The Best of The Linking Rings . . .

Discuss your favorite platform magic and illusions.

Postby Ray Eden » 07/26/04 05:33 AM

I've been doing the Linking Rings off and on for the last 20 years (has it been that long?), and I think that its time to get a new set. Before I do, I would like to hear some opinions regarding the best 'mid-priced' (key word! - pun intended)set available on the market today. I would like a set 12" in diameter, with a good sounding tone. All opinions are welcomed.

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Postby David Alexander » 07/26/04 11:11 PM

There is only one: Owen Magic's 12" hollow stainless steel. An eight ring set weighs around four pounds and they ring like a bell. Buy one set and you'll never have to buy another. When I got mine they were around $500 and worth every penny.

My other set is 10" Merv Taylor Orb Eternal Stainless Steel....solid, heavy, and with a ring like a bell. Either one works well, but the smaller rings weigh in at over six pounds. They were once owned by Gene Gloye who wrote one of the best routines.

The finest set I've ever seen were made by Les Smith at Owen Magic from titanium tubing accidentally delivered to his shop. Extremely light the handled beautifully and had a beautiful tone. Unfortunately, Les sold them for a nice price before I could talk him out of them.
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Postby Ray Eden » 07/26/04 11:15 PM

That's a mid-range (remember the key word) price? Are the really good Linking Rings really $1000.00+?

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Postby Guest » 07/27/04 12:23 AM

I am not aware of any set of linking rings costing more than $1000.00

I got a set of 12 inches with locking key from Owens just two months ago. I think they are perfect, and after you tried them you'd never go back to anything else.

I am a collector of rings, both cheap and expensive ones. The cheap ones are actually not that bad because they are good for practicing. I recommend the hollow alluminium set from Stevens as they are really light (lighter than hollow steel) and allow for graceful manipulation. I combined them with another cheap set of al rings (forgot what brand) which accidentally featured an exceptionally strong magnetic locking key. It was a perfect. The sound it makes was terrible though.

Maybe one day I'll be lucky enough to experiment with a set of titanium rings.
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Postby Pete Biro » 07/27/04 09:08 AM

I have wooden rings, plastic rings, aluminum rings, solid steel rings, hollow stainless rings and even a set of rings in the shape of STARS... but when I work, I use 10-inch Owen hollow stainless rings. They have been in use for maybe 30 years and look like new. I have a set of 12-inchers too, but have never used them. I used to use a 16-inch Koran 3-ring set too, but they are in storage.

I have the locking key, but find for a commercial comedy routine the locking key gets in the way.

Additionally, for special occasions, I just got a set of Porper's SPINNING RINGS... with a fantastick locking key... in this context it works like a charm.

Chris Capehart suggests using cheap rings as their flexing helps with some of his moves.

It almost doesn't matter (to the audience) what you use.
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Postby Frank Starsinic » 07/27/04 11:06 AM

Originally posted by Pete Biro:
I have wooden rings, plastic rings, aluminum rings, solid steel rings, hollow stainless rings and even a set of rings in the shape of STARS... but when I work, I use 10-inch Owen hollow stainless rings. They have been in use for maybe 30 years and look like new. I have a set of 12-inchers too, but have never used them. I used to use a 16-inch Koran 3-ring set too, but they are in storage.

I have the locking key, but find for a commercial comedy routine the locking key gets in the way.

Additionally, for special occasions, I just got a set of Porper's SPINNING RINGS... with a fantastick locking key... in this context it works like a charm.

Chris Capehart suggests using cheap rings as their flexing helps with some of his moves.

It almost doesn't matter (to the audience) what you use.
Pete, how do the hollow rings sound compared to the solid rings?

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Postby David Alexander » 07/27/04 03:16 PM

Ray,

The Owen 12" Rings ran me under $500, their 10" rings are less than that, but you should check their web site for their latest prices. If you want one set that will be passed on to your grandchildren, this is it.

Since you cannot hurt them in practice, I suggest practicing with what you'll perform with. I've seen the lighweight aluminium tubes with the magnetic key and thought they were toys. What Owen sells is professional quality.
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Postby Pete Biro » 07/27/04 11:06 PM

Only the Owen hollow stainless and the Porper rings I have, that I use, RING beautifully. Aluminum clunks, as does wood and plastic.

However, I still may have an old set of Merv Taylor Orb Eternal solid steel rings that also ring true.

Small Enardoe "tru tone" rings and the Ninja's are ok but thier small size takes away from the RINGING that is so nice.
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Postby Ray Eden » 07/28/04 11:12 PM

Well . . . I broke down and started looking into the Owen's Linking Rings. They are a bit pricey for me right now, but maybe it pays to wait and get them when I can. In the meantime, I'm considering getting the Steven's set, but they are only available in 10". Special thanks to those of you who went the 'extra mile' in my search for a better set of rings.

