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Nittaku Factive Review

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    Posted: 11/07/2017 at 9:09am
I've wanted to give this a bash for a while, and it was on offer last week at TT11 so here we go.

Nittaku Factive - Red - Super thick (2.0mm)
Uncut weight - 60.69g
Cut weight (to 157x150) - 43.21g
Size - 169x169
Made in Germany






Nittaku give it a sponge rating of 45 degrees, and that feels about right, and they market it as "my first tension rubber".  Topsheet is fairly soft.  I'm not sure if this is classed as a tensor (the packet does say "spin and speed tension" like Fastarc P1) or if it falls into the non-tensor ESN bracket like DHS Goldarc 5.  The topsheet is matte and not like the semi-translucent effect on GA5,Musa,etc so that's a good sign IMO, but I'll have to wait and see when I give it a try.  The RRP is cheaper than the Fastarc range (4000 yen against 6000).  No obvious booster smell.

First Session

OK, so first session is in the can now.  I have some potentially interesting feelings about this rubber, but please take them with a pinch of salt for now until I've got more table time in.

Obviously, this thread has become somewhat wandering in terms of subject, but one crucial point to address about this rubber is where it sits relative to other ESN.  Slow and allround like Musa, fast and catapulty like MX-P, fast and linear like R47, and so on.  I hesitate to say tensor and non-tensor here because who can know for sure, and Nittaku have their own labeling system.  But anyway, it's faster than Musa by a clear margin so my opinion is that we can do away with that idea immediately.

The sponge is 45 degrees, it plays a touch softer than that but is clearly harder than, say, V42 or R42.  I can't be sure why it is, but Factive felt quite inert and non-responsive at low speeds in comparison to most recent rubbers I've used in this kind of class (Hype KR, Aurus Select come to mind).  Then there is good catapult through the middle and higher gears.  In that sense it felt a bit non-linear, but the top speed isn't as high as some of its peers either so it wasn't so tricky.

The spin was very impressive.  The relaxed low-gear feel allows you to really put some dig into slower shots (slow rolls, sharp pushes) without too much worry that the ball will go wild.  This gives a lot of latitude to vary shot selection and to adjust the arc.  It did feel a bit more sensitive to spin than my usual rubber, but the low catapult balances that out somewhat in the context of short game/receive.

Looping was very good - once you've got the topsheet and sponge under load it becomes a good performer for a variety of looping.  The arc is fairly high so lifting backspin is pretty easy, there is just enough catapult to assist when in loop-loop from slightly further back.  It didn't fare as well when counterhitting - a bit too slow and reactive to spin - and it's strength seemed more aimed at continuous looping/topspin.

Pithy comparison time - a slightly slower Aurus Select with lower catapult but better spin.  But my initial impression at the end of the session was that this could be a possible alternative to Baracuda.  I'll try to concentrate on that aspect of things in my next session because I think that's a sizable statement to make and I don't want to have to backtrack on it.

Second Session

It's a touch softer than Baracuda overall, but harder than Baracuda Big Slam, so Baracuda EL is what I'm going for.

My setup has got R47 on the other side and it's obvious that Factive is slower overall, but I wouldn't call it allround.  I think the impression of speed and how it behaves is the feature than keeps reminding me of Baracuda the most - it was always the ESN of it's generation that felt a touch slower than its peers.  Factive also shares some of Baracuda's sensitivity to spin.

During an open play session, I felt that Factive made some aspects of the game incredibly easy.  Attacking short serves with flicks and rolls was just brilliant - the high-ish throw, big grip, lower catapult all meant I could really apply pressure on the receive, and not resort to a predictable, inviting push.  Looping simple balls was also very cool, and picking up balls from below table height was excellent.  However, blocking heavy spin and passive service receives were tricky.  Hitting through high, spinny balls (dealing with slow loops) was also moderately tougher than the R47 (and my usual V42, or Hype KR).

I'm still very impressed by this rubber.  Sure, it's a touch slower than mainline 45 degree ESN rubber, but it isn't the big step down that Musa or Joola Zack were.  And the spin is really high.  And the price is good too.  The concern for others would be the reduced speed (I suppose most people would have it on a fairly fast blade), spin sensitivity in passive play, and no idea on durability yet.  But hopefully you can see where I'm coming from with the Baracuda references.


Edited by AndySmith - 11/13/2017 at 11:04am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote zeio Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11/07/2017 at 1:08pm
Goldarc 5 and 8 are considered Tensors, as described by DHS.

Quote 金弓5与金弓8的生产技术?
两种套胶结合了红双喜高弹粒子渗透技术和德套内能技术。
高弹粒子渗透技术,在橡胶特别是海绵中加入一种接近纳米级的高弹粒子,大幅减少海绵分子之间的能量内耗,从而将海绵吸收的能量充分释放。能大幅提高海绵弹性和支撑力,提高出球速度和底劲。
BIOS和TNESOR都是德国ESN的技术,分别用于金弓5和金弓8,BIOS是内能概念,类似红双喜NEO技术,TENSOR技术为新的内能工艺,动能、弹性、力量更强,套胶寿命更长。

(What is the production technology for the Goldarc 5 and 8?

Both rubbers have combined the DHS highly-elastic particle permeation technology and German built-in tension technology.

Highly-elastic particle permeation technology, is to put a type of nano-sized highly-elastic particles in the rubber, especially the sponge, to substantially reduce the energy loss between sponge molecules, which in turn comprehensively releases the energy stored in the sponge. This can greatly enhance the sponge elasticity and support, and increases shot speed and catapult.

