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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Ever so sleightly » » A Good quality set of Cups & Balls for a "Beginner"! (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Justin Hepton
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Surrey, in the UK
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Hello Everyone!

This is unchartered territory for me as, up until now, You will have only found me in the "Pick a card, any card" forums!

Anyway, after a lot of deliberation, and after reading somewhere, and hearing on several occasions the quote "no man can truly class himself as a magican unless he can adequately perform the cups and balls". I think it may have been Houdini, but I could be mistaken!

I have recently purchased Michael Ammar's "Complete Cups & Balls" Videos and so have decided to get a good set of Cups and balls! Now, I have seen many different sets at many different prices, and would really appreciate some advice on which would be a good quality set for me? My budget would be approximately £50.00 (which is about US$90.

Any help you can give me would be great!

Thanks!

Justin
"After the game is over, the king and the pawn go into the same box"



- Italian proverb
rikbrooks
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Olive Branch, Mississippi
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At that price range the best that I have ever seen is Bill Palmer's Laurie Ireland cups. I just looked them up for you:

http://www.adessoverlag.com/cupsandballs.htm

They are $70. I was one of his first customers for these cups. I am discriminating when it comes to cups and can tell you that these are quality cups, quite up to the task of a professional performance. They are well made and you can experiment with them and learn the effect without fear of destroying them in your exuberance. Of course, they are copper and if you drop them enough times the mouth WILL warp, but that's the same with all cups.

Since you are just learning I suggest that you take it slowly at first, maybe sit on the floor to learn, then when you drop a cup it won't go so far.

Take a look at Bill's cups, they aren't shaped like the Fox style that Ammar uses in his book. They are a more traditional style that predates his. I guarantee that everything that Ammar teaches can be done with the Ireland cups without modification though.

I have tried many of the cheaper cups, the Bazar De Magia, the Morrisey, the Uday, the Penguin (Magic Makers), and others. These are the best in that class although I was fortunate and my Penguin cups are a close second to the Ireland.

I'm told that the quality of the Penguin cups is inconsistent though and some get very poor quality.
sethb
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Welcome to the wonderful world of the Cups & Balls!

You may also want to take a look at the brass Bazar De Magia cups, also available at Bill Palmer's website or your favorite magic dealer. They run about $45, are very durable and quite adequate for professional use. They will take lacrosse balls as final loads, which are big and impressive, yet cheap and easily available at any sporting goods store.

Depending upon the size of your hands, you may also want to consider a slightly smaller size of ball. Most C/B sets come with 1" balls these days, which are great for visibility but a little tough to use if you have small hands. They do make 3/4" balls, which are still very visible (especially in red) but are easier to work with if you have smaller hands. See http://www.hanklee.org/xcart/customer/pr......p;page=1 And while you're at it, get an extra set of balls; they're inexpensive and it's always good to have some spares just in case. Good Luck! SETH
"Watch the Professor!!" -- Al Flosso (1895-1976)
"The better you are, the closer they watch" -- Darwin Ortiz, STRONG MAGIC
Jerrine
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I second the Bazar De Magia Cups from Adesso Verlag. Why?
1. Reasonable price
2. Good product (I chose the copper set)
3. Last but most definately not least, doing business with a quality individual, Bill Palmer.

No matter what kind or where you get your Cups, enjoy the learning process and value the Magic lessons gained by working the Cups & Balls!
rikbrooks
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I guess I was unlucky. I got a very wobbly set from Bazar De Magia. The Laurie Irelands are rock solid.
Euangelion
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Mine were less than perfect, also. Rocking badly.
Bill Esborn

"Lutefisk: the piece of cod that passes all understanding."
Justin Hepton
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Thank you everyone!

rikbrooks - I really appreciate you looking that up for me! They look really nice! By the way, I had heard a few other people mention that the "Penguin Cups" quality has been not always 100%.

sethb - Yeah, Im really excited about learning the cups and balls and looking forward to working hard and getting the results and reactions Im dreaming of! I noticed Bill Palmers website is no longer stocking the "Bazar De Magia" Cups - Although I have seen these elsewhere but want to make sure I get the genuine article! I'll come back to that at the end of this post.

Euangelion - thanks for the input, I always read every answer to my posts and appreciate you taking the time to reply.

