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Topic: Review of Fitch Kohler Professional Holdout
Message: Posted by: sharpace (Jan 3, 2003 10:24AM)
Has anyone already received the Fitch Kohler Professional Holdout? If so, would you mind posting a review of it.

At first I already determined to order one,but after I read the License agreement I found that he needs me to send a copy of my passport.
I feel this involves my personal privacy, so I must think it over again.

I hope now someone has already received this Holdout and posts a review of it. If it is really so good. I will try to solve this PRIVACY problem.

Message: Posted by: jerdunn (Jan 3, 2003 02:57PM)
The holdouts haven't been delivered yet. There have been some unavoidable delays.

Bob Kohler tells me that the first batch of holdouts is nearing completion, but the DVDs aren't done yet because of Bob's health problems, from which he is apparently recovering well.

Message: Posted by: Dan Watkins (Jan 3, 2003 10:18PM)
On 2003-01-03 11:24, sharpace wrote:
I will try to solve this PRIVACY problem.

It says if you are not a US citizen you can send a copy of your passport or your driver's license. This is only so they know who they are dealing with in case you break the confidentiality agreement. They will know who you are and how to track you down.

I think it is good they aren't letting anonymous foreign entities aquire their intellectual property without knowing who they are dealing with. It makes people think twice about doing something stupid with the property once they get it (as if the price tag alone was not enough incentive).
Message: Posted by: sharpace (Jan 4, 2003 01:12PM)
Hi Dan,

I'm not a US citizen,I'm Japanese. I think he can track the buyer by his credit card information and shipping address.

Here, we can use the passport number for login our cerdit card account,doing money transfer,checking credit infor,changing address and confirmation of transaction etc.
Our banker advice us not to give our credit card number and passport number together to the others.
Message: Posted by: Dan Watkins (Jan 4, 2003 01:16PM)
Do you have a driver's license you can use instead?
Message: Posted by: bekralik (Jan 4, 2003 10:25PM)
>Do you have a driver's license you can use

I agree with Dan. I know different
countries have different rules and
regulations, but a driver's license, much like a passport, is lot more permanent and binding to someone's identity and follows them wherever they go, and governments can also track them. Credit cards can be cancelled and addresses can change.

Message: Posted by: Carl Rheuban (Feb 4, 2003 09:01PM)
Does anyone have an update on availablity. Has anyone received one yet that can provide a review?

Message: Posted by: Dan Watkins (Feb 4, 2003 10:22PM)
I don't know the answer to your question on availablility, but this month's MAGIC magazine has Bob Kohler on the cover and a nice article on him which contained some info on the holdout {Not much more info than you can get from Bob's website). But I thought it was interesting reading about the man.
Message: Posted by: bekralik (Feb 4, 2003 10:54PM)
>Does anyone have an update on availablity.
>Has anyone received one yet that can
>provide a review?

When they arrive, I'm sure there will be an onslaught of reviews and praises. Sorry, nothing new to update yet.

Message: Posted by: Rcitgo (Feb 5, 2003 03:49AM)
Out of curiosity, how many Café members have actually ordered the highpriced devices? :magicrabbit:
Message: Posted by: pennjarr (Feb 7, 2003 07:18PM)
'It says if you are not a US citizen you can send a copy of your passport or your driver's license'

'I think it is good they aren't letting anonymous foreign entities aquire their intellectual property without knowing who they are dealing with'

I'm not sure about your comment. Are you implying that a US citizen wouldn't possibly rip Mr Kohler off?

My concern is the precedent that such a limited license sets for magic. On the basis of this, my review would be, however good the effect, it leaves a poor taste in the mouth.
Message: Posted by: Dan Watkins (Feb 7, 2003 08:20PM)
The original post was about non-US citizens. My reply was about non-US citizens. No other implications were made.

Regarding the license, that's already been beaten to death in a previous thread. Just do a search for holdout to find it.

Though I am curious, what specific part of [url=http://www.bobkohlermagic.com/products/holdoutagreement.html]the license[/url] leaves a poor taste in your mouth?
Message: Posted by: Andy Leviss (Feb 8, 2003 12:58AM)
I think the license is a brilliant move; it's about time somebody took some proactive action towards protecting both creators and buyers from the ripoffs that have so soaked through the world of magic, as well as the tendency to just generally be flippant about what the value of new ideas are.

As a creator/manufacturer/publisher myself, I know I'm certainly watching Bob's experiment to see how it plays out and where things like this end up going.

As for the high price, it has two perfectly justifiable reasons. First, this thing's been over ten years in the design. Lots of thought, time, and effort have gone into making it come together, and it's not going to sell tons. That deserves fair compensation. Furthermore, although it's becoming somewhat of a cliche to say this, it's priced to keep it out of the hands of the curious. Sure, the occasional excessively rich Curious George might buy it, but given the high pricetag, the chance of that is greatly reduced. Bob (I presume) wants to make sure it only goes to those who really know that it's what they want/need, who will really appreciate its value, and who will really put in the time and work to do justice to his (and Fitch, and the others involved in the design and manufacturing of the FKPH) time and effort.

Way to go, Bob & Co.
Message: Posted by: Dan LeFay (Feb 8, 2003 08:40AM)
I honestly wonder...
Do none of the buyers have a problem with buying something with a $1800 price tag without ever having seen what it is they are buying?
I understand and agree completely with all the arguments being made. Before all, I am a huge fan of Bob's material. I am seriously interested in the Hold out. I have no defense whatsoever against the high price and I am willing to believe it is all worth it...
But I can't convince myself to buy something (with this pricetag) I have never seen.
I did my research on the principles and talked with a very knowledgable magician here in Holland, still, just one picture or demonstration would be necessary to take the next step.

I am very curious how many people (working professionals, not rich curious people) outside of the US will be able to work with this. I am dying to be fooled with it!

After seeing someone demonstrate the much discussed Perfect Hold-out from Antonio Romero, I bought one (I did not expect it to be much before seeing it) as a pre-study to the FK-holdout, I presumed. Well, the thing is the best investment I made the last 6 months.
And I (playfully and respectfully) challenge anyone involved to show me I should invest in the FK holdout.

What a strange and wonderful world of doing business we have...I love it.
Message: Posted by: jhostler (Feb 8, 2003 09:13AM)
On 2003-02-08 01:58, Andy Leviss wrote:
Furthermore, although it's becoming somewhat of a cliche to say this, it's priced to keep it out of the hands of the curious.

Only out of the hands of the non-rich curious! Still, market forces will adequately determine the success/intelligence of this pricing tactic.
Message: Posted by: Larry Davidson (Feb 8, 2003 10:24AM)
Anything you can buy, magic or otherwise, is worth nothing more or less than what you're willing to pay. Is a round 1 carat diamond with D color and VVS1 clarity worth $9500? Is a Rolex two-tone Datejust watch worth $6700? There's no right or wrong answer to these questions since value is subjective. Did a lot of thought and work going into this holdout and can you do unbelievable magic with it? Yes and yes (I'm speaking based on my knowledge of the product, not based on conjecture). It it worth $1800 to YOU to be able to perform the magic this device will allow you to perform? Nobody but you can answer that. But if you're a professional, I'd bet you could book shows worth a lot more than $1800 based on the strength of the effects you could perform with this.
Message: Posted by: Dan LeFay (Feb 8, 2003 02:20PM)
But would you buy the diamond or the rolex without ever having seen a picture of it?

My thoughts are that it is not the price that is the biggest obstacle to a serious professional. You were right about with your statement that there is no wrong nor right concerning this...
It's just that this (serious) professional would like to know what he's buying. And for 1800$ I need more than a description.
Message: Posted by: Steve Hook (Feb 8, 2003 04:10PM)

Well, a picture of the FKPH ain't gonna happen.

