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Engali
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This is interesting. I've heard the effect of Lubor's Lens--sounds like it would play well for a lot of people. My concern would be with carrying this gimmick around. It's good to know that when people mention these type of specifics on reviews.

There's a difference between effects that we "try out" and are surprised by how well they play and ones that we will ultimately put into our repetoire as a workhouse effect. For example, Sankey's In a Flash is a great piece of magic. I was fooled the first time I saw it and impressed with the structure and everything. However, I would most likely never even *semi-regularly* perform it because of the set-up requirements, so I choose not to buy it. Maybe that will change later, but for now it's pointless for me to buy it when there is so much material out there that I know I will use consistently.

Some people said they didn't like Big Tiny. I wish they had said why, like if they don't like the methods, the effect itself, or the fact that a deck gets used every time you perform it. Information like that will help people like me get a general idea of how it would work for us. Like using up a deck every once in a while is fine with me because I inevitably have a bunch of old decks laying around.

And again, I think it's pointless to post critical and constructive reviews if we have to qualify every criticism by saying that EVERY effect on this set is at least a 9.5. That again is example of setting expectations too high. Forget a numerical rating--they're completely subjective and largely meaningless compared to an explanation, a reason, for WHY the effect isn' one you like/perform for people who don't own the set. Im interested in logical, thought-out reasons why people like or don't like effects, not bold assertions about how great everything in the package is.

EDIT: clarity
bugjack
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On 2009-02-26 08:34, Engali wrote:

And again, I think it's pointless to post critical and constructive reviews if we have to qualify every criticism by saying that EVERY effect on this set is at least a 9.5. That again is example of setting expectations too high. Forget a numerical rating--they're completely subjective and largely meaningless compared to an explanation, a reason, for WHY the effect isn' one you like/perform for people who don't own the set. Im interested in logical, thought-out reasons why people like or don't like effects, not bold assertions about how great everything in the package is.

EDIT: clarity


Hi Engall,

I've posted this comment in other threads here, but I actually think that thinking about TA as the sum total of all the effects is wrong. I think its value is as an entire collection that argues for a certain way of thinking about and performing magic. There are a lot of little touches and presentational bits in even effects that one doesn't like that one will wind up using or adapting or simply mulling over. If you're looking for a box full of "workers" that can go right into a professional set, I'm not sure that that is or ever was the intention of TA. If you're looking for something that will get our own creative juices flowing or may cause you to rethink things you are doing, then TA is valuable. Also, if you are interested in Paul Harris -- where his thinking has been and where it has now wound up -- and consider him as some kind of artist, then I think this is a necessary set.
Magicsquared
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Engali, I'm not sure why you're surprised that one of the most creative minds in magic spent the last 5 or so years working on a project with a handful of other very talented people that is, in fact, very good. I'm not sure why the number of detailed reviews on this site and others that are highly favorable of this set are somehow seen as not legit or "hype." Why can't a review be overwhelmingly positive and still "objective"? The fact is, it can. You say you're looking for negative reviews so you can "set the range" of your expectations. But what if you end up liking it more or hating it more than this "range" you've set? Would it matter? Who cares what the poles are, shouldn't it matter more what the consensus is? We're all big boys here, we don't need others to "set the range of our expectations."

I would give this set a 10 because I consider one of my best purchases in 20 years studying magic. That does not mean I would give every individual piece on it a 10. I would give Pet Sounds a 10 too, but I usually skip over the title track.

The greatest compliment I can give a magic release is that it makes me want to get out and perform and this set does that more than anything else I've ever purchased.
Engali
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Quote:
On 2009-02-26 10:14, bugjack wrote:
Quote:
On 2009-02-26 08:34, Engali wrote:

And again, I think it's pointless to post critical and constructive reviews if we have to qualify every criticism by saying that EVERY effect on this set is at least a 9.5. That again is example of setting expectations too high. Forget a numerical rating--they're completely subjective and largely meaningless compared to an explanation, a reason, for WHY the effect isn' one you like/perform for people who don't own the set. Im interested in logical, thought-out reasons why people like or don't like effects, not bold assertions about how great everything in the package is.

