Meucci SE-16 Pool Cue
The new SE-16 (Special Edition) by Meucci is totally manufactured in the good old USA and is a collector's item with only 250 to be be made. The perceived retail value is around $1,200 so they are a great fabulous bargain at only $727.60.
This cue is unique in design using birdseye and cocobolo throughout with maple veneer colors as accents and the ever popular white, green, orange and black color combination. The cue is also inlayed with 6 alternating fleur de lis as well as 4 scrimshaw fluer de lis in the imitation ivory white points that pass through a cocobolo band in the middle of the forearm set off by white, green, orange, and black veneers, top and bottom. It has a cocobolo joint.
This cue is bound to be a favorite of collectors, considering all of the wood incorporated in the design of this cue. Each cue is signed and hand numbered by Bob Meucci himself.
List Price - $856.00
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(Note: I'm still looking for an Ebony SE-10, so if you have one for sale, feel free to contact me.)
The Meucci SE-10 (aka SE-X) cue: debunking the "most collectible Meucci ever" myth
Click the image to the right for a larger version of the original sales flyer.
Meucci allowed the SE-10 to be ordered with several different options for the wrap area (all of which were Irish linen, which is the staple for Meucci cues), with minor variations, as you can see from the image to the left.
More than one person has claimed that Meucci did not complete the entire production run, planned less than they advertised, or other such things. One person, who has a prototype of the SE-10 for sale, claimed Meucci "...only planned 300 of the SE-10, but only 100 were made, because of the intricate detail, and that most of them had to be destroyed because the detail was so intricate and they [Meucci] couldn't get it right."* I've seen a couple of the SE-10 cues for sale; the highest production numbers I've located are # 350 and # 469 (which blows the "only 300 were planned and only 100 were made" myth out of the water, never mind that the sales flyer for it already did that as well), and the statement that Meucci "destroyed" some of them is irrelevant, not only because it can't be proven, but also because even if Meucci destroyed a thousand of them, they still made nearly all they planned to.
*: I contacted an eBay seller, asking if he could get an SE-10-E, and he had this to say:
"I've got a buddy that I play bank with that has the SE10 in Ebony. He'd probably take $1500 for it. I've only had 1 SE-10I and it was a factory 2nd. It sold for almost a thousand bucks. One in mint condition would be worth a nice used car! :) ha,ha... There's just none of them around.
Meucci "Factory 2nd" cues are ones that don't meet Meucci's "high quality standards". Now, supposedly Meucci "destroyed" the SE-10 cues that were "not up to Meucci standards", yet here we have someone who had a Factory 2nd SE-10 cue, which obviously means Meucci did not destroy them as claimed! So much for that myth.
Click the thumbnail for larger photo showing more detail.
forearm side 1
forearm side 2
This brings up an interesting point: if there are TWO cues BOTH serial numbered the same, then it's entirely possible there were MORE than 500 made! So much for a "limited production run of 500". How many people out there have a "limited numbered edition" of the SE-10 with the same serial number?
To the right are photos of SE-10 # 350, which according to the seller was never played with and came with the original red-dot shaft. It actually sold for $1,200 according to the person who sold it, but I'm not so sure I believe him on that price (his eBay auction, with an opening bid of $1,200 and a buy-it-now price of $1,500, received no bids in it's initial listing or subsequent re-listing.) He also advertised it on CraigsList.com, which is where says he found a buyer prior to my emailing him.
I've also located a seller in Malang (East Java), Indonesia (not a private seller, but rather a billiards cue store there) who says they have # 469 for sale, describes it as "90% condition, never refinished", and includes the original red-dot shaft. That makes it the highest production serial # I've verified thus far, and proves that Meucci did complete the majority of the production run (#469 is actually 93.8% of the planned 500), thus blowing the "Meucci ended the production run early" myth out of the water. It's possible Meucci didn't do the entire planned production run of 500, but nearly 94% of it was completed. Even if cues were "destroyed along the way", Meucci still did the majority of the production run.
As it turns out, # 469 is is the Ivory SE-10-I model.
Update, October 30, 2008: The seller contacted me, and lowered the asking price to $800 + s/h. Unfortunately, I already bought a cue (a McDermott M2-9A "Knight"), which pretty much blew all my cue budget. I told the seler that depending on how my new contract goes for the next week or two, I may re-consider my cue budget and buy it.(Granted, I don't really want the Ivory, but I might consider it...if I hadn't already bought the McDermott, I'd probably have said yes to their offer.)
