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Topic: Best Cups and Balls set?
Message: Posted by: hmag (Aug 30, 2003 10:48AM)
I am thinking about buying the Cups and Balls. Which ones are the best?
Message: Posted by: Jason K. (Aug 30, 2003 07:45PM)
Gazzo's
Message: Posted by: denver (Aug 31, 2003 12:01AM)
Do you all recommend a Chop Cup to be used also? I wondered about getting a set and just getting 2 regular cups and 1 Chop Cup.
Message: Posted by: Dan LeFay (Aug 31, 2003 04:17AM)
Consider the ones from Auke van Dokkum. Take a look at his site http://www.cupsandballs.nl

Oh and if you're spending that amount on cups, order his baseballs as well. There is no substitute.
Message: Posted by: Steve Brooks (Aug 31, 2003 04:43AM)
See my review:
[url=http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=32077&forum=71&0]The Porper Cups Review[/url]
:bwink:
Message: Posted by: John Clarkson (Aug 31, 2003 11:59AM)
Tough Question. A lot depends upon how much you want to spend, and in what venue you will be performing.

The Gary Animal/Gazzo cups are esteemed by street workers as being large and durable. I have both the Animal set and the Gazzo set and think they are great. The site: http://www.magicpitch.com/index.html

Jim Riser beautiful handspun copper cups. I have his mini cups and love them. (My next acquisition, I hope, is a set of his traditional style cups.)In fact, the mini cups are the ones I use most, because I can carry them in my coat pocket. Jim is a member of this forum, honest, helpful, and a superb craftsman. Here is his site, if you'd like to check out his cups: http://www.jamesriser.com/Magic/JamesRiserMagic.html

My pride and joy, however, is the set of Brett Sherwood silver/gold cups I got recently. People I respect (like Jim Riser and Pete Biro) have described them as the absolute best you can get. Here is the site: http://www.sherwoodmagic.com/

As you can see, there are lots of options. Jim Riser has a page dedicated to selecting cups that might help you: http://www.jamesriser.com/Cups/SelectingCups.html

:nose:
Message: Posted by: wcb39 (Aug 31, 2003 07:00PM)
Agree with John the Brett Sherwood cups while expensive are really breath taking and with Auke van Dokkum's leather balls, you have an unbelievably classic effect.

I can honestly say this is the best magic purchase I have made in 20+ years.
Message: Posted by: Review King (Aug 31, 2003 07:05PM)
I agree the Brett Sherwood cups are the finest set in the world. I was talking about cups for mere mortals;-)

If they can be afforded, the Sherwood cups are the way to go. They are the BMW's of the Cups and Balls.

Chris
Message: Posted by: MJ Marrs (Aug 31, 2003 08:02PM)
I think that the best source for deciding on cups and balls is Riser's website; you can get quite a good education by going there.

I'd say that if you're looking for a set that isn't too expensive and which should hold up for quite a while then go with the Johnson cups. However, if you're looking for the BEST, then go with the Porper cups and the Sherwood cups.
Message: Posted by: ixnay66 (Aug 31, 2003 08:54PM)
Jason K, just curious. Why would the fact that not many people use a set of cup make them "better" for people who DO use them? I've seen ads for Frank Garcia Cups and I've never seen anyone use them. Does that make them better for people that do? That argument just doesn't make sense to me.
Message: Posted by: Ryan Anthony (Sep 1, 2003 12:55AM)
I just Started doing the cups and balls and bought the johnson set. Coming from a person with little experience in this area I found the cups to be great.
Message: Posted by: Rcitgo (Sep 1, 2003 02:47AM)
I've been using the Johnson cups for a couple years and to me they hold up nicely.I'm very happy using these.Hope that helps. :magicrabbit:
Message: Posted by: Jason Wethington (Sep 1, 2003 08:34AM)
I use the Phoenix Cups. They are a true working set of cups. You can beat them, drop them and slam them together and not worry. The wand that comes with the set is Ironwood and only has two noticable dents after more than a thousand performances.
I have not tried out the Gazzo cups but they are probably very durable as well.
Jason
Message: Posted by: Steve Dela (Sep 1, 2003 11:07AM)
Definitely Auke van Dokkum's cups are the nicest and will take a tennis ball as the final load!
http://www.cupsandballs.nl
handle like a dream!
bye for now
Steve Dela

Van Dokkum
Standard Cups (steel)
Price: Ł179
http://www.cupsandballs.nl

Manufactures own write up:
These will play extremely well for formal close-up, table magic and parlour shows.
The cups, which are turned from one single block of metal, are very heavy and handle like a dream.
They have the time approved three bead style and when stacked are steady as a rock.
Three one inch balls can be held easily between two of these well balanced cups.
The cups will set a new standard for the serious cups and balls aficionado!
You can choose Stainless Steel or Brass.

