Tag Archives: Cubesmith

Review: Camcuber Zhanchi SE

cz-blackI haven’t really posted many hardware reviews on the site, mostly because, as a mediocre solver, I’ve tended to feel like my opinion and knowledge of cubes was not very valuable. But I do think I have a discerning eye (or, as it were, touch) and that, in some ways, an average cuber’s views are more interesting (as we are still wading our way through hardware and techniques). So, sheepishly I proceed….

I’m excited to have purchased a Camcuber Zhanchi SE, which is an OEM Dayan Zhanchi that has received Cameron Brown’s custom “tune up.” Cameron sells them at his shop for $39.99 (plus $5 more for the Special Edition). When I tried to buy it a month ago, the site listed it as sold-out. I emailed to see about pre-orders, and got a near immediate response. Cameron was working on a new batch, and they’d ship soon. So, I pre-ordered, got a shipping update about three weeks later, and the cube arrived two days after that. I was surprised to find it nicely wrapped in holiday paper with a bow and candy cane and all. A really nice touch over the holidays.

Before I get into the review, here’s an excerpt from the description page: Continue reading
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Pyraminx Restickering

As I posted last weekend, I’ve enjoyed the distraction of my QJ Pyraminx.  It’s a fun puzzle, and the QJ turns easily with just the right amount of clickiness.  My only complaint was that the stickers, while good quality, were pretty drab.  The red was very dark and the green and blue were hard to distinguish in low light.  Enter cubesmith.  I re-stickered this morning with a set of bright/flourescent stickers, and am really happy with the results.  (Strangely, the iridescent orange appears red in the video.)  As long as I had the GoCam handy, I set it up and captured the process in time-lapse. Fifteen minutes compressed to 90 seconds:

The soundtrack is Thom Yorke‘s chilling solo rendition of, fittingly, “Pyramid Song,” from the October 26, 2002 Bridge School Benefit show (amazing cause!).

46 seconds

Just got a new 3×3 personal best (non-lucky) solve:  46 seconds.

(R U2') (R2' U') (R2 U') (R2' U2' R)

Only a half-second better than my last best time, but it definitely felt smooth and easy.  I’m starting to believe the much-preached truth that consistent, slower turning is better than rushed turns punctuated by long delays of hunting for pieces.  I was excited to encounter and easily apply a newly-learned OLL (#22) during the solve.

This was with my black Dayan Zhanchi (favorite cube, by far), restickered with a Cubesmith bright-set.  The very excellent new Big Gigantic album played in the background.