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Do "expensive" rubbers really make a big change?

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obesechopper View Drop Down
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    Posted: 03/27/2016 at 4:41pm
I've been doing a good bit of testing here lately, and I've come to the conclusion that there seems to be very little difference between expensive rubbers and the cheaper ones!

If people were put on a blind test, could they very easily differentiate between most rubbers? I've got rasant powersponge on one side and 05 FX on the other. No real difference at all by the feeling! I can twiddle and play each side just as effectively. 

Donic coppa x2 on one side and bluefire m3 on the other... again, not a big difference. The coppa feels a bit softer on the bounce, but when playing strokes they both get the job done equally. 

I think the biggest differences come from sponge hardness -- the rebound effect. On whether a ball jumps off or dies down upon impact. 

The spin doesn't change a whole lot from what I've seen. Here I have tenergy 05, 64, and 25. I also have a sheet of geospin tacky and reflectoid. When practicing my serves and hits, I see no marked reduction in spin when swapping from one to the next. 

Does anybody else feel the same? Why pay $75 for a tenergy when the reflectoid seems to do just as well?

Do you need to be at a much higher playing level before really needing the "high-end" rubbers? I'm at about 1600 now for reference. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote zeio Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03/27/2016 at 4:54pm
Viscaria FL - 91g
+ Neo H3 2.15 Blk - 44.5g(55.3g uncut bare)
+ Hexer HD 2.1 Red - 49.3g(68.5g 〃 〃)
= 184.8g
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote The soul of rock Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03/27/2016 at 5:12pm
I can feel the difference between Tenergy 05 and Tenergy 64, which have the same sponge, in terms of throw, speed, and spin, so I guess the differences are even clearer for the pros.
Viscaria FL
FH: Nittaku Hurricane 3 NEO
BH: Tenergy 05
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote SmackDAT Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03/27/2016 at 5:52pm
Originally posted by obesechopper obesechopper wrote:

If people were put on a blind test, could they very easily differentiate between most rubbers? I've got rasant powersponge on one side and 05 FX on the other. No real difference at all by the feeling!

Donic coppa x2 on one side and bluefire m3 on the other... again, not a big difference. The coppa feels a bit softer on the bounce, but when playing strokes they both get the job done equally. 

The spin doesn't change a whole lot from what I've seen. Here I have tenergy 05, 64, and 25. I also have a sheet of geospin tacky and reflectoid. When practicing my serves and hits, I see no marked reduction in spin when swapping from one to the next. 

I think the biggest differences come from sponge hardness -- the rebound effect.

Do you need to be at a much higher playing level before really needing the "high-end" rubbers?
Just because you cannot feel a substantial difference between two rubbers doesn't mean that another play your level may feel a difference. The topsheet is just as important as the sponge, as the topsheet also affects the tension of a rubber - it may even be more important as the pimple structure may affect the entire feel of a rubber, e.g. Tenergy 25 vs 05.

You don't need to be a higher playing level to appreciate the benefits of higher quality (i.e. more expensive) rubbers; like the soul of rock mentioned I could probably also "blind test" and tell the difference between Tenergy 05 and 64 etc.

With that being said, if your intention is to rant about expensive rubbers and/or a certain companies pricing policy, if you are happy with cheap rubbers and do not feel a substantial difference with those rubbers compared to expensive rubbers such as Tenergy, then by all means stick to it - I don't use Tenergy either as I feel the benefits do not outweigh the downsides of using such rubbers.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote mjamja Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03/27/2016 at 5:53pm
Obesechopper,

You are obviously a no talent, no touch, no feeling, no clue hack who has no business even being in a TT club.

By the way, I am one also and I would guess so are more than 50% of the club players in the US.


Mark - Who once played for 30 min with his spare blade with old IQUL instead of the regular blade with Tenergy 05 before noticing.  Then only because of looking at the rubber closely and noticing the difference in shine.

PS - If you can really feel the difference they may be worth it.  But trying before buying is a good idea if you can get the opportunity.




Edited by mjamja - 03/27/2016 at 5:55pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote SmackDAT Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03/27/2016 at 5:57pm
Originally posted by mjamja mjamja wrote:

Mark - Who once played for 30 min with his spare blade with old IQUL instead of the regular blade with Tenergy 05 before noticing.  Then only because of looking at the rubber closely and noticing the difference in shine.