The cup can hold a 2 1/2 inch load.
Size = 2 7/8 Inch. Weight = 8 oz. each cup

Independent review: (Steve Dela)
What can I say, this is quite possibly the nicest set of cups myself and all the other assessors have ever used!
In appearance they look absolutely outstanding! They have an amazing shine and handle like a dream,
The quality of these cups is clearly seen in the Photos.
These are computer machined cups, cut from a solid block!
They are extremely heavy duty and I can imagine they will last forever.
When stacked they really are as solid as a rock and defiantly don’t dent easily when tapped with a magic wand!
These cups are a real head turner when brought out at a restaurant table!
They look very smart and very professional.
Plus are polished to an amazing mirror finish! (extremely shiny).
Also included is a lovely, extremely high quality, heavy duty drawstring bag to keep them in.
These cups do not come with balls, but Auke sells absolutely beautiful 1” leather base balls available in a variety of colours!
You can do all the standard cup and ball moves and they roll over brilliantly.
This set has the largest recess in the top of the cups out of all the cups we have reviewed, so your balls will not roll off easily if you accidentally knock them!
For final loads you can use, real fruit, Fake fruit (available http://www.ammarmagic.com),
The cups will not take a standard sized baseball as they are slightly too big to fit, so Auke sells ‘final load base balls’ that are slightly smaller for the cups (but people afterwards will just remember you producing a baseball from the cup).
These cups are large enough to hold a standard size tennis ball!
This is a professional set for the professional magician.
They would also be nice as a collectors item as I am sure they will not be around for ever!
as with a lot of cup and ball sets they might disappear before you get chance to buy them!
I believe this set is excellent value for money and I highly recommend them for the professional magician looking for a good quality set that will last!
Message: Posted by: Kingry (Sep 2, 2003 07:53PM)
Phoenix seconds are a steal. I have had mine for over 4 years. Very durable. Picked mine up for $40.
Message: Posted by: TrcikPony (Sep 28, 2003 04:22PM)
Johnson cups are they way to go!!!! Phoenix cups look old and dirty!
Message: Posted by: Kingry (Sep 29, 2003 03:24PM)
Johnson are nice, but I can build an illusion for the cost. Another nice reasonable set of cups are made by Bizar De Magica. They are available in copper or Brass. Nice weight. Your success with the cups lies in your skill, not how much your cups cost. I do the cups at least 3 times a night in a restaurant setting. I always bring them out as a special effect for special occasions. I would hate to leave a $200 set of cups unattended in a waiter's station.
Message: Posted by: chappelly (Dec 15, 2003 08:15AM)
I recently bought a set of Phoenix Cups and Balls.When I opened them,they were discoloured and blotchy.I cleaned them up so that they were shiny but a couple of hours later they returned to their blotchy,discoloured state.I repeated the process but with the same result. It is some sort of Oxidation problem, I imagine.
I was wandering if anyone who has this type of set has had any similar problem and if so is there a way of getting rid of the disclouration at least for a reasonable period of time{a couple of weeks or so}.
I appreciate any feedback.

Chappelly
Message: Posted by: Rob Johnston (Dec 17, 2003 12:08PM)
I have seen sets that are hundreds of dollars. That is a bit steep for a poor college student like myself...so I have found that just a regular ghetto set works. It adds to the ghetto seen of the 3 card monte and shells. But...if you want class...by all means...go for the expense.
Message: Posted by: Kingry (Dec 19, 2003 03:18PM)
I personally hate shiney cups. I introduce the effect as one of the oldest in magic. Old cups fit the bill. The Bazar cups tarnish beatifully. Waiting on a set of Penguin cups. I have been told they have a mouth of nearly 3 1/2".
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Dec 22, 2003 12:15AM)
I collect jumbo cups and balls sets. The Van Dokkum Jumbos are hard to beat -- they will take a standard baseball as a final load and they are nearly indestructible.

The Riser Jumbos are pretty, a little smaller, made of copper. They are hard to find but worth the money.

If you want standard cups, There are lots of them on the market -- the Johnson cups are very nice.

I'm not nuts about the Phoenix cups -- the quality is not up to snuff.

The new Penguin cups photograph well, but the quality seems to be off.

The Harries Bosco Cups are nicely made large cups.
Message: Posted by: Mr. Muggle (Dec 29, 2003 02:22AM)
Cups, boy I have a drawer full. The Phoenix cups are great (I have 2 sets), you can really beat them, but I don't think you can get any more. I think even the second's have sold out.

I'm going to order a Gazzo set, will see how they do. The reviews are great about them.

However the Porper cups are top quality, and are very heavy. Great sound! But then again, that is a hefty price tag.



MM
Message: Posted by: Magic Arty (Dec 31, 2003 01:25AM)
I hae a set of the Riser Jumbo cups they hold a baseball for a final load and work like a dream.
I also have a set of rings and things cups that are sweet, but have not touched them since I got my set of risers! They just feel right in the hands.
Arthur Atsma
Message: Posted by: kihei kid (Jan 1, 2004 07:58AM)
Brett Sherwood just came out with some "smooth cups", man they look nice.
Message: Posted by: froxen (Jan 7, 2004 08:46PM)
Hi Everybody!

I was wondering if anyone here has the El Duco Golden Combination Set of Cups and Balls.... I was considering getting one. but I need some recommendation first. my budget is US$150.
Message: Posted by: Brett Sherwood (Jan 11, 2004 12:06PM)
:wavey:
Hi All,
After many requests, I am happy to finally announce that my new "smooth classic" style cups are now available to the magic fraternity. These cups are professionally hand spun using my unique tooling, which I spent three years designing for my engraved silver cups, so you know the technical design is fully established. These smooth cups stack true and without any excess wobbling. There are NO gaps on the bottom base bead, which is very important, as a gap eventually collects dirt and residue and looks bad. My cups weigh about six and one half ounces EACH, so you know they will last a lifetime. However, these cups are not too heavy and the weight is perfectly balanced and distributed(or so I have been told - many times). I agree with Pete Biro, that the "FEEL" is all important and this was one of my main objectives of WHERE and WHY, in conjunction with adding a larger 'attic' void, I placed the exterior rings. I wanted my cups to comfortably fit the hand 'like a glove' and I am happy this has indeed been proven to be the case. Each cup will easily contain 3 x 1&1/8" balls in the 'attic' void and the three balls will impressively balance on any cup top. Each cup can easily accommodate a regulation tennis ball as an awesome final production. My cups also have the specially designed illusion of the load appearing larger than the cup, when the final load is placed on top. These new smooth cups come in FIVE different styles; brass "bell" cups(because of the ring) , rich copper, all-sterling silver, sterling silver with gold interior and finally the 'all gold' plated sterling cups, which look like 'three golden cups'. All my smooth cups have my quality stamp inside the top of each and the smooth silver cups come with a sterling silver 'hallmark' of .925. Please visit (www.SherwoodMagic.com) to see lots of photos and don't forget to read the testimonials and Q&A sections, as this explains all you will need to know in great detail. Along with the cups you receive a set of crochet balls, quality velvet bag with my logo on the side. Also as an added bonus for purchasing a set my smooth cups you will receive absolutely FREE a voucher worth $50 off one set of 'all silver' Engraved - Limited Edition Cups, should you wish to upgrade at a later date. I believe the quality of these cups is without compare, but I could be bias, so please visit my website and see and read what others think in the 'testimonials'. (www.SherwoodMagic.com)Thanks for looking and spread the word!
Happy 2004 to all!
Message: Posted by: Steve Haynes (Jan 21, 2004 03:18AM)
I got Johnson set when they first came out and will more than likely never buy another set.
Lots of set's out there but I don't know anybody that's not happy with these.
Message: Posted by: Mark Rough (Jan 21, 2004 06:03AM)
I started off with a set of wooden cups that were okay. Moved on to a set of Morrisey cups, also okay.