EDIT: clarity


Hi Engall,

I've posted this comment in other threads here, but I actually think that thinking about TA as the sum total of all the effects is wrong. I think its value is as an entire collection that argues for a certain way of thinking about and performing magic. There are a lot of little touches and presentational bits in even effects that one doesn't like that one will wind up using or adapting or simply mulling over. If you're looking for a box full of "workers" that can go right into a professional set, I'm not sure that that is or ever was the intention of TA. If you're looking for something that will get our own creative juices flowing or may cause you to rethink things you are doing, then TA is valuable. Also, if you are interested in Paul Harris -- where his thinking has been and where it has now wound up -- and consider him as some kind of artist, then I think this is a necessary set.


Hey bugjack,

I think that's fair. There's certainly value in the ideas that are sparked by material that me may never use. However, if that is all or *most* of what I get out of a product then I'd be hard pressed to put a relatively expensive product at the top of my to-buy list just for that. I know I'll get around to buying this set at some point, but the question is when. The more effects I know I will perform/use, the higher it goes on my list.

So I'm not saying that the value in a product solely lies in how many "workers" I get out it, but at least to ME it is a very large part of it. Given that I can't predict what ideas/touches/nuances I'll glean from a product, all I CAN go on are the elements that are being featureds--the effects themselves. And given that the vast majority of reviews are both bague and hyped, I'm looking for the "other side" of the story.

I'll give you a quick example. The blurb for Transcendental Bar Bet sounded great. A spectator vanishing a card themselves with their own hands!? Astonishing. And then I read a critical review that obliquely stated how it actually appears. That revised what I thought the ffect was and gave me a more realistic and accurate expectation of it--which is GOOD thing. Before that review I was expecting some ingenious method where a spectator places their hand on a card, lifts it, and somehow it's gone--or something equally ingenious. Harris is endlessly clever, so I would'nt be surprised if he had created a handling that looked as clean as the blurb sounded. Now that I know it isn't, I can fully appreciate what the effect IS instead of what I thought it WAS.
Nathan Pain
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The worst effect for me...is the effect that TA has had on my sleep...just thinking about it has ruined sleep for me...for a while.

Nathan
...
Engali
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On 2009-02-26 11:43, Magicsquared wrote:
Engali, I'm not sure why you're surprised that one of the most creative minds in magic spent the last 5 or so years working on a project with a handful of other very talented people that is, in fact, very good. I'm not sure why the number of detailed reviews on this site and others that are highly favorable of this set are somehow seen as not legit or "hype." Why can't a review be overwhelmingly positive and still "objective"? The fact is, it can. You say you're looking for negative reviews so you can "set the range" of your expectations. But what if you end up liking it more or hating it more than this "range" you've set? Would it matter? Who cares what the poles are, shouldn't it matter more what the consensus is? We're all big boys here, we don't need others to "set the range of our expectations."

I would give this set a 10 because I consider one of my best purchases in 20 years studying magic. That does not mean I would give every individual piece on it a 10. I would give Pet Sounds a 10 too, but I usually skip over the title track.

The greatest compliment I can give a magic release is that it makes me want to get out and perform and this set does that more than anything else I've ever purchased.


When did I ever say I was suprirsed it would get good praise? I didn't. In fact I expected it. I also expected the slew of often vague and positive reviews that flooded this forum. The problem with accepting all these reviews at face value is the fact that the hype affects perceptions--I'm expecting a freaking miracle out of every effect just on the postitive reviews alone.

And no I never said that the positive reviews can't be objective, but when few critical reviews arise at all and when legitemate critcisms that are made are met with violent disagreemnt...there's a problem. This is when I know I'm not getting an accurate read on a product. After all, like I already said, it's impossible for this product to be as good as most are making it out to be simply because of the fact that not every effect is going fit every performer--that's just being realistic. And yet it's the impression that I'm getting when reading the reviews.

