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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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chrisrkline
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OK, OK, I was wrong. Smile I should have remembered that aluminum cups probably did not even exist in the early part of the century and that unless I take a poll, I should not over generalize. I still think that, although you can and should use the cups you like, it is best for people newer to cup and balls to listen to those here who have the most experience with a wide range in types of cups--including lightweight aluminum.
Chris
MagiUlysses
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Greetings and Salutations,

Hey, my Morrisey aluminum combo set was the best money I ever spent, and that doesn't include the cab fair that nearly tripled the price of those cups. That, however, is another story.

While I don't think I've even had the cups out of their bag in a couple of years, they introduced me to the coolest magic on the planet! Those little Morriseys were my introduction to the cups and balls and with them I set about learning my first routines.

Those cups, however, would not last long in my current routine -- lots of banging of cups and wacking them with the magic stick! But I wouldn't trade them. Of course, I wouldn't trade my Boscos, Gali-Galis, Gazzos, Animals , Pheonix and not even my Magic Makers.

If aluminum cups make you happy, be happy. Me, I like my heavy copper cups and the beautiful patinas they develop with use.

Is there a reason to spend big bucks on a set, that depends on you and your magic.

That's my $.02 (USD) worth. Of course, YMMV.

Joe in KC

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Bill Palmer
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Well said, Joe.

Nobody can really say, "You are wrong because you like aluminum cups" or "You are wrong because you like copper cups." And nobody can state a motive for someone's use of say, Paul Fox cups, other than a personal preference.

Just as an example, Paul Gertner used Paul Fox cups for a long time. Then he switched to Johnson cups, because he liked the sound the brass cups made when they struck the big ball bearings. Now he is using the Van Dokkum Jumbo cups in brass. They have a marvelous sound. So he has a very specific reason for his preference. An aluminum cup won't give you that deep ring that a brass cup has.

I should also say that there are some good aluminum cups that have been manufactured over the years. There were very few sets of Paul Fox cups made in aluminum. Danny Dew had a very difficult time getting anyone to spin a good aluminum set.

I'm getting ready to do some major overhauling on my cups and balls pages (again!). I'm going to arrange the cups in what one might call "chronological order." That is, I will try to arrange them in the order that the styles were developed. This way, the logical progression from the old-fashioned straight sided cups to the more modern domed cups will be fairly well evident.
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Wayne Hackler
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I am satisfied with the aluminum cups that I have...for now. The major benefit at this point is I can learn and improve my skills without going bankrupt. If they get damaged a little, I won't be out much. The only problem that I have with them is that sometimes they don't want to seperate too easily. Maybe someone has a suggestion to correct this. They aren't damaged at all.
Bill Palmer
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First of all, check them for roundness. Sometimes when they get out of round, they will lodge together. Aluminum is soft enough that you can sometimes reshape it a little by hand. A heavy glass soft drink bottle is tapered and can serve as a kind of mandrel, but I wouldn't hit it with a hammer or anything like that.

If you find that they stick together more easily in a certain order, then you might want to put a layer of paper between those two cups and twist them together a bit to slightly spread the cup that is too tight.

Otherwise, just don't push them together too hard.

Before you start trying to shape them, though, check the inside edge of the mouth of the cups for tiny burrs.
"The Swatter"

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rickmagic1
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This is one of those discussions that I think we can all agree falls under the "personal preference" heading. I have always preferred the copper cups. My set is the Bazar de Magia combo set (was a gift from a friend). Thanks to Bill Palmer and Frank Starsini, I'm using the felted balls that Frank custom-made for me. The routine I do is a variation of John Mendoza's and I'm completely happy with both the routine and the cups. I use this in a street performer routine that I do for Dickens Festivals.

I'd be interested to know what type of routines everyone uses.

Rick
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Frank Tougas
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Mr. Bill Palmer has a simply awesome collection of the cups and I would rely on him for history and advice regarding them. His treatise on the cups from the "Discovery of Witchcraft" is well worth a read.

Bill you pose an interesting question about whether or not the cups are to be ordinary or things of great mystic and magical value. I can see advantages and disadvantages of both.

Frank
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Bill Palmer
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Frank:

Actually, that treatise is from "Hocus Pocus, Junior."

But I appreciate your comments. And I thank you for your compliments.

One thing is certain -- there are more different styles of cups available today than at any other time in the history of our Art. If you don't see a set you like in one place, you will find it in another.

And in the end, what really counts is whether the audience enjoys your performance. If they do, your choice of cups, be they aluminum, plastic, cardboard, ceramic, silver, gold, cloth or cardboard is absolutely immaterial.

But you should enjoy working with whatever set of cups you chose to use.