Fortuanately after that I've hit three home runs. My third set was a set of Phoenix cups. Great cups as many have already said but a bit small for what I wanted to do. However I've worked with them for several years now and love them. I like the patina they've developed over time and would want to shine them. It gives them character.

But. . .

Somehow in the past week or so I've gotten two new sets. (Don't ask me how, and please don't tell my wife). A set of Bosco cups from Harries in Sweden. Great cups, nice size and shape. Problem though. A day later I got a set of Animal Cups from one of our very own members here (thanks John). I love them!! I haven't used the Harries cups yet because I'm just stuck on the Animals. Great weight, great size. They take a large final load. Just what I've been looking for.

I'd love to get a set of Sherwood cups but, alas, my magic allowance for the next several years has been spent. Maybe next year.

Mark
Message: Posted by: wcb39 (Jan 21, 2004 08:46AM)
Brett Sherwood cups are truly breathtaking. I took out a second mortgage and bought the silver set.
Message: Posted by: Tantrik (Jan 21, 2004 12:53PM)
The original question was which set is the best? People here have been talking about which are the best constructed, which hold a big load, etc.

I would respectfully suggest that the best set is the one that you use and use well. A person who spends hundreds on a set but can't load them has wasted his or her money. A person who gets the cheap plastic Adams set and amazes people with them has the best set possible.

I've used plastic, chrome, coffee cups, wood. I used big cups and shot-sized cups. I've produced oranges from cups even though the orange won't fit into the cup. I've used combo sets (with a chop cup), chop cup by itself, and Indian (non-nesting) cups.

The magic isn't int the cups...it's in the performer. So respectfully, I would suggest that instead of seeking the "best" set, find one in your price range and get it. Then practice. And practice some more. Create something new with it. Amaze magicians and laypeople alike. The future of magic isn't what others create...it's what we each do.
Message: Posted by: Mark Rough (Jan 21, 2004 01:31PM)
Your point is well taken.

Mark

Tantrik,

Your point is well taken but I've been doing some thinking.

I still see the validity of your point, we use the tools that we use best. If you want to use paper cups. Go for it.

However, I think the spirit of the question concerned quality. For what I'm doing, I wouldn't use paper cups, coffee mugs, or a lot of the other things you mentioned. I'm doing a fully surrounded show on a walking mall. My routine is taken from a lot of sources (Vernon, Gazzo, Cellini). For this, I want a cup that is going to take a large load (will hide the load), has good weight, can be seen from a distance, and will nest well. Therefore, the Animal cups(or Gazzo cups, or jumbo Riser cups) ARE the best cups for my performance. Yes, I can do the routine with coffee mugs. Yes, I can make a melon appear under a paper dixie cup if I want to, but I don't. It wouldn't work in the circumstances where I'm working.

So yes youre right. The magic is in the magician, not in the tools. BUT some tools are better in some situations.

Mark
Message: Posted by: Tantrik (Jan 22, 2004 03:21PM)
Hi Mark.

Mark, you're exactly right. You've got the best cups that work ideally for you based on the routine you want to perform. I should have pointed that out. Thanks for the addition/correction. I appreciate it.
Message: Posted by: trulymagic (Jan 22, 2004 07:04PM)
All of yiou guys are talking about really nice sets of cups and balls. if he is just getting into them then he doesn't need that nice of a set. he shiould buy a cheap set that is decent and c if he likes the cups and balls. I believe avery magician should own a set of cups and balls because they are a very versetile effect. you can perform many different effects with them.
Message: Posted by: Mark Rough (Jan 23, 2004 05:56AM)
Trulymagic,

Good point. In that case Morrisey's are always a good place to start. Not bad for the price.

Tantrik,

On rereading my post, I realize I sounded bit crabby about it. Don't worry I'm not, just nicotine withdrawal. Three weeks and counting. Woo Hoo.
Who's got a match. ;)

Mark
Message: Posted by: Kingry (Jan 23, 2004 09:22AM)
The Bazar cups, available in copper or brass, are a great starting set. Proper weight, look good, sturdy, and cheap. I've seen them for under $30 on Ebay. It's what I carry for working, I leave my nice cups home just in case the drop bag gets swiped from the waiter's station. Cups are a disease, I'm at 5 sets so far considering a 6th. I agree that the effect is the same no mater what set you are using, but it's so easy to knock over an aluminium cup. Waiting on a set of Penguin's to arrive now. Always wanted a set of Paul Fox, just didn't want to drop a grand.

Talk about timing, the Penguin's just came. Nice cup for the money. Trying to decide between the Animal cups or Johnson's for my next set.
Message: Posted by: MJ Marrs (Jan 24, 2004 11:14PM)
I understood the question, "What's the BEST set?" to mean: Which set is physically the BEST set?

Sure, one could use a set of Morrissey cups, or even a set of Dixie paper cups, and get some strong reactions.

