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BH-Man Nexy Spartacus Review

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    Posted: 09/07/2011 at 12:52pm
As for MyTT forum members, El Paso Table Tennis and I are the first to hold Nexy's new WMD - the Spartacus. WMD is an acronym for Weapon of Mass Destruction. I like to call a good blade a WMD, beacuse ONE - it has a ring to it and TWO with confidence, you can destroy a large number of opponents' games if the training/confidence/match play converge.
 
While this blade will never develop the secrecy, the required PPG to operate it, nor its nuetron splitting power, this is one heck of a good blade from Nexy -hands down.
 
My Test Model
 
Nexy Spartacus Straight Handle
 
Weight: 83 grams (WOW, that is so light for me, who craves blades tippin ght escale at over 90 grams+)
 
Balance: Very Nuetral with heavy rubbers and grip tape on handle
 
Thickness: 5.7mm
 
Composition: 7-Ply Hinoki/Ayous/Carbon/Mystery Core Wood/Carbon/Ayous/Hinoki
 
Sealing: Nexy was nice to coat it lightly for me (with water based sealant, I think)
 
Vibration: Much. (That is taken with grains of salt. I am lifetime user of TBS, a very stiff non-vbrating blade)
 
Overall Speed Class: Low end of OFF speed
 
Speed Linear Properties: Kinda slower than you expect on serves and pushing a slow ball. Kinda slower when you block by just holding the racket. Drives and loops have the speed you expect out of this speed class. Powerloops and counter smashing have good acceleration. Definately an upper gear, but it feels so different from stiff blade upper gear. You get feedback.
 
Blade Graphics: Nexy does something different with his scheme, font, composition, and effects. That is good by me. Handle looks neat with different color scheme on each side of handle, another difference.
 
Build Quality: The sample was one nice speciman for sure.
 
Packaging: None. What need of packaging is there when you are in Nexy HQ and the Nexy president gives you the blade in person? Guess you all get to see when you get your production models.
 
Stiffness: Flexy. Think flexy. Do flexy. BE the flexy. This blade flexes and vibrates, but not bad like some Stigas I tried.
 
Babe Factor: Depends on where you are at. In Korea, this is a new model and not so many have this blade yet, so it draws some interest.
 
Rubbers Used: FH Tenegy 05 Red 2.1  BH DHS Skyline II Neo Black 2.2  Combined weight felt right at or under 180 grams.
 
Hitting Properties: I am so used to the stiff OFF TBS blade, I feel like I cannot hit with a Stiga-like vibrating machine. Let's face it, this thing vibrates and it takes me some hitting to get used to it, just like the transition to Lissom when I tested it.
 
There is a distinct tone on drive to drive warm-ups that you have to hear to understand. When you crank up the swing speed, you really crank up the speed and SOUND. It sounds and almost feels like you are destroying the ball on fast swings with solid contact. Talk about the BANG Nexy describes - good grief this blade can BANG it with the best of them. This blade rewards BANG impact. You get Lissom-like grab and catapult + spin, but with a much faster result.
 
Serves, slow pushes, and blocks require a different touch. the ball does not come off the blade as fast or as long as the TBS or other fast/stiff blades. It took me a few days to start to get used to this. My first day was not a success one these strokes, but got and felt acceptable by day three.
 
Blocking at first is requiring a differnt hold and stroke than the TBS or stiff/fast blade. You are almost forced to use technique for active block or absorb energy block. That can be one interesting adjustment for players like me. By day three, I was way better and confident blocking using this blade. It seemed to channel me into using more agression or putting on the brakes for the blocks. That was trickier using TBS and the feel was different, bu I managed to adjust. This is a plus as you have some more options open to you when you can block in different ways.
 
Opening loops with T05 are what you expect and more. Spin is severe heavy with my kind of acceleration on opening shot. The kick is also severe. That kick and variations in spin and speed are very troublesome to opponents. It was very easy to open with either wing. It inspired confidence. By day two of using this setup, I was landing more loops in loop/block training with the coach than when I did using TBS. My TBS however, has an old sheet of T05.
 
Drives were not crisp like the TBS, the feel is entirely different, yet after a few days, they land well now. Fast drives are fast and smashes are fast enough, but not in the TBS/Amulart/Schlager Carbon range. The loud BANG is proof of your solid impact and you get used to and expect this impact throught the match. Still, this thing has control once you adapt.
 
