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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Penny for your thoughts » » Universal Impression versus Al Straker's impression device (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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aukt
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Hi there, does anyone own both of these? I can't tell for sure but I think they are similar. Perhaps the creators could clarify the differences?
bsmith
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Hi aukt,

While I haven't seen Al's use for his impression device, as it's not released yet, he does have my U.I. and he assured me that the material that he will provide and his handling are completely different.

With that being said, Al has been generous enough to share with me some of his previous work and his thinking is top notch! I've also worked with the particular material that will come with his and can assure you that they are different, each with their own advantages.

I am highly looking forward to Al's thinking and trying out some of his applications for use with the U.I. gimmick. I can say with confidence that you will get a lot out of both products and they will complement each other very well. Hope this helps!

Best Wishes,
Robert Smith
Al Straker
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Hey Robert,

Man, you are a great guy!! Thanks so much for taking the harmonious viewpoint on our 2 products. I thoroughly support your release of UI, love your thinking and I agree wholeheartedly that our 2 products compliment each other well. Our ways of thinking are very different. I have also since enjoyed our brief correspondence and look forward to sharing more with you in future.

Gotta say this.... I think this is a great day for the Café when 2 creators of different products that serve a similar purpose recognise and support each others efforts. Thank you Robert for a very mature post and maintaining the trust we have developed with each other.

Just want to state openly here I thoroughly recommend "Universal Impressions" for anyone interested in a wonderful treatise on close up impression work.

"Write of Passage" will be released in the coming couple of months. Sorry to those who have been asking, there is no fixed date as yet.

Cheers,
Al


Posted: Nov 5, 2008 3:56pm
------------------------------
Just re-read the question at the top of this thread and realised I didn't clarify the differences between the 2 products:

Universal Impressions

Uses 'grey' stuff, approx. 2 playing cards thickness - good for intricate im*****ns (words, complex drawings, etc)
Pen included
1 piece of material included
DVD for instructions
Teaches how to make the pens
Teaches deceptive peek methods
Gimmicks concealed but not hidden, devices not examinable


Write Of Passage

Uses 'green' stuff, approx 1 piece of paper thin - good for simple im******ns (shapes, initials, numbers, simple drawings)
Pen included
5 pieces of material included (1 built into gimmick)
Pre-built gimmick to suit Bicycle deck included
Written instructions
No instruction on how to make pens
Teaches deceptive peek methods different to UI
Gimmicks thoroughly hidden, most devices examinable

Hope this helps!

Cheers,
Al
Al Straker
Resident Mystery Entertainer at Multiple Venues
Music & Mentalism Specialty Act 'Completely Mental'

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gyGhApqnG7I

(Old clip, show has changed quite a bit since then!)

Jazz & Contemporary Musician/Composer

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KnN3JNmeKns

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sU_zfOvpneA
Dr. Eamon
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--------eXtrementalism--------......IT'S ALL IN YOUR MIND.....
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I have ordered UI already but I will order Al´s device as soon as it´s available…
Suffolk
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Hi.

I am utterly unaware of both of these products and since I am a)a impression board-oholic & b) experimenting with mass production my own iteration of an pocket imp board which combines the best of John Riggs', James Biss and Scott Creaseys boards I would like to know some more about them.

Any chance of a linky to some info?

Thanks.
ted french
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http://www.papercraneproductions.net
Its on the front page of our site
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Jerome Finley
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I own both and feel they are both of use and value.

These two are the same basic idea with different gimmicks (one more readily available than the other, in Al's favor) and both work great.

Studying both is beneficial if one wants to work with this device on a regular basis. Each contains plenty of unique handlings and subtleties that compliment the other.

Al's device (for me) takes a more reliable impression but 'U.I' is better in low lighting. I prefer Al's handling for the card p**k BUT there is a lot to be said for simplicity and both creator's favor a direct approach.