Either you're going to read the lines and in between the lines of Bob's webpage ad copy, which does all but show a picture (and believe me, again, there is not going to be a picture) and figure out for yourself that the design and quality is there, PLUS...

you're going to read in and between the lines of the description to see if the effects are the type you want to perform (producing/vanishing objects, switching objects, etc.) OR...

you're going to decide you don't trust the description and/or don't want to avail yourself of the effects. It's that simple. Because you keep asking for "more than a description" and it ain't gonna happen, brutha.

I've seen the Holdout and seen Bob use it. The device and its ad-mentioned parts are very well-made. Quality is not an issue. Even the carrying/travel case is of the highest quality. The possible effects using the Holdout are almost endless. The ones I saw Bob do were very, very good (clean vanishes of objects and clean restorations).

Along with Bob's own words on the website, the words of others here who saw the demo (like Dan Watkins), and my brief description and positive testament, that's all you get for now. Did I mention there ain't gonna be pictures?

Other than that, all you can do is wait for more word of mouth.

Best wishes,

Steve H

:donut2: :donut3: :donut1: :coffee:
Message: Posted by: chrismatt (Feb 8, 2003 06:05PM)
Since this is a secret device (as opposed to a prop), Bob is justified in not showing photos of the device itself. However, Bob would do well to put out a video (on his web site, for example) of the device in action.

As for price, as an inventor, I would be willing to refund the purchase price of any of my effects if performed masterly by the purchaser. I would also be willing to pay the purchaser NOT to perform the effect if he cannot do it justice! Sometimes magic tricks are priced (subconsciously) with this attitude in mind. In other words, the greater part (and value) of almost any trick is the performer himself. Kohler should refund part of the purchase price to those who demostrate they have mastered the device. The easy, but not completely satisfactory, alternative is to price it so high that only those who will treasure and (hopefully) master it will buy it. Unfortunately, this marketing approach keeps many fine tricks out of the hands of those who would do them justice.
Message: Posted by: Schaden (Feb 8, 2003 09:18PM)
Wow, I would buy this if I could. I want that coin hook up but, I don't like performing coin magic with sleeves. For some reason everyone thinks you have coins in your sleeve. Has anyone seen Bob Fitch's coin magic? Is it all hype or really really good?

Message: Posted by: Jonathan Townsend (Feb 8, 2003 09:34PM)

Bob Fitch has a good thirty years experience using the holdout in real world performing and social situations. His work looks just fine. His routining and technique do not draw attention to his jacket or sleeves.

If you need an endorsement for his work...
If I wore a jacket I would have the holdout and topit set to go all the time.
Message: Posted by: Dan Watkins (Feb 8, 2003 11:28PM)
And Bob Fitch doesn't need the holdout to do good coin magic. He is extremely good with sleight of hand.

That was extremely apparent to me watching him do coin work, so when he brought the holdout into play that is one of the reasons he killed me so bad. I really thought he was just doing something sleight of hand that I could not follow. It really goofed me up.
Message: Posted by: Bob Kohler (Feb 9, 2003 06:02PM)
I know that the secrecy that surrounds our project is driving everyone a little crazy. I completely understand Dan's viewpoint. In fact, I've had plans ot put some of the clips up on my web site, but so far we're still working on getting the first batch to those who are waiting.

Steve Hook is correct. I will never publish any pictures of the equipment. But eventually I will get the clips up. Please don't e-mail me to ask when.

Steve was one of the lucky few old friends of mine who was in the right place at the right time. At last years LVMI here in Vegas, I brought twenty guys that I personally know to our room to see the equipment and see it in action. Of course they all signed the agreement before we opened the case.

80% of those who have seen it are now on our waiting list. I think this number speaks for itself.

This type of viewing will not happen again. I'd like to thank those who participated. We did this for two reasons. First, to get their honored opinions and second, to anchor our position for any problems in the future under the Trade Secret Act. These 20 top professionals are now our witnesses.

At $1800.00 it's very expensive. In the past, I've turned down 5 times that amount to teach the system's secrets. The real value here is not what we can do with the system, it's what will you do with it.

The system is a serious tool for serious performers. It's a tool that will take practice and focused attention. But on the backside, the power it can give to you and your magic is limitless.

I'm moving into a new house this month. I gained some perspective on what $1800.00 buys in the year 2003...it's exactly what I paid for a new top of the line washer and dryer.
Message: Posted by: chrismatt (Feb 9, 2003 06:30PM)
But my top of the line washer and dryer can vanish more things than your hold-out system.
Message: Posted by: Dan Watkins (Feb 9, 2003 09:53PM)
chrismatt, I don't think anyone can argue that point. touche'
Message: Posted by: Dan LeFay (Feb 10, 2003 06:40AM)
I think I just have to live with the fact the inventors of this wonderful tool live on the other side of the ocean which creates a serious gap between "seeing and believing".
Bob I really do hope to see you blow me away soon!
The clips are a very good idea!
Message: Posted by: HK Cardman (Feb 10, 2003 08:00AM)
After reading so many post about this Fitch Kohler Holdout. I never read anyone who have it and post a review on it.
I've already saved the $1800 in my pocket, but I really need a review on this unseen product before I spend my $1800.
I hope Bob can post a photo of it, at least we can know about its size. I have bought some other holdouts but it does not fit our asian's hand or arms. I don't think someone can copy this high end product by seeing just a photo of it.
I also hope Bob can drop down the price of the additional attachments which will froth coiming. Just like now the Fitch coin attachment cost $399.00 I think not every magicain can afford this pricing .(becuase we are not going to buy just one attachment only)

Again,anyone who are using this holdout please post a review. I really need your advise before I place my order.

Message: Posted by: Whit Haydn (Feb 10, 2003 01:28PM)
I suspect that most of those who have one will not be anxious to promote it by reviewing it. If Bob Kohler & Co. are not anxious about getting more details out so that they can sell more of them, why should those who have such a unique weapon in their arsenals want to encourage others to get it?

Kohler knows that enough inside guys who know his work and that of Fitch will want it to make it a success. He does not want every magician in the country to be using it. He will sell as many of these as he wants to, and that will probably not be a lot.
Message: Posted by: debaser (Feb 10, 2003 06:36PM)
First off if you've ever seen any kind of hold out you know theres not that much to see. It would be like buying a car from a picture of the engine. Most people don't care about what the engine looks like they care about what it feels like to drive the car and what cool functions the car has.

I'm sure if the holdout was junk he wouldnt spend so much energy attaching his name to it through all this licensing. I cant imagine that it is anything but the best of quality.

However I'm glad that he's going to show video of it in action. I do think that's important in selling this holdout over others.

Mr. Kohler if your still listening, I do hope the holdout demo video provides viewing of the performers entire upper body and not just his hands. This will obviously help us see some of the things that are making your holdout above and beyond the rest.

Message: Posted by: Schaden (Feb 11, 2003 05:10PM)
How many are going to be sold? I don't want to read a big bunch of usless info. If I do get like $3000 Canadian I will buy one. I am thinking about getting 4 jobs so I can get one. Maybe, take out a loan from my parents or something. When I first heard of the holdout, I thought this was stupid. Really Really Really stupid for that price. Then I started thinking of what I could do with it. If I was Mr. Kohler I would set it that high. He makes a point that anyone can go to a magic store and get great tricks. Kind of like the invisible deck. It is a great effect but since they are so cheap, magic stores make lots of money off of them. It will be mine, oh yes it will be mine.

Message: Posted by: Carlos Hampton (Feb 11, 2003 07:22PM)
Has anyone here seen Mitchel do his invisible hand lecture???

Because if you had, you will agree with me that before he goes into the explanation portion of his lecture, you would put down a lot of money in the table to get his secret.

Then most people go into buying his "invisible hand" to realize that it is very hard to accomplish what they've just witnessed.

Most of the times this great device (invisible hand) ends up in the bottom of the drawer.

You may be getting a top-notch product, very good quality, etc., but what you cannot buy is the years of experience and practice that these people have put into learning to use these devices.

Don't fool yourself!!! It will take you lots of time and devotion to master any of the holdouts in the market, but if you are willing to put in that time and effort, let me let you into a little secret"

You can accomplish great, OUTSTANDING results with the cheaper models. Read the Invisible Hand from Mitchel and Greco or the Perfect Holdout from Antonio Romero.

