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Topic: Vorst & Bosch Deluxe Close-Up Pad
Message: Posted by: Magic Mark (Jun 8, 2020 08:56PM)
The Vorst & Bosch topic that was in Latest & Greatest seems to have been deleted. Not sure why, but...

I asked Vorst & Bosch to make me a jumbo size Deluxe Close-Up Pad with 3 inlays (inserts). It arrived today and it is absolutely gorgeous.

I wanted a pad that could be used atop my keyboard stand in both a standing and seated position. Therefore, my jumbo pad's base measures 32-inches x 22-inches. The three inlay colors I chose were Ruby (velvet+), Midnight Blue (velvet+) and Classic Green (microfiber). I chose those colors because I felt they looked best with the Brown Leather I chose for the base. And now that the product has arrived, I'm thrilled with my color choices.

I used my digital SLR to shoot some photos. These photos have been white balanced and adjusted so the colors (on my calibrated computer monitor) are representative to what I see with my eyes looking at the inlays. I found the Classic Green to be the most difficult color to photograph properly. In the photos below, the one of Classic Green by itself is close, but not exactly right. It's the best I could do. However, the photo farther down (with all 3 inlays in the same image) is very accurate to the Classic Green I see with my eyes.

I already have some thoughts to share (a review) but I'll save those comments until after I've spent more time with the product. In the meantime, here are photos. Click the link under each photo for a MUCH larger version of that photo.

Brown Leather with Ruby inlay and keyboard stand adjusted for seated position (30 inches from floor to top of pad):


Brown Leather with Midnight Bliue inlay and keyboard stand adjusted for seated position (30 inches from floor to top of pad):


Brown Leather with Classic Green inlay and keyboard stand adjusted for standing position (36 inches from floor to top of pad):


Finally, all 3 inlays side-by-side. This image has very accurate colors:


The green background of this forum throws off the perception of how green Classic Green is. Click the larger image link to see it against a white background.

More thoughts after I've had more time with the V&B Deluxe Close-Up Pad (jumbo size).

Message: Posted by: Magic Mark (Jun 9, 2020 01:06PM)
Some quick thoughts...

The microfiber surface (Classic Green) is an absolute JOY for spreading playing cards. OMG, the cards seem to magically space themselves without hardly any effort on my part. The velvet+ surfaces are okay with playing card spreads, but the microfiber surface is in a different league.

If your main purpose for a close-up pad is to perform playing card effects, absolutely, get one of the microfiber colors!

As much as the ability to spread playing cards is a joy, the thickness and stiffness of the foam that V&B has used on their pads is a concern. I tried out my Chop Cup (Bar Cup Reloaded) and my Midas Cups. Disappointingly, the amount of force needed to dislodge the ball or coin is much too high compared to performing the same effects on my other close-up pads (one Patrick's Magical Surface pad and two different PropDog pads). I feel that V&B used a foam that is both too thick and too dense. The foam on my PropDog pad is less than half as thick as the foam on the V&B pad. The PropDog foam is more complaint (easier to compress). Even more concerning, if I place the inverted Chop Cup down TOO forcefully, the ball actually bounces off the V&B mat and right back up to the underside of the cup. Using a Chop Cup ball, I did a quick and dirty test of how "bouncy" the surface is. Compared to my PropDog mats the surface of the V&B mat is like a trampoline.

Now, to be fair..... The ball on my Chop Cup is adjustable. I adjusted it for use on the PropDog pads. I *will* spend some time trying to adjust it for the V&B pad. That may make a big difference.

But the Midas Cups are not adjustable. Using the V&B pad, It takes such a significant slap on the bottom of the Midas Cup to dislodge the coin, it is ALL too obvious exactly what is happening. In my opinion, I simply can't perform my Midas Cups routine on this V&B pad. How hard I have to slap the cup bottom looks ridiculous. Perhaps I could put some teflon tape on the inside bottom of the cup to weaken the hold? But then I'd be concerned about being able to safely perform the cup flipping move.

Fortunately, my combo Cups & Balls are adjustable too. I will also play with those to see how it works out.

More thoughts later as I have more time to play.

Message: Posted by: Magic Mark (Jun 9, 2020 06:58PM)
I adjusted the ball for my Chop Cup and I'm pleased to report that it is now working well with the V&B Deluxe Close-Up Pad. Yay!

