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OSP Ultimate Test

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Matt Pimple View Drop Down
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    Posted: 05/08/2018 at 5:51pm
OSP Ultimate Review

About the reviewer:
My USATT rating is currently around 1800. My strength is my forehand with which I score the majority of my points mainly through looping; I play close to the table with blocking and looping. I play with frictionless anti on backhand, mainly for returning serve and blocking topspin loops but recently also more with attacking shots.

Setup:
I played the Ultimate with DHS Hurricane 3 Neo 2.15mm provincial orange and blue sponge (both 39deg and black) on forehand and with Dr. Neubauer frictionless anti Rhino+ (red and 1.8mm) on backhand. The handle is straight, and weight is 93g with 5.95mm thickness as given by OSP card included with the blade. I confirmed the weight with my own balance at home as well.
I used rubber cement (Elmer’s brand) and applied 2 layers each on the blade and on the sponge, allow each layer to completely dry, lightly press the rubber onto the blade and then let it sit for a couple of hours with 3 heavy textbooks on top.
The setup was tested with 3 different kind of balls: XuShaoFa (seamless plastic), Nittaku premium (ABS) and Nittaku J-Top (practice balls).

Introduction:
The OSP Ultimate is a 7-ply Off blade with a Limba-Ayous-Ayous-Ayous-Ayous-Ayous-Limba construction and is aimed a resembling an old Stiga Clipper blade though I do not know how close it might come to that as I have never played with an old Clipper blade myself.

Appearance:
The Ultimate blade is absolutely in the top echelon in terms of quality of the materials and craftsmanship and falls in the same category or even better as other high-end blades from Butterfly or Nittaku. In particular the limba outer plies have a very nice look and grain giving it an appearance of luxury. All the edges and the handle are very smooth, so no further sanding was needed. The logo is set perfectly into the handle and the blade exudes perfect craftmanship overall. This is probably the finest blade I have ever owned though I have not owned a Nittaku blade from the instrument series, but I have owned some high-end Butterfly carbon blades.

Weight
The Ultimate used for this review was 93g as mentioned above which seems to fall in the normal weight range for this blade. I might be interested in testing a little lighter Ultimate (86-88g) at some point as well, however the setup feels completely balanced and not of any kind at all. Actually, I was a little bit worried initially because I usually prefer my blades a little bit lighter but was very pleasantly surprised when I tried it first that the paddle did not feel heavy at all. I have not experience this before with other heavier blades I had tried.

Feel/Touch
I would describe the touch of the Ultimate as medium-soft and definitely softer than the Dr. Neubauer Matador but what I really like about this blade is that it feels very solid and not hollow like some other all-wood blades sometimes do. The blade has some vibrations you feel in the palm of your hand which are not disturbing in any way but give an absolutely clear feedback and feel of the ball unlike anything I have seen before with any other blade.
The Hurricane 3 with the orange sponge (39º) felt absolutely perfect in terms of hardness on the Ultimate whereas the blue sponge Hurricane 3 (also 39º) felt too soft for my liking. I also really like the hardness of the new Rhino+ anti which is a little bit harder than the older Rhino and felt maybe a tad to hard on the Matador blade. I probably wouldn’t recommend playing an anti with a really soft sponge on the Ultimate though I did not test this myself and I generally prefer the harder sponged Dr. Neubauer antis.

Flex
The Ultimate is quite stiff as you would expect from a 7-ply blade similar to a newer Stiga Clipper I had tested and probably also slightly stiffer than the Dr. Neubauer Matador which was my main blade before the Ultimate and has a similar thickness. Indeed, it has a similar stiffness as some of the carbon blades I played before like Viscaria Light, Schlager Light or YinHe VIS-A Pro without the hard and dead feel of carbon. The Ultimate is not for those who like flexy 5-ply blades of the same thickness.

Speed
I would rate the Ultimate as a solid Off blade faster than the Dr. Neubauer Matador I was previously using and in the same speed category as for example Viscaria Light or Schlager Light; I found the speed very good for the use with the new plastic and ABS balls. However, the Ultimate really shines in the gears it provides for example in comparison to the hard Matador with similar construction and thickness. It is slower on touch shots and serves and provides 1 or 2 more top gears on high speed shots with full use of body. I wouldn’t call the Ultimate bouncy, but it does provide more catapult effect than the Matador.
Despite its Off speed I have no problems dropping balls short with the anti on my backhand.

