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TT11 equipment testing scheme

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    Posted: 04/01/2017 at 12:30pm
The Good Guys from Tabletennis11 have reignited our testing scheme for blades and rubbers for forum members that reside in the US.

Composite Blade Testing (all FL handles):
  1. Xiom Vega Pro [Limba outers, ZLC fiber. Forum members fatt and ttping85 love this blade]
  2. Tibhar Stratus Carbon [Limba outers, Aramid-carbon fiber. Used by players like Bogan Tokic]
  3. Tibhar Drinkhall Powerspin Carbon [Koto outers, ALC fiber. Designed & used by Paul Drinkhall. A Viscaria / TBS type blade with perhaps a bit more flex, spin and feel]
  4. Victas Koki Niwa

Rubbers Testing:
  1. Stiga Genesis M
  2. Stiga Mantra M
  3. Stiga Mantra S
  4. Yasaka Valmo
  5. Nittaku Fastarc G1
  6. Nittaku Hammond Power
  7. Donic Bluestorm Z1
  8. Donic Bluestorm Z2
  9. Donic Bluestorm Z3
  10. Tibhar Aurus Select
  11. Tibhar Aurus Prime


If you are interested, please let me know via PM specifically, which blade(s) & / or rubber(s) you want to test. 

Blade / Rubbers testing list (for US members) is on the 2nd post of this thread.

You may keep the blade (or rubber) for max 1 week for testing. You then ship it to the next person on the list. After testing, please write a review / test results on this thread.

Thanks TT11 Thumbs Up


Edited by slevin - 08/03/2017 at 11:12am
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And yes: the best reviewer shall win the Tibhar Stratus Carbon testing blade!

TT11 Test Blades:

Xiom Vega Pro Blade:
  1. slevin
  2. BRS
  3. anubhav1984
  4. sherwood
Tibhar Stratus Carbon Blade:
  1. slevin
  2. rocketman222
  3. sherwood
Nittaku S-CZ Blade:
  1. slevin
  2. sherwood
Victas Koki Niwa:
  1. slevin
  2. h0n1g
  3. LOG1C1AN
  4. anubhav1984
  5. sherwood

TT11 Test Rubbers:

Stiga Genesis M:
  1. slevin
  2. h0n1g
  3. JoeB
  4. sherwood
Stiga Mantra M:
  1. slevin
  2. rocketman222
  3. sherwood
Stiga Mantra S:
  1. slevin
  2. rocketman222
  3. sherwood
Nittaku Hammond Power:
  1. slevin

Nittaku Fastarc G1:
  1. slevin
  2. rocketman222
  3. sherwood
Yasaka Valmo:
  1. slevin
  2. LOG1C1AN

Donic Bluestorm Z1:
  1. slevin
  2. dlc1325
  3. sherwood


Donic Bluestorm Z2:
  1. slevin
  2. rocketman222
  3. kurokami
  4. dlc1325
  5. sherwood

Donic Bluestorm Z3:
  1. slevin
  2. dlc1325
  3. sherwood
Tibhar Aurus Prime:
  1. slevin
  2. nextlevel
  3. sherwood
Tibhar Aurus Select:
  1. slevin
  2. nextlevel
  3. BRS
  4. sherwood



Edited by slevin - 08/03/2017 at 12:16pm
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DreiZ View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DreiZ Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04/01/2017 at 2:10pm
I already have 3 of those...
TB ALC ST 84g
2x T05 2.1mm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Odie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04/01/2017 at 7:00pm
Yeah, me too!  Awesome idea though.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote mog1111 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04/03/2017 at 7:59am
Need to keep an eye on this post!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote wanchope Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04/03/2017 at 9:38am
Canadian members are just not as lucky?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote mog1111 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04/03/2017 at 11:09am
nor English, I would like to try Stratus CB and Stiga Genesis M and S
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote fatt Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04/03/2017 at 11:30am
I would be happy to test the vega pro; 

OK Just kidding...I can't get tired of it, I have 3 and I am done --> folks you need to try it there is nothing better for an allrounder who likes to loop on both wings.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote tiehwen Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04/03/2017 at 11:54am
Originally posted by wanchope wanchope wrote:

Canadian members are just not as lucky?


