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Topic: Linking Rings: Proline Vs Owens
Message: Posted by: skyfire (Apr 1, 2017 08:00AM)
OK, I know I will make some people not happy with this posting. I am sure there are a lot of happy and devoted people out there with Owens Products, after all they have been around for a long time. I myself had saved up enough money, and eventually ordered a set of 12” Rings.

I had an old set of 13” Proline I was happy with, but I heard rave reviews about the Owens, heard that they rang like a bell, and they were four times the cost of Prolines, so they had to be GREAT. Unfortunately with no Brick and Mortar store, or an acquaintance that had a set, I was not able to try a set of Owens out. I sure would have liked to at least seen a video like the one I am posting before making my purchase.

So anyways the day came that Owens purchase were finally delivered, I opened the package, and performed a couple of moves, and couldn’t wait to hear their sound. Very quickly I thought, “What the heck”? Where’s that ring I was expecting? During a normal routine it was just, clunk, clunk, clunk.

So I thought, I know, I’ll call Owens and ask if they changed something up with the manufacturing of their Rings, either a different metal, thickness, anything to make the sound different than what I had heard about. I talked to a girl, and explained the situation, and then my question. She said she was going to ask someone, and then came back and said, “They still make them the way they always have”. I said mine make a terrible sound when performing and she gave a short little laugh, and said, “No, those are how all their Rings are made”. A week later another phone call, same results.

My purchase was a while ago, but it’s just one of those things that has left a bad feeling inside, I had always thought of posting this Post but didn’t, but finally I just had to. I know it’s a combination of the amount of money I spent, what I felt was terrible customer service, and in my mind I got taken by a brand name.
Honestly, I have never performed a single routine with these because after performing with the Prolines, it was kind of embarrassing for me to use these Owens. The Rings have literally sat in a five drawer cabinet I have since about a week after they were delivered.

Honestly, it may also just be my style that these Rings are not good with. I do occasionally as I am talking, or segwaying into another move will gently hit two rings together and let the chiming ring, ring away in the background, and then let the sound fade away. Cannot do that with my Owens, instead as I am talking you can hear clunk, clunk, clunk as back ground noise.

So with that said, here is a question for anyone that has familiarity with both brands, and even others. Do all Owens sound like this? Or is this actually a good sound, and because I was already used to the sound of Prolines, that when I actually heard what my Owens sounded like, they just didn’t match up to my expectations? Or did I just get a bad set? (I am attaching a link to a video)

(Go ahead and bash my opinion if you like, because in a weird way, if I know it’s just me, and not the Rings, then maybe I won’t feel as bad spending all that money on good rings, even if they don’t fit my style).

Thank You

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R3Rlh9R3X18&t=2s


.
Message: Posted by: Leo H (Apr 1, 2017 09:53AM)
I also agree that the Prolines do have a musical ring, almost like wind chimes. Are Proline rings still available?
Message: Posted by: skyfire (Apr 1, 2017 10:54AM)
Not sure, but I hope they are because I want to complete one of my sets up to all 8 Rings, and actually get another set, different size. They handle great, great weight, thickness, and seamless.
Message: Posted by: TheAmbitiousCard (Apr 1, 2017 09:18PM)
Aren't Owens solid stainless and Proline are hollow aluminum??

I've owned both and I'm pretty sure I remember the owens not ringing.
But they were far heavier and more solid feeling.

If sound is why you buy your rings, go with ProLine.
Message: Posted by: Leo H (Apr 2, 2017 10:38AM)
Hi Frank--Owen no longer sells solid steel rings in 10 or 12 inch sizes. Those two sizes are now hollow, and it's been like that for something like ten years now.

I contacted Proline to see if they are still manufacturing their rings. No answer yet.
Message: Posted by: Bill Hegbli (Apr 2, 2017 02:32PM)
That has been many complaints, Proline will not answer emails, and whether you ever get your product is in question as well. I suggest you search the Café and read the comments, and all the trouble people have had or having with Proline.
Message: Posted by: skyfire (Apr 2, 2017 04:07PM)
Unfortunately I have not seen much activity online from Proline in recent months either. I do know the name has been in business manufacturing fine Magic Props since 1894, but maybe they finally closed the doors, and retired from the business. I do know that Cliff always made to order, not to stock so it would take a little longer, but he had great customer service, and always answered my E-Mails, so that doesn't sound promising if E-Mails are going unanswered.

That's too bad, I would have liked to have ordered at least one more set, different size.
Message: Posted by: Leo H (Apr 2, 2017 06:43PM)
That's not good if Proline went out of business. Their website is still up with just two products listed: Linking Rings and the Vanishing Dove Cage.

Thanks for the update Bill!
Message: Posted by: Bill Hegbli (Apr 3, 2017 02:53PM)
There is a forum post by him about his linking rings here on the café, when people were expecting he would answer questions about his product. He never returned to answer any of them. They were not negative questions either, just about quality and such.
Message: Posted by: Leo H (Apr 3, 2017 06:15PM)
Thanks Bill for the updates. The news on Proline keeps getting worse.
Message: Posted by: arios0 (Apr 3, 2017 09:59PM)
I ordered from Proline 2 years ago. I never received my rings. I suggest you avoid ordering from him.
Message: Posted by: Leo H (Apr 4, 2017 07:06PM)
[quote]On Apr 3, 2017, arios0 wrote:
I ordered from Proline 2 years ago. I never received my rings. I suggest you avoid ordering from him. [/quote]

Sorry to have to read about this my friend. The writing was already on the wall and I've moved on.
Message: Posted by: Bill Hegbli (Apr 5, 2017 05:36AM)
Skyfire, if you don't like your Owen's, my birthday is next week, you can send them to me. ;)

Metals including Stainless Steel is made up of different mixtures of metal. Over the years these metal suppliers don't always say if anything has changed in manufacture of the steel.
Message: Posted by: skyfire (Apr 5, 2017 09:24PM)
LOL, Bill, the Rings are in the mail.

