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Difference between Limba and Koto

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jrscatman View Drop Down
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    Posted: 06/13/2014 at 2:08pm
I was hoping the woodworking experts on the board might be able to give me some ideas about the difference between these woods when used as the outer.

I like the feel of both not really sure what the difference is?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote king_pong Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06/13/2014 at 3:38pm
Both "bite the ball" really well (if you dig what I'm saying).  Koto bites and releases a little more quickly than Limba, that's why the Chinese have historically favored it for their at the table attacking style.  Still, koto can it provide good dwell.  Limba seems to bite and hold on a little bit longer than koto.  Europeans have traditionally used that wood on blades.  I feel I prefer my Limba topped blades better when I'm off the table (more classical European style of play).

[Disclaimer:  I've really only done side by side comparisons of the two wood surface veneers in 5-ply blades, not with composite blades, nor 7-plies, so I do not know if this difference is as noticeable with those compositions.  Perhaps someone with those types of blades can speak on that more in depth -- Maze vs. TBS, or P700 vs. Timo Boll W7, or something].
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote seguso Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06/13/2014 at 4:23pm
koto is a lot harder. if you don't hit hard, the ball will fall. bh banana flip is much more difficult. You need to have great short game to use koto.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote bschap Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06/13/2014 at 4:58pm
when a Koto lover plays with Limba, what is it they don't like?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote seguso Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06/13/2014 at 5:02pm
Originally posted by bschap bschap wrote:

when a Koto lover plays with Limba, what is it they don't like?


I'm not a koto lover, but probably with limba they feel they don't have enough power in the first loop.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote JohnnyChop Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06/13/2014 at 7:45pm
Originally posted by seguso seguso wrote:

Originally posted by bschap bschap wrote:

when a Koto lover plays with Limba, what is it they don't like?


I'm not a koto lover, but probably with limba they feel they don't have enough power in the first loop.

+1 

i like the hardness! limb is more mushy and dwelly
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote JacekGM Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06/13/2014 at 8:00pm
Originally posted by seguso seguso wrote:

koto is a lot harder. if you don't hit hard, the ball will fall. bh banana flip is much more difficult. You need to have great short game to use koto.
Seguso, your point is well taken. However, it seems to me that the banana flick/flip can be done with both types of veneer if the technique is there... The kind of difference you are talking about probably is very subtle, perhaps noticeable to people rated above US 2300 or so...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Tassie52 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06/13/2014 at 8:16pm
Originally posted by jrscatman jrscatman wrote:

I was hoping the woodworking experts on the board might be able to give me some ideas about the difference between these woods when used as the outer.
From a non-woodworker's perspective, some numbers:

Janka rating (the hardness of the wood)
Limba - 670 lbf (2,990 N)
Koto - 940 lbf (4,200 N)

Modulus of elasticity (flexibility)
Limba - 1,520,000 lbf/in2 (10.49 GPa)
Koto - 1,752,000 lbf/in2 (12.08 GPa)

Limba is therefore softer than koto and takes less effort to bend than koto.  For an outer ply, one might expect koto to be better for blocking and limba better for looping?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote cole_ely Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06/13/2014 at 8:43pm
i would think a limba user would generally want for dwell and topspin with koto.

i would think a koto user would miss the crisp feeling and forward penetration of koto
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote bschap Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06/13/2014 at 9:03pm
<<Limba is therefore softer than koto and takes less effort to bend than koto.  For an outer ply, one might expect koto to be better for blocking and limba better for looping?>>

yes, that is why I started with and stayed with Limba for so long.  But as soon as I switched to harder wood as outer ply my loop go SO MUCH BETTER instantaneously.   So I really am not sure what the draw of Limba is.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote bschap Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06/13/2014 at 9:43pm
I should amend my last comment.  I switched from a 5 ply Limba to a 7 ply Limba (if indeed the Adelie is Limba) and my loop improved instantly.  So it might not be the wood but rather the # of plies that made the difference.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote doraemon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06/13/2014 at 10:52pm
Soft or hard, it is the overall composition that matters.

For instance, my Persson Powerplay has koto as outerply and it feels soft.

My Dicon has limba outerply, but with spruce as the second layer, it feels sharper than my Powerplay.

