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Topic: 1.75" vs. 2.0"
Message: Posted by: ftlum (Aug 13, 2011 01:46PM)
Hi All.

After reading through a lot of threads on multiplying billiard ball sizes, it seems like 2.0" is the most often recommended one.
However, if you're strolling or doing more parlor type distances (as opposed to stage), is 1.75" preferable? I think someone mentioned that the shell's bad angles are worse for a 2" ball when you're up close.

thanks in advance,

Message: Posted by: Michael Baker (Aug 13, 2011 02:22PM)
How bad the angle is, is going to depend on how sharp of an angle you have to deal with. This can be critical for either size, because an oblique view of the shell will produce an image that is less round and more football shaped. This of course would probably be more pronounced the larger the ball is. There are techniques such as modified finger and body positions that help deal with the problems. I recall some such advice in "Al Leach's Legacy".

The main concern is how efficiently can you work with either size. Larger balls require a little more cover during palms (i.e. larger hands, or more precise hand positions). This is a consideration long before taking the shell into account. Most adult men could hide a tennis ball in their hand if the viewing angle is correct. This doesn't mean though, that you could effectively hide one in the course of a routine where the hand is usually in motion.

Best way to know, is to go buy a 2" wooden ball at Michael's or Hobby Lobby. Practice with it for awhile just to check your angles. This might give you a better idea what size is best for you.
Message: Posted by: Bill Hegbli (Aug 13, 2011 03:04PM)
This question has been asked previously on the Café, a search will reveal this recent disscussion here: http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=414890&forum=10&38

Frank L., you said in another forum ( http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=427103&forum=10&43 ) that you were looking for inexpensive Billiard Ball set. Now I see, you are inquiring about 2" Billiard Balls which you know you claim you cannot afford to purchase. So why are we discussing this, if you cannot purchase a 2" set of Billiard Balls. These sets, whether wood or Fakini, will cost over a $100.00 plus. That is a far cry from $20.00.

Have you decided to take the plunge and go for a good set of Fakini Balls. Here you go, only $155.00 postage paid. http://www.stevensmagic.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=88_90_45&products_id=2525

Here is one of best DVDs on Billiard Balls, Ultimate Guide to Billiard Balls, only $65.00 postage paid.

Maybe we should discuss things you can afford, like Thimbles and Playing Cards. Thimbles are $4.00 for a dozen and Playing Cards can cost as low as $1.00.

Also I would never do Billiard Balls strolling, it is not practical, there are so many other tricks that is more suited to this type of magic presentation. A good street magician or busker, will put his back to a wall or monument for cover. Thus not strolling, but working in one place.

I wish you well in your choice, it is a hard decision at times.
Message: Posted by: ftlum (Aug 13, 2011 08:07PM)
Thanks. I did end up getting the Levent DVDs. They were incredible and I see why they're so highly regarded. I'm probably going to start with the Vernets and stop by Michael's to see how a 2" ball would handle. I've got average sized hands, being 5'9".

I did find a post where Frank (from theambitiouscard) mentioned he developed a strolling routine and that he actually decided to move back to 1.75" rather than the 2" he'd been using, but it seems like more folks pick the larger size. I'd be curious to know if anyone else "downsized". I'd hate to spring for Fakinis and end up getting another sized set later.

BTW, I don't see red Fakinis or Vernets listed. Are they not made for some reason?

- Frank
Message: Posted by: carbone1853 (Aug 13, 2011 08:46PM)
People like to use the larger ones on stage because the 1.75 look small on stage. If your going to do this strolling then 1.75 is fine.

Message: Posted by: Anatole (Aug 13, 2011 09:20PM)
Keep in mind, too, that white billiard balls tend to _look_ larger than red billiard balls of the same diameter. This "illusion" may be due to the fact that white reflects more light onto the retina than red does.

----- Amado "Sonny" Narvaez
Message: Posted by: JNeal (Aug 13, 2011 11:40PM)
, Frank L. wrote:
I don't see red Fakinis or Vernets listed. Are they not made for some reason?