It's not that the Owens are bad Rings, in fact most people will tell you their the best. But I did list the three things about the sale that didn't agree with me, and how they did not fit my particular routine as much as another brand at a fraction of the price.

But today, I did look into another person that is working with a well known Prop Manufacturer, and he is making Rings out of the same material as Proline was. He sells on the Stevens web site and his own. I sent him two E-Mails, and both were answered within hours. So that tells me his business is alive and well.

And Happy Birthday Bill...

:)

.
Message: Posted by: Walking Bob (Apr 5, 2017 10:22PM)
I agree with the above post. I purchased new a set of 12 inch Owen rings and they definitely do not ring like church bells. I have a set of redefine rings that were much cheaper,
they look exactly like Owen rings, and they ring about the same.

I do have a 10 inch set of I think the correct name is Orb Eternal. They are solid and ring like church bells, far far better than my Owen.

My opinion is for the money Owen rings are vastly over rated. Maybe the older sets are better, I think my set is about 10 years old.

Have a nice day,

Walking Bob in Iowa
Message: Posted by: Walking Bob (Apr 5, 2017 10:30PM)
I just watched the above video and was pretty impressed in the ringing of the Proline Rings.

Have a nice day,

Walking Bob in Iowa
Message: Posted by: thomasR (Apr 6, 2017 08:20PM)
Thanks for this topic and the great comparison video. I actually don't need the rings to "ring" as much as I want them to sound solid. However what I noticed from the video is that the Owens rings don't look any better. Is it just the larger rings that come from Owen that have the sparkle to them?

Does anyone know which rings Rick Thomas uses? I've always assumed Owen. They are huge.. 15" I'm guessing and they really sparkle in the lights on stage.

And of course the Pro-Line's do sound way better. No comparison.
Message: Posted by: algebraic (Apr 10, 2017 01:41PM)
Don't order from Proline.

I keep getting told I'll be receiving my order in two weeks. Meanwhile, it's been a year and a half since I placed my order.
Message: Posted by: thomasR (Apr 10, 2017 03:48PM)
[quote]On Apr 10, 2017, algebraic wrote:
Don't order from Proline.

I keep getting told I'll be receiving my order in two weeks. Meanwhile, it's been a year and a half since I placed my order. [/quote]

Wow.. Really? That's a shame. I was wanting to order some Pro-line rings but with 2 bad exoeriences listed here that makes me nervous.
Message: Posted by: Leo H (Apr 10, 2017 07:20PM)
The Proline rings do seem to have a much more musical ring than the Owens, but I prefer to purchase my rings from Owen. You see, it is better to receive rings in the mail that don't ring so good, than to pay for superior sounding rings and receive...NOTHING.
Message: Posted by: thomasR (Apr 10, 2017 08:06PM)
Obviously... But some people own ProLine Rings.... so it is possible to actually get a set from them.
Message: Posted by: skyfire (Apr 10, 2017 08:35PM)
I thought Proline was out of business. Are people really still sending money??? Ouch...

If you like the way the Proline looks and sounds I would seriously look into contacting Scott Jenkins, and ask a few questions, he can and does work with the same material as Proline. I can't personally vouch for his Rings since I have never bought a set from him. But he answered two of my E-Mails within an hour, so he's ready for business, and he's Joe Porpers protégé in manufacturing the rings. That alone sounds worth looking into.

Or you can also dig deep, refinance, and buy a Brand that's a Make to Stock. (and they really are).
Message: Posted by: thomasR (Apr 10, 2017 09:20PM)
[quote]On Apr 10, 2017, skyfire wrote:
I thought Proline was out of business. Are people really still sending money??? Ouch...

If you like the way the Proline looks and sounds I would seriously look into contacting Scott Jenkins, and ask a few questions, he can and does work with the same material as Proline. I can't personally vouch for his Rings since I have never bought a set from him. But he answered two of my E-Mails within an hour, so he's ready for business, and he's Joe Porpers protégé in manufacturing the rings. That alone sounds worth looking into.

Or you can also dig deep, refinance, and buy a Brand that's a Make to Stock. (and they really are). [/quote]

Oh so the Jenkins Rings are the same material? That's good to know. I've heard nothing but praise for his rings but I thought they were a thinner material than the Proline.
Message: Posted by: skyfire (Apr 10, 2017 10:43PM)
I really don't know about the Jenkins Rings to be quoted, that's why I say to try and call him and ask questions. I did read on his site that he uses Aircraft Aluminum, and that's what Proline advertised as using. I was just going by that.

But just to clarify, I did not start this posting to say how great Proline is (although I do like everything about the two sets I have), but just to say that I paid a crap load of money on one set, but ended up sticking with the old set for a third of the cost.

I am going to consider a Jenkens four Ring set though.
Message: Posted by: thomasR (Apr 11, 2017 09:46AM)
Oh yes I understand. I think Owen is way overpriced. It also bothers me that they didn't seem concerned at all when you weren't happy with the product.

I got a very quick reply from pro-line last week but with multiple people claiming to not have received orders I will just try to wait until a used set goes up for sale online.

It's a shame that it's so difficult to get a good set of rings these days. I'm willing to pay the money... But I want a good set for the money!
Message: Posted by: Dick Oslund (Apr 11, 2017 10:20AM)
Hee hee! I started using rings, about '74, when I bought a used set of 10" Merv Taylor's from Jay Marshall. ($40.) I'm sure that they were made before Merv died. I developed a nice 5 ring routine, and, broke it in, when I was doing lots of high schools, on the road. It played STRONG!

