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Review of Main 3x3 Cubes & Clarification of the Naming of the Alpha Series

yockee

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Review of Main 3x3x3 Cube Models and Clarification on the Naming System of The Alpha Series (formerly known as type A).

This thread has been copied from here and will now be updated regularly by myself. Thanks to Pentrixter for the existing info.

Thanks to the people of the speedsolving forums, I've been granted permission to bring this thread back to life, and up to date. Since I am a huge fan of what Pentrixter started with this thread, as are others, I will do my best to keep as much of the original information as possible. It will not be exactly the same, however, due to the extreme changes which have caused the standard quality of speedcubes to be significantly raised. Obviously, since the rate at which cubes are released has grown dramatically over the past couple of years, this thread will never be "complete". I will keep it up to date as new cubes are released, as long as I have a decent amount of information to share. Information will be accurate to the best of my knowledge. If I am incorrect about something or you have information on a cube not listed, please send me a PM. For the information below, Pentrixter's initial statements will be placed in between quotation marks, while my own comments will be listed as notes.


Introduction
Pentrixter's initial opening:

"This is going to be a little formal and long. You may navigate by using the Ctrl + F function.

In this post I will be reviewing all the cubes that I have along with some of the pictures I have taken. I have two main objectives that I want to accomplish in this review: 1)** to clarify the naming system of the many models of the Type A DIY (now Alpha) cube**, 2) To list and review the main 3x3x3 cubes mentioned in this forum."

**Note: Pentrixter initially had the following system for naming Alpha cubes:

Original type A = Old type A
Sealed or "Feng" series type A = New type A

However, I find that most people, especially newer generations of cubers are quite confused by this system, and mostly ignore the prefixes "old" and "new". Therefore, I have decided to change the naming system to one that is most widely used today.

Original Alpha series = Alpha 1, etc...

Sealed or "Feng" series = Alpha 1 - f, etc.... Notice the sealed Alpha cubes usually are followed by the letter "f" or the word "feng". Sometimes this is substituted by the letters "SV".


"Regarding the naming system of the Type A, I feel that many models have been misnamed by the forum as well as major cube distributors like cube4you. While I do not have definite proof that the current naming system is wrong, I do have evidence (directly from the manufacturer of all the Type A DIYs) that suggests a better naming system.



*These are cubes that I have not personally tested. For these cubes, I will simply present the general opinion that I have come across while browsing the forum.


This is a list of the cubes which will be included in this series of reviews. While most of what pentrixter said in his reviews will be kept, I will be changing anything I feel should be updated, as well as separating my own personal opinions from his, to give you a wider view.

CUBE INDEX:



ALPHA CUBES:

1. Alpha 1
2. Alpha 2
3. Alpha 3 *
4. Alpha 4
5. Alpha 5 / Haiyan's Cube: Memory
6. Alpha 1-f * (discontinued)
7. Alpha 2-f
8. Alpha 3-f
9. Alpha 4-f (discontinued)
10. Alpha 5-f
11. Haiyan's Cube: Haiyan
12. Alpha CC

OTHER CHINESE SPEEDCUBES:

13. Type B * (Sheng En)
14. Type C1 (Guobing)
15. Type C2 (Guobing)
16. Type C3 (WhitEden)
17. Type D (Yong Jun / Yuga)
18. The cube formerly known as Type D2 * (Yong Jun VVGOO 1)
19. Yong Jun VVGOO 2
20. Type E .333 (Diansheng)
21. Type E .222 (Diansheng) *
22. Type F1 (Sheng En)
23. Type F2 (Sheng En)
24. Type F3 (Sheng En) (coming soon)
25. Type G (?) *
26. Ghost Hand 1 (Ghost Hand) *
27. Ghost Hand 2 (Ghost Hand)
28. Ghost Hand 2003/A (Ghost Hand) *
29. Cube 4 You DIY (C4U)
30. Cube 4 You Tile Cube (C4U) *
31. Rubik's Brand DIY (Rubik's) *
32. Japanese Speedcubing Kit *
33. Type Q (JSK Clone) *
34. MF8 Legend (MF8)
35. Mu Fang Cube

DAYAN CUBES:

36. Da Yan 1 - Tai Yan
37. Da Yan 2 - Gu Hong (ABS)/ Gu Hong (POM)
38. Da Yan 3 - Ling Yun
39. Da Yan 4 - Lun Hui
40. Da Yan 5 - Zhan Chi

KOREAN CUBES:

42. Edison Cube
43. Joy Cube (discontinued) *
44. Sky Cube *

A Little About the Naming System of Type A
(Pentrixter's initial explanation)
"Initially, I was pretty confused by the naming system of the Type A as well. If there is a “third model,” what happened to the first and second models? When I went to a puzzle shop in Hong Kong, the storeowner gave me a little leaflet that contained pictures and information on Type A’s. It turns out that all Type As are designed and manufactured from one company in China. Type A’s are known as 國甲 (guojia) in Hong Kong as well as in China. Speedcubers in Hong Kong have classified the Type A’s we know of into six types: 國甲ver.1, 國甲ver.2, 國甲ver.3, 國甲全封ver.1, 國甲全封ver.2, 國甲全封ver.3. As seen there are two sets of Type A’s both counting up to version 3. The difference between the two sets is the second set has the extra words, 全封, (quanfeng) which means “completely sealed” or “all sealed.” I think this describes how the pieces of the second set do not have any gaps or holes in them. But more importantly, the leaflet that the storeowner handed me agreed with all of this. Here’s a picture of relevant portion of the leaflet:



This picture shows the edge pieces of the six Type A’s. The top row is the quanfeng (completely sealed) Type A’s and the bottom is just the normal Type A’s. Judging from this I think it would make sense to say that the bottom row (from left to right) is Type A I, Type A II, and Type A III.

