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 Post subject: Re: ATTM Kamui Style
PostPosted: Mon Jul 01, 2013 10:02 am 
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I prefer the feel and hit of a hard tip. Which is harder, the standard brown or the black. How does the hardness rate compare to a Hercules hard, Moori hard, or Talisman hard or extra hard? When installing a Kamui tip, do they 100% require a pad first?


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 Post subject: Re: ATTM Kamui Style
PostPosted: Wed Jul 03, 2013 8:23 pm 
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My questions are similar but a bit more broad than the posting from wyattearp.
• What is your opinion about how the industry rates and classifies tip hardness?
• Is there any way to provide more consistent ratings for tips?
• How does Kamui classify the hardness of its tips?
• Does Kamui attempt correlate their hardness classifications with those from other tip manufacturers?
Thanks for the insights.


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 Post subject: Re: ATTM Kamui Style
PostPosted: Sun Jul 07, 2013 11:12 pm 
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JimBo wrote:
As most of you know this has been a cuemaker dominated section, we have had a lot of interesting and educational threads about some of the worlds best cuemakers. This is going to be a little different as we are going to be talking cues here but I feel this can also be very helpful and informative to a lot of us.

This thread is gong to be about tips and chalk, John Bertone is President of Kamui USA and has been with the company since day one, before John started with Kamui he owned 5 star Billiard products, an online retail store back in the 90's, John also spent a lot of time learning about cues, tips , and the pool industry from spending many hours in Kerry Zeiler's shop, through Kerry he met Masato Hiraoka and became good friends, this friendship eventually forged the Kamui company, and the rest as they say is history.

In this thread I hope we can learn a lot about tips as well as chalk, keep in mind that John's expertise is with the Kamui product line as I am sure he knows a lot about all tips and chalk his specialty I am sure is his own company so let's be respectful and let's learn something here. As always thanks to John for taking the time to give us some knowledge, as you already know we have a few days to ask some questionsand then John will answer, we are a bit limitted on time because John is leaving for the BCA show so let's pick up the pace on this one. As we all know I get to ask the first few questions, so lets kick this thing off.

1) What does the word Kamui translate to in English?
KAMUI means "Devine Power" in ancient Japanese.

2) Without giving away any secrets are the tips 100% leather and if so what type of leather?
The Kamui leather is made of Japanese pig skin sourced from our special pig farm.

3) What qualifications do you guys have in leather and tips as well as chalk or is this a case of working with experts to achieve an idea you guys had to improve on these products?
Making an innovative product does note require qualifications. Thinking differently has its own value so we start by trying something different to begin with. The knowledge follows later to fulfill the necessity. For example, we ended up learning many different aspects of physics, quality control, and etc. form our ideas. We typically set up a hypothetical to improve a product's performance and use the experts to critique. The "hypothesis and test" cycle gives us the chance to leap into innovative new or improved products.

4) What was the main motivation to create a new type of chalk and what is your hopes for this chalk moving forward?
We are active pool players, motivation comes from what we already do. We are picky and critical users of the product.
Our chalk is designed to achieve the greatest friction possible to the cue ball. Eliminating the undesired slippage between the tip and the cue ball allows the player to position the cue ball more precisely with less effort.
This increased friction also prevents mis-cuing. Billiards is a precision and mental sport and the player does not need to go through much emotion. This gives a comfortable fluidity to the game.


5) Has there been any studies to see how long (hours of play) you can get out of your tips and chalk while using them in conjunction?
In conjunction, no. As for the tips we tried to reduce the mushrooming for the longer hours of play as it effects the playability of the player.
As for the chalk, we pursue the maximum friction but as a player's need to chalk less, it turned out to be longer hours of play.
We have had feedback from players telling us that since they have started to use Kamui chalk their tips have lasted longer. Kamu chalk is a low-non abrasive material to the tip.



