El Duco Mini Gold Cups or Riser Cups

Discuss your favorite close-up tricks and methods.

Postby Guest » 01/22/02 12:05 PM

Does anyone know a retailer in the US that has these cups? I can't seem to find a fairly local place. I want a mini-set of cups for my bar close-up set.

Also, if anyone has worked with either of them, how do they stack? I know the Riser Cups are one of the best small cups to get but what about El Ducos? I'm trying to see if I should go for El Duco's or The Riser Mini Cups. the Riser Cups are $160 and El Duco's are $60-80ish.

Any opinions?
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Postby Robert Kane » 01/22/02 02:54 PM

Dear Jeffery: I recently purchased a set of Riser Mini-Cups and, as a collector and performer, I am very pleased with my purchase. The cups are expertly crafted, heavy for their diminutive size and have that special squatty/thermos cup look that is so desirable. They can handle a size ball which many mini-cups cant do so well.

You may want to check out James Riser's web site to get a closer look. Riser's web site is also a lot of fun to surf because it contains quite a bit of information about a variety of current and historic cups. The plentiful color photographs are also interesting.

Finally, I found Mr. Riser to be good to work with during the buying process. He answered all of my questions promptly and was good about getting the cups to me in short order. All in all, a pleasure to deal with and a great product that is well worth the investment (in my humble opinion).

Here is the link: http://www.jamesriser.com/Magic/JamesRiserMagic.html

I have not seen the El Duco Mini-cups so I can't comment, but I have seen the regular size and I thought they were quite nice too. Hope that helps. Regards, Robert :)
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Postby Oliver Corpuz » 01/22/02 03:59 PM

Jeffery,

I agree with Robert Kane on every point he made on the Riser Cups. My Riser cups nest perfectly and are a joy to handle. I have over three dozen different sets of cups in various styles and materials, and the Riser set is one of my favorites. You can't go wrong with the Riser set.

As for the El Duco mini cups, I too can't comment on them because I don't have a set. I do have a regular size El Duco "golden cups" set, but I understand that the two versions have different designs. The mini set (from pictures I've seen) has a more classical shape while the full size set has a distinctive fat bottom that makes it look sort of like a round of amunition. One thing I don't like about the El Duco "golden" cups is that they are lacquered, so you can't polish them. They don't really stay "golden" over time. After the shine goes away, you can't make them shine anymore because of the lacquer.

Another thing I don't like about my full size El Duco set is that they wobble a little too much when you nest them. Some performers don't mind the wobble, but I do. On the positive side, the El Duco sets do have a nice weight to them.

Regards,

Oliver
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Postby Pete Biro » 01/22/02 05:25 PM

Riser cups for sure. Can't be beat. I use 'em and as the others say the El Duco's are off a tad and wobble (altho I have not had his mini cups).

BTW... try www.elduco.com

:D
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Postby Pete Biro » 01/22/02 05:39 PM

It is www.el-duco.com

He lists his mini cups and they look fine, not with the wide wobbly end like the larger cups.

On another note, you might check ebay for mini cups and balls via a search.

I still think the Riser mini cups are the hot tip.

Another possible is Stevens Magic, I know Joe has a lot of the El Duco stuff.
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Postby Pete Biro » 01/22/02 09:35 PM

Just back from going through my "Cabinet O' Cups" and found what look like El Duco's Mini Cups -- maybe Ickle Pickle?? I don't know, but they are Combo, one w/magnet.

They are very, very nice, but, IHMO too narrow and tall. The Riser cups would, I believe, hold a little larger load.

They are more compact.

Did you look on El-duco.com ???

pb :cool:
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Postby Michael Edwards » 01/23/02 03:22 AM

You can see a picture of my El Duco mini cups on Jim Riser's historic cups page. The El Duco mini cups in my collection are made of brass, stand 2 1/4 inch in height, and are a tad under 2 inches in width with one inch recess on top. Their design is very different than their larger siblings, the El Duco Golden Cups. It is more akin to the Rings N Rings combo cups shape with a single bead half-way up the side (by the way, the RNT mini's were a very nice set of small cups. There's a picture of one of my copper sets alongside a regular RnT set on Jim's site as well). The El Duco's are of good weight and are generally well crafted, though my set has a substantial amount of "wobble" in it when nested.

Jim Riser's cups have already been described so I won't repeat the above. Suffice it to say that Jim Riser is a master craftsman, a dedicated historian and expert on the making of cups, and a genuinely nice guy.

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Postby Guest » 01/23/02 08:28 AM

Thank You all for the input an information on my cup dilemma.

OK, I think my original question kind of got lost so lets take it form here.

I was wondering if there was a US retailer with the El Duco's as opposed to buying direct. I sort of would like to handle them before buying.

I wouldn't require handling the Riser cups before i bought. I am sure that the Riser cups are far and away a superior hand crafted product, but I thought to myself, if I'm going to spend that much money, I would probably get a set of Johnson brass cups. I mean, it's a $30 difference, and well we all know about Johnson's cups from a performance stand point (I know, they are not mini, and therefore not applicable to my request for a walk around set)

Now, from a collector stand point, I think the Riser cups are the best choice, as they are a hand made, one of a kind item. I think I would be nervous carrying them around to tell you the truth,,,

Choices, choices.... what to do....

