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Topic: Cups & Balls
Message: Posted by: CardFan (Jun 16, 2003 05:45PM)
Could you help me finding real fine cups and balls (except the Johnson ones)?
I need your knowledge on adresses.
Thanks.
Message: Posted by: Vibono Magic (Jun 17, 2003 03:25AM)
El Duco's Golden cups are great this is the set I use and have used for the last 5-8 years. You can find the on his webpage at http://www.elduco.se

Jonas Karlsson
Vibono Magic
sweden
Message: Posted by: MagiUlysses (Jun 17, 2003 08:57AM)
Greetings and Salutations CardFan,

"Real fine cups" is pretty subjective, but I'll give it a shot.

I've got a beautiful set of Galli-Galli cups from Pete Biro, he's a regular visitor on this board. These are nice, heavy cups that are perfect for street work when finishing with a large load.

I also have a set of Bosco cups from Harries in Sweden. They are not quite as heavy but have a very Renaissance era look to them, which is important because I work at several fairs.

I found a cool deal from hocus pocus on a set of wooden "hindu" cups. They are not large or heavy, but I got them for the look I was going after for my wizard character.

I started off with a set of Morrisey cups and chop cup combo with which I learned the basic moves and an appreciation of the great magic possible with cups and balls.

OK, I didn't answer your question directly, but this is a short version of my opinion. Go to "the side walk shuffle." You'll find several lengthy discussions on this very topic.

Have fun.

Joe in KC

Live a great adventure, make magic happen!
Message: Posted by: Vibono Magic (Jun 17, 2003 10:54AM)
Sorry I gave you the wrong web adress it should be http://www.el-duco.se
Message: Posted by: Marcus Taylor (Jun 18, 2003 03:34PM)
My favourite cups and balls are Morrissey. I think they are great, and although I have tried others these are my favourite. :bluebikes:
Message: Posted by: CardFan (Jun 18, 2003 06:44PM)
Many thanks MagiUlysses, I will begin searching in these directions.

I would like to get a Johnson set and an extra chop cup. Are the colors of these 2 separate products matching each time ?

Bye
Message: Posted by: cfrye (Jun 20, 2003 07:33AM)
Yes, they are made from brass...mine are absolutely identical.
Message: Posted by: CardFan (Jun 20, 2003 05:06PM)
Can you load a tennis ball in your set ?
Message: Posted by: Danny Magic (Sep 6, 2003 10:58PM)
Take a look at the sisti cups. They come in brass and chrome. The are a nice size and they appear small on the outside when producing a final load.
Message: Posted by: Pete Biro (Sep 10, 2003 11:36PM)
Go to http://www.jamesriser.com and to his "how to select cups and balls" pages.

This is the bible.
Message: Posted by: MJ Marrs (Sep 14, 2003 12:22AM)
The Riser website is awesome! Even though Mr. Riser manufactures his own sets of cups, he offers a very objective presentation of lots of different types of cups. In fact, I ordered a set of the Brett Sherwood cups, sight unseen, because Mr. Riser and Mr. Biro gave them glowing recommendations. I guess that I'm going to have to find other things to spend my money on besides magic, since I now have two of the nicest sets of cups on the planet: Porper and Sherwood. :applause:
Message: Posted by: Dougini (Sep 16, 2003 10:40AM)
I have the Morrissey cups and it's a fine set. I think I paid $30-35, and they're the combo set, but I use regular knit balls, as I lose track of the gimmicked ball & cup.

I think I mentioned in another thread, that Pete Biro's is one I'd have, if money were not an issue. The question you have to ask yourself is:

"Am I getting these to show, or collect?"

Poorly made cups do not perform well (Riser's site explains this), but you don't need to spend $50 - $400 to have a nice set. Morrissey cups are fine. The impact is the same, and the audience (most of the time) are not impressed by flashy props. in fact, the more ordinary-looking, the better. I believe David Williamson (check me on this) does it with coffee cups. Killer effect!

As for the Morrissey, and the finer cups (Biro's, Riser's), how do you explain the cups? The really ornate ones are good, because at least you can spin an "old cups found buried in Egypt" story and be believable. But the plainer-looking cups look like props...in fact, if I spent $200+ on a set, they'd be for my collection, rather than performance.