As a matter of fact, I invite all of those who are thinking about paying the 1800 bucks to do themselves a favor and start using one of the cheaper models. If they get to master them, proceed to graduate to the Rolls Royce (apparently) of the holdouts.

Just like when you buy a cheap car until you have experience and money to buy something better. But you know how many people out there will like to be able to spend one more day in their old cars. ;)
Message: Posted by: Vilago (Feb 11, 2003 10:21PM)
On 2003-02-08 01:58, Andy Leviss wrote:
I think the license is a brilliant move; it's about time somebody took some proactive action towards protecting both creators and buyers from the ripoffs that have so soaked through the world of magic, as well as the tendency to just generally be flippant about what the value of new ideas are.


Sure, it's a good idea...I just don't think it's very practical. Here's why: For an item that costs as much as this, there's going to be a very small crowd of performers who'll be very easy to monitor. If one of them steps out of line, sue (as was threatened).

But what if we apply this principle to cheaper items which will attract a larger crowd, say 1 - 2,000 people? Who's going to spend the money to monitor those people, and who has the deep pockets to sue those who don't abide by the license? I seriously doubt any of us have that kind of money (or inclination).

Again, I think it's nice idea with limitations. Speaking as a technical trainer of computer products, I can tell you that the big boys, i.e., Microsoft, try the very same thing and threaten (to the extent of putting out bogus radio advertisements) to sue violaters, but it very rarely happens...it's just too hard to track. Which is how we got the product activation that has made Windows XP such a pain to some people. I'm pretty sure we can't "activate" an idea...
Message: Posted by: Dan LeFay (Feb 12, 2003 06:45AM)
Carlos I couldn't agree more!
In your post you are almost describing my learning process at this very moment.
Message: Posted by: debaser (Feb 12, 2003 03:53PM)
I think arlos made some good points and, while not absolute, I think that what he has said is a good rule to follow.

So unless you are willing to devote the serious amount of time to learning how to work the holdout, I wouldn't even bother.

Message: Posted by: Dan Watkins (Feb 12, 2003 05:39PM)
I would take the step even further. If you aren't willing to devote time to anything magic, don't be a magician.

Now let's simply debate an issue for interesting discussion sake…

I would ask, why not use the best tools available to you? It will speed your learning process and eliminate the headaches inherent with working flawed designs. (I am talking in general here).

Talking specifics now, the F/K design isn't expensive because those involved said, "Let's make the most expensive holdout possible," but rather, "Let's make the most user-friendly holdout possible. Let's solve all the problems that make holdouts problematic. Let's make it not only a simple to use holdout but a versatile system and spare no cost to accomplish this goal."

Bob Kohler told me that after Bob Fitch tried out the final prototype of the holdout he turned to Bob Kohler and said, (paraphrasing here) “We have been screwing around all these years. I wish I had this holdout 30 years ago, it would have solved so many problems.”

The DVD set is *supposed* to be the most comprehensive work ever put on film for holdout work. I can't comment here because I never saw them. Maybe Bob can comment on the content. But my guess is that the people who invest in the F/K system will probably have the best chance in learning not only the most user-friendly and versatile version of the holdout, but also the most comprehensive teaching of it ever made by men who are recognized experts in its use.

If your goal is to *LEARN* how to use a holdout, what is probably the best way? From a comprehensive DVD set that detail this:

• History of the Holdout
• Introduction to Holdout concepts
• Explanation of Holdout types
[i][b]• Detailed analysis of general holdout problems[/b][/i]
• Detailed analysis of our solutions
• The Fitch Kohler Professional Holdout System
• Explanation of each component in the system
• Explanation of each parts use and construction
• The Strap
• The Connection System
• The Lock
• The Weight
• The Attachments
• First Time Set-up
• System Adjustment
• Methods to “Get” the Holdout
• Methods to “Get Rid Of” the Holdout
[b][i]• Choreography and Body Language
• Footwork[/b][/i]
• Lock Usage
• Attachments vs. Miller ends
[b][i]• Common mistakes & Bad Habits


• 23 Routines that cover each attachment's use in performance (not suggested ideas, but actual real usable routines)[/b][/i]

Or by buying some cheap version and learning by trial and error all by yourself how to use it properly (or improperly) and still have to deal with all the inherent design flaws? I’d say the person with the comprehensive teaching and the best tools will be the one who will learn how to use it faster and properly. Can you put a price tag on this?

Quite honestly, if I wanted to use a holdout, I’d be jealous of those who will have this teaching. I would bet anyone suffering with any other Miller holdout incarnation would be as well. Truth be told, I bet these issues are why other holdouts end up in the bottom of the drawer.

Ok, there is the counter argument for the sake of writing one. I wrote it half because I believe it, and half because I like a good debate :) Quite honestly, I don’t care what people do with their money and time, but sometimes settling for anything other than the best, is well... settling for much... much... less.
Message: Posted by: Chris S (Feb 13, 2003 02:52AM)
Well, now that is not strictly true, Dan. To take Antonion Romero's "perfect holdout" as an example, the buyer receives full and detailed instructions on the hookup, operation as well as three extremely powerful routines - the buyers of the
holdout aren't just given the product and left to work it out themselves. The same can be said for the Invisible Hand by Michel Clavello and Greco. By the sounds of it the Perfect Holdout, in particular, is extremely practical and does not appear to have any glaring design flaws that make it an impractical proposition for everyday use in a wide variety of situations.

I guess in the end, it seems that the holdouts currently being discussed in comparison to the F/K design seem to be placed on a continuum and some comments are sort of insinuating that as alternatives (and because they cannot solve some of the problems that the F/K holdout solves simply by virtue of their pricetag) they are therefore a budget choice that is bound to disappoint.

The reason why many holdouts, as you pointed out, end up in the "drawer of no return" will be just as likely to plague the Fitch/Kohler model - namely, they are NOT self-working, and when it comes down to it, some people just aren't willing to put the effort in. I have found that all the training DVDs in the world won't help these types and they are doomed to continue chasing their ultimate self-worker.

Anyway, just my thoughts.
Message: Posted by: Dan LeFay (Feb 13, 2003 04:44AM)
I really hope that there are not too many rich amateurs who take your advice literally Dan W. (going for the best tools available)!

That would make the waiting list almost unbearable for those who are serious and therefore calculating...;-)

Speaking of counter arguments, the things I do best, like most, and am most respected for (from my peers) are the things I had to learn from scratch. The deepest insights can often be found by trial and error.
Just as the learning experience from books goes deeper than videos, "finding out for yourself" has advantages above "doing as you're told".

I am very involved at the moment in upgrading my Perfect Holdout for the two applications I need it for. The time and effort in that process are personal learning experiences that could hardly be beaten by anything else.
And when the day comes I go for the gold (FKHO) I probably will smile when I look at my naive solutions, but the lessons learned will make me a better artist.

And kudos to you, Dan W. You've shed more light on this elusive secret then anyone else, for which I'm really thankful!

Are you hired yet?
Message: Posted by: Dan Watkins (Feb 13, 2003 10:05AM)
Hey Chris and Dan,

I guess I will go in order... btw… I am just engaging in these posts because it's fun talking about it. I don’t want to discourage anyone from going out and working with the inexpensive holdouts. If you do, you are already a step ahead of me since I don’t use any at all. I have only read, studied, seen them, and seen them in use.

the buyer receives full and detailed instructions on the hookup, operation as well as three extremely powerful routines

Chris, I'm not talking about the hookup of a holdout. Any Miller holdout only takes a matter of several minutes to hook up and you can learn how to do it properly and hook it up the day you get it, F/K holdout as well. You can also learn how to operate it the day you get it too. It's not hard. One arm goes up, the holdout end drops. If you want to play with the underlying principle; tie a fishing line to your watch and a fishing weight to the other end of your line and throw it down the opposite sleeve and play “catch the fishing weight”.

