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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Ever so sleightly » » Aluminum Cups and Balls (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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gerard1973
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Michigan, U.S.A.
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I like would like to know what the Magic Café members think about Aluminum Cups and Balls.

I enjoy using my Aluminum Cups and Balls set. To me they are reasonably priced and are a better way of getting into Cups and Balls than buying a plastic set.

The major complaints against the Aluminum Cups and Balls that I have heard are; they are too light; they dent too easy; they do not stack well; and they reflect the ball in the interior surface. I do not have any problems with Aluminum Cups and Balls and they work fine with me.

To me it is ridiculous to pay hundreds of dollars for a Cups and Balls set. Brass, Copper and Leather Cups and Ball sets are nice but I cannot justify paying that price for a set. A higher cost does not necessarily make a set better.

What are your opinions and thoughts are concerning the Aluminum Cups and Balls?
"Confusion is not magic."
Dai Vernon
Dave V
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I think you're right... to a point.

Yes, they are better than plastic.

But a quality, heavy, matched set of Copper or other material cups will nearly always be better, and well worth the cost. It's not necessary to pay hundreds of dollars to get a quality set of cups. Look around on the Café, and you will find all sorts of references to good quality cups. You may notice however, that none of the ones mentioned as "quality" are aluminum. There's a reason.
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Bob Sanders
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Most of us have been proud owners of aluminum cups and balls at some stage. They do work. From there we get picky. It's just human nature.

As young rodeo cowboys we would be too broke to spend the night in a motel but there were brands of boots we just had to have. As a lobbyist and consultant I frequently see people with no retirement system, no life insurance and no savings to put the kids through college but they belong to the country club. We make choices. Some are for us and some are for others to see. Magic is definitely in the illusion business too. Props are one way we keep score among magicians.

When I was a young musical entertainer, my stage guitar had to be the brand the star endorsed. It was not the popular brand. I will say it was a grand guitar and one of four I kept from the early 60s. Last month Lucy and I spent several days at Disney and I learned that the guitar is worth more than our best car. But I'll never carry it on stage again. And it has nothing to do with the guitar. In 1987, I was in an automobile accident that did some serious damage to my left hand. A lesser guitar in the hands of a student that is using it is actually more valuable.

Aluminum cups and balls work. There are reasons some of the others work even better for some people. If aluminum cups become a problem for you, you'll change them. We simply don't need solutions to problems we don't have. I'm very proud of my collection of cups and balls. They stay safely well wrapped in the attic in Rubber Maid boxes. I haven't used them much in the last twenty years. No matter how prized they are, they aren't very useful for stage magic. Stage and dove magic is what I do most.

Enjoy your aluminum cups and balls. They haven't quit making the more expensive ones. If you ever really want them, get them then.

The magician is the important part now and later.

Bob
Magic By Sander
Bob Sanders

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the74rock
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The aluminum set is good for certain routines. I use a johnson set cause I do a j. ace palmer routine.
Burrich
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I wanted some cups just to have the classic of magic really. I don't have much interest in it but as a beginner set the Aluminium cups are pretty good.
Dk262
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R-N-T made a great regular set of Alluminum Cups a while back.

As a beginner or Learning set they work much better than a more expensive set and if they get dented in practice they are easily replaced.
The next step into a more pro set would be to get the Johnson Products cups or something similarly priced.
A good working set should cost around $150 to $250 and sholuld be able to stand a litle bit of abuse..errr umm working wear and tear is probably more apporpriate.
You used to be able to get a good Stainless Steel set for around $100 but I think those days are long gone now.
Later,
DK
Rupert Bair
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Why do street performers like copper cups so much, I think aluminum looks much more classy and more proffesional. Ive just bought some aluminum ones and I would be proud to take them on the street.
Matt
the74rock
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And you can watch them get blown to the ground.
Pete Biro
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They are only tools. If they work for WHAT YOU ARE DOING... THEN FINE.

You can buy brass and copper cups on ebay quite cheaply if you want to move "up" the cup food chain a notch.

