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    Reviews posted by yogi_bear
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    Avatar yogi_bear
    Total reviews: 80
    Total Likes: 57
    Reviews Rubbers(46)
        Posted 08-19-2020
        4.00 Hard-sponged, Hard-hitting rubber

        Xiom Vega Tour
        Speed: OFF+
        Hardness: 45 degrees (HARD)
        Weight: 64-65 grams (uncut)

        I was lucky to have the Xiom Vega Tour (VT) because at the time it was sent to me, I think I was the only one who has it outside Korea to test it. I was surprised to have this at an earlier time because I was expecting that I would test this in April. Still, I am grateful for this opportunity to test a new rubber. At first inspection the topsheet is the grippiest I have seen outside the Omega V and VII series among Xiom's rubbers. The Vega series has rubbers that have the best bang for the buck prices and performance ratio. The Vega topsheets are known to be very grippy but even the DF versions of the Vega rubbers seem to be less grippy compared to the new Vega Tour. The Vega Tour does not have the DF logo on it. The topsheet is grippy but has only a little tackiness. The previous Xiom tau seems to be tackier. Xiom Tau is much more closer to Palio Thor's but the Vega Tour is unlike the 2 mentioned because the feel is different and plays quite different. The Xiom Tau and Thor's play like a faster Hurricane 3 but there is a feel of deadness when striking the ball. The rubber (with topsheet) is the hardest I have tried so far for a euro made rubber. The first info given was, according to Xiom was that it was 52.5 degrees, they informed me that it is 45 degrees. Although, I would still say it is hard because it is closest to MX-S in hardness and comapred to 47.5 degree rubbers, this feels hard. It feels like a 40 degrees if not 39 degrees hardness for Hurricane 3 Neo. it feels harder than MX-S, Joola Maxxx 500 and Rasanter R50.

        The Vega Tour is the fastest Vega rubber presently. It does not behave like the previous Vega rubbers because it plays a little different. I can compare the speed to that of the Z1 Bluestorm and slightly slower than the Omega VII Pro. Near the table, the Vega Tour sometimes goes long. The VT produces a long sharp trajectory. I had to adjust to the rubber at first and took me a day to understand the mechanics using the rubber. It was probably the low throw that I had to adjust with the rubber. The low arc of the VT is like that of the Hurricane 2. The Vega Pro and Asia are fast rubbers but the Vega Tour is a vicious one. It is amazingly fast but still has good control over it if your level is at least intermediate. The Vega Pro has better control over Vega Tour. On smashes the rubber is very good but it seems that smashing is not its best feature. Blocking is also good but it players who use this should be used to blocking using hard rubbers or Chinese rubbers.

        The Vega Tour is one of the best loop driving rubber. The spin is slightly above that of the MX-S. You can describe it as an MX-S on steroids with a lower throw or arc. I think this is one of the best Hurricane 3 substitute. It has almost the same level of spin but the VT is way faster than less sensitive to incoming spin. If you are looking for a Euro rubber that has the capabilities of a Chinese rubber and do not want to spend too much like that of the Butterfly Spin Art then the Vega Tour. I think the VT will not be as expensive as the Omega VII series. I think it is only logical to have the Vega Tour more affordable than the Omega VII series since not everyone can afford the Omega VII's. The Vega Tour has specific kind of strokes that it favors. If you came from a Hurricane 3 rubber adjustment is not too hard. It should only be the speed that feels a bit overwhelming as first because the VT is just that fast. Loop drives and slow looping are its best future. It is like looping with a faster Chinese rubber or a boosted Hurricane 2 minus the tackiness. Even spinny pushes have huge amount of spin in them and services are spinny too. If probably at 2.0mm, which I will be testing soon when the 2.0mm rubbers arrive. I reckon they can be good to chop defensively on a defensive set up. The only catch I can see with the Vega Tour is that it requires a good amount of touch and brushing when spinning the ball. It is not a rubber for beginners as you need to have a good and correct way of brushing the ball like brushing the ball when using a Chinese rubber. The sponge is very hard and so the ball does not sink deep as compared to softer 47.5 degree rubbers which when you compress against the sponge it produces more spin. The Vega Tour requires a person to properly brush and contact the ball plus a good feel of the ball to fully utilize it but when you are able to use it properly it can be a good alternative to Tenergy albeit a little harder. All in all, this seems to be an excellent and all out attacking rubber. It may took a bit of time to fully adjust to it but this is just me and probably the 2.0mm that I will be getting will be the one suited for me. This was tested on a Xiom Zeta Offensive+ Carbon by the way.
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        Posted 08-19-2020
        5.00 High Performance rubber

        This is the flagship rubber of Xiom in 2020 and is the contemporary of Butterfly Dignics 09C. This has more spin than D09c and almost in the level of Hurricane 3. This is also faster than Dignics 09c. The topheet is slightly tackier than D09c and has more grip and bite on the ball. Overall a much cheaper option than Dignics 09c but performance is in the same level with more spin. Sponge is very hard at 60 degrees and is available in 2.mm and 2.2mm. Weight for th rubber is heavy at 72 grams uncut (2.mm) and 79 grams uncut for max version. For detailed comparison please check the link:


        for detailed rubber description please check link below:
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        Posted 08-15-2020
        4.00 Latest Pro Level Rubber

        Uncut Weight: 75 grams at 2.1mm
        1. topsheet is slightly tacky only. Imagine Spinart but with a slightly tacky surface
        2. speed is off to off+. It is significantly slower than Dignics 05 and slightly slower than Tenergy 05.
        3. Spin sensitivity is more compared to Tenergy 05 and D05 with the D05 being the easiest to handle.
        4. Arc is lower than T05 or D05.
        5. D05 is the easiest to produce spin, on higher levels the D09c might be spinnier but it needs more effort. There are instances that both T05 and D05 are much more spinny.
        6. Its strength is more on spin drives and counters near and away from the table and it outshines T05 and D05 in that area.

        for more detailed review please check this link:
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        Posted 11-10-2019
        5.00 Superb and better than MXP!

