Hey guys! Thanks for checking out my review on the YoYoFactory DV888. If you’ve already read my review on the BOSS (if you haven’t, please feel free :)), you know that a brief exposition is in order before we get to the meat and potatoes. The process of getting my DV888 was certainly rife with its hurdles and roadblocks. I got it as a stand-in to hold me over for my BOSS I’m getting for Christmas. After my test run with the BOSS, I had the metal fever, and the DV888 was the only solution to keep myself from ripping my hair out in anticipation. Of course, from the minute the Order button was clicked, the anticipation for this one’s arrival was instantly a killer. I ordered it late last Wednesday night, so with that came the uncertainty of whether it would arrive on Saturday or on Monday (I could be dead by Monday! ;D). I got off of work on Saturday and by chance met the mailman as he was delivering the mail to my community mailbox. I asked him eagerly if he had the mail for my address, and he handed me a couple magazines and obvious junk mail and gave me a “have a nice day!” My heart sank, “there should be a package…” So knowing this, he went back into the truck and :o pulled out that familiar Priority Mail package with the YoYoExpert logo on the label. I snatched it up, raced back home, and ripped open the packaged to find my brand new YoYoFactory DV888 in the blue finish!
I’ll come back to the details later, but it turns out I was sent a small bearing version, instead of the large version I ordered, which turned out to be a very fortunate mishap. That is until the bearing died about 24 hours later :’(. Not to worry. The folks here at YYE were sure to accommodate me swiftly and professionally, giving me more than I bargained for and leaving me a very satisfied and evermore loyal customer.
With all of the roadblocks out of the way, the DV888 was ready for action.
Unleashing the Beast
When I first opened the DV888, ripping it out of the package only just gently enough not to tear the box, I was first struck by the eminent beauty of the satin smooth blue anodizing job. I personally like the plain, understated look of the solid color design. The only thing disrupting the rich deep blue was the small DV888 YoYoFactory logo across one of the outer rings. Some people would find this a bit blank or boring, I’m sure, but for me, this small logo is more than enough to make an effective statement. And of course, after being so used to YoYoJam metal rimmed yo-yos, again came the marvel of just how small this thing really is (a modest 1.97” diameter). I ran my fingers across the ever so slightly curved wings (very similar to the shape of the Hitman, and more so the Lyn Fury) and perfectly flat rims, and as expected, felt no imperfections whatsoever. With the visual and tactile evaluation complete, I was bursting at the seams to give it a throw, but first: the mandatory preliminary inspection.
While unscrewing the DV888 to inspect the innards, I was first greeted by a pronounced squeak of the axle. Certainly not what I was used to or what I expected, but it at least let me know that the axle fit firmly into its slot. As the two halves separated, also a bit earlier than I expected (definitely quite a bit shorter than YYJ axles), this was when I first realized that I was sent the small bearing version. This was my first experience with a size A bearing, and it was quite smaller than my familiar size C bearings. While somewhat discouraging at first, this did happen to prove to be quite an advantage in the case of this review, because it gave me a blank slate upon which to base my judgments. I gave the YYF SPEC bearing a decent flick, and it gave me a smooth, quiet spin for about 6 seconds. Not bad for a slightly oiled, straight-out-of-the-box bearing to begin with, especially taking its size into account.
The response was next on my list for examination. This was my second-ever experience with K-Pads, and just as I remembered, they fit perfectly flush in their recess, and felt smooth yet grippy to the touch, like silicone but more firm. One thing that was a bit unexpected-- and I’m honestly still unsure as to the functionality of this—was to find the extra recess that sits outside of the K-Pad groove. You can see this in the picture above; it almost looks like they left in the recess that would fit the K-Pad for the large bearing version. This still kind of puzzles me, but it hasn’t proved too much of a concern.