Great stuff!

Doug
Message: Posted by: MJ Marrs (Sep 18, 2003 12:09AM)
Well, it all boils down to what you want out of the cups. If you're mainly a private party or corporate magician performing for a clientele who are all wearing Rolex watches and driving BMW's and you pull out a flimsy set of aluminum cups, rather than a set of the Sherwoods, then you're kind of not really fitting in. Plus, these guys pull in enough dough to consider a $200+ set of cups a good investment. If you're just performing for family and friends, then of course you're perfectly o.k. using paper cups or whatever.

Personally, whether I'm performing for money or not on a particular evening, I like the feel and look of a nice set of cups. Plus, contrary to popular belief, the Porper and Sherwood cups are not merely collector's items. They are both perfectly balanced and VERY tough (even though they're extremely beautiful). I don't work the streets, however, so once again I'd say that it all comes down to what you want out of your cups. If I was working outside, then I'd go for a set of the $300+ Gazzo cups or something similar. Most street guys will make that back pretty quickly...Plus, seeing how the cups and balls is usually a closer, I really don't see a couple hundred dollars as a big deal.

A final thing to consider is whether you can get your desired final load into the cups. I started out, a long time ago, with a set of Morrisey cups. However, eventually I wanted to use real fruit as a final load. You're not going to get anything fruity, besides cherries and grapes, inside the Morrisey cups! :)
Message: Posted by: RobertBloor (Sep 18, 2003 01:01AM)
Definitely check out Riser's site. Fantastic thoughts on selecting a cup set.

As for which cups to use, let's look at it this way:

If you're dealing with luxury, some folks like Benz, Porche, Bentley, BMW.

That doesn't mean a Jeep isn't nice, or a Dodge won't work beautifully.

Me? I drive a Dodge.
But using Gazzo's cups is like performing with a Land Rover/Tank Hybrid. Can I get a witness!?!?!

Robert Bloor
Message: Posted by: kid iowa (Sep 18, 2003 06:28AM)
[quote]


Me? I drive a Dodge.
But using Gazzo's cups is like performing with a Land Rover/Tank Hybrid. Can I get a witness!?!?!

Robert Bloor
[/quote]

Holla!

Gazzo's cups are tough as a $2 steak and HUGE. Plus they have a funny accent.
Message: Posted by: RobertBloor (Sep 18, 2003 10:51AM)
[quote]kid iowa: Gazzo's cups are tough as a $2 steak and HUGE. Plus they have a funny accent.[/quote]

Thank heavens. I thought it was just the voices in my head.

Robert Bloor
Message: Posted by: Gazzo (Sep 22, 2003 02:46AM)
Well, it all boils down to what you want out of the cups. If you're mainly a private party or corporate magician performing for a clientele who are all wearing Rolex watches and driving BMW's and you pull out a flimsy set of aluminum cups, rather than a set of the Sherwoods, then you're kind of not really fitting in. Plus, these guys pull in enough dough to consider a $200+ set of cups a good investment. If you're just performing for family and friends, then of course you're perfectly o.k. using paper cups or whatever.

Personally, whether I'm performing for money or not on a particular evening, I like the feel and look of a nice set of cups. Plus, contrary to popular belief, the Porper and Sherwood cups are not merely collector's items. They are both perfectly balanced and VERY tough (even though they're extremely beautiful). I don't work the streets, however, so once again I'd say that it all comes down to what you want out of your cups. If I was working outside, then I'd go for a set of the $300+ Gazzo cups or something similar. Most street guys will make that back pretty quickly...Plus, seeing how the cups and balls is usually a closer, I really don't see a couple hundred dollars as a big deal.

A final thing to consider is whether you can get your desired final load into the cups. I started out, a long time ago, with a set of Morrisey cups. However, eventually I wanted to use real fruit as a final load. You're not going to get anything fruity, besides cherries and grapes, inside the Morrisey cups! :)
[/quote]well said MJMARRS
Message: Posted by: Pete Biro (Sep 22, 2003 10:45AM)
Gazzman... welcome and see you soon in Hollyweird.
Stay tooned... :banana: :band:
Message: Posted by: Kenn Capman (Sep 22, 2003 10:47AM)
Considering that most laymen don't have ANY frame of reference to what a 'magic' prop is supposed to look like, I don't think they would turn their noses up at an aluminum set of cups.

