Battle Of The Modern Responsives. (Calling All 0a/ modern responsive Players)

:yo-yo: Part 1:

Alright, so I would like to get a community consensus on the current era of modern [bearing] responsive yoyos. I am especially interested in hearing feedback from:

  • those who have actually owned/ played most of them

  • those who take 0a somewhat seriously and can identify the attributes of a yoyo that lend well to the playstyle

Which models have withstood the test of time? After the initial honeymoon hype, which ones keep you coming back for more?

Which models didn’t quite cut it for you performance-wise? Was it the specs? Or did it just not feel right to you?

:yo-yo: Part 2:

What is your go-to set up for your favorite modern responsive?

Did you modify the yoyo at all?

What string [thickness, material, length, and/ or brand] do you prefer?

:yo-yo: List/ Poll

This was primarily meant to be a list, but I thought making it into a poll wouldn’t hurt anything too bad :man_shrugging:. I’m sure you’ll inform me if I missed any in this list :wink:

  • Weekender
  • Alleycat (OG)
  • Alleycat 650b
  • Moonshine
  • Moonshine 2
  • Gamer
  • Gamer (Delrin)
  • Deep State
  • Respawn
  • Butterfly XT
  • Confusion
  • Sherpa

0 voters


Poll is missing the Confusion and the Sherpa.


Added. Thank you, sir

are spencer berry or luftverk’s pieces up for consideration?


Weekender and butterfly xt hands down for me, but 650b is also good.


So I’ve played responsive for a long time. These days I group them into two categories, for me at least. Modern 0A play with flips, stalls, etc. Then I have my “normal” play, which is just 1A but on a tug responsive yoyo, or as they were called in the 90’s and early/mid 00’s, a yoyo :grin:

My go to 0A yoyos are: Alleycat, Alleycat 650b, Respawn and the Luftverk SB Highwall. And the Weekender and Moonshine 1 here and there. But the two Alleycat’s, Respawn and SBHW could be the last 0A yoyos I’d ever need, they’re all different from each other but cover so much ground for me.

The OG Alleycat I’ve got two setups, one is 2 CoreCo pads and a heavy lubed bearing, the other is a Duncan Friction Sticker and a Chaz pad, heavy lubed bearing. The Duncan/Chaz setup is just a little less grippy than the CoreCo pads.

The others are just setup stock. Either Cotton Type 10 or Kitty Fat for string.

No modification on any of them. However I did make some thin shims that I run in one of my Moonshine’s, just to give it a slightly wider gap.

As for the 1A responsive my go to’s are: Walter, Theo, Prototype Theo, a bunch of AntiYo YWET’s, Luftverk Daytona. The only setup thing on these is that the bearings have a ton of Brain Lube in them, or rubber shield bearings that are packed with grease. The YWET’s have both QuadFist response areas filled with silicone. I also have a number of extra bearings so sometimes my Peak is played responsive, actually really like that yoyo responsive, or if I’m feeling like it I’ll throw one in another yoyo just to see how it is responsive.


I would add the Recess First Base. I use…

Deep State - My pocket yoyo
Weekender - Closer to a modern shape and size
Alleycat 650B - Somewhere in between those two
First Base - My banger


Here’s what I own and how I have set up as well as my thoughts:

Butterfly XT - nothing special set up, just normal string. An excellent gateway into 0a and easily available as an impulse purchase at a target. This thought is for the opaque neon ones. I also have a translucent one that’s way too light and response was unpredictable. I might try it again with some fatter string and thick lube but the “improved ones” have a little more power and reliable starburst response.

Butterfly AL - I currently have mine set up with a slim bearing as having a normal bearing in it missed the mark of what I was looking to get out of it. It’s a little on the smaller side.

Deep State - I know it’s supposed to be semi responsive but I wanted a little more reliable of a response out of it so I did a few wraps around the bearing. Also a little on the smaller side.

Confusion - the nice little throwback to the Cold Fusion I longed for as a kid but could not afford it (let alone having mom and dad flip out for spending $150 on a yoyo when yoyos at the time I was buying were no more an $10). This was my first modern responsive. It is one of my favorites and actually bought 2 so I can do the black and gold half swap. No special setup, worked great out of the box.

Alleycat 650b - another favorite of mine, works better with fat string for me and some thick lube. Response is nice and snappy/reliable, passes my “moon test.”

Delrin Gamer - this one took some getting used to due to its light weight. I do have to give it a harder throw if I want to think of any tape measure tricks as it is very light and easy to lose spin fast. I have it set up with a slim bearing and thinner string. I also have 1 thick and 1 thin pad. I wonder how these would be with an A-size bearing. Response is pretty snappy, just a big adjustment with it being lighter (used to a little weight to it).

Duncan Metal Racer - set up as is with thick lube and a couple of wraps. It’s not an ideal yoyo but it works nice if you have one sitting around. Shape-wise, it reminds me of the Moonshine or Weekender but with a C bearing. Response isnt quite as snappy but does the job.

Lastly but not least, Moonshine 2 - I don’t have an OG moonshine to compare to but this one is comfy in the hands. It is set up with fat string and thick lube as it has some heft to it. The finish is great for tape measures. It’s fairly wide, making tricks like kickflips feel pretty easy. Response is pretty snappy with a thick-lubed bearing. Though it has weight (64 grams?), it doesn’t feel too much like a tank considering it’s a large-feeling yoyo in the mits. So far also one of my favorites.


Umm… Sure? Why not? lol

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i guess i just didn’t understand the poll part, my b, lol


Butterfly XT is my favorite, it may not play as well as most of the others mentioned but I love having an improved version of the yoyo I learned my first tricks on when I was a kid. I’m going to have to pick up a metal butterfly.

