My post about Ronej Cues got the attention of foreign cue buyers and collectors especially the ones lurking around ebay for the cheaper alternative – top-quality Philippine cues; searches are made for the the brand or the cue maker. It seems that recently Vhante has been putting up more cues for auction, therefore more searches and results land here. He does not have a site yet. I then might as well help a friend and have some information about his product.
Who is behind Vhante cues?
Vhante cues is the cue line of Steve Urate. Steve is the nephew of Jenor Urate, the man responsible for Ronej cues. They do not compete against each other; in fact Steve’s cues are made in the same shop Ronej cues are. Steve also happened to come up with the idea of putting up a cue making business, in the process he convinced his uncle to finance a shop for him and his friends.
What’s the difference between Vhante cues and Ronej cues?
Steve might have helped in the creation of your custom Ronej cue but Vhante cues are all done by Steve from start to finish. It is his personal product.
What kind of craftsmanship can I expect from a Vhante cue?
World class and comparable to top Philippine made cues such as Edwin Reyes, Viattorre, Tony Bautista, Linds, etc. However, the intricacy of the designÂ falls betweenÂ basic and semi-complex. Steve admits that he still has a lot to learn in making complex designs; he does not want to sign his name to a cue that he can’t build perfectly.
What kind of materials does he use?
Anything that is available at the time of your order. He will also try to find your preferred material if it’s not available. Also, Steve is a pool player so he prefers the radial pin and a flat-faced wood-to-wood joint; obviously he can change that and make a joint to your liking.
How’s the hit?
Subjective. However, due to the number of available options for the joint, tip, ferrule material, etc., you can mix-and-match the hit characteristics from your favorite cues. With regards to the shaft, trust me, they only use top grade Canadian maple.
How longÂ will it take to complete my order?
Two weeks to a month or more. Depends on his work load.
What price range can I expect?
$100 up. Depends on the materials and shipping.
How can I contact Steve?
Here’s a picture of me posing as a cue maker in their shop.