More to the point, any "objectivity" I can get in reviews will be from a RANGE of reviews of differing opinion with logical reasons supporting the views since every person's singular review is just a subjective view point anyway. Now, when products don't have hype surrounding it invariably I get a much more accurate view of it by reading reviews than when I get swept up in the hype and believe wholesale all the glowing reviews. Unsurprisingly, the reviews about an un-hyped product tend to have a wider range of opinions on it. Again, there is a marked aversion in this forum to criticsim, no matter how legitimate, when it's a hyped product. People who make critical reviews are belittled, snarky comments are made about them, etc.. It happens and happens often--esepcially surrounding TA. Ridiculous imo, but I see it happen constantly in this forum.

I am a grown man, so no I don't "need" people to set the range. The point is I'm setting my OWN range based off of reviews. My point is that the reviews I'm getting aren't the whole story. I know this to be true because of what I mentioned above--people are afraid to say anything negative about this product for fear of ridicule and being ganged up on. It happens with other hyped products, too. Obviously the whole point of a review forum is to honestly inform people who don't have a product about its strengths and shortcomings, not to congratulate each other for buying a product. So from my pov the reviews and this forum are for people like me--who haven't bought the product in question and are looking for as objective of a view as possible. It's not for people like you, who have it and want to validate their own opinions. Fact of the matter is there ARE people who aren't as thrilled with it as you are and I want to hear from them because I've already heard the glowing praise ad nauseum.
kissdadookie
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The same thing can be said of the "negative" reviews Engali. If you look at the the reviews for TA, both the "positive" and the "negative" reviews, there's much more viable content within the "positive" reviews than there are in the "negative" reviews. I like to make my decisions based on qualitative reviews instead of those that are extremely vague (which unfortunately the "negative" reviews have more of). I have a lot of issues with the "positive" reviews as well but the fact of the matter is there's just more information to go by within the "positive" ones than the "negative" ones. Am I making any sense there Engali? Not shooting down the "negative" ones but they just lack anything substantial that makes them a good source for learning about the product in question.
Magicsquared
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Engali,

Never think about eating at Per Se in Manhattan. You'll be waiting so long for negative reviews to show up so that you can gauge the "range of your expectations" that you'll starve to death.

Sometimes things that get hyped a lot are actually good and you don't hear a bunch of criticism about them because of that fact. The Café is full of reviews from fanboys, sycophants, and friends of the creator for every DVD and effect that is released. But the consensus view, along with your own judgment, should be enough to form an opinion. This obsession to uncover negative reviews because you’ve heard “glowing praise ad nauseum” seems like a meaningless pursuit. Are you familiar with Paul Harris' 30 year track-record? Do you like his work? If so, is some random person's negative review on a message board going to turn you off from possibly purchasing this set? I encourage you to have some faith in yourself and trust your gut a little more.

Or you can petition for more negative reviews. The ones so far have been very insightful. For example, Nimrod's where he explained that signatures don’t add to a transposition effects and complained that a lot of these effects required a set-up or gimmicks unlike “the good old Paul Harris impromptu miracles” as if Paul Harris was known for Paul Cummins style FASDIU material.

Maybe you're right, maybe people don't really like this set and are just saying they do because they've been duped by the hype. I doubt it, but only because I'm not that weak-willed myself and I have a hard time believing others being that way. I think it's more likely that people are enjoying it because one of the most influential creators and thinkers in magic spent years putting this together and it's actually good. But it seems like you're not open to that option.

I'm not going to try and convince you anymore. If you want to data-mine for negative reviews for whatever reason, I won't stand in your way. have fun.
kissdadookie
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By the way Engali, I believe Magicsquared comment about Paul Harris and Paul Cummins along with Nimrods review was tongue in cheek, I can kind of see how lot's of people will read that comment and actually believe the "very insightful" comment to be literal.
Review King
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I didn't like Reality Twister or Lipsmaked. Folks thought I was crazy 'cause they were Paul Harris effects.

I make up my own mind on what I like, what will work, etc. Reviews are fun to read ( sometimes ), but in the end, I have to watch a DVD or use/work with an effect to make a decision.

I LOVE the True Astonishment DVD set. I had extremely high hopes for the set and my expectations were exceeded.

Hey, some folks don't like The Beatles White Album. Some think it's their best work. Who is right? Well....folks that love it of course! It's The White Album for good sakes.