However, when I hear a question asking which is the best, I'm thinking, best balanced, weight, feel, size, sound, appearance, etc...Therefore, I'd say for inside professional use: Sherwood and Porper cups. Outside street performing: Gazzo. Practice cups to bang around (but which still have the proper "feel" to them: Johnson.
Message: Posted by: GeorgeG (Jan 25, 2004 01:18AM)
The Porper Cups are simply breathtaking and the accompanying wooden case is a beauty.
Message: Posted by: atkins117 (Oct 26, 2004 09:41AM)
I'm also in the market for a new set of cups. I got a set of El Duco cups a few years ago and was disappointed from the start. The "soft shoulder" on the cups makes them unstable when stacked. I've ended up going back to an inexpensive copper set I got thirty years ago. The Sherwood cups look gorgeous, so perhaps I'll splurge!
Message: Posted by: bobn3 (Dec 3, 2004 02:49PM)
Hi,

A nice alternative to the Riser mini cups is the RNT II Black Beauty Combo set, only available from Stevens Magic. They are roughly the same size (so can be carried in your jacket pocket), are black in color and made from heavy duty aircraft aluminum, so they look and feel great. They are a combo set, so the single cup can be used as a chop cup if you wish. They also come with three happy face large load balls (how many cup sets come with the large load balls?). They are also very limited, so they are not only useful, but collectable as well.

Have a good one,

Bob Phillips

http://www.stevensmagic.com
Message: Posted by: WalterZ (Dec 8, 2004 01:09PM)
Ok, I have a few things to say. Personally, I think you guys are all nuts. Paying over a hundred dollars for cups... CUPS!!!! Think about it for a second, shiny engraved cups don't add to the trick whatsoever... in fact they immediately give the effect to the spectators that these are "fake magic" props. I think this degrades the overall feel to this old trick. They shouldn't be looking at the props so much that they overlook your presentation. And I'm going to have to say that leather cups look the most innocent.

Secondly, people complain about the weight of the cups and having them tip over... Well if you don't practice enough and you're extremely clumsy, sure, any cup can tip over. I don't think the weight of the cups is important. I think what's most important is the shape of the cups and the size of the mouth. Also, cups that are shaped more like pyramids may not look as cool, but give a stronger illusion of the impossibility of loading such large objects under them when the loads are placed on top of the cups at the end.

So here's my 2 cents:

Look at the trick itself, the effect it's supposed to be.

Dont think you're buying something of real value when you buy cups... for only you will know how much you got ripped off for the cups, to everyone else watching you, you're just using shiny cups. Big whoopa, they could easily think that you can get a set just like it at the salvation army...
Message: Posted by: Davidicus (Dec 8, 2004 01:30PM)
[quote]Well if you don't practice enough and you're extremely clumsy, sure, any cup can tip over
[/quote]
I'd rethink this statement if I were you. In your own words, "Think about it for a second"...

I checked out your site and saw you were a musician and artist. Let's use one of those as an example:

Would you go to a paid gig with a $20 Casio keyboard picked up at a local Walgreens, or a Roland Fantom? They both do the same thing don't they? Play music?

You need to consider not only the cosmetics, but the quality, and confidence.
Message: Posted by: WalterZ (Dec 8, 2004 04:51PM)
I'm not saying you should use crap to present yourself... I just don’t think spending hundreds of dollars on cups is a smart idea.

Ok, thought about it. I've used a Morrissey set of cups and balls for years and never had it tip over. Sure, it'd be nice to have original Paul Fox cups that are worth thousands of dollars, but I don’t think it's necessary for this certain effect. I doubt laymen could tell the difference in value between a $40 set and one worth thousands...Which is why I said that it's value is known only to you. Sure if it boosts your ego and therefore allows you to conduct a better presentation, by all means do so if you can afford it.

By the way, thanks for checking out my site. :)
Message: Posted by: tabman (Dec 8, 2004 06:44PM)
The Morrissey cups are nice and there are many inexpensive sets that fill the bill. Even the great John Ramsay did a routine using ice cream cups.

The thing about some of the more expensive cups is that you are paying tribute to the master craftsmen who made them. The absolute thrill of owning a set of Paul Fox cups made by Danny Dew himself (not Jeff Busby) for example must be wonderful thinking that Mr. Dew himself had them in his hands laboring over them, wanting them to be just right.

Conrad Haden is another example. Conrad loved magic and his coin and cup work was both supurb and inspirational in the way he approached precision.

And Jim Riser who has spent a lifetime developing his craft to the place it is today. Who wouldn't want a set of hand spun Riser cups????

All the best,

-=tabman
Message: Posted by: WalterZ (Dec 9, 2004 06:44AM)
Somehow though, I think this has developed into an obsession. I must admit, I wish I had a set too... but still, FORCE yourself to think only with logic! Only then will you see what I'm talking about.
Message: Posted by: Tophie (Dec 9, 2004 07:17AM)
WalterZ,

Your point is well taken....

If it were true, people would all be driving the same type of car, economical, fuel efficient, etc....

Logically, you must own one of those...

Personally, I like my current impractical, illogical sport car!
Message: Posted by: tabman (Dec 9, 2004 11:24AM)
We're all on the same page. My personal set of cups is an old set of copper cups that look like flower pots and an old set of P&L cups that I bought for $15 at a convention in the 80s. I'm not that great at performing the routine and a set of Danny Dew cups would do little to enhance it. I just couldn't do them justice.

The important thing from the audience perspective is the craftsmanship that goes into the performance. The truth is, I can't afford to own many of the things that I make in the Tabman USA Shop but I'm happy that there are those who can and in return I strive to always do the best work I can for them. I'm sure this is what drives many artists and craftspeople.

The fact that we can't afford something doesn't mean that we can't appreciate it for what it is. Without the patrons of art and craft who support the artists and craftspeople the world would be a lesser for it as far as I'm concerned.

