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Topic: Cups and balls or a combo set..?
Message: Posted by: Pekrist (Apr 17, 2018 09:05AM)
Iím going to buy a cups and balls set, or a chop cup, or a combo set. But Iím thinking, if I buy an ordinary cups and balls set and want to do a chop cup routine, it will seems a little strange that I have to to go and find another cup, maybe...? 🙄 I think people will ask or think, why canít you just use one of the three cups you already have on the table? With a combo set this would not be a problem.

I have looked at the beautiful Monti Combo Cups Copper Mirror or Satin Finish, but $280-300Ö 😬
Mendoza Combo Cups Aluminum Mirror or Satin Finish $150-180 have a better price for me, although itís a lot of money.
Monti Combo Cups |Copper |Satin Finish:

Monti Combo Cups |Copper |Mirror Finish samme specs som Sarin:

If I should buy a stand alone chop cup not to expensive, what would you suggest?

And what cups and balls for my use (and not to expensive) would you suggest?
Monti cups, Classic Cups in Copper Mirror Finish, or Classic Cups Copper in Bright Nickel or Chrome?

I suppose Classic Cups in Aluminum weigh to little and is not that goodÖ?

What means that the balls (or is it the chop cup) from RnT is adjustable?

I have looked at Penguins sites and sets like PFD Cups & Balls

and matching PFD Copper Chop Cup
Any opinions on these sets?

And what about the Penguin copper cups?

I have seen Ammar showing his routines with the wand, could you suggest a good and not expensive wand for me?
Message: Posted by: EllisJames52 (Apr 17, 2018 01:44PM)
Iíll be totally honest with you. I just finished doing the same research your doing, and for me it was worth spending the extra cash to get something that will last. Donnie at Rings-n-things is amazing, and is happy to answer questions. The customer service is stellar! I ended up getting the Mendoza cups in copper and I couldnít be happier with my purchase. As far as a wand I use an Ammar mercury wand and itís great.
Message: Posted by: Mobius303 (Apr 17, 2018 02:17PM)
Adjustable means that the strength of the gaff is adjustable, you can make I stronger or weaker depending on the need of your routine.

Deal with Donnie and you cannot go wrong.
The Cups from Penguin are used by a number of people such as David Williamson and Bob White. Bob went so far as to say that the Paul fox type cups from penguin are his go to cups due to the weight and durability of the cups.
As far as wand go, you want one that is balanced we for the wand spins and you will have to decide if you are going to bang them against your cups. If you are going to hit the cups with the wand I would recommend non steel tips for you. Steel will scallop the edges of the tops of the cups when it hits them and can also cause dents.

You made some good choices so far. It will depend on your budget now.
Message: Posted by: Pekrist (Apr 20, 2018 05:06AM)
Thank you very much for your replies. I have still not made a decision, I think itís very difficult.
EllisJames52: Was it the Mendoza combo cups you bought?

I wonder about the chop cup in the set, has it got the same weight as the other two cups, and the same look inside?
No difference at all?
What if someone wants to look at them for inspection, and the cup reacts to some metal objects. Then itís revealed... Any comments or experiences to this?

So I donít know, perhaps an ordinary set and a chop cup would be the best choice... 🙄
But then I think it will seem a little strange, to get another cup to perform a chop cup routine. 😮
Message: Posted by: EllisJames52 (Apr 20, 2018 06:30PM)
Those are the ones! I love em! There is no noticeable weight difference. The cup will not react to other metal objects. If you are like me, you will frequently get confused on which is the chop cup. Personally, I donít find the need to have the cups examined. If someone asks to see them I would let them, but no one ever asks. Theyíre cups and not that special in the laymenís eye. Itís just a cup
Message: Posted by: Dick Oslund (Apr 20, 2018 09:30PM)
Yup! To quote the very late, Al Baker: "Don't run if you aren't being chased!"
Message: Posted by: Harry Murphy (Apr 21, 2018 07:47AM)
It sounds like you are buying props without thought of a routine. I'd say get three paper cups and build a routine then think about where you are going to perform it. Then worry about buying the props.

Some routines have you handing out the cups to be examined at the very start. Some cup workers believe that doing so enhances the routine by engaging the audience and proving the innocence of the props. So it depends on your routine and philosophy of performance. If handing out the cups each cup goes to a different person so there is no real problem of comparison of weight or internal appearance. There is simply no comparison.

I have a set of inexpensive Morrissy (large) copper Monte cups (combo set) that I bought in the mid-70s (for $25.00). They are a bit scarred, dinged, and have a small dent or three but still function well (nest without sticking, stack without wobble, etc.) While small compared to the Paul Fox style now favored and made they worked and traveled around the world (twice) with me. They were (and still are) used for close-up, parlor/club, and street performances (yes street).