BIOS and Tensor are the technologies of German ESN, which are used in Goldarc 5 and 8. BIOS is a concept of built-in tension similar to the DHS NEO technology. The Tensor technology is a new process of built-in tension, where the kinetic energy, elasticity, and power are greater, and rubber longevity is longer.)
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 AndySmith Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11/07/2017 at 1:52pm
Don't want to dwell on this too much, but "Bios" and "Tensor" are different and are not interchangeable.

Going off the packaging DHS use for these two rubbers:

Goldarc 5 is Bios, but not Tensor.
Goldarc 8 is both.

Goldarc 8 is the only one of the two with the Tensor logo on.  Of course, there could be a mistake on the packaging.  Or the above quote could have a slight mistake contained within, or something could be being lost in translation.

But regardless, GA5 is lots slower than most ESN rubbers and my opinion is that the packaging is correct.  IMO, the lack of "tensor" logo on GA5 and the presence of it on GA8 is meaningful, rather than a mistake or intentional misdirection.

edit - here is the quote from the same link, run through Google Translate:

Quote
BIOS and TNESOR are the German ESN technology, respectively, for the gold bow 5 and gold bow 8, BIOS is the concept of internal energy, similar to the Double Happiness NEO technology, TENSOR technology for the new internal energy technology, kinetic energy, flexibility, strength, Plastic longer life.

Note the use of "respectively", and how Tensor is referred to as a "new" technology, pointing towards it being an additional thing, separate from Bios.


Edited by AndySmith - 11/07/2017 at 1:56pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote zeio Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11/07/2017 at 4:32pm
From my own research, the omission of the Tensor logo does not necessarily mean the rubber is not a Tensor.

Upon its release, BIOS was never advertised alone, it always referred to the Tensor BIOS. ESN made a distinction between Tensor, Tensor 3G and Tensor BIOS. The same Tensor icon was used for the first two, for the third the BIOS icon was added. On the early Tensor dedicated site by ESN, BIOS and BOND were used alone in the menu header, yet both referred to Tensor BIOS and Tensor BOND, respectively. Check out the download section, the poster PDFs for Tensor BIOS all have their filenames referred by the word BIOS alone.

In the official Xiom 2010 catalog, here is how Tensor BOND was described:

Quote TENSOR BOND
ADHESIVES FOR TENSOR RUBBERS
TENSOR and TENSOR BIOS (including HYPER ELASTO) rubbers already have built-in
speed glue effect. They need specialized solution to keep their own characteristics.
The solution is TENSOR BOND. TENSOR BOND has two variations - water based
glue and adhesive sheet (PSA : pressure sensitive adhesive).


Some HYPER ELASTO rubbers miss both the Tensor and Tensor BIOS icons, yet Xiom chose to bunch it together with the Tensor and Tensor BIOS. This is how Xiom describes HYPER ELASTO:

https://www.xiom.tt/product/product_detail.php?id=660&cp=312
Quote Hyper Elasto is a new technology for future table tennis. This advanced technology is based on TENSOR...



MUSA III China has the BIOS logo but misses the Tensor logo, yet in the description provided:

Quote HYPER ELASTO GENERATION TENSOR TECHNOLOGY NO NEED FOR BOOSTER AND OTHER ILLEGAL SUBSTANCES HEALTHY BIOS TECHNOLOGY - NO TOXIC NO SMELL

MUSA III CHINA has the technological platform of HYPER ELASTO generation TENSOR...MUSA III CHINA already has the maximum internal tension put inside by TENSOR technology.


https://www.xiom.tt/product/product_detail.php?id=32&cp=313


Vega Pro has them all. This is why I don't like Xiom and what I hate about ESN as a whole. Very messy product lines and trademarks.



Edited by zeio - 11/07/2017 at 4:41pm
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 AndySmith Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11/07/2017 at 5:04pm
I agree with what you say - it is confusing.  The Tensor logo used to be more common, and then individual companies started to market it as their own thing, coming up with their own jargon to distinguish their rubbers from other companies (even though it was obvious to those with eyes that they were made in the same factory and were very similar).

Xiom Musa (the original) is another one worth looking at.  From TT11:

Quote This is the first XIOM rubber without in-build TENSION effect so this rubber is perfect for the traditionally and control Allround and Attack Strategy. 

And yet it has the Bios logo.

IMO, Vega Pro is a Tensor, Musa III China I can't be sure.  Ultimately, I go by the packaging and not the marketing jargon - it's more reliable.  Xiom are certainly hard to track sometimes, and their english language descriptions are often riddled with errors.  So maybe Xiom are wrong in their description, maybe not.  They aren't the most reliable of narrators, but their Musa line was started from the position of "non-tensor" but labelled as Bios, so there is that.

The lack of the Tensor logo doesn't mean that any specific rubber isn't a Tensor, sure, I totally agree with that.  But GA5 lacks it, GA8 has it, they were released at the same time from the same factory.  You can blame the general chaos of labeling if you want, but in the case of GA5 and GA8 (and based on the translated text from the link you supplied, which specifically states they are different things and they apply to the rubbers "respectively"), I'm going with GA8 is a Tensor, and GA5 is not.  GA5 is marketed is "all round", GA8 is not.  GA5 is much slower than most top-line ESN Tensors.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AndySmith Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11/07/2017 at 5:20pm
That said, I see where you are coming from.  We have "Tensor", and "Tensor Bios".  I take these terms to be two separate technologies - Tensor and Bios - and they are generally seen together in ESN rubbers (unless a company decides to rename the whole thing, making it near-impossible to work out what's going on).  Hence two logos.  Bios without the Tensor is a fairly recent thing, brought in when ESN started going after the "classic" market, hence one logo.

No idea about "Tensor Bond".  I thought that was just a glue?

edit - another one to think about - Joola Golden Tango.  It has the Tensor logo, but not the Bios.  Meaningful?  Maybe.


