I'm not sure I understand your comment. I do remember AMF and Brunswick were fixed together at one point.


I was associating the premis of running a company into the ground with what it appears Brunswick is now doing...it's called resting on one's laurels...past successes, cutting investment in new products or improvement or quality...bottom line, Harley and the AMF relationship did just that. Since AMF was also associated with Brunswick, it appears to me the disease is now internal...to Brunswick. You can't discount the infiltration of people that think in AMF terms that may still be at Brunswick.
Last edited by mick on Tue Aug 31, 2004 10:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby SnakebyteXX on Tue Aug 31, 2004 5:34 pm

Mick, it's my understanding that Brunswick's billiards business represents something like two percent of the companies big picture. Clearly they're not putting a lot of faith in that two percent being meaningful to the future of the company. As time goes by their lack of quality control and focus will probably reduce their overall market share even further - eventually driving them to reduce that two percent to one and then...?

Now, it's all about business and 'show me the money' and corporate interests that could care less about company history or the reputation they once had as the best there was.

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Postby JPierquet on Tue Aug 31, 2004 6:11 pm

I went to two Brunswick dealers last Saturday because I am interested in their Hawthorn model. One dealer quoted me a price of $2,700 and another dealer about 75 miles away quoted me a price of $3,300. The table was 1" slate. The two tables were identical. Do all table dealers have this kind of varation in price? I feel like I am shopping for a car now and that I have to haggle. Does anybody know which Oldhausen tables are in this price range?
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Postby Poolschool on Tue Aug 31, 2004 9:08 pm

The York is in that price range. It is a far better table then the Brunswick models you are choosing from. The differences are almost too much to type since I am at work. You can check some of my posts on this site. But if you buy either of those models from Brunswick you are making a big mistake IMO.
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Postby Poolschool on Tue Aug 31, 2004 9:09 pm

you can PM me and I will respond later when I get home.
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