A year later, Karrell Fox gave me his 3 ring routine. He said, "We don't conflict!" Feel free to use it." 3 8" rings weighed less than 5 10" rings

I picked up a set of 11 8" rings, from a dealer from India, $50. The extra rings included an oversize, an undersize, and a GOOD LCKNG KEY. I sold the 8 ring set for, I think, $25. I've used three rings of the set, since 1975. They've "seen", perhaps 10,000 audiences.

I have no "argument" with those who prefer bigger rings! Mine work just fine. When Karrell died, I inherited his 8" set, even his little drawstring bag and his 24" silk!!! So, now, I have a back up set!!!
Message: Posted by: Don (Apr 11, 2017 05:37PM)
I have a set by Auk Vanddokum that are 15 inches in diameter. I have a 10 inch set of rings and things that has 11 rings,and a bumper 8 inch set. The proline rings sound good,BUT I would not blindly give my money to someone that has accusations about non delivery! You are asking to be ripped off!

Don
Message: Posted by: Leo H (Apr 11, 2017 06:20PM)
[quote]On Apr 11, 2017, thomasR wrote:I got a very quick reply from pro-line last week but with multiple people claiming to not have received orders I will just try to wait until a used set goes up for sale online. [/quote]

That's interesting. I sent them an e-mail two weeks ago and still haven't heard back. I have no doubt that one day many years from now they will respond to it.

Getting any product from Van Dokkum is something of a minor miracle.
Message: Posted by: Don (Apr 11, 2017 06:37PM)
Leo you are correct. I trusted Auk with my order and he delivered. That may not be the case now. In this business you have to buy when you can because it won't always be available!

Don
Message: Posted by: Leo H (Apr 11, 2017 10:28PM)
[quote]On Apr 11, 2017, Don wrote:
Leo you are correct. I trusted Auk with my order and he delivered. That may not be the case now. In this business you have to buy when you can because it won't always be available!

Don [/quote]

You got that right Don! One fellow here on the Café noted that Van Dokkum never sent the rings he purchased from him.
Message: Posted by: Bill Hegbli (Apr 11, 2017 10:43PM)
Van Dokkum shut down his website over a year ago, only Stevens Magic is selling a few small items. I just assumed he retired.
Message: Posted by: Leo H (Apr 12, 2017 06:37PM)
That's right Bill--Stevens will on occasion sell a Van Dokkum item.
Message: Posted by: Frank Simpson (Apr 14, 2017 09:10PM)
I have two sets of Owen rings, 10" and 12". I bought the 10" from Owens in about 1994, and they have served me extremely well. I had the opportunity to buy the 12" set from a fellow magi here at the Café about 8 years ago.

To me the differences demonstrated in the video are primarily pitch and sustain. The proline are higher pitched and definitely sustain much longer. The Owens do "ring" (especially compared to my old Suds rings) but I have no need or use for a sustained ringing tone. In the 36 years I've been performing the linking rings I've never had a single person comment on the sound of the rings, but I've had many, many other positive comments. I have included the rings in [i]every[/i] performance I've done since about 1986 and the sound of the rings has never been an issue one way or another.

While the sounds might be factored in as a performance element, they certainly are not required for the effect to work well, so I feel that by and large it is a non-issue.

As far as a marketing angle, I don't think a phrase like "ring like church bells" was ever meant to be taken at face value. And I feel sure when the phrase was coined a million-and-a-half years ago (I remember first reading an advert in about 1978) it was comparatively true compared to most "bargain" rings then on the market.

I certainly mean no offense, but I think your expectations were just a little bit unrealistic. The rings, at least in my experience, are extremely well made and serve my needs perfectly. At most I would chalk it up as a minor disappointment, a wish for a musical ring whose dulcet tones lull the very angels to their ethereal slumber.
Message: Posted by: thomasR (Apr 15, 2017 10:38AM)
Well when Pro-Line says they "ring like silver bells" they do mean to be taken at face value.

To me.. the rings sounding liking bells, or not doesn't matter.. what matters is that they clank and make a lot of noise. Metal on metal makes noise... I want the audience to hear the metal on metal. The Owen Rings are big enough to clank and make some noise and sound legit... but the Pro-Line rings do seem like they would be louder. (I've never heard the Pro-Line Rings in a live show.. so it's hard to comment for sure just on videos).

I don't think it's unrealistic to expect $100 a ring rings, to sounds as good as $50 a ring, rings.
Message: Posted by: Bill Hegbli (Apr 15, 2017 12:03PM)
It kind of boils down to, Skyfire believes sound tone and ringing equals quality, and that is just not true.

Having seen poor and great rings over the years, it is more about the workmanship, then the sound. I have known about rings then when performing the crash link, they actually break apart. Some have a visible seam, and some have scratch marks or impressions from the grinding and clamp welding. Some even the chrome starts pealing off on 1st use, and those chrome flakes hurt when they dig into your skin.

All that said, it is the sequence of moves and combining of those moves coming together, that make the Linking Rings a magical effect.
Message: Posted by: mcharisse (Apr 15, 2017 12:34PM)
I agree sound doesn't add to much to the effect, but poor sound can detract from it. I've seen aluminum rings that go together with a dull klunk that really sounds bad. I think the satisfying klang of steel does add something to the overall impact.
Message: Posted by: Bill Hegbli (Apr 15, 2017 02:29PM)
Whether it is a ding-a-ling or a bong, the audience can hear it, and that is all that matters. The sound of metal hitting and penetrating one another.

Actually, I find it all very annoying, so much so, I have to stop practicing. When I was married, the wife at the time yelled, stop all that racket.