        Weight: 48 grams (cut)Speed: OFF+Spin: Very HighType: ESN

        The topsheet reminded me with the Omega V’s texture and grain but it is different because of the topsheet design. It has the cherry red topsheet compared to the matted red ESN topsheets that new generation ESN rubbers are using right now. The quality is very good like its Evolution series brothers only that this open in terms of design.Now this is quite the opposite in terms of performance compared to the Hard version.The MX-K M has bigger pores on its cream white sponge. It also feels softer than the MX-P despite it having the hardness of 47.5 degrees. You can feel some softness when you are pressing against the rubber and this is very obvious the moment you try the rubber. I used the same blades in this test with the MX-K H - Tmount T540, Sanwei Fextra 7 and Stiga Nostalgic All+. I may have said some negative things about the MX-K H but on the M version I am all praises with this rubber. As what I have stated in my MH-K H review, having short pip structure is a double edged sword which means it could be a hit or miss for players depending on their choices. The short pip structure works on the MX-K M version because the softer sponge allows the ball a bit of chance to be properly gripped by the topsheet aside from the sponge even without the tackiness. It feels softer than the MX-P but I can say that the MX-K 47.5 has a faster speed. It has good feel wherein the moment you hit the ball, it sinks partially into the sponge with no bottoming out. It is slightly has more spin than the MX-P and again this is because of the less denser and softer sponge. It is ideal for players who engage heavily on the sponge and topsheet to produce spin. The difference between the MX-P and the MX-K is that with the MX-P, you can easily brush the ball without engaging the sponge too much or brush it lightly to simply put it while the MX-K 47.5 really needs sponge compression. The regular MX-K has this slightly less difficulty in producing spins compared to the MX-P. I think MX-S is still the spinniest Evolution rubber when you loop or brush like using a Hurricane 3 rubber. While the MX-P is a spinny rubber, we can agree that not everybody can use it because it is a powerful rubber but the MX-K 47.5 easily solves this issue in handling and control. The speed of the MX-K regular is already fast and it is almost at the level of Omega 7 Pro and also slightly less amount of spin. Overall, the MX-K regular version excels in almost all strokes - from looping to blocking and driving. It is one complete rubber with excellent control, feel and easy handling. I also noticed that with all the 3 test blades, the MX-K regular was never choosy. This rubber is highly recommended!
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        Posted 11-10-2019
        3.00 Very fast ESN rubber

        Weight: 51 grams (cut)Speed: OFF++Spin: AverageType: ESN
        I borrowed an MX-K Hard version from a friend and also an MXK 47.5 version which I will call MX-K H and MX-K M for a better lack of term and for shortening it. This is the first ESN made rubber by Nexy. The last Nexy rubber I have tried was the Karis Hard which has some similarities with the MX-K H. I carefully checked the pip structure of the MX-K H and I thought my eyes are deceiving me when I first saw it with very short pip structures that are closely arranged between each other with a narrow space. The MX-K H has an orange porous spongefor distinction while the M version has a cream white sponge. I thought, heck this looks like the design and arrangements of Chinese topsheets. Sanwei Fextra 7, Stiga Nostalgia All+ and Tmount T540 blades were used to test the rubbers.
        The MX-K H is a hard hitting rubber. You can feel the 52.5 degrees hard sponge the moment you get to the table and start doing forehand drives. Boy, this rubber is very fast and in fact, this is too fast for some people. I would strongly suggest that beginners and intermediate players NOT to get this rubber since this is for advanced level players and it is for a specific style of play. This rubber is as fast an Omega 7 Tour or Hyper and a lot of my topspins seem to go over the table on the first few minutes of warming up with the rubber. The control seem a little bit less compared to the hard rubbers I have tried in the past. I even have tried a 60 degree experimental rubber but it has more control than this. The speed of the MX-K H is like that of Bryce speed and it even packs a lot of punch if you are smashing or spin-driving the ball. This is my personal opinion and I believe the short pip structure of the MX-K H contributes to the direct transfer of energy from the sponge to the ball. In my opinion, this is a double edged-sword. If you have this design you are guaranteed to have a huge amount of speed and power on your shots BUT you have less amount of spin and control. The problem is that the MX-K H is a bit choosy on the type of blade you are using. When I first used a wenge outer blade which is the Nostalgic All+, the hard surface of the blade made the rebound too strong and my shots were going over the table. I could not spin much compared to Omega 7 hyper 60 degrees which is way harder than the MX-K. In fact, the Stiga DNA Pro H is much spinnier than this rubber. I have nothing but respect for Mr. Moon and I admire him for his blade innovations for Nexy but I disagree completely on this design because it does not produce much spin at all. Sure, you get the speed and power with spin drives because I can feel the power of the incoming topspins against me who is blocking but the spin is much to be desired. In my opinion, the short pip structure of the MX-K H is not really suited for a spin stroke but more on a hitting and smashing stroke. So the best you can do is a spin drive or do counters. The problem with the short pips column is that it does not grab the ball much due to the hard sponge and results to a very fast rebounding of the ball. Chinese rubbers that are very hard do not have this problem because they have tackiness in the topsheet. Despite having a hard sponge, the tacky topsheet helps grab the ball making you able to do a heavy spin loop easily. The tackiness of the topsheet slows down the ball giving you better chance to spin and brush the ball. Without the tackiness, all you have is a fast smashing and driving rubber. With all I have said about the rubber, the MX-K H still has some strong points. The MX-K H will be at its best if you do not care about spin and just care about power and speed for your shots. I would suggest this rubber for players who use long pip rubbers on their backhands and wait for opportunities to smash a ball. This is also good for players who are countering topspins away from the table because you need a small amount of effort to counter against topspins. Also, with the blade pairing, use this on a limba or koto outer ply blade so that you can have better control. Hardwood outer plies do not match well with the MX-K H.
        0 people liked this review
        Posted 10-21-2019
        4.00 Soft Chinese Bouncy Rubber

        Stiga Genesis 2 S
        Weight: 68 grams uncut
        Speed: OFF-
        Spin: Very high