***The top row is New Type A I, New Type A II, and New Type A III. But just to be consistent with our naming system, I think the top row can also be named Type A (first model), Type A (second model), and Type A (third model).*** " (See note below)

***NOTE: As mentioned earlier, I will be refering to the "new" Alpha cubes "feng" by placing a letter "f" after the model number of the cube. ***

"Now referring to the cubes through this new naming system, I have seen the New Type A II being referred to as the third model a lot.** (See Note) I have also seen Type A III and the New Type AIII or Type A (third model) frequently mixed up. It’s not that surprising given that they both share the similar edge piece structure with the tabs to keep them in place."

** NOTE: As mentioned above, Pentrixter has noticed the Alpha 2 - f being called Third Model. I have also noticed this quite a bit, but what he didn't mention was that there have been more than one version of the Alpha 2 - f. When the cube was first released, it was called "second model" (I assume because it followed the Alpha 1 - f. Keep in mind that the FENG series is not directly related to the regular Alpha series. The feng cubes are NOT simply newer versions of the older cubes, but a completely separate line. Therefore, the Alpha 1 - f would be the first model, while the Alpha 2 - f would be the second model. (More about this in the Alpha 2 - f review.)**

"Now for some observations. The New Type A’s seem to be upgrades of the normal Type A series. So, the three edge pieces on the top row are upgrades or revisions of the bottom edge pieces. I actually got this confirmed with the storeowner. She said that the third model has reinforced tabs because the tabs kept on snapping off on the III version. This was a complaint voiced out in this thread.

Also, take note of the 國甲 (guojia) logo. I think that if any cube has this logo on it, it’s a pretty fair indication that it’s a Type A of some sort. While I do not believe that these six models exhaust the list of Type A DIYs, I do think that this list includes the main types of Type A’s that we are interested in. You can find more models of A Types in this thread. I believe Unknown.soul has been kind enough to provide pictures for very exotic models of the Type A.

Guojia Logo:


So what relevance does this “new naming system” have for us? Nothing probably. As long as websites like cube4you continues to refer to the New Type A II as the third model, most of us will still probably stick with our current naming system. It would be too confusing to use both names at the same time. If that’s the case, then why did I do this? lol I dunno. I guess I just needed to get this out of my system.

Review of Main Cube Types
It is worthy to spend a little time on the criteria for cube judgment. When reviewing cubes, I will be focusing mostly on the performance of the cube in terms of speedcubing. Therefore, criteria like quality of stickers and overall appearance of cube will not be included since most people would not say that these significantly affect that overall performance of the cube. I will be using part of Zarxrax’s criteria for reviewing cubes as shown in this thread. His guide is brilliant by the way. This will be the format of a standard review of a cube:

Name of Cube
-Resistance to pops (x/10) – how often or how easy it is to pop while cubing. A score of 10 means that the cube is not prone to popping at all and a score of 0 means the cube pretty much falls apart on its own.
-Resistance to lock ups (x/10) – how often or how easy the cube locks during cubing. A score of 10 means the cube does not lock up at all and a score of 0 means the cube jams like a little devil.
-Ability to cut corners (x/10) – how well the cube cuts corners. A score of 10 means the cube makes 42-44 degree cuts and a score 0 means the cube cannot cut corners if your life depended on it.
-Speed (x/10) – how smoothly or how quickly you can turn a layer. A score of 10 means the layer can spin like a wheel and score of 0 means the layer moves like there’s glue in the cube.
Average score: the average of the four scores above out of 10.
Overall score: score based on the overall feel and trustworthiness of the cube. The score is a letter grade and will be ranged since it's difficult to use a number score when the score is not based on numbers."

NOTE: Again, I will be updating the scores to compensate for the significant change cubes have gone through over time. Fpr example: While a type C1 may have scored a 10 in speed at the time of the initial post of this thread, when compared to a Dayan cube, the speed of a C1 falls behind.

"Weight: the cube will either be very light, light, average, heavy, or very heavy
Need to break in: Yes or No. Even if a cube does not need breaking in, it may still benefit from it.
Feel: This is the general “feel” of the cube. To describe the feel of the cube, I will use four qualities – smooth vs. rough and quiet vs. noisy.
-If a cube is speedy, it can have a smooth or crunchy feel to it. Smooth means that the cube moves with relatively little resistance whereas the crunchy feel means that you could feel some texture when turning the cube. It is important to understand that a speedy cube can also be crunchy. A cube can be fast but give off a rough feel.
-Noisy will be used to describe cubes that make a “clicky-clacky” sound and quiet will be used to describe cubes that have a more “creamy” feel to them. The noise a cube makes somehow translates to the feel or texture of a cube.
Best Tension: This describes both the tension that I think the cube best performs in as well as the tension of the cube when it was graded. The tension settings is a range in the spectrum: loose, average, or tight. "Not Applicable" will be used to describe cubes that perform more or less the same regardless of tension settings as well as cubes that do not have adjustable tension settings.

Comments: the comments are as important as the average and overall score because a high-scoring cube does not necessarily mean it’s a good buy."

Where to buy: Stores will include Cube4You, Speed Cube Shop, Cube Depot, Icubemart, 9spuzzles / RubikFans (Ebay), Tribox, ToysRUs, Lightake, Rubiks.com and the HKNowStore.

Note: You can assume I'm lubing all of my cubes with 100% silicone spray, Maru lube, or Lubix Cube, unless stated otherwise. The spray I use is non-corrosive unlike Jigaloo. Just use whatever works for you. I'm just saying this so people don't count lubricant as a lurking variable.

"Now I am going to spend a bit talking about what I am not trying to accomplish in the upcoming reviews. The reviews are not completely objective. It is almost impossible to review or grade any cube objectively. There are simply too many variables out there. The first is style and skill. I understand that my style and skill of cubing creates a bias that is confounded within my grading. This cannot be helped. Still, I try to be as objective as possible. I have thought about the numbers very carefully and made many revisions. Those numbers are also tempered by general opinion here and there. The second is quality of the specific cube I buy. Just because I buy two of the same cube does not mean that they will be same in performance. Some models are inconsistent. This also cannot be helped. I do not have the resources to buy ten cubes of each model in order to find the average performance of each cube. Finally, some qualities of the cube that I am grading on are dependent on the cube’s tension settings. I have added "best tension" as a qualitative distinction to all the cubes. In this section I communicate the tension setting that I think each cube performs best in. This, of course, is subjective. But I simply cannot have a separate grade for each cube at a different tension setting. Sorry. Alright! With that said, let’s move on to the reviews.


