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Topic: Difference in cups
Message: Posted by: jakeg (Oct 25, 2016 12:27PM)
Is there any real difference, besides aesthetic, between performing with a great designer set of cups and an inexpensive set? I have a vintage set of Abbott cups, looks nice and I like them. But, I can't get my nose out of the C&B Museum, RnT2, Sherwood, and other sights. I think that I'm suffering from C.A.S. (cup acquisition syndrome). I know all the reasons why I don't need them, but ......
Message: Posted by: Matthew Crabtree (Oct 25, 2016 01:29PM)
Well there is the size that the final load can be. There is the size of the balls you can use in the routine things like that.
Message: Posted by: Bill Hegbli (Oct 25, 2016 05:25PM)
You answered your own question, being you know all the reasons why you don't need a Cadillac over a Subaru. They all do the same thing, even offer the same features. Why do people want a car that cost hundred thousand dollars over twenty thousand dollars. Simple pride in ownership.

All the cups do the same thing, the real question is what can you afford. The old saying is, if you have to ask the price, then you can't afford it.

Here is a good set of aluminum cups made by the defunct company Morrissey Magic. The are designed after the great L. Ireland, these are large cups and on sale for only $32.00, what a deal.

http://www.magicinc.net/IrelandCupsAluminum.aspx

There use to be a wooden set of cups that ended with a solid cup with no opening. There was also a set of cups that ended with the cups multiplying.

That is the only reason to buy different cups, if they can enhance your routine. If you don't perform with them, just use you coffee cups and mugs in the kitchen cupboard like Patrick Page does.

But you already have a set of Abbott's so why bother, I would suggest you concentrate on creating a fantastic routine. Other wise you will have 2 sets of cups and no routine.
Message: Posted by: jakeg (Oct 25, 2016 06:00PM)
Bill, there is no question that you are 100% correct in your evaluations. I've told myself the same thing many times. Then I start thinking: I buy a set of fine cups. They cost $250 - $300. If I ever sell them, I'll maybe lose, at most, $100. I spend more time with the cups than I do when we go out with friends for dinner. The cost is about the same.
If I buy a primo used set and decide to sell them, I'd lose even less, if anything.
As you can probably tell, I'm delusional. I'm going to hold off anyhow, and maybe the desire will go away.
I'm going to go practice.
Message: Posted by: BeThePlunk (Oct 25, 2016 08:17PM)
From my limited experience, the advice so far (and your own inner voice) are spot on. I have found that price difference will (often) give you larger final loads, nicer metals, better heft in your hand, and perhaps the name of a famous pro in the design. After that it's all about skill the design of your routine.
Message: Posted by: Slappy (Oct 25, 2016 08:57PM)
I, personally believe the fancier cups cry FOUL. The just look like fancy cups that do the work for you. Which is the reason so much time has been spent designing cups that look more utilitarian, like tea cups and coffee cups. Remember Dai would use paper/plastic cups and wrap them up in paper. Then use a balled up dollar bill to stun people. Don't get me wrong, as a magician I think they are beautiful to play with and own. Even perform with on special occasions.
Message: Posted by: Andy Young (Oct 26, 2016 11:22AM)
I have a brass set that I let get tarnished. They don't look great but I tell the kids that they were found in the dirt. I have more to the story. Point is use what your character or story would. Let that be your guide.
Message: Posted by: TheAmbitiousCard (Nov 3, 2016 01:58PM)
Here are some items off the top of my head that make a difference in how cups handle and could make a difference in whether or not you'd pick them
(not aesthetically related)

Weight
Height
Saddle depth
Saddle edge shape
Saddle size
Bead height
Bead separation
Ease of tipping cup back with a wand
Ease of rolling cup back 360 degrees, 270 degrees
Cup jamming issue
Attic space
Cup Diameter at mouth
Wobble factor when stacked
Metal thickness
Durability
Message: Posted by: jakeg (Nov 3, 2016 02:58PM)
Hey Frank ... I was wondering what the practical difference is between a fine handcrafted set and a cheaper set.
I own a 50+ year old set of Abbott classic cups. I really like my cups, but I can't keep my mind off getting another set from one of higher end artisans. I just can't find a good reason, let alone the money. So,
The question is: beside the fact that I want them, is there any real reason for me to put the money out? (Hey, maybe I can borrow your Sherman's for a few years. 😀)
Message: Posted by: Jeff Haas (Nov 3, 2016 05:22PM)
I have a set of those Ireland cups, they look great - but they are so lightweight that they almost tip over by themselves. It makes some moves harder, and you end up having to be careful of not bumping anything. A heavier set of cups has more "heft" as mentioned above, and make everything a bit easier for you to do. When you set a cup down, it doesn't fall over accidentally. Also heavier balls help, the little cork ones with crocheted covers get away easily. Balls with a bit more heft make some moves similar to moves with a coin.

