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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Magical Accessories » » Review of Fitch Kohler Professional Holdout (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Jonathan Townsend
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Lee,

Bob Fitch has a good thirty years experience using the holdout in real world performing and social situations. His work looks just fine. His routining and technique do not draw attention to his jacket or sleeves.

If you need an endorsement for his work...
If I wore a jacket I would have the holdout and topit set to go all the time.
_Jonathan
...to all the coins I've dropped here
Dan Watkins
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And Bob Fitch doesn't need the holdout to do good coin magic. He is extremely good with sleight of hand.

That was extremely apparent to me watching him do coin work, so when he brought the holdout into play that is one of the reasons he killed me so bad. I really thought he was just doing something sleight of hand that I could not follow. It really goofed me up.
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Bob Kohler
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I know that the secrecy that surrounds our project is driving everyone a little crazy. I completely understand Dan's viewpoint. In fact, I've had plans ot put some of the clips up on my web site, but so far we're still working on getting the first batch to those who are waiting.

Steve Hook is correct. I will never publish any pictures of the equipment. But eventually I will get the clips up. Please don't e-mail me to ask when.

Steve was one of the lucky few old friends of mine who was in the right place at the right time. At last years LVMI here in Vegas, I brought twenty guys that I personally know to our room to see the equipment and see it in action. Of course they all signed the agreement before we opened the case.

80% of those who have seen it are now on our waiting list. I think this number speaks for itself.

This type of viewing will not happen again. I'd like to thank those who participated. We did this for two reasons. First, to get their honored opinions and second, to anchor our position for any problems in the future under the Trade Secret Act. These 20 top professionals are now our witnesses.

At $1800.00 it's very expensive. In the past, I've turned down 5 times that amount to teach the system's secrets. The real value here is not what we can do with the system, it's what will you do with it.

The system is a serious tool for serious performers. It's a tool that will take practice and focused attention. But on the backside, the power it can give to you and your magic is limitless.

I'm moving into a new house this month. I gained some perspective on what $1800.00 buys in the year 2003...it's exactly what I paid for a new top of the line washer and dryer.
www.bobkohlermagic.com

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chrismatt
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But my top of the line washer and dryer can vanish more things than your hold-out system.
Details make perfection, but perfection is no detail.
Dan Watkins
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chrismatt, I don't think anyone can argue that point. touche'
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Dan LeFay
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I think I just have to live with the fact the inventors of this wonderful tool live on the other side of the ocean which creates a serious gap between "seeing and believing".
Bob I really do hope to see you blow me away soon!
The clips are a very good idea!
"Things need not have happened to be true.
Tales and dreams are the shadow-truths,
that will endure when mere facts are dust and ashes,
and forgot."
Neil Gaiman
HK Cardman
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After reading so many post about this Fitch Kohler Holdout. I never read anyone who have it and post a review on it.
I've already saved the $1800 in my pocket, but I really need a review on this unseen product before I spend my $1800.
I hope Bob can post a photo of it, at least we can know about its size. I have bought some other holdouts but it does not fit our asian's hand or arms. I don't think someone can copy this high end product by seeing just a photo of it.
I also hope Bob can drop down the price of the additional attachments which will froth coiming. Just like now the Fitch coin attachment cost $399.00 I think not every magicain can afford this pricing .(becuase we are not going to buy just one attachment only)

Again,anyone who are using this holdout please post a review. I really need your advise before I place my order.

Thanks
Whit Haydn
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I suspect that most of those who have one will not be anxious to promote it by reviewing it. If Bob Kohler & Co. are not anxious about getting more details out so that they can sell more of them, why should those who have such a unique weapon in their arsenals want to encourage others to get it?

Kohler knows that enough inside guys who know his work and that of Fitch will want it to make it a success. He does not want every magician in the country to be using it. He will sell as many of these as he wants to, and that will probably not be a lot.
debaser
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First off if you've ever seen any kind of hold out you know theres not that much to see. It would be like buying a car from a picture of the engine. Most people don't care about what the engine looks like they care about what it feels like to drive the car and what cool functions the car has.

I'm sure if the holdout was junk he wouldnt spend so much energy attaching his name to it through all this licensing. I cant imagine that it is anything but the best of quality.

However I'm glad that he's going to show video of it in action. I do think that's important in selling this holdout over others.

Mr. Kohler if your still listening, I do hope the holdout demo video provides viewing of the performers entire upper body and not just his hands. This will obviously help us see some of the things that are making your holdout above and beyond the rest.