6) On the new Kamui clear tips can you please explain why the use of the clear pad, also when deciding on this clear pad why did you choose clear as apposed to a color?
For the use of the clear pad, please refer to the link below.
http://www.kamuibrand.com/billiard-en/?page_id=2399
We had many material options to achieve "repeatable performance" while we were working on this development for 3 years. In 2006 I made my first trip to China and visited some billiards retail shops. It was a shocking experience to see so many counterfeit products. I deeply made my own mental note that we will be a target. Because the more we push our business and become famous, the more counterfeit we will see which creates a lot of damage to our value chain. It will not only hurt our sales but disappoint our valued customers. So taking this issue into consideration it becomes one of highest priority to our product development.
Lately, we see more counterfeit from Korea, Taiwan and China are hitting some of the most reputable companies in our industry. The purpose of the clear pad is for the tip installer to see the quality of the Kamui tip. The counterfeiter will not be able to achieve this quality, the clear is for you to see the quality. We are lucky to have the ability to develop our product this way to use the clear pad. As for the other colors, we have tried 30 or so of them. We also had many different options for the product name and it took us 6 months to separately check the international trademark. Transparent pad and CLEAR name became a great combination, finally.


7) A 2 part question can you please tell me what you feel is the most important qualities when it comes to a tip, and chalk as well?
Reliability. This means that the player can trust their equipment/gear.
It is the sword for the warrior in the battlefield and the lifeline for the diver.
The player is forced to make the ultimate decision when the competition gets close.
For the player to show their skill, they have to be comfortable for making the right decision.
Durability, deflection, hardness, elasticity, friction and so on are designed to help the player to have confidence.


8) Many people seem to bitch about the price of your product, to them what do you say?
I agree there are people who do not like our pricing, but there are more people in support of our product with the current price.

We set our pricing to make our activity sustainable over time.
We can only use the best possible material, machinery and craftsmanship; this makes the KAMUI brand.
Our costs are unfortunately high even though we try to push down our costs, the price turns out to be high.
We are a company working hard at being "innovative" and I firmly believe that being different from our competition is our value.


9) Is there any other areas (besides just tips and chalk) that you guys would like to explore in the pool industry?
Not now, But there is a demand from the players to benchmark the performance of a cue.

10) is it true you have a satisfaction guarantee that goes with your tips and can you please explain how that works?
We design our product to satisfy our customer. So if the customer is not satisfied, it is our problem. The process for our guarantee works like this: Contact who you purchased the product from with your invoice and report to them why and how the product did not perform or failed then get the replacement. The seller will communicate with us and get the replacement as well. This process has to be between parties involved in the business chain. The accumulated information on this process will tell us how we should make changes that reflect back to product quality and handling.

11) besides the change in size and packaging can you tell me if there were changes made to the chalk from the earlier version?
We have scored peel lines added to the wrapper so the player does not need to manually cut the paper when the chalk gets low.

12) While trying the chalk out I've noticed some marks on the balls and cloth can you tell me is it harmful and,What is best to use to clean off the cloth and balls from the residue left by the Kamui chalk?
For the cue ball, using CUE MAGIC ball cleaner and polisher is the best from our experience.
http://www.miki-mezz.com/world/acc/cuemagic/
For the cloth, Simonis X-1 is second to none for cleaning the cloth.
Using a basic brush does not remove the powder from the cloth, just scatters it like diluting condensed liquid with water.
A vacuum cleaner also helps but the static electricity generated by the X-1 seems to work better and efficiently.


Jim <-----Normally only asks a few questions but I have so many I might be back.
[/color]


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 Post subject: Re: ATTM Kamui Style
PostPosted: Sun Jul 07, 2013 11:16 pm 
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JoeyInCali wrote:
13. When did Masato start making tips ? What was his background before making tips?
Masato has been making tips since 2003. He is an avid player with a keen understanding of science and physics. He has an amazing ability to self-teach anything he wants to learn.

14. What made him think he'd be successful at it when Moori was already well-established and "invented" the premium layered tip market ?
Masato knew that consistency was important to him during the early years of playing pool, when he would go to install a new tip, that tip would play differently. His frustration of inconsistency forced him to ask and research why. He did not know he would be successful against a name like Moori. He just had a question that needed answered and did the research and study on how to create a more consistent product. He figured that if he has a problem with a product, so does a lot more players all over the world.

15. Are there any plans for Kamui to expand it's line beyond cases, chalk, tips and tip maintenance tools ?
If there is an inconsistency somewhere, we will find it and possibly fix it… Took us 2 years to make the chalk and 3 years to perfect the Kamui Clear tip. So, we take careful time with research, science, and quality control to do it right. But as Masato as told me several time, "We are never satisfied with the products we produce".


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 Post subject: Re: ATTM Kamui Style
PostPosted: Sun Jul 07, 2013 11:20 pm 
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Icon of Sin wrote:
16. Rumor is that the Kamui Black line is going to phase out and and be replaced by the Clear line. Is that true?
NO!