LOLLOLLOLLOLLOLLOLLOLLOLLOLLOL
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https://goo.gl/bFWoxW
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote obesechopper Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03/27/2016 at 6:51pm
Originally posted by mjamja mjamja wrote:

Obesechopper,

You are obviously a no talent, no touch, no feeling, no clue hack who has no business even being in a TT club.

By the way, I am one also and I would guess so are more than 50% of the club players in the US.


Mark - Who once played for 30 min with his spare blade with old IQUL instead of the regular blade with Tenergy 05 before noticing.  Then only because of looking at the rubber closely and noticing the difference in shine.

PS - If you can really feel the difference they may be worth it.  But trying before buying is a good idea if you can get the opportunity.



Almost as bad as that time someone slipped him long pips...

"Man, I must be pretty tired today -- these power loops are just dropping dead!" LOL

I would agree with your assessment. 50% can't tell a difference and the other 50% are delusional in thinking that they're good enough to see it! 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Tinykin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03/27/2016 at 7:29pm
I think that players do notice the difference between rubbers. But does the player attribute the stroke result to the rubber, blade, opponent's spin, playing conditions etc.
For most of us, the last thing we look at is the rubber. For me, several times during rallies my strokes result is not as expected and I am try to adjust to the incoming spin etc, only for me to look down and realise that I had inadvertently twiddled my bat for the last couple of rallies.
I think the same probably happened to Mark. He knew there was a difference to normal but simply adjusted his play accordingly.
BTW, the same also occurs with players players not realising that their bat is extra dirty/greasy or wet from condensation. Happens to me all the time, unfortunately.
>65yo, presently overweight rather than obese.
Darker Speed 90 (x3) with various rubber combinations.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Tassie52 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03/27/2016 at 8:04pm
Originally posted by obesechopper obesechopper wrote:

I would agree with your assessment. 50% can't tell a difference and the other 50% are delusional in thinking that they're good enough to see it! 
And I agree with your agreement.  The only problem is: those who claim to be good enough will never consent to blind testing to prove it.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote The soul of rock Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03/27/2016 at 8:15pm
Well, I'm not going that far to claim that I can differentiate any kind of rubber, but I can do any sort of blind test, AB or ABX, and can tell right away if a rubber is Tenergy 64 or not. With my blade of choice, of course. I would be happy as hell if it turns out that I'm wrong, cuz then I can finally replace Tenergy 64 on my BH with something cheaper, lol.
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BH: Tenergy 05
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote zeio Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03/27/2016 at 8:28pm
Blindtest of the Fastarc G-1 and a certain "big-hit rubber" by Nittaku:

Test subjects are intermediate to advanced level college players.  The rubber that received higher ratings is...



Edited by zeio - 03/27/2016 at 8:31pm
Viscaria FL - 91g
+ Neo H3 2.15 Blk - 44.5g(55.3g uncut bare)
+ Hexer HD 2.1 Red - 49.3g(68.5g 〃 〃)
= 184.8g
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Fulanodetal Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03/28/2016 at 9:04am
me no speak japanese......


FdT
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Baal Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03/28/2016 at 10:52am
I'm not that good a player but I can tell the difference between T05 and Evolution rubbers immediately (and Evolution series are probably the closest ESN comes to Tenergy in terms of performance). 


Now being able to tell one from the other may not matter as much as whether I can play better with one than the other.  It takes me awhile to stop clipping the top of the net when I switch from Tenergy to, for example, Evolution EL-P.  If I am patient enough to adjust for that I am quite sure my level will be the same.

