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Review: Tibhar VS Unlimited / CCA Unlimited

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    Posted: 07/14/2017 at 2:26am
Here, I'll be reviewing the Tibhar VS Unlimited (which is basically the CCA-U except for a different handle). Tibhar has mentioned towards a German dealer that a different "glueing technique" was used to put the plys together in order to achieve a more linear response throughout the blade and therewith better control. I personally have my doubts about that but obviously can't prove it ;)

Initial Impressions: Visual Inspection
** Addition: The packaging of the VS-U is a joke for a $170 blade. It literally comes in the same packaging as every other Tibhar blade, a flimsy little carton. This doesn't hold a candle to Butterfly, Nittaku and even Donic. Tibhar definitely needs to improve this because its part of the ownership experience and literally the first impression.

This is by far and away the nicest Tibhar blade i've ever seen. The outer ply is very even, has a nice, beautiful grain and looks well selected. The sanding job is very nice even thou I do feel another round on the handle would've made it perfect. 

The design overall is very classy, the inserted plates on the bottom of the handle and on the handle itself are high quality, well placed and do not bother you when gripping. The blade weighted in at 90g sharp. Given its rather high price point at around $170, the finishing is appropriate.

Initial Impressions: Bouncing
The VS-U has an interesting feedback range. On the one hand, you notice that this is a pretty stiff blade, but probably because of the limba outer veneer, you also have a soft feel to it, as if the ball is absorbed by the paddle but promptly spit back out. Never had that sensation to this extend in a blade.
Another thing I noticed right away was the huge sweetspot. And when I say huge, i mean, enormous. I believe this is the largest sweetspot I've ever experience in a blade while bouncing the ball. It literally covers over 90% of the blade - no hollow feeling, no change in bounce. The closest thing I can remember was my MJSZLC but if memory serves me well, even that sweetspot was smaller. 

Based on the bounce frequency, this blade comes in at 1550 - the upper end of the OFF sector. You can see and submit blade frequencies (a speed indicator) at www.ttbla.de 

Initial Impressions: Setup
I will be playing the Tibhar MX-P and MX-S in 2.0mm on the FH and BH. I've recently taken a liking in these rubbers again (thanks yogi_bear for suggesting them again). I've glued them using Revolution No 3 (2 layer blade, 3 layer rubber).

Playing Impressions: Session #1
Format: 2 hour practice with playing partner, 60 minute 1on1 coach lesson

The initial impressions have pretty much carried over to the first three hours of play. The blade is definitely stiff. The best way i can describe this blade is 'linear'. This is a blade that one could believe to be an OFF- blade in the short game, while on power hits you get the acceleration and speed of a solid OFF blade in the upper quadrants. I would say that the VS-U is the most stable blade I have played with. It does not matter how hard you hit, this blade feels solid throughout. There is a very limited amount of vibration. You can still feel where on the blade you've approximately hit it, but this is no Nittaku Acoustic or WSC. The initial bounce feel is medium to medium-hard. In comparison with i.e. a TB ALC and even an Apolonia ZLC, this feels more wooden, less composite/carbony - overall the feel is a mixture of a Xiom Vega Pro and the Apolonia ZLC.

What surprised me most was the amount of control you had in combination with MX-P/MX-S. Yes, if you give it power, it will go, but if you are gentle, this setup is gentle as well. Passive and especially active blocking are a breeze, its where this blade truly excels at. With the VS-U/CCA-U blocking is on auto pilot. You just hold it and it does its job. In terms of speed, I'd rate it a little slower than the TB ALC - I think the speed is between an Apolonia ZLC and a Vega Pro.

The throw of the blade itself is low-medium to medium. Another thing that has held true is the sweetspot. This blade has positively the largest sweetspot I've ever played with. Not matter where you hit or what you do, you get a solid bounce and return, increasing the amount of balls on the table especially in tight situations where you are moving a lot.

Let's see how this continues but this could be a winner...and if you're following my sales thread, I don't say that lightly ;)


Playing Impressions: Session #2
Format: 90 minute practice with usual playing partners, 6 sets of play.

A lot of the impressions have carried over from the first session. This is a powerful but very controllable blade. It's a fusion between a blade great for hitters and a blade great for loopers - it touches that crossover point that makes it a really solid choice for a variety of game systems.

One thing that did change is the impression on stiffness and first contact feel. I would actually say that the composite feel is somewhere between a ZLF and ALC blade, less of ZLC. The blade has a medium catapult effect. In slow contact, on pushes, slices etc. it is more an ALC feel and on loops it resembles more of a ZLF composite feel and on hard smashes it again leans more towards ALC type feel and response. Very hard to explain, hope this makes sense.

