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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Trick coin trickery » » Copper Silver Brass JB Magic/Tango/Johnson (7 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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mindacrossrhino
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I'm intending to purchase a Copper Silver Brass set, though don't have the budget to purchase from one of the higher end custom manufacturers.

With that in mind I am trying to decide between a Johnson set (very well regarded on the Café), a Tango set (Tango seems to split opinion, though Jeremy Pei wrote an interesting article comparing gaffs and seemed to regard these quite highly), or a set from JB Magic. I have a set of JB Hopping Halves and really like them, but can't find much info on the Café regarding their CSB sets, or how they compare to other manufacturers (other than a brief reference from Café member Lawrence O whose opinion I do very much respect).

Would be interested to hear from anyone that has experience of the three sets and how they compare?
HarryB
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I have the Johnson set and it is very well made. The reason that I bought it was price. The magic warehouse had it for cheap compared to the tango set. If you do go this route call them and make sure it is in stock before you order. I cant comment on the tango set because I have never seen it.
videoman
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I've owned 2 Johnson CSB's, both were good. One I bought in the early 80's and a replacement about a year ago. The earlier one was better, the recent one was a wee bit sloppier but the recent one was very usable.

Tango is kind of hit or miss in my experience. I've owned a couple and it seems to possibly depend on who actually makes the set you receive. Some are better than others, which is true for virtually every gaffer, but Tango seems to have a wider range than most others. When they're good, they can be excellent. But when they're bad, it could be the worse than the others.

Never owned a CSB from JB Magic, but I do own a few of their other coin sets and I've always been very happy with them.

What I try to do whenever possible in cases like these is order from a dealer that has a good return policy, such as Penguin. That way if you're unhappy it is a simple matter of just sending it back with no questions asked. You may be out a small shipping expense but at least you're not stuck with something you don't like.

This is when I really miss having a good local B&M shop where you could see first hand what you were getting.
mindacrossrhino
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Thanks, a lot of people seem to highly rate Johnson products so am not surprised you liked these.

The main thing that puts me off Johnson is that I am based in the UK and hence shipping costs/customs etc may add up (not aware of any stockists in the UK, but happy to be enlightened if there are any:-) I have also heard it mentioned that the black portion of the Chinese coin can chip with this set. Be interested to hear if this is something anyone else has encountered with any of these sets?
mindacrossrhino
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Thanks Videoman, I too miss having a local magic store, sadly gone are the days I could pop in every weekend and see first hand what I liked.

Your post was exactly what I was after, in particular your experience with Tango seems to go a long way towards explain the differing views of their products. Had also read that Johnson weren't perhaps as good as they used to be, but good to hear the are still very usable.
videoman
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Yeah, the Johnson Chinese coins can chip over time and probably will eventually.
A couple ways to remedy this is...

Color in the chip with a black Sharpie marker, that's what I used to do and it's not an exact match but I felt close enough. But that's one reason I eventually replaced it, but only after nearly 30 years.
Perhaps spray the Chinese coins with a clear coat when you first get them. Haven't tried this but it would have to help protect them I would think.
Johnson sells regular replacement Chinese coins for fairly cheap. Good news is the only chips I've had have been on the regular coin and not the gaff, but this still may not be a good option for you since you're in the UK.
I believe they have some kind of lifetime guarantee too, so they would probably replace it for free.

In fairness, it's likely that any painted coin from any manufacturer can and will chip eventually. I've haven't had that issue with other Manufacturers though because not all CSB sets use a Chinese coin, and even if they do it may be an all brass one and not painted.
Poof-Daddy
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I got mine from Mark Mason because I wanted it in Waling Liberty. I love the set, the ONLY problem you may encounter with it (which I did not know until I got it) is the gaff is made from English Penny / Chinese Coin not the typical Half Dollar / Chinese Coin so your story line might have to change. It comes with Mark's excellent patter and routine, which is perfect for the way the gaff is made. (Problem is, I lost the sheet somewhere among my many piles of instruction sheets and have not been able to find it again) Won't be too hard to work out a routine though, just know the gaff is made that way. Smile

As for the Chinese coins, they are Jokers and easy to replace or get extras. Mark carries them they are just not listed on the site.
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HarryB
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For what it's worth I do own a tango folding coin and the craftsmanship is excellent. If it's easier to get tango where you are then I would give tango a shot.
Poof-Daddy
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Quote:
On Jan 8, 2016, HarryB wrote:
For what it's worth I do own a tango folding coin and the craftsmanship is excellent. If it's easier to get tango where you are then I would give tango a shot.


and I will add to the "hit and miss theory of Tango products". I was looking for a Scotch and soda type effect and since I did not find it readily in Walker, I got a Euro Dollar / US Quarter set by Tango from Penguin. http://www.penguinmagic.com/p/S9757 The quality was horrid so I promptly returned it. When put together the inner coin looked warped and stuck noticeably out in a couple places at the same time.

I have BitCoin by Tango (Rick Lax effect) - great quality
I also own TUC US Quarter - excellent and TUC Walking Liberty Half, also excellent (thankfully if you know the price on that baby Smile ) I will say the TUC line has been the biggest quality improvement on Tango's product line in years.

