Transcript from video
Gans 357 Ultimate Edition
I want to give a big thanks to SpeedCube.com.au. Besides all of the regular cube stuff you can expect they are pretty much thee place to go for anything Gans. When they said they had the Ultimate 357, I misheard the 357 and just assumed it was another 356 like the Masters edition just maybe without the springs or stickers. When I received the package I was very confused when I saw a 357 box. I opened up the cube and noticed the pieces were for a 357, but had one major difference. The core was metal! The core is very similar to the 356 but they are slightly different so I do not think they are interchangeable. The size of the metal rods are a bit thicker on the 357 compared to those in the 356.
On the sale page for the Ultimate edition it says that the cube has “been polished & made seamless by hand - a painstaking manual process which takes a long time to do and therefore the much higher price mainly reflects the additional costs for manpower."
I definitely feel like the pieces are a bit smoother and the pieces that make up the edges and corners are glued together. My original 357 pieces tend to come apart a bit when pushing on it, but the Ultimate edition feels like one very solid piece. The New 357 Ultimate edition feels like it has been professional set up and lubed.
Besides the core the stickers are the same half-bright shades that are in the 356 Masters edition.
Now probably the biggest issue people have with the Gans 357 is it’s ability to flex. The so called octopus core was replaced with a more ridged one like the one here. That did help, but it still flexed a bit more than many people liked. I did a review earlier this year going over the different springs options available and using the higher tension springs helped greatly.
Now with this metal core this cube feels very solid in the hands, or at least as solid as a cube with such rounded pieces can feel. This seems like a whole new cube to me and I feel that many people might consider this their main if they passed along the cube with the plastic core. Now I have heard that they still do call this an octopus core even though it is metal. Cornercutting is still up there as possibly the best on the market with it cutting from almost any amount and the core plus the set up makes this cube super fast, smooth and great for people who like looser feeling cubes.
Gans 356 Master Edition
So the packaging looks like the regular 356 plastic box but you get this nifty Master sticker with it. The stickers are a high quality half-bright set as opposed to the regular set that would come with the 356. In the box you also get a metal wrench, spare washers, as well as 3 different sets of springs The different sets say s6, s7 and s9.
As far as turning of the puzzle, this thing is smooth. I have a regular 356 which had some crazy catching issues. I sanded the cube down as well as pulled the corner stalks out a bit which stopped it. This one was great out of the box. I have been told that Gans will be releasing new Center caps within the next couple months that are said to fix the catching issue completely. I’m not going to go too much in to a review of the puzzle itself because there are already a ton of those and people already know it is one of the best cubes as far as corner cutting goes, lack of corner twisting, and popping.
The cube itself is pretty much the same as the regular 356. The extra price is more related to the stickers, wrench, and springs. Now I thought having a metal wrench is just a silly upgrade, but for anyone who has used a Gans puzzle using this just makes tensioning the cube that much easier and feels like less of a chore to adjust the springs.
Let’s move to the springs. The regular springs would be called s8. I assume the number is from the amount of coils in the spring itself. Now I assumed at first that the springs with the lesser amount of coils, the 6 and 7 would be lighter in tension, but it is the opposite. With the S6 springs the cube feels very solid and quite sluggish. I would relate it to a cube that you might have seen on the market a few years ago. It is very controllable, but too much for my liking.
The S7 springs are a nice in between feeling a bit more controllable but not much slower than the regular springs.
The S9 springs make the cube feel very loose and wobbly. I would compare it to the feeling of the 357 cube.
I personally like the S7 springs and will have those in the cube from now on.
For anyone that feel it is too wobbly than either getting the masters edition or just buying the springs themselves for a couple bucks might be your solution. I had used the 356 for some time and put it aside, but this might be my reason for picking it up again. This truly is the Cadillac of cubes today.
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