I like the confusion a lot also. I find I strongly prefer my small bearing responsive yoyos over those with a larger bearing.


From what I’ve experienced, I agree. Smaller bearings just feel right in a responsive.

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I own and have played a lot of modern responsive yoyos. Here are my opinions, your mileage may vary.
My favorites for 0A are:
Tom Kuhn Sleep Machine - You can tune the response, and you get the classic feel of wood
Alley Cat 650b - Snappy response, high walls, fun for looping too
Tom Kuhn SB-2 - Fine tune the response, high walls, Classic design
Weekender - Super light yet still snappy and powerful, tight gap, rims flare out to help you better land it on the string.

I wasn’t a fan of the:
Delrin Gamer - Felt too light, just didn’t measure up to the above ones, not enough power
Metal Gamer - too heavy for my liking, weight makes 0A more difficult, too powerful
Deep State - it doesn’t feel like it was ever designed with 0A in mind
Respawn - response not snappy enough for my liking, kind of a lag at the end of the string before returning, rim flare out felt like more of a hindrance than an asset

For Responsive 1A my favorites are:
Theodore - probably the best C bearing responsive, gap isn’t too tight but is tight enough for 0A too
Quiz - Stainless Steel, sleeps for days, high wall area still works for 0A, perfectly angled gap for responsive 1A, full sized

As I said, these are just my opinions, feel free to disagree. I’m far from an authority on the subject.

I use lots of different strings and I haven’t modified any of my yoyos.


Excellent feedback, thank you!

The way I view the current market: Weekender vs everything else. To me the Weekender plays the most like a wooden responsive and is able to do modern 0A tricks pretty much the same way good wooden fixie does them. You can also get longer spintimes out of the Weekender, but only compared to fixies.

If you want something that can do string tricks AND modern responsive play, id pick the Luftverk Daytona SB slimline or the Recess/Zeekio Quiz. I can stall and such on these, but I can also nail Kwyjibo on them for instance. They play out tricks a bit longer, lag for stalls, etc.

As for others ive played:

  • Deep State - heavy and too slim. It can do what you want if it isn’t modern 0A.
  • Butterfly XT - once dialed in can be nice, but is basically just a better version of the Butterfly. Super-light, cheap plastic (im not a plastic fan), does the job. Honestly a good budget yoyo, but just not one of my favorites.
  • Rain City/OYY Sk8er - This is probably a sleeper in the 0A category. Plays a tad heavy, but has enough spin for string tricks.

Im a bit biased though, since I like either a 0A yoyo (ie wood fixie) or 1A unresponsive. Semi-responsive play is only fun to me in short bursts.


I tend to not modify my yoyos, initially - I like to play them as the designer intended them (engineer in me), unless something is really wonky about the play initially. once things start breaking down, then i’ll start swapping stuff out. but, i am using kitty fat in all my bearing responsives for the time being…

my go-to no matter what is my theodore. it’s snappy enough with out too much bite ( a’la alligator confusion), it feels hefty, but not heavy or overbearing (no pun intended), and i find it flowy despite thise attributes.

the daytona sb i feel like is what the epitome of taking a modern yoyoer, bringing her/him back to the 1920’s or 1930’s, and handing them that day’s futuristic yoyo. every time i pick it up, i feel like a paperboy about to yell ‘extra, extra, read all about it…’. i feel it plays just like that - nostalgically. it hops and jumps and flies through the air so gracefully, it plays gracefully. i can’t think of another way to describe it… and it damn well better at the price… it was worth the investment.

alleycat 650b and deepstate i’m going to lump together, even though they are different throws. because, if i’m feeling like playing something in that vein that day, i’m pocketing one of the two… i have a hard time letting go of either of them, and i had a few each at one point. for straight responsiveness, the 650b i prefer, and i find it to be more friendly on the hand itself. the deepstate is more trick friendly, but can be harsh on the return.

the respawn - g2 did a magnificent job on this guy. great performer… my experience, this would be a, and possibly the top contender for modern responsive on the poll list, though i haven’t tried the weekender.

i did not like the gamer. it didn’t feel ‘there’. it played harsh. i can go play the moonshine again if you want more info, and i don’t even remember what the sherpa was like… but it isn’t still here…

i do have a few other pieces i play responsive… like dave, i have an sb2 going, i had the cfgt out yesterday, i have a dif-e-yo bare bones set up responsive… this could go on for a while, lol

i will intentionally leave walter absent from the list, it’s friggin impossible to find one… but i’m soooo glad i did :wink:


Does the YYF Arrow count with the slim bearing? I play it and I’m loving it… granted I’ve only just gotten back into Yoyo since I was a kid

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It may not be ideal for this style of tricks (particularly things like stalls), something with a higher wall and narrower gap will hold a stall a little better with less chance of slipping out. But you can still have some fun with fly-away dismounts. Have fun with throwing btw! You’re in for a fun ride.

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Thanks man- I got one of the Delrin gamers but my gosh it was so light I found it off putting. Maybe one day I’ll have the skill to appreciate it as a light Yoyo- for now I’m gonna stick with the arrow


The gamer takes some getting used to, as well as some tweaking to make it to your liking. My sweet spot is with a thinner string, slim bearing and 1 thinner pad. I’m sure down the road you’ll come back to the Gamer. I had a similar situation when I was getting back into throwing and learning 1A, and picked up a Duncan Dragonfly (I had always wanted the Turbo Bumblebee GT as a kid but never got around to getting it) and found it back then too light. I recently came back to it with this different style of tricks and found it to be a fun throw for it.