WalterZ, I love your avatar. You are obviously an artist and Tophie, thank you!!!

Ya'll have a great day!!!

-=tabman
Message: Posted by: Craig Dickson (Dec 10, 2004 01:15PM)
I have a Tabman wand, I could have used plastic, but I do classey magic. Hey Tabman, long time.
Message: Posted by: tabman (Dec 10, 2004 10:29PM)
Sir Craig??? Is that you? So glad to see you. You did me a huge favor many years ago when you sent me that great dust mask set. I still use it almost every day and think of you and remember your kindness. I'm very proud of you and your accomplishments in magic. Glad to hear you're still using that tabman wand. That makes me proud too!!!

Your friend,

-=tabman
Message: Posted by: WalterZ (Dec 11, 2004 02:54PM)
I think you guys are misinterpretting what I said. I'm not saying use cheap props. I was saying that a standard set is fine to use for the cups and balls, and by that I DON'T mean cheap looking. You can get paul fox knockoffs for like 50 bucks. (You can in Sac)

I'm saying to a layperson, it doesn't matter, they're metal cups... as long as they're metal, they're metal.

And yes, using a plastic wand would be cheap. I agree, I do classy magic too don't get me wrong.
Message: Posted by: tabman (Dec 11, 2004 03:06PM)
WalterZ, I know what you mean and agree with you from the lay perspective but some of us perform our magic for other magicians. In my case, magicians depend on me to build them the best props I can and my name means something. I would hate to hear that someone was using a knock off tabman table just because it looked the same from the lay perspective and I wouldn't feel comfortable using a set of Paul Fox knockoff cups because I know that there was a real man behind the design and a Fox family that continues on today. I would rather use ice cream cups like John Ramsay did or better yet make my own. It has nothing to do with cheap or expensive it just has to do with my own personal views and this is not a knock against yours, honestly.

-=tabman
Message: Posted by: Davidicus (Dec 11, 2004 03:14PM)
I agree...I think it boils down to preferences, ethics, and confidence.
Message: Posted by: WalterZ (Dec 12, 2004 02:22AM)
[quote]
On 2004-12-11 16:14, David J. Greene wrote:
I agree...I think it boils down to preferences, ethics, and confidence.
[/quote]
Ok, I understand your standpoint... but I still think that a simple trick (I don't mean simple in terms of construction and psychology, but simple effect) such as the cups and balls should be such a huge investment in your show. After all, coming from a professional sense, you wont have many very high paying gigs where you would be able to perform it. Almost all the gigs I've done that I've charged over $300+ were for school assemblies and the like... for large audiences. The cups and balls is just not a big enough production to be seen from far away, and I'm not going to invest in a projector to blow up my hands, or be like Ammar who just doesn't really care that people can't see what he's doing. (I love the guy, just not the fact that he performs close-up on stage.) Please read the essence of closeup magic in the Books of Wonder.

You really should step back and look at what you’re saying and doing. Are you really buying those cups to enhance your performance, or are you really doing it for yourself? Are you just adding glitter to your show, or are you adding any true value? Perhaps you just want to enhance your “social status” among magicians. But this I fear is what many are doing and they fail to understand the reason they’re doing magic. You should be charging solely for your performance, to GIVE the gift of magic to those watching you, and you shouldn’t be charging a large sum of money just because you have expensive props... you are not your props, and neither is your show.

I understand that you'd rather give credit where it's due, and I see where you're coming from. I mean, look at the rampant software and music piracy! However, in my opinion, you're better of investing that money in say, a digital camera with which you can film yourself performing and advance your choreography.

Ever heard the saying, all that glitters is not gold?

If however, you’re a well-polished performer and you’re confident that your show is first class entertainment, THEN you can think about upgrading your props. Just make sure you have your priorities straight.
Message: Posted by: Davidicus (Dec 12, 2004 08:52AM)
I not sure if you are misunderstand what I am saying, or trying to take pot shots in the dark:

[quote]The cups and balls is just not a big enough production to be seen from far away
[/quote]
I still will have to disagree, unless of course your vision is 20/2000. The cups in general have been performed on stage, and in the streets for years. Most cups can be seen for a nice distance.

[quote]Are you really buying those cups to enhance your performance, or are you really doing it for yourself
[/quote]
Again, let me refer you to (part) of what I said: PREFERENCES (=performance), ethics, and CONFIDENCE (=yourself).

[quote]you shouldn’t be charging a large sum of money just because you have expensive props
[/quote]
I agree! You should chage based on several aspects, including value (or percieved value). Who said they were charging more based on the value of their props? Certainly not I?

Let me suggest this:

Go to a magic show where you will know there are a lot in attendance, and you know the performer will be using cups. Sit in the back row and enjoy the show. THEN tell me you couldn't see the cups.

You sound like, and correct me if I am wrong, you are making assumptions and generalizations. Have you tried cups on large audiences? Do you know for a fact whether I have or have not read the Books of Wonder (great books by the way)?

Curious, I am wondering who, if anyone, are you directing these comments to:

[quote]investing that money in say, a digital camera with which you can film yourself performing and advance your choreography" and "you have your priorities straight
[/quote]
I certainly hope not me. Have you been to my show? Did you see the cups? Did you see th standing ovation when I produced the final loads (and not because they couldn't see)???

Please don't think I am insulting you. If so, I apologize. Reading your posts you are making (or at least in the wording) general opinions based on assumption, not experience.
Message: Posted by: tabman (Dec 12, 2004 10:59AM)
[quote] On 2004-12-12 03:22, WalterZ tells us that: Almost all the gigs I've done that I've charged over $300+ were for school assemblies and the like... [/quote]

I'm happy to hear that they still book magicians for school assembly shows someplace. The educational system around here and most elsewhere, I understand, is so strapped for cash that they can hardly man the classrooms and put books in the libraries.

