Amplified Return Tops Shout
Reviewed by Chris Rhoads
July 11, 2015
Amplified Return Tops, A.R.T. for short, is a new company brought to market by 19-year-old LaMonte’ Patterson. Patterson’s North Carolina (but soon to be Alabama) based company is, according to their official company bio, “dedicated to meeting player needs through quality production and creative designs”. If I didn’t know anything else about the company, I would still be impressed by Patterson’s drive to bring his freshman effort to market. After graduating high school, he took a year off to pursue his idea for his company. He waited tables to raise capital and waited until it was economically feasible with a solid design before even announcing his company. The ambition and drive from this teen is impressive. But that is enough praise for the company, this is a yo-yo review after all so now it is time to turn the focus to the Shout itself.
• Diameter: 57mm
• Width: 43.5mm
• Gap: 4.3mm
• Weight: 66.9 grams
• Response: White Silicone 19mm Pads
• Bearing: Grooved, Sting Centering 10-Ball Bearing
The Shout, machined by Tennessee based Foxland Precision, is an H-Shape design with massive rims that meet at a pronounced drop into a V-Shaped catch zone that travels to the slight step out into the gap. The profile design is reminiscent of the designs of the Skywalker and Juvenile Offender from several years back but adds the step out at the gap and scraps the rounded catch zone used in those older models. This pushes the weight towards the rims even more. The face of the yo-yo has a slight step in from the rim with a shallow cut underneath that is not big enough for an IGR. From there they connect to the inner walls off the cup. The floor is completely flat. The Shout comes in eight insane colorways, mine obviously being the USA splash. The finish on the first run is not blasted so the colorways pop a little more in sunlight but at the same time will impact grinds. Overall I like the design. Even though it has hard, well defined edges that can bite if you are not paying attention it is still quite comfortable in the hand and during play.
The Shout is a full sized design clocking in at just a hair under 67 grams. It is quick on the string with impressive spin times throughout play. The Shout is quite stable on the string but is easy to force off axis when you want it to. I have noticed in the past that super stable yo-yos like to fight tricks like Gyro Flop. The Shout is one that just goes with the flow.
Response and Bearing
The white 19mm pads get the job done well. They are pretty much broken in out of the box. During my time with the Shout I did not have any unexpected returns due to pad error… just human error. If these pads are not your thing, they can easily be swapped with any other 19mm pads that you prefer.
The bearing is a channel cut, string centering bearing. Right off the bat I will say these are not my favorite, but this one is not horrible. The bearing is quiet and feels smooth, two things that I find most bearings of this type struggle with. I preferred the feel of the Shout with a standard flat bearing but the stock bearing did not detract from the play at all. I did all the play testing on the stock bearing.
As I said above, the Shout is zippy on the string while remaining quite stable. It spins dead smooth to the point of almost not feeling it. During play I did give some horizontal tricks a try and found even though I am still horrible at horizontal the Shout was able to handle it with ease. During regular play I found the gap was wide enough to hit with ease and that steep transition from rim to catch zone did not effect play at all during sloppy string hits. Grinds are decent but not what they could be due to a lack of a blast finish. There is no real IGR so thumb grinds are difficult. Finger, palm, and arm grinds worked out well indoors but I found that I lost a great deal of control while outside in this muggy Ohio weather. This will change in future runs; it has been stated that the lack of a blast finish is limited only to the first run of this freshman release.
The Shout is an admirable first effort from Amplified Return Tops. The solid design is impressive and the attention to the business side means that they are determined to stick around, so we will probably be seeing more out of this company in the future. If you are looking for a full-sized yo-yo with a lot of power and decent speed, this is one to seriously consider.