        This is a pure Chinese rubber and not a hybrid rubber as some people mistakenly describe it. It has both Chinese topsheet and sponge made by the same Chinese company. It has hybrid playing characterstics but it does not have a combination of sponge. The quality is higher and better compared to other Chinese rubbers in the market hence, this is a bit higher priced. The topsheet is tacky but not as tacky as Hurricane 3. This favors the playing style of players who tend to hit more through the sponge rather than thinly brushing the ball with mostly the topsheet. This can also be done with the Genesis 2 S but it is better if you have sponge compression since you can maximize the use of the rubber this way. You can get a huge amount of spin if you brush and at the same time compress the sponge which is what other players call "European" style of hitting the ball. This is a good rubber close to the table only unless you use very fast blades such as Carbonado 290 or Dynasty then probably you can extend up to middle distance. I could even suggest this to beginners as long as they use the 1.9mm-2.0mm thickness on an ALL Around blade.
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        Posted 10-01-2019
        5.00 Medium soft ESN rubber

        Weight: 69 grams uncut
        Hardness: 47.5 degrees
        Speed: OFF+

        The Stiga DNA Pro M is the outright bouncy rubber among its variants at first hit when you are engaging the sponge with some depth. This has a cut weight of approximately 49 grams compared to the 51 grams cut version of the DNA Pro H version. This is the medium hard offensive rubber of the DNA Pro Series. The DNA Pro is an honest to goodness offensive rubber. If you do not prefer hard rubbers that will reach at 50 degrees then this is the rubber to consider. I know a lot of people will say we have already lots of similar rubbers in the market but I beg to disagree. Even if these rubbers are produced by ESN, companies such as Stiga still need to forward their specs for each particular rubberand produce the rubbers they think are worthy of releasing according to their own specifications.

        Anyway, this is a another high quality rubber from Stiga and the topsheet is very grippy with almost no tacky feeling. I would put the speed of the DNA Pro M as slower than the Joola Rhyzer 48 by 1 or 2 levels but faster than Rasanter V47 more or less. It does not offer the wild throw and trajectory of the Rhyzer 48 wherein a lot of people including me find the Rhyzer 48 a bit too fast at first use. When I was using the Rhyzer 48 I had a hard time controlling it and until now I think it is still the fastest rubber among 47-48 degree category rubbers. At least the DNA
        Pro M has a fairly good amount of control and despite the very high speed. It is good to know that the DNA Series has a good amount of control despite near the table. The DNA Pro M has a
        medium to medium high level of arc when looping. The DNA Pro H has the highest arc at about 5-6inches above the net while the M version has about 4 inches of height from the net when I was doing forehand to forehand drive drills. I would agree that people would compare this with the MXP rubber since it is safe to say that the MXP is the bestselling rubber produced by ESN. All I can say is that MXP's topsheet seem a little less durable. Also, I noticed less shrinkage with the DNA M when I glued and removed it to several blades. For the record, I used the Dynasty blade, Rosewood V and another unknown limba 5 ply blade for this test.

        How did it play? It was expected that it was very bouncy, no question about that but it has this good hitting feel when you start to engage the sponge. It has some softness upon impact with hard hits probably due to the medium soft topsheet that is very elastic. Looks like it has the same topsheet with the H version only on a softer sponge.It has more outright spring effect compared to the DNA H version having a slightly softer sponge. I looped with this rubber a lot of times whether looping against heavy underspin or counter looping against topspin balls. It is different compared to the H version because it has a more typical euro type feel when you loop with it. Its arc and height is just high enough to clear the net with fast and straight trajectory when landing on the table. The H version has a better kick the moment it lands on the table. At first the H version seem has less speed up to a certain contact on the ball but the moment the ball lands on the table, the H version has a certain strong kick for the table. The M version has sharper bounce but it seems to keep a uniform bounce with less extra kick compared to the DNA H version. Again this is made for at least middle distance due to its power and speed but it was surprisingly controllable near the table just like the H version. On stronger shots, the MXP may plateau on its power while the DNA M may give you some extra juice. Spinwise they are more or less equal. Of the 3 DNA rubbers, I think this is the version that will suit most players since it a lot of players can relate to its feel but with some added extra features compared to other German rubbers from ESN. I would place this as a forehand and backhand rubber but I used this more as a backhand rubber since I like the H version better. Advanced level players would love this on either side with not much adjustments on their playstyles.
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        Posted 10-01-2019
        4.00 Soft ESN rubber

        Weight: 67 grams uncut
        Hardness: 42.5 degrees
        Speed: Off

        This is the softest rubber among the DNA series. It is also light at 67 grams uncut and approximately 47 grams cut to a standard blade. Out of the packaging, the DNA PRO S has a semi soft feel when you are pressing against the topsheet with sponge. I would categorize this as a medium soft rubber and not entirely soft because other rubbers such as Rakza 7 soft or Vega Europe DF are much softer than this. The closest feel and hardness would be the R42 Rasanter. This category of rubbers all exhibit an outright springy and fast characteristic since the sponge is very reactive to force applied but reaches a plateau once a certain amount of force is applied to them.
        The DNA S version is a fast and bouncy rubber with more emphasis on control. It is designed for players who hits a lot and hits through the sponge deeply. Of the 3 rubbers in the DNA series, this is the most controllable and also the most forgiving. It is also the easiest to smash with because of its medium soft sponge. This is better for players who wanted to spin but needs to sink the
        ball into the sponge because of their playing style. It has this dull but loud sound when you are whacking the ball. Many people will agree with me if I can compare this to the FXP or FXs rubbers but it has combined characteristics of the Rasanter R42 only this is more bouncy. The S version also has less shrinkage compared to the FXP and FXS rubbers. The S version is more of a close to the table and middle distance rubber since the softness of the sponge limits its power but even beginners at 1.9mm sponge thickness can definitely use this rubber because it is very forgiving.
        It is also easy to learn basic strokes especially with looping because the sponge and topsheet greatly help with the forward force and gripping the ball easier when a new player uses it to practice. I think it also blocks best compared to the M and H versions because of the softer sponge. The DNA S would work well with players who smash and drive a lot. This is more or less an all around rubber that offers high level of control.
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        Posted 10-01-2019
        5.00 New Stiga ESn rubber