Can you share some of your secrets with us. I know a couple of magicians that could use some tips on booking school shows.

Thanks,

-=tabman
Message: Posted by: WalterZ (Dec 12, 2004 02:52PM)
[quote]I not sure if you are misunderstand what I am saying, or trying to take pot shots in the dark:
[/quote]
I wasn't aiming my comments towards you, but to everyone in general. Sorry if it appeared that I insulted you.

[quote]I still will have to disagree, unless of course your vision is 20/2000. The cups in general have been performed on stage, and in the streets for years. Most cups can be seen for a nice distance.
[/quote]
No, you can see the cups. But you can't see what you're doing because the balls are too small, and this causes the presentation to become confusing. The visibility problem isn't with the cups, but with the effect. For my professional show, I substituted my billiard ball act in place for the cups and balls because they're along the same lines. (balls multiplying, and changing places etc...)

[quote]Again, let me refer you to (part) of what I said: PREFERENCES (=performance), ethics, and CONFIDENCE (=yourself).
[/quote]
Yes, you did type this, and I understand. Once again, my comments were for everyone, sorry.

[quote]I agree! You should chage based on several aspects, including value (or percieved value). Who said they were charging more based on the value of their props? Certainly not I?
[/quote]
Once again, I didn't mean that you charge too much or that you don't have a good show. I've never seen your show, who am I to judge? Once again, you're taking my comments upon yourself and interpreting them as insults when I didn't mean for them to be.

[quote]Go to a magic show where you will know there are a lot in attendance, and you know the performer will be using cups. Sit in the back row and enjoy the show. THEN tell me you couldn't see the cups.
[/quote]
Ok, now you're insulting me. I've taped numerous shows and that's exactly why I said what I did. Please don't assume that I'm just mindlessly speaking my mind. I know specifically that when you're on an elevated stage in front of 300 kids, they will NOT know what you’re doing. Sure, they'll see your nice shiny cups...

[quote]You sound like, and correct me if I am wrong, you are making assumptions and generalizations. Have you tried cups on large audiences? Do you know for a fact whether I have or have not read the Books of Wonder (great books by the way)?
[/quote]
If you have read the Books Of Wonder, then please read them again because you don't understand that essay I was referring to. Close-up magic is meant to be performed close-up, not on a stage. You cannot hope to create successful interaction with a trick like that for the masses.

[quote]Curious, I am wondering who, if anyone, are you directing these comments to:
[/quote]
Good, good, now you figured out that I wasn't bagging on you...

[quote]I certainly hope not me. Have you been to my show? Did you see the cups? Did you see the standing ovation when I produced the final loads (and not because they couldn't see)???
[/quote]
Standing ovations for the Cups and Balls? Please come out with a lecture and a DVD! Please tell us your secret!

[quote]Please don't think I am insulting you. If so, I apologize. Reading your posts you are making (or at least in the wording) general opinions based on assumption, not experience.
[/quote]
I've been performing for 8 years professionally. I don't open my mouth unless I can back it up thank you.
I’m not saying I have more experience than you, I am saying that from the experience that I have, I have come to these conclusions:

1. Cups and Balls requires too much talking for a semi-stage show. This is often seen as dead time on stage… like talking heads.. you know.
2. Not enough action is going on. If you’re trying to dramatize your show, you need movement. With the Cups and Balls, you end up standing in one place…
3. The balls are too small to be seen from afar. White balls are the most visible.
4. Cups and Balls is GREAT for intimate performance for 5-10 people, perhaps at a private dinner party.
5. Most people have seen the Cups and Balls before and are expecting to see the loads at the end thus depreciating the shock value. It becomes more difficult to get the same reaction with the trick if they know the ending ahead of time. And if what you’re saying is true, that you have been getting standing ovations from it, your methods, handling and presentation must be better than anything I’ve ever seen.
Message: Posted by: WalterZ (Dec 12, 2004 03:07PM)
[quote]
[quote]I'm happy to hear that they still book magicians for school assembly shows someplace. The educational system around here and most elsewhere, I understand, is so strapped for cash that they can hardly man the classrooms and put books in the libraries.
[/quote]
Yes, this is true. But, if the school has something like a "book-tastic" or whathaveyou, then you can promote the sales of books. For example, I did two performances to help sell the new Harry Potter book when it came out. One for a library, and one for a school.

[quote]Can you share some of your secrets with us. I know a couple of magicians that could use some tips on booking school shows.
[/quote]
The real secret is to be persistent. I designed brochures, posters, and fliers. I basically saturated my town with them, and I even have a website. But nothing beats word of mouth, so... here's a true secret:

-Pay people to start a buzz about you.
-Someone can't afford you? No problem, make them put you in the paper as an upcoming even with your phone number and cut them a deal
-And the last thing I can think of: Be confident, and write up a contract. This way, once they signed it, they can't back out and you wont fall on your face.
Thanks,

-=tabman
[/quote]
Message: Posted by: Tophie (Dec 12, 2004 05:19PM)
I saw Johnny Ace Palmer do his cups and balls routine with the chick finale in a large room with 200+ people and it got a standing ovation!
Message: Posted by: Davidicus (Dec 12, 2004 05:23PM)
[quote]Ok, now you're insulting me. I've taped numerous shows and that's exactly why I said what I did. Please don't assume that I'm just mindlessly speaking my mind. I know specifically that when you're on an elevated stage in front of 300 kids, they will NOT know what you’re doing. Sure, they'll see your nice shiny cups...
[/quote]
I apologize if I sound harsh. I certainly am not trying to insult you. It seems to me that we are each standing our own ground.

I don't think you, nor anyone else can convince me to change my stance on this matter. Therefor it looks as if this discussion is moot. I just feel that there are some that do not realize the full potential of a good cup and ball routine and all that is put into it.