Control
I have never played or tested a blade before in the Off category with this much control as the Ultimate and I was absolutely amazed by the feel and control this blade provides. I wasn’t really sure what to expect initially and I had read quite a bit about various OSP blades, but I was absolutely blown away by how the Ultimate plays. I have never experience this with any other blade before. Absolutely amazing!

Dwell/Spin
Dwell is very high on the Ultimate and you can really feel the ball “sticking” to the blade on impact therefore it allows to produce high spin on loops but also on slower, lower impact shots like serve and push. I really felt that when focusing on good technique my loops were really loaded with spin and I did notice some practice partners having problems with the blocks more than they used to have.

Throw Angle
I would call the throw angle of the Ultimate on loops with the Hurricane rubber as medium and I did not have to adjust to it much at all and could pretty much right away loop with the same technique and bat angle as before. However, on blocking with the Rhino+ anti the throw angle was very low forcing me to dump a lot of shots into the net initially, which you can also see in the video. I needed a bit of bat angle adjustment here but after I had this figured out blocks were actually more dangerous as they bounced lower and seemed to trouble opponents more.

Looping
Looping is a pleasure with the Ultimate because it’s so stable and solid and can you feel the ball on the blade and then coming off. The control is very good here on fast loop as well as slow spinny loops. The dynamic and speed the Ultimate develops on fast loops with body use is similar to Off carbon blades but with better spin in my opinion. The looping performance is another outstanding feature of the Ultimate and my looping has become more consistent with higher top end speed.

Blocking
THE highlight for me both with the Hurricane and the anti. The blade feels very solid and stable when blocking and in particular my forehand block has never been that good. This is probably the biggest impact the Ultimate had for my game and it was also the point one of my standard practice buddies made.
Smashing was another highlight with the Ultimate and it is something I usually don’t really do much, however because of the stiffness and stability of the blade it works very well.

Play with anti
I have only tested the Ultimate with Dr. Neubauer Rhino+ but that is my favorite anti at this point anyway. The blade worked exceptionally well in combination with the hard sponge slick anti and gave very good spin reversal which can be attributed to the stiffness of the blade. After I got used to the rather low bounce with anti on the Ultimate, I felt that my blocking became more disruptive as blocks stayed lower over the net and with the good feel of the blade I was able to block very short as well. I have recently started to work more on attacking with my anti and it is easier to do that with the Ultimate compared to the Matador as the ball seems to stay on the blade a little longer.

Conclusions
The OSP Ultimate is an excellent 7-ply all-wood Off blade with great craftsmanship and an out of this world ball feeling. It works great for looping, blocking and smashing without having to compromise on short game and serving. In addition to this it also works great with anti in terms of spin reversal, control on blocking and attacking.
I would recommend the Ultimate to any double winged looper or loop-drive player who is looking for outstanding ball feel, stability and speed combined with good control. Players coming from a carbon blade looking for more feel will really like this blade as well as players coming from a 5-ply all wood blade looking for an upgrade in speed and blocking capability. Interestingly the Ultimate work extremely will with the Dr. Neubauer anti I am using, and it can therefore also be used a combination blade with anti and I can see it working very well with short or medium pips for an aggressive blocking and counter game.

OSP Ultimate Test - session 1
OSP Ultimate Test - Session 2

Edited by Matt Pimple - 05/09/2018 at 11:43am
OSP Ultimate ST; DHS H3 Neo 2.1, Dr. Neubauer ABS 2.1

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote icontek Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05/08/2018 at 11:30pm
This is a phenomenal review! It has excellent detail.

After owning several, (V, V+, U2) I have noticed that OSP blades tend to have the control of an all wood blade that is a half tick slower. 


US1260.RC952 . OSP Ultimate II : Stiga Genesis M + Rasant
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote fatt Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05/09/2018 at 12:40am
What a great review! I have vivid memories from the Ultimate and lately I tried the hinoki ghost from BBC. From what I remember I find a lot of common points between the 2 blades despite one is a 5-ply and the other 7. The Hinoki Ghost has thick plies and that makes it closer to a 7-ply. I would be curious about what you think about the Hinoki Ghost. They feel about the same when hitting through or looping.
Yes, the Ultimate is a looping and blocking monster as well and it's butter soft, it feels like it's easy to do stuff with it, very forgivable in all aspects. It's one of those blades I should never have let go but I wanted to try something else.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Matt Pimple Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05/09/2018 at 12:49am
Thanks fatt and icontek!
Yes the control is indeed amazing. I get the high end power of a carbon blade with great touch and feel of an all wood blade without the dead feel of the carbon.
fatt, I never tried the BBC ghost but you made me interested now. What is the thickness? I don't really like it thicker than 6mm.

