I agree. Unless you have a contractually binding reason to be loyal to one brand, it’s best to try a little of this, a little bit of that. OR, if you like a brand, maybe a whole lot of that.
Let’s take it to another level. Let’s say we’re talking mics. I know, it’s not yoyos, but trust me, I’ll force it back there soon. Let’s just say we are working in the $85-120 arena. I choose this because a lot of the more decent metals are in this range, but is kinda of where decent mics start.
Why do I have 6 Shure SM57’s? At around $100 each, they can do quite a bit, from horns, guitar, percussion and even vocals if you put a wind screen on them(the mic works great with THIN vocals, I find an SM57 can rock on a male Asian vocals). Or I can use one of my 4 Shure SM58’s, which I can handle the same task with, but with the assembly around the diaphragm, it performs better on vocals, but isn’t quite so hot on snare or guitar, but if you know the response variations, you can manage that real quick. Or I can use my pair of Audix i5’s or even the two Blue Ball mics(brand is Blue, model is Ball). So far, everything I’ve mentioned is in the $100 range. Each has strengths and weaknesses that I can exploit to help my mix down the line. But, I find my Sennheiser e609’s work great on clean guitar but not so well for metal guitar, but at $109, I can use the hypercardiod design and the flat square shape as well. It’s also great on toms, horns and some percussion. Everything brings something unique to the equation that a skilled engineer can use to their advantage by exploiting both the strengths and weaknesses of a mic design to get the desired results from the mics in inventory.
Now, let’s go WFO(look it up, I don’t wanna get banned) and crack open my mic case for mics that I use for live sound. Focusing on mics in a handheld design only, I have mics that range from $89 to $550. This is where it starts to come back to yoyo. I had a guy working for me who wanted to perform try out mics I have before the show went on. We had stuff set up early so I put him up on stage and gave him 2 cables and a bucket full of mics. Models included the $89 Sennheiser e835($89), Shure SM58($100), the Shure SM86($180), Audix OM-5($160), Blue Encore 200($170), Telefunken M-80($240), EV Cobalt Co9(Got on sale for $40, regularly $100) and the Audio Technica AE5400($540). After all was said and done, the mic he sounded best on was the e835, at the LOWER END of the cost arena.
He also tried many of my other mics for studio applications. I forget what he chose but I send him out the door with around $3K in mics to try out. I think he ended up choosing the Cascade Fat Head II Live ribbon mic. He was definitely not suited for the AT 2020 he already bought, and my AT 4040 wasn’t fairing much better for him.
What I mean to show is that in my case, I have to buy a lot of mics to have lots of tools to not only handle a variety of sources, but ample mics in inventory to handle a lot of source. I also choose to not accept mic endorsements so I don’t have limitations or restrictions. But as a sound production company, I need to have variety to please clients. This guy who was working for me was able to bypass a lot of the “buy before you try” stuff by working with me to find what worked best with him.
Of course, sometimes using a less than optimum mic may be desired in order to change the character of the vocal. I mean, moving down a line of mics, you can almost sound like instead of 1 guy, you’ve go a group of similar sounding guys each with their own character, but it’s just one dude and a variety of mics.
Same with yoyos. Don’t limit yourself. Ever. I mean, even if you’re a world champion, don’t restrict yourself to any one brand or model. Sure, I’m all for preferences, that’s good too, and when you’re getting ready for competition, yeah, you’re going to focus on your go-to model(s), which is natural. Every yoyo is different, bringing something new to experience, that will either exploit something you know, or end up exposing some weakness and making you work on your game more.
Yes, I have brands I like too, but I refuse to limit myself. Do I like YYF? Sure. Do I like YYJ? Yup, big time. CLYW? Great stuff. Other brands are in there too. Even so, all things said and done, at the moment, I still like my DM2 the best of all the stuff I have. However, I know that if I only throw that, I’m limiting myself, so I make sure I throw lots of other yoyos to. Again, the variety keeps me sharp, or at least sharper than I would be otherwise.
I’m relatively new. 6 months of throwing. I have a LOT to learn and many of you will easily pass me, and many of you I’ll never catch up to. But the advise is still the same: Buy more yoyos, try more stuff, don’t limit yourself to a brand or model and always practice. If you have a few yoyos, do this: make a “yoyo of the day” and that’s all you throw. Rotate regularly, don’t get stuck into one model. I do this. I still throw my DM2 almost every day, but after I get warmed up, it’s often time to go onto the “yoyo of the day”. But, I do say when I’m learning new stuff, I just focus on the DM2. I need my comfort zone!
Plus, someone came up with the idea of “No Bearing November”. You know what, despite the fact I’m not doing it this year as I’m too new, I think this is a great idea. Fixed axle throws for all of November. I’m going to go research a great fixed axle throw for next year and I will only use that yoyo. Well, I lie. I go on vacation in November, and for that, I’m bringing my 4 most favorite throws to help wind-down from my full day enjoying the Disney parks I’m visiting. I mean, I really enjoy Disney parks, but I gotta wind down after a day of fantasy!
Again, I have nothing against developing preferences. Preferences are going to develop regardless, that’s just a fact of life. Just don’t force yourself into a position of deliberately limiting your options without a valid reason.
So, today I’ve just received a dv888, a Northstar and the light-up FHZ. So, you know what I’m gonna be throwing today! Sure, it’s YYF, but there’s Duncan too. Chances are high I’ll also be throwing my Code 1, DM2 and Avalanche too.