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  • New table advice

    Hi all, I'm fortunate enough to have a reasonable sized arcade attached to my games room. I'm looking to remove most of my pinball machines, leaving just 6 or 7 in there and installing a full size snooker table.

    I used to be an OK player, but have only just started playing snooker again recently (lots of American Pool for the last few years). I'm regularly in the 40s breakwise, occasionally higher, often lower.

    I could do with some direct advice on the type of table to purchase, In particular, are there quality differeneces between an older used Riley's Aristocrat vs a new one? Would I notice a significant difference between say a Riley's Club vs an Aristocrat? If going new I'd probably go for a black version. If used, I'd definitely be wanting a table that didn't shows signs of age and looked the part as well as playing it as it'll be a piece of furniture in that room also.

    Any advice would be gratefully received!
    Martin

  • #2
    Hi Martin! Welcome to the forum

    What budget did you have in mind for your new table?

    Some might correct me if I’m wrong.. I think any pre-90’s Aristocrats were all built in the UK, after this Riley moved some of its operation to China I think. I have an 80’s Aristocrat made in the UK which was confirmed by a former Riley employee. Since then it has been debated whether the quality of the mahogany now available is in decline? The Star tables for example use a faster growing hardwood and their legs are made up of many pieces glued together, shaped and then sprayed gold to hide the fact.

    The Riley and BCE Westbury tables always seem to hold there money, then If you want steel block cushions and fast Strachan Superfine or No.10 cloth prices can go from 1500 to 3000/4000+ and if your lucky that will include setup.

    Hope that help a little!

    Steve

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    • #3
      Thanks Steve - very helpful. I was thinking in that sort of area for a used table - ?3k/4k. From the Rileys website for new tables the Club is ?7,600 and Aristocrat ?10,500 (in their current sale). I'm not really sure of the difference in quality and play and whether I'd even really notice it. it appears that Riley's aren't answering their phones today either!

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      • #4
        The difference is probably down to the quality of the materials used, plus the Aristocrat design will be more complex to make, hence the price. I doubt the slate has any difference unless you wanted the tournament Aristocrat with match cut pockets on the slates. If your not a regular 100+ break player you probably wouldn’t notice the difference between Club and Aristocrat from a playing point of view? Most of that will come down to how well the table is setup? Under table heating, fine cloths etc...

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        • #5
          What Steve says is spot ,we both have tables at home ,I have the steal cushion BCE Westbury which I bought reconditioned in February last year .Riley Aristocrat and Westbury were used in all World snooker events for 28 years until star tables in 2010 ,so they are good British tables with History behind them .If you get one of these you can have them refinished and stained in whatever colour you like ,plenty of companies will restore these tables as-they sell for a good price .Slate fall on match steel cushions is about quarter of an inch further in compared to a club type table ,but you can have your pockets cut to accommodate this .If you go for an Antique type older table ,they are made to very high standards but a lot them suffer from middle pocket blow back ,which is a true shot hit right in the centre of the middle pocket to the back of the leather ,but the ball bangs back out on to the table when hit extreamly hard ,if you enjoy the game and want to progress this will eventually drive you nuts ,I had a loverly table that was in the house when we moved in but this was a problem .so I sold it .BCE/Riley may be off all this bank holiday ,like a lot of companies this COVID crap has hit them too ,if you do get through to them Hayley is very knowledgeable and sorted me out with new original pocket leathers earlier this year ,she knows her onions for sure and is a pleasure to deal with ,just remember if you look at BCE Riley site the Westbury on there is not a proper one ,it’s a cheap type table with only the legs cut to the same design ,it’s not the old tv table ,even the pocket plates are wrong .Do some research and get the table you want ,a good BCE or Riley with Steel cushions and you won’t go far wrong ,especially if you can get it stripped and re finished in your preferred colour .There’s a few on here with tables ,so I’m sure you will get more advice .