Originally posted by mog1111 mog1111 wrote:

nor English, I would like to try Stratus CB and Stiga Genesis M and S


Hardly a surprise for me at all...
Personally, I'm not bothered by this "Lack of luck" to try blades like Xiom, Nexy...what else again..can't remember their names...

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Baal Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04/03/2017 at 1:28pm
One thing to keep in mind.  It is great that Slevin has arranged this.  Sometimes it occurs that a blade that or rubber is supposed to move from one person to another for testing but instead ends up in a black hole somewhere (because someone keeps it and then sort of disappears).  If that happens, as as the "For Sale Mod", I am not going to referee disputes or really get involved in any deep way.  If anything comes up, Slevin will have to work it out.  (But don't consider this an excuse to scam).
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote slevin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04/03/2017 at 2:26pm
Understood, Baal.

Re: trials for European / British members, we had a similar equipment testing scheme I had run earlier (but with a larger number of blades and rubbers). But we ran into problems when US members had to ship blades / rubbers to the next guy on the list if the next guy was in Europe. I spent over $125 personally to pay for international shipping costs for other members and that was without any tracking. I would like to avoid logistical / monetary hassles this time around. If you have any good suggestions regarding this, do not hesitate to send me a PM.

Re: trials for Canadian members - if you're interested, send me a PM. If i find quite a few members interested, I'll see what I can do.

I shall publish the list shortly.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote tabletennis11 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04/03/2017 at 3:03pm
Thanks slevin for your hard work! 

If any European MYTT member is interested in carrying out the testing scheme in Europe then please contact us at annes@tabletennis11.com. 

Annes Org, Marketing Manager 

Tabletennis11.com - Crazy About Table Tennis!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote fatt Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04/03/2017 at 3:16pm
If forum member austin from Florida signs up for testing, be careful because he scammed us in the past:

...and he scammed us again 4 months ago when he promised to redeem himself on 12/04/2016, 12/09/2016 and 12/28/2016 but he never did (documented).


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote piligrim Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04/03/2017 at 3:23pm
Originally posted by fatt fatt wrote:

I would be happy to test the vega pro; 

OK Just kidding...I can't get tired of it, I have 3 and I am done --> folks you need to try it there is nothing better for an allrounder who likes to loop on both wings.




totally agree. best blade I ever tried
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote mog1111 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04/03/2017 at 5:31pm
Originally posted by tabletennis11 tabletennis11 wrote:

Thanks slevin for your hard work! 

If any European MYTT member is interested in carrying out the testing scheme in Europe then please contact us at annes@tabletennis11.com. 

Annes Org, Marketing Manager 



I would definitely be interested in joining this trial. Particularly the rubbers.
Stiga Infinity
Hurricane 3 Neo
Palio CK531a 0.7mm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote mog1111 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04/05/2017 at 3:23pm
Hi I have been asked to co-ordinate the tt11 testing scheme in Europe, anyone interested particularly in the uk?

Simon (mog1111)

If you are interested, please let me know via PM specifically, which blade(s) & / or rubber(s) you want to test.




I shall create lists soon.




You may keep the blade (or rubber) for max 1 week for testing. You then ship it to the next person on the list. After testing, please write a review / test results on this thread.

Edited by mog1111 - 04/05/2017 at 3:26pm
Stiga Infinity
Hurricane 3 Neo
Palio CK531a 0.7mm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote slevin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04/08/2017 at 6:06am
I have put up the testing list (for US members) in the 2nd post of this thread. If you want to be added to any of the US member testing lists, please send me a PM.

Edited by slevin - 04/08/2017 at 6:06am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote h0n1g Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04/23/2017 at 1:16am
is this still happening?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote slevin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04/23/2017 at 5:50am
Yes. I had a bit of a hospital delay! Am back home. Shall mail out items to members on the list on Monday!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote slevin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05/17/2017 at 9:32pm
Review: Stiga Mantra M and S

Synopsis: The M reminded me of the the Tibhar Evolution EL-S (but with a more 'Japanese' feel and a bit better control). The S plays 3 degrees softer.

