C3Yoyo Design Dark Sonic Review by NJStringer
The guys over at C3Yoyo Design have been hard at work coming up with more and more amazing designs to include in their ever-increasing line of high quality throws. The Dark Sonic is the newest member of the line up and is nothing short of superb and stands for the incredible detail and quality C3Yoyo has become known for. The signature yoyo of Ron Chan Kwok San, the Dark Sonic was built to be played and admired.
The Dark Sonic colorways include solid colors as well as limited edition, highly artistic ano jobs. Solid colorways include red and orange in a smooth finish, green, purple and bronze in a blasted finish. Limited edition colorways up the ante and come in a brilliant blue with orange splash or an eye catching black and silver acid wash with an orange inner rim and bowl section. No matter what colorway you choose to add to your collection each one carries the C3Yoyo Design logo engraving along with the Dark Sonic logo laser engraved within the “Double-V” catch zone.
[b]Dark Sonic Specs:
Gap Width: 4.267mm
C Size flat bearing
Response: C3Yoyo Design silicone pads (will accept flowable silicone) [/b]
In the Box:
C3Yoyo Design Dark Sonic
1 poly string
The review Dark Sonic that I received came in the brilliant orange that many people referred to as “that cool bronze looking yoyo.” The color leaps off this yoyo and the unique finish just shines during a throw. Truly a site to be seen when thrown as the light catches the smooth finish as well as the curvature of the rims making every trick a show unto itself.
The Dark Sonic is another one of C3Yoyo Design’s solid throws. By now most people know that I have a great appreciation for a yoyo that has a solid feel. When I say this I don’t mean that I want a yoyo that feels like a 5 pound weight on the string but am trying to convey in words something that can really only be felt by one’s own hands. I’ve played prototypes from many different companies and one thing that I feel separates a proto and a finished, high quality, playable yoyo is this feeling. The Dark Sonic has this feeling. You hold it in your hand and it has substance. Solidity. You gain a confidence that this yoyo is going to perform well and that the build is going to offer stable play and that the geometry is finely tuned. All these qualities in hand alone make the Dark Sonic a yoyo to own. The design is beautiful in its simplicity and continues C3Yoyo Design’s “Double-V” shape that creates a wide catch zone. The “Double-V” catch zone carries as a deep slope that transitions in a single, short step up before meeting with the wall and the response groove. The rims of the Dark Sonic carry plenty of weight and are softly rounded making the feel in hand more subtle even on a hard catch. Where the rims of the Trident feel more industrial and angled the Dark Sonic is the antithesis of this shape with its rims being more organic in design. The well weighted rims transition towards the IGR and bowl via a flat surface that adds to the aesthetics of the yoyo on a spin and catches the light while in motion. The IGR, much like that of the Trident, is one that will surprise newcomers to the two yoyos; an IGR that is simple, minimal and yet incredibly effective. Moving from the IGR the bowl itself again follows the minimalistic design that makes the Dark Sonic so beautiful and is a hubless, spikeless bowl with a minor convex surface in the center which will please anyone who shies from hubs or spikes. The surface of the Dark Sonic has a machined feel to it with a finite grooved surface - which you need to inspect up close in order to see - that aids in grindability. The surface is smooth to the touch if you pass your finger along the grooves around the shape of the yoyo but can be felt if when you pass your finger against the grain such as moving from rim to wall. Its design aesthetics and functionality such as those that are found in the Dark Sonic that are scarce today. When you consider all the blasted finishes available the machined finish of the Dark Sonic is a nice, subtle and yet incredibley functional change in design. Some people have contacted me regarding the state of the bearing seat and while my review throw was a little tight I don’t see this as an incredibly terrible flaw that would be reason not to add this throw to your collection.
On a Throw:
Many of us have thrown yoyos that we immediately fall in love with and that meshes well with our style and of course we’ve also thrown those yoyos that just never feel right in our hands or at the end of our string. The Dark Sonic, after the first time I held it, became a throw that I felt not only worked well with my style of play but it also complimented my style. On a throw the Dark Sonic can be played fast but at the same time is highly controllable which means you can slow it down to suit your speed; some tricks just play better fast while others gain a more impressive feel when we slow them down to let the technical aspects shine. My whips gained more consistency with the Dark Sonic thanks to the channeling quality of the catch zone even when I chose to push them at higher speeds which can often mean less precision. When attempting tricks that require string rejection the small step in the catch zone sets the string off the catch zone with surprising consistency. An interesting thing about the Dark Sonic on a throw in comparison to its specs on paper is that the weight distribution makes it feel a tad heavier on the string than one would expect and yet like many well designed throws the weight distribution, while adding stability, somehow keeps the Dark Sonic moving at whatever speed you want to push it. Now I know, that last statement sort of winds in on itself but its a quality of the Dark Sonic that is hard to describe. Grinds with the Dark Sonic simply fly with reduced friction thanks to the finishing technique I mentioned before as well as the minimal surface-to-surface contact with the rounded rim design. On thumb grinds this same finish can be found within the bowl so should you plant your thumb a tad deep in the bowl the surface is not going to simply kill your grind. My attempts at horizontal play to date have been somewhat comical but I find them to be less frustrating with a yoyo such as the Dark Sonic (or Trident) that have this style of play in mind. The horizontal stability of this throw also suits standard 1A play and the overall distribution of weight makes for amazing spin time.
Stock Bearing and Response:
The Dark Sonic comes stock with a standard, flat, 8 ball bearing which plays well in this particular throw thanks to the design of the catch zone that does what is was designed to do which is effectively channel the string onto the bearing with less bunching. A center trac bearing is also well suited for this particular throw for those who prefer some minor string centering while still maintaining some of the benefits of a flat bearing. C3Yoyo Design silicone pads are the standard response for the Dark Sonic and afford you with fast break in time, consistent binds and long lasting response that is easy to replace. The C3Yoyo Design silicone pads are up on my list of favorites as they truly do work well and seem to be the best mix of size and materials. The pads really do feel designed with consistency and longevity in mind. The Dark Sonic response groove will accept flowable for those who prefer a more custom, recessed response and the play with recessed flowable, when done well, becomes slightly less responsive but still maintains consistent binds.
In the End:
The Dark Sonic, plainly put, is a yoyo worthy of any style of play. The organic rim design against the “Double-V” catch zone makes for a comfortable, stable throw capable of vertical and horizontal play with excellent spin. The colorway choices offer up a wonderful selection for both those who love solid, catchy throws or those who want a more artistic, edgy feel. Again, some may complain about the tightness of the bearing seat, and while my review edition was nowhere near as tight as what people have mentioned to me, I feel that this is at best a minor issue in the design and by no means effects the quality of the play. In the end, what more can you ask for in a yoyo? In the Dark Sonic quality, stability and style come in the form of a well built, fun throw!