Remember that Vernon also had a very fancy set of silver engraved cups he used, there's a clip of him doing his routine on YouTube.
Message: Posted by: jakeg (Nov 3, 2016 06:01PM)
[quote]On Nov 3, 2016, Jeff Haas wrote:
I have a set of those Ireland cups, they look great - but they are so lightweight that they almost tip over by themselves. It makes some moves harder, and you end up having to be careful of not bumping anything. A heavier set of cups has more "heft" as mentioned above, and make everything a bit easier for you to do. When you set a cup down, it doesn't fall over accidentally. Also heavier balls help, the little cork ones with crocheted covers get away easily. Balls with a bit more heft make some moves similar to moves with a coin.

Remember that Vernon also had a very fancy set of silver engraved cups he used, there's a clip of him doing his routine on YouTube. [/quote]
The cup that I have, while they aren't hefty aren't that light. In fact, I had them at a meeting, and there were remarks about their weight. I haven't used them outdoors. (I did a mental act since the early '60s. Now that I retired, I have the time, and desire to learn some other magic. Cups were 1st on the list. I'm really enjoying them.n
Message: Posted by: ZachDavenport (Nov 3, 2016 09:39PM)
The cups ultimately don't matter. If you want to get some fancy ones, treat yourself, but there isn't really a reason to do it other than wanting to.
Message: Posted by: jakeg (Nov 4, 2016 03:08AM)
[quote]On Nov 3, 2016, ZachDavenport wrote:
The cups ultimately don't matter. If you want to get some fancy ones, treat yourself, but there isn't really a reason to do it other than wanting to. [/quote]
That's what I keep telling myself. It's not about the cups anyway. It's all about the balls. I guess that I'll wait this one out.
Message: Posted by: TheAmbitiousCard (Nov 11, 2016 10:17PM)
[quote]On Nov 3, 2016, jakeg wrote:
Hey Frank ... I was wondering what the practical difference is between a fine handcrafted set and a cheaper set.
I own a 50+ year old set of Abbott classic cups. I really like my cups, but I can't keep my mind off getting another set from one of higher end artisans. I just can't find a good reason, let alone the money. So,
The question is: beside the fact that I want them, is there any real reason for me to put the money out? (Hey, maybe I can borrow your Sherman's for a few years. 😀) [/quote]

If you're happy with the way they handle, there's no real reason other than keeping you from wondering all the time.
But even so, after you buy set 2, you'll be wondering about set 3.

Sometimes it's just fun to keep swapping them out and try new sets.

I don't collect cups (or anything really) but I've owned several sets over the years:
Gazzo
Animal
Babe
Golf
Johnson Products
Riser mini
Phoenix originals
Cellini
RntII Foxy 2.5
JES Squattty
Sherwood silver/gold engraved
Sherwood copper smooth
Some thin crap set
Another thin crap set
A small wooden set

Aside from the thin crap sets, and the small wooden set, they were all fun to own and most of them were high quality.
I settled on Sherwood smooth coppers as my goto set as it seemed to be the best all-around set of them all.
I keep one thin crap set to practice with and just keep it handy around the house.
Message: Posted by: jakeg (Nov 12, 2016 04:27AM)
Thanks to a very old thread on cleaning cups, I was ultimately able to pretty positively identify the set I have. They are P&L cups. I've been practicing with them just about every day, and the more I use them, the better I like them.
Message: Posted by: Mobius303 (Nov 15, 2016 08:14PM)
P&L cups are fun cups.
I think if you try out another set before you buy them if possible, you will have a better idea of you really want or need another set.
If you are happy with the set you have then keep on working with it and do not worry about getting more or another set.
Message: Posted by: Tom G (Nov 16, 2016 08:42AM)
I used to have a sizeable collection, but thinned it down over the years. I do like the PF design. Nothing you haven't heard, but decide on what you want for a final load. Also, will you want 3 balls to nest on top of one cup? Weight? Style? Everything will all add into what you want for a selection.
Message: Posted by: DaveGripenwaldt (Nov 16, 2016 12:22PM)
Hey, Jake,

Cup sets (and gaffed wallets) are the crack cocaine of magic. You are teetering on the edge. Be forwarned...

:-)
Message: Posted by: jakeg (Nov 16, 2016 12:48PM)
[quote]On Nov 16, 2016, DaveGripenwaldt wrote:
Hey, Jake,

Cup sets (and gaffed wallets) are the crack cocaine of magic. You are teetering on the edge. Be forwarned...