Laymen can only tell something that looks heavy and presumably expensive, from something that looks lightweight. (lightweight is not necessarily chep anymore. Ever priced out an iPod?)

As long as the routine is well executed and entertaining, laymen won't care if you used dixie cups and napkin wads or a set of holy grail replicas and platinum balls with cashmere crocheted covers.
Message: Posted by: Gazzo (Sep 22, 2003 03:06PM)
Thank you Pete, yes will be there soon 20 - 26 bring your wife as she's a lot better to look at than Ron Wilson.
Message: Posted by: Steve Dela (Sep 27, 2003 06:27AM)
The best cups I have ever used are Auke Van Dokkums!
wow these are very good!
they will last for ever no daubt.
http://www.cupsandballs.nl
worth every penny and will take a full size tennis ball as the final load!
hope this helps
Steve Dela
P.S they do matching chop cup!
Message: Posted by: Ron Giesecke (Sep 27, 2003 12:33PM)
http://www.jesmagic.com

Nuff said
Message: Posted by: bwalder (Sep 27, 2003 01:25PM)
Could go on forever about the Riser cups, Gazzo/Animal, Sherwood, JES, Van Dokkum, etc, etc - but they are all high quality high-priced items.

If you want a GOOD set to start with, although the Morrisey ones are OK, I would actually go with the Bazaar de Magica (sp?) copper set. Nicely weighted, well-sized, and well designed with a good-sized attic - and as cheap - if not cheaper - than the Morrisey ones. :cups:
Message: Posted by: James Harrison (Sep 29, 2003 08:09AM)
[quote]
The impact is the same, and the audience (most of the time) are not impressed by flashy props. in fact, the more ordinary-looking, the better. I believe David Williamson (check me on this) does it with coffee cups. Killer effect!

[/quote]

Actually, if you read Michael Ammar's book on the cups and balls, you'll actually read that David Williamson didn't like the result that came from using the coffee cups. To him, it didn't seem magicial enough.


I would say get the best you can afford. The cheaper cups are less exspensive, but you get what you pay for.


I'm saving my penny's for some Gazzo cups. Man I hope they are still around when I have enough for them.


Has anyone seen Johnny Paul do his Cups and balls? Truely an excellent routine to watch. And excellent audience management!
Message: Posted by: Pete Biro (Sep 29, 2003 12:46PM)
Johnny Paul's routine is one of the best all time routines... (not for the street, tho)... that is why I manufactured the perfect cups for Johnny's routine.

If you have not seen it, get the low cost video from http://www.stevensmagic.com (I think it is the cups and balls teach in tape)...

Then order the cups!!!

:band:
Message: Posted by: WandSpin (Sep 29, 2003 01:19PM)
Johhny's routine is great. uses a chop cop as one of the cups.
Message: Posted by: Jeff Dial (Sep 29, 2003 11:43PM)
[quote]
On 2003-09-29 14:19, WandSpin wrote:
Johhny's routine is great. uses a chop cop as one of the cups.


[/quote]

Actually there are no chop cups in Johnny's routine as his cups pre-dated and were the inspiration for the Chop Cup.

My source is Pete Biro so it must be right. ;)
Message: Posted by: Pete Biro (Sep 30, 2003 02:18AM)
Johnny Paul used a 2-inch sponge ball with a cup designed to "grab" the ball off the top of another cup, and it would "dislodge" when placed down "smartly."

He designed and had a limited number of cups made.

Joe Stevens, who owned the rights to the Paul Routine sells the correct cups to do this, that I had manufactured. By coincidence the metalworker's father was the one that made the first cups for Chop Chop (Al Wheatley) so named "The Chop Cup."

Wheatley saw Paul do his routine and it gave him the idea for the Chop Cup.

:cups:
Message: Posted by: Ron Giesecke (Oct 12, 2003 09:50AM)
I'll say it now. The first person that designs a set of aluminum cups that are fatter, with a low center of gravity (like a paul fox cup) will make a killing.

I am loathe to understand why all aluminum cups have to be tall and gangly, just waiting to sail off the table with the slightest bump.