Fakini's used to be offered in a perfect 'fire engine red' (that was the description that Frank Radtke used over 30 years ago!).
He really stopped making them for general sale.You could cajole him and he'd reluctantly make a set. He did for me, and also for Levent and others. The reason he didn't like making them was the dye used took twice as much of the color relative to other shades, and it set slower and was more expensive.

It also took so long to 'cure' and leached out an oily residue for a while after purchase...giving them a different texture...at least back when he made them for me.

On a side note; I too am only 5'9" , and have relatively small hands...but had no problems with 2 1/4" 'full size' billiards...My advice is stay with the larger sizes...the effect is worth the effort.
Message: Posted by: JamesinLA (Aug 14, 2011 05:21PM)
I've never heard of anyone doing billard balls as a strolling effect. How could that work? It's a stage/stand up effect.

Regarding ball size and working angles, Levent and J Neal discussed this on their podcast which is availble for free on Levent's website.

Message: Posted by: ftlum (Aug 14, 2011 06:21PM)
I PM'd Frank Starsini about his strolling routine. Thanks for the tip on the podcast; I'll check it out.

I looked at Steven's listings for 1.75", which does have "Rocket Red". Is that any different than "Fire Engine red"? http://www.stevensmagic.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=88_90_45&products_id=2522

- Frank
Message: Posted by: Bill Hegbli (Aug 14, 2011 06:34PM)
On 2011-08-14 19:21, Frank L. wrote:
I PM'd Frank Starsini about his strolling routine. Thanks for the tip on the podcast; I'll check it out.

I looked at Steven's listings for 1.75", which does have "Rocket Red". Is that any different than "Fire Engine red"? http://www.stevensmagic.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=88_90_45&products_id=2522

- Frank

Yes, they are all different color hues. I suggest you call or email Stevens Magic for details. Talk to Mark for best advice.
Message: Posted by: ftlum (Aug 18, 2011 05:25PM)
It turns out "Rocket Red" really looks more like pink. Is there a contact email for Mr. Radtke's son? I'm wondering if I can get "Fire Engine" red made. I suppose the alternative would be to go with white (very classy), though I may occasionally be wearing a white shirt with (open for toppiting) black vest so I'm not sure that that's the best way to go.

I was also toying with the idea of getting wooden balls. It would make using a Downs bag easier. Has anyone tried / recommended the Viking set? I also came across the cheap German set from Daytona, but I'm guessing you get what you pay for.

- Frank
Message: Posted by: ftlum (Aug 29, 2011 11:08PM)
My 2" white Fakinis came today (yea!). I'm glad played with some cheap 1.75" and 2.0" balls before getting the Fakinis. I thought I'd want 1.75" earlier, but in my hands, the 2.0s still stay fairly well hidden and they definitely are more visible. The weight and size actually make a huge difference-- some moves are almost impossible with the Vernets. Thanks to all for their advice.

I did notice a little chip on the inner paint of the shell's edge when they arrived, though. I'm not sure if that's typical, but I'm a little concerned that the chip might get bigger now that its started. It's actually very slightly visible in close quarters if you were to flash the wrong side of shell while nested in its ball (I imagine it's rarely necessary to show that side, but I think I did come across one move on Levent's DVD that did this).

- Frank
Message: Posted by: Michael Baker (Aug 29, 2011 11:33PM)
Don't pick at the chip. They will happen... you just don't want to make them bigger if you can help it. Most of the time, the balls will be in motion whenever a "bad" side shows. Just be sure that the good side is full face when you freeze frame. Glad to hear you got the set and that you are basically happy with them. The extra weight is a huge plus... at least I think so. It helps to feel the ball's weight. It lets you know many things, without looking.

Time to get to work. You bought them... now OWN them! :)
Message: Posted by: Bill Hegbli (Aug 30, 2011 12:57AM)
Frank L., Fakini Balls and shells come with a lifetime guarantee. If they are not perfect to your standards, contact the dealer you bought them from or Fakini and get them exchanged.

If you are speaking about the wood balls, just use a paint marker and touch the inside of the shell.