Somebody posts a thread like this about once a year.  But if you write a thread like that and state that Reflectoid vs. Tenergy, no big deal...........     well...........   ok, then.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote JohnnyChop Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03/28/2016 at 11:15am
I think if you compare $35 to $60 plus there may not be that much difference... Improvement decreases as you go up in price... But there are definitely differences between a $10 rubber and a $40 rubber
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote lineup32 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03/28/2016 at 12:03pm
cost seems to be a factor in how many players judge a rubber for example a $10 rubber that plays great has appeal and is considered a good deal. Players used to paying significantly less then 05 prices simply refuse to consider playing with Butterfly based on price. 
Playing against T05 used to be a challenge but so many players use the Tenergy series that I have gotten use to playing against it but all my opponents who use Tenergy are  devoted to T05.  There is a term in the financial trading world called and "edge" usually inside information or a method approach to trading but in competition having an edge
whether real or imagined seems to be important and if your edge is a cheap rubber that playing good or an expensive rubber that is the best: have fun and enjoy....
 I play with SoulSpin P12 FH


Edited by lineup32 - 03/28/2016 at 12:04pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Lestat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03/28/2016 at 1:39pm
No difference between one rubber or another? Could be, but this kind of statement usually comes from one trick ponies who expect one topspin on the table to be the end of the point. This is right up there with "you don't need a fast blade, you make your own power". Why do you people always try to dumb everything down to your level?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote CraneStyle Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03/28/2016 at 1:58pm
If you drive a family saloon car and a Porsche around a carpark, it may be hard to determine which had the best "performance"... 😀
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ri0t1 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03/28/2016 at 3:16pm
What is the life expectancy of the cheaper rubber to the expensive rubber in your findings?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote qpskfec Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03/28/2016 at 3:59pm
Originally posted by ri0t1 ri0t1 wrote:

What is the life expectancy of the cheaper rubber to the expensive rubber in your findings?


I am surprised no one has mentioned durability so far.

How about a blind test with equally used expensive rubber versus cheap?

I can tell from experience that a 4 month old sheet of T80 still has plenty of life in it. A 4 month old sheet of $14 Gambler Outlaw will have a big loss in performance and need to be replaced.

(btw, if you put a high throw rubber like T80 on one side of a blade and a low throw rubber like Outlaw on the other side and can't tell the difference, then it really doesn't matter what you play with)

I have tried a few other cheap rubbers and I don't care about trying any more. I have found what I like and don't want to waste time testing $10 product.

There is also the issue of quality control.



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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Fulanodetal Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03/28/2016 at 4:25pm
I agree with everything qpskpec said but I would add this....

to obesechopper: If you have a cheap rubber in mind you feel it's great and comparable to the expensive ones, I would not object you sending me a sample so I can try it.

As qpskpec ,mentioned, some of us have gone through a period of equipment testing, which includes the $10 rubbers, and have (hopefully) settled on equipment that suits our needs.

FdT
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote mjamja Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03/28/2016 at 4:39pm
qpskfec wrote:

"(btw, if you put a high throw rubber like T80 on one side of a blade and a low throw rubber like Outlaw on the other side and can't tell the difference, then it really doesn't matter what you play with)"

I hate it when people so accurately describe the state of my game.

Mark -  No touch, no technique, no talent, no tactics.  I am the perfect opponent.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Victor_the_cleaner Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03/28/2016 at 4:57pm
to OP,

i don't know if you really play the same with cheap and expensive rubbers or only your perception is such, but either way I think you are lucky and in your case you should stick with cheap. 

Not many people are as lucky as you though.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote obesechopper Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03/28/2016 at 5:34pm

Quote


I guess what I mean by price is at a certain point. Maybe not the $10 cheap stuff. But anything in the $30+ range seems to play about the same. 

My conclusion is that for my ability, any of the $30-40+ rubbers are just as good if not better than the tenergies! Maybe I'm not good enough to fully utilize the top end rubbers. I'm sure others are in the same about. So they could save anywhere from $30-70 each time out buying new rubbers. 



This could well be true for a lot of people.  I can blindly tell the difference between Tenergy 05 and almost anything else because T05 has such a unique feel.  However, I am not so confident I could in a blind test tell the difference between several different ESN rubbers.   As for whether I play better with T05 then with, say, Evolution MX-P (which is cheaper), the answer is given a little adjustment, almost certainly not significantly different.  Also, given the choice of several different ESN rubbers and any Tenergy other than 05, I would choose several different ESN rubbers (MX-P, Raksa 7, etc.) before 64, 80, or 25, or any Tenergy in FX.

