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Topic: Advice on cups combo set or not?
Message: Posted by: dschmunis (Mar 14, 2020 11:54PM)

Iím looking to add a set of cups to my magic set as well as a chop cup and would like some advice and recommendations as to whether I should get them separately (a cups set and a chop cup) or get one of the combo sets where one of the cups is a chop cup?

Any advice on what to get (why one or the other) and what to get (budget is about $400) would be much appreciated.

Message: Posted by: kcmagic1 (Mar 15, 2020 05:41AM)
Hi dschmunis, Personally, I would get a set of straight cups and then a chop cup separately. What kind of routine are you looking to do and what size loads are you looking to produce? If you are going to use them often, I would recommend getting something that is going to last.
Message: Posted by: dschmunis (Mar 15, 2020 11:47AM)
Hi kcmagic1,

Thank you for the reply. Out of ignorance, why do you recommend separate props?

As Iím just getting started with cups and balls I donít really have a routine in mind but figure that having a combo set may open up some interesting possibilities in routining when combining both?
Message: Posted by: kcmagic1 (Mar 15, 2020 01:25PM)
I'm not a big fan of the combo cups sets to begin with. When I first started out performing I had a combo set and, although in my mind I could add some cool ideas, I only really ever used it in the beginning of the routine where it wasn't necessary to use it. In order to use it effectively, you have to keep track of the chopped ball, unless you are using 4 chopped balls. Almost anything can be achieved using a straight set with a little practice. The other reason, is that I wouldn't use the chopped cup in a combo set as just a chop cup. By using the one cup more than the others, it will change its appearance and will not match the rest of the set of cups. Therefore, in my opinion, I would buy a straight set of cups and a separate chop cup.

That being said, if you are just starting out with the cups and are trying to determine if you would rather do a cup routine or a chop cup routine, you may want to get an inexpensive combo set for practice until you decide for sure.
Message: Posted by: dschmunis (Mar 15, 2020 04:07PM)
Thanks for the feedback. It never occurred to me that using one cup more (chop cup) would eventually lead to a situation where one cup looks more wore down than the other ones. that alone makes a perfect argument to buy separate sets.

Any recommendations for each? Size, material, shape?
Message: Posted by: kcmagic1 (Mar 15, 2020 06:14PM)
That would all depend on your routine. What do you want your final loads to be? Where are you planning on performing? Meaning are you going to perform on stage or close up? Airship magic puts out great PF cups, the opening is 2.625 I believe. That is slightly smaller than a tennis ball. A lot of the standard cups made have an opening of 2.75 which will fit a tennis ball. Then there are the jumbo cups which will fit a naval orange. I designed a set of jumbo cups which would last you a lifetime, however, they are a little bit more expensive than you suggested that your budget was. I would highly recommend Airship Magic but also RNT2. If it were me, I would not go with anything less than copper. Again, it all depends on your routine. If you plan on heavily using the cups, I would even look into stainless steal cups.
Message: Posted by: dschmunis (Mar 15, 2020 11:52PM)
Kcmagic1, thank you for taking the time to answer my questions and providing guidance. Mostly interested in closeup and as my hands are pretty small and have very boney fingers (BIG windows) probably no load larger than a baseball (which if Iím correct is slightly smaller than a tennis ball).

Any advice on ďshapesĒ? For cups and chop cup?
Message: Posted by: kcmagic1 (Mar 16, 2020 06:19AM)
[quote]On Mar 15, 2020, dschmunis wrote:
Kcmagic1, thank you for taking the time to answer my questions and providing guidance. Mostly interested in closeup and as my hands are pretty small and have very boney fingers (BIG windows) probably no load larger than a baseball (which if Iím correct is slightly smaller than a tennis ball).

