I suppose I’ve been lucky.
I have several Classics. As they are intentionally set up different, they, as no surprise, play different. I’m planning a couple more to be set up differently than the others. The only consistent area is they are either using stock bearings or YYJ Speed bearings. I’m intentionally using different response systems.
Of those that I have multiples of, it varies. With my DM2’s, all bought at different times, some of them used, they all play pretty much the same. Going with YoYoDoc’s advice of “use the exact same bearing” in mind, I’m going with a similar angle: They are all using the same type of bearing.
Loopers are always bought in pairs, at least that’s what I do these days. Performance is nearly identical.
I have two Burnsides, both with Dry Play treated Trifecta bearings, SOLD to me in the same batch(the bearings, NOT the Burnsides). The bearings may be from different production runs for all I know. They play very similar.
I have an OG Avalanche and a Comeback Avalanche. Here, we’re talking about design alterations(due to CNC information being lost) and different bearings. There is a noticeable difference. Similarly, I have two Gnarwals, and since they have different bearings, again, there are differences in play. Now, the Avalanches are going to play different no matter what bearing is in there. I’m too lazy to check the Gnarwals to see if they’ll play the same with different bearings. Since we’re also comparing CenterTracs to flats, a difference would be expected.
My Peaks both play like entirely different beasts. Using the same bearing doesn’t alter this. I think we all know that Peaks tend to be fairly inconsistent.
My 2 Code2’s are set up differently, one is stock and the other with disc side effects. Yeah, they play way different. Bearings won’t change that!
I think if quality control is very rigid and consistency is tightly controlled, then out the door and in the box, each yoyo should be, for all practical purposes, the same. Going back to what YoYoDoc said about bearings can ring true, because I’ve had “new” bearings just flat out suck, and some play great. I swap out “bad” bearings and replace with known “good” bearings if cleaning the bearing doesn’t resolve the issue.
It makes logical sense. If we can control the yoyo itself through Q/C, then the last random factor is typically the bearing, provided each yoyo is using the same kind of bearing or at least has the same kind of bearing in it. If differences are noted, take control of the situation and swap the bearing so that a single bearing becomes a common denominator. If at that point, the yoyos are still not playing almost identical, then we should also examine the string as it may have worn and need replacing, but I don’t think that will have anywhere as much of an impact as the bearing. The response system could be another culprit as well but I think you’d see other inconsistencies as a direct result of that being a problem area to address.
If one is competing, consistency is very important. For myself, I prefer consistency as much as possible. I’m sure for most people with identical models, they have the same expectations.