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Profile of RandomEffects
Just wondering which sets everyone uses, what they love and hate about them and any set's to avoid.

Phoenix Cups- These are what i use. They are copper and tarnish pretty easily, though i really don't clean them that often, i like the look. The shape seems perfect for the hand. Lastly they have a wonderful sound when you clink them together. The only down side to the cups is that the load area inside is not that large or wide. All this means is that you have to be more careful when loading an oval object as they could easily become lodged within the body. But the reaction is that much better when someone sees that giant object come from an area that, visually, should not have been able to fit.

Ickle Pickle- Aluminum, big, not to pretty, but inexpensive. A great set for anyone who want to get started with the cups and balls and does not want to spend a fortune.

Mike Rodgers Baseballs- I perform for the Red Sox so these are the natural choice for me. They look great and the leather covering provides an easy grip. They also make a little more sense then corks with sweaters for my act.

Puff Balls- Yes the ones that come with the Ickle Pickle set or any of those $3.00 sets. Hate them, they tend to shed little fuzzies all over the place and are not as easy to grip.

Spongeballs- I always used to feel that the natural compression of sponge balls took away from the effect, I like a good solid ball for the routine plus I did spongeballs else where in the routine and did not want them to take away from the effect of the cups and balls. However after meeting with the late Willis Kenny a few years back I have completely changed my mind. Those of you who had the pleasure of watching him perform saw what a "Cups And Balls Routine" is.

So what are you guys and gals using?

Danny Hustle
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Profile of Danny Hustle
I LOVE Pete Biro's Gali-Gali cups. That's what I use on the street. They are huge.

Gazzo's NEW cups are great also (albeit a bit pricy).

I own Phoenix cups and do not like them much. The Magic Inc.- Charlie Miller, Bertram knockoff's were better cups and a lot cheaper.

I do love the original Ross Bertram cups. If you ever get a chance to hold a set you'll see a big difference between those and the Phoenix cups.

I also really like the Paul Fox cups, The Johnson cups, Sisti Cups, and Jim Reiser makes a very sexy set of smaller cups as well.



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I use limes (small to Big) I live in singapore... so I also use longans (small brown fruit) to chikus (large brown fruit)...

Fruit are watery.. so the weight is nice:)

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Harry Murphy
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Cups and Balls! I use a Johnson set most of the time. I use them because they are heavy (don’t blow off my table), look nice and sound nice, and I got them for a very good price from someone who bought them thinking he would build a routine and never did! My good luck.

I also own but do not often use my very first cup set, a Miller/Bertram set. I have the Duvivier four-cup set and the Camerand Academy goblet look set (both are combo cup sets).

I use homemade “monkey paw” balls with fruit final loads most of the time. The Duvivier and the Camerand Academy sets come with a full set of the proper knit covered balls (including the gimmicked balls) for doing the recommended routines.

I also have a very old wooden set of “Hindu” cups with the necessary cork balls.
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Profile of Payne
Needing a traditional set of cups (the old style flower pot shaped ones), I first started off with a set of Mountebank Cups Magic City's. These were way too large to handle comfortablely and looked too much like cheap aluminum.

I next found a wonderful set of vintage stainless steel cups at Mickey Hades old shop. These were a marvelous set which I would still be using today had not one of the cups started to split along it's edge. They now live in a place of honor in a display case.

I then started using a set of Phoenix Reject cups, which I think are a great cup for the beginner or street work as the are heavy and inexpensive and will take lots of abuse. I probably would still be using this set had I not found a Magic Inc. Bertram style set of cups on E-bay for even less than I got my Phoenix cups. I love these cups as they it well in my hand and have a great feel and shape to them. I would be using these cups today had I not run across the Bosco Cups from Harries magic.

These are a great cup. Very large (You can use a cricket ball for the final loads) and have that flower pot shape I've been looking for, they're a tad bit lighter than I would like but still a very sturdy cup.

As for balls, being a computer tech, I used black mouse balls I pulled from defunct mice. These had a great weight and tack and were reminiscent of the classic black cork balls of olde. These however were hard to see so I went to red felt balls I had a fibre arts craftsperson make for me. These too have a good weight and can be seen from a distance and get away from that modern looking "cork in a sweater" look.
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Profile of KingStardog
Got a made in India aluminum combo set that my buddy is using.(He gets to keep them, just doesn't know it yet)
Morrisy cheapie copper. (still in the box)

Decided big cups took too much room. Now its all Micro or mini.