And nobody should ever feel that they need to apologize for, or defend, the choice of cups they have made.
"The Swatter"

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Richard Evans
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This is largely about personal preference, but also about how your act develops. Of course aluminium cups are fine to start with, but you might want larger moresolid cups for street work, or more elegant cups for up-market close-up work. Dai Vernon famously had beautifully engraved silver cups - but these fitted perfectly with his persona, his status and his (importanly) his age. A white-haired gent in a tux with plastic cups would look just as out-of-place as a kid with a set of solid gold cups.

If you're happy with the cups that you've got then stick with them - but take the opportunity of trying out other people's cups when the chance arises.

With age comes an increasing desire to upgrade!
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rikbrooks
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I like the copper ones best because I can handle them differently. When I am starting the elevator routine with three cups in a line that I am going to stack with the middle on the bottom, I like to lift the two outside cups and throw them at the middle one. With practice they land directly on the middle cup and stack, one a half second after the other. It's just a flourish but I think it's like the fan for card workers. If I did that with aluminum cups they would soon be all scratched and misshapen.
MinnesotaChef
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One possibility that has not come up in regards to aluminium cups is making your own. The set I have I custom made on a lathe out of solid aluminium stock. Casting cups out of aluminum is also an option. Both of these procedures can usually be done at your local high school or tech college. A free show with inspiring message to a class or two is all it takes to get in the door. The shop teachers are usually willing to help you get started with the process, or put you in touch with a talented pupil who can help. It's not the easiest way to do it, but you wind up with a one of a kind set that you made with your own two hands.
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Bill Palmer
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A lot of this depends on where you are. Most tech schools around here generally don't have forges, so you don't see them doing much casting. And casting aluminum is not an easy process.

Also, the "tech" schools are now discouraging outside projects. This may sound strange, but I'll give an example. We have a high school here for the Performing and Visual Arts. The musicians here are really very good. So the band and orchestra teachers are approached from time to time to do custom recordings for people who are too cheap to pay for professional musicians. When they find out that the charges are almost twice what a union musician charges, they nearly faint!

Why? There are a couple of reasons. If they took on all the low priced outside projects, and undercut the union guys, the teachers would be booted out of the musician's union. The other reason is that they would be swamped with low priced recording and wouldn't have time for their regular projects.

However, I do have an alternative plan. If there is a Renaissance Festival in your area, often they will have a person who does metal casting. This person may be willing to cast you a set of cups in exchange for a show or magic lessons.

Myself? I'm not going to get within ten feet of molten brass or aluminum. I love my skin!
"The Swatter"

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My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

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junkdz
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Thanks for the info. I just got a set of Aluminum, will use for awhile & see how it goes
Montgomeryville Magician http://www.dzmagic.com Philadelphia Magician
Bill Palmer
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There is nothing wrong with aluminum cups to learn on.
"The Swatter"

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My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

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elgranmago
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Quote:
On 2004-07-19 03:07, gerard1973 wrote:
I like would like to know what the Magic Café members think about Aluminum Cups and Balls.


"Containers & Spheres" is one of the most praised 2 Cup C&B routines and is performed and explained at length on David Williamson´s video "Sleight of Dave", now available on DVD. It´s considered a classic.

Have a look at cups he uses : Morrisey ALUMINUM.

José
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Bill Palmer
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And your point is?
"The Swatter"

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TheAmbitiousCard
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If you have fun using them, then use whatever you want.
I had the crappy aluminum cups for a while and all I did was stack them up
in a corner. I hated even owning them. I hated everything about them.
They dented, the chop thingy fell out, they would not stack right, the
top of the cups were completely flat.

It was not until I got my first set of heavy copper cups that I started to work on a routine. The nice props provided just that much more excitement that the practice became fun and not a "how many bad words can I use to describe my cups" poetry reading.
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Bill Palmer
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O Cups!

How do I hate thee? Let me count the ways....
"The Swatter"

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My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

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steve j
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I can agree with you to a point however the price that you pay is relative to who you are and what your reason is to buy a set, if your income is based around magic then the expensive sets are probably the way to go being to way they look, however if its just a hobby, then aluminium or any of its substitutes woudl do
Bill Palmer
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Would you like to buy a punctuation mark? Smile

Seriously, I think I have kind of deciphered what you are trying to say, steve.

A lot of people who are hobbyists are also collectors. Collectors will have their own set of standards that they use when they purchase cups.

There are some copper sets that are not extremely expensive. For example, Uday and Bazar de Magia have sets in copper that are relatively inexpensive. They look and feel better than the aluminum sets.

And they don't dent quite as easily.
"The Swatter"

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My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

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