The JES cups are virtually identical to the Paul Fox cups. If could do it, I'd make Paul Fox-ish aluminums and outsell everybody else. I'd even buy a set from myself.
Message: Posted by: Tspall (Oct 12, 2003 06:34PM)
I just bought an aluminum set from magictricks.com and they are very nice! I'll admit they probably aren't the best set you could ever buy but they feel very solid and sturdy. The price was also very reasonable (a little less than $20).
:cups:
Message: Posted by: Steve Oxford (Nov 3, 2003 04:47PM)
Has anyone bought the Magic Makers cups yet? I saw the ad in Magic magazine and they look sweet. I'm sure the quality will be top notch like their other items, but no one seems to have them yet. Where are they????
S.
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Dec 20, 2003 01:06PM)
[quote]
On 2003-09-18 01:09, MJ Marrs wrote:
Well, it all boils down to what you want out of the cups. If you're mainly a private party or corporate magician performing for a clientele who are all wearing Rolex watches and driving BMW's and you pull out a flimsy set of aluminum cups, rather than a set of the Sherwoods, then you're kind of not really fitting in. Plus, these guys pull in enough dough to consider a $200+ set of cups a good investment. If you're just performing for family and friends, then of course you're perfectly o.k. using paper cups or whatever.

Personally, whether I'm performing for money or not on a particular evening, I like the feel and look of a nice set of cups. Plus, contrary to popular belief, the Porper and Sherwood cups are not merely collector's items. They are both perfectly balanced and VERY tough (even though they're extremely beautiful). I don't work the streets, however, so once again I'd say that it all comes down to what you want out of your cups. If I was working outside, then I'd go for a set of the $300+ Gazzo cups or something similar. Most street guys will make that back pretty quickly...Plus, seeing how the cups and balls is usually a closer, I really don't see a couple hundred dollars as a big deal.

A final thing to consider is whether you can get your desired final load into the cups. I started out, a long time ago, with a set of Morrisey cups. However, eventually I wanted to use real fruit as a final load. You're not going to get anything fruity, besides cherries and grapes, inside the Morrisey cups! :)
[/quote]

I wonder how these fellows wearing the Rolexes are going to know that your Morrissey cups did not cost $200. If they are wearing Rolexes, chances are they have a real job and aren't working magicians!

I don't think I would take my Sherwoods to ANY party. As far as I'm concerned, they are "cabinet" pieces. I've had more damage done to fine props at parties that were catered for people wearing Rolexes than I have anywhere else EXCEPT renaissance festivals.

Seriously, a set of Johnson cups or any other nice looking set of cups is perfectly acceptable at ANY party. Besides, is the magic about your cups or about you?
Message: Posted by: Lee Darrow (Dec 20, 2003 01:16PM)
Bill, on the cups quality issue and the Rolex Raiders, I have to respectfully disagree with you.

Quality is obvious to the eye, even of someone who is not on the inside of our art.

One does not do the fun, Inc plastic cups (the three colored ones) at a party at the White House unless there is a very specific reason for doing so that relates directly to the prop iself.

While I agree that damage to props occurrs, that's part of the price of doing business.

I also learned a long time ago that the better quality the prop happens to have, the more reliable it will tend to work, the more durable it is and the more impressive it will be to the audience.

However, I also agree that certain props are collector's items and, as such, should be protected. That's why I have 2 sets of the heavy copper "It's A Man's Cup" sets from Magic, Inc. They are pure copper, weigh a ton and I have one for performances and one for show.

It's costly, but when I bring them out, the audience usually gasps at their beauty and quality.

But I could be wrong, too!

respectfully,

Lee Darrow, C.Ht.
http://www.leedarrow.com
Message: Posted by: videoman (Dec 20, 2003 08:09PM)
[quote]
It's costly, but when I bring them out, the audience usually gasps at their beauty and quality.

[/quote]

Wow, really???? Your audiences physically gasp at the sight of your cups??? You must have one helluva magnificent set of cups!!!

But seriously, no offense intended, but I find this rather hard to believe. These must be magicians or someone who could appreciate your cups. You could show most lay folks a Sherwood cup and they would go "yeah (yawn) so what's the big deal, its a cup?"