17. Is it true that the reason for the clear pad was to keep the glue from seeping into the leather and keeping the tip playing more true throughout it's life?
Yes, this is true. We want our product to perform as consistent as possible for the player. Advanced players can really feel this difference and love the consistency.

18. If the above is correct then why is there what appears to be another pad between the clear pad and the leather? see this pic viewtopic.php?f=6&t=7776 . or is that just part of the clear pad?
We do this to protect against counterfeit.

19. If (2) is true then what about the "glue" that holds the pad to the leather? Wouldnt that affect the bottom layer(s) of the leather?
No. We have the process to properly stick the two to perform as designed.

20.I have no more questions. With my experience the hit on the Clears is considerably different in feel then the Blacks. Not better or worse. Just different. Also with both clears I have tried (super softs) they have appeared to hit harder then the Black Super Softs, which isnt a bad thing, just took a bit to get used to since I was a tried and true Black Super Soft fan. I just had my first clear installed and I love it and played very well with it in a local tourney last Tuesday. Your tips are the best I have ever used. They last damn near a year (and I play a lot) and need minimal maintenance and never shroom out.

With all that being said, thank you for your contributions to the Pool world and taking the time to answer our questions. Your tips are a fantastic product.
Rewarding !


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 Post subject: Re: ATTM Kamui Style
PostPosted: Sun Jul 07, 2013 11:23 pm 
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thepavlos wrote:
21. At the past SBE I bought a Kamui cue holder and since returning home I have been unable to use it because my three year old insists that it is used for warding off bad pirate dreams. Were you aware of this when you designed it? Meanwhile I will wait patiently until its efficacy wanes.
We have also been told that the "Pool Gods" look kindly on those who use Kamui products!. ;-)


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 Post subject: Re: ATTM Kamui Style
PostPosted: Sun Jul 07, 2013 11:24 pm 
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Rich R. wrote:
22. What is the differance between a soft tip and a super soft tip?
I ask because I had a couple of soft tips (black) installed and I couldn't wait to get them off and I don't want to make the same mistake again with the clear tips. They were just too hard for my taste.
Well, as they are named appropriate, the Super soft will allow you to spin the ball more. BUT, as we have experienced with all of our tip fitters, there are inconsistency of installation techniques to our product. Meaning, every installer has their own style of installing tips. Some even use the super glue to shine up the sides of the tip!.(please never do this, as it stops the tip from flexing). The clear takes away a lot of the little intricacies of what installers do during the installation process. SO, give the Clear a try. I am confident you will be happier… O, and be sure you purchase your tips from a reputable source…


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 Post subject: Re: ATTM Kamui Style
PostPosted: Sun Jul 07, 2013 11:27 pm 
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ScottR wrote:
23. Have you done any testing using your tips on ferrule-less shafts? If so, any conclusions or recommendations?
No.
Thanks for doing this Q&A.
You are very welcome, and thank you for asking great questions.
Scott


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 Post subject: Re: ATTM Kamui Style
PostPosted: Sun Jul 07, 2013 11:28 pm 
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thepavlos wrote:
24. On a serious note. Does Kamui offer non-layered tips and what are the pros and cons of layered vs not (in your opinion of course)
The original purpose of a layered tip was to allow more flex when contacting the ball. A non-layered tip has it's limit of flex. Pros and cons are only at the opinion of each individual pool player. There are players out there that play just fine with a single layered tip… But there are a lot of players that saw their ability with the ball increase with a layered tip. So it is a matter of individual opinion.

Thank you
Paul


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 Post subject: Re: ATTM Kamui Style
PostPosted: Sun Jul 07, 2013 11:30 pm 
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chris byrne wrote:
25. Are there any tips for spotting fake tips. The counterfeiters are good at reproducing anything they think they can make a buck on.
We published a letter back in September of 2011. http://www.kamuibrand.com/billiard-en/?page_id=2175
But even now, the counterfeiters have improved from this and we have seen better examples that can fool the most trained eye at a glanced. The key to getting the genuine Kamui tips is the price.. If it is real cheap then it is too goo to be true, right? OR if the source is not a reputable authorized seller, then be suspicious please. Your reputation as an installer is at stake when offering a genuine product and it really isn't.