Initial inspection: The topsheets seemed markedly different than those in the prior Airoc series. These Mantra topsheets are more matte and less shiny. They are definitely more grippy than Airoc. In fact, they feel similar to the topsheet of the Evolution EL-S but are not tacky (like the Evolution MX-P is). "Made in Japan" is written at the bottom of the topsheet.

The pores on the back are smaller than those in the Evolution series - almost as small as those of Tenergy.

The Mantra M felt like 45 degrees in overall hardness. The S felt 42 degrees.

I can't give cut weights as I cut them larger (to help in multiple testing). However, they seemed a couple of grams lighter than the Tenergy counterparts (05 and 05FX).

Playing characteristics: I tried the rubbers (mostly M on FH and S on BH) on a robot for a few hours and then played about 8 matches with them.

First, these rubbers are quite fast. The M has a medium throw with the S being a bit lower than that. The grip on the Mantra seemed similar to the grip on the EL-S series (very grippy, but no tack, unlike MX-P). The trajectory of the M seemed similar to that of the EL-S or perhaps a touch longer. Looping seemed effortless with them.

I thought both of these rubbers were very good indeed. The spin is perhaps, a shade less than the Evolution series rubbers but the control is better (as often is the case of Japanese rubbers vs ESN ones). Both felt a bit more direct and less jumpy than the Evolution rubbers. Less susceptible to incoming spin on serve-receives as well.

Another trait I liked in them was that the pores on the sponge were not very large. That meant that it takes a bit more to bottom them out than the ESN rubbers of similar hardness levels.

I loved this rubber on composite limba blades the best. Normally, I don't like soft rubbers, even on my BH. However, I liked the Mantra S on my BH on a Xiom Vega Pro.

Overall, this is the best European rubber offering by Stiga.




Edited by slevin - 05/17/2017 at 9:35pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote rocketman222 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05/18/2017 at 12:54am
First of all, thanks to Slevin and TT11 for organizing this round of equipment testing.

Review: Tibhar Stratus carbon

Specifications:
Thickness: 5.5mm
Weight: 81g
Rubbers: Stiga mantra M/S , Tenergy 05/MX-P

Initial Impressions:

The stratus carbon is supposed to be tibhar's take on the more popular and expensive Butterfly ALC line of blades, and they definitely did a good job on this one, especially the finish on the blade is as good as any other brand. I was expecting the handle to be much larger, but it seems like the standard flared, I would compare the handle's thickness to be around that of viscaria.

Also the blade is quite thin, I think this one is thinner than the Timo boll ALC and viscaria i had previously owned, also the dimensions of the blade's face seem bigger than the standard 157x150. Contrary to what I was expecting, the blade did not feel head-heavy(may be slightly head heavy with T05 and MX-P) after putting the rubbers.

Playing Impressions:

Counter hits: When I started warming up with fh to fh counters, I could immediately tell that the feedback was more on the lines of a koto alc blade, it did not feel like limba, and judging by the pace, I felt like the blade is midway between OFF- and OFF, as I m used to playing blades that are OFF, I had to add more effort to get the same speed.

Looping : Looping against topspin blocks, as well as underspin is real easy, it flexes very well, giving ample amount of dwell time, and the ball really sticks to the blade, I also feel it has a pretty high throw due to the flex and OFF- speed. There is potential to create high amounts of top-spin with this blade, when paired with the right rubbers.

Block: This is one area where the blade is not as solid as a viscaria/timoboll ALC, you can feel a bit of vibration, and the blocks are not as forceful, so you cannot really punch block that easily, and whatever blocks I was able to put back on the table, my opponent got a good follow up loop.

Push: Was able to keep pushes short, due to the less bouncy nature of the blade.

Serves: Good spin on serves, and no problems receiving serves.

Conclusion: This blade is in every possible way a more controllable alternative to the ALC blades, I also  believe the blade that I tested was in the OFF- to OFF range solely due to the weight+thickness, and I would suggest buyers to ask for a heavier/thicker version if they want more power behind their drives and blocks.


