Alex Table Tennis - MyTableTennis.NET Homepage
  New Posts New Posts RSS Feed - Xiom Ice Cream AZX Review
  FAQ FAQ  Forum Search   Events   Register Register  Login Login

Xiom Ice Cream AZX Review

 Post Reply Post Reply
Author
AndySmith View Drop Down
Premier Member
Premier Member
Avatar

Joined: 11/12/2008
Location: United Kingdom
Status: Offline
Points: 4316
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote AndySmith Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Xiom Ice Cream AZX Review
    Posted: 02/15/2019 at 6:43am
Had the pleasure of testing out the Xiom Ice Cream AZX over the last few weeks!  After extraction from the trapezoidal prism box, here are the basic stats:

Thickness - 5.7mm
Weight - 87g
Headsize - 157x150
Structure - Koto-ALC-Limba-Kiri-Limba-ZLC-Koto











Visuals

The build quality is super-high - nice finishing on the fiber layer, no blemishes anywhere I can see.  The handle is wide, but fairly flat - it feels very comfortable to me, but it isn't as beefy as some bigly yuge euro handles.  I'm happy to say that the wings are different to recent Xiom blades (e.g. Vega Pro) and the overall feel in the hand is excellent.  Everyone's grip is different of course, so this is a very personal thing, but I'm glad Xiom have made this change.

Testing

I've put 9 sessions in with the AZX before finishing this review, 3 sessions each with 3 different setups.  Initially I went with my current rubbers (QiJi, Moon Speed Special) to give a direct comparison to what I've been using recently.  Then I switched to Rasanter R47 Ultramax on both sides in an effort to bring out the hybrid nature of the blade with a rubber I'm familiar with, and finally to Omega VII Pro on both sides.

Basic Speed and Drives

From initial reviews, I was concerned about the speed and if it would be too much to handle.  Well, it's fast, but not insane.  I'd put it slightly above a Viscaria, but noticeably below a MJ-ZLC.

The feel on basic drives is pretty sharp, but I've used harder Boll ALCs so it's not excessive.  The ALC side feels a bit more "distant" than the ZLC - not hollow, but more of a "dry" feel for want of a better word.  I didn't really notice a big difference in speed between the two wings here.

It's also pretty linear and easy to use, if you accept that the speed is generally high all the time.

Looping

When using more expansive strokes, you notice the big potential for power from the blade.  Although there isn't excessive flex, it's simply fast.  I found slow loops to be a little awkward because the blade just wants to go faster, deeper, more more and so on.  It's very good from distance - you can play some massive strokes from 2m back, and the pace and spin result in some incredible bombs.

Looping is the time when the difference between the ALC and ZLC becomes really noticeable.  The ALC side produces a meaningfully high arc in comparison with the ZLC.  I was skeptical about this, but I have to admit that it appears to be a real feature of the blade.  When looping hard, I can really load up the spin on the ALC side, but the ZLC goes much flatter and gives the impression of being faster (simply because it's a more direct path to the table).

Blocking, Flicks, Short Game

I found the blade to be medium stiff overall, which helps a lot when blocking.  Add this to the sharpness of the initial feel and it works very well when blocking, if you can cope with the pace.

BH flicks are good - fast enough (obviously), direct, and the ZLC's lower-arc nature helps to keep the ball low when putting some zip on a short service return.

Short game was hard for me.  It's a bouncy blade, and with hard eurojap rubber it's a handful for my level.  I popped a lot of pushes and service returns up, especially with the R47.  I'm used to more forgiving blades and would need to make adjustments.

Overall

This is a well-made blade, with a premium feel.  It's fast and capable of very destructive play, without being uncontrollably quick.  I feel that it suits a highly-mobile, dynamic player who attacks from mid distance and has great footwork and mobility.  This doesn't describe me of course - but I can picture it being a real weapon for lots of younger/faster/better players.