It is relatable to buying your kid a drum set, and not letting him play them.
Message: Posted by: Dick Oslund (Apr 15, 2017 03:17PM)
I'm with you, Bill! The $50 8" set that I bought from a dealer in India, in 1974 have seen thousands of kids (elementary schools and high schools) and, they have gotten big applause every time. They are about 1/4" diameter stock. They're holding up just fine. I use the crash link once. I can hear the sound, but, I doubt that the kids in the back row can hear.

Jay Marshall made his own nine inch set, eons ago. He needed 9" for the over the head gag.
Message: Posted by: skyfire (Apr 15, 2017 04:51PM)
Wow, LMAO. Looks like no one read my post, or reading comprehension is way down these days. Or at least for just a few in here. I am reading these recent posts and they have nothing to do with the original posting at all.

For one thing I started out with being fair with Owens, I said, “I am sure there are a lot of happy and devoted people out there with Owens Products, after all they have been around for a long time.”

I also fairly stated in that post that, “Honestly, it may also just be my style that these Rings are not good with.”

I am not just spewing out a buyer regret post, I also provided a video for each to decide for themselves. I just wish I had seen a Video before sending that much money myself. Plus I have compared Owens to a Manufacturing line that is apparently retired, and not trying to promote sales for someone.


Explanation if needed, otherwise skip to bottom:
I have had Linking Rings in the past, and I thought they were all great Rings, but then when I purchased a set of Prolines a number of years ago and I got this sound out of them. Period. I did not judge their quality or greatness from the sound, but it did turn out to be a great plus. The few family members that sees me practice pointed out the sound very quickly, and for those that do not own rings that sound like this, I have heard many comments from laymen about the sound, I really have. Over the past decade of using them, I got into a habit when segwaying or during a pause to give them a nice little tap that got a ringing sound. Then it went even further, I now have a dozen or so go to Dinner Bell, Chime, and Ringing jokes. (Even a few adult style Dinner Bell jokes if I have the audience). I even have a Story Routine geared towards Kids that I use the bell sound by having the solid ring inside the Key Ring pointing to a certain area of the Key ring and asking the kids what time is it when the ring is in this position, and I’ll do that number of rings by tapping the two rings and they count along. I also have a two and three ring Story routines for Xmas that are heavily into the theme from the “It’s a Wonderful World” movie and the patter with the ringing goes with the theme of, “Every time a bell rings…etc”. That line comes up four times during the routine, and the fourth time the spectator(s) can finish the patter for me.

So with all that extra explanation for you said, you can now go back to the above paragraph where I stated, “Honestly, it may also just be my style that these Rings are not good with.” Because I am not capable to do these Routines and Patter with the Owens Set that I have, I’ve tried, it doesn’t work. Is it my Rings?

What got me to do this post is that I was looking for the equipment capable of doing what I needed to continue with. I had read many posters in this forum that claimed Owens Rings had a nice sound, and ring to them. Do a search, and see how many times that description was used in the forum as a selling point, and to describe how nice they are. Secondly here is a quote from Owens site, “Owen Linking Rings are tuned to give a clear vibrant ringing sound unequaled by any other ring on the market.” So Owens themselves is using this as a big selling point for them. These are the people you are disagreeing with when you post sound doesn't matter. I just wanted to know if it was the norm.

I do however believe I got my answer from this post, from Owens owners that posted, and it did confirm what I thought.

So Bill H., I would say to go back and reread the original post, but I will simplify it for you, and I'll copy / Paste the question I asked below.

Here is a question for anyone that has familiarity with both brands, and even others. Do all Owens sound like this? Or is this actually a good sound, and because I was already used to the sound of Prolines, that when I actually heard what my Owens sounded like, they just didn’t match up to my expectations? Or did I just get a bad set?
Message: Posted by: Bill Hegbli (Apr 16, 2017 02:03AM)
I did read all your post, and combined all your words into paragraphs, and the total of everything you wrote sums up to say, sound equals quality, and you were disappointed because they did not sound like your Proline. It is reading a book, of 300 pages, it is all the written works that make the complete topic of the book. I know today, Internet people like to pick one word, and then rant about the word, but at some point, those that read the whole sentence, really get the jest of the what the person is saying, even if they don't realize it themselves at the time.

Well, if you wanted them to sound like Proline, you should have ordered more Proline.

It is like buying a Ford, and saying this Ford does not sound or drive like my Chevy. The are totally different manufacturers.

To answer your last question, I had a friend that owed the Owen's hollow, they sounded like a "dead Clunk". They were brushed or satin finish, and dull looking as well.

I have never stood on stage, and hit rings together so the audience could here the nice ting, and fade. I don't know why the ting so important to you, as it is meaningless to the total effect, but thanks for the video. Life is to short to ting steel rings together to here them ring.

I believe Frank Simpson said it best in his post above.
Message: Posted by: skyfire (Apr 16, 2017 05:14AM)
OMG, Bill you seriously came back with the same misunderstanding of the same question??? LMAO!

Especially for you Bill, all others can stop reading here.


Just in short:
YOU DID NOT UNDERSTAND, why I did not buy another Proline, as has been exhaustively discussed, are they not out of business?

YOU DID NOT UNDERSTAND, when you said, "it’s like driving a Ford vs Chevy they are different". You’re getting it, without even knowing it, that’s exactly what I was talking about. I needed a Ford that was tough, and Owens was selling a Chevy saying it was tough. My routine because of the Patter needed that vehicle, not because I thought that vehicle was better or great, but just because of the way that vehicle performed. That’s it, period. (For people who thinks Chevy’s are tougher, just reverse my analogy)

YOU DO NOT UNDERSTAND, when you said, "I never stood on stage, and hit rings together". Of course not Bill, you were not doing routines with Patter that coincides with those actions. But yet I explained to you a number of times above that that very action does coincide with my routine and Patter. In fact in a few instances, the sounds are the words, and spectators hear and understand what words go in that place. You have to understand that, it’s very crucial with you seeing the light on this question. Think about that.