Ok, I have a couple of ideas..please see the following links:

http://www.hanklee.org/xcart/customer/pr......p;page=1

and..

http://www.magicbox.uk.com/exec.php/prod......1877/51/

Oh, forgive my naivety, but what is a "chop cup"? Is that any different to the sort of cups you would use for the cups and balls? Or is that the proper name for the cups you use? I really hope that isn't a stupid question! I guess I could have done a google search for that, but I prefer to ask those "in the know"!

I really like the look of both of the above, any thoughts on them?

One more thing...any thoughts on a nice wand? Ive seen so many!

thanks again!

Justin
"After the game is over, the king and the pawn go into the same box"



- Italian proverb
Bill Palmer
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I do not carry Bazar de Magia cups any longer. I also will be selling out all of my Uday products for a very low price. After the first of the year, I will be reordering the Laurie Ireland cups.

I really can't compete with people who are willing to sell the very common cups very cheaply.

So I carry my own stuff.
"The Swatter"

Founder of CODBAMMC

My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

www.cupsandballsmuseum.com
Euangelion
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A Chop Cup is a single cup that works on a different principle. This open forum is not the place to share that type of information. Some Chopped Cups are made to be used with a regular set of Cups and Balls allowing some additional revelations or moves.

Strider read this article before buying.

http://www.jamesriser.com/Cups/SelectingCups.html
Bill Esborn

"Lutefisk: the piece of cod that passes all understanding."
sethb
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Sorry, I didn't realize that Bill wasn't carrying the Bazar line any longer. If you were interested, you can pick them up from the Magic Warehouse, see http://themagicwarehouse.com/closeup4.html#lo1216. Bill's Ireland Cups also look nice; although they are twice as much money, you do get what you pay for.

A Chop Cup is a one-cup Cups & Balls routine with a special cup; it's named after its inventor, Al Wheatley, whose character was a Chinese magician named Chop Chop. There are also "combo sets" of Cups & Balls that include a Chop Cup. Although some folks will tell you otherwise, I think you're better off sticking to a plain old C/B set and mastering that before you get into combo sets and/or Chop Cups.

Before you buy a wand, I suggest that you get a piece of wood dowel and see what length you're comfortable with. I like a 12" wand, anything longer than that feels clumsy to me. Other folks think size matters; see what you can handle gracefully. Although there are plenty of fancy and expensive wands out there, you should be able to find something simple and fairly sturdy for under $20. Take a look at http://themagicwarehouse.com/supplies2.html#lo1511 Good Luck! SETH
"Watch the Professor!!" -- Al Flosso (1895-1976)
"The better you are, the closer they watch" -- Darwin Ortiz, STRONG MAGIC
Richard Evans
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For the best possible price, I'd suggest you get a set from a retailer in the UK to keep shipping fees down and to avoid import duty. Having said that, cups are cheaper from US companies, so you have to weigh-up the pro's & cons and get the calculator out!

In my opinion, your best options would be:

Bazar de Magia cups (copper) for £20.99
http://www.magicbox.uk.com/exec.php/prod......1876/51/
This company is excellent - they ship extremely quickly

http://www.emagictricks.co.uk/
These sell a number of different cups:
Cups & balls, brass £23.95 (I think these are made in India by Uday)
Cups & Balls, small copper £30.95 (made by Morrissey, Canada) [I would go for the small set rather than the large ones]

If you prefer the shape of the Uday cups but want it in copper, they're stocked by
http://www.topsecretmagic.co.uk
and cost £30

For a bit more you could consider the cups being sold for £75 by Keith Bennett at KB magic http://www.kbmagic.com .

The Penguin cups are also worth considering. The quality is a little bit variable, but the cups are a nice shape, size & weight. The ethics of the company is sometimes called into question, which is why many people chose to avoid them. Let your conscience decide!

I would avoid aluminium cups (too light) and for now I would also avoid combo cups (sets where one cup is a Chop cup. I think the 'extra something' causes unnecessary work - you can develop a first-class routine without it).

Richard
I have six locks on my door all in a row. When I go out, I only lock every other one. I figure no matter how long somebody stands there picking the locks, they are always locking three. Elayne Boosler
Jaz
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Since you're new to C&B I was going to suggest buying and inexpensive book and doing some routines with plastic cups and balled up aluminum foil.

Probably not the quality others suggest but may want to check out the Morrissey site.
I've have a combo set for years w/ no problem.
Check their
CHOP CUPS AND BALLS COMBINATION
Justin Hepton
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Absoultely brilliant! What a really useful and thoughtful set of replies! Thanks everyone!

