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Topic: Draven Reviews: Crystal Clear by Peter Loughran
Message: Posted by: William Draven (Nov 30, 2020 12:11AM)

This review is NOT solicited, and I was not paid or compensated in anyway for this. This is a documentation of my personal experience buying a prop from an independent seller, and the opinions below reflect that. The Crystal Clear prediction system was created by Chris Stolz and produced, built, and sold by Peter Loughran. In this review I'll be referring only to Peter as he is the only person I had contact with the entire time. But credits for creating the concept belong to Cris. All proper respect justly due.

Oh man, it's been a while since I've written a product review hasn't it? Between life, covid, and a lot of other things between here and there I've just not really been around here much. Figured I may as well dip my pen back in the well and commit a few thoughts about a recent transaction I made while the words are still rolling around inside my head.

Today we're going to talk about my recently purchased the Crystal Clear prediction system from Peter Loughran. You can buy it directly through his website here: ref: https://masterofillusions.ca/shop/ols/products/crystal-clear-prediction-chest

This is quite possibly one of the most expensive pieces of magic that I've purchased in quite a while. The illusion starts at $1,500 and goes up from there depending on if you add in a tripod stand and travel case. The customer service with Peter is amazing. I was familiar with the Crystal Clear system, as I had used an earlier version of it that a friend of mine owns last year. Before I would buy, I wanted to see if Peter could do a little custom work first. There's nothing wrong with the clean original looking box you'll see on his website. But my show is spooky and frankly in my hands, the original version just looked a little TOO much like a magic prop. I wanted something a little darker to fit my style. So when I initially emailed him I asked if it would be possible to "goth it up" a bit. Let me tell you, he didn't disappoint! You can see pictures of the final prop on Peter's social media page here: https://www.facebook.com/photo?fbid=10158918319969124&set=pcb.10158918378244124 The deep wood stained side panels, black metal bits, silver bolts, and gothic spikes on top, along with an old style padlock just screams creepy! Peter also asked if I was okay if he put pentagrams on the sides. OF course you can put pentagrams on the sides! I asked if they could be reversible, and Peter even set it up so all I have to do is pop out a few screws and flip the sucker upside down, incase I needed a little extra punch for the right audience. Honestly, comparing the two versions side by side, I think my custom work is a better looking system overall. I suppose I maybe a bit biased, but a spade is a spade.

So Peter's customer service doesn't just stop with his ability to take an idea and run with it. He legit cares about his clients. Not wanting anything to happen to the box in transit he took extra attention to bubble wrap, shrink wrap, and foam pad this illusion out to the max. I think all the padding and bubble wrap probably weighed more than the actual prop, and that's only a minor exaggeration! I enjoyed a Fast response time, and building from scratch to front door delivery the turn around was just about three weeks.

If you don't know what a prediction system does, it delivers a prediction to the performer which can be used to reveal a whole lot of different things. From confabulations, to dream vacations, or just about anything else you can think of. Peter includes some nice ideas in his instruction manual, and I'll have to send him my notes on my two personal versions for anyone who purchases this system in the future. (If you are interested in my two ideas just message or email me. Find me on Facebook? I'll be glad to share.) Unlike other systems out there, the Crystal Clear version is quiet, can be done surrounded, with as much spectator's handling of the box, and prediction before and after the switch as possible. Best of all, it's 100% silent in operation. This system switches out the fake prediction for the loaded one in such a way that it happens literally undetectable right under the volunteers nose. The prediction stays in view the entire time. Needless to say, If I'm going to drop a grand plus on an illusion I'm going to do my research on it first. And there are other prediction systems out there, but this one just ticks off all the boxes for me. Bonus? So far, as of the time of this writing, I have the only GOTHIC version of this system! I hope it stays that way too. I'm looking at you Dan Sperry.

The instructions is a packet of papers that look to have been run off a desktop inkjet printer. Real old school. No DVD's with needlessly longwinded two hour plus explanations of how to do something that takes place in a microsecond of stage time. Clearly the effort goes into making the prop, not making the instruction book. I got to say. I kind of got to respect that. Even if I didn't have previous experience working with this prop, it's a fast read. The operations is simple, and there's instructions for solo performers as well as those working with assistants. -I myself prefer the assistant route, but hey you do you.

The price point: Ouch! $1,500 isn't pocket change, and I paid significantly more than that because my diva rear needed a custom job. However, considering other similar products available on the open market usually start at or around $3,200 and can easily top end at near $4K by the time you get thru shipping and taxes, Crystal Clear is a steal! This is an investment, but it's a solid one. Peter really could be charging a lot more for these things, and depending on how much stock he keeps around or if they are built to order as mine was, he really SHOULD be charging more. The price alone will keep it out of the hands of any casual performer, but for those who do purchase a Crystal Clear the power it will bring to your shows is undeniable.

Overall I am beyond satisfied with my prop, and my experience shopping with Peter Loughran. I have a beautiful prediction system that has both form and function. Peter is a talented builder, and I absolutely will be buying from him again in the future. If you need a prediction system, then you really should do what I did. Do your research first, but then come to the only conclusion possible. For the investment no other system delivers as much bang for your dollar than Crystal Clear. Christmas is around the corner too! Maybe it's time to let Santa know you need a new shiny toy?
Message: Posted by: FrankFindley (Dec 5, 2020 09:20AM)
Wow. Thanks for sharing. So many of these look...what's the best word...sterile. Yours grabs attention immediately. One can't help but to wonder "What is that box? What will it be used for?" when it is brought out. Yet, somehow it also looks completely fair.
Message: Posted by: TRoberts (Jan 3, 2021 03:49PM)
Thanks for sharing, I really like the custom design.
Message: Posted by: Munseys_Magic (Feb 18, 2021 04:27PM)
Assistant required?
Message: Posted by: Chris Stolz (Apr 22, 2021 08:39PM)
So glad you're digging the prop!

Mine's right next to me and I love it to death. Peter is indeed an absolute rock-star.