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Postby Ray Eden » 07/28/04 11:13 PM

Well . . . I broke down and started looking into the Owen's Linking Rings. They are a bit pricey for me right now, but maybe it pays to wait and get them when I can. In the meantime, I'm considering getting the Steven's set, but they are only available in 10". Special thanks to those of you (and you know who you are) who went the 'extra mile' in my search for a better set of rings.

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Postby David Alexander » 07/29/04 11:59 AM

Ray,

You will never regret buying the Owen set, either 10" or 12". I would be careful on buying any aluminum set because, in my view, the sound isn't very good and a good sound is one way of involving people in the audience who aren't very close and can't necessarily see the details of what you are doing. A good sound also fills in dead time when you are walking from one spectator to another....something Frakson taught me decades ago.
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Postby Dustin Stinett » 07/29/04 09:25 PM

Ray,

Another nice things about the Owen rings is that you are not required to buy an 8-ring set. If you know you will only be doing a three-ring routine, you can purchase a key and two regular rings. Someone doing the Haydn routine would buy a key, chain of two and a single, etc. Whatever your needs are, they will accommodate you.

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Postby Ray Eden » 07/29/04 10:01 PM

Hello Dustin,

Yup . . . I just found that out last evening. I had contacted them about the Rings and they sent a price list for each individual piece. I think that instead of getting the Steven's set as a practice set, that I'll just buy piece by piece until I have what I need. Currently I only require six rings.

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Postby Pete Biro » 07/29/04 10:32 PM

You won't be disappointed, I've had Owen Rings for years and years and never a problem.

However, Van Dokken, www.cupsandbals.nl lists some very nice rings, and The Netherlands is closer to you. I don't know if they are as good as the Owen, but they looked and sounded very nice when I saw them.
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Postby Glenn Farrington » 07/29/04 11:25 PM

Rey,

Van Dokkum's rings are stunning and feel and sound great.

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Postby Ray Eden » 07/30/04 12:23 AM

Glenn,

Any idea where I can see them on the Internet?

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Postby Dan Smith » 07/30/04 07:31 AM

Rey,

There was a typo in the link Pete posted. Try this: http://www.cupsandballs.nl . The site also contains a brief movie where you can see (and hear) the rings in action: rings movie .

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Postby Ray Eden » 07/30/04 07:37 AM

Oops . . . my screen jumped to the last message and I didn't see Pete Biro's. Thanks for URL.

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Postby brownbeauty » 07/30/04 07:42 AM

Hello Rayeden,
I have a set of Owens 10" rings in mint condition that come in a blue cloth carrying case. I would sell for $200.00 if interested.

Thanks,

Rudy
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Postby Ray Eden » 07/30/04 08:30 AM

brownbeauty,

I appreciate the offer, but I really want a 12" set. I'm sure that someone is going to take up your offer though.

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Postby brownbeauty » 08/03/04 05:38 AM

Originally posted by rayeden:
brownbeauty,

I appreciate the offer, but I really want a 12" set. I'm sure that someone is going to take up your offer though.

Ray Eden
Thanks Ray!
You were right. Someone has bought the rings. Good luck in your search!

Rudy
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Postby Ray Eden » 08/03/04 08:39 AM

I didn't think that they'd last too long. Especially at that price. You've made someone a very happy camper.

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Postby Guest » 08/03/04 07:08 PM

I am in fact very happy...wink...wink..nod..nod.
I had just bought a nice set off of E-bay and they just weren't what I wanted then I seen this offer and just couldn't resist....
Thanks
Nick
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Postby Ray Eden » 08/03/04 10:51 PM

Well Nick . . . it couldn't have happened to a better fellow, and someone from my neck of the woods to boot! Although I currently live in Finland, I was raised just outside of Wooster, Ohio and went to Akron often. The last time that I was in Akron was for the convention in 2000 (if memory serves) Norm Nielson was performing. A happy memory, as I had never seen him perform before.

Enjoy the rings!!

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Postby Guest » 08/10/04 09:14 AM

Wow,
These rings are great! Just what I wanted.

Wooster to Finland? Now there is a story just waiting to be told. (Hint Hint)
Thanks for the comments and encouragement.
All the best
Nick Zender
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Postby gulamerian » 08/16/04 12:06 PM

Ray, you will be very happy with a set of Porper Rings. You can contact him at Joe Porper Originals.
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Postby Guest » 02/06/05 06:46 PM

You can't overlook the Ninja Rings, especially in a close-up situation. I would have to say the only down side is that it would be dead on stage, since the rings are what, 4 and a half inches in diameter?

The quality of the rings is superb. They have a bell like tone as well, and they come in two colors, silver and gold. The gold set comes with a cloth bag and a belt clip, for convenience of travel.

I do the Ninja Rings regularly and it has people fooled to the bone. I reside in SF and people that have seen my routine both laymen and magicians were impressed, because I think there are moves you can do with smaller rings that would normally not be possible with 10 inch rings.

That's just my two cents.
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