Lastly, ironically with everything you did not seem to pick up comprehensively, you did answer the question. You say that Owens Rings do sound like a “Dead Clunk”, which is saying that Owens Marketing is completely false, and misrepresenting. Thank You. I’ll chalk that answer up to that side of the standings.

But I do not feel like arguing a point so meaningless with today’s youth, so whatever point you were trying to make, you are completely right, I am wrong, you win, and it’s over. Let’s not disrespect this forum any more than we (I said “We”) already have, and I apologize to anyone who had to read through these embarrassing postings, and explanations. I value this Forum way too much to keep this going.

Bill if you have anything further with me, I do accept PM’s and will gladly read whatever you have to say without further wasting other people’s time. Thank You…
Message: Posted by: Bill Hegbli (Apr 16, 2017 03:54PM)
I totally understand, you feel buyer's remorse, and think Owen Magic should refund your money or make you a set to your satisfaction. Totally understandable that you believe a statement from the 1940's should still old true today, and/or be rewritten.

Yes, I was totally surprised by my friends demonstration of the hollow rings. I did not want to kill his excitement, so at least I will not consider buying a set any further.

I do believe the 'statement' refers to the sold rings Owen's made.

Who's disrupting, you are talking about comparisons of two different manufactures Linking Rings. I believe this was posted because of your feelings, and those feelings brought you to post this topic.

If you don't post any further, neither will I, but if you respond, so will I.
Message: Posted by: Sidney A. Salmans (Aug 1, 2017 06:06PM)
I realize that this post was a long time ago, but thought I would put in my two cents worth. I understand that Skyfire wants a set of rings that ring, and he has incorporated that ringing into his routine. I have a set of 12 inch Owens that I bought back in the late 70's or early 80's. They ring well enough for me, but they are much like that in your demonstration video. I would agree that Owens overcharges for their stuff. I paid about $425 for a set of eight back then. I love them myself. As far as metals, I have searched information about stainless steel, and aluminum. There are many, many ways to mix the metals, and they are not all the same. As far as the Proline goes, I have this to say. My friend bout a set of them, and on the first day, he dropped one solid ring on a wood floor (not cement), and it broke at the weld. I would rather have the stainless steel.
Message: Posted by: blackstone99 (Aug 4, 2017 10:12AM)
The Owen stainless rings are the best IMO. Their welds are invisible and the rings sound musically when they collide.

Paul
Message: Posted by: carloskronopio (Aug 16, 2017 06:46AM)
I have just received a nice 8 ring set from Proline. They are thick, shiny, very light to handle with confidence. And they sound good. A beautiful, professional set of rings.
Message: Posted by: thomasR (Aug 16, 2017 03:50PM)
[quote]On Aug 16, 2017, carloskronopio wrote:
I have just received a nice 8 ring set from Proline. They are thick, shiny, very light to handle with confidence. And they sound good. A beautiful, professional set of rings. [/quote]

Good to hear. How long did it take to receive your order?
Message: Posted by: funnyclown (Aug 21, 2017 03:49AM)
I love my Proline 13" Solid Aluminum "Silver Bells" Linking Rings. I originally ordered them in October 2016 and I received them in April 2017. I got a nine ring set with two cloth bags. Eight standard ring set and the ninth ring is a magnetic locking ring. Works like a dream. Sounds like a musical instrument and is light as a feather. Cliff had some problems with his welder and his seamstress along with other personal problems which caused the delays. I have to admit I was worried about getting them but now that I possess them there is no way I'm giving them up. They are works of art. Perfect in every way. I absolutely love them. Check out the sound tests YouTube. There is no comparison to the Owen's rings. Owens rings are heavy and clangy. While Proline rings are like true musical silver bells. No comparison.
Message: Posted by: algebraic (Aug 22, 2017 09:48PM)
I see some people are FINALLY receiving their order from Proline. I received yet another update from Proline stating I'd have my order by July 1st at the latest. I guess I should have asked, "In what year?"

I still haven't received my paid in full item from Prolies, I mean Proline.

What the heck is this guy doing with all his spare time? He's certainly not making products.
Message: Posted by: Leo H (Oct 11, 2017 08:55PM)
The Proline website looks like it's gone and the domain name is up for grabs. Too bad, I need a chain of 2 Proline rings and a single.
Message: Posted by: funnyclown (Oct 11, 2017 11:27PM)
Here is the proline magic website. It is still there

http://www.proline-magic.net/products

You can also contact Cliff Wiggs on his Facebook Proline page

https://www.facebook.com/Proline-Magic

Or you can try his personal Facebook page

https://m.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1509333488
Message: Posted by: funnyclown (Oct 11, 2017 11:29PM)
Sorry for Facebook proline page it should be


https://m.facebook.com/Proline-Magic-100507506776920/
Message: Posted by: Doc Svengali (Oct 12, 2017 03:37PM)
Here is Cliff Wiggs' email address for Proline:

cewiggs@msn.com

He does respond to emails in a timely manner.
Message: Posted by: funnyclown (Oct 12, 2017 03:47PM)
You will get your products from him but it will take many months and lots of emails for status BUT when you get your rings you will absolutely be thrilled. They are seriously the best rings on the market IMO. Perfect bell sounds, super light yet sturdy.
Message: Posted by: Leo H (Oct 12, 2017 09:49PM)
Hey Doc & Funnyclown! Thanks for your help!
Message: Posted by: algebraic (Oct 13, 2017 08:30AM)
I was promised my order would be completed by July 1st at the latest. I still haven't received my order which I paid in full for coming up on TWO YEARS AGO.