The "hybrid" construction is interesting, and while I was initially skeptical it does have a noticeable effect on play.  And it's also a bit different to other combination blades I've used in the past, and worthy of a bit of time to describe here I think.  Previously, I've used Sanwei Two-Face, Valiant Terminator, and custom builds by Levi, tt-manufaktur and Ross Leidy but all of these used different outer plies to create the combination effect (the Valiant stands alone here in having ALC/ZLC as well as an outer ply difference).  This approach does the trick, but introduces a marked difference in feel/speed between the two wings.  This may be what you're looking for of course, but adapting to this imbalance takes time - the contrast between the FH and BH isn't intuitive by definition.  The AZX is different here, because the basic properties of the blade feel very similar - feel, speed and so on.  You just get a higher arc with the ALC side.  It seems to have a singular aim - support the common need of the standard, modern two-winged loop player by having a dynamic, high arc on the FH side and a more direct, lower arc on BH - while introducing a minimum of disruption to the overall balance of the blade.  I presume this is what Xiom are hinting at with their notes on blade balance and being the first hybrid of this type.  If so, I think it's a success!  I haven't used anything quite like it before, and it's a fascinating approach.
This was a great signature until I realised it was overrated.
Back to Top
ashishsharmaait View Drop Down
Silver Member
Silver Member


Joined: 02/27/2013
Location: India
Status: Offline
Points: 720
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ashishsharmaait Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02/16/2019 at 11:54am
How is the balance in hand? Is it head heavy? Do you reckon it will be head heavy with T05 and T80 on FH/BH?
Back to Top
FruitLoop View Drop Down
Super Member
Super Member


Joined: 09/20/2018
Location: Europe
Status: Offline
Points: 359
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote FruitLoop Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02/16/2019 at 7:03pm
By any chance could you do a bounce test on both sides? Id be very curious about the results.
Back to Top
AndySmith View Drop Down
Premier Member
Premier Member
Avatar

Joined: 11/12/2008
Location: United Kingdom
Status: Offline
Points: 4316
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AndySmith Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02/17/2019 at 5:03am
Originally posted by ashishsharmaait ashishsharmaait wrote:

How is the balance in hand? Is it head heavy? Do you reckon it will be head heavy with T05 and T80 on FH/BH?

The balance is slightly towards the head, but not extreme.  It feels very well balanced with two sheets of O7P Max on there (which is what I've got at the moment).  T05 is a bit heavier but I'd still expect it to only be slightly head-heavy.  Depends how sensitive you are to that I guess.

Originally posted by FruitLoop FruitLoop wrote:

By any chance could you do a bounce test on both sides? Id be very curious about the results.

ALC - 1614Hz
ZLC - 1571Hz

I need to get into the habit of doing that straight away!
This was a great signature until I realised it was overrated.
Back to Top
FruitLoop View Drop Down
Super Member
Super Member


Joined: 09/20/2018
Location: Europe
Status: Offline
Points: 359
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote FruitLoop Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02/17/2019 at 1:28pm
Interesting, implies the ALC side is faster, which I m fairly sure is not true.

Also implies that it is a really fast blade overall faster than Viscaria but slower than JMSZLC. Probably close to the non super version.


Edited by FruitLoop - 02/17/2019 at 1:31pm
Back to Top
Ingo_Ger View Drop Down
Beginner
Beginner


Joined: 02/13/2019
Location: Germany
Status: Offline
Points: 19
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ingo_Ger Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02/17/2019 at 3:01pm
Originally posted by AndySmith AndySmith wrote:

[...]
ALC - 1614Hz
ZLC - 1571Hz
[...]
How did you measure the frequency?
Originally posted by FruitLoop FruitLoop wrote:

Interesting, implies the ALC side is faster, which I m fairly sure is not true.
A difference of around 40Hz is nothing I would discuss about. My guess is that you need at least a difference of 100Hz to be sure that the measured values are indeed different.
If the measurements were done with a smartphone, an app and with the blade in the hand, I would even go as far as 150 Hz. A looser or tighter grip alone might be worth 30-50Hz.
Back to Top
yogi_bear View Drop Down
Forum Moderator
Forum Moderator
Avatar

Joined: 11/25/2004
Location: Philippines
Status: Offline
Points: 6578
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote yogi_bear Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02/17/2019 at 6:40pm
I have discussed this with Xiom and they told me before the ALC side is slightly faster because they had to thicken the alc side to have a balance with the zlc. Not sure how.. 
Independent online TT Product reviewer of ADIDAS, STIGA, TIBHAR, NEXY, JOOLA, ALSER & XVT