Click the thumbnail for larger photo showing more detail.
Click the thumbnail for larger photo showing more detail.
I wanted to note that the SE-10 cues from Meucci came with two (2) shafts; however, this seller has three shafts with each of these cues, because according to him, he had two sets (one to play with, one to "collect"), and he sold his "playing" set, but only sold them with one shaft, and is therefore including the "extra" shafts with this sale.
Update, 10/24/2008: After receiving no bids (again), the auction ended; I had contacted the seller several times, and made a final offer of $1,600 for the set, which he declined. he claims they're "worth much more, and that the Blue Book of Cues is totally wrong on these cues, and should not be used to determine their value." His final email to me clamed he "had a much better offer on them", though he declined to tell me what it was. :(
However, here's where it gets a *little* odd: I've also been contacted by a member of azbilliards.com, who says he also has # 088 for sale, but it's a matched set (Ebony & Ivory.) He's emailed me, but I have not received a reply from him as of yet. His initial email said he was looking for $3,000 for the set.
SE-10 # 033 was also located, but no photos are available. # 033 is an Ebony version.
- Prototype, no serial number
- # 018 (matched set of Ebony & Ivory)
- # 033 (Ebony)
- # 088 (Ivory; possible matched set of Ebony & Ivory?)
- # 134 (Ebony)
- # 150 (matched set of Ebony & Ivory)
- # 469 (Ivory)
Collectability: what is the Meucci SE-10 REALLY worth?
- The first issue, of course, is Meucci issuing the letter claiming they "stopped the production run", yet at least 93.8% of it was completed. Some have said that Bob Meucci Jr. was attempting to make an "instant collectible" by issuing the letter, and Meucci would then sell those cues for more (this has never been proven, obviously, but it's a valid theory IMHO.) Also, it isn't clear (nor will it probably ever be) why Meucci issued the letter to only some dealers; my theory is that it went out to dealers who submitted (or tried to submit) orders for the SE-10 after Meucci made the decision to stop producing them short of the full production run of 500. With # 469 confirmed, that leaves no more than 31, which makes sense that only a handful of dealers would get the letter*.
*: if you're a dealer who happened to get this letter, and you happen to still have it, please contact me! I'd love to get a good scan of it.
- Secondly, many places are actually refusing to carry Meucci cues any longer due to quality issues, as well as Meucci warranty problems. These issues started happening after Bob Meucci Sr. retired, and his son, Bob Meucci Jr., took over. The SE-10 was made by - and billed as - "the first model ever cooperatively designed by Bob Meucci Sr. and Bob Meucci Jr." Unfortunately as well, I've spoken to *several* people who owned an SE-10 that either have had to return it to Meucci (and ended up getting a full refund), or simply got rid of it or let it sit in a closet due to problems with the inlays, urethane, and warpage (apparently, the wood used was "quick" kiln dried, which can lead to problems later.) The quality really depended on who worked on it, and what batch the wood came from; ergo, there is some wildly inconsistent cues in the SE-10 batches that were made. This is also true, apparently, of all Meucci cues in recent years, which seems to have begun around the time that Bob Meucci Jr. took over for his father. Since the SE-10 was one of the first that Bob Meucci Jr. was involved with, this seems to make sense with the timeline, and affects the value of the SE-10, as well as Meucci cues in general.
- Thirdly, Meucci actually offered two different "versions" of this cue, the Ivory SE-10-I, and Ebony SE-10-E. Meucci did not, however, offer 500 of each, but rather the number produced for either one was based on customer's orders, with a maximum of 500 total cues made (the production run for the SE-10) with that design. How many SE-10-I (Ivory) ones were made? How many SE-10-E (Ebony)? How many "matched sets" that had BOTH cues with the same serial number, thus increasing the number of cues made? No one except Meucci themselves really knows, and unless we could get Meucci to release the sales info (highly improbable), or track down every one sold (highly unlikely), it's something that may never be known. Unfortunately, to accurately determine value, those are (at least one of) the very figures we need! If there were, say, only 50 of the SE-10-I(Ivory) made, that could potentially make that version of the cue worth more. However, if there were 250 of each made, that could also make either of them worth more (as it would no longer be "500 SE-10 cues made", but rather "250 of each model".) We also don't know if Meucci made either model with a specific or particular number scheme (for example, cues with even numbers were Ebony, odd numbers were Ivory; this doesn't appear to be the case, however), or if they made one version up to a certain number and then made only the other version (for example, "cues numbered 1 to 250 were all Ebony, and those numbered 251 to 500 were all Ivory." That also does not appear to be the case, however.) I personally believe Meucci simply made the cues as the orders came in, and assigned whatever number was next when they finished with that cue, which is a little haphazard in my opinion and also affects collectability and value.