Edited by Matt Pimple - 05/09/2018 at 12:49am
OSP Ultimate ST; DHS H3 Neo 2.1, Dr. Neubauer ABS 2.1

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote piligrim Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05/09/2018 at 8:48am
maybe you want to edit your title
Choo-Lei
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote fatt Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05/09/2018 at 9:22am
Double post sorry

Edited by fatt - 05/09/2018 at 9:25am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote fatt Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05/09/2018 at 9:24am
Originally posted by piligrim piligrim wrote:

maybe you want to edit your title
OoPS :)

What does DNA stand for? National Dyslexic Association.

Edited by fatt - 05/09/2018 at 9:25am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Matt Pimple Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05/09/2018 at 9:39am
Originally posted by piligrim piligrim wrote:

maybe you want to edit your title

Thanks piligrim...just changed.
OSP Ultimate ST; DHS H3 Neo 2.1, Dr. Neubauer ABS 2.1

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote GMan4911 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05/09/2018 at 11:18am
Nice review!  I have the Ultimate II, which, according to OSP, is a hair faster with a hair more dwell time.  It really is a sweet blade.  The control and ability to generate spin is getting me to focus more on generating spin and placement to open a rally.  Going to have to break a few habits though but it's looking promising.  
OSP Ultimate II, Xiom Omega VII Asia/Omega VII Asia
OSP Virtuoso+, Butterfly Tenergy 80/Tenergy 80
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Matt Pimple Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05/09/2018 at 11:50am
Originally posted by GMan4911 GMan4911 wrote:

Nice review!  I have the Ultimate II, which, according to OSP, is a hair faster with a hair more dwell time.

Thanks GMan! Did you ever try the Ultimate and can compare it to the new Ultimate II?
OSP Ultimate ST; DHS H3 Neo 2.1, Dr. Neubauer ABS 2.1

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote GMan4911 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05/09/2018 at 12:14pm
Originally posted by Matt Pimple Matt Pimple wrote:

Originally posted by GMan4911 GMan4911 wrote:

Nice review!  I have the Ultimate II, which, according to OSP, is a hair faster with a hair more dwell time.

Thanks GMan! Did you ever try the Ultimate and can compare it to the new Ultimate II?

No, I did not try the Ultimate because the specs were too close to the Virtuoso+ and I feared there wouldn't be enough of a difference to warrant the change.
OSP Ultimate II, Xiom Omega VII Asia/Omega VII Asia
OSP Virtuoso+, Butterfly Tenergy 80/Tenergy 80
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote flatstyk Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05/11/2018 at 11:07am
My c-pen Ultimate is crisper than my c-pen Ultimate II.  The Ultimate II is a better looper, but I enjoy the added punch of regular ultimate for my style.
OSP Ultimate C-pen

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Matt Pimple Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05/11/2018 at 11:50am
Originally posted by flatstyk flatstyk wrote:

My c-pen Ultimate is crisper than my c-pen Ultimate II.  The Ultimate II is a better looper, but I enjoy the added punch of regular ultimate for my style.

Thanks for the comparison. It sounds like I should stick with regular Ultimate as well.
OSP Ultimate ST; DHS H3 Neo 2.1, Dr. Neubauer ABS 2.1

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote NoFootwork Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05/11/2018 at 7:12pm

Matt,

I find the Dr. Neubauer Hercules to be an excellent looping blade as long as you are relatively close to the table.  It also has very good touch for short game.  Can you compare Ultimate to Hercules.

 

Does OSP even sell the Ultimate.  I thought it was replaced by Ultimate II.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Matt Pimple Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05/12/2018 at 1:18am
NoFootwork, the Hercules is slower like All+-Off- vs. solid Off for the Ultimate. Also the Hercules feels harder (though it does have Hinoki outer plies) and also a little stiffer due to the carbon. It has a lot less feel and feels more dead. With the Ultimate I feels that the blade "grabs" the ball better whereas with the Hercules the ball has less dwell resulting in less spin on loops but better reversal with frictionless anti.
I'm not sure if they still sell the Ultimate but you can always have it custom made.
OSP Ultimate ST; DHS H3 Neo 2.1, Dr. Neubauer ABS 2.1