Chinese Cubes
Alpha 1


Resistance to pops: 4
Resistance to lock ups: 7.5
Ability to cut corners: 8
Speed: 4 - 8.5 (Please note that there have been 3 different releases of this cube. The 2007 initial release was much faster as opposed to the 2008 and 09 releases which have been quite slow)
Average score: 6.37
Overall score: D+ - C-

Weight: Very Heavy
Need to break in: Yes
Feel: Smooth, Quiet
Best Tension: Average-Tight

Where to buy: Cube4You, Speed cube shop, 9spuzzles, HKNowStore, Cube Depot, lightake, and Icubemart.

Comments: The default cube for beginners. Good for building up speed, skill and accuracy, before scouting out a better cube. While the initial release of this cube was a revolution in speedcubing, re-releases of the cube have proven to decrease in speed and been more prone to popping, even under the tightest settings. Overall, not the most reliable cube, but great for practicing at home.

Alpha 2




Resistance to pops: 7.5
Resistance to lock ups: 8
Ability to cut corners: 8
Speed: 8
Average score: 7.88
Overall score: B to B+

Weight: Very Heavy
Need to break in: No
Feel: Smooth / Crunchy mix, Noisy
Best Tension: Very Tight

Comments: An AMAZING follow up to the Alpha 1. While the weight of the cube remains very similar, pretty much everything else is a major improvement. There still seems to be an issue with popping, even after tightening this cube until the screws could turn no more, however, popping only occurs when a move or reverse corner cut is forced. The pieces are pretty much the same, but the addition of thick tracks have been made to reduce the amount of friction between cubies. These tracks are mainly what give this cube the crunchy side of its feel. The speed of this cube has greatly increased, while corner cutting is still top notch. In my own opinion, the Alpha 2 is a great candidate for a main speedcube.

Where to buy: Speed cube shop, 9spuzzles / Rubik fans, Cube Depot, Icubemart, lightake, and HKNowStore.

Alpha 3*


Resistance to pops: Bomber did not seem to have a popping problem.
Resistance to lock ups: No Comment.
Ability to cut corners: Bomber gave this a 3/10. Enough said.
Speed: Bomber gave this a 9/10 so it can’t be that bad.
Average score:
Overall score: Bomber gave an overall score of 7/10.

Weight: Very Light
Need to break in: No
Feel: No Comment
Best Tension: No Comment

Comments: Not a very popular cube. The "devil horn" stalks that keep the edges in place are fragile and can snap if edge pieces are repeatedly removed and replaced. Just this should be enough to not buy the cube… unless you buy extra edges, or just want it for your collection. Apparently, it is not very good at cutting corners. Just go for the Alpha 3 - f if you like this one. The main difference is the Alpha 3 has thin tracks similar to the Alpha 2, and unsealed edges, while the Alpha 3 - f does not have tracks, and has sealed edges which helps to reinforce the fragile edge stalks. I do not currently own the Alpha 3, but am currently working on getting one. I will change any info that I feel needs changing.

Where to buy: HKnow Store, RubikFans (Ebay)

Here’s a picture comparing the parts of Type Alpha I, II, and III:


Alpha 4*




Resistance to pops: 9.5
Resistance to lock ups: 7.5-8
Ability to cut corners: 8
Speed: 7.5
Average Score: 8.13-8.25
Overall score: B- to B

Weight: Light
Need to break in: No Comment
Feel: Rough, Noisy
Best Tension: Tight

Comments: The Type Alpha 4 is really a prototype for the Alpha 5. As you can see, the edge pieces are wider than the corner pieces, making it a weird cube to sticker. I do not own one, but am currently trying to obtain one. Pentrixter tried one and felt that it was... a decent cube. Doesn't really cut corners, but doesn't jam that much either. It seems to me that it's performance can be reached by other cubes... so why not just stick with normal looking cubes? lol. It's a pretty fragile cube. If you want to try out this design, just get the Type A V since that's the completed version of this cube, unless you want this to add to your collection. Besides, the Alpha 4 comes in a very nice box! Note: At the time of this review, the Alpha 5 was not popular, leaving the Alpha 4, even further behind. Pentrixter's opinion on this cube may have changed since then. The main noticeable differences that I've SEEN are that the Alpha 4 has tracks AGAIN, like the Alpha 2, and VERY thin, fragile corner stalks, which can easily break, as proven in videos I've seen of this cube. Again, buy this cube for your collection, but buy the Alpha 5 as a main speedcube.


The corners will snap especially easy.

Where to buy: Cube 4 You, HKnow store.

Alpha 5 / Haiyan Memory




Resistance to pops: 10
Resistance to lock ups: 7
Ability to cut corners: 9
Speed: 10
Average score: 9
Overall score: A

Weight: Very light
Need to break in: Yes
Feel: Crunchy
Best Tension: Tight

Comments: The Alpha 5 has come to be one of the best speedcubes, used by everyone, beginners to world class cubers. Previously, Haiyan had a vision to round off the angled corners, which allowed for even better corner cutting, as well as reduced lock ups, and eventually went on to get the (now former) world record blind solve! In memory of this triumph, Alpha decided to mass produce this version of the cube and name it the Haiyan Memory cube. This cube has come a long way since the Alpha 4 prototype, but the whole rectangular edge piece thing still remains in this upgrade, even though the tracks have been removed. As seen in this picture:



Where to buy: Speed cube shop, Cube Depot, Icubemart, HKnow store, Lightake, 9spuzzles / Rubik fans, and Cube 4 You.