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 Post subject: Re: ATTM Kamui Style
PostPosted: Sun Jul 07, 2013 11:39 pm 
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sheldon wrote:
26. Do the hides vary in hardness before they are made into tips? Do you have to test and process each hide, and are there only certain parts that are usable? Do you get hard tips from one section and super soft from another?
This is related to our knowhow. Sorry I can not answer.
And THANK YOU, for being a sponsor of pool events, and supporting the game!
You are very welcome we try to do more and more as we grow.


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 Post subject: Re: ATTM Kamui Style
PostPosted: Sun Jul 07, 2013 11:42 pm 
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Jake wrote:
27. Were you ever a player and if so what was your favorite tip before Kamui's birth?
No favorite. Professional or Moori. I had the limted option.
The player that time used to have the limited freedom to pick.

28. What was your motivation in going into the tip business? And, if the $40 a tip Moori phenomenon had never taken place would it have influenced your decision?
The Kamui tip was never about the price but only of the value of the product to the consumer. There was a lot of room for improving the product, so our decision on price would have been the same.

29. What comes to mind when you see the other 2 guys selling there black tips at $2 a piece. You of course dont have to answer this but i would love to see if you perceive it as positive or negative from a business standpoint.
You reap what you sow. You get what you pay for. I trust this in the universe.
There are many exceptions but as we do any business we realize there is this rule behind everything.
So I think,
1. How many pcs they can sell. Only 10 or 100?
2. How long can they offer this price. Short sales or at least a decade?
3. What is the quality? Is the quality good enough as it is offered from the seller and as expected by the buyer? No confusion?
4. Can the seller make their living and re-invest the profit to at least maintain the business?
5. Can the seller and buyer equally be happy?




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 Post subject: Re: ATTM Kamui Style
PostPosted: Sun Jul 07, 2013 11:46 pm 
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buddha162 wrote:
30. Thank you for taking the time to answer these questions. You handed me a sample Kamui Clear Black medium at the expo to try out, and so far it's performing great.
I have had several layered tips in the past develop a "clicking" noise. I've suspected that this is due to a tiny air pocket where the glue was soaked into the tip, leaving a small gap between ferrule and tip. Not a big enough gap for the tip to pop off, but nonetheless its surface isn't 100% glued. Moreover, I've noticed this problem in many cues around the pool room.
Please correct me if I'm wrong, but my understanding is that glue starvation/glue soaking up into the tip is the main reason why you've developed the Clear series. Can I also assume that the clear pad material is chosen for its ease of gluing? And what is the hardness of the clear pads, would it be conceivably harder than the softest ferrule materials?
This is also the reason why we came up with the Clear tip. There are so many good tip fitters, but there is the chance of them installing the tip differently, Or if the player uses different tip fitters. We Wanted to offer the stable feeling to the player. The Clear material is easy to glue as you stated. We do not know all ferrule materials out there, but the Clear pad is probably softer than the most soft ferrules and harder than the leather.

31. Finally: is it true that prior to install, there is no need to sand the surface of the clear pad? Would it harm anything to sand/prep the surface?
Thank you again.
No need to sand the Clear surface. Technically you can try to improve the adhesiveness by sanding, which is called "anchor effect". But it is not reliable to do it manually, and if you do you may slightly increase the adhesiveness but most likely lose it.
We have tested it to verify, and no need to take the risk of losing the adhesiveness. Glue it without sanding gives you enough adhesiveness.
Clear installation video:
http://www.kamuibrand.com/billiard-en/?cat=18



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 Post subject: Re: ATTM Kamui Style
PostPosted: Sun Jul 07, 2013 11:50 pm 
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gadroon wrote:
32. Of all the animal hides out there, do any offer different charicteristics that would be benificial for cue tips? Have you tried other types for tips?
Yes, we have tried others but nothing that is satisfactory to bring to market.

33. Do you feel that any synthetic material is a suitable replacement for Leather in a tip?
Not that we know of so far.

34. Not having had an oportunity to try your chalk, can you tell me it's advantages?
The best explanation would be on our web site right here:(be sure to scroll down the web page)
http://www.kamuibrand.com/billiard-en/?page_id=1977

Thank you for taking the time to talk with us about your products!

Patrick


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 Post subject: Re: ATTM Kamui Style
PostPosted: Sun Jul 07, 2013 11:53 pm 
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Charlie Edwards wrote:
35. What is the manufacturing difference in the black and the brown Kamui?
The manufacturing difference in the two tips is the black leather has been treated to maintain more elasticity than the Original leather.


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