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Topic: Phoenix Cup Question
Message: Posted by: quickhands (Apr 11, 2006 10:04AM)
Hi People,

I bought a set of Phoenix Cups and Balls (PC&B) on Ebay last week. I have not had the time to use them yet but I have been reading about some of the pros and cons of using these cups. During the reading, I came a cross a post stating that the PC&B take a tennis ball inside. The question is how well does the tennis ball have to fit in the cup? Using mine with regular tennis balls I cannot lay the cup flat on the table with tennis ball in it. Is this normal or should I ask for an exchange?

Thanks,

QH.
Message: Posted by: TheAmbitiousCard (Apr 11, 2006 10:37AM)
I thought tennis balls fit in quite comfortably. I have not tried that in a while but I thought it was an easy fit.

Frank
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Apr 11, 2006 10:51AM)
I PM'ed you.
Message: Posted by: Mad Jake (Apr 11, 2006 12:18PM)
We'll be posting a picture of the final Phoenix Cups II by the weekend. Boy these were a bear to overhaul without changing the look drastically, but I have to say, they were a lot of fun to work on, a real challenge.

The first release of the Phoenix Cups II will be in copper rather than stainless due to cost of current surgical stainless and we want to see how the reception to the market is.

The issues fixed was the rocking, the attic space, the mouth bead and last but not least the tennis ball as a final load.

We would like to thank Tom Frank for allowing us to undertake this project, it's been a long haul, but fun and worth every minute we put into it.

Jake
Message: Posted by: Mad Jake (Apr 11, 2006 01:08PM)
[quote]
On 2006-04-11 11:04, quickhands wrote:
Hi People,

I bought a set of Phoenix Cups and Balls (PC&B) on Ebay last week. I have not had the time to use them yet but I have been reading about some of the pros and cons of using these cups. During the reading, I came a cross a post stating that the PC&B take a tennis ball inside. The question is how well does the tennis ball have to fit in the cup? Using mine with regular tennis balls I cannot lay the cup flat on the table with tennis ball in it. Is this normal or should I ask for an exchange?
Thanks,
QH.
[/quote]

QH,
try sending a private message to Tom Frank or use the link on the auction you won these from. It's only fair that Tom address the issues if there are any. I looked at the ad on the auction site and didn't see any mention or photo of the cups with a Tennis ball in the Phoenix cup.

Jake
Message: Posted by: quickhands (Apr 11, 2006 02:24PM)
Hi People,

Thanks for the suggestions and advice. I think that it would be wonderful to hear from Tom Frank regarding whether or not his cups take a tennis ball. Hopefully he would read this thread and respond accordingly.

I will try to locate Tom Frank to ask him about it directly. Having said that, I want to point out that I am merely inquiring about the expectations that I should have from my cups in terms of their normal, average performance. I believe this is what this forums are all about. Regarding the auctions not showing or mentioning a tennis ball inside, I do not think that is the issue here, or at least not for me. If out of the 1000 sets that were made, mine is the only one that does not fit a tennis ball, I think that I have a problem.

I suspect from Jake's second post that a fraction of the sets do not have cups large enough to fit a tennis ball, as an issue that does not exist cannot be fixed. The question is how large that fraction is. So far, the people that have responded have or have had sets that hold a tennis ball and mine don't, this is why I posted.

Thanks,

QH
Message: Posted by: doublelift (Apr 11, 2006 03:59PM)
Sorry I don't have a tennis ball around to try in my set right now but they don't look big enough to me! I did try a regulation baseball and it won't fit. I don't know if that's a help to you. Mike Rogers Baseballs are a breeze. Hmmmm maybe we know why so many were on Ebay?
Message: Posted by: Christopher Moro (Apr 11, 2006 05:58PM)
You might also want to contact the ebay seller with this concern. Maybe he will be understanding and offer to help. I don't own a set, but as far as I knew, they are supposed to take a tennis ball, and I believe Tom Frank uses tennis balls occasionally. I think he shared a photo here on the Café that showed that.
Message: Posted by: Payne (Apr 11, 2006 06:15PM)
Mine aren't big enough for a tennis ball and I don't theink the Magic Inc. Cups they're based on will take one either.
I'm anxious to see the reworked cups and might have to pick up a set to add to my collection.
Message: Posted by: johnnymystic (Apr 11, 2006 06:38PM)
I too would like to know more of the reworked phoenix cups...very interested indeed am I, I almost bid on the last two sets, however the more I hear about these new phoenix cups the better.

