“TT” 2nd Run Prototype by Big Brother Yo-Yos
This review is a little bit of a departure for me. Every yo-yo I have reviewed has been meticulously researched before I purchased it. I would know the specs and play details well in advance of the yo-yo hitting my doorstep. So far, I have not been surprised by the play of any yo-yo I have owned. It just does not happen, I am way to fickle with my money and where it goes. This is why my reviews tend to be positive, I already know that I will like the yo-yo before it hits my hand.
That being said, the TT (short for Tittie Twister) does not fit into how I receive a yo-yo. I literally was told that I was getting a TT in the mail by Doug Spence. Um, OK. I can live with that. Then he goes out of town for the weekend. I had no idea what to expect from the TT. He wasn’t returning my e-mails about specs. No one who had a TT was talking on any of the yo-yo forums, besides the usual “It plays great”. Hell, this thing was a total mystery. Well, mystery solved. I have put the TT through its paces and was surprised by it. There are features of this yo-yo that I have never seen on another yo-yo. Well, onto the review. I do have to add that this is a prototype so the specs and design could change before final production.
Weight: 66.5 grams
Bearing: D size (5 x 11 x 5)
Response: o-ring/silicone/Flow groove (coming soon)
Look and Feel
The first thing I noticed about the TT was the color. BBYY has picked a great shade of crimson. It is a deep, rich hue that I have not seen on another yo-yo. A very distinct color that I hope will stay for the final production run. After that I noticed the glint of silver coming from the center of each side of the yo-yo. There are spikes coming out of each side. At the base of each spike you can see the threads. When I noticed that I knew that something was a little different about the TT. It does have flat rims that gently transition to the inner walls of the yo-yo. The inner walls themselves are nicely rounded with no dramatic transition into the gap itself. Quite a change in design from other BBYY designed yo-yos. Once opened, the yo-yo shows some of its drastic design departures. First of all, those spikes mentioned earlier are a part of the axle. The axel itself is a single, machined piece, with the spike going straight through the side walls of the yo-yo. Upon further inspection, I noticed that the traditional bearing seat has been changed for this yo-yo. Instead of having a small post where the bearing sits, the axle becomes the bearing seat as well. The bearing slides over the axle like a sleeve, resting snugly on it. You could not fit a hair between the bearing and the axle itself. It sounds like a strange way of doing things but for the TT it works well.
Here is some insight into the axle design from Mr. Spence:
[quote] 1. The axle fits into a counter bore in the yo-yo half. We can control the fits of the axle to that counter bore to a very high tolerance making good alignment of the yo-yo.
the length of the axle and the counter bores are held to .005 total tolerance meaning the axle is centered in the yo-yo within .005 inch.
The axle is symmetrical so it is well balanced.
The axle/bearing fit can be controlled to a high tolerance also. Plus if the bearing goes bad and gets stuck the consumer only needs to order a $10-$15 replacement axle to salvage the yo-yo.
The TT does not have a blasted finish of any kind. It is just straight anodized. Being the fan of grinding that I am I was a little disappointed by this. But, I can tell you that the TT is a great little grinder. It does not get stuck while palm grinding and it does not shoot off like a rocket while grinding up my arm. The smooth finish aids in keeping snagging to a minimum. When rocking it back and forth on the string the string stays tight without trying to bind on itself. All in all, a very nice finish.
(Spike of doom)
When I first picked it up I knew there was something different about the TT. I am an unabashed fan of Big Brother Yo-Yos. Before the TT I knew that a BBYY designed yo-yo would be a heavy sucker. I guess things change. The TT is light, definitely lighter than the Bully and Wedgie, it feels lighter than my M1 as well. It floats on the string and gets hang time when I pop it into the air. Quite unlike my Bully, which wants to drop like a rock when I pop it up for a whip or hook. This yo yo is light and wants to go fast. It is the sports car among the bulldozers that BBYY usually makes.
Response and Bearing
Prototype TTs come standard with O-Rings installed. My advice, take them out, douse them in gasoline and burn them. I don’t know if the o-rings in my TT were defective, but they were horrible. They slipped 2 out of every three binds. Made me so mad that I wanted to throw the TT across the room. Instead, I ripped them from the yo-yo, inspected the groove, and filled that puppy with recessed flowable silicone. Now it plays as intended. Very unresponsive with snappy, tight binds. Keep in mind that the o-rings will be a non issue in the production run. they are put in the prototypes as a time saving measure.
(Mind the gap)
The bearing is new to me. I have never used a D-Sized bearing before. It is a nice cross between a speedy A-Sized bearing and a smooth C-Sized bearing. The bearing used in the TT spins forever. The downside to it is that the bearing is loud, and I do mean LOUD. It sounds like a humming bird on a special blend of cocaine, speed, and Red Bull. The bearing is also sealed so it is not easy to get the shields off if you want to lube it. After fiddling with it for a few minutes I was able to place a miniscule pin point of thin lube into the bearing near the inner race. The lube did not cut down on the bearing’s spin time that much but it did mute the wee beast.
(From Left to Right: A-size / D-Size / C-Size)
It all comes down to this, how does the mystery yo-yo play. Well, I am glad to say that it plays great. The TT has nice spin times, although it could use a little more rim weight to extend the times some more. It is very fast on the string and whips through tricks with ease. The gap is the same size as the Bully and is ample enough for many wraps. The TT handled three Lindy Loop wraps without breaking a sweat. Earlier I noted that it is on the lighter side of the spectrum. This gives it the hang times to perform whip and slack tricks without having to move like the above mentioned hummingbird. I easily performed Hidemasa Hooks on this and am close to pulling off a double hook. The sharp spikes on the TT also let me pull off a trick that I have not been able to do with my Bully. I was able to pop up the yo-yo, grab it by the spikes, and have it continue to spin. As far as grinding goes, this yo-yo performed every grind that I asked of it. Finger grinds, palm grinds, arm grinds, it didn’t matter. I would love to see what it could do with a proper grind finish, but that will have to wait for another day. One feature to talk about is the inner grind rim, the TT has a deep recessed IGR that lends to it resting just a thin bit of the yo-yo on the nail when thumb grinding. With so little contact between the rim and my thumb, I was able to execute some impressive thumb grinds.
I have to say I am impressed with the TT. It is a comfortable yo-yo to throw around. I am not a fan of light yo-yos but this one is definitely a keeper. The innovative design features make for an interesting yo-yo. The balanced axle lends to a smooth playing yo-yo that has almost no wobble or vibe to it at all. Be on the look out for the TT when it finally does hit. I am told that there will be another revision of the TT that will add more rim weight. With a few refinements to the design I see this being a phenomenal yo-yo and a must have for any collection.
(From Left to Right: Space Bat M1 / TT / Bully)