Unfortunately, the Midas Cups continue to be unusable with the V&B pad. The Midas cups require a lot more force to release and the foam on the V&B pad is simply too thick. The thicker foam absorbs too much of the downward force.

I did a little bounce test and recorded it on video. I dropped a chop cup ball onto both my V&B pad and my PropDog pad from a height of 6 inches. On the V&B pad the ball not only bounces higher than on the PropDog pad but the ball also bounces more times before it comes to a complete stop.

I really wish I was aware of this before ordering my V&B pad and inlays because I would have asked to have at least one of the inlays (if not all of them) made with thinner foam. :(

Message: Posted by: Magic Mark (Jun 27, 2020 12:49PM)
I performed an effect using dice on my Classic Green V&B surface. Rolling the dice, OMG, the dice skitter and bounce like crazy. It's almost unnatural. The surface is FAR too taught and bouncy. I haven't tried dice on the other two inlays but the Classic Green microfiber is NOT appropriate for doing effects where the spectator would roll a die. Doing a normal roll will frequently send the die completely off the pad.

I absolutely love the quality and appearance of the V&B Deluxe Close-Up Pad but, unfortunately, at this point in time I completely regret the purchase. I wish I had gone with a jumbo custom pad from PropDog. V&B are furniture makers that have developed a line of close-up pads. From a furniture/construction standpoint they are beautiful. PropDog's pads, on the other hand, were designed by magicians. I have two (smaller) PropDog pads already and the thickness and resiliency of the foam they use is perfect. On a PropDog pad, dice don't behave like some hyperactive child that just had too much sugar.

If you are only going to perform effects with playing cards or the items where the thickness and resiliency (bounciness) of the foam isn't a concern, the V&B pads are beautiful. Otherwise, I recommend you look elsewhere.

Message: Posted by: Magic Mark (Jun 27, 2020 03:04PM)
I should also mention that NOISE is a factor too. The V&B pad surface is so "taught" that when I place a chop cup down and release the ball you can hear it bounce on the mat. And if I place the chop cup down with a little too much force, the ball bounces off of the V&B pad and jumps back up and reattaches itself to the underside of the cup. It's quite frustrating!

Message: Posted by: Peckham (Aug 3, 2020 10:18AM)
Mark, Are you keeping these or will you sell them?
Message: Posted by: Magic Mark (Aug 3, 2020 03:01PM)
I'm keeping them. The microfiber Classic Green surface is excellent for cards. In hindsight, I wish I hadn't bothered to order the extra inlays. That would have saved a fair number of pennies.

Message: Posted by: Poof-Daddy (Oct 24, 2020 04:56PM)
It is nice to see a review that actually gives the cons of the V&B (besides the price). I use a Keyboard stand also and after considering all the hype with these, I decided the same idea as you, V&B are a furniture company, Patrick has been a top tier supplier of mats for magicians for years. I made my own table 2' X 3' and got a Monster Mat (without the rubber base because it was being built into a table) from Patrick in Plush Burgundy. Couldn't be happier with price and quality of finished product. I had not seen this review until today but it re-enforces my choice not to go the V&B route. You can see my prototype (23" x 16" ronjo pad) built into table with servante. and my 2' x 3' first made with grey car headliner (which works on a budget but can snag) and finally the same table with the mat from Patrick. All my chop cups (large Don Alan, mini Don Alan and mini Leo Smetsers Stainless Chop cup (as well as his silicone Harmonic and paper coffee cups) work without effort on the set up. cards spread perfectly and coins slide like butter (even turtles).
scroll near bottom to bottom for the tables. (I am still working on a servante for the big one)
Message: Posted by: Magic Mark (Oct 24, 2020 10:00PM)
Your table looks terrific, Poof! Great job. Now that I'm done remodeling my den, maybe I'll order a Patrick's Monster Mat and build my own table top too.

Message: Posted by: pattrick (Mar 1, 2021 09:37PM)
Great bunch of reviews. Mark just know I can cut a mat any size to fir your table. You donít need to make a table to fit the mat. We also have been making some hardback mats, and offer them in 3 sizes, but I have done some custom larger hardback mats too. Ours donít have the wood exterior like the V&B but are two wooden layers wrapped with padded materials and a colored accent line for good looks. I donít have a picture handy but you can see them at www.pattsmatts.com. I can also e mail you some better pictures as well for a better idea at info@pattsmatts.com Thanks Poof Daddy for the shout out !!!