Edited by AndySmith - 11/07/2017 at 5:28pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote richrf Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11/07/2017 at 8:07pm
Originally posted by AndySmith AndySmith wrote:

That said, I see where you are coming from.  We have "Tensor", and "Tensor Bios".  I take these terms to be two separate technologies - Tensor and Bios - and they are generally seen together in ESN rubbers (unless a company decides to rename the whole thing, making it near-impossible to work out what's going on).  Hence two logos.  Bios without the Tensor is a fairly recent thing, brought in when ESN started going after the "classic" market, hence one logo.

No idea about "Tensor Bond".  I thought that was just a glue?

edit - another one to think about - Joola Golden Tango.  It has the Tensor logo, but not the Bios.  Meaningful?  Maybe.



Nothing like branding without meaning. Someone in ESN's marketing department has done a darn poor job.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote AndySmith Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11/07/2017 at 8:36pm
Originally posted by richrf richrf wrote:

Nothing like branding without meaning. Someone in ESN's marketing department has done a darn poor job.

In some ways, ESN created the rod for their own back by introducing logos and phrases without fully explaining the meaning behind them.  I'm sure they would cite trade secrets as the reason for that, and they aren't alone in taking this approach.  They all do it.

It's the individual reseller companies who create more confusion IMO.  Once the resellers removed ESN's standard logos and replaced them with their own jargon it became almost impossible to work out what was what.  Add to that the inconsistent descriptions applied when marketing them and it's just a soup.  I tend to rely more on my own experience, and I look to reliable reviewers to get a leg up in working out where a new rubber sits in the grand scheme of things.

Of course, some companies would probably want this confusion in order to make it difficult to compare products directly.  To create a distinction from a competitor, where not much of a distinction really exists.  Again, I'm not sure ESN are at fault here.  It's more of a natural consequence of them making similar products for many competing resellers.  We have a similar situation with Daiki too, but ESN are larger-scale and get more of the flak, deserving or no.

What I look for is internal consistency within each reseller's range.  So when DHS release GA5 and GA8 simultaneously, one with a Bios logo, and one with Tensor and Bios logos, I take that to mean one is a Tensor, and both are Bios, in my opinion.  Definitive?  No.  Most likely?  I think so, yes.

I would like to be able to compare all of ESN's products to each other, but why would they make that easy to do?  I'm sure Joola would have something to say if ESN produced a big list of all their products and revealed that (totally making this up now) that one of their €50 rubbers was 99% the same as a €35 Palio one.  I just don't think that it's going to happen.  You have to rely on each individual reseller providing solid information just to get an idea of where their own product lie in relation to each other, and not many do.  Nittaku are pretty good for this when it comes to their ESN stuff, Andro have recently improved a lot.  Joola don't bother much, Tibhar try to willfully deceive, and Xiom blind you with a torrent of buzzwords and nicely-designed flashy imagery.

We sometimes talk about ESN being a manufacturer in the same way that Butterfly is, but the whole strategic approach is different.  Xiom can come up with any old rubbish to describe each new range until the whole package is one enormous grid of logos and slogans, but that's probably Xiom's decision and not ESN's.  But if a company still chooses to use ESN's logos then I'll take it at face value for the time being and try to pin something meaningful to it.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote richrf Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11/07/2017 at 8:54pm
Quote But if a company still chooses to use ESN's logos then I'll take it at face value for the time being and try to pin something meaningful to it.


I agree with your comments Andy, but usually in this situation the manufacturer specifies contractually that their logo must appear on the packaging, to create branding, and the logo has very specific meaning. It creates value for the manufacturer. In this case, it is an utter, confused mess. Some of it purposeful but some of it has to be a huge blunder by ESN marketing management. Their logos literally mean nothing other than sort of identifying the manufacturer, maybe.

Edited by richrf - 11/07/2017 at 8:55pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AndySmith Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11/07/2017 at 9:46pm
Originally posted by richrf richrf wrote:

Quote But if a company still chooses to use ESN's logos then I'll take it at face value for the time being and try to pin something meaningful to it.


I agree with your comments Andy, but usually in this situation the manufacturer specifies contractually that their logo must appear on the packaging, to create branding, and the logo has very specific meaning. It creates value for the manufacturer. In this case, it is an utter, confused mess. Some of it purposeful but some of it has to be a huge blunder by ESN marketing management. Their logos literally mean nothing other than sort of identifying the manufacturer, maybe.

I can sort of squint and imagine what went on.  My guess is that one reseller decided that it would be beneficial to mask the origin of the product, making it harder to lump all ESN rubber together.  It escalates from there.  Not sure if ESN thought that was a good idea or they didn't want to lose the business, or whatever.  Maybe they even charge more to swap the standard logos out with custom, customer-specific ones?  If so, Xiom must be nearly bankrupt with all the logos they use.

The result is that ESN as a brand moves into the background and the reseller becomes more visible.  It's probably a conscious decision that they made, but who knows?  I talk to other players and many don't know that most of these rubbers come from the same factory.  Some swear blind that Xiom are made in Asia, MX-P in Japan, and so on.  Most just don't care, and maybe that's how ESN like it.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote zeio Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11/08/2017 at 3:34am
Originally posted by AndySmith AndySmith wrote:

I agree with what you say - it is confusing.  The Tensor logo used to be more common, and then individual companies started to market it as their own thing, coming up with their own jargon to distinguish their rubbers from other companies (even though it was obvious to those with eyes that they were made in the same factory and were very similar).