ITTF Level 1 Coaching Course Conductor, ITTF Level 1 Coach
Back to Top
Zwill View Drop Down
Beginner
Beginner


Joined: 11/10/2017
Location: Hungary
Status: Offline
Points: 2
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Zwill Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02/18/2019 at 3:41am
Thanks for the review, I'm very excited about it. Had it on pre order since 5th of Jan, and today the courier will finally deliver it. I can't wait to try it on Wednesday. I'll stick 2 Rozenas on hope for the best!
Back to Top
AndySmith View Drop Down
Premier Member
Premier Member
Avatar

Joined: 11/12/2008
Location: United Kingdom
Status: Offline
Points: 4316
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AndySmith Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02/18/2019 at 4:02am
For the frequencies I used Spectrum Analyser Pro, Android, Moto Z.  The readings were very close and the difference could easily be down to user error, as Ingo_Ger mentioned!

It is a fast blade.  If I was going to use it full time I'd have to be careful about my rubber selection.
This was a great signature until I realised it was overrated.
Back to Top
AndySmith View Drop Down
Premier Member
Premier Member
Avatar

Joined: 11/12/2008
Location: United Kingdom
Status: Offline
Points: 4316
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AndySmith Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02/25/2019 at 10:05am
If any well-known forum members in the UK (or close-ish EU countries) want to give this blade a try, send me a PM.
This was a great signature until I realised it was overrated.
Back to Top
AndySmith View Drop Down
Premier Member
Premier Member
Avatar

Joined: 11/12/2008
Location: United Kingdom
Status: Offline
Points: 4316
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AndySmith Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02/28/2019 at 4:52am
OK, I think we're looking at a queue of:

StuartMarquis (UK, over at TDD)
GhostZen (UK)
Olio (UK)
Actuar90 (Ireland)
mg (Luxembourg)
Magic_M (Germany)

The blade is over with Stuart at the moment and I'll keep everyone informed as we go.

Thanks!


Edited by AndySmith - 03/02/2019 at 11:41am
This was a great signature until I realised it was overrated.
Back to Top
ashishsharmaait View Drop Down
Silver Member
Silver Member


Joined: 02/27/2013
Location: India
Status: Offline
Points: 720
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ashishsharmaait Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02/28/2019 at 4:56am
Originally posted by AndySmith AndySmith wrote:

For the frequencies I used Spectrum Analyser Pro, Android, Moto Z.  The readings were very close and the difference could easily be down to user error, as Ingo_Ger mentioned!

It is a fast blade.  If I was going to use it full time I'd have to be careful about my rubber selection.
Will it do well with a T05 on the BH side (ZLC)? I am using a Double Day Valiant Terminator with T64 on the softer ALC side for now.
Back to Top
Olio View Drop Down
Super Member
Super Member


Joined: 03/27/2012
Location: UK / France
Status: Offline
Points: 214
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Olio Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03/01/2019 at 4:14am
Originally posted by AndySmith AndySmith wrote:

OK, I think we're looking at a queue of:

StuartMarquis (UK, over at TDD)
GhostZen (UK)
Actuar90 (Ireland)
Olio (France)
mg (Luxembourg)
Magic_M (Germany)

The blade is over with Stuart at the moment and I'll keep everyone informed as we go.

Thanks!

Hey Andy, I'm in the UK ;)
Back to Top
AndySmith View Drop Down
Premier Member
Premier Member
Avatar

Joined: 11/12/2008
Location: United Kingdom
Status: Offline
Points: 4316
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AndySmith Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03/02/2019 at 11:42am
Originally posted by Olio Olio wrote:

Hey Andy, I'm in the UK ;)

OK, no worries - I've shuffled the queue to take that into account
This was a great signature until I realised it was overrated.
Back to Top
nittakuball View Drop Down
Platinum Member
Platinum Member
Avatar

Joined: 03/17/2008
Location: Singapore
Status: Offline
Points: 2491
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote nittakuball Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03/03/2019 at 4:20am
mine arrived yesterday,i request 88-89g
but is 84-85g
anyone interested Fl handle?
Butterfly Sardius Blade

BTY Tenergy 05/05FX

Singapore & Canada

Back to Top
ghostzen View Drop Down
Super Member
Super Member


Joined: 08/15/2010
Location: UK
Status: Offline
Points: 410
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ghostzen Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04/13/2019 at 10:27am

Ice Cream review

Andy was kind enough to let me have a good few weeks using the Ice Cream ASX blade and the Omega 7 rubbers. Now I’ve finished my matches for the season I’ve had a good chance to put it through its paces on the practice table as my daily driver so to speak. Here are some of my thoughts.