Who are your performing for, native African tribes? LOL jusst kidding.

Best,
Bill :cups:
Message: Posted by: thumbslinger (Dec 21, 2003 01:12AM)
I'm just now getting back into learning cups and balls and get this: for practice use I found three votive candle holders at Michaels (a craft shop) here in LA which were marked down to $1.50 each.

They're a little shorter than a typical Paul Fox cup but are a heavy glass chrome coated on the outside and have a shiny metallic magenta color on the inside.

They don't stack cleanly with a ball hidden, but as I said they're for practice and are working fine for now.

Then, I found two heavy brass candle holders from India in a shop for $3.00 with a recessed hole in the base - opposite the bowl of course....a trip to a hardware store for some magnets and voila...chop city!

The chopper looks like an antique that costs a ton and the votive candle holders look marvelous sitting on top of a nice, svelt black surface.!! :lol:
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Dec 21, 2003 03:15AM)
[quote]
On 2003-12-20 14:16, Lee Darrow wrote:
Bill, on the cups quality issue and the Rolex Raiders, I have to respectfully disagree with you.

Quality is obvious to the eye, even of someone who is not on the inside of our art.

One does not do the fun, Inc plastic cups (the three colored ones) at a party at the White House unless there is a very specific reason for doing so that relates directly to the prop iself.

While I agree that damage to props occurrs, that's part of the price of doing business.

I also learned a long time ago that the better quality the prop happens to have, the more reliable it will tend to work, the more durable it is and the more impressive it will be to the audience.

However, I also agree that certain props are collector's items and, as such, should be protected. That's why I have 2 sets of the heavy copper "It's A Man's Cup" sets from Magic, Inc. They are pure copper, weigh a ton and I have one for performances and one for show.

It's costly, but when I bring them out, the audience usually gasps at their beauty and quality.

But I could be wrong, too!

respectfully,

Lee Darrow, C.Ht.
http://www.leedarrow.com
[/quote]

I wouldn't take a really cheap set of cups to any party unless it was one where I wasn't getting paid enough to risk taking a decent set. However, I would take my Van Dokkum cups just about anywhere. They are quite beautiful and as close to indestructible as you can find. Every time I show them to anyone, even just as a curiosity, they remark about how good they look. They are solid stainless steel.

I do like the "It's a Man's Cups," but they aren't my favorite for performance. I like to use a bit larger ball than they will hold comfortably, especially for the final loads.
Message: Posted by: KirkG (Dec 21, 2003 12:52PM)
Ok Here are my two cents. And I may ramble. What you pay for the cups is irrelevent! Penguin, JES, Paul Fox, all will look the same to the audience. David Regal gets good mileage out of the $2.00 plastic set by Adams. See his routine to understand why.

Whatever cups you use, should fit your performance style, personality and perhaps time frame. When I work at Ren Faires and most everywhere, I use my tarnished copper Danny Dew Paul Fox cups. While no one gasps, the are intrigued by these unusual cups. I have used the Ring and Things Aluminum cups and no one ever complained and all still gasped when the hamster made his appearance(hence the need for the taller cup).

When I perform for the Tuxedo set, I want all my props to look polished and clean, so I am attracted to the Sherwood cups. I am saving my money and will get a set. My wife may beat me to it and buy a set for me, gotta love her. She once tried to order me a set of Stainles Paul Fox, but they were sold out. Since then I have handled a few stainless cups sets and I don't care for them. This is a personal taste thing, the weight is just not right for me. I also find the Johnson cups too heavy.

If I was going to recommend a cup, I would recommend the JES cups as they are a pretty good copy of a Paul Fox. They are a good weight and can either be polished or allowed to tarnish. I favor the tarnished look myself. I don't like the look of tarneshed brass so that let's out the Johnson cup in my book. The Penguin cups I would only buy if you can handle them and choose the set you want, to insure they work well.

The Paul Fox style maximizes the impact of the final loads due to the optical illusion that the load is bigger than the cup. Although you cannot fit a full size tennis ball inside, they also make more of an unsitely bulge in your pants pocket. Never load from your side coat pocket unless you just don't care what you look like.