Xiom Musa (the original) is another one worth looking at.  From TT11:

Quote <span style="color: rgb51, 51, 51; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px;">This is the first XIOM rubber without in-build TENSION effect so this rubber is perfect for the traditionally and control Allround and Attack Strategy.</span><span style="color: rgb51, 51, 51; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px;"> </span><span style="font-size: 12px;">
</span>
<span style="font-size: 12px;">
</span>
<span style="font-size: 12px;">And yet it has the Bios logo.</span>

IMO, Vega Pro is a Tensor, Musa III China I can't be sure.  <span style="font-size: 12px;">Ultimately, I go by the packaging and not the marketing jargon - it's more reliable.  Xiom are certainly hard to track sometimes, and their english language descriptions are often riddled with errors.  So maybe Xiom are wrong in their description, maybe not.  They aren't the most reliable of narrators, but their Musa line was started from the position of "non-tensor" but labelled as Bios, so there is that.</span>

The lack of the Tensor logo doesn't mean that any specific rubber isn't a Tensor, sure, I totally agree with that.  But GA5 lacks it, GA8 has it, they were released at the same time from the same factory.  You can blame the general chaos of labeling if you want, but in the case of GA5 and GA8 (and based on the translated text from the link you supplied, which specifically states they are different things and they apply to the rubbers "respectively"), I'm going with GA8 is a Tensor, and GA5 is not.  GA5 is marketed is "all round", GA8 is not.  GA5 is much slower than most top-line ESN Tensors.

On the official site, the Tensor BIOS logos are listed below the picture for Musa.

https://www.xiom.tt/product/product_detail.php?id=29&cp=313

The back of the package from 2013 when it was first released reads exactly like the description on the site. No word on it being the first without built-in tension.

http://www.yoger.com.cn/product/141586.html


Vega Pro is definitely a Tensor. No doubt about it. Musa III misses both the Tensor and BIOS logos, yet the trademark Hyper Elasto alone means it is a Tensor, and the description says it comes with BIOS.

So which one do we go by? The logos? The synopsis?

Personally, I treat Hyper Elasto the same as Formula Donic - a trademark mess. Despite all that, is Formula Donic not Tensor?

As for Factive, it is listed under the same "Tension Series" category as the Fastarc series on the official site. Yet, G-1 is the only model that doesn't carry the "Spin+Speed TENSION" logo, but no one would deny that it is a Tensor, right?

For Goldarc 5 and 8, I treat it the same as the Xiom mess. In the official description, Goldarc 8 is said to be produced using Tensor technology but no word on BIOS at all, despite the logo on the package. Yet, BIOS is used to differentiate the Goldarc 5. What a mess.

Edited by zeio - 11/08/2017 at 4:06am
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 AndySmith Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11/08/2017 at 4:51am
Originally posted by zeio zeio wrote:

What a mess.

I can't argue with that at all.  I just try to make the best sense I can from it.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote zeio Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11/08/2017 at 5:37am
All right, I just came back from the Joola website. Mamma Mia. I feel like a cuckoo now. In the 2017 catalog, it dawned on me that only a handful of models come with the Tensor logo. None carry the BIOS logo.

Golden Tango
X-plode
X-plode Sensitive
Energy
Energy X-tra
CWX
Badman Reloaded
Express ultra
Tango Ultra

That's it for the Tensors.

Does that mean the more popular ones like the Max series and the Rhyzm series are not Tensors?

I have always been under the impression that they are.

My head hurts.

Edited by zeio - 11/08/2017 at 5:38am
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 AndySmith Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11/08/2017 at 6:27am
Originally posted by zeio zeio wrote:

All right, I just came back from the Joola website. Mamma Mia. I feel like a cuckoo now. In the 2017 catalog, it dawned on me that only a handful of models come with the Tensor logo. None carry the BIOS logo.

Golden Tango
X-plode
X-plode Sensitive
Energy
Energy X-tra
CWX
Badman Reloaded
Express ultra
Tango Ultra

That's it for the Tensors.

Does that mean the more popular ones like the Max series and the Rhyzm series are not Tensors?

I have always been under the impression that they are.

My head hurts.

If they have the Tensor logo, definitely Tensors.

Now, I'd always assumed that Joola had renamed "Bios" to "Green Power".  Big assumption of course, just based on....intuition I suppose.

And here is the next assumption - Joola rebadged "Tensor" as "Geo-blahblahblah", just as Tibhar did with SPI-gubbins, and Xiom did with Elasto-thingy.  But then they haven't used that in all cases of new rubbers, so they would be doing this selectively.

Sometimes it's pretty clear what's going on - I think GA5 and 8 is one of the better cases actually.  Then we can make some common sense assumptions by inference.  Joola MAXX is pretty similar (in material design) to MX-P, which is pretty similar to Bluefire M1, and so on backwards through history.  None have the Tensor logo - they all use their own jargon - but from our experience of how ESN operate and how the rubbers play we can reasonably (IMO) assume they are all Tensors.  It's not 100% and if someone produced some evidence that MAXX was made differently to MX-P and SPI was a renamed Tensor but Geo-blah wasn't then I could get behind that.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote zeio Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11/09/2017 at 3:16am
The connection between Green Power and BIOS is strong, given BIOS is about incorporating speedglue effect without the use of speedglue. Such a nice ring to it. I suppose Geo-grip Power is similar to Donic's Spin-elastic. As for the other ones, I'm clueless.

The issue I have with separating BIOS from Tensor is that, BIOS, as described on the tensor.de, was(not sure if that's still the case given what we have now) the next generation in the development of Tensor technology. They wrote Tensor was born in 1998, improved upon in 2005, presumably the Tensor 3G, then came the Tensor BIOS in 2006 with the impending glue ban, which was ultimately delayed to 2008. Under the BIOS page, they used the phrase "In developing Tensor BIOS".