I am fortunate to have a Brick and Mortar shop nearby and anytime I go there, "most" Tango products cannot hold a candle to their slightly higher priced counterparts. I guess sometimes you get what you pay for. Incidentally, I have no beef with Tango products, I just need to see and try before I buy where that has never been the case with Johnson. (or the higher end stuff).

Best of luck. I will repeat though for the 1,000,000 th time. "Johnson Products are the work horse of the working pro" Cheaper lines are OK (at times) and custom jobs are excellent (for the most part. Still mixed opinions on certain makers throughout this forum) but they do carry a price that may be out of the "casual magicians" range.

PS. side note. I have torn my magic room apart for almost 2 1/2 hours looking for my Mark Mason directions for my Walker C/S/B set with no luck. Is there anyone who could help me out? PM me (I can send you a photo of my set to prove I own it if need be) Smile I would like to start learning Marks routine that came with it (due to the way the gaff is different than most sets in the US. (I imagine the gaff being English Penny / Chinese and the US coin being the oddball is common on the other side of the pond) Smile
Cancer Sux - It is time to find a Cure

Don't spend so much time trying not to die that you forget how to live - H's wife to H on CSI Miami (paraphrased).






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mindacrossrhino
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Thanks Poof-Daddy/HarryB/Videoman

I do not mind a set with an English penny. My main concern is that all three coins look different, and can no doubt script around any odder coins in the mix. Good to know Mark's version comes with a decent routine as that's always a good starting point (Sorry you have lost yours though).

I have seen a few of the more expensive sets and wondered if the copper and brass coins used are too similar. Partly for that reason do like sets with a Chinese coin, really does help differentiate all three.

30 years does sound a pretty good innings on the Johnson set!
J-Mac
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Ouch! I didn't know that JB used a Chinese coin/English Penny gimmick. I would really prefer the standard (whatever kind of) shell over a silver/copper insert; all of my routines are worded that way and I just know I would muff the patter if I changed the gimmick too much.

BTW, while I prefer the Johnson CSB for a standard set, their newer gimmicks (in general) use a replica Mexican 20 Peso coin instead of a real one. Might not make a difference if no one will handle it but I would rather have real coins if possible. (Johnson's says "Copy" rather conspicuously on the fake ones).

Thanks!

Jim
mindacrossrhino
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Thanks Jim. I have the advantage of not already having a script committed to memory. The Peso copy issue does concern me however and have to say turns me off of the Johnson set.

Still on the bright side, that's no bad thing, I am trying to narrow the field down after all;-)
Kaliix
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I was advised a long time ago on the Café to use Sally Hansen Hard as Nails clear coat on your coins. Polish them up (or not if that is your preference) and then clear coat them. It will lock in the shine by preventing oxidation and will help protect your Chinese coin from chipping. I've done it to a couple sets I own and it has worked as advertised. Something to consider...

Quote:
On Jan 8, 2016, videoman wrote:
Yeah, the Johnson Chinese coins can chip over time and probably will eventually.
A couple ways to remedy this is...

Color in the chip with a black Sharpie marker, that's what I used to do and it's not an exact match but I felt close enough. But that's one reason I eventually replaced it, but only after nearly 30 years.
Perhaps spray the Chinese coins with a clear coat when you first get them. Haven't tried this but it would have to help protect them I would think.
Johnson sells regular replacement Chinese coins for fairly cheap. Good news is the only chips I've had have been on the regular coin and not the gaff, but this still may not be a good option for you since you're in the UK.
I believe they have some kind of lifetime guarantee too, so they would probably replace it for free.

In fairness, it's likely that any painted coin from any manufacturer can and will chip eventually. I've haven't had that issue with other Manufacturers though because not all CSB sets use a Chinese coin, and even if they do it may be an all brass one and not painted.
The greatest obstacle to discovery is not ignorance; it is the illusion of knowledge.
~Daniel J. Boorstin
videoman
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Good to know Kaliix, Thanks!!!
RCP
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I think for the buck the Eisenhower dollar coins are under appreciated. Dollar size, available in most known gaffs, with a little patina work can really pop and not much more than Kennedy's.
J-Mac
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I haven't seen commercial CSB sets made in dollar-size. I believe they would have to be custom-made and the OP said he doesn’t have the budget to pay custom prices.

Jim
RCP
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Two Minnie's in The Hell's Half Acre, The Republic of Texas
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J-Mac
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Nice, but that's a copper/silver set, not CSB. Do they have a CSB Set also?

Jim
mindacrossrhino
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Thanks all. Great tip Kaliix. Might try that on some ungaffed coins first in case I mess it up!

BTW, does anyone know if a Chinese Bit set uses the same gaffs as the C/S/B? As far as I can see it's just a different routine. Given I intend to adapt my own routine it may open up some alternative suppliers.
David Neighbors
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A Chinese Bit Is a C.S.B. set. But it uses A post coin In the Gaff. So the Top coin Is English Pen, And under that is A Chinese Coin' and On the other side Is A half!
David Neighbors



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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Trick coin trickery » » Copper Silver Brass JB Magic/Tango/Johnson (7 Likes)
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