Last on the list for the inspection was the outside—the face and inner ring. First off, for whatever reason, I really like how the axle just sort of peeks out of the side the way it does. I’m really not sure why, but it just seems to lend just enough of an accent to offset the aforementioned “plainness” of the design. When I ran my fingertip along the inner ring and the face, I noticed that the finish is more glossy in comparison with the satin matte finish of the outer regions. It’s perfect for gliding across a thumbnail. More of that later on, though, because the inspection was finally complete! I slapped on a brand new Alchemy String (thanks ThRoW-b0t ;)), squeakily screwed the two halves firmly and securely together (I love how YYFs feel like they lock into place when they’re screwed together, in comparison to YYJs, which feel like they just sort of ease into place) and moved on to the first throw!
The First Throw
The picture above is to show how the DV888 fits in your hand when winding up for a throw (plus some bonus Eddies for any Maiden fans here ;)). To put things in perspective, I’m 5’10”, and have what I’d call average sized hands for an adult. As you can see, it’s quite small in comparison with most yo-yos, but after some time, it becomes incredibly comfortable to hold. I wound up and threw a medium strength sleeper. I was greeted by an aesthetically and perceptibly pleasing spin. I experienced very little extra vibration, and that wonderful quiet, smooth, induplicable sound of a high quality metal yo-yo. I could still feel much of the weight on the string as it slept; it didn’t quite “vanish” as in my experience with the BOSS, but what it did have was a solid, sturdy feel. I binded it back, and was actually quite shocked. If there’s anything to know when combining K-Pads and size A bearings, it’s that the play is completely unresponsive, but at the same time the binds are incredibly tight and snappy. The yo-yo shot back up quickly without an ounce of slippage, and slapped firmly into my palm. So far so good. I was impressed thus far, so sure to follow was to put the DV888 to the test.
The test for the DV888 has been a week long ongoing process, which is good because I have plenty of firm experience upon which to judge my evaluations. First of all, the first time the DV888 is thrown into a trapeze, there’s something that just feels right about it. It floats smoothly across the string, and is quick to accurately respond to any command you may give it. If I’ve learned one thing through my experiences with this and the BOSS, it’s to take everything that is said in the YYE product description with utmost seriousness. The small size A bearing, while the gap remains huge in comparison with most yo-yos (somewhere in the area of 4 mm), gives the yo-yo a bit of a narrow landing area, requiring you to pay attention, and play accurately. If you do just that, though, you will find a well pronounced payoff. The small bearing seems to allow the user more torque on string maneuvers, so the yo-yo responds more powerfully to smaller, more nuanced movements in comparison with their large bearing laden counterparts. For the inaccurate player, though, this will be just as much of a disadvantage, because inaccurate movements and sloppiness could potentially be amplified. That being said, with a good throw, the heavily concentrated rim weight provides a solid, unfaltering spin, all the way down until just seconds before it dies.
Another thing I feel should be addressed is the issue of spin time. In many product descriptions, the small bearing version is perhaps indirectly quoted as having a shorter spin time than the large bearings. While this comparison may be true, from my experience, it’s nothing to worry over. With the superior, sturdy build quality of the DV888, spin time has never been an issue for me, easily outperforming all of my metal-rimmed YYJs, and consistently holding up to as extensive of combos I choose to throw at it.
As I said before, the DV888 has superiority in terms of build quality and sturdiness, providing a noticeable enhancement in play dynamics and an overall satisfying experience. It’s undersized shape and solid feel allows ease in complex string maneuvers and tight squeezes such as the pop from trapeze to wrist mount as in Static Flow. This yo-yo navigates fairly accurately to basically wherever you try to maneuver it. I’ve noticed great improvements in tricks such as Kwijibo, Eli/Black Hops, and Superman because of this. For accuracy and stability, this yo-yo certainly performs well, maintaining a feel that is well controlled, and never clumsy or clunky. Even with a flat bearing it consistently outperforms my KK’d YYJs in terms of stability.
The K-Pad response is another area I feel should be addressed. I’m not sure if it’s the K-Pads or the Alchemy strings I’m using (most likely both), but the DV888 holds Suicide loops spectacularly, opening super wide at the apex of the toss, even with a Konkave Bearing. I’ve thus far noticed very minimal snagging throughout my tricks except for when my string tension is far over-tight/loose. However, the binds on the small bearing version are extremely tight and snappy, especially on sidestyle backspin binds. It’s often surprising, especially early on in a throw before the spin has had time to slow down. I personally really enjoy how tight the binds are, but this does have its drawbacks. Since the loop begins to bind so quickly and early on, you’re often left with a very large loop, making it prone to those annoying tangles and knots that require you to take apart the yo-yo to fix them. The simple solution: use fake binds for a much higher tangle-free success rate.