Teaching a few routines also will show people a demonstration of using it. This still does not make you use it very well.

In my copy/paste from Kohler's website on the DVD contents I put in bold italics the following topics:

• Detailed analysis of general holdout problems
• Choreography and Body Language
• Footwork
• Common mistakes & Bad Habits

I have read the Mishell book as well as the Invisible Hand book. I have seen a video Demo of Romero using the holdout and as of Tuesday night (2 days ago) had a Romero holdout in my hands (a friend purchased one) and gave it a good look over.

I know the Mishell and Vernet books do not focus greatly on the topics above. They do explain what the holdout is, what it does, how to hook it up, and then jump right into the routines. (I won't get into my opinion of some of the routines.) Bob Fitch is an accomplished theatrical actor. Choreography and footwork are his expertise. These principles are of utmost importance to DECEPTIVELY use a holdout. I would hope that this part would be a big focus for the DVD set. A good teaching, study, and then application of these principles will put someone way ahead of the game to learn how to properly use it.

Anyway, I could be shooting my mouth off here in ignorance, but I am under the impression that the DVD set is multiple DVDs and focus in detail on these topics on PROPER use, not just on how to hook it up and jump into a couple routines. Truth be told, I don’t know if this is the case.

By the sounds of it the Perfect Holdout, in particular, is extremely practical and does not appear to have any glaring design flaws that make it an impractical proposition for everyday use in a wide variety of situations.

It is a single use holdout. Since it is not designed to switch attachments, you don't have to worry about it going out of adjustment. As it is, it will work fine for anything with metal in it. Don't expect to be able to borrow some coins and vanish them, for example. I would say the variety of situations is limited to situations where metal is involved. As for the glaring design flaws, I am not going to get into this, my intent is not to point out problems with specific designs. Dan LeFay has already changed his in a significant way to do what HE wants to do with it.

(and because they cannot solve some of the problems that the F/K holdout solves simply by virtue of their pricetag) they are therefore a budget choice that is bound to disappoint.

The problems are not solved by virtue of a price tag. It's by virtue of years of working experience and a highly skilled machinist. The budget choice will only disappoint if you have too high expectations for it. Honestly, the F/K one will disappoint if you have too high of expectations for it. They all have limitations. You are safe to have much higher expectations of the F/K unit however.

Regarding your reasons for stuff to end up in a drawer, I agree.

And Dan…

Regarding rich amateurs taking my advice: I don’t think you mean to impugn amateurs. I know some amateurs that take magic as serious as any working pro and are as skilled. But I get your meaning. You just don’t want rich hacks buying the best stuff and sucking with it. Unfortunately, this will happen. Though I have a sneaky feeling that the waiting list will never get too long for the F/K system. It's just never going to be a high order item because of the price.

I agree with you that real learning comes from doing. For example, if I read a flight manual cover to cover, I might know how to fly an airplane in my head, but it doesn’t make me an accomplished pilot. You have to get in the cockpit behind the controls and do it. Everyone learns by doing. I would suggest that if you have an excellent flight instructor, you have a better chance to learn how to fly. With perseverance you will become a pilot. The learning tools just get you going in the right direction, let you know what and what not to do. It’s valuable, but it is never a substitute for actual flight time. Quite honestly, I would rather “be told” not to land the airplane with the wheels up than “find out for myself”. Good instruction is a good thing. There is no argument against it.

As to shedding more light on the system, the light I shed is all there in Bob’s website write-up, I just used the magnifying glass. Antonio's website is also very revealing to anyone who wants to understand how a traditional Miller holdout or his works.

Lastly, for those interested, a lengthy thread over at the Genii board entitled [url=http://geniimagazine.com/forum/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=1;t=000918]Copyright Extended to Performance[/url] which started as a Magic Café topic, then went to the Genii board, and the topic of the F/K license came up and the thread pretty much started to focus on the F/K system. It's a good read if you are looking for some more give and take.
Message: Posted by: Dan LeFay (Feb 13, 2003 01:34PM)
I'll take back "rich amateurs" and make that "rich hacks," whatever that means. It is my mediocre English vocabulary.
I'll go check out the other thread.
Message: Posted by: 2003 user (Feb 16, 2003 01:17PM)
After reading so many post about this F/K Holdout. I'm very interested in it . Anyone who is close to Bob, please tell us the actual release/delivery date of this product. Thanks
Message: Posted by: mdspark (Feb 21, 2003 03:35PM)
Just wanted to add my 2 cents worth. I agree with Carlos' earlier post about using some of the less expensive holdouts (in this case the Miller Holdout as outlined in Ed Mishell's book "Holdout Miracles") This will certainly give the uninitiated their "basic holdout training." If you just get Mishell's book, you can EASILY make your own.

This will also give you an appreciation for the innovations/improvments of the FK Holdout.
However, I must say that one can overcome most of the 'adjustment' issues easily.

Example: I use mine mostly with cards, balls, silk, coins. My ball attachment is used for a silk also. (If you read the Mishell book, this will make more sense to you). I made the coin attachment (as detailed in the book) the same length as the ball/silk attachment, so I can switch between the two attachments without needing to re-adjust the total holdout length.

Playing cards may take up "more length" in the sleeve, but I have found there is enough "margin of error" to still use them without having to re-adust the total length of the holdout and if it does need re-adjusting a bit, this can be done very subtly at the other end.

As for the adjustment from coat to coat, this hasn't been an issue for me so far but it can become one. Again, minor adjustments are easily made OR I will make a holdout for each jacket (they are NOT hard to make and it does NOT take long.)

If you are doing more than one effect with the holdout in a formal show and need to change attachments, this can be done when BRIEFLY behind an open case when retrieving or replacing a prop. If you are gutsy, it is possible to do it behind your back.

The "lock" is more problematic. I am unfamiliar with Tommy Wonder's solution. I do plan on getting the Books of Wonder. The solution in the Mishell book has worked well for my purposes, though I am sure the FK Holdout is much more versitile in this regard and the others mentioned.

All I am saying is that if you are really interested in learning this device but short on money, get the Mishell Book and play around with it. When you get it working smoothly, it really does look miraculous.

I would also be willing to say that the detailed instructions given on the FK Holdout DVD would be INVALUABLE. You don't get this kind of info from the Mishell book. You must be vigilant with the basic concept of "naturalness" in movements, etc.

Once you get familiar and at ease with working a holdout, then you will know if the high-tech/improved model would be worth the expense TO YOU.

I believe the reason why the Miller type holdout has not been used more over the years is because of the practice needed to get smooth and comfortable with it (just like the Topit) as well as many of us being turned off to the fact that you need to wear a jacket (like the Topit).

I think everyone interested but inexperienced with the Miller type holdout should know that the "old-style," "low-tech," "unimproved," original verson IS THOROUGHLY WORKABLE if you don't have $1800. The effects you perform with it will look just as miraculous and will need the same amout of practice.

I would also say, that if I USED AND DEPENDED ON the holdout regularly AND had $1800 extra to invest (which I don't), I would get the FK Holdout System.

But if you are new to holdouts and don't already regularly use one, do yourself a favor, get the Ed Mishell book (got mine at Tannen's) for a few bucks. Then you will be on your way and not out a lot of money.

I would like to hear feedback on this.

Message: Posted by: Dan Watkins (Feb 22, 2003 06:39PM)
On 2003-02-21 16:35, mdspark wrote:
I would like to hear feedback on this.

I think you obviously have a good grasp of the use of a holdout and its pros/cons. I think the points you make are very good.

It is good for anyone interested to get the Mishell book, Books of Wonder, Vernet Book, etc. And get a clip a weight and some fishing line to play with.

If someone decides to get real serious with it ($1,800 serious) then you will be getting the best tools and teaching available.

My feedback is there is nothing to argue about in your post, it is sound advice.
Message: Posted by: mdspark (Feb 22, 2003 07:18PM)
Thanks Dan.
BTW, do you know where I can find the Vernet book? I haven't really heard of it before. I have only seen it referenced in this forum.