Fast Looping is rewarding in sound of both the band and the sound of your new SGE rubber. You get a little more speed than you expect on your full swings, but the "Kick" is very pronounced and destructive to opponents if you have the racket speed at impact to spin the ball up heavily.
 
BH looping is a sweet strength. They land loaded with spin and control. You will get a lot of balls blocked out with your BH if you can accellerate the blade. Being able to open with heavy spin on BH is often a safer shot than trying to step around and finish, because if hte opponent can get a portion of hte racket on the ball, it can be blocked by you in no time and you are already out of the picture, unless you loop was a turtle. These shots are especially troublesome to my oppoents and set you up to finish the point in a number of ways, like another BH fast drive, or a FH shot to middle, BH line, or wide FH corner.
 
Flicking is fun and natural. I guess the light blade weight helps, but I already got by fine with extra heavy (over 200 gram) setups.
 
Counter looping is one of the best strengths. Speed is initially feeling a little less than you think, yet the actual speed is much faster and the kick is an asset here. Top gear of counter looping is encouraging and high percentage landing. The ball stays a little longer on blade than a stiff blade and T05 is already an embracing rubber already, so this combo spells double trouble for your opponent if you timed you shot well.
 
In the drill where coach is smashing balls alternating to each corner at a rate of 1.5 to 2 balls a second
you normally just do what it takes to keep it on the table. With Spartacus (and Lissom) I could counter the smash on FH and land it often in that drill. That was uber cool.
 
Who this blade is for: a wide variety of players who want spin/control/BANG in an lower range of OFF speed class who like a LIGHT blade that is very well balanced, looks and feels good, plus vibrates.
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote frogger Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/07/2011 at 1:01pm
I'm Sparticus! No I'm Sparticus, hell no I'm Sparticus! Ok go ahead and get your butt crucified, fine with me! LOL Nice review BH-MAN.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote metallikviper Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/07/2011 at 4:11pm
Thumbs Up Very detailed and precise review. Reading the review and looking at pics the mystery core layer seems to be either Balsa or Kiri.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote mjamja Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/07/2011 at 4:40pm
As to the core wood :
 
I heard it is from a special hybrid tree that Mr. Moon has been cross-breeding for 20 yrs or so just so he could have the perfect TT wood :)
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AllezCho Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/07/2011 at 4:55pm
Thanks for the review BH-Man! I really like your comparisons to TBS, since I'm a proud user of it myself. Anyone have a link to pictures?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote arg0 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/07/2011 at 5:48pm
So it's basically a faster Lissom? This sounds VERY interesting!
Any further comments on how it compares to Lissom?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote JimT Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/07/2011 at 9:50pm
Lissom is also the lower boundary of OFF, I'd say, or OFF- because the lines are always a bit blurred.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote arg0 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/08/2011 at 1:12am
I'd rather say my Lissom is between ALL+ and OFF-. It is about the speed of Violin. It may depend on weight, though, mine is 83g.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BH-Man Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/08/2011 at 9:11am
Originally posted by AllezCho AllezCho wrote:

Thanks for the review BH-Man! I really like your comparisons to TBS, since I'm a proud user of it myself. Anyone have a link to pictures?
Nexy has a lot of Spartacus pics in his "Blade Designer Diary" thread.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BH-Man Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/08/2011 at 9:23am
Originally posted by arg0 arg0 wrote:

So it's basically a faster Lissom? This sounds VERY interesting!
Any further comments on how it compares to Lissom?
 
One can say this blade has many similar strengths like Lissom. It holds the ball well, spins well, makes the bang impact rewarding, is excellent in counterlooping, soft blocking, active blocking, and flicking. Lissom had me wanting for more speed, as the overall speed felt in the low end of the OFF - class. This blade is easily faster, yet has many of the same properties. Lissom was (after you got used to it) a tad more controlable. Lissom kinda forced you into making a few connecting shots before dropping the hammer. This style of play can profit using Spartacus, but you can go on the attack stronger and earlier. I am one who wants to take charge of hte point early and end it if possible. Spartacus allows me to do more of that tha Lissom. However, lissom taught me the importance of being able to build pressure with spin, angle and placement before trying to finish. At that time, my game needed that kind of training, so Lissom has a good place too.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BH-Man Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/08/2011 at 9:26am
Originally posted by arg0 arg0 wrote:

I'd rather say my Lissom is between ALL+ and OFF-. It is about the speed of Violin. It may depend on weight, though, mine is 83g.
 
