The first was legendary. The second was terrible. The third is just as bad.
Say what you want about Dayan, they like to experiment. But as evolution shows, it can take millions of years to go from apes that cannot design cubes to apes that can. And it’s unclear which ones are filling the design chairs in the Dayan workshop nowadays.
The third iteration of the Tengyun series retains the quietness that was characteristic of its two predecessors, but unfortunately shares the lack of stability, random lockups, loss of cube-shape and pops that marred the performance of the Tengyun V2, rather than the ultra-fast and solid reliability of Tengyun Senior.
Nevertheless, this gives me a long coveted opportunity to vent some of the frustration I have had with the Tengyun V2 since it came out, as Tengy the Third is far closer to it than to the progenitor of the series. The first Tengyun was and remains to date one of the most beloved cubes around, it is a very common sight at any comps, much lauded by many, e.g. in the BLD community. It combined a very solid feel with incredible speed, without sacrificing stability. Magnets were well calibrated to its other features (though to some they were too weak), and springs had a very distinctive stiffness that made it feel as if the entire layer was hovering on air just waiting for you to turn it. It was a cube that had the performance of something like the GAN flagships of 2021-22 but time-traveling back to the beginning of 2019.
Then something happened. Historians are unclear on whether the meth-addicted cousin of the original Tengy designer was hired to replace him, or if someone lost a bet, or if the spawn of a wealthy donor wanted to try their hand at designing a cube. But the resulting “version 2” was an over-engineered clump of plastic that felt very buttery, was even more silent than its forebear, and couldn’t keep its cube shape if you left it on its own on a table. The spring system was cumbersome, with a ton of settings that let it range from bad to still bad, and was too unreliable on any settings to be viable as a main for all except the most dedicated masochists. But enough about history. We’re in 2022/23 now, and Dayan has decided to time travel again and give us today a cube that could have been made five years ago, which feels rather buttery, is somewhat silent and can’t keep its cube shape if you leave it on its own on a table.
The customisation is a big aspect in which this cube reeks of 2016: while all new cubes coming out now are sporting one or another version of core magnets and maglev “springs”, the Tengyun3 provides 3 sets of nuts to achieve different travel distances that you have to painstakingly remove and replace one by one. The springs are set in their own plastic casing reminding heavily of the GES system, which is just not old enough to be retro yet, also, they will yeet to the moon if you make the error of twisting them in the wrong direction. The result is something a tad less complex than the horror that was the Tengyun V2 spring compression system, but which doesn’t solve its issues either, resulting in a cube that even when too tight for comfort manages to lose shape faster than me during the holidays.
Also, Dayan still hasn’t understood the nuances of modern language : “a cube that drips” doesn’t mean that it should literally sweat factory lube when you take it out of the box. Mind you, I’m as insensitive and inured as the next person about the perils of climate change, but even I am feeling sorry for all the baby silicons that are being slaughtered here. (Oh well, at least that’s one thing it still has in common with the first Tengy.)
All in all, the performance of the cube is in general bad. But this is mostly due to how unreliable it is. When you don’t get any lockups or downright pops you can solve very fast and smoothly on it. But unfortunately you do get those, and too many for comfort. Even after several AO100s I’ve been unable to get anywhere close to my usual times, but I did get some pretty fast singles.
And at the same price as the Tornado v3 Flagship, I can unfortunately recommend this cube to no-one except very dedicated collectors.