        Weight: 71 grams uncut

        Hardness: 50 degrees ESN scale

        Speed: OFF++

        In my opinion, this is the flagship rubber of Stiga today. The DNA Pro rubbers are composed of 3 rubbers but this for me is their best rubber right now. This is considered as a thin topsheet-thick sponge rubber so it is possible that the sponge thickness could still reach 2.2mm at its thickest. I have noticed a great deal of effort placed on the quality and overall production of the rubber. The rubber seems very durable including the sponge. I have reglued the rubber a few times transferring it to different blades just to test its properties and I have not encountered any instance of sponge tearing up or separating due to the removal of glue. I used a Stiga water-based glue Connect for the tests and

        dried it using a hair dryer. The sponge holds firmly when you are removing the glue and it is a good sign of not having a brittle sponge. Sponge is porous with a thin topsheet. Unlike other ESN rubbers of its generation, the pimples seem longer and narrow compared to the Rhyzer 50 or 45 version. The topsheet is medium or medium soft. I could feel the firmness of the topsheet separately and not just the sponge unlike other brands that have an obvious soft topsheet to compensate for the sponge, the DNA H offers a grippy but firm topsheet. I checked the colors and the red topsheets are bright cherry red color instead of the matte red dull color of a different design.

        I was excited to test this rubber and I glued it immediately to the Dynasty blade (I also used this in a Rosewood V). I placed 1 thick layer onto the sponge and 1 thick layer to the blade. I used a hair dryer to immediately dry the glue. I did drillings immediately using the DNA H in my forehand and backhand. In the forehand to forehand drill, I have noticed a very high arc even when not doing topspins or brushing and just plain hitting the ball. This is a good indication for my part since for most people they could have a very forgiving rubber wherein it does not hit the net easily compared to other rubber's low arc. The DNA version is very bouncy and fast even at 50 degrees. Other 50 degree rubbers are outright not that fast but this one even on a semi passive stroke, you can feel the bounciness that it can give you when hitting the ball . FOR ITS speed, I can definitely say it is more bouncy faster than the Rasanter R50 and Joola Rhyzer 50 but 1 or 2 notches. You can feel the difference in speed but the difference is not too big. They have different feel when you are using them so you cannot say they are the same rubbers.

        Now for the fun part, the DNA H version is a very spinny rubber. The very grippy topsheet bites the ball easily and when combined with the bouncy and hard sponge, spinning or looping the ball requires little swing. In fact, you can do Timo Boll style. I can safely say that it has the bounciness of the Rasanter R50 but also has the spin and even more spin than the Joola Rhyzer Pro 50. So what makes the DNA Pro H different? It seems the DNA H has more to offer like increased amount spin and speed and that is automatic but the best thing I have observed about the DNA H is that even at close to the table distance, the DNA H has a good amount of control. While it is very fast and bouncy, it seems a bit forgiving for its speed. Ideally, this would still be an advanced level's rubber since the rubber and sponge feel firm and hard and you would need a good amount of skill in engaging the sponge and brushing the ball using the topsheet. If you have used a Chinese rubber in the past effectively, then all you need is an adjustment in the speed but other than that I would suggest this rubber for all out attackers and this is awesome both in backhand and forehand as an attacking rubber. In fairness, I had a teen player I was coaching for a day and she used the DNA H as both forehand and backhand rubbers, she never had any difficulty switching to them coming from Tibhar K1 Hybrid rubber which her arcs and throw were a little wild. She is using the DNA effectively and to almost the same amount of spin but better control so I guess it can show that the rubber is very forgiving. Thes best way to optimize this rubber's performance is contacting the ball with a good amount of brush and at the same time with sponge engagement. This has gears like other hard rubbers so you can take this on a slow and controlled stroke or go an all out power stroke. As far as memory goes comparing MXP 50 degrees and DNA Pro H, I would say DNA H is more bouncy with probably the same level of spin but at the same time, with less shrinkage upon removal of rubber and better control near the table. I find the higher arc of the DNA H more forgiving. I cannot directly compare it with the Omega 7 Asia since they are different type of rubbers and at the same time the sponge hardness of the Omega 7 Asia is about 2 degrees higher. All I can say is that the DNA Pro H can compete also with the Omega 7 series.
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        Posted 01-06-2019
        5.00 New innerfiber Hybrid blade

        Xiom AXZi Ice Cream Blade
        Weight: 91 grams
        Thickness: 5.7mm
        Plies: 7 (limba – limba – ALC – Kiri – ZLC – Limba – Limba)
        Speed: OFF+
        Stiffness: Medium Stiff

        The Ice Cream Blade that I was really waiting for has arrived!! Good thing Xiom sent me the blade as soon as they have it stock. This is the one that I really liked because of the inner composite construction of the blade. I am also a limba kind of player because I love using DHS Hurricane 3 in my forehand. The AZX is a good blade but it was too fast for my style of play and it is more of an advanced or high level player. The AZXi, although even if it is a fast blade, it is suited for players who have developed some skills but not necessarily competitive type of player levels. The quality is as good as the AZX but when compared to older blades, the Ice cream blade series seem to be a notch higher in terms of quality, construction and finish. I would like to commend Xiom once again for taking into consideration in which I suggested to them that they need to change the shape of the neck and handle of the new blades as what other people who have also told me about the handles of the Feel Series. I used the Xiom Omega VII Pro as my backhand rubber and the Hurricane 3 as my fh rubber. I also switched the rubbers for the 2 sides just to test them also. I placed the Hurricane 3 first in the ALC side since I am the type of person who likes the ALC because it is not too fast nor too hard compared to pure carbon layers or ZLC layers. I also boosted the Hurricane 3.

