Equinox - The review!

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Equinox - The review!

Postby Tom Lauten » Feb 23rd, '06, 15:15



Equinox

Available from http://www.alakazam.co.uk/acatalog/Hot_ ... html#a1540

Price £174.99

Mentalism

Difficulty: 1 out of 5 Totally self working. You only need to show up, not fall over and stay awake!

They say:
We are pleased to announce that Alakazam Magic has now secured the world wide market and distribution rights to a fantastic new effect…..Equinox. What is Equinox; well imagine Body Language or Max Maven's fantastic Kurotsuke effect. Five balls are placed inside a black velvet bag (4 balls are white and one is black) Five spectators now reach into the bag and remove one ball each. Only one is holding the black ball and nobody apart from the person holding the ball knows who that is! Now by using your fantastic powers of NLP/Mind reading you start to eliminate each of the white balls one by one until you are left with the person holding the black ball.

Ok… I hear you ask so what's new? Well imagine doing this fantastic routine and never having to be near the bag. That's right you can have your back turned and be standing at the other side of the room! You never have to go near your spectators or the bag!

We received the prototype of Equinox in November 2005 and used it at all our gigs over December. It Kills! We used it at tables, in walk-around situations and stand up!

Twelve units arrived at the shop today and each one was purchased on sight by top pros.

We are expecting to launch this little beauty at the Blackpool convention February 2006 so pre-order now.

I say:

Apparently there has been a bit of a “love it or hate it” vibe over Equinox. I guess I can understand that…. £174.99 is a lot of money isn’t it? Or is it? Hmmm...

£12.99 is a lot easier to stomach spending for the novelty of having a new trick to try and Equinox only does one thing. It does it "freekin'" well and I’ll get to that in a moment but I suppose some people (even when in possession of that facts) somehow expected something more when they receive their Equinox unit. I guess there is a phenomenon of having great expectations and imaginings that don't meet the "mundane reality" of what comes in the Jiffy bag. Perhaps Equinox is like that for some people! Some people may genuinely not like it for more detailed and tangible reasons but I think my little theory comes into play as well.

Right! Enough soap-boxing!

The basic effect of Equinox is (as mentioned above) a variation of Kurotsuke or Body Language. Five stones or balls (one black and four white) are placed into an opaque bag. Five spectators each take a stone from the bag without the performer seeing which they have. The performer then, one by one, eliminates the spectators with white stones until the person with the black stone is identified.

Equinox plays out in the same way, exactly as the advertisement reads. To the spectator’s eyes it is extraordinarily clean. You can hand anyone the bag and the balls, they can even put them into the bag themselves. The balls are mixed and spectators each take a ball out without even looking at it. When the bag is empty it is returned to you and set it aside.

The routine becomes a battle of "perception and NLP" as you begin to identify those who possess a white ball until you finally pick out the spectator who holds the black.

It is down to the performer to make the most out of this classic mentalism narrative and you will soon come up with plenty of presentation ideas.

Equinox’s method may be apparent to those who are familiar with various mentalism effects on the market today. It isn’t a low tech solution and I’ll say no more about the workings in terms of their function, so please don’t ask.

The technical elements work every time and are very trustworthy. When you get one and find out how the critical information is presented to you as the performer you might think it is “ass-about-face”, but it actually makes a LOT of sense. Some good thinking went on here.

The balls are a bit “handmade” looking. Some other bits that are key elements also look a bit “prototype-y”. This is fine and totally understandable actually as each unit is hand fitted. Don’t get me wrong, Equinox is NOT poorly made in any way…in fact it is very well made using good components, just don’t expect to see fully cast and logo’d parts…this is the real deal, proper workshop output from techno boffins. In terms of the balls, I think I was expecting smooth plastic but they are more a kin to smooth, spherical stones with minor imperfections. The hand made look might well prove to be a bonus, as they seem very innocent and humble, a look which belies the actual method.

The bag is made from a supple, heavy weight, velvet-type fabric. There is something else about the bag that allows the whole effect to work but casual handling would not make it apparent, especially to laymen who are usually a bit edgy when picked out to take part in a trick in front of an audience. What’s more the whole emphasis of the routine should be focused upon the spectators and the choice of the stones. There is a difference between the white and black stones which should be considered if spectator has a pacemaker.

The routines provided with Equinox are basic and don’t go into any detail, but the documentation is technically very thorough and MUST be read, cover to cover, or else you run the risk of making a mistake that will mess up your routine or will find yourself unable to perform because of a loss of power. There is a small photographic error within the handling section but it is a minor point.

The entire package comes in a translucent plastic box and has everything you will need to get started. There are no angle issues to worry about, reset happens automatically and the whole effect is “jacket pocket portable”.

Overall:
I really like Equinox. This is a relatively high priced tool (remember that, its a tool not a toy) for hard-hitting mentalism performing. It is NOT the only way to achieve the effect by any means but it is a sure fire and easy way, one where you only need consider performance. It is sophisticated, logical and easy to use. The effect looks like the real deal to the spectators and always entertains in the hands of a true showman/woman. In fact, it makes the “Kurotsuke” narrative a whole LOT of fun for the performer as there is very little to worry about.