I've been using the 'U.I' marker with Al's set-up as a matter of preference (and the dry erase markers are more common over here).

Both are quality products from people I trust and both will get the job done. For me, Al's bundle is of greater personal use BUT there will be plenty of people in favor of 'U.I.' too.

A person can't go wrong with purchasing both! I feel this was a smart move and I learned different things from both creators, their gimmicks, handlings and subtleties. I know it's a bit more to do it this way, but I like to be as thorough as possible and learn all I can about the tool I'm using.

The scales were tipped (for me) in Al's favor for the handling, gimmick construction, availability and use.

Best,
Jerome
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ted french
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I think the real difference is the limitations. U.I. is a Gimmick that you can use with a pad, card box, or many other items; it comes with a DVD that goes over handlings with the gimmick and routines with the gimmick. Smith teaches how to use it with a wallet, a card box, a pad, and a book. The biggest difference between the 2 gimmicks is that the Universal Impression gimmick allows you to let the spectator write or draw ANYTHING. No matter what they write, how small or how close together the letters are you will have no problem telling them what they thought. The U.I. package comes with 1 marker 1 gimmick, a DVD and additional materials for 49.95. Al's version comes with more gimmicks but you will not be able to read complex drawings or words. Al's gimmick is useful if you want to divine a simple shape, an esp symbol or a 2 digit # if they write large enough. I am not sure what Al's is going for but I believe he is including more gimmick than what you get with U.I.
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Merlin C
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Quote:
On 2008-11-23 21:48, ted french wrote:
Al's gimmick is useful if you want to divine a simple shape, an esp symbol or a 2 digit # if they write large enough.
I really like UI, Ted, but you're exaggerating the limitations of Al's material here.
ted french
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Sorry I don't mean to knock it but I have played with the material and you cant have them write words without the letters blending together especiall if they write small
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Jerome Finley
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Who tries to write small with a marker?

I have to agree Ted, it seems you are exaggerating the limitations of the Straker set-up, which may or may not be your intention but I have to disagree.

His gimmick is larger and for me takes a better imp. The first gimmick I received for U.I. was terrible; almost useless. It looked like something from a Cracker Jack box and at first I was severely disappointed in the quality of the 'device' knowing full and well WHAT it was and how it's used before I purchased.

Granted, this problem was taken care of, but it shouldn't have existed or been rushed to market like that in the first place. In all fairness, the situation WAS handled quickly and professionally, much to my appreciation.

As I said, I found use in both and learned from each respective kit and creator. With that in mind, let's play fair. I have people write words with Al's set-up and it is more than suitable for my purposes (which are more complex than either of you approached with either version).

They are both good products, I simply happen to favor Al's.

-JF
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Hill
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Al's is a first class device, conceived by an adept thinker and a skilled performer. He's honest, acts with fine integrity, and stands by his creation. Excellent handlings and routines came with it, indicative of usage in the real world.

Teds partisan interjection here is disappointing. I would comment on UI, but it has not arrved, having been ordered about three weeks ago. All other dealings with papcrane have been excellent. In this case however Ted, I think you should have left the commentary to Robert Smith and Al Straker, who clearly have a great deal of respect for one another and their respective creations.
ted french
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I really am not trying to say anything negative the fact is that the material used with Al's device is not good for words. If you hand them a post it pad and ask them to write any word they are thinking of you better hope that they write large and that they space the letters apart well enough or you will not be able to read it. We all played with that material including the creator and we found that it is not useful for reading thought of words. I will leave the topic alone but I want that to be completely clear. The topic is about comparisons and we are a fair and competitive company so I feel like I should way in here. I also love the U.I gimmick and feel its the most important thing I own magic wise. I hear Al's contains more pads and more gimmicks can someone confirm this or send a link where I can buy his.
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Al Straker
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Hi Ted, Robert, Jerome, David, Merlin,

Thanks so much for your comments guys.