Another aspect of the small bearing version that may fly a bit under the radar is the “faster” spin. I questioned at first why that would even matter, but before long the answer was obvious: the small bearing DV888 was made for grinding. I can’t say that it’s the absolute smoothest grind I’ve ever experienced, but with the faster spin, arm grinds, finger grinds, and even palm grinds are smooth and effortless, leaving only a light brushing sensation across whichever surface you choose for your grinds. The satin matte finish on the outside further enhances smoothness and comfort, but moving onto the inner ring is where things get even more interesting. As I mentioned before, the surface of the inner ring possesses a more glossy finish, which I predicted would be perfect for gliding across a thumbnail, and this turned out to be absolutely right. I never used to like thumb grinds, but since my experience with this yo-yo, they’ve earned a regular spot in my routine. The inner ring is quite deep as well, providing plenty of room for nice long thumb grinds, especially with the minimally protruding posts. The best part—after countless thumb grinds, I have yet to see a single speck of anno scraped off from the inner ring. In this aspect, the DV888 holds up like a champ.
Down the Road
The DV888 is also a strong contender when it comes to taking a beating. My first scuff on the thing actually seemed to somehow cover itself up (?!) after dropping half of it on the ground in a parking garage. My yo-yo has had its fair share of encounters with the concrete by now, and I’d have to say after the first couple dings, it does lose a bit of its smoothness. This is to be expected though, and so far I’ve noticed nothing that has any true hindrance on playability. If extra vibe is a big concern for you, you’ll have to stick to playing over carpet on this one. My observation seems to be that when it impacts the ground, the bearing scrapes off some of the anno on the actual bearing seat, which loosens the otherwise completely firm hold the bearing has on the seat when brand new. I will reiterate, though, that this has no real impact on the actual playability itself; it just gives off a feel that’s less than pristine.
Also, those recesses I mentioned earlier around the response seem to be a killer on strings. As you surely know by now :P, I’m using Alchemy strings which are known for their long lasting durability. After a couple bad snag-filled days, a brand new shiny Alchemy string was turned into a bit of a frayed mess, as opposed to the week it took on my siliconed Hitman to notice any frays. It’s not too huge of a concern for me, but for those who like to maintain brand new strings, the large bearing version may be better for you.
Specs and Techs
What review would be complete without some specs? Specs for the YoYoFactory DV888 as quoted on YoYoExpert are as follows:
Response System: K-Pad - Medium
Weight: 66 grams
Bearing Size: Size C / Size A
In layman’s terms: Undersized, comfortable diameter, sufficient width with a nice sized catch zone, fantastic response system (I now prefer it over silicone), sweet-spot weight, and an option on two popular bearing choices.
Items of concern not revealed by the specs: 4mm wide gap – great for string piles even with small bearing version, flat rims and heavy rim weight for smoothness and stability, satin smooth finish, and a superior build quality for a sturdy, durable throw.
Wrap It Up Already!
Wow. That was quite a mouthful. In short, YoYoFactory has created a winner with the DV888. It’s an excellent all around player sure to fit most anyone’s tastes. If you haven’t yet tried one, for a mere $65.00 and play quality that far exceeds the price point, you’d be cheating yourself out not to add this masterpiece to your collection if you are an advanced player. Obviously, binds are a must-know, as even with the small bearing, the play is completely unresponsive right out of the box. But small bearing or large, you can’t go wrong. This is a player’s throw, forgiving on less-than-perfect throws, and beastly on dead-on accurate ones. It’s truly a great addition to the world of yo-yoing.
Thanks again guys for reading my review! I hope you enjoyed it, and any feedback is much appreciated. Also, as a bonus, I’ve included comparison pics with my Dark Magic, for all you Dark Magic throwers out there. The top two show comparison in diameter and width, and the bottom one shows a comparison of size C and size A bearings.