The props and workings aren’t glitzy or flashy. They are well made… hand made in fact and seem to work every time. The package you receive is ready to go and is well supported with technical documentation to make sure you are always up to speed and ready to perform. There isn’t much offered in terms of routining but the plot is a simple one, the props do the work for you so the performer can flourish.


Rating out of 10: 8.5/10

Last edited by Tom Lauten on Feb 23rd, '06, 20:54, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Silkenone » Feb 23rd, '06, 16:58

Good review Tom - I did think those balls may appear a little odd to some but this is a very nice piece of kit for the working pro.

Last edited by Silkenone on Feb 24th, '06, 11:12, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Charles Calthrop » Feb 24th, '06, 09:27

Saw a demo of this at the Session in January. I think that it's very clever, but I also think that the props for Kurotsuke cost me next to nothing and if I performed Equinox for one group of spectators and Kurotsuke for another then each group of spectators would experience exactly the same effect. The handling of Kurotsuke is different but that should mean nothing to a group of laymen. It's a hell of a lot to pay for a minor handling improvement which only magicians will appreciate (and who cares about magicians?).

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Postby Ozman » Feb 24th, '06, 15:17

or you could buy a Wizard PK Ring, and with a little jiggery-pokery sort out a very similar effect...

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Postby Tom Lauten » Feb 24th, '06, 15:58

.
As to it being done any other way...

It is NOT the only way to achieve the effect by any means...


...as written.

It is also worth noting that after the spectators put the balls into the bag themselves, mix the balls up themselves and pass the bag around themselves and select a ball themselves . You can then walk directly up to the person with the black ball and ask them to hand it to you with all confidence. That isn't to say you would want to handle the routine so plainly...but you could.

I do understand there are other similar effects out there using similar but different techniques...I promise you I do understand. The review was a review of this way and using this product.

Some people may genuinely not like it for more detailed and tangible reasons....


:wink:


.

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Postby Charles Calthrop » Feb 24th, '06, 16:34

Understood, Tom.

It's a very thorough and informative review in it's own right. Nice one. (Which is what I should have said before).

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Postby Tom Lauten » Feb 24th, '06, 16:57

Thanks Charles.

First off....my apologies to everyone...I got a tad over-defensive. :oops:

So many time products inspire a bandwagon phenomenon of people slagging them off out of spite it seems...not what I'm suggesting either of you did, but the scent of that...even a tiny wiff, well and truely yanks my chain!

In terms of quality and value for money, it's "horses for courses" and "what floats your boat" ...as with most things. Some people like sports cars, others like 4x4's and some prefer economy hatchbacks. They all do the same job in terms of basic transport, but each offers different "perks" such as speed, excitement and street cred...safety, pulling trailers and confidence on paths less traveled... or low purchase price & insurance, easy to drive, kids and grocery friendlyness and good mpg.

I suppose it comes down to the same thought process when deciding upon an addition to ones tricks collection, we all have likes and dislikes, handling & reset priorities as well as budgets etc. We strive to balance all of that and we all have to "make do" with what we can afford from time to time. That doesn't make other tricks or variations "bad" or others "good". A good trick does what it promises and does it well, even if no one pays either a lot or a little for it. I think Equinox "does what it says on the tin"...and it does it very well indeed.

MAN, do I sound like a big headed t*at or what?! :oops:

.

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Postby greedoniz » Feb 24th, '06, 17:19

Personally I thought it was a well written, very discriptive and concise review.

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Postby Ozman » Feb 24th, '06, 19:32

tom's reviews are the BEST on the web - no question!

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Rev- U

Postby Piers » Feb 26th, '06, 12:15

A great review - again !
thanks,
Piers.
:shock:

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Postby Stephen Ward » Feb 26th, '06, 12:34

Good review Tom. I did look at this but the problem is i know (and perform) black balled. However i can see the benifit of this kit.

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My alteralternative routine with Equinox

Postby tomstorm » Feb 26th, '06, 14:17

:D I am new to new to Talk Magic Forum, I think Toms Equinox review was spot on!

However you don’t have to use the balls provided!!!

Without giving too much of the effect away, my alternative routine is as follows…

Five Coins are placed inside a black velvet bag (4 coins are 1 Euro coins and one is a 10 Pence coin) Five spectators now reach into the bag and remove one coin each.

Only one is holding the ten pence coin and nobody apart from the person holding the Coin knows who that is! Now by using your fantastic powers of NLP/Mind reading you start to eliminate each of the Euros one by one until you are left with the person holding the ten pence coin.

I have a little story about Europe and do us British really want to be part of Europe and because it is such an emotive subject the body language and ESP are flowing.
:twisted:


contact@tomstorm.co.uk

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Postby Rdw1971 » Mar 2nd, '06, 15:21

Does this work in a similar method to the 'Leyser 2020'?

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Postby Tom Lauten » Mar 2nd, '06, 16:32

No... it uses a different method. :D

Shhhhhhhhh...no tellin'

Nice idea Tom. I assume the Euro and 10p are very similar in dimensions?

10ps and US quarters would be near impossible to tell apart by feel. Old UK pennies are the same dimensions as US half dollars but the pennies have a smooth edge and the half dollar has knurled edges... a shame as they are big enough to get hold of easily.

I have some ideas brewing ...more later.

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Q.

Postby Piers » Feb 14th, '07, 14:56

Does anyone recall who actuall MADE Equinox?

Was it someone in Canada?

Piers.

:shock:

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