Alpha 1 - f *
NO PICTURE

Resistance to pops: No Comment
Resistance to lock ups: No Comment
Ability to cut corners: No Comment
Speed: No Comment
Average score:
Overall score: No Comment

Weight: No Comment
Need to break in: No Comment
Feel: No Comment
Best Tension: No Comment

Comments: Not a very popular cube. According to the “new naming system,” this cube is also called Alpha (first model). Store owner has informed that this cube is now a collector's item because it has been officially discontinued. At one point, people were able to sell this model for $64USD, but still no one sold theirs o_O
From what I can see in the leaflet picture, the only difference would be that the edges are sealed. I am actively looking for this cube, so if I find one, I will expand the review.
Where to buy: No Longer Available

Alpha 2 - f


Resistance to pops: 9 (with tabs installed)
Resistance to lock ups: 8.5
Ability to cut corners: 7
Speed: 9
Average score: 6.35
Overall score: C+ to B

Weight: Very Light
Need to break in: Yes (with tabs installed)
Feel: Rough, Quiet
Best Tension: Average-Tight (However, loose compared to other cubes if looking at distance the center pulls out)

Comments: An all around excellent cube if you can get over the fact that it is quite a "normal" cube by today's standards, and has very cheap, soft plastic, and very sharp edges. Some people might not like it for it’s cheap or weird feel. Zarxrax mentioned that this cube just did not feel right despite having good specs. Pentrixter found that the cube feels different from others in that the frame is heavy compared to the cubies; "The distribution of weight in this cube is a little unconventional." The little tabs come with the assembly kit can fit over the edge pieces with sanding and clipping. The little tip that juts out is an “anti-pop” mechanism. Pentrixter felt like they slowed him down, but I quite enjoy the crunchy feel they give, after sanding them down about halfway and using super glue to hold them to the edges. So the Alpha 2 - f that Pentrixter shows in the picture does have the tabs on but he filed away the “anti-pop” mechanism. The cube does not pop often anyway when set at tight tensions (which unfortunately takes away from the speed). This cube, before lube, was EXTREMELY fast, almost uncontrollably, however after using Lubix cube lube, the cube became incredible, for me. According to the “new naming system,” this cube is also called Alpha (second model), although, there are more than one version of this cube. The first release of this cube (second model) not only had the edge caps with anti-pop tabs, but also contained another tab built into the edge stalk on the opposite side. Most people found this version to be better, but for some reason, Alpha discontinued it and released the second version (third model) which is still sold at certain stores.

Where to buy: Cube4You (under the name "NEW TYPE A"), 9spuzzles / RubikFans (third model), and HKnowstore (Seal Type AII)

Alpha 3 - f




Resistance to pops: 9.5
Resistance to lock ups: 7
Ability to cut corners: 5
Speed: 8
Average score: 7.38/B]
Overall score: B to A

Weight: Very Light
Need to break in: Yes
Feel: Rough, Noisy
Best Tension: Tight

Comments: An improvement from the Type A III. The store owner has informed Pentrixter that most Hong Kong speedcubers use this cube over the New Type A II. This cube needs a serious break in to get rid of some rough edges to start out with. Most people will find that this cube jams a lot, but give it some time and break it in. Pentrixter said the jams disappeared within a day of heavy usage, but for me, it took a good month to really break it in, and less than a year later, I still get lock ups. The corner cutting on this cube is almost non existent and the plastic seems to have this "sticky" effect, where it sticks to itself while trying to cut, causing a serious lock. This cube comes with the same hardware as the original Alpha 1, instead of the skinny Alpha core that most of the other Alpha cubes come with. It seems to be better in tighter than average settings.
Where to buy: HKNowStore, 9's puzzles, Rubik Fans (ebay), Cube Depot, Speed Cube Shop, icubemart, and lightake.

Alpha 4 - f
WILL ADD PICTURE WHEN WIFE GETS HOME

Resistance to pops: 8
Resistance to lock ups: 9
Ability to cut corners: 9
Speed: 9
Average score: 8.75
Overall score: B to A

Weight: Very light
Need to break in: Yes
Feel: Rough/Smooth, Noisy
Best Tension: Tight

Comments: Before I give you my comments on this cube, let me say that I am not 100% sure that my Alpha 4-f is completely real and not made by another company, disguised as the Alpha 4-f. I have compared it to photos and video and everything looks EXACTLY the same, except the hardware. All other Alpha 4-f's come equipped with an Alpha 5 core, but mine came with a bright yellow, skinny (seemingly) Alpha core, and slightly longer and fatter screws. I was only able to figure out that the screws were not Alpha screws when I kept trying to change the core, and with each core (including the one that came in it) I could not tighten every side as far as I wanted to, as the screws were hitting each other in the middle of the core. Luckily, I had a bag of Alpha hardware and an Alpha 5 core lying around, so I replaced the hardware, making it (if not 100% real) at least as close to real as it's going to get. There is an engraved Alpha logo on one of the center caps, however, it's slightly bigger than those on other Alpha cubes, so I'm just not quite sure. It's as good as I'm ever going to get though, because this cube is not only no longer made, but was never for sale in the first place. They began making it, but for one reason or another, failed to release it and instead released the Alpha 5-f. This cube is kind of a mixture between the Alpha 5-f and Haiyans Cube. On the outside, it has that same look as Haiyan's cube, rounded around the edges. The edge pieces have a similar stalk to Haiyan edges, as do the corners, with that three headed boomerang look. However, one thing that stops this cube's turning quality from feeling like Haiyan's cube is the fact that it has the same type of "tracks" that are found on the edges of the Alpha 5-f. They are quite jagged and make a nice crunchy feel as you turn the layers. Like the Alpha 2, this cube also has somewhat of a smooth feel mixed with the crunchiness. It has a very springy feel, which makes corner cutting effortless, but unfortunately, also makes the cube more likely to pop. One really interesting feature of this cube is the design of the center pieces. They look as though they have boxy teeth surrounding the center cap, as if to be eating it. The only way to get the center cap out is to take something skinny and flat (I use one half of a pair of tweezers) and pry it off. If you can get your hands on one, I highly recommend it, as it is a quite interesting cube, with the mixture of qualities from some of the best Alpha cubes. Thanks to Keban for providing me with the link to buy this cube. However, without knowing whether or not if it's a KO, I will not provide the link here. Contact me another way if you are interested in buying this cube.
Where to buy: Contact me.