Paul, with his own Beatles, made a White Album with lotsa gems and gold on it!
"Of all words of tongue and pen,
the saddest are, "It might have been"

..........John Greenleaf Whittier
kissdadookie
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I love Lipsmacker but sadly the mints are a pain in the butt to buy so I stopped using it. The other reason is that I end up personally eating all the mints.
bugjack
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I think that's fair. There's certainly value in the ideas that are sparked by material that me may never use. However, if that is all or *most* of what I get out of a product then I'd be hard pressed to put a relatively expensive product at the top of my to-buy list just for that. I know I'll get around to buying this set at some point, but the question is when. The more effects I know I will perform/use, the higher it goes on my list.

So I'm not saying that the value in a product solely lies in how many "workers" I get out it, but at least to ME it is a very large part of it. Given that I can't predict what ideas/touches/nuances I'll glean from a product, all I CAN go on are the elements that are being featureds--the effects themselves. And given that the vast majority of reviews are both bague and hyped, I'm looking for the "other side" of the story.

I'll give you a quick example. The blurb for Transcendental Bar Bet sounded great. A spectator vanishing a card themselves with their own hands!? Astonishing. And then I read a critical review that obliquely stated how it actually appears. That revised what I thought the ffect was and gave me a more realistic and accurate expectation of it--which is GOOD thing. Before that review I was expecting some ingenious method where a spectator places their hand on a card, lifts it, and somehow it's gone--or something equally ingenious. Harris is endlessly clever, so I would'nt be surprised if he had created a handling that looked as clean as the blurb sounded. Now that I know it isn't, I can fully appreciate what the effect IS instead of what I thought it WAS.


And I think what you have wrote is fair as well. As for the hype versus the reality, I'll say that I had the same issue with the AOA books. I read the great one-line descriptions of what the effects were, but then when I got the books and read the methods, there were many times I was disappointed. Then, a year or so later, I dug out the books again and read them with a different eye and got much more out of them. There are tricks I and I imagine many people will never do -- like "Guts," for example -- that are still interesting to think about.

For what it's worth, however, "Transcendental Bar Bet" is not one of my favorites from the set, and the gap between what I thought it might be from the ad copy and what it is is very large. Funnily, that particular effect would work best as a simple bar bet, but that's not the presentation it's given on the disks.
Engali
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Magicsquared,

Yeah, sometimes a product does live up to the hype. In this *particular* situation, I'm having doubts. I've already told you that if I actually took all the positive reviews at face value I would expect every effect to be a miracle worth doing. Is that the case? No, it's not. There's never going to be a product where every piece fits every performer--and yet the majority of positive reviews are only giving the thumbs up to each and every effect. I find that odd and hard to believe. If that's the impression I'm getting after reading literally almost every review of TA in this forum, do you think the reviews are accurate and level-headed? Wouldn't YOU be suspicious when we're involved in an industry where the bench mark standard of value is that I get ONE thing I like and use off of a single disk? Sounds like too much hype to me.

And it's unfair to say that I'm petitioning for negative reviews--I'm trying to create an atmosphere where people will feel safe to post *constructive* criticism about the product without 4 fanbois scurrying to bring the guy down a couple of notches. For real, this type of thing is bordering on fanatical with the immediacy and degree of backlash people get when they don't cushion and qualify their opinion to the nth degree. It's sad.

And it hurts your case when you talk about what Nimrod said in his disk 3 & 4 review. You're blurring the issue here by leaving out context. He didn't say signing a card doesn't add anything to a transposition--which is how you twisted what he said to make him look bad. He said that he thinks the Casanova principle is clever, but for him the set up involved is not worth it for a simple transposition with everyday objects like business cards, which is indeed a fair and logical opinion. That's a world of difference from what YOU said he said. This is exactly the type of thing I'm talking about concerning the backlash against critical reviews. Case in point.

Kissadookie,

That's true to a degree, but only really because there's so many more positive reviews to draw from. I would say that well over 90% of reviews both negative and positive have been vague. If you've been paying attention(as I know you have because you were in a critical thread review), people who post critical reviews are judged by a different standard than non-critical reviwers.