Any advice on ďshapesĒ? For cups and chop cup? [/quote]

Actually, a baseball is larger than a tennis ball. 2.625 mouth opening is a lacrosse ball, although I have been informed that the lacrosse balls are getting bigger and hard to find one that will fit in a 2.625 opening. 2.75 mouth opening will hold a tennis ball. Both of those sizes will hold a lime or even a small, small lemon. The size of a baseball is 2.9 so you would need a cup with a 3 inch mouth opening for that. As far as shape, the best thing to do is to go to Airship magic and look at the PF cups and then go to RNT2. Airship magic makes great PF cups, however, RNT2 carries a big variety of different sizes and shapes of cups. It's all a personal preference when it comes to the different cups out there. If you have smaller hands, I would probably either stick to the 2.625 mouth opening or 2.75 mouth opening. I would highly recommend getting a set that is made from copper. You can even check into the Legend cups. There are a lot of posts on here about them. They are put out by Murphys magic. They are a CNC'd brass and copper plated cup. Which, don't fall for the advertising, they are a copper plated cup and not solid copper.

As far as a chop cup, I prefer my chop cups to look as close to a regular, not cups and balls set, cup as possible. Again, RNT2 has a great selection. You may also want to check out Chop by Craig Petty. It is a chop cup routine basically using any cup as the gimmick is in the marker and you would use someone's signed bill for the ball. It is a little different handling but well worth it in my opinion. Plus you get the benefit of a signed bill in lemon routine with it.

I hope this helps!

Message: Posted by: plungerman (Mar 22, 2020 10:30PM)
As always it depends. If you wish to study and practice the cups and balls then you should stick with a straight set. This will greatly expand the style and size of the cups you choose. Not every set, even at R&T has a chop cup. Also depends on whether you plan to ever perform them, or if you need something to perform sooner than later.

There is a great deal that can be learned if you stick with the non gaffed set. How to make the third ball as interesting as the first is paramount. If at each moment you need to rethink about chopped possibilities it gets in the way. A single chop cup in performance should be larger than one from a set of three. It is the show and (mostly) the focus so it should occupy visual space. Most working chop cups I see would swallow a PF cup.

With your budget I would really shop R&T since they have great variety down to finishes and colors. One thing you should remember is to get them a bit heavy. That is one thing I always miss in any set I pick up. If I have to I can get by with too light but if you are shopping for new then don't miss out. If you are getting real cups at a real shop they will likely have the right weight. If you can spend more consider Sherwood engraved Silvers (my favs!) or smooth Coppers (less $). I'm very biased but they cannot!! be beat. The saddle detail, beads, weight and grip are the best. Don't know the current price but there it is.

I'm fond of combo sets as well as they are designed for the Mendoza routine. This routine avoids hand-to-hand-to-hand passes (Vernon) by using the same scooping move all the time. It handles the gaff ball automatically and takes care of many worries. Having a routine of someone else's gets you to practicing and writing scripts - working at ENTERTAINING without spending time worrying about slights.

For loads vs cup size please remember. The purpose of the routine is to show that the cups are empty, according to one theory. With that the load is then meant to be large and incongruous. As such it does not need to be a ball in the style of the original crochet balls. Think turnip, onion, watermelon, that kind of thing. That's where the surprise comes from. Baseball or tennis ball is OK too.

I'm crazy about the PF design as most of us are since it makes the final load look impossible. But this can be the focus of the performer or collector. The audience will be blown away by an onion and not notice so you don't need tunnel vision on this. I can recommend any of R&T PF cups but if you'd prefer one in an oversize that is not PF then go for it.

Do let us know your thinking and all. Have fun.

Message: Posted by: dschmunis (Mar 23, 2020 12:12AM)
Thank you everyone whoís taken the time to provide so much wonderful advice. For now Iíve decided to purchase Don Alanís full and mini sized chop cups while I do some more research on a good straight set of cups.

Iíve gotten the Don Alan booklet and Mark Wilsoní s book on the chop cup. Any other good books?

For the cups set, I got Gazzo and Ammarís books. Anything else?

Stay safe and stay healthy!
Message: Posted by: funsway (Mar 26, 2020 03:31AM)
Another thought. You might think of the gimmick cup as a way of idling a ball to provide a one-ahead or one-behind advantage,
rather than a device for performing a different effect. It could support a variety of ball vanishes in the hand (variety).
Or, just allow the casual showing of the hands as completely empty where a standard routine cannot.

or, think of having five balls in play instead of four.