The only service I received from Proline is email service on supposedly when I will receive my product.

Do yourselves a favor, order from a reputable dealer. Proline isn't one of them.
Message: Posted by: Doc Svengali (Nov 11, 2017 12:56AM)
I wanted to post to this thread because I have relevant data, but also to restore some balance and perspective to the discussion of Proline as a manufacturer of magic equipment.

There are many threads in the Café which discuss Proline going back to 2004. The overwhelming majority of these posts have been highly complimentary regarding the products, customer service, and personal responsiveness of the owner Cliff Wiggs. Here are a couple of older posts by respected members of our community:

[quote]On Feb 28, 2007, TheAmbitiousCard wrote:
Wow. The rings are far better than I expected and the magnetic key works perfectly and easily.

The ringing quality sound better than my Owen Rings.

I will be ordering more of these in the near future. Very very pleased.
Customer service was a treat as well.

Frank [/quote]


[quote]On Aug 14, 2007, Christopher Lyle wrote:
Hey Everyone...,

I seldom ever do this..., but I thought that I would share with you a new product I just bought. Cliff Wiggs of PROLine Magic just sent me a set of his new PRORings and they are the best I have ever used. They are 15" and are 1/2" thick. If you're serious about doing a good solid ring routine, then these are the rings for you. I play a lot of [b]big rooms[/b], and these bad boys will show up really nice if you're playing a house the size of a living room or The Kennedy Center. They have an almost deafening tone to them...they really ring like a bell.

Anyone who is serious about their ring work should pick these up. Cliff did a great job on them...they're a work of art! In my opinion...they are better than the [b]Owens[/b] rings...and you know how nice the Owens Rings are. [b]Wow!!![/b] Simply amazing....

In Mystery,

Christopher
The Magic of Christopher Lyle
World Class Magicial Entertainment Worldwide [/quote]


I have had dealings with Cliff Wiggs on multiple occasions since early 2014 when I learned Cliff was producing ten inch rings. I ordered, and receceived a set of Proline rings in 2014, and a second order was placed this summer and delivered to me yesterday. I can confirm that Proline is still in business and filling orders. Cliff Wiggs can be reached at: cewiggs@msn.com. He does respond to emails.

Now, the good, the bad, and the ugly:

It is 100% true that there are excruciatingly long waits from placing an order to receiving delivery on your order. My first order took at least four months to arrive, and my recent order also took four months. However, the product did in fact arrive, as several other posters have also recently confirmed regarding their own orders on this thread.

Now to the quality of the product. Both orders of rings were of extremely high quality. The rings are very light yet rigid and handle beautifully. They are perfectly round, of consistent size, without visible welds or seams. And they do truly ring like a musical instrument. They are certainly the best rings I have had in my hands, and I have owned at least a dozen different sets. I have no direct experience with Owens or Porper rings, but I can tell you they blow the Auke van Dokkum rings out of the water (I own a set).

A great deal of the discussion on this thread surrounds a controversy regarding the quality (and relevance) of the sound of rings. One camp ascribes miraculous musical qualities to the Proline rings, touting their ringing like bells. The other camp seems to mock those that assign importance to how linking rings sound, arguing strenuously that the sonics of the rings is utterly irrelevant to the effectiveness of the performance.

I am afraid I must agree with the camp who believe that the sound of the rings has a GREAT DEAL to do with the effectiveness of the presentation. I also agree that the sound made by the Proline rings is exceedingly musical and pleasant; they do in fact sound exactly like bells. While I have no direct experience with the Owens rings, I have listened to almost eight hours of Levent jangling them on his 3-disc DVD set, and have watched/listened to these DVDs at least three times. So I feel I have a very good sense of how these two sets of rings compare sonically. The Owens rings are certainly not unpleasant sounding, but in comparison to the Prolines, the Owens rings "Clunk" and "Clank", albeit with a slight bit of resonance. By comparison, when you drop one Proline ring into another, they ring loudly, like a bell, and overtones are clearly still audible (if you don't cut them short with movement) 20 seconds later.

The most important observation I want to make is that the sound of the rings can be critical to the success of a linking ring performance. Poorly sounding rings can seem to corroborate the spectator's hypothesis that the rings have breaks in them. Case in point: I have never used my old Abbott featherweight rings in performance because they all sound when struck like the awful twanging of a key ring. More important, rings that sound like bells or wind chimes corroborate your assertion that the rings are solid metal without breaks or openings; in fact, a major theme in my own patter is that the sound of the rings is proof of their solidity. Therefore, I take every opportunity to fill the air with the sound of bells. The Proline rings are ideally suited to this type of presentation.

I belive the new Porper rings have similar sonic properties, which make them highly desirable for the same reasons the Prolines are desirable. Unfortunately, they are not manufactured in ten inch size, which is the only size I am comfortable handling.

My intention has been to provide a fair perspective on both the pros and cons related to purchasing a Proline product. I also wanted to let people know that these rings are still available, even if wait times are very long. I suspect that many have been discouraged by rumors that Proline is out of business, or that it is no longer possible to obtain these rings.
Message: Posted by: Leo H (Nov 11, 2017 10:32AM)
[quote]On Aug 14, 2007, Christopher Lyle wrote:
Hey Everyone...,I can confirm that Proline is still in business and filling orders. Cliff Wiggs can be reached at: cewiggs@msn.com. He does respond to emails.[/quote]

I sent Cliff an email 3 days ago and I'm still waiting for his answer.
Message: Posted by: Doc Svengali (Nov 11, 2017 12:57PM)
Leo H -

I sent you a pm.
Message: Posted by: soleil (Nov 11, 2017 05:05PM)
Owen's is great looking, light and durable, the sound is ok though.