Alpha 5 - f
WILL ADD PICTURE WHEN WIFE COMES HOME

Resistance to pops: 10
Resistance to lock ups: 8
Ability to cut corners: 10
Speed: 10
Average score: 9.5
Overall score: A

Weight: Very light
Need to break in: YES
Feel: Rough, Noisy
Best Tension: TIGHT

Comments: From the outside appearance, you would think this cube was again, just like the Haiyan's cube, but like the Alpha 4 - f, it feels nothing like it. It actually has just about the same exact feeling of the Alpha 4-f's crunchiness, but almost to the point where it hurts your fingers. It feels like jagged concrete blocks banging together, at least until it breaks in and actually becomes much smoother. This time, the pieces closely resemble the Alpha 5 pieces, other than the "tracks" on the edges, and the very intricately designed centers. The centers have almost no material to them. Many people seem to have problems with breaking their center caps, but I have had no such problems after several months with the cube. This cube is quite fast, like the Alpha 5, but is much springier like the Alpha 4-f, again making for great corner cutting, this time, without the pops. Looking at the scores I gave this cube, you'd think it was one of the best, but like every cube, it has it's downfalls. The springiness kind of gives the cube a feeling of being uncontrollable, at times, causing it to lock up in a weird way. If you can get used to the weird feeling, I'd say pick one up, as they are without a doubt, one of the cheapest, if not THE cheapest 3x3 on the market today. However, you get what you pay for, so be careful. You may end up breaking it before you break it in.
Where to buy: Lightake, HKnow store, Cube Depot, Speed Cube Shop, and icubemart.


Type B*

Great picture. I know.

Resistance to pops: Heard that it pops like crazy.
Resistance to lock ups: Heard that it locks up.
Ability to cut corners: Heard that it cuts corners pretty well.
Speed: Heard that it’s a pretty speedy cube.
Average score:
Overall score: No comment

Weight: No Comment
Need to break in: Probably not
Feel: No Comment
Best Tension: No Comment

Comments: This cube is like the ugly duckling. No one likes this cube. As a result, there just has not been that much information on this cube other than the fact that it’s bad. I have, however, heard that Type B cubies with a Type E (don’t know no. 222 or no. 333) frame makes a good hybrid. Also, the legendary Erik Akkersdijk used a Rubiks.com DIY frame and Type B cubies hybrid to accomplish a former (as of 2010) world record of 7.08 seconds.

Where to buy: Cube4You, 9spuzzles

Type C1


Resistance to pops: 8.5
Resistance to lock ups: 7.5
Ability to cut corners: 8.5
Speed: 10 (when compared only to 1st generation cubes)
Average score: 8.63
Overall score: B- to B+

Weight: Average
Need to break in: Yes
Feel: Rough, Noisy
Best Tension: Average

Comments: "I have heard mixed feelings about this cube. The Type C are supposed to be Rubiks.com DIY imitations. As you can see, very well rounded cube. Great cube for beginners. There seems to be another version of the Type C with different center pieces and center caps. These apparently come randomly whenever you order Type Cs for DealExtreme. In this thread fanwuq claims that this rare Type C is much better than the normal Type C."

Around 2008, this was the cube to have. It was just like a Rubik's storebought cube, but with screws and springs, making it adjustable and able to cut corners just like the old type A1, but without the serious pops (as in later models of the A1) and much thinner plastic for a lighter feel. For a while, the type C1 and Edison cubes were the best for most cubers, but 2 years later, this would all change.
Where to buy: Cube4You, 9spuzzles, Lightake, Cube Depot, Speed Cube Shop, Icubemart, HKnow, and most other cube stores.

Type D

This is a Type D with a Type A Core. If you want an image of a full Type D just imagine that the core is black. You can do it, I believe in you!

Resistance to pops: 10
Resistance to lock ups: 7
Ability to cut corners: 4
Speed: 10 (when compared to 1st generation cubes only)
Average score: 7.75
Overall score: C to B

Weight: Average
Need to break in: No
Feel: Smooth, Noisy
Best Tension: Not Applicable

Comments: The Type D is fairly resistant to different tensions. That is, loosening or tightening the Type D does not really have an impact on its attributes. It is important to note that the Type D’s ability to cut corners is greatly enhanced when replaced with a Type A core. I would put the ability to cut corners at an 8.5 after the core replacement on loose settings. However, this still does not make the hybrid less prone to lock ups and it becomes slightly more poppable. There also seems to be a YUGA version of Type D. I am not sure of the structural differences between the two versions of Type D, but some people claim that the YUGA is better. HowtoCube on Youtube has mentioned that Type D's are very inconsistent. Some are good, others are bad. Hit or miss."
*Type D has a very similar feel to the C1, but seems to "lock" into place.

Where to buy: Cube4You, RubikFans (Ebay) and many others (please PM me if interested).

Type E (Diansheng no. 222)*


Resistance to pops: No Comment
Resistance to lock ups: No Comment
Ability to cut corners: Heard that it was much better than the no.333
Speed: Probably as fast as the no.333, if not faster.
Average score:
Overall score: No Comment

Weight: Light
Need to break in: No
Feel: Smooth, Noisy
Best Tension: No Comment

Comments: Widely agreed to be the superior model of the Type E. Contrary to the popular belief, the colors on the no.222 can come as both printing and stickers. The color on the stickers wear off pretty easily though. The core can come in two colors as well, red and white. I have heard that Dianshengs are “hit-or-miss” cubes, which means that you can buy ten and only have five that are good. But I have also heard that Dianshengs are fairly consistent o_O. As of now, most if not all online stores only sell the white version of this cube.

Where to buy: RubikFans (Ebay)

Type E (Diansheng no. 333)

As you can see, print chips and fades over time.