When will they come out?

How much will they be?

Can I get them the next day...perhaps sooner...perhaps asap?

johnny
Message: Posted by: cfrye (Apr 11, 2006 07:06PM)
My Phoenix Cups don't take a tennis ball, either.
Message: Posted by: TheAmbitiousCard (Apr 11, 2006 07:35PM)
[quote]
On 2006-04-11 11:37, Frank Starsini wrote:
I thought tennis balls fit in quite comfortably. I have not tried that in a while but I thought it was an easy fit.

Frank
[/quote]

I guess I was wrong.
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Apr 11, 2006 10:01PM)
I used to send each set out with three tennis balls. I would put the tennis balls into the cups for shipping. I find this rather odd.

I checked my Phoenix cups and they still take a tennis ball. Must be a variation in the tennis balls. If your cups won't take a tennis ball, try a lacrosse ball.

Take one cup to a sporting goods store and try different balls in it. Some of the training baseballs are perfect in these cups, as well.
Message: Posted by: MagiUlysses (Apr 12, 2006 11:02AM)
Greetings and Salutations,

I use an old set of tennis balls on a regular basis in my set and have no problems. Now, the tennis balls are not out-of-the-can new, but I can't see where even that would make much difference in their size.

That's my $.02 (USD) worth. YMMV.

Joe in KC
Message: Posted by: Dave V (Apr 12, 2006 06:52PM)
If they do take Tennis balls, (it seems there's a slight variation where some fit and some don't) then maybe your old Tennis balls have less "fuzz" than new ones and that's why yours work and other's don't.

I know tennis balls can lose their internal pressure after a while. I wonder if "flat" tennis balls have a smaller diameter than fresh out-of-the-can ones?
Message: Posted by: Pete Biro (Apr 12, 2006 07:51PM)
Frankly I wouldn't try to load tennis balls they are tougher to palm and load. Size DOES NOT MATTER THAT MUCH... it is the change from the little balls to something else and somewhat bigger, but they don't need to be so huge you can't handle them.

What you need to do is start using the cups and get comfortable with their balance and feel and THEN decided what the loat items should be. Potatoes or Lemons/limes... whatever.
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Apr 12, 2006 09:08PM)
A lacrosse ball will plunk right in there.
Message: Posted by: TheAmbitiousCard (Apr 12, 2006 09:30PM)
I have a few lacrosse balls and I also noticed the plunking phenomenon in mine as well.

But then I think I sold them to curtis.
Something makes me think we're all just running around buying each other's
stuff over and over again.

Now I'm wondering if I've bought some of my own stuff.
Message: Posted by: Ignore me... (Apr 12, 2006 10:11PM)
I bought a set of Phoenix cups from Tom on Ebay, and they did not fit the tennis balls.

I wrote to him, and he said he'd check his sets to see if they would fit, to do an exchange or, if I wanted, he would give me a refund.

He then dropped off the face of the planet, in spite of my repeated emails.

I'll be in Seattle a few times from here out, and so I hope to talk with him when I'm actually in his hometown, to see if he will just give me a refund at this point. I really would have liked the cups as described, but I guess I don't want to reward his not returning correspondence and dropping the ball.

I will post again if the situation is resolved favorably, but at this point, it really has been a while (and I mean a LONG while) since I last heard from him, and so it is worthy of mention.

If anyone knows him, and wants to tell him I am still hopeful about him contacting me, I appreciate it.

Cheers!
Message: Posted by: quickhands (Apr 13, 2006 08:28AM)
First of all, let me thank everyone for their great advice and comments. I think that Pete Biro makes a great point aobut performing the cups and what I should be focusing on right now. However, wouldn't you agree that there are 2 issues here: One, is whether you should be concerned with the size and nature of the load, particularly at this stage; the other, is whether your cups are capable of taking a particular load. I agree that what makes the load work is the difference in size respect to the little balls. However, wouldn't you agree that a larger load makes the effect more deceiving? In addition, imagine that you just bought a car that is advertised to do 0 to 60 mph in 5 seconds. Perhaps you would never have to do that, and if you are learning, there are more important things to work on. However, wouldn't you be concerned if your car fails the test?

