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 Post subject: Bee Erdnase (Ivory Finish) Deck by: The Conjuring Arts
PostPosted: Fri Jan 28, 2011 5:50 pm 
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Bee Erdnase (Ivory Finish) Deck by: The Conjuring Arts Research Center
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Where to buy:
Secondary Market
**to get the next run of these at a cheaper price you will need to join the Conjuring Arts Research Center http://conjuringarts.org/ **
Price: $8.00 / deck(at the time of the review)

For more information about my reviewing methods and a list of other reviews: viewtopic.php?f=10&t=156760&p=1224367#p1224367
If you are interested in my Buyers guide
check out this link: viewtopic.php?f=10&t=159568 http://forums.theory11.com/showthread.p ... yers-Guide

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Video Review Suppliment For "Ivory Finish" Deck...(No Vid for Cambric yet) http://vimeo.com/19883667

Initial Impressions:
Another good deck that looks great and pays homage to the book (Expert at the Card Table) that inspired the legend (Dai Vernon) that has inspired the last three to four generations of close-up magicians. The “Erdnase” deck comes on a stock and with finish options that will likely appeal to a wider range of magicians than the “Expert At The Card Table” Decks did but I don’t forsee it reaching the “cult” status that those cards reached.
The Look:
One of the coolest back designs ever concocted. The original run came in a borderless design though the ones I am reviewing(Ivory and Cambric finishes) come with a white border. The back is the same green as the original “Expert At The Card Table” book and instead of the usual Bee diamonds the background is filled up with miniature images of hands performing various techniques found in the book. [The hand images are pretty small so I can’t guarantee you the accuracy of this but it appears that the images are: Fig. 18- Indicating cut location from a crimp. Fig. 25- Bottom deal. Fig. 32- Stock Shuffle. And Fig. 44- Bottom Palm when cards are riffled. ] In the dead center of the back is a circle with four crossed acorn images set in a flower pattern. Jutting out from the small acorn circle are two larger circles that have a 1902 at the top and have a fancy SWE scrolled in the center. The Ace of Spades is a standard Bee tax stamp. The Jokers have sketch art of a man sitting at a card table, his back turned, and two aces can be seen on the table. The court cards are the “large image” court cards that many have seen on the Arrco decks. Though I don’t see anything unusual about the queens or jacks it is obvious that the kings all represent someone who had a hand in this deck. Those familiar with the split spade decks will recognize David Blaine on the King of Spades. I am fairly certain that Guy Hollingsworth’s profile view is used for the King of Diamonds. The King of Harts is Bill Kalush(founder of the Conjuring Arts). The King of Clubs is definitely another magician as well, at least different from standard artwork, but I have yet to identifu who?

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Card Construction:
These decks are printed on the Bee Casino Grade stock. This is a thicker and stiffer stock than the standard Bee stock. Indeed it is reminiscent of the UV500 stock. There are two specific versions of the Erdnase cards. They come in standard Cambric pressed stock and in a smooth Ivory Stock. The Cambric will likely appeal to those who loved the now deceased UV500 stock and the Ivory might appeal to those who miss the Steamboat stock(though it is a much thicker card.) The Ivory finish cards will also have a stiffer feel to them than the Cambric. On the initial OOB measurements both the Cambric and Ivory versions were about 15.5 mm thick, about the same as Bicycle 808 stock, though I can say from experience(this review being written up about a week and a half into the Ivory longevity review) that the Ivory stock seems to swell quite a bit.

Handling(Ivory)
About the biggest thing I can say about the Ivory handling is the size. These swelled up to a little over 16 mm in thickness in just over a week. When I compare it to a bike 808 deck it now is about 4-5 cards thicker. If you like thick decks, that’s great, if you don’t, that is a drawback.
Fanning: OOB: 8
1st Week: 8.5
2nd Week: TBD
3rd Week: TBD
4th Week: TBD

Like most smooth finish decks the Ivory Erdnase cards will likely need to be broken in before it hits its peak.


Spring Energy: OOB: 8.5
1st Week: 7.5
2nd Week: TBD
3rd Week: TBD
4th Week: TBD

This deck certainly surprised me. With the loss of the Steamboat and UV500 I didn’t think USPCC still made a stock this stiff and springy. It does seem to loosen up quicker than many other stocks.

Dribble: OOB: 7
1st Week: 8
2nd Week: TBD
3rd Week: TBD
4th Week: TBD

Probably not a good choice for those who use dribbles in a flourish fashion but it will work find for covering shifts and forces.
Crimp Hold/Recovery: OOB: 6
1st Week: 6
2nd Week: TBD
3rd Week: TBD
4th Week: TBD

Wow! I am used to stiffer stocks holding up better in this area. This deck isn’t particularly good at holding intentional crimps nor repairing from unintentional crimps.

Single Card Glides: OOB: 7.5
1st Week: 8
2nd Week: TBD
3rd Week: TBD
4th Week: TBD

The combination of stiffer stock and smooth finish certainly help performance in this area however, because of this decks growing size, I am having some difficulties with longitudinal glides unless I leave out a few cards.

2+ Card Obfuscations: OOB: 8.5
1st Week: 8
2nd Week: TBD
3rd Week: TBD
4th Week: TBD

As would be expected from a smooth finish and stiff stock this is definitely a high performance deck for these types of sleights.
Gaff construction and availability: None that I know of
XCM Flourishing: This would be a good deck for flourishers who lean towards packet cuts and aerial packet aerials.

Who Should Buy?: Fans of Erdnase, supporters of the Conjuring Arts Research Center, People who love the Bee Casino Grade stock, and people who like smooth finish USPCC cards.

Who should not buy: Experienced card men who prefer softer stocks and newbies who have yet to develop the hand strength necessary to handle stiffer cards. Because of the swelling I would not recommend this for people with smaller hands(though if you really love the look you can always remove a few cards before practice and performance.)