My Normal Setup – Donic OTC - Flared Handle and Donic Bluestorm Z1 Max.

My Style of play – Topspin Drive.

 

Build and Looks.

Agree with Andy on the extra nice build quality of the blade. Thought has gone into making a blade which is very individual and of extra nice quality. The two tone handle design and shape were nice for me in the hand. I liked the weight, felt distributed nicely. Weight etc. is above in Andy’s review.

Rubbers tested

Xiom Omega 7 Rubbers in Max thickness

Joola Rhyzer 50 Pro in Max thickness

Donic Bluestorm Z1 in Max thickness

MXP in Max thickness

Butterfly T05 Max

First impressions session 1 – 3 hours

Setup – ASX + Omega 7 Max both sides.

Ice Cream ASX is pretty hard feeling and quite fast and also quite muted in feel I thought first off. The balance of the blade in general was excellent. I used the ZLC backhand and ALC forehand.

Started with forehand and found basic driving and blocked pretty strong. Like the way the harder feeling gave me good feedback. Blocking is very strong with the setup.

Forehand topspin drive – At the table on the shorter stroke I found a bit hard to get used to. Maybe it’s just a bit different from my normal setup but I kept getting the ball bounce short on the table which is not so good in a real match scenario. After a bit of adjustment and a slightly more open racket face I start to get pretty good depth on the ball.   

Forehand Topspin Drive and Forehand Block – Combo

Once I sorted out the depth problem changing from Topspin drive to Block was a breeze. Yes I had to be active on the shots and execution was key otherwise things went a bit off. It will take a bit of getting used to as I missed a lot more than normal.


Three point Forehand topspin.

Ok starting to get used to the ASX a bit more…

Key with this blade is good engagement of shots, Angle of stroke and correct technique. If not the balls doesn’t always behave in a good flight path and can drop short.

Throw and power when you engage is really good. Closer to the table it felt safe, strong.

Serve – Forehand spin and forehand Topspin drive.

The handle being nice in the hand for me made serving pretty normal.

(I’m starting to not like the rubbers so much I will be honest. Something with a bit more power and speed might work for me.) Anyways… back to the drill.

Serving is good. Short is easy and it’s good to create spin. Longer kicking serves again are nice.

The spin up ..erm where should I start. This is one of my strengths in my match play. With the ASX it’s hard to generate a good level of spin for me. It has to be bang on the ball to get a good shot and then it’s really strong almost a winner.

The Topspin drive follow up after – bang and the ball is gone!. Simple, starting to get it and why topspin drive and counter are such strong weapons with this blade.

Backhand Drive and Topspin counter

OK this was dull and mute and kind of not what I was expecting to be honest. The words are - be active, active and active. Fully engage and throw the Kutchen sink at the stroke and it won’t really miss much. Don’t be active and spin isn’t soo strong and again a shorter bouncing ball on the other side of the table. ..game over for this practice.


Conclusion - so far.  – Great handle and balance – be active with it – Forehand and the backhand – full power – full engagement of the strokes. Don’t and it’s a bit wishy washy first off.

 

Second and Third sessions  – 3.5 hours and 5 hours

Rubber change – I didn’t like the Xiom rubbers – they are not for me sorry. Want to do the review a bit more justice so I have changed to Donic Z1 and Joola Rhyzer Pro 50.

Forehand topspin drive

This is a good change for me. I have depth and spin and safety. Off the bounce its good really good. Still missing the odd one but stronger and lower quite a bit of power.