Interesting story. In the mid 70s I hit Amsterdam and met Dick Sullivan (aka jim Cellini). He was using Magic Inc.'s heavy Ross Bertram cups. At one point we sat in a Cafť and talked Cups and Balls and jammed a little. He loved the Morrissy cups but allowed as how they wouldn't stand the rigors or abuse of his routine or life on the streets.He was right to the extent that the abuse a Gazzo or Cellini routine puts on the cups would have the lighter Morrissy cups flattened in no time. but my routine is not abusive to my props. The only dents I got was from dropping the cups (happens).

My go-to working set today is Brian Watson's heavy, polished, copper cups (I have his nickel plated too). There is a video on his site comparing them in size and final load to three sets of todays sets (Sherwood, Johnson, and Gary Animal).
See the video and cups at: http://brianwatsonmagic.com/Store/product/anytime-anywhere-cups-polished-copper/

I agree with everything said in the video. Your choices for affordable working cups that will last decades taking the rigors of use include the R&T II offerings (can't go wrong) and the Brian Watson set. I suspect the differences is more in "look" (aesthetics) than craftsmanship.

IF you want a Chop cup for a Chop cup routine then buy that stand alone prop. Get one that has the quality and "look" you want.
IF you have a combo cup routine (Two Goblets, Mendoza, etc.) then get a good quality combo set.

Or simply use paper coffee cups and have fun. Right now I am using three paper coffee cups as combo cups and doing an 'impromptu" routine (based on the Mendoza but I'd be embarrassed to show it to john).

As Dick Oslund and others have said again and again "it's not the prop!".
Message: Posted by: dcjames (Apr 21, 2018 12:44PM)
Hello Pekrist and welcome to the Magic Cafť!

Youíve received some excellent advice here.

I would add that the most beneficial thing you can do is to handle as many cups as you can. Various styles, shapes, sizes, etc. If youíre fortunate enough to have a friend who collects, or multiple friends who have different sets, ask to see and handle them. Run them through a few moves or phases from your routine. Everyone has different taste and the Ďperfect cupí for someone else may not be a good fit for you.

Whatever you decide, I would suggest getting a combo cup set if possible. You can use it as a straight set, combo set, or just use the gimmicked cup for a chop cup routine as well.

Best of luck on your search!

Message: Posted by: Pekrist (Apr 23, 2018 09:58AM)
Thank you everybody for your exellent advices. Just a few more questions:
If I buy a Mendoza combo cups, should I prefer satin or mirror?

I see that the Monti combo cups are a little less expensive than the Mendoza set. Does it mean that they are less good. If so, in what way?

I see that Foxy 3 combo set are out of stock at RnT, but would they have been a ębetterĽ choice than the Mendoza set?
Since Iím just an amateur that not will perform for many people, and not will earn any money from it, will the Mendoza combo set in aluminium be just as good for me...? Because even thow I would like to own one of these beautiful copper sets, Iím afraid of spending and perhaps waste a lot more money that I really have to...

One of you gave me a good advice to try some cups before bying, but the problem is that I donít know anyone that has got any sets, and there are no magic shops etc. here.
Message: Posted by: Harry Murphy (Apr 23, 2018 11:39AM)
The finish depends on your personal taste in the ďlookĒ you want to achieve. The mirror finish does tend to reflect more and thus might be prone to flashing/reflecting something held you might not want to be seen. Know that helps you adjust your handling and manage your angles a little better.

The Mendoza cups are killer cups and built from the ground up. The gaffed cup is identical to the non-gaffed ones. No spectator handling them will notice a difference. Copper is heavier than aluminum and is more durable. With care an aluminum set will last a lifetime. I have inexpensive aluminum sets that are over 50 years old and are near pristine in appearance.

The biggest advantage in the heavier cups is in performing out doors. Wind can blow a light cup off the table.

The Monti Cups are the same quality in general as the Mendoza set. Differences are minute. Put the photos side by side and youíll see the differences. You will not be disappointed in the quality of either. Which look appeals to you?

However you say money is a real concern. You also say you are only going to perform for family and friends from time to time so Iíd ask why buy high end cups at all?

Iíd recommend getting three coffee mugs and learning Mike Rogers, Charlie Millers, or John Carneyís routines. All easily available and inexpensive. Or even go with three paper coffee cups and learn Phil Van Teeís routine (itís a combo cup routine at that - with no actual combo cup).
Message: Posted by: Pekrist (Apr 23, 2018 11:40AM)
And when you use a combo set, how can you in the performance have control over which cup and ball that is the gimmicked or not, when they all loos and feel the same..?
Message: Posted by: Harry Murphy (Apr 23, 2018 12:53PM)
Once you know your routine and know it cold you know what cup goes where. When you are learning your routine youíll take a tip from master magician and put a colored baker strip around the gaffed cup of the set.
Message: Posted by: Harry Murphy (Apr 23, 2018 12:55PM)
That tip was from Gary Ouellet.
Message: Posted by: Pekrist (Apr 23, 2018 02:07PM)
Thank you very much, Harry Murphy. 👍
I understand why you ask why I want to buy high end cups at all.

