Reviews: Mk2 Modulator
I've seen the future of spinning. Better yet, I've spun the future of spinning, and it has my head spinning. The Mk2 Modulator, Ultraspinners' 4 arm capable follow-up to the popular Modulator presents a dizzying array of options to suit all of your spinning desires. I'll try to cover them all in 1,000,000 words or less.
The Mk2 Modulator, true to its name, is designed as a spinner that can be modified to fit your spinning pleasure. At it's core, we have a a small 1 inch diameter spherical spinner (available in aluminum or brass) with a stainless steel R188 bearing set deep into the middle and concave buttons almost perfectly flush on opposite sides of the sphere. Four threaded inserts, or ports, are placed along the center-line to accept the arms of the spinner, or any other add-on Ultraspinners dreams up. This simple (easy for me to say) design is at the heart of what the Mk2 offers.
Ultraspinners offers the Mk2 in both aluminum and brass with a marked difference in weight. The full brass model tips the scales at just under 3x heavier than the aluminum model at 178g which makes for quite a different experience when spinning the two. Here's the thing though, you can slide up and down the weight scale depending on the configuration you choose. One arm, two arms, four arms. Aluminum arms, stainless steel arms, brass arms. This is open design at its finest. If you want to spin a light, fidget focused bar spinner, grab the aluminum base and screw in two aluminum arms. More inclined to the heavy long long spinners? Go for brass on brass (and kick some ass) with four arms. Wait, you have a secret fetish for cog spinners like me (don't tell my girlfriend)? Get out the provided Allen Key and screw in the Mini Cog add-on. Have a meeting at the office about some stupid bullshit you're not going to listen to? Cover the ports with the port caps and you have a surreptitious little mini spinner. I could go on with dozens of permutations and mix-match combos the Modulator offers.
Ultraspinners is clearly well versed in machining well fit parts too. Everything is easy to add and remove and sits perfectly flush with the body, from arms to buttons to the portal caps (which are easy to unscrew with a quick lick of your finger for traction).
Of note is that Ultraspinners does provide adapter sleeves to accept the MK1 version weights and add-ons save for the cog. They've got you covered early adopters.
All this genius design and engineering could be for not if it doesn't spin well. After all, this is a spinner and not just a lesson in intelligent design. Thankfully, the Mk2 delivers. I won't go as far to see that each configuration is best in class for it's category, but it does everything incredibly well.
Ultraspinners went with the popular R188 stainless steel bearing for a motor, which is hidden deep in the middle of the body. This was the right choice for this spinner and it does a fine job of walking the line of quiet, but still providing tactical feedback. From lighter more fidget focused configurations, to heavy long spinning all brass setups, the bearing is smooth and the spin is steady. There is no wobble to speak of, and that's as you would expect with a thick base like the Mk2. Going into spin times seems a bit ridiculous given the number of varying configurations, so I'll just say that it's going to spin and spin well no matter how you have it setup.
The Mk2 in all of its four armed glory probably slants towards medium to larger handed individuals (especially in all brass or brass and stainless), but is fine for all hand sizes in any other configuration.
One interesting thing that people might miss here is the ability to just add one arm and seal the ports with the port caps creating an unbalanced Orbiter type of spinner that requires a little coordination and attention to spin. It's not the main course here, but a nice side dish.
Really, the only complaint I would have here, and this is really just the nature of the beast with a circular base, is that the buttons are a little small. And with a thick spinner like the Mk2 which weakens your pinch grip a bit, you might have a little more propensity to spin this spinner out of your hand, though I haven't done it. I also haven't let my girlfriend spin it for this very reason.
What's my favorite configuration? I think I prefer using the Mk2 as a mini with just the base because it's such a nice little EDC spinner that way. But, if I'm home, all four arms attached in aluminum is the way to go. Ok, I'm hedging here, but there are just too many options to choose from and I'm indecisive.
The Mk2 Modulator makes me wonder if I really need to buy any other spinners. In its purest form, I have a sweet little mini spinner. Attach one or three arms, and I have an unbalanced spinner that gives me a little fine motor skill practice as well as being able to use a motion I'm well-practiced in (if you know what I mean). All four arms and I have a quad spinner that rivals any on the market. Attach the cog and you get an entirely different purely fidget focused experience that only a cog spinner can offer. What's left really?
The Mk2 is just so well thought out. And the thing is, the Mk2 Modulator hasn't reached its capacity for morphing. This is an architecture that Ultraspinners has built with great foresight which is not easy to do. Most people build something, then realize they want to add to it or update a flaw and have to start over. That's shortsighted design. The Mk2 is a robust design. The architecture is there are and the Mk2 is ready for expansion into all kinds of things that even Ultraspinners may not have thought up yet. But if, and more likely when they do, they're ready. And that's truly visionary and the industry should be thankful that someone is leading that charge.
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