Ti Vibe Or Not Ti Vibe

This is one thing I’ve never understood. If I lightly scratch my fingernail against anything that isn’t perfectly smooth, there’s going to be a little bit of noise. Does that mean my table has a little bit of fingernail vibe?

I’m being a little extreme, I know nobody thinks my table has vibe. But yoyos aren’t perfectly smooth, most that I own have a matte finish, which means that on a microscopic level they’re not frictionless. That friction when your nail touches the metal makes a sound.

So why do we hear that sound from two not-frictionless surfaces rubbing against each other and then say “Yeah that’s definitely because the yoyo is vibrating.”? That’s what vibe means, right? Or am I just way off here?

And just to be clear, I’m really asking because I truly just don’t understand, not trying to be sarcastic or anything. It just seems to me that the fingernail “vibe” test could just be the yoyo making noise due to friction and not any actual pulsing vibration like a yoyo that has more than “fingernail vibe.”


When most yoyos coming out are pretty darned great there needs to be something to nitpick and for reviewers to talk about.


When you I read that, I thought “ththththth” referred to the yoyo bouncing off your nail, not necessarily the sound it makes. So, if you put your fingernail up to it and it isn’t able to stay pressed against it and kinda bounces off repeatedly, that would be considered fingernail vibe. Sometimes you can keep your fingernail on without it bouncing off and still feel some vibration. I’d consider that still a very minimal level of vibe, like 9.5/10 smoothness. I’ve only had a few that felt like there was absolutely no vibe at all on a fingernail test.

I prefer doing a finger grind test. If I feel minimal or no vibration on my finger during a finger grind, that’s a smooth yoyo. I try not to worry about it unless it’s a brand new $100+ yoyo with noticeable vibe or a used one with significant pulse vibe. In my experience, this can usually be tuned out to some degree.


i think using decimals placed numberlines and subjective scales is unnecessary and could be misleading from an interpretive sense. a description and/or a credit card test video should clear up any questions.

regarding ti, i think vibe on ti tends to be more noticeable - could it be the density of the material, etc. or just being completely subjective such as perception or the fact you just dropped 4-bills on a ti and want that thing deader smooth than dead.

my view, based on my collecting, is there is a comparative amount found in ti and al yoyos (and then throwing in the secondhand factor). i may just notice it because i have fewer ti throws, but honestly, imo, the difference is negligible


in this case it should be the same (even more evident) even on full size steel yoyos, I only own one and it is very undersize (Saint.Eel) and therefore I cannot know, maybe who owns some can let us know if these yoyos also exhibit minimal vibrations, more frequently than aluminum ones.

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@sloegoe perhaps?

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Most titanium yoyos I’ve used actually had a tiny bit of discernible vibe. More with some vibe than without. My guess here is actually due to the thinner walls with titanium. Sure, titanium is quite a bit stronger than aluminum, but it’s also a bit heavier and is often designed with thinner walls. Thinner walls, along with the material already being tough to machine and very prone to heating up, can cause tiny amounts of warping in the material leading to a tiny bit of vibe.


I read once that the universe vibrates at a Bb on the musical scale. I just hope one day we can all describe our yoyos vibe that way. As long as my yoyos don’t end up vibrating to a F# I’ll be ok with it. Anything Ab to say a C# I can get along with


I’d been thinking the same thing, plus the whole issue with Ti wearing out machining tools much more rapidly. I think that’s the same reason the few larger sized stainless yoyos I’ve tried tend to have more vibe, thin walls and steel will definitely warp with heating/cooling cycles. Titanium also resonates a lot more than aluminum which is a big part of their appeal, but that same tendency to resonate could also accentuate high frequency vibrations that aluminum would dampen out.

Now I have to study music to be a thrower? This hobby just got more demanding… I started collecting yoyos and now I collect tuning forks!


More specifically frequencies. Everything vibrates, so maybe if we’re finding vibe on our yoyos is it the yoyo, or is it us? Maybe we’re just not “vibing” with that yoyo and need to find something that matches us more closely :rofl:


I’m picking up good vib— never mind.


That is the note that one supermassive black hole is giving off, not so much the universe. It’s a Bb-53, which is 57 octaves below middle C (C4) and we can’t hear it.

Source: Music of the Heavens Turns Out to Sound a Lot Like a B Flat - The New York Times.

The sound that most aluminium yoyos produce when you are doing the fingernail test is probably an E5.


Thanks for that! That’s the article, will have to reread it tomorrow.


It is easier to make an aluminum yoyo turn out smooth then titanium. Since titanium is such a difficult material to work with, it tends to take much much longer to machine (about 5-10 minutes per half for Aluminum, and 45 minutes - 1 hour per half for titanium). If you think of this insane difference you can understand why a titanium costs so much. The margins for an aluminum yoyo are actually much higher.

This doesn’t really explain the whole vibe thing though. But if you can imagine a material that is more difficult to machine due to hardness, there are a lot of issues that don’t normally come to mind. On many occasions on my own yoyos, the tooling was deforming the yoyo half while it was being machined because it was so difficult to machine. Things like this cause vibration. certain cutting tools that are thick enough for an aluminum yoyos will also deform so custom tooling is often needed.

Other things to consider is that aluminum is generally more forgiving when you install a bearing. If its a bit tight, it will generally just deform since aluminum is soft. But with titanium, it tends to gall much easier. This is why I put a dab of lube on most titanium yoyos I sell before I ship them out.

Last thing is, I do have an ano shop that blasts and anodizes my yoyos, and this is where a lot of the vibrations come from. Its why certain finishes I will charge a lot more for to accommodate for the bgrades. Hopefully this shines a light on the difficulties that might not be apparent on the surface.


today I was thinking about one thing, for most metals there are no big problems interconnecting them, for example joining with threading methods. In a stainless steel yoyo I can always use a stainless steel axle, in an aluminum one I could use an aluminum axle, if you don’t do it it’s just because it could be a very fragile component.
This is the cup of an Oxy 4

The aluminum Oxygéné, as you all know, have had titanium axles mounted by interference since the first model, but the seat where the axle is screwed is not always in titanium but in brass, just as no titanium yoyo is mounted with a titanium axle … why?
This, said Carlo Alberto Menon, happens because, despite having threaded the two components with the necessary tolerances, titanium tends to present “galling” problems if screwed onto itself.
Maybe it could be this, the tool that works the titan, being very hard and despite being lubricated by the coolant (which being oily however it lubricates), can cause micro-vibrations while cutting the metal precisely by virtue of this characteristic. .

P.s. the reason for choosing brass to connect with titanium, in the axis of the Oxygéné depended, Carlo Alberto told us, on the fact that this metal behaves in an optimal way to connect to titanium … the valves of the Wlliams-Renault engine I mentioned above in fact, it had brass jacketed valve seats.