Now, P500 (koto) vs. BT555 (limba), somehow BT555 has more kick and trampoline effect compared to P500.  Logically, it is supposed to be P500 that has more kick, considering it has koto (harder) as the outerply.   Both have the same thickness and similar composition except the outerply.  And my P500 is around 86-87 grams and my BT555 is 81 grams.   From the weight alone, P500 is supposed to be more powerful.   But no, my BT555 is more powerful.   Odd, isn't it??


Edited by doraemon - 06/13/2014 at 10:53pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote schen Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06/14/2014 at 2:13am
From the number of blades I've tested, I believe that softer woods like limba give an edge in spin while harder woods like koto (walnut is what I was accustomed to before switching to limba) generate more speed.  That's not to say with the right technique or adjustments you can't generate speed or spin with one or the other... these are relative comparisons with the same stroke.  With slow brush loops none of this seems to matter.

The harder outer veneer seems to lend itself to faster and lower arcs making it more difficult for the opponent to block or counter without backing up from the table, but at the same time demands very good timing and technique to consistently land loop drives on the table.  However I do like the harder feel when it comes to touch shots.  Blades I've used that demonstrate this are YEO, YES, Ebenholz V, Rosewood V, Taksim/Viscaria, TBS, and TB ALC.

Limba on the other hand arcs more because its softness lends itself to more dwell, which generates more spin leaving some room for error.  Shots are easier to block for your opponent provided they can deal with the spin, but I found limba to be preferable at my level for its more forgiving qualities when it comes to looping because just keeping the ball on the table with spin outweighs blazing one-shot-wonders for me.  Blades I've used that demonstrate this are Clipper Wood, Clipper CR, Clipper CC, and (currently) Innerforce ZLC.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote regiz.rugenz Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06/14/2014 at 4:52am
Originally posted by JohnnyChop JohnnyChop wrote:

Originally posted by seguso seguso wrote:

Originally posted by bschap bschap wrote:

when a Koto lover plays with Limba, what is it they don't like?


I'm not a koto lover, but probably with limba they feel they don't have enough power in the first loop.

+1 

i like the hardness! limb is more mushy and dwelly

+2

I've noticed that significantly after trying an MJ.. at the time I was still on a Viscaria light with koto outer plies. huge difference between these two plies.





Edited by regiz.rugenz - 06/14/2014 at 4:59am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote bschap Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06/14/2014 at 3:43pm
MJ is Limba outer?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Tinykin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06/14/2014 at 4:28pm
Originally posted by schen schen wrote:

..........Limba on the other hand arcs more because its softness lends itself to more dwell, which generates more spin leaving some room for error.  Shots are easier to block for your opponent provided they can deal with the spin, but I found limba to be preferable at my level for its more forgiving qualities when it comes to looping because just keeping the ball on the table with spin outweighs blazing one-shot-wonders for me.  Blades I've used that demonstrate this are Clipper Wood, Clipper CR, Clipper CC, and (currently) Innerforce ZLC.


That's a really good summary except that for some reason, I never got along with Clipper blades.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote NextLevel Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06/14/2014 at 8:06pm
Schen, glad you finally agree.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote schen Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06/14/2014 at 8:17pm
Originally posted by NextLevel NextLevel wrote:

Schen, glad you finally agree.

Haha it took a lot of experimenting for me to finally realize it.  I still miss the feeling of the harder outer plies, but the results I'm getting with limba are more important Tongue
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote NextLevel Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06/14/2014 at 8:38pm
Originally posted by schen schen wrote:

Originally posted by NextLevel NextLevel wrote:

Schen, glad you finally agree.

Haha it took a lot of experimenting for me to finally realize it.  I still miss the feeling of the harder outer plies, but the results I'm getting with limba are more important Tongue

Eventually, you can always go back to koto/walnut because your touch will have improved as well as your stroke.  I just think it is harder to get there without being able to feel the vibrations that come with a good loop.  Just my opinion.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote regiz.rugenz Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06/15/2014 at 3:54am
Originally posted by bschap bschap wrote:

MJ is Limba outer?

yup..

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limba - zlc - limba - kiri - limba - zlc - limba

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote slevin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06/15/2014 at 10:11am
Originally posted by regiz.rugenz regiz.rugenz wrote:

Originally posted by JohnnyChop JohnnyChop wrote:

Originally posted by seguso seguso wrote:

Originally posted by bschap bschap wrote:

when a Koto lover plays with Limba, what is it they don't like?