Edited by rocketman222 - 05/18/2017 at 1:07am
Blade: BBC Hinoki Ghost
FH: Black Fastarc G-1
BH: Red Fastarc g-1
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote rocketman222 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05/18/2017 at 1:35am
Review: Stiga Mantra M and S

Look and Feel: The first thing that you notice is the very silky texture of the rubbers, where they bend and flex very uniformly. The sponge is red, and both the topsheets where regular black and not like the shiny black like MX-P.

Weight: Mantra M - 48 grams and  Mantra S - 46 grams (including a single layer of tearmender on each of them), Slevin had cut the rubbers oversized(almost 160mm x 152mm), considering that, they are very light especially when compared to modern tensors or tenergy.

Mantra M: This rubber is very linear with a teeny tiny bit of catapult, I really enjoyed playing it, and the rubber has high level of control, I could block with this rubber all day long, its that easy. Especially if you are a control oriented player, this rubber will work wonders for you, there is hardly any unpredictable behaviour, and that is very valuable in game situations.

However the big problem I see with the Mantra M is it lacks decent spin generation, almost to the point where you are no longer dangerous, given the fact that we are already struggling with loss of spin due to poly ball, so players who earn points with third ball topspin attacks would not be too happy with it.

The rubber lacked bite, be it underspin or topspin, so I would suggest using it as a backhand rubber, if you don't attack on that wing and like blocking and countering with your bh.

Mantra S: This rubber is similar to Mantra M in every way except it has a more pronounced catapult, and some extra top spin can be generated due to the soft sponge, also this rubber goes well mostly on composite blades, on wood blades, it feels too mushy in my opinion.

The short game is not that good with the mantra S, and pushes don't have as much bite as mantra M, which already is not much.

Conclusion: Mantra M is a controlled rubber, but not dangerous, Mantra S is neither controlled nor dangerous.

I played these rubbers on Tibhar stratus carbon, and a BBC Aspen ghost all-wood blade.


Edited by rocketman222 - 05/18/2017 at 2:23am
Blade: BBC Hinoki Ghost
FH: Black Fastarc G-1
BH: Red Fastarc g-1
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote slevin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05/19/2017 at 9:48am
Thanks for the great reviews, rocketman222.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote slevin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05/19/2017 at 9:56am
We have received 3 more rubbers (2 of them newly-released) and 1 recently released blade for testing! Clap

Rubbers:
  1. Yasaka Valmo (rumors are that it is a Karis - type rubber - I hope some Karis users can test this) http://www.tabletennis11.com/other_eng/yasaka-valmo
  2. Nittaku Hammond Power http://www.tabletennis11.com/other_eng/catalogsearch/result/?q=hammond+power
  3. Nittaku Fastarc G1 (used by several Nittaku sponsored players and by Samson Dubina here in the US) http://www.tabletennis11.com/other_eng/nittaku-fastarc-g-1
Blade:
  1. Victas Koki Niwa FL: http://www.tabletennis11.com/other_eng/victas-koki-niwa
The Victas Koki Niwa is (I think) a slightly thicker version of the Victas Quartet AFC. I did not know much about this blade before at all. However, after bouncing the ball on it, I am VERY interested in trying it out. It has 2 layers of fibers on it - a layer of fleece carbon after outer wood layer (which looks like limba) and a layer of aramid carbon in between the core and the 2nd wood layer. Surprisingly, the fleece carbon layer seems to improve the dwell (at least from ball bounce). Very interesting. The piece I got is 5.68mm thick.

Thanks, TT11.


Edited by slevin - 05/19/2017 at 9:59am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote slevin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05/19/2017 at 10:02am
All: those from the USA who are interesting in testing these new blades / rubbers, please send me a PM. Thanks.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote slevin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05/19/2017 at 10:21am
Added h0n1g's name to the Victas Koki Niwa testing list.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote slevin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05/19/2017 at 10:26am
By the way, The Victas Quartet AFC (which is probably the prior version of the Victas Koki Niwa) has been described as a pure spin machine on other non-English forums.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote slevin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05/23/2017 at 10:54am
Review: Tibhar Samsonov Stratus Carbon


This is a important part of the Tibhar blade portfolio as some good international pros chose this blade upon getting their Tibhar sponsorship. Among the prominent ones were Samsonov (later, he moved on to an fast all-wood blade), Bojan Tokic and Harmeet Desai.