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote NoFootwork Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05/13/2018 at 12:29pm
Originally posted by Matt Pimple Matt Pimple wrote:

NoFootwork, the Hercules is slower like All+-Off- vs. solid Off for the Ultimate. Also the Hercules feels harder (though it does have Hinoki outer plies) and also a little stiffer due to the carbon. It has a lot less feel and feels more dead. With the Ultimate I feels that the blade "grabs" the ball better whereas with the Hercules the ball has less dwell resulting in less spin on loops but better reversal with frictionless anti.
I'm not sure if they still sell the Ultimate but you can always have it custom made.
Thanks for the feedback.  In your opinion which offers better overall control, Ultimate or Hercules.  By control I mean dropping the ball short or more precise placement of blocks since the Ultimate is a faster blade.  I play with OX LP on BH and chop block.  I know you play with anti.  Any thoughts how Ultimate will work with OX LP?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Matt Pimple Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05/15/2018 at 4:33pm
Originally posted by NoFootwork NoFootwork wrote:

In your opinion which offers better overall control, Ultimate or Hercules.  By control I mean dropping the ball short or more precise placement of blocks since the Ultimate is a faster blade.  I play with OX LP on BH and chop block.  I know you play with anti.  Any thoughts how Ultimate will work with OX LP?

The two blades are quite different in my opinion (carbon vs. all-wood) but if I played LP ox I would probably pick the Hercules because it is slower so blocking and dropping the ball short will be easier. With anti you have the sponge that helps you to break in the ball. A friend tested the Ultimate with LN ox and commented that disruptive effect and reversal were very high but too fast to drop short.
For forehand I personally prefer the Ultimate over the Hercules by a wide margin so your decision may also depend somewhat on how much of the table to cover with your bh.

Edited by Matt Pimple - 05/15/2018 at 4:34pm
OSP Ultimate ST; DHS H3 Neo 2.1, Dr. Neubauer ABS 2.1

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote NoFootwork Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05/20/2018 at 12:20pm
Originally posted by Matt Pimple Matt Pimple wrote:

Originally posted by NoFootwork NoFootwork wrote:

In your opinion which offers better overall control, Ultimate or Hercules.  By control I mean dropping the ball short or more precise placement of blocks since the Ultimate is a faster blade.  I play with OX LP on BH and chop block.  I know you play with anti.  Any thoughts how Ultimate will work with OX LP?

The two blades are quite different in my opinion (carbon vs. all-wood) but if I played LP ox I would probably pick the Hercules because it is slower so blocking and dropping the ball short will be easier. With anti you have the sponge that helps you to break in the ball. A friend tested the Ultimate with LN ox and commented that disruptive effect and reversal were very high but too fast to drop short.
For forehand I personally prefer the Ultimate over the Hercules by a wide margin so your decision may also depend somewhat on how much of the table to cover with your bh.
Prior to Hercules, I have played with OFF blades and did pretty well handling that speed of blade.  I have played with carbon blades for a long time and am wondering if the switch to an all wood blade is too much of a change.

Maybe the OSP carbon version of the Ultimate, the Ultimate 3CRW UNI OFF blade might be better for me?  I am looking for a good looping blade that will work well with OX long pips and I'm not sure which would be a better fit for me based the blade specifications of the Ultimate II or the 3CRW.

For example, the 3CRW has lower rating for spin, arc and dwell compared to Ultimate II.  Does that mean the Ultimate II is the better looping blade?

The 3CRW has much higher stiffness rating and lower arc rating.  Does that make it a better blade for chop blocking with long pips, giving better spin reversal (spin continuation) and keeping such balls lower?

Since the blade ratings are from the same manufacturer, I'm assuming they have some meaning relative to each other as applied to these blades.

I haven't found any reviews on the 3CRW other than 1 write-up by Ben Lancombe (sp?) that is a few years old.

I emailed my questions to OSP at their sales@tabletennis-pingpong.equipment email address but have not received any response despite a reminder.  Is there some other contact email?  So far, I'm not impressed by their customer (OK potentially future customer) service.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Matt Pimple Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05/21/2018 at 2:26pm
@NoFootwork: I can't comment on the OSP carbon blades but I seem to remember a few reports in the OSP blade thread. I personally went away from carbon blades to all wood for better looping and more feel and control.
OSP Ultimate ST; DHS H3 Neo 2.1, Dr. Neubauer ABS 2.1

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