Quote Produced since 1998

Tensor technology has existed since 1998. For the first year, only pimple-in rubbers were produced, but since then the range has been extended to include all other types of rubbers, since the Tensor effect can enhance the performance of both short and long pimples.

The goals of Tensor product development

● Robustness to resist bubbles and tears. The technology to achieve this was further improved in autumn 2005
● Product safety. Although it is usual for other manufacturers to use toluene in the process of gluing top sheet onto sponge, none has ever been used in Tensor products because it is suspected of harming the human genome. In 2006, the Tensor BIOS generation of products was launched, addressing the issues of health and safety even more clearly.
● Enhancing performance. Naturally, we will always be seeking to improve the performance delivered by Tensor technology. For most players, the Tensor BIOS generation of products represents a completely satisfactory alternative to speedgluing. But research will of course continue…


Andro has been very consistent with their use of the Tensor and BIOS trademarks over the years. I'm not aware of any "proprietary" trademarks. The only exceptions are the Plasma and Roxon series.

The Plasma series has both logos and the Roxon has neither logos on the package, and both topsheets carry the Tensor logo only. Yet, when the Plasma and the Roxon were released circa June 2006 and March 2007, respectively, the synopsis clearly stated they came with Tensor BIOS, with both logos. The current product pages for both also show both logos.

http://www.guoqiuhui.net/Home/Goods/details/goods_id/767


http://www.guoqiuhui.net/Home/Goods/details/goods_id/770


Edited by zeio - 11/09/2017 at 3:41am
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 AndySmith Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11/09/2017 at 6:15am
Originally posted by zeio zeio wrote:

The issue I have with separating BIOS from Tensor is that, BIOS, as described on the tensor.de, was(not sure if that's still the case given what we have now) the next generation in the development of Tensor technology. They wrote Tensor was born in 1998, improved upon in 2005, presumably the Tensor 3G, then came the Tensor BIOS in 2006 with the impending glue ban, which was ultimately delayed to 2008. Under the BIOS page, they used the phrase "In developing Tensor BIOS".

Look, as much as this is interesting for me personally, it's a big derailment of this thread (and of course I'm contributing to that).  So I'll try to make this the last one from me.  

The way I read the above, and most of what you've found so far, is that Tensor happened, then Tensor Bios.  So Tensor was Biosed - a Bios process was added to Tensor.  The marketing and renaming by Joola suggest that Bios is some kind of more eco-friendly process applied to the original Tensor design.  The way I've always imagined it is that these are two steps in a development process.  But regardless, there was Tensor, and then Tensor Bios.  There is a difference between the two things.  There are two logos, rather than one "Tensor Bios" logo.  My opinion is that this difference, whatever it is, can be applied independently of the original state.  So you can Bios a Tensor, or Bios a non-Tensor, whatever that might mean.  That guess is just based on how these things are labelled, marketed, discussed, and how they actually play when I try them out.  Bios, without the Tensor, is a new-ish thing (the last few years only) because ESN have only recently been producing a lot of "entry level" rubbers for all the various resellers.  ESN are unlikely to reveal anything interesting about the process, so we are only going to have educated guesses to go on.  But with it being a recent change in the way ESN rubbers are labelled up and described, I don't think looking back 11 years ago is as helpful as you might think.  "Tensor Bios" were always together because could have been the only type of rubber they made back then - both things together, both logos together.  It's easy to come up with possible explanations for this stuff if you try.

Of course, the logo, packaging and marketing situation is muddled, and it has been inconsistent obver the years in my eyes.  I can't see how either one of us will prove the other one "wrong".  But for a second, narrow your focus to GA5 and GA8.  Why would one have Tensor and Bios, and one Bios?  Why would the Tensor one behave like most of ESN's top-shelf products, and the other like their slower, allround offerings?  Why would DHS use the word "Respectively" when describing Tensor and Bios to GA8 and GA5?  Why would the back of the GA5 packet say this specifically...

Quote Double Happiness Gold Arc 5 - an inverted rubber that integrates the intensive pimple-structure and BIOS technology to provide stable control and excellent hand feel.

...mentioning Bios and not Tensor.  An effort has been made here to include Tensor in GA8 and to exclude it for GA5 in both use of logos and the written word.  I suppose it could be all a mistake, a very elaborate ruse, or a weird coincidence.  I don't think it is in this case, but that's just my opinion.

How it relates to Factive I can't say.  With Nittaku using their own naming approach and not subscribing to the use of the Tensor and Bios logos then I won't be able to say anything for sure, regardless of the way this discussion has progressed.  I'm more interested in where it sits when compared to the two ends of the recent ESN spectrum - the slower, allround stuff they've made recently versus the traditional high-catapult offerings.  Because that's important information worth discussing that might help people make decisions, especially considering how hard it is to to compare across resellers.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AndySmith Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11/09/2017 at 6:42am
Gah, I'm still going.  I just can't stop.

Xiom Musa I is specifically labelled differently to Xiom's generally-accepted Tensors.  Musa I is labelled "physi elasto", and stuff like Vega Pro is "hyper elasto".  Here is TT11 on Musa I:

Quote PHYSI ELASTO technology – innovated from the historied construction of classic rubber – made MUSA the new killing machine. Controls over service, service return and pre-attack rally are professionally accurate. Backhand attacks are far more comfortable to make and become magically flexible to manage. Winning probability of MUSA to a classic offensive player reaches higher than any other classic rubbers. Unforced error in your game reduces dramatically to stabilize your pace and to dominate the game eventually. MUSA has the innovative physical construction to generate more energy on the ball. Your power-charged ball makes the quality attack with sharp speed and heavy spins to open more winning opportunities. Be sensible to the real result and Win with us. This is the first XIOM rubber without in-build TENSION effect so this rubber is perfect for the traditionally and control Allround and Attack Strategy. The MUSA is the first rubber with the new PHYSI ELASTO technology: REVOLUTIONIZED CONTROL ON NEW TECHNICAL PLATFORM EASIER FOR BETTER–PROVED WINNING PROBABILITY ENERGIZED SPIN AND SPEED BY RE-ENGINEERED PRODUCTION