Update on speed: I initial put it between the Apo ZLC and the Vega Pro. I would actually put it on the same level or even a little faster than a TB ALC after playing with it more.

The sweetspot impression has once again been confirmed, this is most likely the largest sweetspot in any table tennis blade currently on the market.


Playing Impressions: Session #3
To follow...

Conclusion:
To follow...


Edited by h0n1g - 07/16/2017 at 4:27pm
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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: 07/14/2017 at 2:52am
This is a Tibhar blade ive always wanted to try, beautiful design and appropriate speed. Very expensive though. Unhappy
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote tom Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07/14/2017 at 9:56am
TT11 has different thickness for the two blades
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote h0n1g Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07/14/2017 at 10:05am
They are 100% the same. There might be slightly variations from blade to blade but they are the same blades basically.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DreiZ Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07/14/2017 at 12:09pm
I've read somewhere the VS was just a tiny bit faster due to gluing process. Is this true?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote h0n1g Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07/14/2017 at 1:36pm
Originally posted by DreiZ DreiZ wrote:

I've read somewhere the VS was just a tiny bit faster due to gluing process. Is this true?

Not sure if you read my post ;)

Originally posted by h0n1g h0n1g wrote:

Tibhar has mentioned towards a German dealer that a different "glueing technique" was used to put the plys together in order to achieve a more linear response throughout the blade and therewith better control.


Edited by h0n1g - 07/14/2017 at 1:37pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DreiZ Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07/14/2017 at 10:57pm
I did, I just read else where it was abit faster than CCA U. Not exactly the same blade as CCA U, wanted to confirm that.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote h0n1g Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07/15/2017 at 12:07am
Yeah, My theory is that it's exactly the same blade and the rest is marketing Blabla in order to justify the slightly higher price tag. Kinda hard for any company to say "hey a blue handle is 10 extra". Maybe the 10$ go to Vladi? ;)

Edited by h0n1g - 07/15/2017 at 12:08am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DreiZ Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07/15/2017 at 2:16am
Probably, given its price and his name tag I think it's the last squeeze tibhar is trying to pull from its customers before vladi retires. Beautiful blade nonetheless... and he doesn't even use it!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote h0n1g Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07/15/2017 at 3:37am
Updated with first playing impressions
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote h0n1g Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07/16/2017 at 3:37pm
Updated with 2nd session thoughts
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DreiZ Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07/17/2017 at 1:07am
h0n1g which handle did you get your VSU in? Also pictures of the blade are always appreciated here Smile

thanks!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote h0n1g Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07/17/2017 at 1:26am
I got an ST. There are very few FL handles I like so ST is my go-to.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote h0n1g Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07/25/2017 at 2:08am
I received my Tibhar CCA Unlimited today and there are indeed some minor differences, mainly the thickness of the blade. My VS-U measures 6.04mm and the CCA-U measures 5.92mm, so a difference of more than 0.1mm which is a little much to be an accident I'd say.

Just bouncing the ball, I'd venture the guess that the CCA-U is indeed a little slower than the VS-U, so the theory with the glue process might actually proof to be accurate. 

Update:
Frequency testing just confirmed this, 88g CCA-U clocking in at 1504 vs. VS-U, same weight, at 1550 - www.ttbla.de


Edited by h0n1g - 07/25/2017 at 2:17am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote h0n1g Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07/26/2017 at 11:13am
The CCA Unlimited plays a little softer than the VS-U. I would say the characteristics are largely the same but there is a difference between them. The CCA has a little more catapult than the VS and is overall a little more tame. Still a fast blade.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jonytdm Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07/26/2017 at 6:24pm
In terms of speed between cca unlimited and butterfly michael maze which is faster?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote h0n1g Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07/26/2017 at 10:33pm
I would say the CCA is faster but not by much. I think the CCA has significantly more control in passive play thou
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jonytdm Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07/29/2017 at 9:04pm
What wood make up the cca unlimited? Is it of firm or delicate wood?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote h0n1g Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07/29/2017 at 9:27pm
It's a limba outer ply, so a soft wood. The overall feel of the blade is medium to medium hard I'd say.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jonytdm Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07/30/2017 at 2:20pm
Central layer is ayous or kiri?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote SmileTT Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08/16/2017 at 9:01am
Any 3rd impressions yet, h0n1g?

Originally posted by jonytdm jonytdm wrote:

Central layer is ayous or kiri?

I would also like to know this.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote neon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08/16/2017 at 9:20am
Kiri. Beer
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