Here is Northern Spin Company latest release: Quantum. It retains the same overall profile and hub design as previous NSCo offerings (Aurora and Helix), but the Quantum is made of 6061 Aluminum and is over sized at ~60mm diameter. I had the chance to play with it since more than year ago when it was still in its prototype stage. I’ll give a run down of my impression based on a production model.
NSCo Quantum in blue/blue color
Quantum and its brother Aurora
Profile comparison. Left: Aurora, Right: Quantum. The two are similar with some noticeable difference near the rims.
Profile comparison. Left to right: Werrd Hour, NSCo Quantum, YYF Protostar. Just to show roughly how big this thing is.
The Prototype I brought to the Arctic with me in February 2012
The specs (taken from manufacturer website)
Material: 6000 Series Aluminium
Finish: Soda blasted, Colour anodized
Response: Flowable Silicone
Weight: 67 grams
Bearing: CORE bearing
Units: 50 Units World Wide
The soda blast
feels pretty good on the hand. Arm grinds and inner ring grinds feel smooth. I’m not sure if the spikes can do metador tricks, but there is plenty of room in the hub area for horizontal finger grinds. The soda blast is not masked around the bearing area, so at first I did notice a bit of string eating just off the response area. The problem was gone after a few days of breaking in.
TL;DR: Soda blast feels good, but eats string at first.
has a stainless steel cage and eight ceramic balls. It’s a size C bearing and is on par with any high end bearings I’ve had. Initially it was a bit noisier than I liked, but with a bit of thin lube it’s now very smooth and quiet. The bearing on mine falls off the bearing seat nicely and didn’t require a removal tool, and yoyo’s spin is dead smooth.
TL;DR: Ceramic bearing is good.
is very solid and stable. The large diameter is definitely helping with its presence on the string. As mentioned above, grinds are a pleasure thanks to the soda blast. No complaints while the yoyo is on the string.
TL;DR: Plays nice while it’s spinning.
is where I have some beef with. As with both Aurora and Helix, all three NSCo yoyos have VERY tight binds. The response (with flowable silicone, the same stuff I use for every yoyo) can really grab onto the string, and you know the next throw is going to be solid. This is good, since it allows you to recover from low RPM after a minor screw up. But at the same time, the grippy response in the Quantum (not so much with Aurora and Helix) introduces kick back. Kick back is when you throw a front style sleeper and the yoyo tends to throw itself towards your back. It’s not so much of a problem on your initial throw, but can be a problem for regeneration. If you regen with an inner-loop style, the yoyo will tend to launch itself upwards. If you regen with a hop-the-fence style, the yoyo will tend to launch itself downwards. It’s not impossible to regen with the Quantum, but it definitely takes a bit of getting used to.
TL;DR: Response is tight, but kick back is odd.
So NSCo jumped from 52mm straight to 60mm diameters, skipping the ubiquitous 55mm. They did reveal a few renderings of a 55mm throw in the works, which will be made of titanium. It seems like for another while the Quantum will be NSCo’s most player-friendly model that doesn’t take a huge bite out of your wallet.