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Maker of pool cues from 1981 to present in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Schon Cues was started by Terry Romine and Bob Runde in the back of what was then Romine´s High Pocket billiard parlor in downtown Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Bob had more than ten years of cuemaking experience at the time, and Terry also had previous experience with cuemaking. They chose the name "Schon" for their cues, which is German for beautiful. The obvious approach was to build a cue like the best that was available at the time, i.e. Balabushka and Szamboti. The result was highly successful, and to this day they continue to build a Balabushka-style cue, but over the last twenty years have made a myriad of improvements in performance, construction, and design. Schon Cues feels that they are now making the best cue they have ever made.
The basic cue is constructed as a three-piece butt. The center section, or "under the wrap," as they call it, is a laminated unit of various woods which helps maintain straightness and consistent play from cue to cue. The cost of this piece is astronomical in comparison to the standard maple under the wrap, but nothing is sacrificed for performance. The top of the cue, in 85% of all instances, is bird´s-eye maple. The rest of the time exotic wood tops are used which are drilled and cored with laminated maple to maintain weight, consistency of hit, and straightness. Their stainless steel joint has a phenolic core, which they pioneered over 25 years ago, and has since been adopted by many of the well-known cuemakers. This construction helps reduce weight and also softens and transfers the sensitivity of the hit. The bottom of the cue is made from various materials such as bird´s-eye maple, ebony, or other exotic woods, terminated by a Delrin butt plate which yields the best durability for a section of the cue which takes much abuse from day to day. A little cosmetic quality is sacrificed because they can´t finish over the Delrin, but it is infinitely more repairable and maintainable. The primary objectives at Schon Cues are good play, performance, and durability.
All inlay work is made from what Schon Cues calls "high integrity" materials. Black stuff is all ebony, white stuff is elephant ivory, etc. In some small instances, they substitute high tensile synthetics in the ringwork where the structural integrity of the cue is best served. Shafts are Northern hard maple with their own proprietary ferrule and their own water buffalo tip. They tend to resort to the form over function rule regarding the cosmetics of shaft wood. In recent years, there has been a trend to promote squaky white homogenous maple as the best shaft. They hit with every cue and shaft that they have ever made, and after all these years cannot make any correlation between tight grain, color, weight, and good hit. The proof is in the hit, and since they make a very small amount of cues, they have the luxury of being able to tune each piece that leaves their shop. They can produce shafts in any length, from 27 to 32 inches in any particular length increment, and any diameter from 11 to 14 mm in any diameter increment. They also offer ivory ferrules as an option for an additional fee.
Schon cues are easily identifiable by the Schon logo which appears on the butt caps. In 1981, the first year of production, all Schon cues had brown phenolic joint rings. By 1982, the first line of sixteen cues was introduced in a brochure. These cues had maple dashes in the joint and spliced points. From 1985 to 1987, the high end Schon cues had nickel silver rings, and by 1988, all Schons had nickel silver joint rings. By the 1990s, Schon cues had inlaid points.
In 1992, Bob Runde retired and Evan Clark took over cuemaking operations. In 1993, Evan saw some Schon shafts for sale that were adequate to deceive the unwitting buyer, so he started marking "Schon" on the shafts that same year. Shafts made in 1993 have "Schon" in gold lettering on the collar, and since then they have been vertically marked on the wood. Evan tries to create a new Limited Edition Schon every week, and no more than twelve of a single design are made. These cues are marked "Schon Ltd." and sometimes include the cue´s number, and number of identical cues made. He makes Elite cues, seven per design and Unique cues. These cues are marked "Schon Elite" and "Schon Unique" respectively.
If you have a Schon cue that needs further identification or repair, or would like to talk to someone about ordering a new Schon cue, contact Schon Cues, listed in the Trademark Index.

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