It is simple to dislodge the 'hide' into yo9u hand rather than on the table,
or to secretly retain an extra ball during normal cup moves and transfers.

I frequently flip cups during a show or transfer (yes, even with a concealed ball in normal cup).
but, a ball can be hidden in the gimmick cup during the catch as well,

The key is to establish moves as "normal" in your routine as a foundation,
with a "chop effect" never being used at all.
Message: Posted by: dschmunis (Mar 26, 2020 11:51AM)
Thanks for the feedback funsway. I already went ahead and purchased a straight cup set and 2 chop cups (different sizes). I'm sure this will keep me busy for a while... perhaps in the future I'll add another "combo" set! :)

Stay safe and stay healthy!
Message: Posted by: thegreatscungilli (Apr 3, 2020 08:20PM)
If you are looking for a video that won't cost too much and covers most of the moves and includes some routines, the Master Cups and Balls videos by Daryl are pretty good.
Message: Posted by: dschmunis (Apr 3, 2020 08:29PM)
Thegreatscungilli, how does Darylís video compares to Gazzo and Amman?
Message: Posted by: kcmagic1 (Apr 3, 2020 10:09PM)
I am not sure how the Daryl DVD is but I can say that the Ammar DVD series is excellent and will teach a lot of valuable information.
Message: Posted by: thegreatscungilli (Apr 5, 2020 09:11AM)
For me it's easier to learn stuff from videos so that is what I prefer. Ammar is excellent as well....I haven't seen an instructional video by Gazzo that is strictly cups and balls, I have only seen his booklet, there may be a video but I haven't seen it.

Daryl has a good style for instruction, goes through most of the moves you will ever use, goes slow enough for you to really see the detail on how the move is made and includes a basic routine which you can add on or modify, the classic Dai Vernon routine and a couple of others...Daryl's videos are good value for what you get, especially if you catch them on sale. The production quality on the video is very good. One thing he doesn't really cover is the wand spin since he says he never really mastered it.

I would say that if you if you invest in the Daryl set and the Ammar set you would have pretty much everything you would need.
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Apr 10, 2020 02:42PM)
[quote]On Apr 3, 2020, dschmunis wrote:
Thegreatscungilli, how does Darylís video compares to Gazzo and Amman? [/quote]

That's Ammar, not Amman. Ammar's video teaches you three basic routines. Gazzo's teaches you his busking routine, which is based on the Vernon routine with an added sequence of loads.

If you want to be a cups and balls guy, get all three of them.

BTW, the topic of Combo Set vs. Regular Set has been done do death on this forum. Use the Search function to see what has already been written.
Message: Posted by: dschmunis (Apr 10, 2020 03:40PM)
Thanks Bill and I'm sorry I misspelled Ammar's name.

Given that time is all I have right now... I'll see to get all the videos and do a deeper search of the topic in these forums.

Stay safe and stay healthy!
Message: Posted by: dschmunis (Apr 29, 2020 05:16PM)
I'm close to purchasing my first set of cups and balls and can't decide as I'm between two sets:

https://www.rnt2.com/foxy-3-cups-copper-satin-finish.html from Rings-N-Things


https://sherwoodmagic.com/details/detail.php?image=images/detail/CCSCP.jpg Classic Satin Copper Straight Set from Brett Sherwood


https://sherwoodmagic.com/details/detail.php?image=images/detail/CCACB.jpg Classic Antique Copper Bronze Straight Set also from Brett Sherwood

Any advice or info on quality between these two brands?
How about finishing? I tend to like the copper polished ones but I'm concerned that with use and wand strikes little scratches may become visible that the darker Antique Copper ones may not show

As always, thank you for all the great wisdom and advice of this group and may you all stay safe and stay healthy!
Message: Posted by: Poof-Daddy (Apr 29, 2020 05:36PM)
[quote]On Apr 29, 2020, dschmunis wrote:
https://www.rnt2.com/foxy-3-cups-copper-satin-finish.html from Rings-N-Things[/quote]