I would appreciate any direction you could give. What is its title?

Thanks again.
Message: Posted by: Dan Watkins (Feb 22, 2003 10:17PM)

It's called "The Invisible Hand." I would go to http://www.vernetmagic.com/ and email the Vernet guys about it. It sells with their version of the Miller holdout for $50 or so. I don't know if it is something dealers carry. It seems as though people get them at live lectures from them.

Message: Posted by: Dennis Loomis (Feb 27, 2003 09:16AM)
Is the FK holdout shipping yet? This thread needs an evaluation from someone that has purchased this.
Dennis Loomis
Message: Posted by: Dan LeFay (Feb 28, 2003 04:36AM)
At the risk of being called cynical (which I'm not) I have a strong feeling that nobody who has bought the FKH will ever say it's not worth the money. Even if the product should stink, which I cannot imagine, there is always something like cognitive dissonance.

Personally, I am more interested in opinions from people who do NOT own it but have seen it in action like Dan W.
Message: Posted by: Dan Watkins (Feb 28, 2003 09:16AM)
Actually, the guy who paid the $$$ and expected to use it with a T-shirt would think it stinks!
Message: Posted by: bekralik (Feb 28, 2003 09:47AM)
WHAT? You mean you can't??!! I've been [i]misled[/i]! :rotf:
Message: Posted by: mdspark (Feb 28, 2003 07:54PM)
Dennis is right. Let's hear from folks who have bought the F/K Holdout.

Though I do have a tendency to agree with Dan LeFay. Perhaps they will be reluctant to post a review. But I am still trying to keep an open mind on this.

I can't help but wonder what would have happened had Patrick Page or Micheal Ammar taken the same marketing approach with the Topit and its "improvements".

I understand (and agree with) Mr. Fitch's and Mr. Kohler's concerns, wanting to protect the holdout as a secret from laypersons and indiscreet individuals, I'm just not sure there is a truly effective and practical solution.

It is entirely possible that their approach will actually encourage/bait some ******* into doing it.

Given these men's reputations, I have no doubt as to the quality workmanship involved. I dare say, however, my homemade model with the "more user friendly improvements" I have added can perform the exact same effects just as easily.

Given that, unless I were extremely wealthy, I would be crazy to pay $1,800. I know it comes with probably very [i]excellent[/i] training DVDs that I would [i]love[/i] to have, but still can't justify that cost.

Sooooooo, How about it? Let's hear from an acutal owner of the F/K Holdout!!! :coolspot:
Message: Posted by: Michele (Mar 1, 2003 06:36AM)
Hi mdspark,
I'm agree with you about "Let's hear from an acutal owner of the F/K Holdout!"
I'm the first pile of people who are very interested in F/K Holdout since last year. When I 'm still waiting for this F/K Holdout launch to market.There is new Holdout call "Perfect Holdout" launvh to market. I've bought that perfect holdout . But I still waiting for some user/owner's reveiw on F/K Holdout because I decided to invest a more advance holdout system for my act.

Unfortunately untill today I cann't hear anyone who have received this F/K holdout nor post any review of it.
Message: Posted by: bekralik (Mar 1, 2003 08:40AM)
Nobody's received it yet, that's why nobody has been talking about it.

Message: Posted by: Steve Hook (Mar 1, 2003 11:34AM)
Guys, you've already gotten reviews from several people who saw the holdout, examined the parts, and saw some routines. They all said it was great. And I think they all agreed it was a tool waiting for some serious practice.

It's kind of frustrating...what else do you expect to hear that hasn't been said?

Steve H :stircoffee:
Message: Posted by: Dan Watkins (Mar 1, 2003 01:29PM)
Yep - even if I owned one, I couldn't say more than I already have on it.
Message: Posted by: mdspark (Mar 1, 2003 07:20PM)
I don't think it is unreasonable to want to hear from an ACTUAL PAYING customer. Preferably someone that did not see the Holdout prior to purchase.

Hopefully, we wont have to wait too much longer for such a review.

However, I KNOW that my homemade, customized version is just as user friendly as as the discription of the F/K HOLDOUT discribes. And my attachments handle a variety of items...silks, balls, cards, coins, jumbo coin.

Hummm, maybe I will write a booklet discribing how to make a user friendly QUALITY Holdout for Pennies... Just a thought.

Has anyone heard when the actual release date for it is? It should be soon, I would think.
Message: Posted by: coinlover (Mar 10, 2003 08:44AM)
I'm very happy to see this topic again,because I think there's someone who received the Holdout and post a freview here.But I'm disappointed again.

Many member here have aksed about the actual release date of it , but never have a response. Just like me I waited for a review of it since last year(Dec).

Mr.Steve Hook said (Guys, you've already gotten reviews from several people who saw the holdout, examined the parts, and saw some routines. They all said it was great. And I think they all agreed it was a tool waiting for some serious practice. ).....Yes, I know it is great, I own several Bob's products I know it is good. But how good is this Holdout ? I to want to hear from an actual user .No matter how good it is ,there must be some advantage and disadvantage of it. Just like.....It is more suitable for cards or coins or larger items,etc.. may be it is not suitable for left-handed. Also about the practice ? is it easy to practice ? only needs a few weeks you can handle it or need six months or more to familiar with it. That's all we need to hear from a actual daily user.

I hope I don't need to wait for another couples of months for this user review.
Message: Posted by: Tim Trono (Mar 10, 2003 09:14AM)
Interesting discussion. To each his own. However, I think what Dan Watkins quoted from Bob Fitch (“We have been screwing around all these years. I wish I had this holdout 30 years ago, it would have solved so many problems”) really says it all. Why waste 30 years? Remember, Bob is a Master at this… I mean Master. I have been fortunate enough to study with him and while doing so was fortunate enough to see some of his work in this area. It is brilliant. This is NOT saying the other versions out are bad – that is NOT the case. If you see Mitchel and Greco or Antonio Romero you will see “real” magic. I think the F/K Holdout just takes care of some of the “problems” Fitch, Kohler, Wayne, Forbes, and Mead have found in other versions and compiles their years of work on the Holdout. Also, Dan you are correct in that the DVDs will cover all of the work from set up and maintenance of the Holdout to choreography to footwork to bad habits to the routines themselves… every detail. I believe it is 4 or 5 DVDs. And this is the key… a Holdout is not difficult to set up and use but it is difficult to use WELL and to use deceptively. With the F/K Holdout they go into the details never taught before. Anyone of the parties involved in this project has YEARS of and a treasure chest of thoughts, advice, etc. For those willing to pay the price, I think they will be quite happy. I was fortunate enough to see the F/K Holdout and was beyond impressed. It is NOT out yet but I know a few select people (including Dan Watkins) have seen it.

Tim Trono
Message: Posted by: Mr. Bunkley (Mar 10, 2003 09:24AM)

I got my "The Invisable Hand" book and holdout attachment from Denny and Lee Magic Shop He might still gave some available.

my thoughts,

Jello again,

For those that are dieing until they see a video of this thing in action, let me suggest that they pick up Steve Bedwell's No MD required video. On there he does a rope routine that begins with a very quick and totally amazing cut and restored rope. . . your eyes will pop out of your head. Then when he explains the working of that effect he completely glosses over the amazing beginning. He doesn't even talk about it.,

Well. . .I read a later interview with him where he explained that the restoration was done with the BK/BF Holdout system. So. . . there's your video. It really is an amazing effect.

Check it out, (50 posts, yet - ha)
Message: Posted by: espmagic (Mar 10, 2003 12:05PM)
Ok - I will start by admitting my ignorance about Mr K's device...however, I *do* have some experience with the idea of a holdout, and a few of them in real working situations (gambling, not magic), so my question to those of you who know is:

Does this device do something that cannot be done by sleight of hand? Regardless of the SOH method, as a group we are all guilty of looking at the easier method (whatever that might be!), and I know of very few magicians (or gamblers, for that matter) who are prepared to put in *years* of work to get it/anything right. After all, we have very short attention spans...