I know about using coffee mugs or just paper coffee cups, that of course would be the most logical thing for me to do. Itís just that I would like to have a set of genuine cups...
But in my situation, I suppose you would think that a much cheaper set like Mendoza combo cups in aluminium and satin would be a much better choice?

Message: Posted by: Harry Murphy (Apr 23, 2018 03:46PM)
Given all your criteria and wants Iíd say you will be more than happy with the aluminum Mendoza set in the satin finish. It is a superior cup in every way. Other than actual metal and weight it is identical to the copper versions. Further, at over half the cost it is a good buy. It will give you decades (a lifetime) of service.
Message: Posted by: Pekrist (Apr 23, 2018 04:45PM)
Thank you very much for all your good advice, Harry Murphy. 👍😃
Message: Posted by: Trentonmatthew (May 4, 2018 10:31AM)
I normally like to keep the two separate, but there is something to the portability of having only three cups with the added ability to preform a chop cup routine. I donít actually like mixing the two routines.
Message: Posted by: kcbeave (Jan 31, 2019 09:44AM)
I just got a set of copper cups and balls by bazar de magia and the cups wobble when nested and lean to the side some when stacked. I had seen another set and they did not do this. Is this how they are supposed to be or are they formed wrong?
Message: Posted by: kcbeave (Feb 7, 2019 06:12PM)
My cups and balls when stacked look like the leaning tower of pisa. My friend has an old set and we can't tell what brand they are but they stack very well without any leaning. My question is should I take them back or is this normal?
Message: Posted by: Dougini (Feb 8, 2019 09:56AM)
I bought my first cups & balls from Al Flosso back in 1971. A nice aluminum set with pom poms. A set of stainless steel Paul Fox cups made by the late Mad Jake was gifted to me a few years ago. Knowing what I now know, I would find a set I liked from Rings 'N Things 2, and SAVE for it! Folks, this is your GO-TO place if you are even THINKING of cups & balls and chop cups! Why? Because if you DON'T, you will always wonder...what if. R&T2's products are TOP-OF-THE-LINE, made for professionals. Go here and REALLY look at everything:


The one thing I recommend for Cup-s & Balls is this accessory:


If your Cups & Balls routine ends up using the Benson Bowl, R&T2 has this:


I would HIGHLY recommend learning this classic routine. Another classic, rarely seen, is this:


They even have The Zombie:


But I digress...

Another thing I like is R&T2 lets you select the ball you use:


If you get a nice set, show it off with a classy wand:


Can ya tell I like these guys? :)

Message: Posted by: BarryFernelius (Feb 9, 2019 07:25PM)
My copper Mendoza cups, Michael Kaminskas snakewood/maple wand, and colorful load balls look like this:

Message: Posted by: funsway (Feb 10, 2019 06:21AM)
Just an added thought prompted by another thread.

The combo set has an advantage being used as a Chop Cup independently or as part of a mixed routine.

It is a place to idle the extra ball!

With a standard set you cannot show all three cups empty and both hands clean at the same time. The extra must be somewhere.
It can be removed from play on the body somewhere or - idled in the special cup for a while, perhaps from the beginning.

You never have to use the synchronous "pour, vanish, reveal" technique at all. Just as a way to "close the door" on suspicion --
to give truth to the notion, "three cups and three balls - nothing more."
Message: Posted by: Michael Kaminskas (Feb 20, 2019 04:41PM)
Just as a point of note: While I haven't had them available in the past the MK Professional Cups will have a Combo set coming in the next few months. Head over to my site - www.mkcups.com and sign up for the newsletter to keep posted on updates.
Message: Posted by: BarryFernelius (Feb 22, 2019 09:36AM)
This is exciting news. Sign up! Master Kaminskas makes the good stuff.

And he's incredibly knowledgable about the Cups and Balls.
Message: Posted by: The Gold Coin (Apr 14, 2019 12:18AM)
+1 for the combo set. Some chop cup routines actually take advantage of having a matching regular cup, so it's nice to have.

I got my set from Brett Sherwood. The antique brass set looks amazing in person.
Message: Posted by: Rainboguy (Apr 21, 2019 07:14PM)
Michael: Your cups and accessories look absolutely beautiful!