Resistance to pops: 10
Resistance to lock ups: 8
Ability to cut corners: 4
Speed: 9.5
Average score: 7.88
Overall score: B to B+

Weight: Light
Need to break in: No
Feel: Smooth, Noisy
Best Tension: Tight

Comments: This cube has very unconventional cubies. Parts of the cubies that do not generate friction with other surfaces while the cube is in motion are cut. The colors are printed onto the cube but wears off over time. There have also been quite a few complaints on how the hues of the red and orange side of the cube are too close, making color recognition difficult. Like the Type D, tightening or loosening the tension on this cube will not significantly affect its performance. I am not sure if this is the case for others, but although this cube has almost no corner cutting ability, it does not seem to jam much. The cube will jam less in tighter settings. Like no.222, no.333 are also “hit-or-miss” cubes. As of now, most if not all online stores only sell the white version of this cube.

Where to buy: Cube4You, RubikFans (Ebay), Cube Depot.

Type F1

Forgot to clean the crap out of this cube. Sorry.

Resistance to pops: 9
Resistance to lock ups: 8.5
Ability to cut corners: 10
Speed: 8
Average score: 8.88
Overall score: C- to A

Weight: Light
Need to break in: No
Feel: Smooth, Quiet
Best Tension: Average

NOTE: Please feel free to read Pentrixter's opinion of the type F1, but make sure to keep reading, as I have a totally different outlook on this cube, and a possible reason as to why he may have had this problem

Comments: "If you only looked at the scores, it would easily be the best cube out there. It really does not get much better than this. But get this: this cube deteriorates. Yes, the cube becomes slow over time. In about half a year, the cube feels like there’s glue in it (exaggeration). A weird feeling indeed. That is why the low end of the overall score is C-. This cube seems to react much better to liquid lubricant (the ones that comes in dropper bottles and JSKs) than to silicone. The Type F is the only cube on this review list that uses pillowed cubies. HowtoCube on Youtube has reviewed Type F's. They apparently bought a lot of them and found out that the blue Type F is better than the rest for some reason. Unfortunately, their review has not shed any light of the Type F's deterioration problem.

Here are some personal experiences. I have bought three Type Fs and they all turned to crap within a year. Same thing happened to my friends’ Type F. My friend had two Type Fs. One was lubed with silicone and the other with the liquid lubricant. Both were shitty, but the one lubed with silicone was shittier. My own Type F turned to crap when I lubed it with silicone. I never understood why they deteriorated. I have received two main answers from different people. The first possible explanation is that Sheng En uses a “miracle lubricant” (which actually turns out to be D39 spray which can be purchased on Lightake). As a result, the standard stuff that we use messes the cube up. The second possible explanation is that the quality of the plastic is subpar and deteriorates over time, consequently deteriorating the cube. Has anyone else had this problem?"

Now, as you can see, Pentrixter seemed to have trouble with the F1 deteriorating, but I have 2 of them, both of which have been GREAT for over 2 years. I have found that when these cubes are lubed with silicone spray, they get very slow, however, cleaning it out completely will restore the speed of this cube, and allow it to remain ONE OF THE BEST!! I find that lubing this cube with Maru lube or Lubix cube ONLY, helps to keep these cubes at a fast speed and living long. If you buy a type F1 (and I suggest you do) MAKE SURE you also buy or already have some Lubix and/or Maru lube.

Where to buy: Cube4You, 9spuzzles, RubikFans (Ebay), Cube Depot, Icubemart, Speed Cube Shop, and most, if not all other cube stores.

C4U Cube


Resistance to pops: 9.5
Resistance to lock ups: 8
Ability to cut corners: 8
Speed: 9 (I actually find this cube to have a lot of resistance when turning. I would give it a 6 or 7)
Average score: 8.38
Overall score: B to A-

Weight: Heavy
Need to break in: No
Feel: Smooth, Noisy
Best Tension: Tight

Comments: This is Cube4You’s very own cube. This cube has the widest color selection of all cubes. They come in a whopping 21 colors. I have heard very mixed feelings about it, but it's really not a bad cube. Many people have complained about how easy this cube pops or jams but please note that this cube does better at tighter tension settings. At tight settings the frequency of lock ups and pops decrease significantly with a slight sacrifice in corner cutting. The frame is good for hybrids, I found out. The stickers are about the same quality as storebought stickers. Not sure if this is actually the case, but the plastic feels very high quality. There are caps for cavities in the edge pieces making it quite smooth. HowtoCube has bought about 20 of these cubes and have found them to be very consistent cubes.

Where to buy: Cube4You, DealExtreme, HKNowStore and all US cube stores.

JSK Clone (Type Q)


Resistance to pops: 8.5
Resistance to lock ups: 8
Ability to cut corners: 8.5
Speed: 9
Average score: 8.5
Overall score: B to A-

Weight: Average
Need to break in: No
Feel: Smooth, Noisy
Best Tension: Average

Comments: I really like the feel of this cube. It's like a Type C that jams less and feels a lot smoother. The springs are like the C4U Cube springs so that means that cube does not come with washers. If tension settings on this cube is too loose, it will pop and jam a lot so keep it average to tight. There has been reports of the screws unscrewing themselves, but you can fix that by strengthening the linings in the core with crazy glue or other chemicals specialized for this.

Where to buy: Speed Cube Shop

Rubik’s Cubes
Rubik’s Storebought


Resistance to pops: 10-9.5
Resistance to lock ups: 2.5-7
Ability to cut corners: 3-8
Speed: 7-8.5
Final score: 6.25-8.25
Overall score: D- to B

Weight: Very Heavy
Need to break in: YES
Feel: Smooth, Noisy
Best Tension: Not Applicable

Comments: Okay the rating needs a little explaining. The first number is the score of the cube prior to breaking in, but with silicone. The second number is the score after completely breaking the cube in. This cube is probably the most variable cube in the sense that some are great right out of the box while others are really, really bad. Some have assured me that the 25th Anniversary Cube and the Icon Cube are better than the storebought.