No one ever really complains that the positive reviews are vague, but fanbois are all over a critical reviewer when they're vague at all about the effects. No one ever calls anyone here on saying stuff like, "This effect kills." But when someone says it doesn't or looks like it wouldn't work, everyone is asking them if they tried it out. If they didn't, fanbois are all like, "Well then how do you know!? You're just thinking like a magician!" But they don't say that to the hundreds of postive reviewers--they don't question whether or not THEY'VE tried it even though the post will contain comments like, "So I got this yesterday and..."

And even if the reviewer says they DID try it out and it didn't work FOR THEM, reviewers will STILL go on about how they're doing it wrong or they're bad magicians or any number of childish, ad homiem attacks that show they no longer have any case. It's sad and tiring to read this stuff. Did it ever occur to people that, like with ALL magic, not every effect is going to fit every person? Because if they did maybe they would see past their own hype-induced haze and realize that the critical reviewer has a right to their own opnion based off of their experience and shouldn't be challenged or ridiculed any more than a positive reviewer.

Peace,
Engali
EDIT: spelling/grammar
kissdadookie
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Well, I of course have tried my best to stay away from the hype and thus tried to only offer my views on things that I found were substantial or criticize when things are overly vague (as that of course adds absolutely NOTHING to the subject at hand) or lacks any foundation (saying something doesn't work after just knowing what the effect is an not actually trying it proves absolutely... nothing). However, I fully agree with the thinking behind the idea that not everything is suitable for everybody. Is everybody going to perform something like Cellmates? Of course not. How about Belly Button? Of course not. Does it make these bad effects and result in a negative review? No, because the fact is, they are good effects, just not suitable for the person and this should be stated if one was to give a review of any sort. We are after all performing for laypeople, not just to entertain ourselves with it. A very very very general metaphor/comparison for this is like those bad American Idol auditions, folks really do go on that show thinking that they can sing only to get shot down by the judges because they are really terrible at singing. Did they think they were bad? Of course not, but then again they have not really taken there singing on the road and sang to actual people (apart from friends and family, because friends and family are not a good gauge for a effect playing well or not).

With that said, there has been vague "reviews" across the board for both "positive" and "negative" reviews of the TA set. I highly doubt that "applauding" folks to have the "guts" to post "negative reviews" (which by the way, have been quite biased and unsubstantial because of the lack of quality of these posts) is a bad way to go. If there's a lack of qualitative information in ANY kind of review, we should bring that up openly and ask for those views and that information to be substantiated.

Another issue with the your point of saying that reviewers get backlashed for saying that effects don't work for them is something that I both agree to a certain extent and disagree to a certain extent as well. Yes, it didn't work for them but then again, is there bias there? How does the effect work for a lay audience when performed PROPERLY. Performing something PROPERLY is NOT subjective regardless of how you think about it because bottom line is, you either get a reaction, get called out, or get no reaction at all. The effects on TA are basically bullet proof with getting a reaction from lay audiences, these are really effects that are magical in the eyes of the lay audience. Magician's may not think so but then again, when Dean Dill's Blizzard came out, a lot of folks thought that it wouldn't work (little did they know). I think a key to understanding if something is of any good, regardless of it being suitable to your performing style, is to be a good and open minded consumer of magic as well as being able to road test material on lay people to work out kinks. After all, the more you actually know, the better suited you will be for seeing workable effects and unworkable effects. Another good example of this on TA is Andrew Gerard's Extraordinary Proof, it is SUCH a obvious method but it's been streamlined and subtleties have been tweaked so well that it just works very very very well. There are MANY effects on TA that justifies it's purchase which are HARD hitting for the spectator yet quite boring and even "silly" for the performer (this is due to our knowledge of "better" methods, in other words, we're jaded and it's often hard to take ourselves out of the "jaded magician" mode and back into reality, through the eyes of the spectator).