All of these cups could be plated with silver or copper or whatever, to help you get the look you want. I was about to engrave and silver plate a set of Paul Fox so the arrival of the Sherwood cups on the market was fortuitous. I have handled two of those sets and they are a pleasure to work with.

I would caution and recommend that you don't use the balls that come with the set unless you have extreamly large hands. One inch balls are fine and fit most hands better. Of course this all depends on the routine, but as a general rule, that is my recommendation.

I also encourage tightly woven crochet balls, not the fuzzy loose knit style that is around today.

Kirk Grodske
Message: Posted by: Lee Darrow (Dec 21, 2003 01:34PM)
Videoman (Bill), yes, they actually look at those monsters and show some surprise and make impressed noises. The "It's A Man's Cup" are massive copper cups that, when polished, look like red gold.

They weigh a ton and make a wonderful sound when uou ping them with a wand or the like.

However, I don't use them all that much as I have a custom set of combo cups in heavy copper that I often use as well - engraved and antique looking.

Take a look at my web page for who I work for. It's not primitive tribals, that's for sure (though some of them sometimes ACT like they are!) ;) Some companies that you might have heard of - Amoco Oil (now BP), Oprah, Serta Mattress, Siemans, Sandals Resorts, Discover Card Services, McDonald's, Weber Grill, the Chicago Bulls, KPMG - you get the idea. No flame, just info.

Kirk - I agree, the cups should fit your style, as I said in my post (sorry if I wasn't all that clear on that) But, in working for high level corporate types, I want my props to look like they cost a small fortune - it helps justify my fees! ;)

To each his (or her!) own. But I learned a long time ago that if you want to make money, you have to look like you HAVE money.

Happy holidays,

Lee Darrow, C.Ht.
http://ww.leedarrow.com
Message: Posted by: MJ Marrs (Dec 21, 2003 04:29PM)
Another thing to consider is how you feel about your props. One of my best friends is a medical doc. He spends all day writing. He could just as well use a $3.99 Papermate instead of his $200 Pelikan. However, he likes the look and feel of the more expensive pen, even though there's no difference in the writing.

Even if the folks I work for couldn't see the quality of my skill, presentation, and props (they can), I'd still go for the best. Afterall, I'm not doing magic just to make money. There are lots of ways to make dough. I love magic (and my Sherwood cups)! Sometimes you do what makes you feel good. Do I need a therapist because of my obsession with quality magic props? Maybe. But I know that my doctor friend has spent thousands of dollars on his pen collection. I look at myself as a professional as well, so I try my best to pay attention to detail in all areas of my magic, even my props. Merry Christmas!!! :)
Message: Posted by: Mr. Muggle (Dec 22, 2003 12:53AM)
One thing that I've learnt is that quality lasts through the years, and IMO most audiences can see quality in our props. So I won't use something I see as cheap unless there is a perfect reason for it.

For myself, I like to give my audience the best impression that they have purchased quality in hiring me over another performer. However like Kirk said, the most important thing to do is to have your cups match your style. But then again in retrospect sometimes non-congruent items do work in your favor.

Take the Benson bowl routine for example- I don't know many people who would do it with a $500 china bowl (no matter what style they had) at a high class party. But I have seen top quality performers do the routine with all sorts of props from wooden bowls, to hats, to Kleenex (sp?) box covers.

So in the end, I guess its back to that old thing called personal preference. To each his own, after all IMO our own unique personal philosophies are usually a contributing factor to our differences in magic & performance style.


MM
Message: Posted by: Doug Conn (Dec 22, 2003 08:54AM)
Gary Animal has some superb deals (while they last) over on http://www.magicpitch.com

Gazzo "Respins" $125
(if you want a BIG cup, these are for you.)

Animal originals (small tops) $99

IMO: these are the best deal(s) on cups.
I own both sets... they're GREAT.
Message: Posted by: GaryW (Dec 28, 2003 12:11PM)
[quote]
On 2003-12-20 21:09, videoman wrote:
Wow, really???? Your audiences physically gasp at the sight of your cups??? You must have one helluva magnificent set of cups!!!
[/quote]

I've never had anyone gasp at the sight of my cups, but they do gasp when I show them my balls! ;)

Sorry for the bad humor, but that was just out there waiting... :)

:wow: