Aroundsquare's Hydra Begleri are a fun yet highly capable modern adaptation of the traditional Greek multi-bead begleri. All of the Hydra sets have multiple interchangeable beads, allowing for interesting colour combinations, and some customisation of weight.
This titanium version comes with four beads, precision-machined from grade 5 titanium, weighing in at around 7g per bead, for a total of approximately 28g per set. The beads themselves are 16mm in diameter and 8mm thick, making for a 16x16mm stack at either end. While this dimension sounds small compared to the 19/20mm Titans, the more angular shape of the Hydras makes them feel and play larger than their measurement would suggest.
The shape of the beads make them particularly well-suited for two handed tricks and transfers. They are less solid and somewhat quieter than heavier single-bead designs, and the multiple beads add a nice "fiddle factor" to each set. The slight rounding of all edges on the beads adds the overall feel.
The titanium Hydras come with several extra strings, a canvas carry bag, an info card, and a slick little gift box with a few stickers.
About the PVD coating: Titanium can be anodised like aluminium, but the range of colours is limited, and the anodised finish is similar in durability to that of anodised aluminium. Physical vapour deposition (PVD) coating is a process that creates a much more robust colouring.
About the Anodised Blue: The anodised finish on these titanium begleri is reasonably robust. Because of the hardness of titanium, the finish holds up against dings and scratches better than anodised aluminium. However, the finish is not as durable as the PVD coating used in the other titanium colour editions. The anodised finish may change colour after extended contact with the skin, but because the colour matches well with the dark metallic colour of titanium, the blue edition ages very nicely, and takes on more of a patina than what is observed in the other titanium models. Because titanium is much harder than aluminium, scratches and nicks are less likely to show up. In general, the PVD coatings "age" more gracefully than anodised aluminium.
Aroundsquare works to identify and use the best available materials and processes, but all colours are prone to wear after extended use and drops. Players literally beat these beads against each other for hours each day. The colourings are not painted on, and do not "chip", but they are very thin, and will show scratches and nicks over time, especially if dropped on rough surfaces like concrete.
Colours may not be exactly as shown, and look slightly different in various lighting. There may be also be slight blemishes, and some are lighter or darker than others - however they have manually pulled out any significant flaws in the quality control process, but they haven't worried about minor discolourations, because once they are out of the box, as they say they're going to be hammering dropped right away!