I use stainless steel double shot stot glasses. (they are stamped "Gasser & Sons inc.N.Y." in case anyone wants to chase them down) Very heavy, nice ring.have several sets of different color 1/2" pom pom balls and 3/4# sweater balls, w finals being 28mm rubber balls, walnuts,or for fruits brussel sprouts, small onions and small tomatos.
The rubber balls and walnuts with a heavy wax coating(driftwood wax) are the norm.

These are slightly shorter than the Loomis Riser chop cup, and I have a fourth cup that came with the set that I chopped myself.

Was looking at the Riser micro set for a long time and also the El Duco micro combo set, but stainless steel was the way to go for me.(no polishing)
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Harry Murphy --

I like your use of the monkey's fist in place of cork balls wearing sweaters. Do you incorporate the history of the monkey's fist into your routine?
Harry Murphy
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No. I just use the knots as part of the act. Strangely, now that you mention it, no one as ever asked about the balls! The fruit ending gets the reaction and probably pulls the attention away both the cups and the balls used.
The artist formally known as Mumblepeas!
Dan LeFay
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I use both the Johnson and the Sisti cups which both have their own charm. The Johnsons sound brilliant and look gorgeous, but they look very dirty when not polished.
The Sisti copper cups do not sound at all but look better when tarnished, to my opinion.

I use custom made mini baseballs. This same guy also makes very hightech cups.
Take a look at his website if you like:
I also use two of his jumbocups for stand up work in combination with spongeballs.

BTW. This is a Dutch manufacturer.
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I mainly use cups from El Duco Made of Brass but I found some beutyfull chinese cups that looks great that I'm working on a new rutine with. They are made from cupper and has brass dragons and chinese ornaments on them. They look a bit like hindu cups.

Jonas Karlsson
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If I'm in the US, I use a pewter cups called Jefferson cups. The are squat little things, and can fit a good-sized load. I bought mine on sale for US$8 each, so it was US$24 for the set. Mine were made by a compay called Stieff.

Recently, I bought two sets of those cheap plastic cups from Loftus (made in China), and was surprised at how nicely they worked. They are lighter than metal cups, and made travelling overseas a little easier.

I also favor the use of monkey-paw knots (no core for the small ones), but will use crochet ones as well.
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Profile of leefoley3
I use Johnson cups (brass) along with Mike Roger's mini baseballs. Mike is no longer with us but I really like the ones he made. I have a set of them that have never been open. They are one of the very last sets he made before his passing. They were delivered to the shop I do business with by Mike's widow.

I like the Johnson cups for many reasons: I like the feel and weight (well over a pound per set) and I personally like the way they tarnish. I got my set at a really good price and they were brand new. Johnson also makes and sell a chop cup that matches their regular cup to a "T". They also have a 14" wand that is black with brass tips (that also matches the cups perfectly) one tip on the wand is magnetic. I've yet to purchase the chop cup or wand. I prefer a wand I have that was hand made,perfectly balanced and the tips are brass. These were made for a friend of mine and he didn't have many. The tips are fixed to the wand as the end of the wand fits inside the tips (very unlikely to break if dropped on the hardest surface). The wand is a dark walnut color and has several layers of lacquer. I'd buy another if I could. I love my Johnson cups! Smile Smile Smile
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Where can I get Jonhson cups?
Bill Palmer
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I like the van Dokkum cups. They are quite expensive, but darn well worth it. Auke van Dokkum says that he sometimes kicks the stainless steel cups around the display room at conventions to show how hard they are to dent.
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Neale Bacon
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My set is pretty unique. It is actually a set of metal drinking cups from a 1950's picnic set.
They are metallic red, green and goild and come in a zippered holder with a blue plaid. There is also a silver cup as it is a set of 4.
I love it! I use green fuzzy pom poms with metal sparklies.
The story line is that they are little martians trying to get back to the mother ship.
People love the story because even if they have seen the cups and balls, it's till different.
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Profile of m@t
Im now using the Gary Animal cups which are real beauties. I use them with 1 inch blue crochet balls. Smile
MJ Marrs
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I use the Johnson cups as my knockaround set; they're very nice to practice with and I don't care if they get dinged up.

My pride and joy cups are the Porper cups. If you ever get a chance to see a set of these you'll know what I mean!
Ron Giesecke
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These are killer. I love mine to no end.
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Talk to Ron Jaxon. He has some INCREDIBLE ideas with the cups and balls, only I probably don't have permission to tell you more. Just private message him, he's in these forums a good amount. I have to warn you though, you won't be able to look at cups and balls the same way again!
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Johnson cups are excellent. Phenix cups also good. Look for Johnson's on ebay & you can save some money.
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