        I tested the ball on the bare blade and bounced it a few times to try and check the sound of the blade. I immediately saw that it has a lower bounce compared to the AZX. It also has a lower pitch compared to the AZX. Immediately you can tell the gap of speed even with the ZL layer. When I first used the bat for table drills for about 30 minutes, I immediately love the ALC layer using the Hurricane 3 because this is the feel I am always looking for in a blade. The ball feedback to hand is just right and no bad vibrations whatsoever. The speed is very good and above expected speed level. I thought this was slow at first but it is speedy enough. I would compare the speed as in the level of Viscaria or the Stardivarius if not faster. This is on the ALC side. The ZL side is more or less on the sped of the Innerforce ZLC.

        The thing that sets it apart from the Innerforce ZLC/ALC is that for me the AZXi has a better feel. I could feel that it has more flex despite having 1 ZLC layer. This is one of the feel good blades in market right now. It feels right on everything and it’s like it is so nice to hit with. I find it easier to loop at first and it did not take a lot of effort to adjust especially the ALC side. The AZX has control but not as much as the AZXi. On the ALC side the arc with the Hurricane 3 was medium. It was not as high ast he AZX that I have observed. Even using the Omega VII Pro, the arc of the ball when I was spinning it it was medium to medium low but with a longer trajectory. The trajectory of the AZXi was not as long compared to the AZX and I think this was the main factor why the amount of control that I have for the AZXi is much better compared to the AZX. The AZXi loops really that good especially the arylate carbon part because it is very forgiving on your strong shots. The ZL fiber side has also good control but it is more direct and hard hitting. Several players in the club like both ZLC and ALC side of the blade. I prefer the ALC side myself but a lot of them love both sides especially when they used the Omega VII Pro as a forehand rubber. There was a high level player who tried the Hurricane 3 on the alc side and he really like it that he was hitting counters with the blade the minute he was using it in drills. At least with the AZXi, the Omega VII was also very forgiving and when you are loop driving very low balls, you could still have rooms for mistakes and the ball still hit the target. On the backhand, it is already given that the ALC is very controllable, the ZLC on the other hand need some fine tuning for players like me because it feels harder and offer more rebound power even just on blocks. Some people would prefer the ZL on their forehand for more power and just use the ALC for their backhand for more control. People like me prefer the ALC because we wanted to have more control and Hurricane 3 is much better with ALC in my opinion.

        All in all a very good and balanced blade which personally for me rates high in control and speed but at the same have a very good feel. Had this been an ALC blade on both sides, I think I would be the happiest guy in the world right now. For other people they cannot just say anything bad against the blade because they really like it. I think people also are saying that the prices of both blades are kinda high but these two blades are still lower than several ridiculously high-priced blades. I am sure these 2 blades can outperform those blades.
        4 people liked this review
        Posted 01-06-2019
        4.00 New hybrid blade from Xiom

        Weight: 87 grams
        Thickness: 5.8mm
        Speed: OFF+
        Plies: Koto - ALC - ??? - Kiri - ??? - ZLC - Koto
        Stiffness: Stiff

        I admit I am one of those people that is very much curious why in the world did Xiom name this and the AZXi as Ice Cream blades. I specifically ask Xiom about this and I was a bit laughing on their honest answer. The reason why they call these blades as ice cream blades is that it is like ice cream wherein remote places or villages do not have them. The AZX and AZXi are not the first composite blades in the market but Xiom claims that they are the first successful composite hybrid blades. According them, other existing blades of similar construction seem to be not balanced. One thing I am thankful about Xiom is that they listen to their consumers. People who have used the Feel series blades are saying that they like the older design for the neck and wing part of the blade more than the new design. Guess what, I told Xiom about this and they have shown that they have listened to the request. With the AZX, the neck and wing part was reduced and not as wide as the Feel series blades. It is actually closer to the older blades like that of the Stradivarius. I measured the flared handle at this base where it is the widest and the cross sectional size is 25mm x 33.5mm using an electronic caliper. Just as an added info on the blade, the orange side is the ALC side with a letter "A" mark on it while the ZLC side is the one with the purple sie with a letter "Z".

        This is a very fast blade. People might think the ALC side is the slower compared to pure carbon blades but it is not. I saw their pdf files about the blade and they describe it as the ALC being the faster side while the ZLC is the slower side. I immediately asked them why they rated it that way and I got an answer where they said they made the ALC layer thicker to balance the blade. I used several rubbers in the test - DHS Hurricane 3, Omega V Europe and Omega VII Pro . I tested this for 3 days and I was careful to use the same rubber on each side with the exception of the Hurricane 3 just to test the characteristic of each side. Speedwise the ALC side is very bouncy. it is almost as bouncy as the ZLC side. I can surely say that the Viscaria is much slower than the ALC version of the AZX. At first, I tested the Hurricane 3 first because it is my preferred rubber in the forehand. I was surprised that it was really bouncy. If I compare it to the Timo Boll Spirit, the AZX is faster though the stiffness is less comapred to the TBS blade. The ZLC side is more or less identical to the ZJK ZLC blade. I cannot fully say which of the 2 is faster. Anyway, I have observed the ALC side during drills and matchplay that the throw when looping the ball is is a bit high. Honestly I had to do some adjustments with the throw and the long trajectory of the ALC side. The AZX is a very fast blade. I had to step back middle distance from the table because even with a Hurricane 3, some of my loops are going off the table. It took me a few rounds to adjust the the H3 and the AZX combo. The ZLC side on the other hand is the opposite of what I was expecting. I thought this was the faster side but it was very controllable despite the great amount of speed. The ZLC side has a bit lower throw compared to the ALC. I would say the throw is about low to medium arc in the table with long trajectory. If comparing the 2 sides it would be approximately like this - ALC high throw, long trajectory, ZLC low throw, long trajectory. Both sides are almost as fast but differ in the throw. Both sides are powerful even far from the table and not just at the middle distance from the table. When I used the H3 on the ZLC side I think it was more controllable for me because of the lower throw. I also adjusted easily with the ZLC side. DO not get me wrong, I like the feel of the ALC better than the ZLC and this is a personal preference but because ALC is much thicker in this case, I preferred the ZLC side.

