Cups and Balls

All beginners in magic should address their questions here.

Postby flynn » 02/03/09 03:48 PM

Who makes the best cups? I need to retire my aluminum lemon loader and get something that will take larger loads.
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Postby MagicBilly » 02/03/09 03:54 PM

A bit of a loaded question, but I have always been a fan of Johnson cups, primarily for that heavy feel. For larger loads, I have heard nothing but good things about Gazzo cups.
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Postby Darryl Harris » 02/03/09 04:39 PM

There's no real answer to your question. It all goes to personal taste, style, and disposable income.
I have tried a number of sets, including Sisti, and Johnson. I used the copper cups Magic Inc. issued, the ones that look like Ross Bertrams cups, for years.

But ... I finally settled on the cups made by Jim Riser. I am currently using the Riser Standard Cups, & I couldn't be happier. I don't think I'll be buying any more cups. These suit me just fine.
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Postby Kent Gunn » 02/03/09 05:08 PM

Brett Sherwood

www.sherwoodmagic.com
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Postby erdnasephile » 02/03/09 06:46 PM

+1 for the Sherwood Cups being the "best" (whatever that means :) )

In the category of "I'm sadly not made of money--just need some really nice cups" :grin:, I favor the Johnson Cups. They are readily available, and are of a very high quality. There is also a perfectly matching Johnson chop cup, if combo cup routines are important to you.

Mr. Riser used to have a truly brilliant fully illustrated webpage about how to select cups which was extremely informative/helpful--it had information I found no place else, written by an expert. Perhaps if you emailed him, he might consider putting it back up again.

Good luck in your search!
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Postby flynn » 02/03/09 09:05 PM

Thanks for the suggestions. I'm not in the "happily made of money" category thats for sure so I wont be getting Sherwood cups anytime soon. I remember John Mendoza talking about his cups costing over a couple grand. But I'm looking for nice copper or bronze cups that I can get for around one fifty.
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Postby Gerald Deutsch » 02/03/09 10:16 PM

Why not use coffee cups and dollar bills? See the Charlie Miller routine in Bruce Elliott's "Classic Secrets of Magic"
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Postby Jonathan Townsend » 02/03/09 10:34 PM

That cup through cup but is a real corker using coffee cups.

Any thoughts on using the paper cups and producing filters full of grounds as final loads (safer than hot coffee ;) )?
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Postby David Alexander » 02/04/09 12:34 AM

We have two great resources on Cups on this forum: Jim Riser and Bill Palmer. At the moment Jim's site has taken down his many cups and I can't access Bill's museum site. Either one can give you excellent advice. When it's up Jim has a highly informative tutorial on how to buy a set of cups...what to watch out for so you aren't ripped off.
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Postby David Alexander » 02/04/09 12:47 AM

You can get a nice set here for a reasonable price:
http://www.harriesmagic.net/engelsk/catalogCups.html

or you might try this chap:
http://www.geniimagazine.com/forums/ubb ... ber=185687

His offer may still be open.
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Postby SoMd » 02/06/09 11:56 PM

Owen cups are also very nice. But you should definitely check out Jim Riser's cups.
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Postby KirkG » 02/07/09 11:17 PM

Please don't use coffee cups and paper balls. Give the trick the respect that it deserves and use cups that are interesting, work well, nest without wobbling and so forth. If you must use coffee cups, at least don't use a table knife for a "magic wand".

There are several Paul Fox clones on the market now, so use one of those. They are available from ~$100-$200.00.
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Postby Richard Hatch » 02/07/09 11:28 PM

Kirk wrote:Please don't use coffee cups and paper balls. Give the trick the respect that it deserves and use cups that are interesting, work well, nest without wobbling and so forth. If you must use coffee cups, at least don't use a table knife for a "magic wand".

I consider this very poor advice, not knowing the performance context. Mike Skinner did a great routine using coffee cups on the Tonight Show. Bob White does a great routine with paper coffee cups. John Carney does a wonderful one cup routine with a coffee cup, a borrowed bill, a knife (as wand), with the lemon produced at the end being cut open with the knife to reveal the spectator's bill. Vernon himself published a great impromptu routine using glasses covered with paper in the STARS OF MAGIC series. Gerald Deutsch's earlier post mentioned Charlie Miller's routine. Carney, Skinner, Vernon, Miller and White, all experts with the cups, chose on occasion to perform it without "fancy" cups. I am guessing that the impression on spectators is magnified when using "normal" objects for the routine. As beautiful as some cups are (the Sherwood cups in particular), I am sure to laymen they appear to be suspicious magician's props, despite having them examined as some routines do. The cups then get the credit, rather than the performer, to those audiences who don't appreciate, as we do, their history and aesthetic qualities.
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Postby Joe Pecore » 02/07/09 11:35 PM

Kirk wrote:Please don't use coffee cups and paper balls. Give the trick the respect that it deserves and use cups that are interesting, work well, nest without wobbling and so forth. If you must use coffee cups, at least don't use a table knife for a "magic wand".


That's right, use a spoon http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hJiTvLAraJc
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Postby Jonathan Townsend » 02/08/09 12:32 AM

[bad humor]
About the cups... so fancy you can't imagine anything but 'special' about them - yet the way folks treat them is ... well less than special.

Then again having only two hands I gave up wondering why cups come in sets of three. Also why they don't work so well for the three shell game sleight.

I'm too scared to even ask why folks are so eager to show off that their wives knit sweaters for their balls.
[/bad humor]
Last edited by Jonathan Townsend on 02/08/09 12:34 AM, edited 0 times in total.
Reason: oh superman...
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Postby Jonathan Townsend » 02/08/09 01:17 AM

flynn wrote:Who makes the best cups? I need to retire my aluminum lemon loader and get something that will take larger loads.


Probably easier to get you a good answer if you state your basic needs in terms of how you handle the cups and any style issues/preferences as cups go from straight sided to curved and stack differently when hiding extras.
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Postby flynn » 02/08/09 11:33 AM

I like the ones that look like little kegs that have the concave bottom. The traditional goblet look, copperor bronze, like Johnson's cups. I'll get used ones as long as its not too scuffed up and no dents. I don't do any fancy handling with them. I do routines petty much like any other routines i.e. false crotchet loading, crotchet going thru the cups I would like to load oranges, avacados, small stuff animals and baseball size balls. The only loads I use with the cups I currently have are small lemons, lime, juggling balls and balled up bills. Thanks to everybody thats replied. I've been googling some of the cups that have been suggested.
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Postby Pete Biro » 02/08/09 02:20 PM

Check www.rnt2.com they have a huge selection at bargain prices as they are going out of biz due to health reasons.
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