Where to buy: ToysRUs, Rubiks.com, Cube4You, 9spuzzles, and many other places

Rubiks.com DIY*


Resistance to pops: Heard that it sometimes pops.
Resistance to lock ups: Heard that it is not that prone to lockups.
Ability to cut corners: Heard that it cuts corners pretty well.
Speed: HowtoCube has mentioned that this cube is very hard to turn even in loose settings.
Average score:
Overall score: No Comment

Weight: No Comment
Need to break in: Probably yes
Feel: No Comment
Best Tension: Probably average

Comments: I have heard very mixed feelings about this cube. One thing is for sure though and that is the center caps keep on falling off. HowtoCube thinks this is a pretty bad cube. Apparently, the legendary Nakajima Yu exclusively uses Rubiks.com DIYs or mods that use it. Erik Akkersdijk also used a Rubiks.com DIY frame and Type B cubies hybrid to accomplish a new world record of 7.08 seconds.

Where to buy: Rubiks.com

Japanese Speedcubing Kit (JSK)**


Resistance to pops: I have heard that it never pops. But I have also heard that it pops all the time and that if you tighten it, the cube will not turn.
Resistance to lock ups: Most people will agree that it sometimes locks up. But I have also heard that it is not that prone to lockups.
Ability to cut corners: Heard that it cuts corners pretty well.
Speed: Probably pretty speedy.
Average score:
Overall score: No Comment

Weight: No Comment
Need to break in: No Comment
Feel: No Comment
Best Tension: Probably average

Comments: I have heard very mixed feelings about this cube as well. I know I have said this about quite a few cubes, but I mean it this time. I have heard that the JSK is the best cube in the world and that it is capable of superb performance without any lubrication at all. But I have also heard from Vryon that he hated the JSK… all 15 of them XD.

Where to buy: Tribox, ToysRUs

Studio Cube*


Resistance to pops: No Comment
Resistance to lock ups: No Comment
Ability to cut corners: No Comment
Speed: No Comment
Average score:
Overall score: No Comment

Weight: Probably very heavy
Need to break in: No Comment
Feel: No Comment
Best Tension: No Comment

Comments: I have absolutely no information on this cube. Clearly not a very popular cube. Made in Hungary. Very expensive. According to the picture, seems to be a DIY. HowtoCube has mentioned that the center caps are put on really tightly. Anway, notice the slotted screws... cool huh?

Where to buy: Cube4You, Puzzleproz


Korean Cubes
Edison Cube


Resistance to pops: 9.5
Resistance to lock ups: 9
Ability to cut corners: 10
Speed: 6.5
Average score: 8.75
Overall score: B to A-

Weight: Very Heavy
Need to break in: Yes
Feel: Rough, Noisy
Best Tension: Tight

Comments: Excellent cube in general. A little overpriced due to its inaccessibility. Many have appreciated the durability of its stickers. The plastic used for the cubies is textured. I do not think many people will disagree. Apparently, it needs break in before it reaches its full potential. The texture will wear off and become smoother when you work the cube a little. It's still a great cube even if you don't break it in though.

Where to buy: Tribox

Joy Cube*


Resistance to pops: No Comment.
Resistance to lock ups: Heard that it locks up quite a bit. But also heard that it can cut corners fine with correct tensioning and lube.
Ability to cut corners: No Comment
Speed: No Comment
Average score:
Overall score:No Comment

Weight: I heard that this cube is very light.
Need to break in: No Comment
Feel: No Comment
Best Tension: No Comment

Comments: Widely recommended for one-handed cubing because of its light weight.

Where to buy: Tribox

NOTE* From now on, due to the GREAT increase in the amount of cubes since this thread was started, I will not be using Pentrixter's rating and grading system. There are just way too many cubes of way too many different types and levels of quality to rate them against each other. Some cubes are just much too in a class of their own, and can not possibly be compared to other cubes available.

Dayan Cubes
Tai Yan

This was the first 3x3 created by Daqing Bao, founder of Dayan. As it usually goes, the first is never the best, but you need to have a first, in order to have a best. The Tai Yan was a unique cube at the time of it's release, and looking over it's traits, you can see, it was the child of a few other cubes.
The pieces resembled the pieces of the (at the time) world class Type F2, but had similar tracks as the pieces of the Type A2, giving it a smooth but scratchy feel, quite different to any other cube. The corner cutting isn't all that great unless you have the cube at loose tensions, which will then make it pop quite a bit. I must say, since lubricating mine with Lubix, it has become a MUCH better cube. It has great speed, very few lock ups, and while it doesn't have the best corner cutting, the pieces seem to roll around each other, similar to the MF8 Legend. It is the only Dayan of it's kind, but for this reason, people see it as the worst of the series, as the follow up cube would bring a revolutionary design that would change cubing, forever.

Gu Hong

As stated previously, the Gu Hong brought into the cubing world, an original design, setting the standards of cubing far beyond what was previously thought possible. While 45 degree corner cutting wasn't completely unheard of, reverse corner cutting was. The Gu Hong gave us reverse cutting at about 1/3 of a piece, with ease, allowing speed solving to be much more enjoyable, and lock up free. Most cubers switched to this cube, and those that didn't, eventually did. It was a phenomenon that started a string of cubes based on it's design, that would get better and better (in one way or another).


Ling Yun

With a similar design to the Gu Hong, the Ling Yun was slightly smaller, heavier, and created to reduce popping, which it didn't. While the stalks on the edges were slightly longer, the curves in the pieces were also deeper, which allowed for greater corner cutting, but also more room for popping. It is a solid fact that the cube will explode if not tightened to extreme levels. The pieces weren't much of a change, but the feel of the cube, was. It had a much speedier feel than the Gu Hong, to the point where it was just about out of control, which makes this cube great for light handed cubers.



PENTRIXTER'S ORIGINAL CLOSING COMMENTS (Although these cubes are still VERY good cubes, I'm sure he would feel VERY different nowadays, with all the newest cubes that have been released) -


Conclusion
For beginners, Types A, C, and D (with A core) are affordable, accessible, and great cubes for building up speed. They are also cubes that will help you choose the right type of cube to buy when you get better.

For more advanced speedcubers, you basically have to choose you're the type of characteristics that optimize your performance and go with it. Some people are accurate turners and as a result, do not need cubes that are less likely to pop. Others prefer cubes that they can be rough with.

