Landon Balk is a wizard. I can imagine his surprise when his invitation from Yogwarts, School of Yo-Yo Wizardry arrived that fateful day. The joy he must have felt when assigned to Modffindor must have been a delight to witness. The story of his victory over Jugglemort (the evil lord of magical juggling) is the stuff of legends….. Alright, I think I stretched that out long enough. Bottom line is that Landon Balk does amazing work and his recent first place win in the Modding contest at Worlds is a testament to that. His latest release is the Omnicron X, a metal anodized variation of the acrylic Omnicron. The Omnicron X is a co-design between Landon Balk and 3yo3 team member CJ Atkinson. It is CJ’s signature yo-yo.
3yo3 is stepping up in the terms of presentation. The Omnicron X comes in a clean silver tin. The clear window at the top of the tin displays the Omnicron X logo. The Omnicron X that Landon sent me for this review is a deep black. The finish looks very well done. It strikes me almost as a hard coat anodization. The engraving sits around the axle horn and a 3yo3 sits on the slanted outer rim. These engravings are only on one side of the Omnicron X which means you can display the clean side on your yo-yo shelf. 3yo3 offers the Omnicron X in a multitude of finishes and colors including nickel platting. Visually, this yo-yo is quite stunning. Tucked inside the metal tin is a hand signed letter from Landon Balk describing the specifications of the Onmicron X. It has all the lines and polish of a high end yo-yo while still capturing the appeal of a small run specialty.
Comfort and Tech:
- Diameter: 52.00 mm
- Width: 42.85 mm
- Weight: 67.1 grams
- Bearing: C (.5x.25x.1875)”
- Response: RTV/Flow groove
Did I already say that Landon Balk is a Wizard? The Omnicron X is a bit bigger than its acrylic sister and seems to hit the hand in all the right places. The outer rim is flat and has a soft corner that slants towards the gap. This shape fits the natural curve of the thumb pad on banana-handed individuals like myself. From here, the Omnicron X turns again into the gap creating a very open catch zone. There is one last turn, this time outward to the response area before presenting a soft curve and a groove designed to receive flowable silicone, 555 pads, and HatPads. I really dig this design choice. This is a comfortable mix for those who like the flexibility of a pad recess and the quality of flowable silicone.
3yo3 uses a C-Sized bearing that sits on a slightly tapered bearing seat post. This keeps the bearing locked into place but can present a challenge if you need to remove the bearing for cleaning. I should note that the use of a tapered, or “Tight” bearing seat is not a new technique. It is a popular machining choice for many manufacturers because it locks the bearing in place and prevents errant vibration.
Inside the cup of the Omnicron X is a small spike and a deep inner ring grind under the lip. The weight placement on the Omnicron X is mixed well between the core and the inner wall. The particular Omnicron X sent to me has a OneDrop Pyramatte finish. 3yo3 also offers a beadblast finish, powder coat, and soda blast (exclusive to the nickel plating).
On a Throw:
Smooth, stable, and a nice mix of snappy play and floaty deliberateness. The quality in design of the Omicron X directly translates to the quality of the throw. The Omnicron X is a vibration free throw that holds a stability in even the most complicated trick segments. At the same time, the Omnicron X serves well to large movement steady flow play. The catch zone on the Omnicron X is an easy target to hit. The gap is designed to handle multiple string wraps and it does so nicely. The 52mm diameter works well for small string segments and the Omnicron X performs well without any lean or tilt. As far as spin durability, I found the Omni X to deliver long spin times with the ability to handle complex movements and wraps and still deliver a tight bind. I also found the shape and design extremely inviting to regens. I think I have found myself in a level of excitement that can only be handled with extreme calmness.
Grinds were a mixed bag. The Omnicron has an instinct to climb on an arm grind but the Pyramatte finish provides just enough slip to be fun. Grinds on the finger tended to climb up the hand, but once on the forearm, a slight shift could stall it before continuing the climb. Inner ring grinds were very controllable and smooth. I also found that the short nub was just sharp enough to allow for moderate matador play.
I have shared this with a few people, and I think it is appropriate to repeat it publicly here. The Bassline by 3yo3 is one of my favorite throws. I consider it to be the pinnacle of Landon’s work. After throwing the Omnicron X for a week, I think I can safely say that it has dethroned the Baseline as my favorite 3yo3 throw. The shape, balance, and stability are so pleasing on the end of the string that it is hard to find myself feeling otherwise. This is a throw that you will not want to miss. It is flat out, one of the finer throws I have had the pleasure to review.
Available at: 3yo3 – HSYY – and soon YoYoExpert and YoYoNation
Written by Chris “Dr. Yo-Yo” Allen who feels the need to run around the next yo-yo club meeting shouting “EXPELLIARMUS” and swatting yoyos out of peoples hands.
Edited by Dustin “Splugen” Gunter, who thinks Chris has Hagrid hands.