And, if this is the case, are those who are getting one going to be doing Martin Nash's act? Or Allan Ackerman's? Or Darwin's? And, the more important question: are these esteemed fellows already using the device? <grin> Or are they using <gasp> SOH?

Yes, I would love to have one, but not at 6 months' rent. And certainly not when I can do the same thing with a turn of the wrist (which I will point out, proactively, that goes unnoticed).
Message: Posted by: Jonathan Townsend (Mar 10, 2003 12:32PM)
Hello EspMagic,

Both Fitch and Kohler are competent technicians and performers. The magician's holdout is designed for standup use with an emphasis on traffic management.

Not all magicians suffer from ADD and some have put the years in to make the tough moves work for them.

For those who already use a holdout and know what the issues are, the F/K system may be a great help. I do know that both Fitch and Kohler have been living with works in their jackets for twenty or more years and have practical performing experience.

All this from someone who doesn't wear a jacket and has been keeping an eye open to get an extension arm holdout built for about twenty five years now. :) -Jonathan
Message: Posted by: Dan Watkins (Mar 10, 2003 12:49PM)
On 2003-03-10 09:44, coinlover wrote:
Many member here have aksed about the actual release date of it , but never have a response.

Here is your response: I don't think there is a current release date. I am on a mailing list of Bob K's, and even though it did not mention the holdout project, it did mention that he was moving into a new house, and I had seperately heard about some health issues Bob dealt with late last year. I am guessing life side tracked the release of this project. After waiting this long to release it in the first place I get the feeling Bob does not want to rush it out without everything being 100%. I know moving alone takes up a lot of time (at least it did when I last moved).

Since it has not been released yet, no-one is going to get a review from someone who has it yet. Given that, the best info you can get his from Bob's website, or the other handful of guys who have seen it and posted.

But how good is this holdout?

It is one of the most impressive things I have ever seen. I have had the opportunity to see an original Miller, the Invisible Hand, The Romero Holdout, and the Fitch/Kohler version. The F/K version is in a class of it's own.

It is more suitable for cards or coins or larger items,etc..

Coins or cards? Coins. Larger items? Not elephants - it has to be able to go up your sleeve. Since the standard F/K unit has eight different attachments and two user modifiable ones, it is equipped to holdout a large quantity of objects.

may be it is not suitable for left-handed.

It can be used on either hand - all Miller type holdouts typically can. This was specifically addressed in the exposé at LVMI.

Also about the practice ? is it easy to practice ? only needs a few weeks you can handle it or need six months or more to familiar with it. That's all we need to hear from a actual daily user.

How long would it take to actually use it? One day. How long to use it well? That depends on your learning ability. If it took someone 6 months, it might take another 1 year. Someone else less. Though much of the innovation in the Bobs' holdout is specifically to make it user friendly. That in itself will lessen the learning curve.

I hope I don't need to wait for another couples of months for this user review.

You might have to if Bob doesn't have it ready, I doubt he will rush it out just for someone to review it here. I'd be highly curious to see if anyone who actually does buy it, will even bother writing to the world that they have it. It is possible you may never recieve a user review.

On 2003-03-10 13:05, espmagic.com wrote:
Does this device do something that cannot be done by sleight of hand?

Yes - unless you have a slieght of hand method to make objects appear and dissappear at will in your hand. (not hold and hide, but really dissappear and appear).

And, if this is the case, are those who are getting one going to be doing Martin Nash's act? Or Allan Ackerman's? Or Darwin's? And, the more important question: are these esteemed fellows already using the device? <grin> Or are they using <gasp> SOH?

I doubt anyone will be doing their acts holdout equipped or not. I would guess many of the people who get the holdout will be doing mostly routines taught on the DVD volumes, and the real creative guys will find their own uses. From what I saw, it has a lot of potential for creative fellows.

Yes, I would love to have one, but not at 6 months' rent.

Man, I gotta move. My cost of living is way too high if $1,800 can cover six months rent!

And certainly not when I can do the same thing with a turn of the wrist (which I will point out, proactively, that goes unnoticed).

I assume that is tongue in cheek comment.

Hopefully the responses help shed more light.

Message: Posted by: mdspark (Mar 10, 2003 12:56PM)
This style of holdout is totally different than the typical 'gamblers holdout'.. It is more suited for stand-up close up/platform rather than sit down close up...

There are many effects possible that cannot be done with sleight of hand or, at least, certainly not as cleanly.

I used one regularly back in the late 80's. After ordering the Ed Mishell/Jack Miller model along with the book from Tannens. The books gives good basic information (though somewhat poorly written).

I got pretty good with it. It doesn't take long to develope this skill if you are used to pracitcing making your actions look natural.

About 2 months ago, when I became aware of the F/K holdout and the controversy about it's price and performance restrictions, I got inspired to see if I could get around the usual "Problems" hindering it's user friendliness.

I felt the same way after overcoming these problems with simplicity - "I have been jacking around with this rather than making this thing really work for me, with less hassle."

I am happy to say I have met all the criteria mentioned in Mr. Kohler's website. (I should say with the help of my step-son..lol) But, no, mine does not use space age material, but yes, it works great, is practical for stand-up/platform when wearing a jacket. AND, costs only a few dollars to make.

I have absolutely no doubt of Mr. Fitch's expertise on using one and no doubt as to the quality purported. It still seems to me at $1,800 as 'over the top' and perhaps some "overkill" given the performance restrictions even though you get first class training and routines with expert teaching on several CDs.

I know the attachments will be first-class quality/custom made. But what more would you want a holdout to handle other than balls, silks, cards, coins, or any other small objects? These attachments are already out there or you can EASILY fashion your own.

It just seems more along the lines of a high priced collector's item.

Just my opinion, I certainly don't mean to offend anyone.
Message: Posted by: Dennis Loomis (May 24, 2003 10:27AM)
Has this been released yet?

Jim Riser is also going to release a holdout later this year. While I'm his partner on the Micro Chop Cups, he hasn't shared much info with me on his particular holdout. But, knowing his craftsmanship, I'm sure it will be great.

Dennis Loomis
Message: Posted by: Carl Rheuban (Jun 26, 2003 12:00AM)
Has anyone heard if the Kohler Holdout has been released? If not, does anyone know the status? How are the DVDs coming along? Are any of the units completed?

Message: Posted by: Larry Davidson (Jun 26, 2003 07:37PM)
On 2003-03-10 13:56, mdspark wrote:

I have absolutely no doubt of Mr. Fitch's expertise on using one and no doubt as to the quality purported. It still seems to me at $1,800 as 'over the top' and perhaps some "overkill" given the performance restrictions even though you get first class training and routines with expert teaching on several CDs.

It just seems more along the lines of a high priced collector's item.
I've seen both Fitch and Kohler use the holdout to produce magic that looks like trick photography.

Saying that spending $1800 on the F/K holdout is "over the top even though you get first class training and routines with expert teaching on several CDs" is like saying, "So Mrs. Lincoln, besides that, how'd you like the play?" It misses the point.

$1800 for an exquisitely made device that comes with instruction reflecting over 50 years of real-world use by two top performers seems underpriced to me. I realize that the target market is the professional magician who will use it in performances that generate income.

Regarding this being a "collector's item," nothing could be further from the truth. This is a "worker's item."

Of course this is just my opinion and nobody has to agree, but my opinion's based on me personally witnessing the device in action and my appreciation of the value vs. simply the cost of this.

Regards, Larry D.
Message: Posted by: Dan Watkins (Jun 28, 2003 10:42AM)
Last I heard, Bob was still working on DVDs.

If they are out, maybe we will get a review soon from a user.
Message: Posted by: Larry Davidson (Jun 28, 2003 11:10AM)
I know the DVDs aren't completed (but will be very soon) so I doubt anyone has the finished product yet.
Message: Posted by: Dan Watkins (Oct 2, 2003 11:18PM)
I just noticed that the banner ad here at the Café for the holdout system says "now shipping". So maybe someone who actually gets to use the system will post a review of the full package soon.