Musa I has the bios logo, and physi elasto.  Musa III, on the other hand, has hyper elasto and bios.  My reaction to all of this collectively is that hyper elasto strongly suggests "Tensor" and physi elasto suggests "something else".  But Xiom are essentially insane and I try not to read too much into what they say at their own end of things.  Their new website seems to throw the various logos around like salt bae throws salt.  Musa I on the website does have tensor and bios images under the picture, but looking at how the website is structured they only seem to have one image for Bios, and it includes both Tensor and Bios logos.  That could mean a variety of things, supporting either argument.

Musa II is described and labelled as physi elasto and bios, Musa III as hyper elasto and bios.  What I'm going to say is that I think Musa I and II aren't Tensors, but III is ("MUSA III, newly tuned from HYPER ELASTO,") but then the website has no tensor bios image under Xiom II or III.  Impossible to say anything for sure one way or another when Xiom are used as a witness.

And of course we now have "elasto futura" with Omega VII, along with all the other bits.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote richrf Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11/09/2017 at 8:24am
Andy, table tennis companies are marketing lightweights. They have no idea what branding is all about and the value it brings to customers and their own company. Branding is suppose to denote a promise of quality, consistency, and extraordinary customer service. In the ESN world it denotes confusion, which is detrimental to the sport but somewhat fun for ejing. Confusion is never supportive of growth which is why Butterfly dominates. Butterfly understands how to build a message and a customer base. When players buy Tenergy they know what they are buying. Who the heck knows what is Factive and no amount of reviews is going to clarify.

Edited by richrf - 11/09/2017 at 9:02am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AndySmith Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11/09/2017 at 9:00am
Originally posted by richrf richrf wrote:

Andy, table tennis companies are marketing lightweights. They have no idea what branding is all about and the value it brings to customers and their own company. Branding is suppose to denote a promise of quality, consistency, and extraordinary customer service. In the ESN worldit denotes confusion, which is detrimental to the sport but somewhat fun for ejing. Confusion is never supportive of growth which is why Butterfly dominates. Butterfly understands how to build a message and a customer base. When players buy Tenergy they know what they are buying. Who the heck knows what is Factive and no amount of reviews is going to clarify.

In terms of marketing, Comparing ESN to Butterfly is a false equivalence in many ways.  ESN aren't responsible for the majority of the end-user marketing of their products, and they take more of a back seat in recent years by allowing (or mandating, or whatever) the resellers to use their own iconography.  It would be more reasonable to compare, say, Andro, Nittaku, Stiga or Xiom to Butterfly in this regard.  There is no "ESN world" beyond what we discuss here as casual forum chat.  "ESN" doesn't seem to be a brand that particularly wants to be marketed to the general public, so why evaluate them on it?

I think some ESN resellers are better than others in trying to make their products more understandable.  Butterfly are excellent in this regard, and have themselves improved a lot recently IMO (their blade matrix is a big step forward IMO and far less misleading than previously).

I think it's fair to say that Butterfly's marketing is more cohesive and understandable than, say, Xiom.  But I think it's grossly unfair to blame the inability to compare across ESN resellers on ESN - that isn't their responsibility and I'm sure each individual reseller wouldn't want us to be able to directly compare in this way, regardless of how useful it would be to consumers.

Let's take Factive for example.  Nittaku have put a fairly good level of information out there about it, what it does, who it's aimed at.  They have a rubber matrix so you can position it within their own range, close-up pictures, reviews and reports by several levels of players.  Unfortunately they're a japanese company and are focused on their own internal market so most of this info isn't in English, so that sucks as international consumers.  But that's why reviews are a nice thing to have IMO.

Comparing Factive, a new rubber, to an established giant like Tenergy is pretty tenuous.  Tenergy has been around for a long time now.  A lot of info and data on it has built up over the years and we all have a good grasp on what it is, positives and negatives.  It would be better to compare Factive, or any new rubber, to how Tenergy was initially released, and in that sense I don't think Factive's marketing compares particularly badly.  In making the comparison you make, any new rubber would fare badly so why bother to release new rubbers?  You just sound apathetic towards it, which is fine, but that isn't Nittaku's fault.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote richrf Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11/09/2017 at 9:13am
Andy, I believe that table tennis manufacturers, will continue destroy their own branding because that is what they always do. Butterfly, with Tenergy, demonstrates consistency, clarity, and continuity.

I look at Factive and ask myself what the heck is it? The manufacturer, via its distributor, provides some sheets of rubber, which are no doubt of the highest quality, for review, and then comes the dozens more reviews all in conflict with each other. At the end it means nothing.

As a counter example, I thought Tibhar was doing an excellent job of developing branding around the Evol line of products, naming convention and all, until they released Aurus Prime and Select! Confusion again. ☺

Branding, consistency, continuity, builds customer confidence and loyalty, and Nittaku as with other vendors, just don't understand this. However, within Japanese table tennis clubs, where their equipment can be tried out and examined, I am sure they will continue to do well. G-1 is an excellent example of this type of word of mouth marketing. But one can only go so far by word of mouth.

Edited by richrf - 11/09/2017 at 9:15am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AndySmith Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11/09/2017 at 9:48am
Originally posted by richrf richrf wrote:

Andy, I believe that table tennis manufacturers, will continue destroy their own branding because that is what they always do. Butterfly, with Tenergy, demonstrates consistency, clarity, and continuity.