Best,
Message: Posted by: funnyclown (Nov 11, 2017 09:05PM)
I can definitely say if you want a durable and lightweight set of top notch professional rings that make the sound of a musical instrument not a “clang...clink” sound. But a resinating bell sound ... you must get the proline rings. But except to wait a few months to get them but trust me worth the wait.
Message: Posted by: Leo H (Nov 12, 2017 01:16AM)
[quote]On Nov 11, 2017, funnyclown wrote:... you must get the proline rings. But except to wait a few months to get them but trust me worth the wait. [/quote]

What is the wait time for an email response from Proline?
Message: Posted by: funnyclown (Nov 12, 2017 01:36AM)
I’ll be honest. I love his proline linking rings. They are nothing like the Owens rings. They are at least ten times better. BUT I did wait a long time. I sent tons of emails. Wondering if I’m ever going to get the rings. Cliff had lots of problems lots of reasons for the delays. Some were valid. Some I don’t know. But in the end Cliff was honest with me. I got everything that was promised. It took about eight months. I was promised when I first ordered they’d be done in one month. I’m so glad I got my proline rings and nice velvet bag to hold them.
I’ll admit I took a risk. But proline is honestly the best rings you could ever buy. I even bought his proline sucker oriental style die box. It’s anazing also. Well made. If I needed to buy another set of rings or another product, I would do it because you’ll never find a better set or magic prop anywhere.
I believe he is honest and you’ll get your stuff. You’ll just need to send a bunch of emails. You’ll need to wait a long time. He does respond to emails and Facebook messages .
Message: Posted by: algebraic (Nov 25, 2017 08:08AM)
I've been waiting for two years to receive a custom table which I paid for IN FULL. I still haven't received it. PLUS, he's holding $500.00 worth of custom merchandise to be placed within the custom table.
I don't recommend using Proline.
Message: Posted by: blackstone99 (Nov 26, 2017 11:15AM)
I have hollow stainless Owen rings 12 inch size and they have served me well for more than 20 years. I also have hollow aluminum rings in a set of three with locking m------c k-- that I bought from Tannens. They are dull in sound but otherwise work well and the k-- is nearly invisible.

Paul
Message: Posted by: funnyclown (Nov 26, 2017 11:22AM)
You cannot compare the hollow aluminum sound of Tannan to the Proline set. Comparing both Proline has the resonance of a true musical instrument. There is no other set like it. The only problem is Proline take a very long time to make it.
Message: Posted by: thomasR (Nov 26, 2017 06:48PM)
For those of you shopping... Joe Porper has 16" rings and 12" rings with examinable locking key in stock and on sale for the holidays.
Message: Posted by: Hookem (Dec 2, 2017 08:48PM)
I never thought that sound was that relevant to the audience. Over 30 years ago, my wife told she how hated the clanging sound of the rings and said if it were real magic there would be no sound at all. That was a brilliant observation and she was right! Accordingly, that is the premise on which I developed my two linking ring routines. While eliminating sound entirely is impossible, the rings are a beautiful illusion when presented with this concept in mind to music. Richard Ross' brilliant three-ring routine is a perfect illustration of what I'm talking about.

Incidentally, my rings are Owen made. I have the 10", 12" and 15" rings. Owen makes the best locking ring I've ever seen, although I generally use the key. I also own the 8" Merv Taylor orb rings.
Message: Posted by: JNeal (Dec 2, 2017 10:44PM)
Many people might agree with your wife.
When I was a boy, my mother made me practice... in the basement.
Her distaste for random clanging (from her auditory perspective) heavily influenced my appoach to the rings and I created a nearly silent two ring routine in 1978 or so.
This is a video of me doing almost 35 years ago... on the Tonight show!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SdUaDxXt84A&t=137s

(START at the 2:25 minute point)
Message: Posted by: Doc Svengali (Dec 11, 2017 06:16PM)
JNeal-

What a wonderful performance!
Message: Posted by: JNeal (Dec 11, 2017 11:15PM)
Doc!

glad you enjoyed it...

sooner or later (hoping for sooner) I am going to put the whole thing on a teaching DVD.
Message: Posted by: john wills (Dec 12, 2017 04:20AM)
Wow JNeal, superior!
Message: Posted by: JNeal (Dec 12, 2017 08:54PM)
Thanks John!
Message: Posted by: thomasR (Dec 13, 2017 01:49PM)
[quote]On Dec 11, 2017, JNeal wrote:
Doc!

glad you enjoyed it...

sooner or later (hoping for sooner) I am going to put the whole thing on a teaching DVD. [/quote]

I'll certainly buy it... there are some really neat moves in that routine!
Message: Posted by: JNeal (Dec 13, 2017 06:34PM)
Most of the 'new' moves were of my own creation and would be included in the teaching DVD.
Message: Posted by: carbone1853 (Dec 14, 2017 10:43PM)
JNeal,

The rt was great but, the last unlink genius!
Message: Posted by: Pete Biro (Dec 15, 2017 12:19PM)
I had forgotten how good that performance was. :dancing:
Message: Posted by: JNeal (Dec 15, 2017 07:39PM)
Thanks Pete and Carbone for the fine words..
Carbone, If the RI on your Avatar stands for Rhode Island, I am delighted to be acquainted with another RI guy! I was born in Boston, but spent my school years in RI and it was home for most of my magical life before I moved to LA.

I will be doing that ring routine and performing a show and lecture at the NEMCON in Connecticut in March... Perhaps you will be there?