- Fourthly, regarding the "matched sets" of cues that have the same serial number: some people might claim that Meucci "only made a few of those matched sets", thus enhancing their collectability, ergo they must be worth more, right? Wrong. First off, a "serial numbered cue" should be a one-of-a-kind cue, and there should only be one cue with that serial number. Having TWO of the same serial number makes it, well, less of a "limited edition", and more of a mass-produced cue. Seeing as I've already found at least two sets with the same serial #, we can then extrapolate that there had to be at least 502 cues made (and probably many more), not "limited to 500 cues" as Meucci claimed in their sales brochures.
- Fifthly, we cannot discount the market today, which includes both the economy and the current market for reselling cues (whether it be custom cues, "limited editions", or high-end production cues) is in the dumps right now, so anybody trying to sell overpriced cues will just sit there and have to lower prices. The rule of thumb with Meucci cues is roughly 40% to 50% of what you can buy one new for; granted, the SE-10 is no longer made, so it cannot be purchased new, but the "value" of an SE-10 is pretty much confirmed by Martyne Bachmen (co-author of "Blue Book of Pool Cues, 3rd Edition"), which I've detailed her opinion and comments regarding the value of the SE-10 in the paragraph below (So, what is a Meucci SE-10 cue "worth"?). As she is the co-author of the premier book detailing cue values, her opinion should be given great weight. Given that she says it's worth in the $700 - $800 range, I'd actually pay somewhere around that (but no more), however I believe the value is probably closer to the $600 to $700 range when you 1) add in the fact that Meucci will not honor the warranty on any cues bought second-hand (or used), 2) the fact that Meucci did sell "Factory 2nd" SE-10 cues (which were supposedly "destroyed"; this is a BIG factor IMHO), AND 3) the fact that Meucci is now outsourcing much of their work overseas anyway (the Meucci "Medici" line is described as "...80% manufactured by a premier offshore manufacturer and then fine tuned at the new Meucci factory.") .
- Finally, it's been claimed that Meucci made batches of ten to twenty SE-10 cues at a time, and then "destroyed" the defective ones as they came out. As it was told to me from the seller of the SE-10 prototype above (who says he lives "10 minutes away from the Meucci factory, and goes there all the time"): "...the run was cut short, and cues were destroyed, as I saw about nine to twelve SE-10 cues right in front of me...so just because they DID destroy x amount, doesn't mean they go in ORDER....i.e.: #128 comes out great, #129 is f-d up, #130 comes out great.....well what happens, they throw out #129 and it keeps on going." That doesn't sound right to me; if that were the case, then Meucci would have had a hard time reaching the 500 cues planned, and the production numbers would have had to go back and be re-made from the beginning. It would make no sense to have cue # 129 made after cue # 163, for example; production numbers are there for a reason, aside from collectability. From what I know, each cue is made, and the production number is the LAST thing to go on, prior to it being finished. If, for example, # 129 came out and was f'ed-up, then the next cue that was made that wasn't "f'ed-up" would be marked as # 129, and so on. I believe he's simply trying to state that so as to make his SE-10 prototype more valuable than it really is, but that's merely my opinion. I've contacted Meucci and asked them, but to date have not received an answer back from them regarding that information.
- Technically, this would be a seventh point, but it's directly related to number six: Meucci supposedly "destroyed" the SE-10 cues that were "not up to Meucci's standards", yet it's already been confirmed that Meucci DID sell "Factory 2nd" SE-10 cues, which means they did not destroy them. It stands to reason, then, that Meucci produced at least 471 cues (as # 469 is for sale from the seller in Indonesia, and there have been at least two sets of SE-10 cues that have the same serial number), meaning that at least 94.2% of the cues were made and sold (and most likely, that number is over 100%.)