Sorry Jim, I would have to agree more with Arg0 on this matter. Lissom is low end of OFF - tops. I am still willing to meetup with you next time I visit Boston and play for some drinks. (Water or Gatorade form a vending machine)  :) I am not at all like I was a few years a go last time you saw me, but I would reckon that you have changed Ur game a lot as well. Your rating seems to be proof of that as well.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BH-Man Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/08/2011 at 9:31am
When you do a full stroke counter or smash, it sounds like you are destroying the ball. There is a pronounced BANG and crack sound. I don't know if it is coincidence or not, but I seem to be cracking a lot of tourney balls these past few days using the setup. I usually go through a ball every day or two. i have gone through 4 balls in the last 3 days.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote arg0 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/08/2011 at 6:38pm
Wow, if I got selected to test Spartacus, I should also order a box of balls from Nexy, together with the blade! Tongue

Edit: BTW, BH-Man, thanks for the great review!


Edited by arg0 - 09/08/2011 at 6:39pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BH-Man Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/08/2011 at 9:00pm
Where you are at, a Champion ball would draw good comments and interest, but in Korea, many clubs prefer Peace *** and growl at anything else :)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BH-Man Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/09/2011 at 11:11pm
After about a week of using Spartacus, I see that counterlooping from mid-distance and counterdrive from close to teh table are ever more destructive shots as I continue to operate this thing.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BH-Man Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/16/2011 at 12:05am

Been playing the best TT of my life lately using this setup, getting more accustomed to changing my game in a positive way, more control and a touch less power, but even more spin. Had a Boo-Boo yesterday playing a match vs ex-Korean national player Lee Jae-Chul. I tried to attack a ball I thought was barely half long (was barely short) and made a bad rip on my Fh sheet of T05. crap! That sheet waz barely a week old. Too bad it wasn't 999, that sheet prolly would have damaged the table instead of the other way around.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote harldhzx Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/23/2011 at 1:57am
Had a chance to play a match today with Spartacus during lunch break at the company. New sheets of Aurus on FH and Calibra on BH. Switched it shortly with Innerforce ALC

Short impressions:

Overall similar to Lissom, though I'd have to compare both directly to be more precise.
- lightweight
- some vibration
- kind of dry/brittle on ball contact
- good control, precise ball placement
- overall speed noticeably less then Innerforce ALC, control better
- 'eats' the ball well
- good for full power shots with some momentum behind (bang impact ... )
- unlike Innerforce, the blade does not give much forward momentum on its own
- serves were very spinny

During the matched I noticed that is was easy for me to keep the ball on the table with Spartacus on both passive and active strokes. Hope I get more to understand the blade better this evening.







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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote harldhzx Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/23/2011 at 11:47am
I played a few more matches today with the above setup. Two horrible losses against players much stronger than me and three easy wins against people similar or somewhat below my level.

I can only affirm that Spartacus is a faster, bit more stable version of Lissom. The most special thing about Spartacus is that it kind of takes the speed out of the incoming ball, sort of sucks it it, and then lets you use this energy for your return shot. Maybe this is due to the softer ayous layer below the Hinoki?

My passive game with Spartacus is much better than with Innerforce as the blade allows you to take speed out of the ball for passive strokes. On the other hand, exactly this aspect means that half hearted or medium force attack strokes are weaker and more easily blocked by the opponent. Also, the ball tends to end up in the net on such strokes.

I'll have to put a softer rubber on BH, as the current setup is somewhat unforgiving.

A big winner was the very strong spin on serves and pushes - I scored lots of points with only pushing and serving.

The blades kind of invites or forces you to use very explosive strokes during attack, as the speed is somewhat lacking otherwise. The good thing is, the blade feels very safe on power shots. I think my backhand is actually more effective with Spartacus than with Innerforce as I feel safer on explosive strokes. At full power, the blade is actually quite fast. Also, the blade has enough substance to let you counter more effectively than with Lissom - less balls into the net in reaction to fast no spin attacks.

Again, the blade had great control for just keeping the ball in play.

One thing I liked better with Innerforce was that it is better at borrowing the incoming force, so you can reshape and use it in your shot. With Spartacus you have to rely more on your own power.

Summing up, this is another very good blade by Nexy with lots of character. It is very contolled, but with a power reserve for heavy shots. I'll play it during the next weeks and then give a more detailed update.



Edited by harldhzx - 09/23/2011 at 11:48am
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