Its all good, I love Robert and Ted as my brothers in magic. Robert has something else going for him much better than being an excellent creative magi, he is also a kind, honest and polite human being Smile

I understand what Ted is saying and it's simply that the UI gimmick takes a more refined im*******n, it's kinda like having a different grade of paintbrush, that is all Smile

I really do like UI, Robert is a most excellent humble, kind, and creative gentleman with very fine material to share.

Thanks for all the nice things people have said, once my offerings are out there in the broader space (to be announced soon) people can make up their own minds.

All I can say is I promise to look after my customers and am always open to feedback.

Cheers,
Al
Al Straker
Resident Mystery Entertainer at Multiple Venues
Music & Mentalism Specialty Act 'Completely Mental'

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gyGhApqnG7I

(Old clip, show has changed quite a bit since then!)

Jazz & Contemporary Musician/Composer

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KnN3JNmeKns

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sU_zfOvpneA
Joshua Quinn
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Just something to throw in here re: quality of impressions. I haven't seen Al's offering, but I've used the same material extensively and never had a problem reading words. The solution is very simple: use a dull-tipped marker so they have to write in big letters. If the point is too fine, snip off the end with a pair of scissors and you're all set.
Every problem contains the seeds of its own solution. Unfortunately every problem also contains the seeds of an infinite number of non-solutions, so that first part really isn't super helpful.
ted french
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Well said Al. I hope people understand I really love this product and I get a little defensive when people start saying things about my baby. I not saying its justified btw.
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bsmith
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Thank you all for your kind words and thank you Al for your gracious post. Also, thank you Ted, and others, for continuing to believe in my product. What Ted is doing is just re-iterating the comparison that Al made earlier in this thread:

Quote:
Universal Impressions

Uses 'grey' stuff, approx 2 playing cards thickness - good for intricate im*****ns (words, complex drawings, etc)

Write Of Passage

Uses 'green' stuff, approx 1 piece of paper thin - good for simple im******ns (shapes, initials, numbers, simple drawings)



I have read and re-read Teds posts and have not found statements out of line. So please do not scold him because he has not made any attacks or said anything that hasnt already been said by the creator.

As for the material, I personally have had better results with words using UI, but that doesn't mean others will not have good results with WOP. It would be unfair to compare the 2 without knowing the context that each performer is using either device. One will work better for some and one will work better for others. The only person that can make that comparison is the individual performer, so, to each his own!

With that being said, please feel free to compare the products without hesitation. The creators are not the material, the material is the material. We simply provide what we've both worked very hard at and has worked extremely well for us and our careers. We hope it will do the same for you.

Blessings to all,
Robert Smith

PS. Quinn, that's a great idea!
Al Straker
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Quote:
On 2008-11-25 11:05, Quinn wrote:
Just something to throw in here re: quality of impressions. I haven't seen Al's offering, but I've used the same material extensively and never had a problem reading words. The solution is very simple: use a dull-tipped marker so they have to write in big letters. If the point is too fine, snip off the end with a pair of scissors and you're all set.


Quinn... as usual your tip is excellent!!

Al
Al Straker
Resident Mystery Entertainer at Multiple Venues
Music & Mentalism Specialty Act 'Completely Mental'

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gyGhApqnG7I

(Old clip, show has changed quite a bit since then!)

Jazz & Contemporary Musician/Composer

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KnN3JNmeKns

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sU_zfOvpneA
goldeneye007
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Hello folks!
I was wondering : do you need a special marker for either product or does ANY marker work ? What about refills ?

Thanks!
Ben
Al Straker
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You need a special marker, this is supplied and spares are available.

Al
Al Straker
Resident Mystery Entertainer at Multiple Venues
Music & Mentalism Specialty Act 'Completely Mental'

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gyGhApqnG7I

(Old clip, show has changed quite a bit since then!)

Jazz & Contemporary Musician/Composer

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KnN3JNmeKns

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sU_zfOvpneA
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