        I changed the rubber to Omega V Europe which is a medium soft rubber and also the Omega VII Pro which is a thick sponge, thin topsheet rubber. I could see the purpose of this blade the moment I used German rubbers on it. It is an all out attacking blade whether you are into ALC or ZLC, it does not matter. Both sides of the hybrid blade will give you more than enough power for your offensive shots far and middle distance from the table. It is just a question whether you would want a high arc or low arc long trajectory. The Omega VII Pro actually works well with both sides with the ZLC side more controllable. When you are hitting through the sponge using the Omega VII Pro, you would love the feeling of hitting the ball all the way deep into the sponge. The O7P gives you a good amount of control when using it in the Ice Cream blade when used on each side. I would not call this a looping blade because despite producing heavy amount of spin, it favors more of a direct hitting and counter looping strokes. Control is more of a personal issue wherein it needs to be used by a player who practices a lot and this should be used and highly recommended for advanced level type of players. It is a fast blade that rewards you with powerful shots that enables you to finish the point quickly any distance from the table. For blocking, it favors more of the active or punch blocks than passive blocks.

        The blade concept is quite new to me and I was a bit confused with the ball felling at first because even if one side is different from the other, it produces some sort of a hybrid feel by both composite layers. You would need a bit of time to have the feel sink into your senses and then that is the time you can truly appreciate the blade. Is it a good blade? Yes not just good, it is awesome. Imagine that you can have the performance of ZJK ALC/Viscaria on one side and ZJK ZLC on the other side. All you need to do is just decide which side will be your forehand or backhand.
        0 people liked this review
        Posted 08-09-2018
        4.00 New all around blade from Stiga

        Stiga AzaleaAll Around has the following info:

        Plies: 5 (limba-ayous-ayous-ayous-limba)
        Weight: 87 grams
        Thickness: 5.86mm
        Speed: ALL+ to Off-

        It is a surprisingly superb even with the concept that it is designed for female table tennis players. The blade rated as ALL+ speed but it feels like an OFF- speed blade sometimes because it feels faster than an ALL+ when you are hitting with it. The Azalea ALL has enough speed to produce above average power shots. This was designed to have a very good feel but at the same time not as slow as the Stiga All Around Classic blade or the Stiga Evolution All Around blade. Imagine if you combine the characteristics of the 2 blades and make it a notch or 2 faster, then you would get the Azalea All Around. The difference between this and the Offensive version – it has the ayous as 2nd and 4th layers instead of spruce which makes the the blade a bit softer and slower than the Azalea Offensive.
        This is a blade you not only can start to develop your skills but also the blade will not disappoint you in terms of performance as I will be explaining more. In my opinion, if the Azalea Offensive blade can totally replace the Offensive Classic and Offensive Classic CR versions, then the Azalea All Around can replace the Evolution all around and the All Around Classic. The 2 Azalea blades are surprisingly offer more than what they have in looks which is to replace the blades they are representing on their specific class.

        The best feature of Azalea All- Around is the feel or ball-hand feedback. The A-ALL has a medium soft feeling with minimal vibrations and it does not vibrate much compared to the All Around Classic. It also does not feel hard but feels medium to medium soft when hitting or driving the ball. The Azalea All Around is one great looping machine and it loops better than any off- down to the all around blades in Stiga. The Azalea Offensive is already an awesome looping blade but the All Around version is even better if it is just slow looping where your focus is more on brushing the ball that produces a slow but very spinny ball. The rubbers used were Hurricane 3 and Mantra H for the test and even with the Mantra H being a very fast rubber, you can still brush the ball properly and gives you enough "dwell" when you are looping the ball. This is the blade you can grow your skills especially with spinny the ball at late point of contact. Of all the blades Stiga has produced this is the best blade they have right now for spinny loops and also seem to have the best feel (arguably). It has a medium to high arc when looping, I think the Azalea Offensive version has somewhat a higher throw than the All Around version but the All Around version also has a profound arc when you are spinning the ball that is essential in clearing the net especially with players learning how to brush the ball properly and looping the ball against underspin or backspin.
        Doing smashing and driving are all above average and it is quite understandable since this blade is not made for speed but more on control and development of skills but blocking is excellent as the great amount of control makes you feel more confident on your defensive shots. If you are a long pips user, this blade is good enough to learn the use of long pips or even as an advanced type of player you can either attack with long pips or even chop with it. It is good enough to chop using long pips but needs to have an OX version for a chopping LP for better control.
        The Azalea All Around is a great blade to start with if you are a beginner and an excellent blade to use even if you are on an advanced level if you use faster rubbers like Mantra H or Calibra LT Plus. This seems to be one of the best all around blades in the market right now with good quality and feel.
        3 people liked this review
        Posted 08-05-2018
        5.00 Super fast and Spinny ESN rubber

        Omega VII Tour
        Weight: 74 grams (uncut)
        Hardness: Hard
        Speed: OFF+
        Spin: Extremely High

        Omega VII Tour is the hardest rubber and at the same time the spiniest rubber in the Omega VII series. The Omega VII Tour will be out in August and I was fortunate enough to use this ahead of the release date. This is the fastest rubber in the market along with the Joola Rhyzer 48 only that the difference is that the O7T has a 55 degree hardness. I never thought I would use a non sticky ESN rubber this hard. The Vega China was very hard at 54 degrees but this is even harder at 55 degrees ESN scale. At first feel of the rubber before gluing it to the blade, the sponge is very hard but the topsheet feels medium soft. I guess, Xiom designed it as a balance for the hardness of the sponge. When you press against the topsheet, you can still feel your fingers dig into the sponge. I would not call it soft (i.e., the tospheet) but the ball can partially sink to it. It is on the heavy side. At 74 grams, it is even heavier than a DHS Hurricane 3 rubber.