Matt
Schaden
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How many are going to be sold? I don't want to read a big bunch of usless info. If I do get like $3000 Canadian I will buy one. I am thinking about getting 4 jobs so I can get one. Maybe, take out a loan from my parents or something. When I first heard of the holdout, I thought this was stupid. Really Really Really stupid for that price. Then I started thinking of what I could do with it. If I was Mr. Kohler I would set it that high. He makes a point that anyone can go to a magic store and get great tricks. Kind of like the invisible deck. It is a great effect but since they are so cheap, magic stores make lots of money off of them. It will be mine, oh yes it will be mine.

Lee
Carlos Hampton
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Has anyone here seen Mitchel do his invisible hand lecture???

Because if you had, you will agree with me that before he goes into the explanation portion of his lecture, you would put down a lot of money in the table to get his secret.

Then most people go into buying his "invisible hand" to realize that it is very hard to accomplish what they've just witnessed.

Most of the times this great device (invisible hand) ends up in the bottom of the drawer.

You may be getting a top-notch product, very good quality, etc., but what you cannot buy is the years of experience and practice that these people have put into learning to use these devices.

Don't fool yourself!!! It will take you lots of time and devotion to master any of the holdouts in the market, but if you are willing to put in that time and effort, let me let you into a little secret"

You can accomplish great, OUTSTANDING results with the cheaper models. Read the Invisible Hand from Mitchel and Greco or the Perfect Holdout from Antonio Romero.

As a matter of fact, I invite all of those who are thinking about paying the 1800 bucks to do themselves a favor and start using one of the cheaper models. If they get to master them, proceed to graduate to the Rolls Royce (apparently) of the holdouts.

Just like when you buy a cheap car until you have experience and money to buy something better. But you know how many people out there will like to be able to spend one more day in their old cars. Smile
Vilago
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Quote:
On 2003-02-08 01:58, Andy Leviss wrote:
I think the license is a brilliant move; it's about time somebody took some proactive action towards protecting both creators and buyers from the ripoffs that have so soaked through the world of magic, as well as the tendency to just generally be flippant about what the value of new ideas are.



Sure, it's a good idea...I just don't think it's very practical. Here's why: For an item that costs as much as this, there's going to be a very small crowd of performers who'll be very easy to monitor. If one of them steps out of line, sue (as was threatened).

But what if we apply this principle to cheaper items which will attract a larger crowd, say 1 - 2,000 people? Who's going to spend the money to monitor those people, and who has the deep pockets to sue those who don't abide by the license? I seriously doubt any of us have that kind of money (or inclination).

Again, I think it's nice idea with limitations. Speaking as a technical trainer of computer products, I can tell you that the big boys, i.e., Microsoft, try the very same thing and threaten (to the extent of putting out bogus radio advertisements) to sue violaters, but it very rarely happens...it's just too hard to track. Which is how we got the product activation that has made Windows XP such a pain to some people. I'm pretty sure we can't "activate" an idea...
Dan LeFay
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Carlos I couldn't agree more!
In your post you are almost describing my learning process at this very moment.
"Things need not have happened to be true.
Tales and dreams are the shadow-truths,
that will endure when mere facts are dust and ashes,
and forgot."
Neil Gaiman
debaser
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I think arlos made some good points and, while not absolute, I think that what he has said is a good rule to follow.

So unless you are willing to devote the serious amount of time to learning how to work the holdout, I wouldn't even bother.

Matt
Dan Watkins
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I would take the step even further. If you aren't willing to devote time to anything magic, don't be a magician.

Now let's simply debate an issue for interesting discussion sake…

I would ask, why not use the best tools available to you? It will speed your learning process and eliminate the headaches inherent with working flawed designs. (I am talking in general here).

Talking specifics now, the F/K design isn't expensive because those involved said, "Let's make the most expensive holdout possible," but rather, "Let's make the most user-friendly holdout possible. Let's solve all the problems that make holdouts problematic. Let's make it not only a simple to use holdout but a versatile system and spare no cost to accomplish this goal."

Bob Kohler told me that after Bob Fitch tried out the final prototype of the holdout he turned to Bob Kohler and said, (paraphrasing here) “We have been screwing around all these years. I wish I had this holdout 30 years ago, it would have solved so many problems.”

The DVD set is *supposed* to be the most comprehensive work ever put on film for holdout work. I can't comment here because I never saw them. Maybe Bob can comment on the content. But my guess is that the people who invest in the F/K system will probably have the best chance in learning not only the most user-friendly and versatile version of the holdout, but also the most comprehensive teaching of it ever made by men who are recognized experts in its use.