Not accusing anyone...just my thoughts.
Message: Posted by: Doug Peters (Dec 12, 2004 05:54PM)
It's all about venue, folks:
- if the performer's table is low relative to the audience's eyes, then C&B will play for hundreds.
- if the performer's table is high relative to the audience's eyes (the usual case when performing for children), then C&B cannot play for the crowd.

Both David and Walter are right, they are just considering different conditions.
Message: Posted by: WalterZ (Dec 12, 2004 08:47PM)
Very good point. It all depends on the performing situation. I guess what I was really trying to say is that it's often difficult to make the venue work for the cups and balls without a projector of some sort. And if you're not on an elevated stage, what kind of magic are you doing? What else would you include in you're show that's visible from afar? How do you position your audience? Do they sit in chairs?

Personally, I did perform the Cups and Balls in my professional show for a long time. But after I noticed people having to straighted up to see what I was doing, that heads were swaying left and right to try to look through the forest of heads in front of them, I just dropped it from my professional act. Now I do an interesting billiard ball routine.

So back to the topic, I think the cups made by JES magic are the most attractive. And if I could somehow make the cups and balls work for my venues, I would buy that set.
Message: Posted by: Davidicus (Dec 12, 2004 08:51PM)
If you can find them. I thought they were "discontinued"?
Message: Posted by: tabman (Dec 12, 2004 10:34PM)
[quote] On 2004-12-11 16:14, David J. Greene said: I agree...I think it boils down to preferences, ethics, and confidence.
[/quote]
I'm totally with you on this.

-=tabman
Message: Posted by: Davidicus (Dec 14, 2004 12:50PM)
That's why Tabman is making a set of cups for me (he just doesn't know it yet...) :)
Message: Posted by: Verno Inferno (Dec 14, 2004 01:24PM)
Is there something inherently wrong with buying a nice set of cups just because you've always wanted a nice set for yourself? Because you like the sound, feel and design? Shoot. Nothin' wrong with wanting high quality props (especially if the match your character, no?)

I think I can take to heart Walter's sentiment that one should not overlook the most important aspects of the routine (what's happening to the balls/loads) and still justify spending a couple hundred or more on something pretty. But Walter, you make an excellent point about not losing sight of what's important about the effect.

Still in the market though... leaning toward Johnson, RNT2, and Riser's...

I'm so lavish :)
Message: Posted by: tabman (Dec 14, 2004 01:52PM)
David,

I can tell we're friends and we've never met. I guess that's one of the things I like about online communications. Maybe I'll chuck up some wood blocks and turn you a set of cups when the weather warms up a little. What's your favorite kind of wood? I think walnut and cherry are both beautiful American hardwoods.

It's so cold here today that sandpaper doesn't work!!! ;)

-=tabman


Posted: Dec 14, 2004 2:57pm
----------------------------------------
[quote] On 2004-12-14 14:24, Verno Inferno revealed: Still in the market though... leaning toward Johnson, RNT2, and Riser's...
I'm so lavish :)
[/quote]
Of these three, my personal choice if I were a performer in the market for a nice set of cups would be the Riser Cups. Jim is one man and he does it first because he loves it and the $$$ (just like me) enables him to continue on.

There's something really satisfying to the individual craftsman about having magicians around the world use and appreciate the props you make.

-=tabman
Message: Posted by: Davidicus (Dec 14, 2004 02:43PM)
Out of those I am very happy with the RNT2 Steel Monti Cups. I am (now) also fond of the Laurie Ireland Commemorative Cups for outdoors work.
Message: Posted by: Verno Inferno (Dec 14, 2004 03:20PM)
[quote]
On 2004-12-14 14:57, tabman wrote:
[quote] On 2004-12-14 14:24, Verno Inferno revealed: Still in the market though... leaning toward Johnson, RNT2, and Riser's...
I'm so lavish :)
[/quote]
Of these three, my personal choice if I were a performer in the market for a nice set of cups would be the Riser Cups. Jim is one man and he does it first because he loves it and the $$$ (just like me) enables him to continue on.

There's something really satisfying to the individual craftsman about having magicians around the world use and appreciate the props you make.

-=tabman
[/quote]
I look at the photo of Jim's Standard Riser and that tennis ball sitting on top... I still can't see how that ball fits inside that cup! I'm looking at the photo right next to it of the tennis ball inside the cup, yet my eyes still can't believe it.

What a wonderful job.

Thanks for the advice, Tabman and David (those steel cups are gorgeous).
Message: Posted by: tabman (Dec 14, 2004 04:29PM)
Thanks Verno, so you live in Chicago? If I wasn't such a hillbilly I wouldn't mind living in Chicago. I could live at Wrigley Field. I love that whole neighborhood and come up to catch a Cubs game at least once a year and stay at that Neighborhood Suites Inn a few blocks from there!!!

Say, David has an extra set of those Ireland Commorative cups. Maybe you could work out a deal with him!!! ;)

-=tabman
Message: Posted by: Davidicus (Dec 14, 2004 06:32PM)
Not the Commemorative...Just the regular. I have 2 commemorative sets. One to use, and one to...commemorative! Thanks
Message: Posted by: Turk (Dec 14, 2004 10:01PM)
[quote]
On 2003-09-01 09:34, Jason Wethington wrote:
I use the Phoenix Cups. They are a true working set of cups. You can beat them, drop them and slam them together and not worry. The wand that comes with the set is Ironwood and only has two noticable dents after more than a thousand performances.
I have not tried out the Gazzo cups but they are probably very durable as well.
Jason
[/quote]
Jason,

I'm glad that you use the Phoenix set. I am thinking about that set and also the Johnson set and the Gazzo set. A couple questions on the Phoeniz set:

1. I notice that they are smooth sided and taper smaller upwards. Any problem handling them because of that fact? Do they tend to "slip" out of your hanc more easily because of that fact?

2. Does the big lip on the cups make it more difficult to load a small ball under the cup during the "normal" phases of the C&B routine?