Here is the top three for each characteristic:
Resistance to pops: Type D (10), Type E – no.333 (10), New Type A III; C4U Cube (9.5)
Resistance to lock ups: New Type A II (9), Edison Cube (9), New Type A III; Type F (8.5)
Ability to cut corners: New Type A II (10), Type F (10), Edison Cube (10)
Speed: Type D (10), Type E – no.333 (9.5), Type C; C4U Cube; JSK Clone (9)

The top 3 cubes with the highest average score are:
1. Type F (8.88)
2. Edison Cube (8.75)
3. New Type A II; New Type A III; Type C (8.63)

These are all great cubes (all those that made the A range):
1. New Type A III (B to A)
2. Type F (C- to A)
3. New Type A II (B to A-)
4. Edison Cube (B to A-)
5. C4U Cube (B to A-)
6. JSK Clone (B to A-)


Now for the most blatantly subjective section: personal recommendations. I personally recommend three cubes based on the cubes that I have tried and rated. They are the New Type A II, New Type A III, and the Edison Cube. As much as I would like to recommend the Type F, it simply gets disappointing way too fast. Anyway, the New Type A II is a super light cube. Its not being smooth can be overlooked with regards to its other advantages. I can really be as rough with it as I want. There is a weird feel to it that some may not find very pleasant though. The New Type A III is another super light cube. It starts off with a rough feel but after a day or two of heavy use, the roughness disappears. Also, for me at least, the cube started off jamming pretty badly but also disappeared after a day or two of heavy usage. Finally, the Edison Cube is truly an amazing cube if you can get over the fact that it is not that speedy. It is an all around good cube and is quite reliable.

An Invitation
I would like to invite anyone who feels that I have “misgraded”, “miscommented”, or misinformed to please let me know. I do not claim to be well informed on all the cubes mentioned in this thread, especially those that I have not tried out. But please keep in mind that I cannot impress everyone. I will listen to all criticism, but I will only make changes agreeable to the general public. This is my last attempt keep these reviews objective.

Closing Remarks
Thanks for your attention. I will try to keep this thing updated. I will definitely put up reviews of new cubes that I have tested. . I put quite a bit of work into this and I think it will help and inform newcomers and veterans alike.

Family photo. TEE HEE!
 
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yockee

Member
Joined
Mar 14, 2010
Messages
472
Location
Knutsford, England
YouTube
xxoxia
No problem. There isn't much changed yet, but once I get through updating what's already been done, I'll be able to start updating the selection of cubes! It'll take a while, but it'll get there.

Hey guys, if anyone is checking this thread, sorry I haven't gotten a chance to work on it the past few days. I will definitely be adding more very soon.
 
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Su

Member
Joined
Oct 26, 2011
Messages
3
Location
China
Thx for the work .But I think there is something wrong with HaiYan.As I know, there is only one HaiYan cube, Type A 5 is Type A 5,not HaiYan Memory.
And I think some of your Pics are in the wrong place.
BTW I'm a Chinese.
 

Olji

Premium Member
Joined
Jun 20, 2010
Messages
395
Location
Sweden
WCA
2010JONS01
Thx for the work .But I think there is something wrong with HaiYan.As I know, there is only one HaiYan cube, Type A 5 is Type A 5,not HaiYan Memory.
And I think some of your Pics are in the wrong place.
BTW I'm a Chinese.
What I understand the HaiYan memory is a modded A5, correct me if I'm wrong.

I think I got a studio cube, have to check it out further when I get home, but from what I can recall it have the same logo, haven't tried to pop the centers open yet though.
Feel free to tell me if you want a review of that one, although this thread does not seem like it's that useful anymore(although I remember I checked this before I got my C4U in the start :p), maybe if you made an update it would become useful once again since there's many new cubes on the market, got a couple of them so feel free to ask if you plan to update the thread again :)
 
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Su

Member
Joined
Oct 26, 2011
Messages
3
Location
China
What I understand the HaiYan memory is a modded A5, correct me if I'm wrong.

I think I got a studio cube, have to check it out further when I get home, but from what I can recall it have the same logo, haven't tried to pop the centers open yet though.
Feel free to tell me if you want a review of that one, although this thread does not seem like it's that useful anymore(although I remember I checked this before I got my C4U in the start :p), maybe if you made an update it would become useful once again since there's many new cubes on the market, got a couple of them so feel free to ask if you plan to update the thread again :)
Maybe HaiYan memory is a modded A5.But I think there is only one HaiYan.
Haha ,we are at the same level,30+.But I haven't attend any matches.
 

jaywong88

Member
Joined
Oct 23, 2011
Messages
55
thank's for the information, my first cube is Rubik..cause i never imagine that i will addicted to this cube..
right now, i'm still practice for speed solving..he3x..
this cube review help alot..
 

yockee

Member
Joined
Mar 14, 2010
Messages
472
Location
Knutsford, England
YouTube
xxoxia
The HaiYan memory is an A5 with the corners sanded down. The HaiYan cube is just the HaiYan's HaiYan. Trust me, I definitely know what I'm talking about. None of the pictures are wrong. All the pictures you see here have already been there from when a previous person started this thread. I've taken it over, and will be adding my own pictures soon, but the existing ones are correct. I own 37 different 3x3's and will be adding them all here. Most of them are in this list. Don't worry though, I will be updating this.
 

Chrisandstuff

Member
Joined
Jan 12, 2012
Messages
123
Location
Clovis, NM
I personally have the type B cube. Its not the worse cube in the world(ive used way worse) but its not good either. It locks up a lot from 1-10 (1 being worst) id give it a 5 or 4. It doesnt pop that much for me ive had about 6 pops in the past 3 weeks and 2 were right after I lubed the cube so I think that contributed to it 7/10. It feels fairly light to me although I dont have another cube to compare it to at the moment. It does decnt with corner cutting 7/10 speed 7/10 (after lube of course)

About me I average a bit over a minute just to give an idea of how I stand as a cuber instead of just the cube and an idea of my knowledge(very little) of how a good cube is.
 
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