If your goal is to *LEARN* how to use a holdout, what is probably the best way? From a comprehensive DVD set that detail this:

• History of the Holdout
• Introduction to Holdout concepts
• Explanation of Holdout types
• Detailed analysis of general holdout problems
• Detailed analysis of our solutions
• The Fitch Kohler Professional Holdout System
• Explanation of each component in the system
• Explanation of each parts use and construction
• The Strap
• The Connection System
• The Lock
• The Weight
• The Attachments
• First Time Set-up
• System Adjustment
• Methods to “Get” the Holdout
• Methods to “Get Rid Of” the Holdout
• Choreography and Body Language
• Footwork

• Lock Usage
• Attachments vs. Miller ends
• Common mistakes & Bad Habits

NOT TO MENTION:

• 23 Routines that cover each attachment's use in performance (not suggested ideas, but actual real usable routines)


Or by buying some cheap version and learning by trial and error all by yourself how to use it properly (or improperly) and still have to deal with all the inherent design flaws? I’d say the person with the comprehensive teaching and the best tools will be the one who will learn how to use it faster and properly. Can you put a price tag on this?

Quite honestly, if I wanted to use a holdout, I’d be jealous of those who will have this teaching. I would bet anyone suffering with any other Miller holdout incarnation would be as well. Truth be told, I bet these issues are why other holdouts end up in the bottom of the drawer.

Ok, there is the counter argument for the sake of writing one. I wrote it half because I believe it, and half because I like a good debate Smile Quite honestly, I don’t care what people do with their money and time, but sometimes settling for anything other than the best, is well... settling for much... much... less.
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Chris S
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Well, now that is not strictly true, Dan. To take Antonion Romero's "perfect holdout" as an example, the buyer receives full and detailed instructions on the hookup, operation as well as three extremely powerful routines - the buyers of the
holdout aren't just given the product and left to work it out themselves. The same can be said for the Invisible Hand by Michel Clavello and Greco. By the sounds of it the Perfect Holdout, in particular, is extremely practical and does not appear to have any glaring design flaws that make it an impractical proposition for everyday use in a wide variety of situations.

I guess in the end, it seems that the holdouts currently being discussed in comparison to the F/K design seem to be placed on a continuum and some comments are sort of insinuating that as alternatives (and because they cannot solve some of the problems that the F/K holdout solves simply by virtue of their pricetag) they are therefore a budget choice that is bound to disappoint.

The reason why many holdouts, as you pointed out, end up in the "drawer of no return" will be just as likely to plague the Fitch/Kohler model - namely, they are NOT self-working, and when it comes down to it, some people just aren't willing to put the effort in. I have found that all the training DVDs in the world won't help these types and they are doomed to continue chasing their ultimate self-worker.

Anyway, just my thoughts.
May your moral compass guide you true - South West is where the honourable man fare. Pity those who lose their way...
Dan LeFay
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I really hope that there are not too many rich amateurs who take your advice literally Dan W. (going for the best tools available)!

That would make the waiting list almost unbearable for those who are serious and therefore calculating...;-)

Speaking of counter arguments, the things I do best, like most, and am most respected for (from my peers) are the things I had to learn from scratch. The deepest insights can often be found by trial and error.
Just as the learning experience from books goes deeper than videos, "finding out for yourself" has advantages above "doing as you're told".

I am very involved at the moment in upgrading my Perfect Holdout for the two applications I need it for. The time and effort in that process are personal learning experiences that could hardly be beaten by anything else.
And when the day comes I go for the gold (FKHO) I probably will smile when I look at my naive solutions, but the lessons learned will make me a better artist.

And kudos to you, Dan W. You've shed more light on this elusive secret then anyone else, for which I'm really thankful!

Are you hired yet?
"Things need not have happened to be true.
Tales and dreams are the shadow-truths,
that will endure when mere facts are dust and ashes,
and forgot."
Neil Gaiman
Dan Watkins
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Hey Chris and Dan,

I guess I will go in order... btw… I am just engaging in these posts because it's fun talking about it. I don’t want to discourage anyone from going out and working with the inexpensive holdouts. If you do, you are already a step ahead of me since I don’t use any at all. I have only read, studied, seen them, and seen them in use.

Quote:
the buyer receives full and detailed instructions on the hookup, operation as well as three extremely powerful routines


Chris, I'm not talking about the hookup of a holdout. Any Miller holdout only takes a matter of several minutes to hook up and you can learn how to do it properly and hook it up the day you get it, F/K holdout as well. You can also learn how to operate it the day you get it too. It's not hard. One arm goes up, the holdout end drops. If you want to play with the underlying principle; tie a fishing line to your watch and a fishing weight to the other end of your line and throw it down the opposite sleeve and play “catch the fishing weight”.