Message: Posted by: truthteller (Oct 2, 2003 11:48PM)
The holdout is for those people who hold their magic to a very high standard. If you are one of those people who says, "It gets by" or "Laypeople won't notice that," then you probably won't benefit from the holdout.

However, if your goal is to recreate what magic could look like if it were real, and refuse to accept anything less, then the holdout is one tool which might help you achieve that goal.

Is it a panacea? Of course not.

Can you do "killer holdout tricks" with it, definitely.

But the real value comes not from being able to steal another person's act (Nash, Ortiz, et al) but to raise the quality of your own magic just that much higher.

Is you magic worth $1800 to improve? Well, I guess that depends on your magic and how important it is to you.
Message: Posted by: Larry Davidson (Oct 10, 2003 11:36AM)
Truthteller, well said.
Message: Posted by: Chris S (Oct 12, 2003 08:56PM)
Is you magic worth $1800 to improve?
Replace "magic" with the words "children's education" and you've got one of the pet phrases of the encyclopedia salesmen of old.

I find arguments of this type to be a little bit unfair and at worst, utterly suspicious. Seems to me folks like John Ramsey (who actually played up the thriftiness of his props and tools!) would disagree with the dictum that the amount of money spent in any way dictates how important magic is to you and how good you are at magic. I personally think it is utterly irrelevant.

On a personal note, I have recently acquired the Romero Holdout. To me, it offers a perfect solution—reasonably priced and offering an incredibly diverse array of possible applications, it is everything I expected and more from a holdout. Will it chop my onions and julienne my potatoes? No. Is it a perfectly workable and reasonably priced item? Without a doubt.

Just as a disclaimer—I have no relationship of arrangement, of any form, with Antonio Romero other than that of buyer and manufacturer.
Message: Posted by: truthteller (Oct 12, 2003 11:35PM)
Regardless of how you wish to impune my argument, the fact remains that we are purchasing a tool and that this tool is designed to improve the effectiveness of one's magic. For many people, this tool would be wasted for MANY reasons. However, I can say wholeheartedly that to me, my magic is important and $1800 is a small sum to pay in order to enable me to move my magic one step closer to the ideal vision I have for it. Sadly, many magicians do not even have a vision.

As for Ramsey, I would contend that to him money was not the measure of one's interest or skill in magic, but that INVESTMENT was. Whether it is an investment of time, energy, intellect, or money that fact remains that to excel in magic it requires an investment.

I hope your holdout works for you. It will NOT work for me. I have invested my time and evaluated both products and am sure of this. For those of us whose magical needs are best solved by the FK system, then allow us to make this investment and grow in our art. No need for sour grapes or comparing the ideas of those who support the FK system with encyclopedic hucksters of old.

For some this will not be the right tool in which to invest, and for many no amount of money thrown at their magic will do any good for they are unwilling to invest in time and energy.

For some, the FK holdout is exactly what we require in order to make manifest our magical ideals. For us, the monetary investment will prove sound. For others, for many reason, it will not. But each of us has to ask ourselves if the investment will reap its proper return for us? Only we can answer that, not Chris S nor any other FK holdout detractors.
Message: Posted by: Chris S (Oct 13, 2003 12:50AM)
If you can point out where I said the F/K system was not worth the money, then I will rightfully take my place as a "FK holdout detractor". I made no such comment.

My issue was solely with your usage of the idea that a person's magic can be improved by an item that is much more expensive than the alternatives. Please note that I made no quarrel against those who endorse the F/K system, despite what you suggest—again I refer to my original message. You have since sharpened your standpoint to encompass a broader definition of "investment", and I heartily agree with your points. I could not agree more.

My criticism of the rather simplistic association between quality of magic and money expended stands. It was an oversimplification in the hands of the encyclopedia salesmen and so it is in any other context. I will say, however, that I am not suggesting you to have any vested interest in the sale of F/K systems. Should you have interpreted it this way, then I sincerely apologize.
Message: Posted by: Larry Davidson (Oct 13, 2003 10:03AM)
My view is that no amount of money and no product IN AND OF ITSELF will make anyone a good magician.

On the other hand, nobody will ever become a good magician without making investments as others have stated (in terms of energy, practice, thought, character development, and props which can run the gamut from a regular deck of cards or a few half dollars to something exotic).

There are magicians whose only investment in props will involve buying regular decks of cards, and there's nothing wrong with that FOR THEM but there is something wrong with that for me. Why? Because there are card effects I wish to perform that require gimmicks and that cannot be performed as effectively through use of sleight of hand alone in my view (many times a combination of sleights and gimmicks is the answer for me).

There are magicians whose only investment in props will involve regular coins, but again, that's not the answer for me.

A holdout is a tool that will open doors to perform certain effects more magically than through other methods in my view, that is to say, it will enhance the effects and make a dramatic difference.

Is the FK Holdout the only holdout answer? Of course not, but it may be the best answer for some and for those magicians an $1800 investment makes sense. What some people seem to be missing, though, is that this particular holdout comes with exhaustive instruction reflecting many years of professional performing experience by top performers, which I think is where the true value lies. Buying a different holdout without very good instruction may not only be a waste of money (albeit a smaller amount of money) but a waste of valuable time for the purchaser who may have to reinvent the wheel.

Is the Romero holdout as versatile and does it come with exhaustive instruction? I haven't seen it so I can't be a judge of that, but I have seen the FK holdout and know what doors it can open. Is anyone out there intimately familiar with both?

Larry D.
Message: Posted by: truthteller (Oct 13, 2003 09:06PM)
Yeah Lee, that was fun.

In answer to your question, I believe the holdouts are being shipped very, VERY soon. As in within a week or so, if not earlier.

And yes, we are going around in circles. It seems as if there are some who are wanting to always spin a degree of negativity around the FK system either directly or indirectly with reference to allegedly "equally good but cheaper" items. And don't even get me started about the lease. There are a lot of sour grapes fermenting as a result of that idea.

Those of us who fall into the defender camp, I think, do this because we either value the work the two Bob's have put into the device and wish to make sure they get full credit and glory for their years of innovation OR we like reminding ourselves that this is a great investment. Yes, I know in my heart it is, but large investments to many come only after reflection, and we need to remind ourselves that our decisions are right for us in spite of how others may wish to paint the situation.

Finally, I know the holdout and what it can do. Part of me hates the fact I feel the urge to come on and praise it. Truthfully, I don't want other people to get it. I would rather keep it all for myself. But my admiration for the work of both Kohler and Fitch prevent me from holding back.
Message: Posted by: Dan Watkins (Oct 13, 2003 10:58PM)
On 2003-10-13 21:39, leefoley3 wrote:
I have a question that appears to have been overlooked by practically everyone that has posted in this thread. When is the product being released?
It's shipping now. That is what the banner ad says right on the Café main forum page. That is why I asked if anyone got it and is going to review it.

There are many of you that are sad sacks. [/quote]That was funny, though I must ask, sacks of what? :donut2: :rotf:
Message: Posted by: Larry Davidson (Oct 14, 2003 06:51AM)
Sacks of ***** (shims?).
Message: Posted by: Paul h. (Oct 14, 2003 08:20AM)
First, I must say that everyone has some really valid points and concerns about this huge release.

Last I heard (Sunday 12th) the systems were being boxed up and ready to go either Monday or Tuesday.

After seeing Bob work in person and purchasing some of his other effects I have no regrets in spending the $1800 on this item if you are a serious performer.

Bob has been nothing but great to a nobody magician like me over the last year or so. I have talked to him many times and to see him so excited about this makes me wonder why he even bothers—other than to take credit for some serious advances in a difficult-to-use utility he has put decades of work into.

The only people who should be talking about this before release are those people who were lucky enough to see it at LVMI or SAM. Many of those people will not be talking about it at all, but blowing away a lot of other well informed magicians with a big grin on their face.