Thanks,

QH.
Message: Posted by: AGMagic (Apr 13, 2006 12:16PM)
Bill is right. There is a variation in tennis balls. I tried 3 different balls in my cups (not Phoenix) and found one fits nicely, one goes in but sticks, and one won't even fit inside the cups. Minor differences, but just enough to be a problem.

BTW you can find Tom Frank's contact info at http://www.industrialstrengthmagic.com
I think it is only right to contact him if you think you have a problem with the cups.

Tim
Message: Posted by: TheAmbitiousCard (Apr 13, 2006 12:44PM)
I can load a baseball in my cellini cups (after finding proper ones) but often just load small oranges or roundish lemons becuase they are quieter, and easier to load.

I really think that the difference between a lemon and a load that "doesn't look like it could fit" is not that much given when it happens. the surprise factor seems to overpower the moment. I think that the spectators are thinking, "now where did those come from" not "now how on earth did that fit in there".

An exception would be when something drops out that did not really come from the cup, such as Paul Gertner's Steel Ball.

And if you do a hat load, well, all eyes are off the fruit at that point and onto the melon or whatever.


Use what is comfortable. Concerned about flashing? Use something smaller until you're not. Better to be doing the trick with a smaller load for a while than sitting at home panicing and not doing it at all.
Message: Posted by: Julie (Apr 13, 2006 12:45PM)
You also might want to try "tennis balls" from the pet store--they look like real tennis balls, but are a trifle smaller.
Message: Posted by: François (Apr 13, 2006 12:49PM)
I use eggs as a final loads... and I break them an make a white silk appear with a yellow one nested in the middle. The only trouble is that you have to prepare 3 eggs each time you want to perform.
You make one hole on each side of the egg,empty the white and yellow, you can swallow it if you like..(beurk..really disgusting...)
The hardest part is to clean the interior of the shell, water not to hot and vinegar and after soft water.
After load your silks in,the hole must be of a certain diameter, bid enough to load the silk,but not to big, so you can hide them with your fingers.
Of course you can use yellow or white crocheted balls. Pete is right.
I think there are so many variations for the final loads, that it is not an obligation to use classic tennis balls or any other type of "ball". Just load your cups with imagination, it works too!!!

François
Message: Posted by: Mad Jake (Apr 13, 2006 02:40PM)
New Phoenix II cups will take a tennis ball with ease, the no longer have any rock to them, the attic space? The cups will now nest (3) 1 1/8"

Engineering changes did not exceed more than 1/16th of an inch for any given
change. The mouth beads are now rolled to the body of the cup. The center bead was increased by 1/16th of an inch in width and moved 1/32nd of an inch up. The saddle was increased by 1/16th of an inch in diameter which corrected the blend from the saddle ridge to the bead. Tennis balls load and release easily as they should. Cup weight has increased by 1/4oz.

THE PHOENIX HAS ONCE AGAIN MADE A RISE FROM THE ASHES!

Pictures will be posted this weekend after we consult with Tom Frank.

Jake
Message: Posted by: TheAmbitiousCard (Apr 13, 2006 04:03PM)
If you fix all the quirks then what are we going to talk about all day long?

By the way Jake, the mini stainless Paul fox cups are great for a small walk around set of cups. I love 'em.
Message: Posted by: johnnymystic (Apr 14, 2006 01:12AM)
Yeah right...this is the kind of hype I can get excited about! D*MN!!! Man count me in on this one...I'd almost sell my soul for the...

PERFECT PHOENIX

Man I hope it's somewhat affordable, 'cuz I wouldn't really sell my soul...wood eye? let's here more!

johnny
Message: Posted by: Ignore me... (Apr 14, 2006 01:03PM)
Tim/AG Magic, I agree that it was only right to get in touch with Tom regarding the problem. I did do so immediately, and also bought a variety of tennis balls from different manufacturers, all of which stuck.

Other than the initial response from him, I received NO further replies from him, including from his website which you posted. That's unfortunate, but not my fault. I wanted to get things resolved, and tried to the best of my ability. I cannot be responsible for his not following up, and can only say it didn't happen.

I appreciate your thought that I have some responsibility to try it again, but I will point out that I would hope some responsibility for the lack of contact falls on him. I don't want to cast more time at the problem, although if he wishes to get in contact with me, he can do so through the Café. I have no objection to his investing a bit of effort in this, because I certainly have.

And, in case he does read this, I still have the Cups in their original packing material and the shipping box he sent me. I am still hoping to send them back, although I now want a refund, because I am not confident of a followup that may never come.