Teaching a few routines also will show people a demonstration of using it. This still does not make you use it very well.

In my copy/paste from Kohler's website on the DVD contents I put in bold italics the following topics:

• Detailed analysis of general holdout problems
• Choreography and Body Language
• Footwork
• Common mistakes & Bad Habits

I have read the Mishell book as well as the Invisible Hand book. I have seen a video Demo of Romero using the holdout and as of Tuesday night (2 days ago) had a Romero holdout in my hands (a friend purchased one) and gave it a good look over.

I know the Mishell and Vernet books do not focus greatly on the topics above. They do explain what the holdout is, what it does, how to hook it up, and then jump right into the routines. (I won't get into my opinion of some of the routines.) Bob Fitch is an accomplished theatrical actor. Choreography and footwork are his expertise. These principles are of utmost importance to DECEPTIVELY use a holdout. I would hope that this part would be a big focus for the DVD set. A good teaching, study, and then application of these principles will put someone way ahead of the game to learn how to properly use it.

Anyway, I could be shooting my mouth off here in ignorance, but I am under the impression that the DVD set is multiple DVDs and focus in detail on these topics on PROPER use, not just on how to hook it up and jump into a couple routines. Truth be told, I don’t know if this is the case.

Quote:
By the sounds of it the Perfect Holdout, in particular, is extremely practical and does not appear to have any glaring design flaws that make it an impractical proposition for everyday use in a wide variety of situations.


It is a single use holdout. Since it is not designed to switch attachments, you don't have to worry about it going out of adjustment. As it is, it will work fine for anything with metal in it. Don't expect to be able to borrow some coins and vanish them, for example. I would say the variety of situations is limited to situations where metal is involved. As for the glaring design flaws, I am not going to get into this, my intent is not to point out problems with specific designs. Dan LeFay has already changed his in a significant way to do what HE wants to do with it.

Quote:
(and because they cannot solve some of the problems that the F/K holdout solves simply by virtue of their pricetag) they are therefore a budget choice that is bound to disappoint.


The problems are not solved by virtue of a price tag. It's by virtue of years of working experience and a highly skilled machinist. The budget choice will only disappoint if you have too high expectations for it. Honestly, the F/K one will disappoint if you have too high of expectations for it. They all have limitations. You are safe to have much higher expectations of the F/K unit however.

Regarding your reasons for stuff to end up in a drawer, I agree.

And Dan…

Regarding rich amateurs taking my advice: I don’t think you mean to impugn amateurs. I know some amateurs that take magic as serious as any working pro and are as skilled. But I get your meaning. You just don’t want rich hacks buying the best stuff and sucking with it. Unfortunately, this will happen. Though I have a sneaky feeling that the waiting list will never get too long for the F/K system. It's just never going to be a high order item because of the price.

I agree with you that real learning comes from doing. For example, if I read a flight manual cover to cover, I might know how to fly an airplane in my head, but it doesn’t make me an accomplished pilot. You have to get in the cockpit behind the controls and do it. Everyone learns by doing. I would suggest that if you have an excellent flight instructor, you have a better chance to learn how to fly. With perseverance you will become a pilot. The learning tools just get you going in the right direction, let you know what and what not to do. It’s valuable, but it is never a substitute for actual flight time. Quite honestly, I would rather “be told” not to land the airplane with the wheels up than “find out for myself”. Good instruction is a good thing. There is no argument against it.

As to shedding more light on the system, the light I shed is all there in Bob’s website write-up, I just used the magnifying glass. Antonio's website is also very revealing to anyone who wants to understand how a traditional Miller holdout or his works.

Lastly, for those interested, a lengthy thread over at the Genii board entitled Copyright Extended to Performance which started as a Magic Café topic, then went to the Genii board, and the topic of the F/K license came up and the thread pretty much started to focus on the F/K system. It's a good read if you are looking for some more give and take.
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Dan LeFay
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I'll take back "rich amateurs" and make that "rich hacks," whatever that means. It is my mediocre English vocabulary.
I'll go check out the other thread.
"Things need not have happened to be true.
Tales and dreams are the shadow-truths,
that will endure when mere facts are dust and ashes,
and forgot."
Neil Gaiman
2003 user
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After reading so many post about this F/K Holdout. I'm very interested in it . Anyone who is close to Bob, please tell us the actual release/delivery date of this product. Thanks
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