We're lucky to have him release it. I will be curious to see the buzz this thing creates when it hits. Some great coverage will be out via publication, but I'm not so sure if the cat is out of the bag yet, but just wait and see.

Best Regards,
Paul h.
Message: Posted by: coinlover (Oct 14, 2003 10:30AM)
I have waited this product for a year but still not place an order on it because his coins attachment has not been released yet, as I work on coins this really important to me. I heard that there will be a few attachments comes with this set. Anyone who received it, please kindly tell me whether I can use it with coins now. Or I need to wait for the coin attachment.
Message: Posted by: magicday (Oct 16, 2003 01:07PM)
Delivery yet?? Anyone received this holdout please kindly post a review. I only want to know whether it is easy to wear on and take off, easily changing between suits...

I really needed some advice before I put down my $1800.
Message: Posted by: Michele (Oct 16, 2003 05:50PM)
Anyone knows about the exact delivery date? I hope not need another long waiting...
Message: Posted by: truthteller (Oct 16, 2003 07:12PM)
It is, to borrow a turn of phrase from MAx MAven, a thing of terrifying beauty. Easy to wear, take off, and change between suits to answer your question specifically.

I am more than pleased with my investment, however, it behooves me to say little more.

This product has exceeded my expectations in so many ways. Many will miss out on this wonderful opportunity. It will be their loss. All of the worries and concerns expressed in these posts have been made irrelevant. But again, in the interest of protecting this incredible tool I will not say anything of greater detail.

My work here is done. I'm going to go practice some more.
Message: Posted by: rowdymagi5 (Oct 22, 2003 09:50AM)
My only concern is exposure. Look at U3F. Everyone can get these now, Ebay practically has them every day. Todd Lassen sells them for $160. The method of operation is well known now. (I did this trick at my local magic shop and three people knew right away it was U3F by the Morgan Silver Dollars used, and knew how it worked by what they read from the internet.)

Hopefully this will remain a "secret" so that initial users can get the most out of it!
Message: Posted by: Larry Davidson (Oct 22, 2003 11:49AM)

Are you interested in fooling laymen or other magicians? If you're interested in fooling laymen, it's a non-issue. The operation of U3F is not known to laymen and the operation of the F/K holdout will not be known to laymen.

If you're interested in fooling magicians, can you name any product on the market that's worth $1800 to you for that purpose? I can't, but then again, since I don't care about fooling magicians, I wouldn't spend a dime for that purpose. In any event, the target consumer for the F/K holdout is not the casual magician who wants to fool other magicians at magic shops.

Larry D.
Message: Posted by: rowdymagi5 (Oct 28, 2003 11:34AM)

Good point! And you are right, when I perform U3F for laymen it absolutley kills!
Message: Posted by: ftlum (Oct 29, 2003 03:59AM)
I think you could say that the holdout adds a cleanliness that could be appreciated by an observant spectator as well as a magician. The cleaner tricks, thanks to many attachments, will allow for many scenarios (with the caveat, don't overdo it). Some methods will allow what would otherwise seem impossible.

Seeing the proper technique on holdout work over 5 DVDs is also what you're paying for, and this is what you really want anyway—years and years of experience. Without the proper instruction, you will have difficulty making the holdout invisible early on. The DVD in particular covers bad habbits.

So is it worth $1800? For me, yes, as that was the kind of device I'd been looking for. Can awesome magic be done without a holdout? Absolutely. To get it or not depends in part how clean you feel you need to be. You may want to try a cheaper holdout like Antonio Romero's first, and if you like it a lot, move to the Fitch/Kohler model.

-- Frank
Message: Posted by: 2002 coinguy (Oct 29, 2003 01:46PM)
After thinking for two months...First I decided to order this holdout but I found there is a Fitch coin attachment for $399 that will be available in December. I have given up ordering it. I can't afford $400 more for this investment. As a coin guy there's no reason I don't go with this coin attachment. But honestly, $1800 is all I can afford at this moment.

Is there someone who bought the holdout and Fitch coin attachment and feels it is not suitable for your act? Please PM me. Thanks.
Message: Posted by: Dougini (Nov 5, 2003 12:10PM)
Hi guys!

I made my own Jack Miller holdout almost thirty years ago. If I had all the money I made since then, using it (cut and restored rope exclusively), I could buy the FKPH!

Granted, since I moved to Florida, I rarely wear a jacket, so putting on a jacket to do a trick, kind of "gives it away", IMO.

As far as money spent, look at it like this: What do you pay these days for a Dale Carnegie course? And what do you bring away from that? Is it worth it? Do people react differently? Are you happier?

You can't put a pricetag on success. You either WANT to succeed or you don't. If you WANT to, well, you do what it takes.

The holdout is an ingenious tool. A Jack Miller holdout does FINE as it is. I just do the Cut & Restored Rope, because I'm "clean" at the end, and just by throwing the rope to the audience, the thing works! Virtually visual magic!

One can only imagine the possiblities with the FKPH. This thread took me more than 1/2 an hour to read. Absolutely fascinating topic!

Message: Posted by: Esso (Nov 11, 2003 09:16AM)
Is the "Fitch Coin Attachment" available next month? Can anyone let me know about this? :question:
Message: Posted by: JohnHoudi (Nov 11, 2003 11:09AM)
I haven't had the time to read through every post in this thread. I'm one of the actual firts to register for my FKPH and—I guess—I was one of the first to receive it (a couple of weeks back).

As a professional performer I must say that the FKPH is NOT worth the $1800 asked. It is worth at least double, if not more. That is said in mind IF you know how and when to use the holdout. It's a tool that works perfectly and will last a lifetime IF you use it the right way.

I'm very pleased with my holdout and I had no trouble at all with the "hullaballo" about registration, leasing, licenses, etc.

I think most professionals will agree with me.

John Houdi
Professional magician and webmaster FISM 2006, Stockholm
Message: Posted by: ftlum (Nov 11, 2003 07:24PM)
If I recall my conversation with Bob Kohler correctly, the coin attachment would be released in December if all went well.

For those of you who were wondering, you can use the holdout for coin effects, even without the specific coin attachment.

-- Frank
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Apr 12, 2005 02:05PM)
Okay. Let me bring some additional information to this topic.

Last Saturday at the Collectors Weekend in Las Vegas, Bob Kohler dropped by and spotted me. He called me over to a private area and showed me the holdout system. I could use all the different cliches in the book about it, and it wouldn't tell you a blessed thing. I have worked with holdouts a bit. I'm not a holdout expert, by any means, but I have come to grips with a lot of the objections people have to the use of holdouts. I'll give you my impressions of the item.

First off, it is actually made by Thomas Wayne, who is one of the finest machinists in the magic business. It comes with several attachments. I didn't count them -- to tell the truth, I was overwhelmed by the sheer number of goodies you get with the thing! One of the chief problems with holdouts of this style is that when you change attachments, it is difficult and the holdout needs to be adjusted. Not so with this system. All of the attachments place the "work" where it belongs.

It is arranged so that it does not interfere with the normal movement of either hand or arm. You have full flexibility. The work can be locked out of the way with a simple movement that is perfectly natural. It can be released by the same movement. This keeps you from inadvertently displaying the holdout when you are in the middle of your Twisting the Aces routine or something else of that nature.

There are also mechanical provisions to keep you from tangling things up. In short, all of the disadvantages of a holdout have been eliminated.

Some years ago, I spent $165 for a double-action holdout from a well-known manufacturer of apparatus. It was a piece of junk that had approximately $5.00 worth of parts in it. If we consider inflation, that same item would cost me $1650 in today's money. (I don't think that even the company that made that one would charge that much today, but one can never tell!) And it had only one attachment!

The Fitch-Kohler sytem, on the other hand, is a viable, tested, working system that also has additional attachments coming out from time to time. If I ever decided to use a holdout, this would be the one I used.

For those of you who say, "Well, I prefer not to wear a jacket. I work with my sleeves rolled up," I say, "Go for it! More power to you." I used to think the same way. Then I figured it out. If you know how to sell your magic, they don't worry about your sleeves.