        I tested this with several blades like Xiom Stradivarius, Fuga andFeel ZX3 but I spent the testing most with Stradivarius since it has the feel Ilike best. The Feel ZX3 is an awesome blade but since it is Kiso Hinoki, Ichoose to test the rubber more with the Stradivarius because it is a koto outerply blade. No offence to hinoki blade users but this is just a personal preference on top plies that I have for myself. The Omega VII Tour has an extragear or two compared to the Omega VII Asia. The VII Asia is already extremely fast but the Omega VII Tour still has extra speed that can offer. Mind you this is not for the faint hearted. The rubber is not designed for intermediate players or players that are still mastering their basics. It is a beast when you unleash it provided you have the skills because the rubber is the best representative for an all out offensive rubber never caring about defense. This is the rubber you go to when you want an artillery to demolish your opponent’s shots. Onthe serious side, the advanced players will really appreciate this because thepower on the shots is simply above the rest of the ESN rubbers in the market right now. I had to adjust with the rubber in my forehand because it was very bouncy on attacks. This is also because I am accustomed to slower rubbers thatare not as bouncy and not on the level or class of the Omega VII series of rubbers. For the backhand, it was not a big problem because I adjusted to it ina span of 2-3 days. When you are doing topspins, I would caution you to take a step back away from the table the moment comes back because you would need to stay a bit farther from the table because of its long trajectory. The Omega VII Tour shines the best starting at middle distance when you are past the initial attack and are already doing fierce exchanges with counter topspins. Its shines even better when you are far from the table because you will not feel a reduction of power and speed even ifyou will just an all wood blade. When I used this with the Xiom Fuga blade with the Omega VII Tour, the power of the rubber carried it through even at far distance from the table. I recognize that the Fuga is not a slow blade but with other rubbers on it, it would dwindle in its amount of power once you are far from the table.

        The thing with the Omega VII Tour is that it does not have the high throw of the Rhyzer 48. The Omega VII Tour has medium or medium high throw when you spin with it but it does not have the profound arc of the Rhyzer rather it has the sharp and long trajectory when doing topspins against underspin or topspins versus block. The spin is one of the spiniest I have tried. It already approaches near the Tenergy 05’s level of spin. If I compare it directly to Tenergy 05, it is almost as spinny but I would trade the Tenergy’s extra spin to the Omega VII Tour’s extra power. In the longer ran especially in rallies, the Omega VII Tour can overtake the Tenergy 05. Also,the Omega VII Tour’s hard sponge gives it a higher potential for spin and especially for power because you can compress more with sponge and the stronger the shot, the more compression with the sponge is needed. The O7T will give you extra juice when the situation calls for a very strong finishing shot whether it is near or far from the table.

        The surprising thing about the Omega VII Tour is that it has a lot of gears. It is not linear in every way wherein even at soft or weak shots like drop shots it would be bouncy but in the case of the O7T, the drop shots can be slow. I was surprised that it has a good degree of control on shots inside the table but still needs some adjustments. Blocking is also very stable and I am talking about passive blocks. Active blocking seems to be a bit bouncy and also need adjustment. Nevertheless, despite its overwhelming speed, I would suggest to tame it and tame it with a lot of practice especially as a forehand rubber.If you are an intermediate level of player, I would discourage you to use this in max thickness, even at 2.0mm I still think this would be too fast. This is suited for players who have mastered their shots and have very good control on their counter topspins and other form of attacks. In my opinion, I think we are facing the best attacking rubber that is new in the market right now.
        0 people liked this review
        Posted 07-08-2018
        4.00 Hard and fast attacking blade

        StigaNostalgic VII
        Weight: 93 grams
        Thickness: 6.39mm
        Plies: 7 ply (wenge-spruce-ayous-ayous-ayous-spruce-wenge)
        Speed: OFF+
        Hardness: Very Hard and Stiff

        The Nostalgic VII is avery fast blade and despite being just an all wood blade. The structure is likethat of the Nostalgic offensive but has extra ayous layers that makes it a 7ply blade, In short, it is the Nostalgic Offensive with 2 extra plies.
        This is the fastestblade in the series and also the one with the hardest feel. This has a distinctstiff feel intended to have a fast rebound effect when hitting the ball. Stigais saying they have patterned this to have a clipper like construction butinstead of an ayous wood as second layer, they used spruce instead ayous in the2nd and 6th layers. t is lighter compared to the Clipper Rosewood which couldreach up to 95 grams and above. The handle of the Nostalgic VII will not makeit as head heavy as the Clipper Rosewood because there is some weight with thehandle. The Hardwood series have a different surface of their blade headsalso because the eb7 and rw7 both have a thin nct coating.

        For its speed, the bladeis one great whacking blade. I glued it with Mantra H and Calibra LT Sound inorder to decrease the weight. The speed is more or less equally fast as theRosewood 7 if not greater. If you compare it to other blades, Nostalgic VII isfaster than Clipper CC and more or less the same speed with Nexy Higgs.The blade is powerful enough in which even at far distance with both the MantraH and Calibra LT Sound, the Nostalgic VII could easily clear the net. If I wouldcompare its speed to composite blades, I would rate it as faster than aCarbonado 90 but a step lower in speed than Carbonado 145/190. If being comparedto common blades from other brands, it is a notch lower than TB ALC andViscaria in terms of speed but there are onstances when you are hitting theball flat with Nostalgic VII that you can feel it has more power.

        How is the spin? Itdepends on the rubber you are using because if you are just a flat hitter ormostly do loop drives then the Nostalgic VII is more than good enough for thatparticular type of style. If for example you glue the Mantra H, Calibra LT Plusthen you have one hell of a counter driving and hitting set up. If you like tospin then the catch is to use a slower or softer rubber. With the slowerrubber, I also used the Calibra LT Spin for the Nostlagic VII because it seemsto be a good combination. With the Calibra Spin as a forehand rubber, theNostalgic VII can offer a good amount of spin. If you choose to use a Chineserubber, I would recommend the Genesis S version at it is softer. When I used myHurricane 3 on it, you have to make sure it is boosted and softened. If you usemedium hard rubbers, you would need to carefully select the rubber for it andalso your brushing skills should be good. With soft rubbers like Calibra LTSound, the ball hits the sponge deeply so spinning is not a challenge but withharder rubbers you need to brush up a little bit aside from adjusting to thebounciness of the combo. I do appreciate the Mantra H’s ability to spin verywell when you know how to brush the rubber only that the challenge is that itis very bouncy on a hard blade like Nostalgic VII. Also, by using softrubbers like Calibra Sound, you would also save weight as this blade is on the90’s scale.

