Welcome to the review of the One Drop Prescription, the signature yo-yo of Jonathon “Dr. B” Best!
Well, I have been meaning to review some more recent One Drop yo-yos for awhile now. Strangely enough, I have never yet reviewed a One Drop yo-yo despite owning a few of them. There is a One Drop review on Cyyclical from last year, but that was written solely by Mat B. I should point out that this wasn’t by design, rather just me not getting around to one. But that ends today! I am happy to say that I am finally getting to some One Drop reviews. First up is the One Drop Prescription, and this review will be followed soon by some others from One Drop.
The One Drop Prescription is the signature of One Drop team member Jonathon “Dr. B” Best. I have to admit that I was quite excited when I first read about this yo-yo. I had always wanted to pick up a One Drop Cascade, but I never quite got around to it. So, when I saw the pictures of the One Drop Prescription and realized that it was an extension of the Cascade design I figured that this time I wouldn’t hesitate, especially since the colourways looked so great!
Anyway, fast forward to now. I have been throwing it since I grabbed one late last year, and have been really enjoying it. The wider profile took me by surprise a little bit (this is the widest yo-yo I own), but I am getting ahead of myself.
I am joined in this review by Mat. B, and you can read on to see what we think about Dr. B’s signature yo-yo.
The One Drop Prescription
I suspect that, upon seeing the One Drop Prescription for the first time, almost everyone had the One Drop Cascade jump into their mind. That would be for a good reason, because the Cascade was clearly a starting point for the Prescription. Here is the official blurb from Dr. B himself regarding the design goals for the Prescription:
“The chance to design a signature yo-yo is one of the top honors a professional yo-yoer can receive, so when Shawn and David told me that my time had come, I leapt at the opportunity and visited the shop in Eugene and began the process.
I worked closely with Shawn and got to watch him flex his might when corralling my ideas into a cohesive design. Being able to combine my favorite elements of two of OneDrop’s classic throws was exactly what I had in mind. Cascade + Project 2 = Prescription.”
There you go. Now that we know what Dr. B and One Drop had in mind, let’s move on to the review.
- Diameter: 53.6 mm
- Width: 46.5 mm
- Weight: 65.3 grams (with aluminum Ultralights Side Effects)
- Bearing: One Drop 10-ball flat (Size C)
- Response: 19mm Flow Groove pads
- Material: 6061 aluminum with Pyramatte™ finish
Size and Weight
MB: The Prescription has a mid-size diameter which should appeal to fans of similar sized throws like the Rebirth and Cascade (whose shape is the basis for the Prescription). The larger than average width provides a great feel the hand that only wider throws like the MarkMont, Classic, and Terrarian can provide. Ultralight Side Effects keep the overall weight low while the shape and weight distribution make the Prescription very comfortable to play.
JT: The Prescription’s diameter of just under 54 mm place it in the upper spectrum for what many would consider a mid-size yo-yo, with a fairly typical mass for its size. What seems out of place for that size class is the width of just over 46 mm. This pushes the Prescription into the “wide” category in my book, and this has a large effect on the play. Thankfully it is a good effect, but we will get to that later on. I should also mention that the mass distribution of the yo-yo mid-weighted with less mass in the center and in the rims. This also affects the play.
MB: Like its close cousin the Cascade, the Prescription sports an elongated bell shape with organic curves and a mid-wall. The flattened rims and projection profile in the catch zone pay homage to the Project 2. The cup contains a step that sweeps from the edge of the thin rims towards the cup floor, pushing weight towards the center of the body. This step is deeper than the one featured on the Cascade and more similar to what is seen on the 2016 Benchmark series. The cup floor sports some neat engravings – the One Drop logo, Dr. B’s logo, and a cadaceus-based logo.
I was intrigued by the engravings so I sent a message over to Dr. B and asked him for a little more info on them. The good doctor shared that the box art, Dr.B logo, and modified cadaceus were all designed by Michael O’Caña. The cadaceus pictured on the Prescription’s box art is drawn with yo-yo strings winding around the staff (as opposed to snakes on a traditional cadaceus). Props to Michael on the design work and thanks to Dr. B for sharing some more details about his signature design and the people behind it.
JT: The overall shape of the Prescription is decidedly O-type. However, towards the gap there is a decent step out that gives a bit of U-type shape in the center (or what others may lump into the H-type category). This helps keep the string away from the walls. It is easy to see the Cascade heritage in this shape. The play side of the cups also incorporate the micro-ridged surface seen in the Rebirth and Project 2. This is the first yo-yo I have owed that uses that type of surface, and I quite dig it.
The inner surface of each cup is fairly simple, essentially two organic bowls stacked on top of each other with a distinct ridge connecting them. This inner ridge is where the mid-weighting of the yo-yo is concentrated. No inner grind ring of any kind is to be found.
Bearing and Response
MB: The stock bearing and response are One Drop’s terrific 10 ball bearing and Flow Groove pads. The bearing spins smooth and provides ample spin times. The Flow Groove response is dependable and stays out of the way during play while still providing tight binds and smooth throws.
JT: No surprise here, but the Prescription uses the tried and true One Drop 10-ball flat bearing combined with One Drop’s Flow Groove pads. Both are excellent performers. Still, being one of the few companies that still ships with flats makes One Drop yo-yos seem like anomalies amid the countless throws that ship with centering bearings. If you really don’t like flat bearings then you will need to swap the 10-ball out for something else.