Now with some el-cheapo $10 Chinese rubber?  Different matter altogether base on the few I have hit with.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote obesechopper Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03/28/2016 at 5:38pm
Originally posted by Fulanodetal Fulanodetal wrote:

I agree with everything qpskpec said but I would add this....

to obesechopper: If you have a cheap rubber in mind you feel it's great and comparable to the expensive ones, I would not object you sending me a sample so I can try it.

As qpskpec ,mentioned, some of us have gone through a period of equipment testing, which includes the $10 rubbers, and have (hopefully) settled on equipment that suits our needs.

FdT

From my tests and play sessions -- tenergies are about on the same level as Andro (rasant, hexer types) and donic bluefire/barracuda/whatever their newest top stuff is. Though the gap is quickly closing between 'expensive rubbers' and the not so expensive ones...

Having said that, I've got an old sheet of geospin tacky that is essentially tackless.. and I can play just as well with what feels like just as much spin, using that cheap thing. I haven't bought a ton of the cheap tacky rubbers because I don't put too much care into mine, so the tackiness is always more of a hassle LOL


Edited by obesechopper - 03/28/2016 at 5:38pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote zeio Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03/28/2016 at 5:50pm
Check out the price of the blade that tops the Japanese chart for years.
Viscaria FL - 91g
+ Neo H3 2.15 Blk - 44.5g(55.3g uncut bare)
+ Hexer HD 2.1 Red - 49.3g(68.5g 〃 〃)
= 184.8g
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote zeio Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03/28/2016 at 6:14pm
Perhaps the question is better rephrased as "why are expensive blades worth so much?"

Other than the name brand, one other reason I read is that the blade used for cutting composite material is itself a piece of expensive and delicate equipment.
Viscaria FL - 91g
+ Neo H3 2.15 Blk - 44.5g(55.3g uncut bare)
+ Hexer HD 2.1 Red - 49.3g(68.5g 〃 〃)
= 184.8g
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jfolsen Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03/28/2016 at 6:15pm
Originally posted by zeio zeio wrote:

Check out the price of the blade that tops the Japanese chart for years.


That was in a foreign language, and I couldn't find a way to flip it to English. So what is the name and  price of the blade?

jfolsen
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote zeio Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03/28/2016 at 6:19pm
TSP Swat, under $40 on most sites.  Cheaper than some Chinese rubbers, it has been immensely popular in Japan since its release in 2010.

p.s. It is on sale now at tt-japan, $31.45.  Holy Swat!


Edited by zeio - 03/28/2016 at 6:22pm
Viscaria FL - 91g
+ Neo H3 2.15 Blk - 44.5g(55.3g uncut bare)
+ Hexer HD 2.1 Red - 49.3g(68.5g 〃 〃)
= 184.8g
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote JimT Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03/28/2016 at 6:34pm
Originally posted by obesechopper obesechopper wrote:

I've been doing a good bit of testing here lately, and I've come to the conclusion that there seems to be very little difference between expensive rubbers and the cheaper ones!


Welcome to the club!

It is true that some expensive rubbers are well-liked by advanced players - however, below..say, 2300 level one can always find rubbers which cost 50% less and play about the same

At U-2000 level one can almost always find really cheap (under $20-25) rubbers that will do the same.

At U-1400 I would say that the price can be lowered to $10-14

This is all approximate and is not true for everyone - only for 99% of the players, imho Smile
Single Ply Hinoki Club, Founding Member

Say "no!" to expensive table tennis equipment. Please...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote obesechopper Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03/28/2016 at 6:47pm
Originally posted by JimT JimT wrote:

Originally posted by obesechopper obesechopper wrote:

I've been doing a good bit of testing here lately, and I've come to the conclusion that there seems to be very little difference between expensive rubbers and the cheaper ones!


Welcome to the club!

It is true that some expensive rubbers are well-liked by advanced players - however, below..say, 2300 level one can always find rubbers which cost 50% less and play about the same

At U-2000 level one can almost always find really cheap (under $20-25) rubbers that will do the same.

At U-1400 I would say that the price can be lowered to $10-14

This is all approximate and is not true for everyone - only for 99% of the players, imho Smile

It helps going to the club with my 'excuse bucket' though Tongue

Any time I lose a game, it's simply "Well I just got this paddle so I'm not used to how it plays... let me try a different one!" 
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