Thank you for the website information, again. I have tried it previously, to no avail.

Cheers!
Message: Posted by: Mad Jake (Apr 14, 2006 10:00PM)
Wow, this is hardly the forum or open air areana to be casting aspursions about sellers or performers with good reputations. Especially since Tom is a busy single parent busking his ass off to make a living for he and his family.

The initial post I saw here was the tennis balls sticking in the cups, well after reviewing Tom's auction ad, no where does it state or picture tennis balls as final loads. I have 1 set of original DD/PF cups that take a tennis ball, yep, snuggly but the tennis balls fit, but that is the only set, but then again it was never advertised to take such a load. If you went on the word of just one or two people, you asked the wrong people as you should have asked the seller directly about the cups taking tennis balls.

Also don't forget this is a big family holiday. We shut down RNT II Wednesday morning and everyone is off until next Wednesday, Easter holiday is a big holiday for a lot of families.

All in all your post of your auction problems and communication with the seller is out of line and certainly has no place in this forum.

If you need a refund that bad, PM and I'll refund you the auction cost and Tom can square up with me when he has time, that's how confident I am that Tom Frank is a square and trustworty businesman and PERSON.

Jake
Message: Posted by: Mad Jake (Apr 14, 2006 10:05PM)
[quote]
On 2006-04-14 02:12, johnnymystic wrote:
Yeah right...this is the kind of hype I can get excited about! D*MN!!! Man count me in on this one...I'd almost sell my soul for the...

PERFECT PHOENIX

Man I hope it's somewhat affordable, 'cuz I wouldn't really sell my soul...wood eye? let's here more!

johnny
[/quote]

Keep holding onto your hat Johnny, I've been eyeballing it for awhile, I already have 2 wood eyes, 3 wooden quarters and 1/2 wooden nickel, but that hat really has my eye <lol>

Jake
Message: Posted by: Mad Jake (Apr 14, 2006 10:10PM)
[quote]
On 2006-04-13 17:03, Frank Starsini wrote:
If you fix all the quirks then what are we going to talk about all day long?

By the way Jake, the mini stainless Paul fox cups are great for a small walk around set of cups. I love 'em.


[/quote]

Frank,

thanks for the kind words of the Mini PF cups, I use my stainless all the time, but I left them unfinished.

The biggest noticable change in the Phoenix II cups is of course the mouth bead, when we finished the final prototype, I was like "what the hell is this?" The tight mouth bead changes the whole look, but again with some very minor engineering changes bit by bit, we increased the attic space without making these cups tumblers, the new height and diameter only changed by 1/16th of an inch in the right places.

Jake
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Apr 14, 2006 11:15PM)
[quote]
On 2006-04-13 09:28, quickhands wrote:
First of all, let me thank everyone for their great advice and comments. I think that Pete Biro makes a great point aobut performing the cups and what I should be focusing on right now. However, wouldn't you agree that there are 2 issues here: One, is whether you should be concerned with the size and nature of the load, particularly at this stage; the other, is whether your cups are capable of taking a particular load. I agree that what makes the load work is the difference in size respect to the little balls. However, wouldn't you agree that a larger load makes the effect more deceiving? In addition, imagine that you just bought a car that is advertised to do 0 to 60 mph in 5 seconds. Perhaps you would never have to do that, and if you are learning, there are more important things to work on. However, wouldn't you be concerned if your car fails the test?

Thanks,

QH.
[/quote]

Find me a post where Tom Frank states that these cups will take a tennis ball, or an ad where Tom says that they will take a tennis ball, and I'll agree that you have a problem. But if you can't find a statement from Tom, himself, that these cups will take a tennis ball, then you really don't have a complaint.

My Phoenix cups take the tennis balls I have tried in them. Yours don't. The solution -- take the cup to a store and try different balls in them. Try a pet shop.

But if there is no direct statement from Tom, then you don't have a complaint. It would be like saying "Well, my neighbor said his Prius will do 0 to 60 in 5 seconds, but mine won't," and using that as a reason to get rid of the car. If the manufacturer doesn't advertise it, nothing else matters.
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Apr 15, 2006 12:35AM)
I will add a further bit to this. Paul Fox cups have been described in many places, my cups and balls museum included, as being able to take a lacrosse ball. When I got my first set of Paul Fox cups, I thought they were defective, because the first lacrosse ball I tried in them would not fit. I took the cups to a sporting goods store and found that about 1 in every 10 lacrosse balls at that store was just about a 32nd of an inch larger in diameter than the rest of them, and that was enough to make a difference. The Paul Fox design is almost cylindrical at the bottom, whereas the Phoenix cup is tapered. So a ball won't fit all the way into it, will at least go partway in.
Message: Posted by: Ignore me... (Apr 15, 2006 02:33PM)
I am not casting aspersions. I have given what happened, without embellishment. You may not agree with my opinions, but the facts are what they are.