I look at Factive and ask myself what the heck is it? The manufacturer, via its distributor, provides some sheets of rubber, which are no doubt of the highest quality, for review, and then comes the dozens more reviews all in conflict with each other. At the end it means nothing.

As a counter example, I thought Tibhar was doing an excellent job of developing branding around the Evol line of products, naming convention and all, until they released Aurus Prime and Select! Confusion again. ☺

Branding, consistency, continuity, builds customer confidence and loyalty, and Nittaku as with other vendors, just don't understand this. However, within Japanese table tennis clubs, where their equipment can be tried out and examined, I am sure they will continue to do well. G-1 is an excellent example of this type of word of mouth marketing. But one can only go so far by word of mouth.

I think you're going out of your way to be confused.  Let me apply your argument to Butterfly.

Butterfly has Tenergy, does all the Tenergy variations, and over the years has built up a really great description of what each version is, does, who it's aimed at and so on.  And then it brings out Bryce Highspeed!  And Rozena!  Confusion all over the place.  Madness, mass hysteria, panic in the streets, will they ever learn?

Of course, Butterfly have done a good job of distinguishing between Tenergy and these two new rubbers (particularly with Rozena) by providing good marketing material to position them in their own range.  So I don't have a problem with this really, just playing devil's advocate.  And many other resellers bring out rubbers more often than Butterfly, and that can get tiring.  But everyone else does the same kind of thing to one degree or another, with varying success.

So, Tibhar did well with Evolution.  Aurus is a different range of rubber they sell, aimed at different players, with different properties.  They give different metrics for Aurus, and the marketing tries to make suggestions as to how to differentiate between them.  I don't find this confusing at all.  I'd like MORE information, sure, but that's just me - more stuff might be more confusing for the average consumer, I don't know.  And going back through their range we have Quantum, Q, Genius, Nimbus and so on.  There's a lot of history, and a lot of data, but confusion?  The info is there is you want it, and if you trust it.

If you look at Factive and ask what is it, I mean - can you be bothered to read about it?  Google it?  It's a rubber with supporting information.  At some point you have to put some effort in yourself, as a consumer.  Nittaku have built up a reputation as a brand, and supply good info on their products IMO.  The fastarc range is an excellent example of the very thing you're trying to criticize them for.  But they bring out something different, they explain that it's different, they put it in their rubber matrix and provide the numbers, and it's confusing?  By your reasoning, no one can bring out anything new without causing confusion.

I don't have any particular skin in this game by the way - I bought Factive with my own money because it was on offer, and I'm interested in the middle ground that ESN are working in at the moment between classics and "full fat" tensors.  But I don't have a particular love of Nittaku or anything.

I suppose the question is - what would you have done?  You're Nittaku, and you have an established range of rubbers (from different manufacturers).  You have fastarc, fyatt, alhelg and so on.  And you want to bring out a more control-orientated ESN rubber because that seems like a growth area and something to offer consumers.  So you go to ESN, you say "make this thing for me, here is the brief", they make it.  You bring it to market, supply the marketing, say specifically who it's aimed at, position it in your range relative to other rubbers.  This is where Nittaku are now, what they actually did.  What additional stuff would you have done to make it less confusing?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote richrf Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11/09/2017 at 11:17am
Hi Andy,

What I would do is build one great line of rubber and matching blades, and market the heck out of it, making sure there is plenty of consistency, continuity, and predictability. I thought Tibhar was on the right track with Evol but they sprung a leak. It's always the one big winning line that makes a company.

About two months ago, Baal suggested I just buy Tenergy. In retrospect, pretty good advice and that is where I'll probably end up, Tenergy on the Korbel (Japan).

Edited by richrf - 11/09/2017 at 11:18am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote AndySmith Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11/09/2017 at 11:49am
Originally posted by richrf richrf wrote:

Hi Andy,

What I would do is build one great line of rubber and matching blades, and market the heck out of it, making sure there is plenty of consistency, continuity, and predictability. I thought Tibhar was on the right track with Evol but they sprung a leak. It's always the one big winning line that makes a company.

About two months ago, Baal suggested I just buy Tenergy. In retrospect, pretty good advice and that is where I'll probably end up, Tenergy on the Korbel (Japan).

There's nothing wrong with Tenergy.  Apart from the things that are wrong with it, and so on.  Equally, you could just buy MX-P.  Butterfly are interesting in that they stuck with one product for absolutely ages and didn't mess with the formula too much.  This isn't the norm, and you could argue that you're not innovating if you do this - you're milking a cash cow.  Imagine BMW releasing a 3 series 10 years ago and never changing it, if you wanted a terrible, ham-fisted analogy.  Again, I don't actually believe this and I also believe that the ESN crowd release too many rubbers too often, but I'm just trying to offer a view from the other end of the scale.  I think the ideal is somewhere in the middle of this, but as a simple end-user I try to get on with things and cope by writing verbose TL,DR posts on forums.

Personally, I like the current ESN crop a bit more than Tenergy, or older-gen ESN rubbers, so I'm glad they keep pushing things forward.  I'm happy with where I ended up, so I wouldn't want a company like Andro to still be selling 6 Hexer rubbers and nothing else but sinking possible R&D money into player sponsorship instead.  But the trick is in your proposal - "build one great line" of things and market it.  That one great line of things is built on top of years and years of development and investment in previous products.  If they never happened because you wanted to freeze your product lines, you don't have your great product.  Butterfly are slow and methodical, ESN are like a frenzied mayfly in comparison.  One introduces change in big bangs, one makes slow incremental evolutionary steps.

