I’ve got a few different kind of bearings and I also realize the material the yoyo is made of comes into play; but I was wondering what balance any veteran use to run between unresponsive long spin times and a silent or at least very quiet bearing. I personally enjoy the sound of a running bearing but the wife finds it disturbing. I’ve tried a larger amount of thin lube, small amounts of thick, and an unmeasured mixture of both but can’t seem to find a good balance. At the moment I’ve got 3-1, brain lube, and the thinnest trumpet valve I could obtain.
Err also well cleaned!
I use thin trumpet valve lube but found it doesn’t make things very quite compared to thick lube. The balance is personal, don’t be afraid to come up with your own lubing schedule.
It takes time to develop something like this, and the worse your throw is the harder it is going to be for you to be able to find the balance.
I find now a days I just drop two full sized drops of lube in the bearing spin it around with my finger. wipe the excess off on my shirt and throw the bearing in my yoyo and play. with this setup I normally can throw and tug return if I throw hard enough, not long after I have thrown the yoyo it will be unresponsive.
With all but he worst technique I can do any whip slack flashyness I want and still have a quiet semi responsive yoyo, my throw is very developed though and I only throw about 20% power on most throw and can get through any combo I know.
A totally dry, cleaned bearing with a pin-head sized drop of V4M tends to give me a pretty quiet bearing with more spin time than i know what to do with. Add 2 drops and it’ll be pretty much silent and still spin fine. I’m not convinced dry bearings play any better, but i do know they sound atrocious and the last thing you want is a hobby that disturbs others.
Thanks for the replies guys! I’ve been lurking awhile since I got back into throwing and I’ve also come to the decision that clean bearing have a dry distinct and noticeable sound. I’ve got a few throws I play dry or with little lube I’m just kinda looking to ninja one up for stealth throw time!
As long as the bearing isn’t making any noises that sound like it’s dying, and the yoyo is otherwise performing properly, then I honestly could care less about the noise it’s making. And this is coming from someone who, despite doing sound professionally and works with his ears and loves silence, is saying.
Some yoyos are naturally noisier than other. All plastics and plastic/metals will make noise due to the nature of the material. It’s easier to induce noise into a plastic since it’s not as rigid, or in the case of polycarbonate, it is very rigid, but takes well to vibration. Many metals are just noisy due to how they are designed.
And yes, there are bass cabs that use aluminum drivers. The aluminum is attached to the voice coil. They are thin enough to vibrate, yet rigid enough to maintain their shape and structure. They are actually lighter than paper and fabric cones, including fiberglass and some carbon fiber cones. They are a LOT thinner than a yoyo!!
I prefer my bearings to be treated with Dry Play, so while they aren’t exactly dry, they WILL make noise, and can be(but not always) louder than a dry bearing. They still sound better than a dry bearing to me.
I also get that some people need to throw “around people who demand quiet”. In my case, I’m the guy demanding quiet in a noise-based environment. I can tolerate some noise. I also wear my ear plugs a lot.
I’m totally with you; I enjoy quiet bearings just for myself, but it makes it tolerable for my wife and means I can watch TV and talk with her while simultaneously playing (thank god I can concentrate on the conversation well enough that she doesn’t feel ignored).
I just got some MonkeyfingeR Gorillus Lubricus, and it’s pretty great; however, it requires some more break-in time. Let’s just assume you have some sort of thin lube (I have YYJ thin lube, but I’m sure they’re all similarish):
technique 1 (no special equipment)
- deshield and clean it fully. I use mineral spirits, your mileage may vary
- unscrew the dropper part and dip a pin directly into the lube. As it ‘trickles down’ a bit, a small drop should form that’s much smaller than what the dropper itself would have given you
- touch the pin to a ball. Some people say to repeat this for a second ball. If you want quiet, I say go for it.
- work it around by flicking it on a chopstick or whatever.