At distance – Mid and further. Hit the ball in a good position and it goes. Let it drop and spin up it’s also good. Flight of the ball seems easier maybe because I’m more used to these rubbers a bit more. It’s quite hard to miss in a full power counter looping exchange if you are in postion.

Serves

Stronger and stronger the more I use the ASX – A fast racket and quick wrist really work well.

Touch

I hadn’t done any touch play in the last session.

Did a short serve and go a touch return to retouch. Not so forgiving ..at all. Ball was a bit unpredictable and sometime popping up much more than I would have expected. 30 Mins of the routine later and I am starting to get it, Early and active. I think these will be the mantra that I mention a lot on this blade while I am writing!

Flicks

Forehand – Knowing you have to play active is good. If you do it really works. Brushing the ball with a quick movement engages the crispness and you have a good stable shot. Don’t and well its like the speed of the blade and stiffness don’t like it.

Backhand

Definitely liking the rubber change. ..

This is better the flicks are strong, stable and you can really go for it. The more you do the more you are rewarded. I found strawberry extra easy now and depth is getting better all the time.

 

Backhand Topspin opener and counter topspin plus drive.

The opener is tricky with the ASX. Just go for broke it will go. Don’t and not so much.

The drill – long push – Topspin opener by me- counter topspin – counter topspin by me or topspin drive.

What’s surprising is I like the having to be very active on shots. After a bit of getting used to things I can make a good percentage of strong balls and consistent harder strokes on the table.


Match Play

Been hitting enough to try and play a few sets to get a gauge.

My opponents –

County Player – Topspin – Strong backhand topspin.

County Player – Strong serves and strong forehand topspin and backhand block punch.

Junior County Player – Strong around topspin game.

Set 1 - County Player – Topspin – Strong backhand topspin

Actually went really well. The backhand to backhand exchanges were favouring me as I felt I had to play strong and the balls went on. Forehand counter from me was strong and low and deep. Spin openers were ok. They have to be bang on mind.

County Player – Strong serves and strong forehand topspin and backhand block punch.

Touch is a problem still and against a punch and block the ball made the net quite a bit on the backhand until I decided to topspin everything on the backhand. Flicks on the backhand are nice.

Junior County Player – Strong around topspin game.

By this time I felt pretty good with the ASX. Nice and in control and correctly swinging. I can see why this works for aggressive players who really engage the hardness and speed to make good spin.

 

Forth, Fifth and six sessions  – 3 hours, 2 hours and 4.5hours and conclusions

Session s five and Six switched to

MXP in Max thickness

Butterfly T05 Max

Put quite a few hours in now with the Ice cream and played a wide ranging set of players. I will say the most I have struggled is against a defender as the ball doesn’t always dwell on the blade so long which means a lot of work is need to keep the spin engaged. I am normally more than solid against choppers, so guessing it is the dwell. I would be interested if Xiom did a more wood feeling combo blade which had better dwell.

The MXP and T05 Rubbers are a cracking fit on the XIOM, I did try T05FX as well on the backhand which is a very very good fit as well for a bit more forgiving range of strokes.


Overall

The Ice Cream is – a step up from Xiom’s previous blades in quality and also importantly innovation. It’s a blade I would use (If I wasn’t married to my DOTC!) and would recommend to dedicated attacking players. There is a very distinct difference between the two sides for me with the ZLC being the harder and more needed to engage the racket whereas the ALC was more familiar and also more forgiving. A slower XIOM blade example with better dwell would suit players who are looking for a bit more forgiving blade and also a bit more spin I would think.

Cracking Blade overall and cheers Andy for getting it over to me for a good few weeks.

GZ

 



Edited by ghostzen - 04/13/2019 at 10:28am
Back to Top
 Post Reply Post Reply
  Share Topic   

Forum Jump Forum Permissions View Drop Down

Forum Software by Web Wiz Forums® version 12.01
Copyright ©2001-2018 Web Wiz Ltd.

This page was generated in 0.063 seconds.

Become a Fan on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Web Wiz News
About MyTableTennis.NET | Forum Help | Disclaimer

MyTableTennis.NET is the trading name of Alex Table Tennis Ltd.

Copyright ©2003-2019 Alex Table Tennis Ltd. All rights reserved.