I'm not a koto lover, but probably with limba they feel they don't have enough power in the first loop.

+1 

i like the hardness! limb is more mushy and dwelly

+2

I've noticed that significantly after trying an MJ.. at the time I was still on a Viscaria light with koto outer plies. huge difference between these two plies.


MJ is not mushy - Limba bites as it normally does during opening loops (on brush) but there's a hard ZLC layer underneath. If anything, relatively, ALC blades are mushy (I own both MJ and ZJK ALC). MJ offers more precise feedback relative to Viscaria, et al.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Ross Leidy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06/15/2014 at 9:02pm
To get a better sense of the isolated properties of koto, I recently built a 7-ply with koto(x3)-kiri-koto(x3).   In general, 7-ply blades tend to kick up the speed a bit because of their extra rigidity over a 5-ply. However, I found this blade to be very manageable, not too fast at all, and even a bit of a surprise when blocking - it kept the ball quite low, and with its somewhat lazy rebound I found myself dumping balls into the net if the incoming ball as too slow or my block too passive. In the hands of a good blocker, this type of blade could really frustrate an attacking opponent.

Koto isn't that much harder than limba (if you consider the entire spectrum of wood hardness levels), so it still provides enough dwell for spinny loops, but perhaps not as strong as limba.

Tassie's comment on koto being better for blocking sounds right to me.    And, I can identify with Seguso's comment about the ball dropping if not hit hard enough.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote bschap Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06/15/2014 at 9:16pm
MJ is not 3 ply wood 2 ply ZLC?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Johnny Erasure Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06/16/2014 at 2:22am
Originally posted by bschap bschap wrote:

MJ is not 3 ply wood 2 ply ZLC?

Not, as regiz.rugenz said, MJ is 5 ply wood and 2 ply ZLC.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote spinitgood Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06/16/2014 at 2:46am
Originally posted by Ross Leidy Ross Leidy wrote:

To get a better sense of the isolated properties of koto, I recently built a 7-ply with koto(x3)-kiri-koto(x3).   In general, 7-ply blades tend to kick up the speed a bit because of their extra rigidity over a 5-ply. However, I found this blade to be very manageable, not too fast at all, and even a bit of a surprise when blocking - it kept the ball quite low, and with its somewhat lazy rebound I found myself dumping balls into the net if the incoming ball as too slow or my block too passive. In the hands of a good blocker, this type of blade could really frustrate an attacking opponent.

Koto isn't that much harder than limba (if you consider the entire spectrum of wood hardness levels), so it still provides enough dwell for spinny loops, but perhaps not as strong as limba.

Tassie's comment on koto being better for blocking sounds right to me.    And, I can identify with Seguso's comment about the ball dropping if not hit hard enough.



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Have you tried a 3Xlimba, kiri, 3Xlimba? Would that make the balls much higher on passive blocks?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Johnny Erasure Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06/16/2014 at 2:59am
Koto is hardness than limba, especially when used as exterior veneer, is best for looping, blocking and counterattack when limba is best for topspin, has better control and is more mushy. When these layers are used on the outside depends much on the layers that are underneath. When are interleaved soft then we have a lower throw angle, for example koto-spruce. I'll put two pictures with two blades of 7 ply allwood that outer ply of black limba (harder than normal limba) and scaly koto (harder than normal koto).


Edited by Johnny Erasure - 06/19/2014 at 12:44pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jrscatman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06/16/2014 at 9:20am
Thanks to everyone for the feedback - very helpful information.

I think the hardness might be what I was feeling. 

But without having 2 exact same blades with only the outer being different it's hard to compare. Perhaps Ross L. might be able to give us more info. as he has the capability to build exact versions.

Thanks again.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ross Leidy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06/16/2014 at 10:14am
Originally posted by spinitgood spinitgood wrote:


Ross
Have you tried a 3Xlimba, kiri, 3Xlimba? Would that make the balls much higher on passive blocks?
 
I've built a few all-limba blades, and some close to the one you spec'd (the innermost ply was douglas fir instead of limba), but for a true apples-to-apples comparison I'd need to build one as you suggest with same thickness and head/handle shape and see how it compares. 
 
While I'd not characterize limba as a bouncy wood, I get the sense that it's a little more springy than koto and that may be evident in the rebound from a block.
 
I might give it a try sometime. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ttping85 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06/16/2014 at 8:20pm
a lot of great comments here!!!  Clap
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