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Regular user
175 Posts

Profile of Metius
Is possible to get with a combo chop-cup set the same routines with a regular c&b set? Even with the gimmicked ball? In short words : can I decide to use the gimmicked ball as a normal ball and use it just like the three others?

Eppure una volta avetti sette in latino...(G.Marziano)
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Inner circle
Bar Harbor, ME
2191 Posts

Profile of drwilson
You'd have to be careful which cup it went into.

It would be safer to get an extra ungimmicked ball.


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Special user
Sweden, Sundsvall
866 Posts

Profile of Arkadia
I have a cups and balls combo set and I don´t like it at all. The weight of the cups are different which makes some of the more advanced "juggling-like" sleights more difficult. Another thing is that the bottom of the cups aren’t the same because of the gimmick. (Might be different on different sets but at least my set has this disadvantage)

If you are thinking about a combo set - make sure that you can buy an extra cup that is gimmick free. That way you can use your set as a ordinary cups and balls set, a combo set and you can go from a ordinary routine into a chop cup routine without changing the appearance of the cup.
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Lehi, UT, USA
643 Posts

Profile of what
I gave up on the combo set this year after a year practicing the John Mendozza routine. Why?
1. The cups were too high and top heavy. The gimicked cup was extremely top heavy.
2. The Mednoza routine is very nice, but it uses the gimick to get rid of the ball vanishes from the hand. I love the ball vanishes from the hand.

The combo set can be used as a regular set, but it will feel funny becasue one cup is dramatically heavier than the others. I wouldn't use a gimicked ball though.

My advice if you are just starting out on the cups and balls and want to keep your options open is to buy a plastic set from the grocery store and try the Mark Wilson routine. You can gimick some ice cream cups yourself to experiment with the combo principle if you want.

Once you decide how you will perform this classic, then the kind of cups that you want will become apparent.

Magic is fun!!!
Pete Biro
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1933 - 2018
18558 Posts

Profile of Pete Biro
Agreed--most often the combo cup gets in the way... you have to keep track of "it" and "the ball" -- there is so much you can do with simple sleights you are better off without the combo cup.

However... you can use the combo cup as a stand alone chop cup, say at the end, or as an encore bit. Sometimes it isn't practical to have three load balls... so you get rid of two cups and do a chop cup routine to close.

But... another idea I had was to have all three cups "chopped" and no gaffed balls... until the end of the routine where you do the multiplication pass (from pocket) and your first round of loads are balls that look the same but are shimmed... so you can pause lift each cup cleanly and show "NO BALLS" the set down/dislodge, surprise... then finals can be shimmed also... just think on this.
Bill Palmer
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Eternal Order
Only Jonathan Townsend has more than
24279 Posts

Profile of Bill Palmer
I haven't checked the Johnson chop cup that matches their regular cups or the Van Dokkum chop cups yet. I have a feeling that because of the nature of these cups, the weight difference may be minimal.

But this does pose the problem -- how do you tell them apart?
"The Swatter"

Founder of CODBAMMC

My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."
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Regular user
Northeast Ohio
162 Posts

Profile of Bohh
I have a combo set from Argentina that I purchased from my local shop. I don't notice any difference between the weight of the chop compared to the normal cups.

Mabye it's just me..
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Eternal Order
Northern California
13417 Posts

Profile of TheAmbitiousCard
You can tell because the johnson chop cup has that canadian sticker on the inside.

Just kidding.

I own the JP chop cup and you cannot tell by feel. I forget if you can tell by look. Since you now own my JP cups, I cannot do a comparison. I think that the "depression" inside the cup is more pronounced on the chop.

Unlike most chops, the JP has a "depression" on the inside and it works well. You may have heard of "the flick" move for releasing the crocheted (or felted) specimin. The JP cups are fantastic using "the flick" and that is why. No need to bang the cup down.

I never used it as a combo set. Either one or the other so I never got them confused but you sure could.

...just one more reason to use a leather chop cup Smile

Frank Hand Crafted Magic
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Pete Biro
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1933 - 2018
18558 Posts

Profile of Pete Biro
Or your "pal's" coffee mug, Frank! Smile
(Couldn't resist)! Smile
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New user
Atlanta, Ga
65 Posts

Profile of maniac
How do you keep track of the chop cup??
How do you keep track of the chop cup ball??

Most quailty chop cups are large enough at the bottom to be able to drop both balls in and turn the cup over and only one ball will come out. This is a great way to start, displaying one ball show the cup empoy and drop the balls in the cup turn it over and take the ball out of the cup. I'll leave the rest up to you....

Good Magic
G. LaBarre
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Regular user
Vancouver, B.C. Canada
121 Posts

Profile of G. LaBarre
Dear Pete. Thanks. I will be thinking on this.

When I got into Magic, I bought three sets of gaffed cups/balls and kept the chop cups thinking I was a clever boy. (I sold the regular cups back to my friend at the shop to be sold as regular cup sets)

My thinking was that it wouldn't matter which cup I used with the right ball. But to my surprise, and disappointment, you just never knew if the ball was going to stick to the inside of the top cup or be attracted to the bottom of the bottom cup. So for most of the regular stacking moves, this wouldn't work. Unless you liked the element of surprise and liked being spontaneous.

But as you explained your idea of introducing the loaded balls later, this would be an effective final load/production sequence. Even the obviously non magnetic final loads like a hamster with a magnetic belt. KIDDING!

As in all things Magical, even though I had to discover this the expensive way, I truly enjoyed the path of discovery that comes from my failures as well as any successes. I still love experimentation and trying to do the imposssible.

It's OK to laugh, as I did at myself then too!
Glen Alan - "The HOW in your Magic should be Secondary to the WOW in your Magic."
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Inner circle
Bar Harbor, ME
2191 Posts

Profile of drwilson
From several of the above posts, it is evident that the young mage who wants a set of combo cups can get them used from someone who has moved on. At least mine were aluminum, and cheap.


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Inner circle
MIddle Tennessee area
1533 Posts

Profile of rickmagic1
Ok, I've wondered about this in the past, but is it my imagination or what? Didn't Ricky Jay use the combo set on his "52 Assistants" show?

Richard Green
The Modern Conjurer
Host of the Haunted Magic show at House of Cards Nashville!
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