MB: On a throw the Prescription meets the end of the string gracefully and moves around with little effort. It has a fairly light string presence yet remains easy to keep track of during play. The width makes it easy to hit when performing hops and slacks but the lack of rim weight contributes to less than average stability and spin times. I found that the Prescription was less forgiving of my sloppy play than throws with more rim weight like the Rebirth and Cascade. I was still able to perform every trick I knew on the Prescription, it just wouldn’t be my ideal choice for aggressive competition play or for learning a difficult trick.
Lack of rim weight aside, the Prescription has plenty of positive characteristics that keep me coming back to play it frequently. I find that the weight distribution makes the Prescription very easy to maneuver and the smaller diameter lends itself well to chopsticks and tight tech tricks. It responds to inputs quickly and predictably, making changes in speed and direction effortless. Regenerations are also very easy to control. I like to play at a slower pace and had no problems keeping the play speed in my comfort zone, though it was easy to tell that the Prescription can play at faster speeds than I am capable of.
The Prescription features One Drop’s Pyramatte™ finish which provides good grinds during dry weather. The projection profile contributes to a little extra performance during finger and arm grinds. There is not a large lip for thumb grinds but I was able to perform talon grinds with little trouble. Finger spins are also possible but the side effects make this particular trick more difficult to perform than on throws with a flat hub or bowl in the center of the cup.
JT: If I had to sum up the play of the Prescription in a single word, it would be “nice”. It just feels nice to throw. I don’t mean that in any sort of muted or downplayed sense. I mean nice in a good way, as in it just feels right in so many ways. Imagine me saying, “awww yeah, that is one nice yo-yo.”
The wide shape with even mass distribution give the Prescription a laid back feel. This is pretty much the same feeling I had with the One Drop Downbeat, except without the excessive weight. When I throw the Prescription I feel like I need to slow down and just enjoy the throwing rather than trying to rush things. That isn’t to say it can’t be pushed faster, but it just doesn’t seem like that kind of yo-yo.
If you have ever wondered what throwers mean by a “floaty” yo-yo, try the Prescription and you will have a good idea. Using a mid-weighted mass distribution with less mass in the center or at the rims gives the Prescription a very “floaty” feel. It is certainly easy to push it around. This isn’t surprising since this was very much a design goal from One Drop and Dr. B.
The design isn’t without some shortcomings. Having such a wide profile has pros and cons. The wide profile creates a generous catch zone. However, on the flip side, the extra width can catch you off guard when trying to thread the yo-yo past strings. For example, the first time I did a combo that uses a modified Black Hops, I found myself often catching two strings instead of one. No biggie, I simply had to adjust for the width, but if you are running tricks with really narrow gaps between strings then you may run into issues.
The lack of rim weight does ding the stability to an extent. The Prescription can lose its plane of spin more easily than other yo-yos out there with more rim weight, although it certainly could be worse relatively speaking. Spin times also take a hit but nothing major. Thumb grinds are a no-go due to the lack of a grind ring lip. I wasn’t very successful with finger spins because my index finger didn’t fit nicely between the Side Effect hub and the inner ridge, causing the yo-yo to spin off my finger very quickly. Your success may vary. Finger grinds seem great thanks to the Pyramatte™ finish that One Drop is famous for.
MB: The Prescription is a yo-yo that fans of unique and fun designs will enjoy greatly. It does not tout competition oriented performance, but I do not think it needs that to be appealing. The wide, curvy profile, maneuverability, and overall light feeling during play contribute to a design that is both very comfortable and fun to throw. Dr. B and One Drop have done a great job on this design!
JT: Like I said above, I find the Prescription to be a nice yo-yo overall, and nice in a very good way. Like my One Drop Downbeat, it is one of those yo-yos that I will pull out when I want to throw for the sake of relaxing. Plus, the wider profile coupled with the mid-sized diameter give the Prescription a decidedly novel place in my collection. For that reason alone I am happy that I picked it up. Those with a Cascade may have less need for the Prescription, but from what I understand the Prescription is a worthy upgrade of sorts. If you love the Cascade and want more of the same, I imagine that the Prescription will fit the bill nicely. Kudos to One Drop and Dr. B for upping the ante on that design.
As always, thanks to Monkeyfinger Design for providing all of the strings used in this and other reviews.
Yay, Nay, Could-go-either-way Summary
Please keep in mind that these are purely subjective. One thrower’s negatives may be another thrower’s positives, and vice versa. These were compiled by both Mat and myself.
+ Mass distribution: The Prescription has a nice “floaty” feel and is easy to push around.
+ Shape: very comfortable shape with a generous catch zone.
+ Relaxed Feel: while it can go faster, there is something about the Prescription that feels wonderfully laid back during play.
– Width: the wide profile can get in the way of threading during tight tricks.
– Thumb grinds: a inner grind ring is completely absent.
– Less forgiving: not as forgiving to poor technique as other throws.
– Stability: the stability takes a bit of a hit with the shape and mass distribution.
+/- Finger spins: thumb grinds and finger spins work if you can hit them, but they can kill the spin quickly.
+/- Spin times: could be better and could be worse. Most will find the spin times fine but some might be disappointed.
+/- Price: while we didn’t mention it above, One Drop continues to produce excellent made-in-the-USA yo-yos at reasonable prices. Of course, each thrower will differ in his or her opinion of whether any yo-yo is worth the money.