- reshield, put it in your yoyo, and do a bunch of gyroscopic flops, or if you’re in no real rush just play with it how you normally would, taking care to avoid slack tricks.
technique 2 (air compressor needed)
mostly the same as above, but use the dropper. Put a full honkin drop on there. Two if you want. You could put three, but you might just be wasting oil at this point!
work it around by flicking on a chopstick. Won’t be hard to distribute with this much oil!
with it still on the chopstick, hold the tip, aim it somewhere that you don’t mind getting oily
blast into the bearing with the compressed air. On the first blast, you WILL see a mist of oil go flying out
continue lightly blowing air into the bearing; it will spin at pretty high speed.
As a bonus, if you hear a weird regular patterned sound, the bearing may have galling in it or a piece of debris. I always start from scratch and do a rigorous cleaning when this happens. If it happens a second time, I put it in a “garbage” tin, but I’ve only recently just started actually throwing them out. That patterned sound indicates a bearing that could spin just the wrong way and go responsive mid-trick. I ain’t got time for that.
Technique #2 will work to a certain extent with canned air (the kind you use for blowing dust off of electronics), but a real compressor gives you a pretty satisfying blast.
If it continues to be loud after this, rest assured it’s either the bearing or the yoyo. More likely the latter. Some bearings have better “natural” acoustic properties due to thickness of races, etc. General-Yo AIGR is pretty nice, as is One Drop 10-ball. I’ve had quiet Trifectas and KKs. I haven’t managed to silence a Spec X or a Center Trac yet, but they’re still good bearings.
But I’ve taken my quietest bearing and popped it into a YYJ Trigger, and it was still screamingly loud. So it’s probably more likely that it’s your yoyo if the above techniques didn’t work for you.
I’ve been lurking around the forums for awhile and basically go by those methods as habit anyway; I start by
- Deshielding and removing any visible debris with a needle or compressed air
- Cleaning the bearing using lighter fluid in a sealed glass jar, shaking in a centrifugal motion like centrifuge then letting the bearing sit for awhile.
- Removing bearing with tweezers into a freshly cleaned environment and mount it from tweezers to a 1/8 to 1/4 audio cable converted (perfect size for C size bearings, very cheap and I have tons laying around.
- Spin the bearing dry with compressed air
- I take a small amount of trumpet valve oil on the tip of a needle and apply directly to a ball within the bearing and work it around manually first then a bit with the compressed air.
- Clean bearing seat/spacers, potentially the shields themselves before reassembly.
I’ve considered some of the other techniques mentions, brasso and Teflon; but I’ve read mixed review and marginal performance/making the bearing play worse. And I’ve got a yomega dash and a yo mod (speed) which both obviously play quiet loud. But I recently picked up a lyn fury which played almost silent and unresponsive; but after a good cleaning it was roaring. Since then I actually had to use a bit of thick lube to quiet it down (played enough off to get back to unresponsive) and successfully silicone it (yay for my first silicone job!) Big thanks to the entire community for being so helpful in general; everything I’ve done by “mod” or general maintenance I’ve picked up by lurking over the past week or so. I know personally; not having touched a yoyo since before the entire style of play had changed (about 1.5 decades ago) I wouldn’t know half of what I do, let alone in a week, if it wasn’t for all the great posts hanging around!
Side notation, the lyn fury I’ve got works pretty well for most of the intermediate tricks I’m working on at the time, it’s my “ninja throw” as the body has less acoustic than my dash and yo mod (I really really enjoy the pro speed it’s what I picked up when I first got back into throwing a week or so ago.) Any recommendation on a silent throw or a general material that’s quieter than others or is Celcon about the most silent running there is around? I’m one of those hobbiest who needs something for everything!
From my humble collection, the most silent yoyos have been pretty much any of my SPYYs (but notably the El Ranchero, Pro, and Supra) plus the C3 Capless. That Capless with a lubed bearing is quiet-tastic.