Final thoughts:
So far I am a little Meh…about this deck. Because it is “Erdnase” I was expecting a deck more suited for gambling demos. Though the smooth finish lends itself well towards certain shuffling demonstrations I found the thicker and stiffer stock seemed to work against it in this area. While it would be a great deck for a walk-around performer it still won’t quite match the performance of some of the stiff and smooth decks from Europe. USPCC just seems too obsessed with the fanning attribute of their decks. The greatest stiff, smooth finish decks(Fournier, Anglo Rugs, and Piatniks) seem to be willing to sacrifice performance in that attribute for high performance in all the other attributes that make a great deck. The Ivory Erdnase on casino grade stock just won’t match it’s little brother(the EATCT deck) in table magic miracles, nor will it top the high end performance of the knuckle busting masters from Europe, and worst of all it doesn’t even seem to match the strengths of many of the fine custom decks that appeal to the generalist performers(Ellusionist and T-11 Decks.) No doubt this will likely be a pretty durable deck(I just have a hunch on that) but so far, while I love the looks, I’m not impressed with it’s performance.


Last edited by eostresh on Sun Feb 13, 2011 2:39 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Bee Erdnase (Ivory Finish) Deck by: The Conjuring Arts
PostPosted: Fri Jan 28, 2011 5:52 pm 
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born to perform.

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Posts: 2753
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 Post subject: Re: Bee Erdnase (Ivory Finish) Deck by: The Conjuring Arts
PostPosted: Mon Feb 21, 2011 5:54 pm 
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Joined: 28 May 2007
Posts: 2753
Conjuring Arts Erdnase Deck [Ivory](2nd,3rd, & 4th Week Update)
I must apologize that all the out of box reviews and the Buyers guide kept me from keeping you guys up to date on the progress of this deck. The scores were all taken down as the deck aged but the write up had to wait until now. Thus, some of the personal observations are not quite as fresh in my mind.

Handling:
For guys who like thicker decks this is destined to be a favorite. Even though they measured about the same thickness as an 808 when the came out of the box these cards had a tendency to “swell.” And I mean…a LOT! By the end of the first week they were about the size of a UV500 and by the end of the second week they were bigger than that. At their height they were about 5-6 cards thicker than an 808. The deck overall handles pretty well but people with smaller hands might want to be leery about this deck…at least consider using it lightened(ie. 45-48 cards)
Fanning: 1st week:8.5
2nd week: 7.5
3rd week:7
4th week: 7

What can I say…It is a smooth finish card. Smooth finish rarely fan as well as dimpled cards(Aladdins being somewhat of an exception.) After the stock broke in they started fanning rather well but about the 2nd week I started to have on again off again clumping problems. This deck seems to collect dirt and even when it is fanning well it tends to get a filthy look to it by about the 2nd week.

Spring Energy:1st week:7.5
2nd week: 7
3rd week:7
4th week: 6

Though this deck started out stiff enough to place it squarely in the “Workers” category it softens up pretty quickly. It is still a good choice for people who like “stiff” decks but the stock ages and softens quicker than Anglo or Fournier.

Dribble: 1st week:8
2nd week: 7.5
3rd week: 7
4th week:7

At the end of the first week it was dribbling a little above average but as soon as it started getting dirty the dribbles were a lot more uneven. Good enough for sleights using a dribble but probably not for flourishes.

Crimp: 1st week: 6 hold/ 6 recovery
2nd week: 6hold/ 6 recovery
3rd week: 5.5hold / 5.5 recovery
4th week: 5.5hold/ 5.5 recovery

This is the Achilles heel of this deck. It seems a bit of to have such a thick, stiff stock rate so poorly in this category but nonetheless, there it is. This deck bows, crimps, and clumps so bad that I almost called it quits by the third week. Never the less, it clung to life….ugly as it was.

Single Card Glides: 1st week:8
2nd week: 7
3rd week: 6
4th week:6

After the first week the Erdinase was gliding quite well but then the dirt took over and it drifted back to average status and then further down to below average status. Sometimes, when the deck was clumping, it would be almost impossible to perform a smooth glide.

2+Obfuscation:1st week:8.5
2nd week: 8
3rd week: 8
4th week:7

This deck consistently pulled and held doubles well all up until it’s final week. The stiffer stock and the smooth finish probably helped in this category. This will be a solid performer in most 2+O techniques. The only issue I really had was with Hugard/Braue Push-Offs when the deck was going through a “clumpy” phase.


Final Thoughts:
This was not my favorite deck. Though I loved the design (Nothing cooler for a card geek than those Erdnase hands on the back) it just never handled the way I had hoped. Now take that criticism with a dash of salt. The truth is that this deck handled itself so well that I realized that I wasn’t really comparing it to the Bicycle 808. Indeed I was comparing it on one end to the Fournier, because it was a stiffer deck, and on the other end to the Bee Aristocrat decks(EACTC and Stingers) because it called itself the Erdnase Deck. I think I really wanted to force this deck to do tabled gambling demos because of its name and quite frankly stiffer thicker decks in general are not ideal for that, at least for me. If I were to take a step back in time(before I had met Fournier or the Bee Aristocrat) and compare it to 808s alone I think this would have stood out as an excellent deck. In fact, in many ways this deck reminds me of the UV-500s. Therefore, for anyone who really loved the old UV500s or who are just interested in finding a higher quality deck than an 808 the Conjuring Arts Erdnase decks are an excellent choice. In fact, to borrow an analogy I used with the Fourniers, “If a Fournier was a motorcycle it would be a Ducati” well then, “If the Erdnase was a motorcycle it would be a Harley Davidson.” And Heck…Lots of people like a HOG!


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