As long as you buy something in the right general region to match the style you're looking to use, you're on the right track.  Don't over-think it - it's not so important.  Stay away from extremes to reduce risk of making a bad purchase.  Try things out on clunmate's bats.  If you're a two-winged highly aggressive looper with regular coaching then you have a huge range to choose from and MX-P, Rasant, Tenergy won't hold you back.  It's hard to make a bad decision if you pick from any of the major ranges.  Picking Tackiness C, or long pips, probably won't help that style.  If you're an allround, less mobile player who can't train often then huge spin sensitivity and catapult might work against you, so a less extreme rubber like Factive might be better, but it all depends.  If you chop or defend mostly then you need to look for different things again.  But messing around in the margins is just wasting time and money in all honesty.  
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote richrf Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11/09/2017 at 12:06pm
Thanks Andy for the advice!

With your BMW analogy, one can observe how it is possible to build a great brand, with continuity and consistency together with steady innovation, and thus build customer loyalty. It is a good model to follow. I think Butterfly was smart in introducing Rozena as a all-around rubber with continuity with Tenergy via the sponge rubber. Lower end with continuity.

Edited by richrf - 11/09/2017 at 12:13pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AndySmith Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11/10/2017 at 7:09am
I think people have such a glowing opinion of Butterfly that they can do no wrong, but I suppose that impression has been built up over many years for a reason.  

Rozena to Butterfly is almost a direct analog to Factive for Nittaku in how it's being marketed and targeted.  The only difference is that Butterfly has built up a brand around spring sponge, whereas Nittaku has "spin-speed tension".  Now fair enough, Butterfly has done a lot more to describe their sponge tech over the years and that does help with putting Rozena into a pigeon hole, but I don't feel that the difference in context here is so big.  Both companies have provided a lot of info about these rubbers.

Anyway, first report is up.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Crowsfeather Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11/10/2017 at 8:37am
New Nittaku rubber with purple sponge.
New Thibhar rubber with purple sponge.
Mizuno also came up with purple sponge.

There must be some plot behind this !!!!!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote NextLevel Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11/10/2017 at 9:01am
One of the world's greatest and sophisticated EJs having a forum chat with one of the most conservative and traditional equipment purchasers.  Fun to read.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BRS Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11/10/2017 at 9:50am
If Butterfly hasn't come up with something better than T05 then they are clearly happy to keep it as their flagship rubber, or milk it if you prefer. That's marketing by concentration. The other brands aren't better or worse at marketing, just using a strategy of differentiation across many more products.

From what I have seen the most common generic setup recommendation for a coached kid is tb alc with t05 or t64. Until that changes Butterfly occupies the high ground and the other companies are mostly fighting among themselves.
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Quote From what I have seen the most common generic setup recommendation for a coached kid is tb alc with t05 or t64. Until that changes Butterfly occupies the high ground and the other companies are mostly fighting among themselves.
- I don`t think MX-P and EL-P/EL-S are a worse option for a coached kid. It`s time for BTY to regain superiority.

About Factive - can we consider it as a "Fastarc P-2", a step down from P-1 in hardness and speed, but in the same series, like Bluefire M2 from M1?


Edited by GSOM_GSOM11 - 11/10/2017 at 11:39am
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Originally posted by BRS BRS wrote:

If Butterfly hasn't come up with something better than T05 then they are clearly happy to keep it as their flagship rubber, or milk it if you prefer. That's marketing by concentration. The other brands aren't better or worse at marketing, just using a strategy of differentiation across many more products.

I agree with this.  I think most of the discussion above was that the "strategy of differentiation" approach leads to more consumer confusion, which I partly agree with but don't agree that it's ESN's fault, and it varies from reseller to reseller.

Originally posted by BRS BRS wrote:

From what I have seen the most common generic setup recommendation for a coached kid is tb alc with t05 or t64. Until that changes Butterfly occupies the high ground and the other companies are mostly fighting among themselves.

Tenergy has become a vanilla default type of rubber range - a safe option for anyone starting out their development along a generic topspin attacking path.  Butterfly got to that high ground in the early days of Tenergy when it brought a clear advantage after the glue ban.  Now that advantage doesn't exist in performance terms (IMO only, I know not everyone will agree), but the general perception is that it's the best in some objective way - most used by pros, most expensive, most popular, etc.  But since Tenergy broke the mold to some degree on release, Butterfly have vastly pumped the price and rigged territorial control.

I can't see how other companies can break the mindset of "BTY=Best because BTY=Best", but some are improving in recent years (Nittaku, Andro, Stiga have done well IMO).  Butterfly are without doubt the market leader and overhauling them just won't happen overnight, if ever.

Originally posted by GSOM_GSOM11 GSOM_GSOM11 wrote:

Quote From what I have seen the most common generic setup recommendation for a coached kid is tb alc with t05 or t64. Until that changes Butterfly occupies the high ground and the other companies are mostly fighting among themselves.
- I don`t think MX-P and EL-P/EL-S are a worse option for a coached kid. It`s time for BTY to regain superiority.

Totally, but how do you change the mindset of the people making these decisions?  It's a long road, but Tibhar have done well with their player sponsorship recently.

Originally posted by GSOM_GSOM11 GSOM_GSOM11 wrote:

About Factive - can we consider it as a "Fastarc P-2", a step down from P-1 in hardness and speed, but in the same series, like Bluefire M2 from M1?

Honestly, I'm not sure.  I don't think it fits into the Fastarc line at all in terms of materials - the topsheet doesn't look like anything I've seen before, that I can remember anyway.  So not like M2/M1 because they were similar apart from sponge hardness.  But certainly a step down in hardness and speed on Fastarc P1, although not as big step as I had anticipated and - crucially - the spin is pretty much just as good.
This was a great signature until I realised it was overrated.
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