This gets my vote. Great Quality and superior customer service. I have got a few very nice items from them.
Message: Posted by: kcmagic1 (Apr 29, 2020 07:56PM)
If you are going to use them often, I would recommend the satin finish. I've never performed with the foxy 3 cups, however, rnt2 has great quality. I have used sherwood cups and they are phenomenal and handle great. They also hold up well to abuse. Just do not accidentally drop them on the ground. I imagine that most copper cups would act the same but it flattened out the mouth opening of the cup.
Message: Posted by: Sideshow Rod (Jul 3, 2020 06:53AM)
I managed tp pick up some original Gary Animal Gazzo street cups this week and have to say the weight and the quality are awesome. I have been doing magic for 20 years and never got in to cups and balls. They are allot of fun.
As for balls , does anyone know where to get decent soccer balls instead of the normal crochet ones?
Thanks for your input it has all been very helpful.
Message: Posted by: TreyP1T (Jul 27, 2020 12:13PM)
I started with a cheap combo set by Uday. They lasted a long time, and served me well, but much like a musician playing on a student model instrument, there comes a time where you need to upgrade to more professional quality. My C&B routine changed several times over the years, at first I didn't really use the chop cup at all, then for a while I did, then I didn't anymore. By the time I had finalized my routine, the chop cup became more of an annoyance, as in one performance, in the heat of the moment I lost track of which was the chopped ball, and when I set it on top of the cup it stuck. The Audience didn't seem to notice, but I vowed "never again" and bought a new set of balls so I could do the C&B without any such risk. Eventually when I upgraded I bought the Rings-n-Things satin finish copper Paul Fox cups, and have been delighted with them.

I did start doing a chop cup routine, but I decided that with only one cup I wanted the final load to be as large as possible, so I bought a wide mouth chop cup, and just about never use the one from the combo set. As of this posting I just barely order a replacement, the Rings-n-Things Don Alan Chop Cup.
Message: Posted by: Rainboguy (Jan 2, 2021 05:15PM)
I just got a shipment notification from RnT2 for the Foxy 3 Combo set in Satin Copper that I ordered from them yesterday.

I'm really looking forward to playing with these when they arrive.....all of the reviews I have seen on this set of cups say that they are FANTASTIC!

It will be nice to have an alternative set of Combo Cups to use along with my Mendoza Set.....another GREAT set of cups!
Message: Posted by: equivoque (Feb 14, 2021 02:47PM)
I have been using a combo set from Morrissey (I think). It was time for an upgrade and I had a $50.00 gift certificate from Christmas. I just ordered the Mendoza cups in aluminum. I would have preferred brass, but I really cannot justify spending $300 on a set, especially since I am not booking gigs anymore. I have a few Morrissey, aluminum pocket chop cups and I really like them, but I also have a Don Alan Mini. I cannot figure out why people are paying up to $100 for Morrissey pocket chop cups on ebay (although I will acknowledge that mine has never failed me). An alter ego chop cup on rings and things 2 is only $50 for alumnimum and $70 for brass, and this is a far superior product. Both the Morrissey pocket and the alter ego chop cups have the advantage of looking like a jigger or something else a bartender would use and neither have a dimple. I just bought two more Morrissey pocket job cups from eBay for $10 (for both plus shipping). I have to say that my best working cup cup looks like one of those insulated plastic coffee cups from the 80s. The ball never comes out accidentally and you do not have to slam it in order for it to work either. I forgot who makes it, but I only paid $15 for it!
Message: Posted by: ringmaster (Mar 3, 2021 05:37PM)
I found it easier to just steal the ball from the side of the cup, than inverting the chopped cup with the ball inside, an unnatural move.
Message: Posted by: Magic Mark (Mar 15, 2021 12:29AM)
In my mind, if you are buying a quality set of cups that are designed and weighted so the chopped cup in the set is indistinguishable from the other cups, it makes sense to get a combo set. Such sets come with 4 standard balls and 1 chopped ball. Thus, you can use the set as a standard set if you wish or add the chopped ball and take advantage of the chop cup.

Just because one of the cups is chopped doesnít mean you *have* to use the chop cup feature. By buying a combo set, you have all bases covered.