If you wantn "fine" tools, save your money, then buy what you WANT.
STAY TOONED... @ www.pete-biro.com
Jim Wilder
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Quote:
On 2004-07-19 11:47, magic_matt wrote:
Why do street performers like copper cups so much, I think aluminum looks much more classy and more proffesional. Ive just bought some aluminum ones and I would be proud to take them on the street.
Matt


I had an aluminum set when I was younger. Then I obtained a set of copper cups around age 17. I immediately liked the way they felt in my hands better than the aluminums.

I found that the copper cups were less prone to fall over, and that they were more sturdy. Initially that was the reason I liked copper cups better.

Then, for no logical reason (I had an identical set- though not Phoenix), I bought a set of Phoenix Cups about 3 years ago. They were just like the copper cups I already had. Still, I found myself addicted to the Phoenix Cups.

Yet, one year later Chef Anton contacted me about a set of Gazzo Cups... by this point my addiction I found was critical. I bought Gazzo Cups and still go back and forth between those and the Phoenix Cups depending on "exact" performing conditions.

The short answer is that now, I can not "feel" the aluminum cups in my hands due to their weight. They look fine, but it is just a personal preference (though I have a set of Aluminum Morrissey Mini's that I will never part with). Plus, they are louder and I am guilty of cup abuse. I am quite rough with them- Aluminum would not stand up to that kind of treatment.
what
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It's not just the weight, but the shape and balance of the cups that counts. I started with plastic cups, purchased some aluminum ones, and now have a less expensive set of copper ones.
I wouldn't have known what I wanted in copper cups until I worked with a few routines and other cups for a few years.

I recommend using plastic cups from the grocery store to start (I still use them quite often, even though I have alternatives, because they fit the routine so well) If you already have aluminum cups, then work up a routine and perform it. You might be perfectly satisfied with your cups, or you might want something a little different.
Final loads are the same way. I have spent countless hours and a few dollars fussing with final loads. I have settled on a set of loads for now, but, as we all know to well, the needs will change.

Enjoy,

Mike
Magic is fun!!!
Bill Palmer
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Aluminum cups are fine to learn with, but they are limited by the softness of the material and their lightness. A good gust of wind can blow them right off a table, if you are working in the street.

While it may seem ridiculous to pay hundreds of dollars for a set of copper cups, until you have actually handled a set of perfectly balanced copper cups, you can't understand why they cost as much as they do. The Sherwood copper cups have a feel to them that can only be described in one word -- "perfect." There are moves that you can do with them that are difficult to do with some other cups. And a set of copper cups with a really nice brown patina on them is a thing of beauty.

The Phoenix cups are good for street work. You can bang them around without any thought as to what will happen to them. If you like the Phoenix cups, you will love the Charlie Miller cups -- there's a set of them on eBay right now.

Gazzo Cups and Gary Animal Cups are excellent. They are quite heavy and are hard to beat in the environment they were designed for.

If you prefer the look of stainless steel, the Van Dokkum cups are right up your alley. Prepare to pay some serious bucks for them, though.

The Bazar de Magia cups in copper or brass are very good. They have a nice weight to them, and are priced at a reasonable level.

And don't overlook the Galli-Galli cups in copper or nickel plate for street work. They are a little lighter than the Gazzo cups, but have enough weight to be very good cups for the purpose. Michael Lee's Millenium Cups are also very good.

If you consider inflation, though, the cups people are paying hundreds of bucks for these days haven't actually increased in price much at all. For example, a set of Rings 'n' Things stainless steel Monti cups cost about $75.00 in 1972. That's about $500 in modern money. And that's not far off of what a set of CNC machined Van Dokkum stainless cups will cost you.

There are good cups out there for everyone.
"The Swatter"

Founder of CODBAMMC

My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

www.cupsandballsmuseum.com
el toro
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I have both aluminium and copper cups, and I prefer the latter. However I am not sure all the arguments in favor of the more expensive cups are valid. For example: "A wind gust can blow the aluminium cups away". Really? If it is this windy, can you really perform the C&B. I guess the balls are lighter than the aluminium cups and would be all over the street. My point is: you can do a perfect routine with the cheapest cups, but some performers look at these cups as a woman look at her jewelry. The more expensive, the more they love it. And honestly, some of the expensive cups are just beautiful, so beautiful that I would never take them to the street !!!
Bill Palmer
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Actually, those of us who perform outdoors have experience with the problem. I have had cups blow over, but never have had a ball blow off the table.