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          • #6
            Fabulous, much appreciated. That was my feeling re: would I notice but wanted to get the opinion of someone who knew way more than me; I'm certainly not anywhere near the regular 100+ area. Re: cloth, I would go for a decent fine cloth but I suspect probably not under table heating.

            Now to find a decent used table or consider new!

            Comment


            • #7
              Thanks mikee - very useful. And thanks for pointed out the BCE on Riley's site - good to know. I'm not sure I want antique - we had an antique 10ft table back in the day and the middle pocket blow back was exactly as you describe.

              I had no idea about stripping an re-colouring a used table - great advice.

              Thanks for the help - really useful guides...

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              • #8
                I don’t have under table heating as the table is in an extension of the house ,the room is kept at 21 degrees ,the speed is fine ,cloth wize I have 6811 tournament 30 oz ,once the cloth has had its stretch after around 5 to 6 months it plays at its best ,and the speed really picks up .my table was under 4 grand, delivered ,set up ,re finished to new ,and ready for play .
                Last edited by mikee; 1 June 2021, 02:59 PM.

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                • #9
                  The ones stated above are good. You can also try a B&W table, much cheaper and quality too.
                  Can't wait for this pandemic to end so we all can start playing again.

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                  • #10
                    Originally Posted by fkhan View Post
                    The ones stated above are good. You can also try a B&W table, much cheaper and quality too.
                    That’s true ,but they all suffer from middle pocket blow back ,in the the old days billiards was the game ,these tables were not designed for hard modern snooker shots .Trouble is the wood capping are not wide enough and the pocket plate is set further into the table ,nearer the slate ,there is nothing you can do about it apart from having new cushion freezes made with new modern pocket plates .

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                    • #11
                      Originally Posted by mikee View Post

                      That’s true ,but they all suffer from middle pocket blow back ,in the the old days billiards was the game ,these tables were not designed for hard modern snooker shots .Trouble is the wood capping are not wide enough and the pocket plate is set further into the table ,nearer the slate ,there is nothing you can do about it apart from having new cushion freezes made with new modern pocket plates .
                      I have never played on a B&W table. My thought comes from various views on this subject. You might be right if you have played on and observed those tables.
                      Can't wait for this pandemic to end so we all can start playing again.

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                      • #12
                        They are great tables really solid ,generally with 2 inch Welsh slate ,it’s just that one problem ,you get on a good break wrong side of the blue ,you need to fly the white round three cushions to get back to the reds or pink and you never know if that ball is coming back on the table .Looking closely at the wooden cushion freezes you can see on a B&W that they slope down a little in their design ,not flush level with the table ,basicly get a ball and run it up the wooden cushion and it will veer off and fall on the floor ,this doesn’t help either as it angles the pocket plate slightly up ,the modern table freezes are level and the pockets sit slightly angled down with a cut back design on the inside of the plate to throw the ball downwards .The big sweeping heavy BCE plates also help absorb the ball a lot better than the lighter Thinner B& W tables plates .

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                        • #13
                          I have some genuine Riley Aristocrats in stock. Drop me a private message and I can maybe help.

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                          • #14
                            MartinY - you will need at least 10 posts (and then some patience) before you get the PM function :0 so get posting
                            Up the TSF! :snooker:

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally Posted by MartinY View Post
                              Fabulous, much appreciated. That was my feeling re: would I notice but wanted to get the opinion of someone who knew way more than me; I'm certainly not anywhere near the regular 100+ area. Re: cloth, I would go for a decent fine cloth but I suspect probably not under table heating.

                              Now to find a decent used table or consider new!
                              Not that it's necessary to us on here who know mikees's knowledge, but for someone who is seeking advice, I'd just like to back up what he says in these posts 100%. Great advice and the only thing you need to decide is are you a connoisseur or do you want as close as possible to pro standard conditions? Thats the main difference between B&w and Riley aristocrat \ BCE Westbury. There is no real question about quality both are supreme old craftsmanship in their builds.

                              Nice problem to have, so enjoy and let us know how things progress if you have time.
                              No cheap shots...well maybe the odd one if its funny...

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