3. What size "big" load can be accomodated? Will they take a baseball?

4. Assuming that you do, why do you prefer the Phoenix style cups to the more modern Johnson style cups?

If you prefer, you can PM me or write me at msturg@qwest.net.

Thanks for the info.

Mike
Message: Posted by: Daniel Faith (Dec 21, 2004 06:23PM)
Sure is a huge range of opinions here.
Exactly what I expected.
I use the Johnson Cups and love them.
I like the weight and don't know anyone who owns a set
that doesn't like them.
They are a bit pricey but they are machined instead of spun.
Message: Posted by: tabman (Dec 23, 2004 10:17AM)
I haven't seen the Johnson cups but I like everything of theirs I've ever owned. I bet they are nice.

-=tabman
Message: Posted by: Kingry (Jan 4, 2005 05:43PM)
I own Phoenix, Johnson, and Gazzo's. I prefer the feel of a spun cup to the CNC machining. The Phoenix have too little attic space for my taste, but if you are not doing any stacking moves. They are a very servicable heavy duty set. If you are looking at a smaller cup than the Gazzo, Gary Animal also makes a smaller cup he calls the love set that will just hold a tennis ball. The Phoenix will only hold a Doggie size tennis ball or a lacrosse ball. If you can get a good set (that's a big if) the Magic Makers cups are nice for the price you can get them for on Ebay ($45). For some reason, the weight at the top of the Johnson cup bothers me. But there again, I prefer the look of well used copper.
Message: Posted by: garyanimal (Jan 30, 2005 06:27PM)
Actaully I make Gazzo cup then Animal cup, then Babe (baseball) cup, then the love cup and finally the golf set. I now do the three big sizes with small tops or big tops and you can now (next week). Get them in guild as well as copper. And if your real manly or a big hairy lass you can get the Gazzos, animals, or babes in double thickness- very sturdy and heavy- nearly nuke proof.
Off to bed
Message: Posted by: themagickeeper (Jun 10, 2009 08:26AM)
Hey Guys,

I'm a new user here, and was wondering, since I work now with a cheap set of metal cups, whether there are any sets like the ones that you guys have been talking about that I can get for under $250. I'm a university student and my budget is not that big. Any help would be much appreciated.
Message: Posted by: Ronald72 (Jun 11, 2009 03:30AM)
I recomand Aukje from Holland. http://www.cupsandballs.nl Just check it out :)
Message: Posted by: Loopback (Jul 26, 2009 11:36AM)
I would recommend these Penguin cups for just under a hundred.

http://www.penguinmagic.com/product.php?ID=742

They have 32 reviews and the average customer review is 5 stars.

They are good cups for the price in my opinion
Message: Posted by: maharajademagia (Sep 19, 2011 03:14AM)
[quote]
On 2004-12-12 18:19, Tophie wrote:
I saw Johnny Ace Palmer do his cups and balls routine with the chick finale in a large room with 200+ people and it got a standing ovation!
[/quote]

Before I go out and get the chicks, Mr. Palmer, is there something very different while loading a chick than loading a potato as the final load. I know chick are live stock and that's what scares me.
Message: Posted by: donny (Jan 15, 2012 06:21PM)
I'll put my balls in any ol' cup. Cup and balls w/ Chop Cup $20, Tops Magic.
Message: Posted by: AGMagic (Jan 16, 2012 02:35PM)
[quote]
On 2011-09-19 04:14, maharajademagia wrote:
[quote]
On 2004-12-12 18:19, Tophie wrote:
I saw Johnny Ace Palmer do his cups and balls routine with the chick finale in a large room with 200+ people and it got a standing ovation!
[/quote]

Before I go out and get the chicks, Mr. Palmer, is there something very different while loading a chick than loading a potato as the final load. I know chick are live stock and that's what scares me.
[/quote]

If you are going to use chicks for a final load make sure you use heavy cups. Even with that, Johnny's cups often walk away while waiting for the final reveal.
Message: Posted by: Jade Ferrer (Jun 28, 2014 04:34PM)
Cups and balls are like the instrument of a musician. People's interest in it may vary depending on their taste and on their preferences. At the end of the day, it's up to us whether or not we'll invest on an expensive one or not. Surely, a student's beginner violin sounds way different from a Stradivarius, right? Lay audiences may not appreciate or even hear the difference of these two brands (Assuming it's both played by a professional) but what matters is how we cherish and how we value our magic and our props. As Tommy Wonder said in his books, the way we perform magic is reflected on how we value our practice time, our props, and our magic itself. It is debatable on whether or not our props affect our performance, physically or psychologically. But as per choosing the cups, it's still your preference. If you have money to spend for the nice expensive ones, then by all means go ahead! It'll make you feel a lot better and maybe help you in your quest for mastery in the Cups and Balls, it's surely a great investment! It will last you a lifetime if you take care of that expensive investment!

P. S.

But, tell me the truth, wearing a suit from Versace feels a lot better than wearing a suit from a Thrift Shop, right? ;) ;) ;) (Setting the material used in the suit aside)
Message: Posted by: B. Edwards (Mar 19, 2015 10:10PM)
I really enjoyed this thread! Some excellent information, thanks. :)

I would love to shell out >$300 to purchase a nice quality set, but funds are low at the moment. So I just recently had to settle on an eBay set of new Morrisseys for about $60. I've always wanted to learn the Cups and Balls (had the 2 Ammar DVDs for some time now). I have even thought of an idea for a mentalism-type final reveal, so I'm pretty stoked. Should be in my mailbox the next day or two. :D

Brian
Message: Posted by: Sideshow Rod (Jun 19, 2020 08:44AM)
Yes thanks to all for the input. Where would I find a set of Gazzo ‘s cups as I want to use them on the street. Also can anyone help with a street table for this effect? Is there
anything I should or shouldn’t look for??