Wednesday, October 19, 2016

MoHuanShouSu Chufeng review

And finally, we arrive at the last of the Moyu trio, the MoHuanShouSu Chufeng.


It didn't feel right until I completed the set. Let's see what we've waited all this time for.

Background info

The Chufeng is a new 3x3 from another new Moyu subbrand, MoHuanShouSu. It was teased in a prototype video nearly 5 months ago, and we've barely heard a peep out of Moyu about it, right up until its rather sudden release.

It does seem rather odd that Moyu chose to release all three cubes in its recent cycle (the Mars, the M3, and the Chufeng) nearly simultaneously - isn't there the possibility of one of the three eclipsing the rest? We already have two of the three done, so we'll see soon enough.


Look and Feel


It's...uhh...another Moyu 3x3, I guess. Not too much has changed.

You still get the classic rounded square centers, bread edges, and squared off corners. This time, it seems the corner is much more rounded and less squared off than most recent Moyu releases, but that's about it. It's still a nice, solid feel in the hand.

Sticker wise, the cube still uses the classic Moyu color scheme, but thankfully it's using the far more durable sticker stock of older cubes like the Yuexiao rather than the measly GTS sticker stock. These shouldn't chip or fade for a while yet. As per usual, Moyu has them cut perfectly to fit the Chufeng's pieces and they look very good applied.

The cube, stickered up, weighs a moderate 84.6 grams. It makes a loud, very clacky sound with just a bit of hollowness.


Setup

Again, this is another cube that Cameron from Speedcubeshop sent to me used - to what extent, I don't know. It may have been set up before I received it. I loosened it just a hint and lubed the core with weight 5 and the pieces with weight 3, and have done about 350 solves since.


Turning

This is another heavy, clacky turning cube. The turning as I received it was rather slow, and after lubing it sped up slightly but not too much. The main characteristic, as already mentioned, is that the layers feel very heavy and have a lot of momentum behind each turn, and on every turn there's a noticeable clack as the pieces hit each other. However, it's not bumpy like the Mars is - in fact, the layer turns are quite smooth.

While it's not exactly unstable, it's less stable than a lot of other recent 3x3s such as the Valk or the M3. Yet, it was supposedly designed to be a stable cube - more on that later.

I like light turning, airy cubes. As such, it's not a turning feeling I particularly enjoy, but I don't hate it either. I just tolerate it, and I suspect quite a few others will do the same.


Corner Cutting

Max corner cutting: ~50 degrees
Effective corner cutting: ~43 degrees
Max reverse cutting: ~36 degrees
Effective reverse cutting: ~35 degrees

Corner cutting is not great, and is quite a bit behind the full cutting beasts of today's market. It manages to score a respectable number in effective reverse cutting, but that's its best metric.

Anti-pop and anti-corner twist

Anti-pop is fine, as would be expected of any modern cube. Corner twists are a bit problematic, though. Despite the supposedly squared off corners and the good anti-corner twist shown (or faked) in the prototype video, corners are very easy to twist by hand and do twist occasionally in rougher solves. My standard anti-corner twist stress test results in a twist nearly every time.


Internals


If you look closely at the center cap, you can notice it's actually wider than the rest of the piece. It seems the cap actually fits over and around the rest of the piece, instead of sitting flush as usual. Since the cap is the only point of contact between the center and the pieces, it should serve to lower friction.

Classic Moyu blue core as usual.



The edge piece. Nothing too crazy. It has a curved torpedo, which I don't believe I've actually seen before - most are just flat.

The corner piece, complete with the rather rounded "squared off" corner design. It has a shoulder and a nice unified corner foot, which I've found does indeed help with smoothness of turning.

Do you notice that bulbous protrusion above the shoulder? Or the round groove in the side of the edge?

Well, assembled in a cube they fit together like this.
The idea is that no matter where the corner has turned, it's always pressed into that round groove, which in theory should support the cube and keep it very stable. In practice, however, while it is decently stable, it doesn't seem to work as well as simply a flat corner and edge.

Magnetizing potential and magnet placement

Yep, can be magnetized. Magnet placement could be as so.
The problem, as with the Mars, would be the heavy turning of the cube. Heavier cubes tend to drown out the snappiness of the magnets so the effect might not as be as apparent as lighter cubes.


Conclusions

Objective score: 7/10

Again, it's not a bad cube. (I seem to be saying that for a lot of cubes lately.) It just falls behind in corner cutting and anti corner-twist, and its internal design seems to be overthinking the stability issue.

Subjective score: 7/10

I don't like it as much as I do tolerate it. The heavy turning feel isn't for me, and neither is the stability.

So how does the Chufeng stand in the trio? Well, true to the prices, I'd say the Mojue M3 is easily the best, and the Chufeng and the Mars are roughly equal but quite a ways below the M3. The Mars performs a bit better but many people seem to hate the feel, myself included. The Chufeng performs worse but has a more acceptable feel, even though it's not quite good yet.

I've heard a spring swap with the GTS makes it both perform and feel better. I haven't tried it yet, and it wouldn't make for a valid review, but it's definitely in my plans.

I haven't talked pricing yet. The Chufeng comes in at $2 cheaper than its cousin, the Mars, at a price point of $12 for US sellers. So far, this isn't a price bracket that's been widely explored yet. It should be noted that the Shengshou Fangyuan is actually $3 cheaper and performs slightly better, and to most people would feel better as well. I'd suggest you look into that option as well if you're considering the Chufeng.

Let's wrap it up.

You should buy this cube if:
  • You like heavy, clacky cubes
You should not buy this cube if:
  • You like light, airy, or smooth cubes
  • You need corner cutting or have a rough turning style

Bit of a let down to end the trio, I suppose. Ah well. 

If you do decide to buy the Chufeng, it's priced at $11.95 at Speedcubeshop. If this review helped you decide at all, please consider using my affiliate link to purchase it. It does help out a lot in letting me get more reviews out.

As always, thanks for reading! I hoped this helped, whether it was to convince you to purchase it or steer you away from a potentially bad purchase!

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