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    anchorschmidt's review on OSP Virtuoso +

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    Product details

    OSP Virtuoso +
    5.00 (3 reviews) Price: $106.00
    5.00 [5.00]Comparison of the Virtuoso and the Virtuoso+
    • touch
    • a bit more speed
    • still great spin
    • a bit harder
    • than the
    • virtuoso
    I've played with both blades with several versions of both blades (straight, concave, small, medium) for over a year and have gotten to know some of the pros and cons of owning them

    Background: Blades played for more than 3 months: Galaxy N10, Stiga allround Allround NCT, Zhang Jike ALC, Galaxy Earth 1, Virtuoso+, Virtuoso-. Good technique, lacking experience (3 years of proper play).

    Currently playing the Virtuoso- for more than 6 months.

    The both blades differ in their outer plies. The limba outer-ply is slightly treated to be a bit harder on the Virtuoso-
    Attachment 14617

    1. First impressions/handle/Gluing

    Both blades are very high quality. The workmanship is top-notch. Nothing to complain about here. You can get them in S/M/L head sizes. Weight is generally around 87-90 grams. From personal experience, straight handle + medium head size is head-heavy for most modern rubbers so keep that in mind. Straight + small head size is slightly head heavy. Concave + small is balanced at the center./handle I tried a friend's flaired+ medium and found it to be more or less balanced at the center too.

    You can choose from a variety of handles. For some reason, I found the Virtuoso+'s flaired handle to be quite a bit larger than the Virtuoso-'s flaired handle. Don't go 100% on what I'm saying because I couldn't compare them side by side (bought the Virtuoso- after I sold the Virtuoso+) but it would be good to ask OSP yourself. I had to sell the Virtuoso+ in flaired simply because it didn't feel comfortable but I found the Virtuoso- in flaired to be much more comfortable.

    I normally use Free Chack II but for the Virtuoso- I had to use the Free Chack I (stronger glue) because the rubber was simply not sticking that well to the top ply. Perhaps with time it will be easier to glue. I had a similar experience with my Stiga Allround NCT but it got better with time.

    2. Playing characteristics.

    2 a). Serving/Short game.

    Both blades give you good dwell time though the Virtuoso- offers slightly more dwell. Serving was nearly identical with both of these blades. Spin production is similar to the Allround NCT and you can keep with serve short without any problems.

    However, I did find that the Virtuoso- gave me slightly better feeling on my receives. It was easier to keep with ball short because of the softer outer ply.

    I almost always do a soft spin-flick (either backhand or forehand). If you really want to go for a flipkill, you can get more acceleration with the Virtuoso+ as the top ply is better suited for harder flicks. It was definitely easier to do a spin-flick with the Virtuoso- though.

    Wasn't too much difference in the long push but my long pushes aren't a very strong part of my game so I can't compare the performance very well in this department.

    2 b) First topspin, spinny looping, drive-looping, mid-distance

    Both blades had a relatively high throw angle but there are closer in terms of speed that I had expected. Both blades are noticeably faster than my Allround NCT, which makes the OSP Virtuoso- on the higher side of OFF-. With the Allround NCT, I was really having trouble playing tournaments or training for more than 2 hours, especially with the plastic ball, but both of the blades have enough zip for looping.

    The throw angle is still lower than the Allround NCT blade as a direct result of the speed. Perhaps the V- has a slightly higher throw than the + but it's very, very marginal.

    It was easy to open against backspin with both blades. The V- is a bit more tolerant of being in the wrong position because it takes less energy to activate the blade. Then again, my forehand rubber is also on the harder side so with a softer one both blades will forgive imperfect footwork. V+ is still much more forgiving compared to say, an ALC blade.

    The spin quality is high but it's what I expected after getting used to the blade. My forehand opening shot is my strongest shot and I didn't really see a difference in terms of spin if I compared it with the Allround NCT. However, I did have better quality in my shot compared to the Earth 1 or the ZJK ALC but that's because my timing/contact is not good enough to create that much spin with a koto outer ply. What I'm trying to say is, that you shouldn't expect these blades to magically increase the spin of your loops but it can help you improve your contact (because of the feedback that I'll talk about later), which will improve the spin of your loops.

    If you go for a harder loop or a drive-kill, you will feel the increased stiffness of the V+ giving you more zip but for regular looping and for half-distance spinny looping, both blades felt comfortable. However, as I said, the V- gives you a bit more safety.

    2 c) Blocking, Countering, Smashing

    It depends on your blocking style. If you like to punch or push the ball, or give it bit more speed, you will like the way the V+ blocks. If you like spin-blocking, you will like both of these blades. For an emergency block against a powerful shot, I think the V- gives me a touch more control, but the V+ also doesn't lack control.

    For low-spin shots such as countering and smashing, you will feel an increase in speed with the V+.

    3 Ball-feeling

    As others have pointed out, the vibration that you feel with both blades is very pleasing and you do know where you've contacted the ball and how good your contact was. This is not exclusive to the V+ or V- as other allwood blades give you good feedback as well. I do have to say that the feeling and feedback from these blades and especially the V- were better than anything I've tried and the feeling from the V- was on par with the more expensive Nittaku Acoustic. This can really help non-advanced players improve their game. In the short game, I also felt that I had better feeling with the V- compared to with the V+.

    4. Other Feedback

    Two higher lever players (TTR 1700 and TTR 1900) than me also tested these blades. The 1900TTR rated player (2200+USATT) went with the V- as he really enjoyed the feeling. The 1700 TTR rated player still plays with his Boll ALC but preferred the V- as well. His reasoning was that if he wanted a blade with great feeling, he would get the V-, if wanted to go the stiffer route, he would rather have something like his Boll ALC.

    5 Final thoughts

    I think that the V- is a standout blade. It's fast enough and gives you great feeling. Personally, my playing level/rating is at the highest it's been because of how well I've been able to train with this blade. If you want a touch more speed on straight shots, you can get the V+ but the speed difference is not that high and not always felt. If you really want a stiffer all-wood blade, you can check out the other OSP 7 ply allwood blades.
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