The tennis ball comment is, in fact, what was on the eBay ad, and may possibly still be. I kept a copy of it when I first ran into a problem, but he continued to list that as a feature (the tennis ball fitting) even after I had gotten in touch with him.

In any case, I will stand by my comments. I am not slagging him due to his status as a single parent; I am one as well, and didn't expect the problem, or even the problem with the exchange or the refund.

If there was a problem with my stating the truth, I'm sorry, but the truth is what it is: inconvenient at times, but the truth.

Cheers!
Message: Posted by: Dave V (Apr 15, 2006 03:27PM)
I was curious so I did some looking. Nowhere in the ads did he claim a tennis ball would fit. One potential customer asked if tennis balls would fit, and Tom said "Tennis balls will go into the cup, but as fuzzy as they are seem to get wedged bit."

If the buyer continued the purchase after this comment, then he only has himself to blame.

Simply find a different load and move on with your life. :rolleyes:
Message: Posted by: Mad Jake (Apr 15, 2006 03:32PM)
General Motors/Pontiac, I agree that it was only right to get in touch with GM regarding the problem. I did do so immediately, and also bought a variety of cases of tennis balls from different manufacturers, all of which got stuck in the hatchback of the TransAm they sold me.

Other than the initial response from GM/Pontiac, I received NO further replies from them, including from their website which you posted. That's unfortunate, but not my fault. I wanted to get things resolved, and tried to the best of my ability. I cannot be responsible for the President of GM not following up, and can only say it didn't happen.

I appreciate your thought that I have some responsibility to try it again, but I will point out that I would hope some responsibility for the lack of contact falls on GM. I don't want to cast more time at the problem, although if GM wishes to get in contact with me, they can do so through the Café. I have no objection to his investing a bit of effort in this, because I certainly have.

And, in case he does read this, I still have the TransAM in their original packing material and the shipping box that GM sent the car in to me. I am still hoping to send the TransAm back, although I now want a refund, because I am not confident of a followup that may never come. And my TransAm is too small to hold my balls.

Thank you for the website information, again. I have tried it previously, to no avail.

Cheers!
WITF Jake
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Apr 15, 2006 03:45PM)
There was a young man from old Boston,
Who bought himself a new Austin.
There was room for his da
da da gallon of gas
But his da da da and he lost 'em.

I have been given a link to Tom's blog which shows the original ad for the Phoenix cups, which states that they will take a tennis ball.

Mine will. I re-tested them last night. So will my Miller cups and my Bertram cups. The balls I am using are some I bought at Walgreen's in a bag of a dozen. They are really cheap tennis balls. They have no label. They are also not as fuzzy as some others I have seen.

I must say in fairness to Tom, and making no excuse for him, nor any defense, either, that the reason he hasn't returned phone calls or e-mails for a few days is that he is probably busy earning a living.

Not everyone sits in front of a computer with his butt glued to an executive chair 12 hours out of 24, like I do. Some people answer e-mail once a week.
Message: Posted by: geemack (Apr 15, 2006 04:11PM)
To quickhands and Ignore me...,

There is a dealer on eBay selling Phoenix Cups who does state in his ad, "These cups will take a tennis ball for a load!!" That particular dealer is based in Philadelphia. He is not Tom Frank, maker and primary distributor of the Phoenix Cups, who works out of Seattle. If you purchased your cups from that Philadelphia dealer, you should be discussing the issue with him, not the manufacturer. As Bill said, nowhere in his eBay ads does Tom Frank indicate the Phoenix Cups should be able to accommodate a tennis ball as a load.

Oh, and also as Bill mentioned, those by-the-dozen toy tennis balls without any labels or logos are slightly smaller than regulation. I found mine at Toys-R-Us. They fit great in the Montis and Johnson cups, and would probably be perfect for those Phoenix Cups, too. In fact, I like them especially because they don't have trademarks or other markings on them.