As a final note, I really feel that your decision to pick up TA or not to pick up TA is to just trust your own judgement instead of ANY of the so called reviews on the Café. Even though the market for magic has changed dramatically over the years with the vast amount of demo videos and these magic forums, it's still very much a guessing game just like the old days where we were limited to knowing effects only from descriptions in printed catalogues. There's a lesson learned with any and all of your purchases, if you get burned, let folks know why you got burned so that others may be warned, if you hit that nugget of gold, either let others know (or pretend that you never bought it so that less people will be using it ;P ). Then again, there are those who just make absolutely NO sense (such as the other post on here where someone asked if it was better to perform Twilight Angel's with blue or red backed cards, please tell me what the logic of that is, heck, when the card is signed, it's signed on the face of the card so it really makes no difference).
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Life isn't always fair. In law, the burden of proof is with one side. For reviews, folks that pan things have to go a bit further. Is it fair? Maybe not, but that's the way it is.

When I say something "kills" it means I've used it and the reactions justify my comment.

When someone says "this is dull and won;t fool anyone", they get asked have the performed it. Most often, they have not. So.....they get judged on that.
"Of all words of tongue and pen,
the saddest are, "It might have been"

..........John Greenleaf Whittier
kissdadookie
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Here's another example, the Weirdling, I have a gut feeling that MANY magician's are going to skip this effect because this does not get the very satisfying "OMG! THAT'S CRAZY! LET'S JUMP UP AND DOWN!" reaction that so many of us hopes to get with every effect. I on the other hand, absolutely LOVE Weirdling. There's NOTHING better than a spectator keeping the crazy impossible card, going off to the side, and a few minutes later, when I take a look from the corner of my eye, they are still standing off on the side with card in hand, pondering on the oddity. That is much more satisfying then the wizz bang jump up and down as if you drank a gallon of coffee reaction.

Sadly, many folks on here can not get their mind to understand anything beyond the boundaries of "I must make them jump up and down and wet their britches" reactions. Is that really impactful magic? I personally want something with impact moreso than something that will get a loud response but easily forgotten later. This is one of the reasons I can see that creates these so called "negative reviews." Anything less than flourishy, acrobatic, OMG let's jump up and down that's so freakin visual-reaction garnering material is sadly considered as being "mediocre."
bugjack
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On 2009-02-26 14:47, kissdadookie wrote:

As a final note, I really feel that your decision to pick up TA or not to pick up TA is to just trust your own judgement instead of ANY of the so called reviews on the Café. Even though the market for magic has changed dramatically over the years with the vast amount of demo videos and these magic forums, it's still very much a guessing game just like the old days where we were limited to knowing effects only from descriptions in printed catalogues. There's a lesson learned with any and all of your purchases, if you get burned, let folks know why you got burned so that others may be warned, if you hit that nugget of gold, either let others know (or pretend that you never bought it so that less people will be using it ;P ). Then again, there are those who just make absolutely NO sense (such as the other post on here where someone asked if it was better to perform Twilight Angel's with blue or red backed cards, please tell me what the logic of that is, heck, when the card is signed, it's signed on the face of the card so it really makes no difference).


I think that's a great final comment. I discounted the hype in my head, bought the set, and am really happy with it. I've had it almost two weeks, still haven't watched everything, and it's really got me thinking in new and different ways. That said, there were certainly disappointments in it, but the whole has been more than the sum of the parts.

The one thing I will say about the reviews here, however, is that many of them are, as Engali has said, vague. For example, "Cellmates." It is a card trick. Yes, cell phones are used, but it also uses a deck of cards. From the ad copy I imagined I'd be getting something that would an alternative to card magic and that's not the case. But while I was initially disappointed by this -- and disappointed as well by what I initially felt was a rather elementary handling using one of my least favorite techniques -- I wound up liking what Paul said in his "Phootnote" regarding the reasoning behind the use of this technique. And then I thought more about it and realized that for me this trick would be better with a matchmaking presentation. Since it's so simple to remember, I'm sure it will be something I use one day in just the right situation.
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Kissdadookie - I think you are on to something - its like the Big Tiny - its not a leap up and down... its a slow burn WTF sort of leave them clueless effect... for we who do mentalism and bizarre magic... that is often the thing we want to achieve... leaving them with a mystery and pondering... pondering....

