YoYoCommunity Spectrum SE
Reviewed by Chris Rhoads
March 31, 2014
YoYo Community (henceforth to be called YYC) is following up their freshman effort with a redesign called the Spectrum SE. The Spectrum line has always been a special project for Tony and Coty Alonso and is centered on their continued efforts to raise awareness for autism related issues, especially those centered around young children such as their son. The Spectrum SE will be released during the April 2, 2014 Light It Up Blue fundraiser for autism that YYC participates in every year. With the background out of the way for this yo-yo and the great cause it represents, lets focus our attention on the Spectrum SE redesign.
• Diameter: 56.5mm
• Width: 41mm
• Gap: 4.16mm
• Grams: 66grams w/Sakura SE Spikes
• Response: OD Flow Grooves
• Bearing: B.O.S.S. Wrath
The design of the Spectrum SE has not changed much from the original Spectrum. The profile still has the extreme H-Shape design with an undercut rim and a deep, wide-open catch zone. The outer walls and rims have all been blasted for a silky smooth feel. The cup is also quite similar with its polished face and insides and well-implemented IGR. The major change is at the center of the cup. Where there was once a completely flat floor, there now resides a Side Effect hub system complete with a set of Sakura SE spikes preinstalled. Comfort wise, the Spectrum SE is decent but can hurt you if you are not careful. The harsher angles associated with extreme H-Shapes come into play here so expect a slightly sore hand after extended use. This is more of an issue with extreme H-Shapes in general and not specific to this particular yo-yo. That being said I must commend YYC on their effort to minimize discomfort. Other yo-yos with an undercut have rubbed against my middle finger knuckle on my throw hand during play and actually caused some bruising. The Spectrum SE catch zone is wide enough that this in not an issue with my fat fingers.
The added center weight of the Side Effect hub makes the Spectrum SE feel a bit more stable on the string. Even with the new hub the Spectrum SE still falls in the middleweight category with the ability to play equally well at higher and chilled out speeds.
Response and Bearing
The response is still the same One Drop Flow Groove pads used in the original Spectrum. There is not much to say on the subject other than you will have no problem with them after a minimal break in period and they will last darn near forever.
The One Drop 10-Ball from the original has been swapped with a B.O.S.S. Wraith bearing which is also a 10-ball design. Honestly, if I didn’t know there was a switch I could not tell you they were different. Side by side they look identical, even with the shields off. The play is also identical so all in all the B.O.S.S. bearing is top notch in my book.
During the original Spectrum review I talked about how it was a very forgiving yo-yo… and that has not changed at all with the Spectrum SE. The speed works with the player, allowing them to play without feeling rushed. The catch zone is insanely easy to hit as well. The bonus comes with the Side Effects. You can now do tricks with the Spectrum SE that you could not do otherwise. Tricks such as ripcord starts with a good set of spikes or Rotating Side Members and string tricks with the Stunt Pegs that some consider gimmicky but I find to be a blast. The stability and variable speed of the Spectrum SE allowed me to just chill out, relax, and experiment with all the different Side Effects I had at my disposal. Grinds on the Spectrum SE are just like the original, so you can expect it to handle any grind you can throw at it thanks to the blasted out wall and rim.
This was a hard review to write since the Spectrum SE is so close to the original design and the feel during play is 90% identical to the original. For a player that has never tried a Spectrum before this is an easy recommendation, go get an SE and have a blast. The tricky part comes to those who have played one before or currently own one. Is that 10% enough to give this a second look. In my opinion it is. The addition of Side Effects allowed me to play with the Spectrum SE in ways that I could not do before and the customizability allowed me to dial it in to whatever feel I had a hankering for at the time. At the end of the day YYC took a great yo-yo, added a small modification, and made it even better.