Meucci REV-2 butt
Meucci REV-2 forearm
Meucci has recently introduced a new cue, the REV-2, which is a "revision" of the SE-10, however is not a Special Edition (SE) version, is not limited in quantity, and as such it is not numbered. The REV-2 has an MSRP from Meucci of ~$900 (but can be found for a lot less.) While the inlay and scrimshaw is not exactly the same and not quite as detailed, it is basically the same, and this affects the "collectability" of the SE-10, as previously if someone wanted the design, their only option was to find an SE-10. Now people can get basically the same design, and thus the "uniqueness" of the SE-10 is diminished.
I still want one, as it's a very beautiful cue, but I (and many others) are simply not going to pay an over-inflated price for a "mythical" cue with so many misconceptions about it.
The "collectability" of Meucci cues in general has been called into question by many people. Meucci even bills many of their Special Edition cues as "instant collectables", which they claim is because of superior production and low numbers made (many of the more recent Meucci Special Edition cues have been limited to 100, 150, or 250 total made; there have also been a few cues made with a total run of 10 or 50.) However, other well-known cue manufacturers, such as Schön (which makes both Limited - called "LTDs" by Schön - cues in runs of only 12, and Schön SP cues, which are small batch cues that are not limited from future repetition), McDermott, Lucasi, Joss, and even Viking also offer "limited edition" or "numbered small production run" cues, with similar price tags (and often, much higher prices, due to the use of high quality woods, inlays of real precious stones, ivory, or other such items.)
Many collectors of billiard cues (and even cue sellers in general) pinpoint the "downfall" of Meucci from when they (Meucci) moved from their old factory to a new one, which happened in October 2006; previously, Meucci made all their cues at their Sledge, MS factory, and then moved to a "new, larger" factory in Byhalia, MS. As it turns out, Meucci now actually outsources much of it's work overseas (and as it turns out, has been doing so for several years now), and they are no longer "proudly made in the USA", as they once were back in the 1970s, 1980s, and early 1990s.
In fact, BilliardCue.com, which is one of the few websites that both tracks and provides information on investment-quality billiard cues (including antique, custom, and artistic cues, among others), does not list the Meucci SE-10, but does have several Meucci cues listed, the most expensive of which is a 1995 model commemorating the 20th U.S. Open 9 Ball Championship, is numbered # 1 (of only 10 made), autographed by Reed Pierce (winner of the 20th US Open 9 Ball Championship), and is valued at $1,500. Using it as a baseline, that cue is considerably more "rare", yet the price is comparable (and often less) to what sellers of the SE-10 are asking.
I also contacted Martyne Bachmen, author of "Blue Book of Pool Cues, 3rd Edition" (along with Brad Simpson), who also runs chalkers.com, which sells custom and investment-quality cues, and has also been featured in Billiards Digest. Here's what she had to say:
I do not have much information on the Meucci cues, as Bob Meucci will not respond to inquiries regarding cue history or valuations.
I can tell you based on my general knowledge and expertise that a production cue of which 500 or so were made generally does not appreciate much in value in the near term. In my opinion, it is not a a "rare collectible" and $1,500 is about twice the actual current value. It sounds as though $700 - $800 is in the right ballpark."
There you go, straight from the author of the very book that tracks pool cue values. His comments are exactly what I've said already. For the price people are asking for the Meucci SE-10, I'd much rather get the Sigel MS-89 that Martyne has for sale. THAT'S a one-of-a-kind limited-edition cue that is worth the money! (Actually, after a lot of input from the AZBilliards.com community, I've decided that the Sigel cue is not for me. It's nice, but for the money, I can do better.)
Simply put, Meucci cues have become a shadow of their former selves, and many people feel that Meucci has become a "mid-level" or even "entry level" cue instead of the top-shelf brand they once were, or at least bill themselves as.
Also, as I currently don't have an SE-10 in my possession to do so, I'd really like to take a very high-quality close-up of the entire entire cue stick (well, not the shaft), much like the one shown on the BudgetCues.com Meucci REV-2 webpage. If you can help (either by taking the photo, or lending me your cue so I can take it), please contact me. If you take the photo, please use a white background (like a cotton sheet) so that the only thing in the picture is the cue itself. I'd like at least the SE-10-E, and hopefully the SE-10-I as well.
Se 1 meucci
.Meucci All Natural Wood 1 ANW-1 Pool Stick - Cue View 360 - 4K Ultra HD Rotating 360 Degree Pan/Zoom
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