For example, I think Twilight Angels is a great effect but I don't like it as its too cute for my style... I'd have to darken it up... at the same time... the methods and touches I absorb for enhancing voodoo burn card effects and the like.
"They are lean and athirst!!!!"
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Engali,

I was actually trying to make Nimrod's point sound better. Tell me exactly where I "twisted" his words:

Nimrod: "All in all I don't feel there is a need for signatures in a close up transposition effect (with cards or coins), not with that cost anyway."

Nimrod does not feel signatures add to a transposition effect. Or he does feel they add to an effect, but not enough for a very nominal set-up. That's fine, I suppose, but is this the type of insight that's going to have some bearing on you acquiring this set?

And, I must have read different reviews than you have. I haven't seen people saying that they love every effect. I've seen people who are happy with their purchase and have found a number of effects they're going to use. But please, show me all these reviews where people are saying that every piece fits them.

I also don't see this "backlash" that you do in regards to people posting negative opinions. I appreciate your crusade "to create an atmosphere where people will feel safe to post *constructive* criticism." But I think you're tilting at windmills because I haven't seen any constructive criticism bashed by anybody.
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Quote:
On 2009-02-26 15:09, Magicsquared wrote:
Engali,

I was actually trying to make Nimrod's point sound better. Tell me exactly where I "twisted" his words:

Nimrod: "All in all I don't feel there is a need for signatures in a close up transposition effect (with cards or coins), not with that cost anyway."

Nimrod does not feel signatures add to a transposition effect. Or he does feel they add to an effect, but not enough for a very nominal set-up. That's fine, I suppose, but is this the type of insight that's going to have some bearing on you acquiring this set?

And, I must have read different reviews than you have. I haven't seen people saying that they love every effect. I've seen people who are happy with their purchase and have found a number of effects they're going to use. But please, show me all these reviews where people are saying that every piece fits them.

I also don't see this "backlash" that you do in regards to people posting negative opinions. I appreciate your crusade "to create an atmosphere where people will feel safe to post *constructive* criticism." But I think you're tilting at windmills because I haven't seen any constructive criticism bashed by anybody.


You twisted his meaning by leaving out context. Someone actually asked him why he thought signatures didn't add anything and he calrified, but you conveniently left that part out. Note that even in your quote he said *for the cost*. For everyone reading, here's Nimrod's clarification:

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
You misunderstood me, The cost I'm talking about it not $$$. The cost is the prep time and the non impromptu method. I'm not saying it's weak, it sure does get the reactions. But this is not the only parameter. You can also see what "Be Honest.." (a simple 2 cards transpo without signature) can do to a spec in the first Blaine special (and it gets the same reactions from people here in Israel, I know). I'm sure that if I try CC it it will get the reactions I need. I just like my close up magic to be simple, handy, not odd looking and impromptu. Otherwise, It takes much to make me pay that cost (I'm willing to pay it with Close's The Pot Hole Trick or with Red Hot Mamma for example). And this is something that I feel about many of the effects on the TA set.

/snip
----------------------------------------------------------------------

Clearly he meant for the cost in set-up given a lot of simple transpositions happen with no signatures and get a great reaction. He cites Be Honest, What Is It as an example. That's different from what you said he said which is that he thought sigantures added NOTHING to a transposition--which is obviously false. It does add something, but the degree depends on what type of effect you're doing. Signature is vital in card to wallet, maybe not so for a card transposition using two DL. But when you say that he said it adds nothing, period, WITHOUT his qualifying statements hat makes him appear ignorant. Get it?

And I'm not going to go through the last months worth of posts to find the few that were willing to make criticisms and got ridiculed to prove anything to you. Frankly, I'm not trying to convince you. I AM trying to gather as much honest information on this set as I can and explaining why I'm doing what I'm doing. Your conviction is largely unnecessary, so we should be square as long as you give people some space in this thread to speak their minds.

And someone HAS privately PM'ed me and given me some insight into the set. Not surprisingly, a lot of the descriptions have turned out to be too good to be true. THAT is valuable information--way above and beyond the value that any positive review has given me. That review I cited earlier about Transcental Bar Bet was also one of the most useful pieces of information about the set I've gotten from reading review after review. I think you can write a positive review and still be critical. Unfortunately, I see very few psoitive reviews that put a critical eye to it--they're just gushing praise for the set. /shrug
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