Greg
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Apr 15, 2006 08:17PM)
I just made a pilgrimage to Wally World (for those of you in Rio Linda, that's Wal-Mart) and to the Dollar Store, to purchase various types of tennis balls, just to see which ones of the current batches these will take.

My cups are a set of the 200 cups that were issued with a certificate and a set of chrome plated ones.

I had little difficulty getting the Penn brand tennis ball to go all the way into the cup, but it took some shaking to get it out. The Wilson tennis balls would not fit at all. I tried two different types. The "Sponge Bob Square Pants" tennis balls would not fit, either. All of these would fit into the Sherwoods and the Foxy II.V cups. Also, the low pressure tennis balls would not fit. I don't know how to account for the apparent difference in diameters of the Penn and the Wilson tennis balls.

However, when it came to the pet balls, the results were completely different. The pet balls have a lower nap, that is, less fuzz, and they dropped right down into the Phoenix cups. This seemed to be fairly consistent across the board.

There were some neat red ones from Milk Bone and some with stars and stripes like an American flag from another manufacturer.

The ones I purchased at Walgreen's or Eckerd's in a bag of a dozen were these no-name balls from China, which fit perfectly, as I mentioned before.

So, that's what's out there.
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Apr 15, 2006 10:08PM)
So, I went to the International Tennis Federation web site to see what the inside dope on Regulation Tennis balls was. Here is the word:

Rule of 2002

. The ball shall be more than two and a half inches (6.350 cm) and less than two and five-eighths inches (6.668 cm) in diameter, and more than two ounces (56.0 grams) and less than two and one-sixteenth ounces (59.4 grams) in weight.


APPENDIX I iv. In all tests for diameter a ring gauge shall be used consisting of a metal plate, preferably non-corrosive, of a uniform thickness of on-eighth of an inch (.318 cm). In the case of Ball Type 1 (fast speed) and Ball Type 2 (medium speed) balls there shall be two circular openings in the plate measuring 2.575 inches (6.541 cm) and 2.700 inches (6.858 cm) in diameter respectively. In the case of Ball Type 3 (slow speed) balls there hall be two circular openings in the plate measuring 2.750 inches 6.985 cm) and 2.875 inches (7.302 cm) in diameter respectively. The inner surface of the gauge shall have a convex profile with a radius of one-sixteenth of an inch (.159 cm). The ball shall not drop through the smaller opening by its own weight and shall drop through the larger opening by its own weight.

Notice that they do not mention Phoenix cups or Sherwood cups. ;)

By actual measurement, even the Pet Toy balls fit within the extremes of these measurements. They measure about 2.52 inches in diameter which, by the dimensions given in the first part of the rule, would be more than 2.5 inches. Whether they would remain in the smaller ring gauge may be an entirely different matter.

But a 1/8 inch variation is rather large, I think.

There is less variation in the size of a lacrosse ball, being 2.47 to 2.55 inches in diameter.
Message: Posted by: Ignore me... (Apr 15, 2006 10:35PM)
Thank you for pointing out the current ad, Geemack.

However, I must point that that, in looking at the label, the return address is, in deed, Tom Frank at ISM, in Seattle, WA.

Mad Jake, that is pretty humorous. If GM told you they would be taking action to fix things, and then dropped out of correspondence, though, that would be quite a difference, no? In any case, I appreciate your take on things... although, you are wrong in your assumptions.

It is possible that the ads Tom Frank puts on eBay have changed. This set, according the postmark, was shipped December 13, 2005. He kept the ad copy the same on the next few sets, when I decided to save the webpage of my own sale, and apparently had no problem getting in touch with the purchasers of the sets he continued to sell.

Unfortunately, he WAS able to settle details with the others, while my own emails were ignored. He even had time to give those folks feedback, I seem to recall.

I'm sorry, Bill, but this went on for a few months, with no response back to me (but business as normal, as far as I could tell by those who won auctions after mine). If it had been a matter of a few days, that would have been understandable. However, I finally gave up at the end of February.

However... I always figure that a client has 100 people standing behind him. If I do something which upsets a client, or drop the ball, I usually hustle to set things right. In this case, it didn't happen. Everyone can read our individual stories and views of the facts here, and say, it was right of Mad Jake to be mocking of this fool who expected a followup.

It may seem that I am being unfair... but honestly, I wasn't expecting something for nothing. I sent my payment. I got what wasn't as advertised. I didn't report the misdescribed item to eBay, thinking that he'd follow through.