Regards-
Jonathan
Message: Posted by: 61magic (Dec 15, 2017 09:12PM)
I've been watching this post for a while and I have something to add. I've owned both and both ring sets had their pros and cons, let me share my experience with you on both sets and the service I received from both manufacturers.
First I wanted Owen rings for the longest time thinking they were the Rolls Royce of magic. The high praise and high price would have made you think that. Here is what the experience was like.
I purchased a set of 12" rings which at the time was very expensive, I waited two weeks for them to arrive. When they came I hurried to open them out are had to start working with them right away.
After about 30 minutes of admiring the ring tone and doing some very basic links I did a crash link (not hard) and the little plug at the end of the key popped out.
I was stunned, I called Owens and got some grumpy guy on the phone, I explained to him what happened and he promptly told me "our rings don't do that you must have abused them". No, just a simple common move everyone does. I asked at this price don't you offer any warranty on defective material or workmanship? He said again "no you abused them". Okay we are getting no where.
I took the key and glued the plug back in using a product called E6000. It held and the rings were fine. I quit doing business with Owens...
When Proline released their rings I was amazed with the price and ordered a set of 12". I wasn't disappointed, they arrived within a couple of weeks and when I received them they were perfect.
The only drawback was the dark grey deposits left on the hands by the aluminum, once I found our rubbing them with Armor-All cured this issue they became my favorite.
Sometimes life happens and financial issues come up which it did for me and I sold both sets to cover my rent. I regretted doing this with a caveat.
I didn't miss the Owens rings a bit, I missed the Proline rings.
Eventually I purchased a 3 Ring Locking Key from Proline that I still use today.
I've never had any issues with Cliff, my dealings with him have been friendly, on time, and product of superior quality.
My two cents.

Also JNeal I have seen your routine several times over a couple of decades and it is still pure artistry and the finest two ring routine I've ever seen. Thanks for the video I can't quit watching.
Message: Posted by: Hookem (Feb 27, 2019 12:20AM)
I have all sizes of sets of Owen rings and I think they are terrific. I have used the 10" and 12" sets in performance and perform my routine to music. I typically perform for large crowds, so a so-called bell effect doesn't matter. If I don't perform to music, I think the rings sound fine. The illusion is the thing and that is what I accentuate in my handling and routine. I also do not bang the rings. My inspiration is Richard Ross.
Message: Posted by: Amazing Magic Co (Feb 27, 2019 05:13AM)
Jonathan - Did you ever release a teaching DVD?

Dan.
Message: Posted by: JNeal (Feb 27, 2019 08:12AM)
Dan! No, I haven't found the time to do it in the way that I think it requires...maybe I just have to rethink how I should do it... maybe less detail(?)

anyway, it IS still on my list of things to get to...
Message: Posted by: Dan David (Jul 21, 2019 11:49PM)
I have been using the same set of rings since 1974, ten inch rings that I believe were made by Rings n Things, and they are wonderful. I later added a "special" ring that I believe was made by D.A. Tayade of India. I decided it might be time to get a back-up set, and when I looked at rings at Abbott's Magic Co (Where I got my set in 1974) the prices were incredibly low, not much more than what I paid 45 years ago. Also, they have stainless steel rings. The price is so low that it seems like there has to be a catch. Anybody have any idea what is going on? How is this possible? And does anyone have any idea where I could buy a really decent of ten inch rings? Rings n Things (despite their name) does not seem to manufacture linking rings, and Tayade does seem to have the "special" ring in his catalog. Any thoughts/ideas/opinions will be appreciated.
Message: Posted by: thomasR (Jul 22, 2019 11:31AM)
The Abbotts Linking rings are manufactured by Fun Inc. if that helps.
Message: Posted by: Bill Hegbli (Jul 22, 2019 11:46AM)
[quote]On Jul 22, 2019, thomasR wrote:
The Abbott's Linking rings are manufactured by Fun Inc. if that helps. [/quote]

Making statements like that without clarity is dangerous. Abbott's many now, within the last several years, sell Fun Inc. but when the poster is speaking of Abbott's from the 1970's to the 1940's, they most certainly made their own Linking Rings and props.

Greg Bordner told me a couple times, he would rather not manufacturer their own products, but just buy wholesale. After his father passed away, that is what he slowly converted to. Of course the countries recessions helped push it forward.

I spent many Saturday's at Abbott's. Me and a magician friend went to Abbott's so he could purchase Abbott's Linking Rings in 1970.

Owen magic does not make their Owen rings, they contract to have a metal shop make them. When I was there, Les Smith took me on a tour, there was no metal shop, just a wood shop.
Message: Posted by: thomasR (Jul 22, 2019 01:41PM)
Umm... it’s listed right on Abbott’s Magic website? I said “are made” not “were made” - I highly doubt the OP was confused by what I was saying.

As to your example with Owen... they are still Owens rings... Owens is not buying someone else’s rings, they are having a metal shop manufacture them to their specifications if that is indeed what they are doing.
Message: Posted by: Bill Hegbli (Jul 22, 2019 02:11PM)
[quote]On Jul 22, 2019, thomasR wrote:
Umm... it’s listed right on Abbott’s Magic website? I said “are made” not “were made” - I highly doubt the OP was confused by what I was saying.

As to your example with Owen... they are still Owens rings... Owens is not buying someone else’s rings, they are having a metal shop manufacture them to their specifications if that is indeed what they are doing. [/quote]


Using such words as "are" and "were" is not clear on an International Website.

And yes that is what I said concerning Owens Magic. I never said they were never Owens rings, just that they did not have a machine shop, and shopped out the Linking Rings.

They also hire Mexican immigrants and paid them $10, at the time I was there, they were cutting out jumbo wood 3 Card Monte. This was in 1981.
Message: Posted by: thomasR (Jul 22, 2019 03:21PM)
$10 an hour was good money in 1981. Good for them!