Good, heavy balls are the ticket.

I would never use my gold Sherwoods on the street, but my Paul Fox Chick cups are a different story. I'd probably use the Gazzo cups, though, because I like them better.
"The Swatter"

Founder of CODBAMMC

My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

www.cupsandballsmuseum.com
chrisrkline
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I have a set of Aluminum and then I went up one level to a set of Morrisey Copper and Magic Makers Brass. Once I tried the heavier cups, I have never for a moment thought about going back. It is not just the wind factor, the weight makes them easier to work with under all conditions. My next step will be a set of street cups, either Animal, Gazzo, or Galli-Galli.

I don't polish my aluminum, but they became pretty scruffy looking after a short while. My Brass will polish very nicely and the patina of the copper is classic. They both look more professional than the aluminum.
Chris
Frank Tougas
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I have used Morrissey Aluminum cups for years and don't regret them. Yes heavier cups make things easier for a performer but much of the cups and ball madness has more to do with magician's egos and/or collectability than anything else. It is your routine that should shine, the cups are supposed to be ordinary and incidental.

Frank
Frank Tougas The Twin Cities Most "Kid Experienced" Children's Performer :"Creating Positive Memories...One Smile at a Time"
Bill Palmer
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Are they supposed to be ordinary and incidental? Or are they supposed to be magical and mysterious? Doesn't that depend entirely on how YOU present the cups and balls?

Some people are fixated on one aspect of the cups and balls. There is one fellow who feels that if you can't drink out of it, it isn't a cup. I disagree. You probably can't drink out of a trophy cup, or a bra cup, or any number of other kinds of cups that all of us encounter in daily life. But that single aspect of it seems to be a fixation of his.

Others, are fixated on the idea of performing the cups and balls with the cups they find at a party. Hey! That's fine -- it didn't start with Bob Read, either, BTW.

Granted, I have sets in my collection that I probably will never perform with. But I also have sets that you can look at, and when you see them you will realize that whoever owned them before I got them worked with them a lot, and treasured them.

But I am a cup collector, and by dint of that, I also preserve the history of the cups I have.

But I'm not going to let some kind of silly pride in the idea that I would handicap ease of performance by using a set of cups that is more difficult to work with than the best set I have in my collection.

For me, if I'm performing under normal conditions, it would be the copper Sherwoods that I would perform with. They handle better than anything else on the market, and take a very large load in comparison to their size.
"The Swatter"

Founder of CODBAMMC

My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

www.cupsandballsmuseum.com
chrisrkline
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Bill, I do know some people who will drink out of a bra cup (well I don't know them...) Smile

Anyway, I will add the obvious--use the cups you like. But for those who have only used Aluminum, remember nearly every great cup and ball magician started with the aluminum. So they are familiar with lighter aluminum as well as the heavier copper and brass cups. They have more experience with the routines and the cups. You don't have to listen to them or take their advice, but it is a wee tad pretentious to assume that you know why they like the cups they use. All I assume is that we all bought the aluminum because they were relatively inexpensive.
Chris
Bill Palmer
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I don't think that is true at all. I seriously doubt that Dai Vernon started with aluminum cups. I actually believe that more people started with plastic cups than anything else.

But the very first set of cups I ever owned was a set of P&L copper cups. Not that I'm a great cups and balls performer -- I don't make that claim at all.

The first set of aluminum cups I ever owned was a set of National Water Cups, which were totally useless.
"The Swatter"

Founder of CODBAMMC

My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

www.cupsandballsmuseum.com
Dave V
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My first real set were Morrissey copper cups. I never liked them much, even when I didn't know why.

I take that back, I probably had a set of plastic cups as a kid, but they never made it beyond kid's play and a Cub Scout meeting or two.
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