And then nothing.

Still, Jake, thank you for the comments. I must admit that I was amused at your mocking my story, even though I stuck to the facts of the matter. As you have a business relationship with the person in question, I accept that you would have to insult to try to remove any credibility from my comments.

Cheers!
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Apr 15, 2006 10:58PM)
I didn't realize it had been that long. However, as you can see from my two posts above, the variation in the size of "regulation" tennis balls is great enough that it would allow some to fit while others wouldn't. As I pointed out, even the pet balls that are sold as tennis balls do fit within the ITF spec.

If you want three tennis balls that will fit your Phoenix cups, I will send them to you at no charge. I have literally THOUSANDS of different kinds of load balls that will fit into almost any kind of cup imaginable, from the smallest of the Reilly cups to the van Dokkum Monster Cups. I can certainly spare three of the "drugstore" tennis balls.

I may be picking nits here, but the ad copy says that the cups will take "A" tennis ball, not the cups will take "ALL" tennis balls.

I'll PM you an alternative as well.
Message: Posted by: AGMagic (Apr 15, 2006 11:04PM)
Ignore me,

My post was intended for Quickhands, but it is ok that you took it as a reply to your post. I am suprised that Tom has not answered your E-Mails. Like Jake, I have known Tom to be honest and giving to the magic community. I don't know what has been going on in Tom's life recently, but I would try contacting him again if you want this resolved. You might have caught him at a bad time, or he might just have forgotten. It happens to the best of us.

Good Luck!

Tim
Message: Posted by: François (Apr 16, 2006 03:21AM)
I took a picture of my beloved Phoenix cups set with...a tennis ball in:
Could it be a good answer to the first question?

[url=http://img89.imageshack.us/my.php?image=image341zi.jpg][img]http://img89.imageshack.us/img89/1474/image341zi.th.jpg[/img][/url]

Thank Tom for those cups, I love them!!!
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Apr 16, 2006 09:16AM)
François:

As you can see from some of my previous answers, there is a great amount of leeway in the dimensions of regulation tennis balls. The Phoenix cups will take a tennis ball that is near the lower end of the dimensions, but not at the upper end of the dimensions. There is almost 1/8 inch variation or a 1/16 inch difference from the mean.

The same is true of Paul Fox cups and lacrosse balls. The Paul Fox cups will take a lacrosse ball that is near the lower end of the regulation dimensions, but not at the upper end. In the case of lacrosse balls, there is a .1 inch variation or a .05 inch difference from the mean.
Message: Posted by: François (Apr 16, 2006 09:50AM)
To be totally honest Bill, you are right, I tried with 3 differents type of tennis ball, two types were a bit to strong in diameter and the cup was not exactly flat on the table.
The last type (the cheaper one, baught in a gas station, about 2€ for 6 balls) was okay.
It was just to say that Tom's work is great work!! Those cups are really good.
Message: Posted by: Richard Evans (Apr 16, 2006 03:28PM)
I might be completely wrong here, but I was under the impression that some of the sets that Tom put up for sale on eBay weren't quite the same as the sets sold directly through his site. While not necessarily being 'seconds', I thought the sets being sold at a reduced price via eBay were less perfect than the others.

However, if the same chucks were used to spin the cups, it's difficult to see how the interior volume of the cups could possibly change. My guess is that it's down to that weird variability in the size of regulation tennis balls that Bill has mentioned. I have two sets of Phoenix cups and Penn balls fit in them without any trouble - and come out easily too.

Richard
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Apr 17, 2006 02:41AM)
Some of this may have to do with what is done to the cups after they come off the chucks. If the cups are honed on the inside, that would increase the ID just a bit.

Looking at the ones I have, though, I find that unlikely.
Message: Posted by: quickhands (Apr 28, 2006 08:42PM)
Hi People,

I just wanted to thank everybody for his/her comments, excellent advice and research. Also, I would like to reiterate that I was asking a genuine question rather than voicing a complaint. I do not have lots of experience in magic to know what to expect some times and I was concerned about my cups. Finally, I would like to say that I contacted Tom about my concerns and he was happy to exchange the set for me. These new cups are nicer and he included 3 Penn 2 tennis balls with them. Based on my experience alone, I would say that Tom is not only an honest seller but also a person that tries to satisfy the needs, concerns and expectations of his customers. I would certainly do business with him again, and not be discouraged if the first trial does not go 100% right.