:-) [/quote]
I know what you mean. I used to be addicted to the hokey - pokey. Then I turned myself around
Message: Posted by: Chessmann (Dec 24, 2016 12:00PM)
[quote]On Oct 25, 2016, Slappy wrote:
I, personally believe the fancier cups cry FOUL. The just look like fancy cups that do the work for you. Which is the reason so much time has been spent designing cups that look more utilitarian, like tea cups and coffee cups. Remember Dai would use paper/plastic cups and wrap them up in paper. Then use a balled up dollar bill to stun people. Don't get me wrong, as a magician I think they are beautiful to play with and own. Even perform with on special occasions. [/quote]

I don't think they cry foul to audiences, though. Vernon also used a beautiful, engraved set of silver cups to perform with, and used them on nationally televised shows. Brett Sherwood uses his own cups to perform with. I don't think they would have used them regularly if they felt their appearance lessened the 'magicalness' of their performances in the eyes of their audiences.
Message: Posted by: jakeg (Dec 24, 2016 12:38PM)
I think that it's really a subjective choice. Lance Burton uses 3 different colored coffee cups, Skinner used fancy tea cups. On the tube there is everything from paper cups, plastic cups, stackable and unstackable cups. In my mind, in my mind, there is something special about performing with a fine prop, like wearing a fine watch.
Message: Posted by: Leo H (Dec 25, 2016 09:25AM)
Skinner also used the Connie Hayden cups, and the copper Magic Inc. Charlie Miller cups for his performances at the Lillie Langtree restaurant in Vegas.
Message: Posted by: Mad Jake (Dec 25, 2016 01:51PM)
Check out some new Generation II cups.....

www.mkcups.com

Got my set for Christmas, they are wonderful!

They're limited runs to 100 and less than 50 left.
Message: Posted by: plungerman (Apr 22, 2017 11:52AM)
The tale of my cup collecting will serve as a lesson. What I know now could save you a step or two.

When quite young I started with the smaller Ireland cups that are like the Paul Fox but shorter, mid-size. Perhaps they were Morrisey since they are aluminum. If aluminum are all you have tried you don't know the difference and won't mind.

Back then I read Aldo Columbini's routine, and remember him now. I got hooked on finding a set of cups to allow the Tip Over move that looks so good. I could not manage it with these cups and the size of balls they allowed. Over time I had gained many moves but not made a complete routine. Each cup had pros and cons but the next set would really do the trick.

After amassing lots of great sets, usually great deals and much fun, Columbini came to Magic Inc. to lecture. As a favor he went back to his earliest work and gave a shot at his cup and ball routine. He had brought no cups and so the shop searched for something he could use. He ended up with the same set I had given up on, aluminum short Ireland/Morrisey! His skill and the practice let him do the Tip Over move without a hitch. The trick was not in the cup but in the skill of the operator. A lesson for me, I can tell you. He could probably have done it with Adam's cups.

I did manage to get a routine together based on Bob Read's ideas (also remembered) using bits and pieces of my collection. This won me Chicago's IBM close up in 2006 to my very extreme astonishment [See Picture at Left].
Message: Posted by: plungerman (Apr 22, 2017 11:54AM)
The list from The Ambitious, is quite complete. Here is a way to step through it.

You will do well to start by finding the best size ball for you, your hands to do slights; ease in finger palming (forget about classic palming balls in a cup routine), weight, visibility etc.

From there; do you like routines where two or three balls show up on top of a cup? If so then you will need cups that can hold three of those balls on top and inside the attic. There is a balance of having the most visible, larger balls using the smallest, more easily carried cups. Assuming you do; Sherwood's are great in that they have a tiny extra lip that seats larger balls than a cup of otherwise similar size.

If you don't mind or prefer larger cups this will not be an issue unless you like even bigger balls. Gazzo cups or Chick cups require Gazzo size hands or strength. Their pedigree will get you nothing if your routine or hands are not up for it. Also cup size reflects how many are expected to watch and from how far away; cocktail table-top or Time's Square. Beautiful cocobolo wood cups are invisible indoors.

Do you prefer baseball or tennis ball loads or will fresh fruit do the job? Does the apparently impossible size of the final load ball impress as much as the simple surprise of a turnip or radish in the cup. Doing the routine a few dozen times in front of people will tell you. I love the ball falling from a Paul Fox cup but I'm not the one being entertained.

These considerations get you to the size of the cups. From there it goes more to aesthetics of beads, how many, or no beads. The weight of metal cups make them comfortable and more fun to play with than paper cups or coconut shells. This also tells your audience you are some kind of pro, not a vagrant NTTAWWT!.

There should be a medium price above which you can expect nested cups to sit properly and not rattle or stick together. This may be the only reason to get a professional set vs one adapted from Bed Bath and Beyond.

The final consideration, if you can afford anything, is to spend a little more than you wanted/expected. If you get the best you can possibly manage you will have jumped to the end of the process, with no need to creep from good to better and still better sets. I could not have popped for Sherwood's long before they were around, but I can tell you there is nothing like them. I'm still hooked on my engraved silvers. I do recommend RnT II if for no other reason than they have so much expertise and choices and will work with you to make you happy. Apart from that, brick and mortar shops live to serve you.

In any case, each time I walk up to new set of cups it's clear to me that I am walking into a playground. I get to try each move, sequence and somersault with a different weight, balance and rhythm. Such fun.

So shop, collect or play with particular goals in mind and let us know what you find along the way.