I have decided to buy a set of Bazar De Magia Cups to start me off, I saw these on magicbox and as I am on a budget - I have two very young children (2 and 1 year old)! So money is tight, and these cups seem nice and look like a good quality for the price. I will let you know as ive just ordered them!

Euangelion and Bill Palmer - Thank you for "clueing me in" with regard to the chop cup. I appreciate that and of course, do not wish to discuss this in detail in an open forum.

as a final point, I want to say how much I appreciate your help, all of you, with this and I will keep you all posted how I progress! I got some long, late nights ahead
"After the game is over, the king and the pawn go into the same box"



- Italian proverb
Bill Palmer
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The Bazar cups are definitely good for the money. The quality of the sets varies from one run to another.

Also check Ebay.co.uk for bargains.
"The Swatter"

Founder of CODBAMMC

My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

www.cupsandballsmuseum.com
Magicmaven
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I like the laurie ireland ones, from magic inc.
Although, I started with a cheap, $12 set of Uday aluminum cups. I used them for two years, they suited me very well. Either one is a good buy.
Good luck!
rmaxgoodwin.com
https://rmaxgoodwin.com/
rikbrooks
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I'd like to emphasize something here. I don't think that I'm in the minority on this either. I have cheap plastic cups. I tried them and decided to continue with the effect. I paid $15 for an aluminum set, thinking that I'd save money. Of course I had wasted the $5 on the plastic. So I bought some cheap Uday cups - now I had wasted $15 for the aluminum and $5 for the plastic. So I bought the Penguins. This added the $30 Udays to the waste - total of $45 wasted. Then I bought the Bazar De Magia combo cups - add the $90 for Penguin to the waste - to make a long story short, I finally found MY set, A Johnson Products combo set that cost me $180. So, all in all I spent about $300 for my cups.

I don't think that I saved anything by going with the cheap ones. I spent a long time with inferior cups and wound up wasting money in the long run.

The only cups that I haven't regretted buying (other than the Johnson's) are Bill Palmer's Ireland cups. I didn't buy those as my 'main set' though. I bought them because all of my other cups are more or less Paul Fox style and I wanted a set that was different. Personally I love the huge recess in the top of the Ireland cups but my Johnsons are heavier and feel better in my hand.

If you are sure that you like the effect I strongly suggest that you save your money and buy a very nice set.
sethb
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Well, I sort of agree with the gentleman from Texas on this one.

Many folks "upgrade" their magical props as their skills and bank account grow. I personally see nothing wrong with this, nor do I consider the money wasted. I went from plastic to aluminum to brass cups, spending a total of about $75 in the process; I figured that it was just part of the learning curve. And it made more sense to me than initially spending a lot of money for really good cups, when I wasn't even sure that I could perform or would continue to perform the effect.

On the other hand, you don't want to buy junk, which makes it tough to perform well and doesn't hold up. As they say, a bargain isn't a bargain if you can't use it. But I think it's sufficient to buy a set of cups that's decent and will serve you well, without spending a lot (admittedly a relative term) of money, especially if you're just getting started.

I will also say that I'm quite impressed by Strider's decision to purchase the Ammar videos first -- that was really the smartest and best part of his investment, in my humble opinion!! If you don't have the necessary moves and timing, the finest cups in the world won't make you a better performer. SETH
"Watch the Professor!!" -- Al Flosso (1895-1976)
"The better you are, the closer they watch" -- Darwin Ortiz, STRONG MAGIC
chrisrkline
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I agree with rikbrooks. Although you don't have to jump right up to 200 dollar cups, I think that a person who has a good interest will do better at first with a decent set of copper or bronze to start with. The weight alone will help in learning a decent routine. The Bazar de Magia set is a nice compromise. I have a set and I really like them, and for the price you get a set that won't break your budget but will last for years. As a side note, my Bazar cups nest better than any set I have.
Chris
tomrav
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Yup, you can do so much more with a decent set of cups and balls, while you're at it get complete cups and balls by Micheal Ammar (at least get Volume One) It will teach you loads of moves, it's excellent for a beginner.
drwilson
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I'd say buy the best cups that you think you can afford to start with. There is a big difference between plastic or aluminum and copper or brass. With cups that have a nice weight, the moves are more fluid.

Welcome to the Cups and Balls, Strider!

Yours,

Paul
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