OK well, do you all know of any other cups mini or otherwise you guys would recommend around the $200 and under range?
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Postby Pete Biro » 01/23/02 08:55 AM

Under $200? Sure. Go to ebay there are cups there...

HOWEVER....

For your kind of magic have you thought about the Johnny Paul routine?

Get the video from Joe Stevens and you will see, IHMO, the BEST routine for walk around to tables and bar magic...

It is interactive with spectators, using sponge balls.

And... "coincidence" ???? Joe sells the Johnny Paul cups ($155 with shipping) and they are fabulous. (Blatant plug as I am the manufacturer)... :D

Seriously, the top guys are buying these cups because the routine is so strong and so different and so easy to do.

Hurry, Joe is running out of the cups.
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Postby Pete Biro » 01/23/02 08:57 AM

Humble follow up... read Mike Close's review of the Paul cups in "that other magazine."
:D :D :D :p
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Postby Guest » 01/23/02 09:02 AM

I don't read that "Other" magazine....

It's all ads... very little content...
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Postby Jim Riser » 01/23/02 10:02 AM

Guys;
Thanks for the kind words about my Riser Mini-Cups. I thought I'd give you some history on them.

I originally designed the cups to produce a full sized baseball - meaning the cup would have a 3 1/8" inside diameter at the mouth. The cup was designed around the largest load possible for that size of cup. In addition, I wanted lots of space in the "attic" - the space between nested cups. It is equally important to have a large diameter depression so that three larger balls can sit on a cup without falling off. This design was scaled down to produce my Riser Mini-Cups. The "attic" on these cups is larger than that on many full sized cups due to careful design. The file date on my CAD drawing for the cup design is July 7, 1996. The design was submitted to several spinning companies at that time for quotes. After reeling from the quotes, I placed the drawing on the "back burner". For the next few years I concentrated on making variations of elaborate card holdouts, wood turnings like pill boxes, and assorted custom items.

During that time I was looking for and quietly purchasing metal spinning equipment. Of course, it took a great deal of time to teach myself how to spin cups the way I wanted them made. I have reached the point now with my spinning skills that I, at times, spin one-of-a-kind items such as my Mini-Think-A-Drink Shaker just for the challenge.

Good cups are expensive - especially for the spinner. I spent over $10,000 in equipment and sheet copper to make the first cup! You can get them a lot cheaper ;-) Within the next couple of months (if I can find time between spinning mini-cups), I will be introducing the Riser Jumbo-Cups - same design in very thick copper. Later in the fall, will come the standard size of cups.

I hope this info is interesting to someone.
Jim :)
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Postby Oliver Corpuz » 01/23/02 10:35 AM

Jim,

You can add my name to the waiting list for the Jumbo and Regular size cups you plan on making. I can't wait!

Oliver :)
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Postby Jim Riser » 01/24/02 10:02 PM

Oliver,
I figured I'd give all of the Riser Mini-Cup owners first chance at the Jumbos and Standards - whenever they come out. That's only fair.
Jim :rolleyes:
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Postby Guest » 01/25/02 06:24 AM

Jim

I completely agree with you. Even though spinning is less expensive production wise the cost of spinning and finishing ( correctly) is there and very labor intensive. In most cases the cost is reflective of the care and attention to detail of the products. Your cups are well worth the price as well as the cups by Mr. Biro.

Reesman
Encore Magic
Manufacture of the former Rings 'N Things Product line
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Postby Pete Biro » 01/25/02 09:50 AM

Thanks, Chris... Yes a lot of work. And, not being a greedy feller, I am keeping the prices down to a range where the younger guys can afford them.
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Postby Jim Riser » 01/25/02 10:20 AM

What Pete says about "keeping prices down so that the younger guys can afford them" is a critical concept in magic. There was a time when I could not afford Danny Dew cups at $15 per set! Most of us were helped by more experienced performers when we were justing starting out. I feel that as we get older, it is "pay back time" - time for us, in our turn, to help the younger performers. There are certain manufacturing production costs which can not be eliminated. I've gone into many of them on my McAbee Rings web page. But as a normal part of the manufacturing process itself, there are experimental items and mis-matched items produced now and then. Since I can not keep up with production demands on my cups as it is (meaning that they are priced correctly or too cheaply!), my policy on helping out the younger performers is to make slightly mis-matched cup sets available at a huge discount. These cups are very suitable for performances and learning; but not suitable for the fussy collectors and performers (like me). I feel this is part of my responsibility as a more experienced member of the magic fraternity. Such very infrequent items are offered only to select young performers to help them in their magical journey. BTW - Any "seconds" get crushed and sold for recycling - so do not ask ;-) Again, Pete's non-greediness on his lines of cups is to be commended. Just remember that without the younger set, magic will have no future. We need to help the youth as best we can.
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