Thanks,

QH.
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Apr 28, 2006 10:29PM)
:applause: :applause: :applause: :applause: :applause:
:applause: :applause: :applause: :applause:
:applause: :applause: :applause:
:applause: :applause:
:applause:
Message: Posted by: Mobius303 (Apr 29, 2006 07:49PM)
I think you guys are also forgetting thast the inside of all tennis balls are full of air. This means that air pressure will effect/affect the balls in different ways. I have found that certain balls will expand or contract depending on where I am using them and what time of year it is. Temperature will also afect the diameter and pressure of the air inside the balls.
I am surprised you didn't mention any of this.
A ball that wouldn't fit this winter may fit this summer ...at least in my experience that has happened.
Later,
Mobius
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Apr 29, 2006 08:12PM)
While this is true, it doesn't affect the parameters of a "regulation size" tennis ball. All of the tennis balls I had that fit 2 years ago still fit.
Message: Posted by: fortasse (Aug 27, 2006 09:31PM)
In terms of design, were the Phoenix cups an improvement on the Charlie Miller/Magic Inc. cups and were these latter cups an improvement on the original Ross Bertram cups?

Fortasse
Message: Posted by: Mad Jake (Sep 11, 2006 08:41PM)
Fortasse,
first their were the Ross Bertram cups, then the Charlie Miller cups came along from Magic Inc. I remember visiting Magic, Inc. when I was younger, the cups were stacked to the ceiling in the warehouse, 10.00 a set wholesale, LOL what a price. But the Charlie Miller cups, like the Phoenix showed a lot of inconsistant sets, they were mass produced.

The Phoenix cups came along, and due to lack of quality control *not Tom's fault* erractic differences in the cups appeared, specs were missed, cups were spun crooked, jagged mouth beads, the list goes on. Tom spent weeks trying to match sets. But again, this is what happens when you have a company mass produce something for you. This is also evident in all the Magic Maker cups.

The Phoenix II cups by us, were corrected cups based on the feedback by the performers and collectors alike. Concerns of mouth bead, final load capacity and saddle width were all in consideration when we redid the Phoenix cups for Tom. We didn't rush the job and the end result was worth the wait according to Tom and the people who have recieved their sets.

There are numerous cups on the market that in one way or another have used another design for the basis of the particular style, it's not an uncommon practice and it's not unethical either. Sometimes this approach makes a cup better, sometimes it backfires.

I still use my original Phoenix cups, I've grown partial to the dents and dings in them as each is a performance story in itself. Thanks Tom, redoing them was a lot of fun and a challenge.

Jake
Message: Posted by: fortasse (Sep 11, 2006 08:56PM)
Jake :

Thanks for the explanation. Much appreciated.

Fortasse
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Sep 11, 2006 09:23PM)
Any time you have what amounts to slave labor spinning a product that they do not understand how to use you run the risk of poor production.

I think Tom did the best he could under the circumstances.

However, the Phoenxi II cups are really nice. They feel good, have a large enough saddle that a three ball display is almost automatic, and they take a big load.
Message: Posted by: TheAmbitiousCard (Sep 11, 2006 11:33PM)
[quote]
On 2006-04-28 21:42, quickhands wrote:
Hi People,
... I would like to say that I contacted Tom about my concerns and he was happy to exchange the set for me. These new cups are nicer and he included 3 Penn 2 tennis balls with them. QH.
[/quote]
Too bad for you.
Tom included 3 Penn #1 tennis balls with my set.
Message: Posted by: Mad Jake (Sep 12, 2006 12:45AM)
[quote]
On 2006-09-11 22:23, Bill Palmer wrote:
Any time you have what amounts to slave labor spinning a product that they do not understand how to use you run the risk of poor production.

I think Tom did the best he could under the circumstances.

[/quote]

Couldn't agree with you more Bill. Even the Charlie Miller cups reflected an array of differences when Jay had them spun out. Tom matched the best he could and quite frankly <no pun intended> the original Phoenix cups are still great street cup and work horses. The only reason the new generation came about was to fix some of the issues that were constantly brought up.

I'd just like to add also, that the remakes of the Phoenix, Sisti, JES were not because the originals were bad, quite the contrary. The originals were great, but after your release a product hind sight becomes 20/20, so now you have the feedback and input to work with. This helped tremendously and thanks to all that supplied their thoughts and concerns.

Jake