Blade structure: The piece we got for reviewing is fairly light (81g) and is 5.57mm thick. This blade has a 'innerforce' type structure - 2 outer wooden plies followed by a composite fiber and then the innermost wood core ply. The outer ply is limba. The composite fiber is kevlar-carbon. The core feels like ayous.

Test: 

I paired the blade with Tibhar Evolution MX-P (on FH). I tried various rubbers on BH - Stiga Mantra M, Tibhar Evolution EL-S and Xiom Omega V Europe.

The blade feels obviously a bit harder than all-wood blades but because it is comparatively thin, it flexes quite well. It has good ball feedback.

The blade is very good to loop with, especially from mid-distance. The throw is medium (lower than that offered by the Freitas ALC or Viscaria).

Speed: The 81g piece we received feels a notch slower than the Viscaria at the table. From mid-distance, however, the flex helps make it sufficiently fast. I would classify this as OFF- / low OFF. I would suggest getting a heavier blade if one is looking for more power than that.

Suitability: This is a quintessential composite looping blade. The fiber provides solidity and the outer limba ply combined with the flex make it a very good looping blade from mid-distance. It also has a good short game providing good ball feedback.

Attractive features: The biggest attractive features are:
  1. Price: it is a bargain as it is roughly 1/2 the price of the Butterfly Innerforce ALC but offers a similar composition.
  2. Choice of Pro Players: The knowledge that quite a few pro players chose to play with this blade makes it more attractive
  3. Great mix of power, control and feedback
Here is a sample match of Tokic using this blade (paired with MX-P) in Westchester:






Edited by slevin - 05/23/2017 at 11:02am
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Review: Tibhar Drinkhall Powerspin Carbon (TDPC)

http://www.tabletennis11.com/other_eng/tibhar-drinkhall-powerspin-carbon

This blade is designed by Paul Drinkhall and Tibhar. I chatted with Drinkhall briefly about this blade. He said that he used to use the TBS earlier and that he spent several weeks testing different combinations of wood to come up with the design for this blade.

Blade structure: According to the TTD testers, this blade is slightly different from the TB-ALC / Viscaria in that the intermediate wood layers is ayous instead of limba.

TB-ALC: koto - alc - limba - kiri - limba - alc - koto
TDPC: koto - alc - ayous - kiri - ayous - alc - koto

The blade I tested was 86g and 5.68mm thick. The FL handle is very comfortable. It is a bit thicker than that of the TB-ALC but thinner than that of the ZJK-ALC blade.

The blade face has the same dimensions as the TB-ALC and the blade balance is similar with rubbers on it.

Test

Rubbers used on the TDPC for testing: T05, MX-P, R47, Genesis M, EL-S, R42. I compared the blade with my 90g Viscaria for this test.

Speed: the TDPC is a fast OFF blade - a bit faster than a Viscaria. 

Flex: It is a bit more flexible than the Viscaria (perhaps the ayous layer helps in this). This flex helps in both spin at the table and power from mid-distance

Feel: I can feel the ball a bit more with this blade than with my Viscaria. 

Throw: At the table, the throw feels very similar to that of the Viscaria. Away from the table, the throw is slightly lower.

Overall impression: While it is very similar to the ubiquitous ALC blades, I think I prefer this blade a bit more to the Donic Ovtcharov Carbon and to the Viscaria. It is a bit more flexible and a shade more spinny (because of the flex) than both and strokes from mid-distance exhibit a bit more catapault. However, this also means that it is a bit more difficult to control than the other two. I think that players who prefer ALC blades should be very interested in trying this one out.

In case you haven't seen it already, check out Paul Drinkhall playing with MX-P both sides using this blade in this review by TTD:


The next reviewer shall get a brand new but lighter version (82g) of the blade to test.





Edited by slevin - 05/31/2017 at 3:35am
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h0n1g View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote h0n1g Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06/07/2017 at 1:28am
The Koki Niwa blade arrive today for testing. Here are some first impressions:

- Very fine craftsmenship
- Probably the best sanding job i've seen on a blade
- Blade 'feels' high quality when in hand
- Slight weight biase towards handle






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