        The Nostalgic VIIdefinitely recommend this to people who have at least intermediate level ofskills as this blade is for advanced level players. Offensive short pip playerswould love this blade as it attacks very well with short pips due to its hardand stiff characteristics. Smashers and blockers would also love this sincethis is more of a hitting blade rather than a spinner’s blade. If you are aslow looping kind of a player the Nostalgic Offensive/ALL are the ones foryou and not this. Overall, I am quite surprised with the quality and

        0 people liked this review
        Posted 05-06-2018
        4.00 good attacking all wood blade

        The Omega Pro is an all wood blade with hard outer plies. It has rosewood outer veneers. Although description on the stats it has hard ebony wood veneers but the other description is it is rosewood. The Omega series boasts of having jointless veneers - meaning unlike other brands which have non-continuous layers of wood, the Omega Pro has continuous plies. The blade feels hard on the surface but when you hit with it it doesn't feel too stiff. Unlike, the rosewood blades of other brands that feel stiff and heavy, the Omega Pro has somewhat of of a semi soft feel on impact. The one I had was with a ST handle and weighed 86 grams only so the blade is light. Other rosewood blades in the market with 7 plies usually have a heavier weight which ranges from 90-93 grams. Thickness of the blade is about 6-6.2mm. The wing part near the neck of the blades needs to be sanded. Good thing the Omega Series has a built in sanding device that is included in the blade box. You have to sand the wing part because it is a bit sharp but this is not a major issue.
        The blade is not too fast. If I compare it to other 7 ply rosewood blades, I would rate it as OFF but I sometimes feel that it is an off- blade. It does not feel too bouncy but the when you loop with it it seems to be good enough to spin and has a good "dwell time". When I was looping the ball, I felt that the ball was easy to spin like brushing the ball with a limba outer 7 ply blade. In fact, it feels like just a semi stiff 5 ply blade when you are looping with it. When you smash with it, the hard outer plies is a good combination because you are able to give the ball the needed power and rebound when hitting the ball. The control is superb wherein it blocks well. This is mainly suited near the table and to some extent medium distance from the table. Soft and medium hardness rubbers are the best rubbers suited for the Omega Pro. I have used the Omega V Pro, Vega Asia DF, Vega Asia and Omega VII Pro with this blade and all works really well but to maximize the power I suggest to use the Omega VII Pro all the way since some players would find this blade slow to their taste. The blade has good control wherein beginners can even use this blade with slower and thinner sponge rubber versions of Musa 3 or Vega Europe at 2.0mm thickness.
        0 people liked this review
        Posted 05-06-2018
        5.00 Excellent but low cost rubber

        This is an amazing rubber. It may be 1 or 2 generations older than the Xiom Omega VII rubbers but this one still can compete with newer rubbers. This rubber is almost good in everything because:

        1. Vega Asia DF was released a few years ago but it still packs a punch when doing topspins and hard smashes. This rubber is very fast. It is as fast as Rasanter 45 rubbers although harder rubbers like Omega V or Vii pro can be faster on stronger shots due to having a property where you can compress the sponge more without hitting the wood or "bottoming out". Softer rubbers seem to bottom out but the Vega Asia DF seem to have no bottoming out effect observed. This is an excellent attacking rubber for both backhand and forehand since it is a good alternative for newer attacking rubbers that are much expensive. It has enough power near and far from the table.

        2. Very spinny even for polyballs. The DF or Dynamic Friction formula for the Vega Asia DF produces very good amount of spin despite being overshadowed by its cousins. Most people find the Vega Pro version spinnier but I found out that the Pro version is inclined more for people who are very good in brushing the ball in order to spin. The Vega DF is very spinny and easier to spin despite having not so developed skills or techniques. The Vega DF has an improvement over the old Vega Asia version in which it is a few notches spinnier but nothing more. The old Vega Asia is as fast as the DF version but the difference in spin can be felt by a lot of players I have asked to use the rubber also. I had the non df and df versions at hand at the same time on the same blade for comparison.

        3.I think you can buy Vega Asia DF as low as 33-34USD. If you cannot affod the Omega V or VII rubbers, then this is a good alternative rubber. It may not be as fast as the newer ones but it offers more than what it is priced. Like the Musa 3, the Vega Asia DF is a low cost but high performance rubber.

        4. I find the Vega Asia DF as a very good backhand rubber. It blocks better and has more control than Tenergy 64 though a tad less spinny. It is easier to block very strong attacks with the Vega DF in both forehand and backhand. You cannot chop with it defensively since this is an attacking rubber but all other strokes are fine with Vega Asia DF.
        0 people liked this review
        Posted 03-26-2018
        5.00 A good MX-P alternative

        Victas V>15 Extra rubber

        Weight: 66-68 grams uncut

        Speed: OFF+

        Spin: Very High

        Sponge Hardness: Medium Hard (47.5 degrees)

        Victas has been producing rubbers with the likes of Extra 01 and Limber in the past and has produced good success in offering alternatives to mainstream and established brands of table tennis products. The V>15 Extra is a German made rubber for this Japanese company.

        Victas V15> Extra offers itself as an alternative to a very saturated market of either Japanese rubbers like Tenergy or various brands like Tibhar and Donic which coincidentally are also made by ESN, the company that produces "tensor" rubbers. I tested this using a Nexy Kim Jung Hoon blade which is a 7 ply, white ash top plies off+ blade. The V>15 Extra is an amazingly fast rubber. Even at 47.5 degrees, the V>15 Extra feels not too hard when you press the sponge and topsheet together. The topsheet feels soft against its medium hard sponge when you compress it. The topsheet is reminiscent of the Joola Rhyzm-P topsheet in which they have the same color which is light red but have different design, structure and probably composition. The V>15 Extra offers very high amount of spin. The spin is more than a lot compared to several German-made rubbers in the market. It can be a substitute to Tibhar MX-P rubber wherein it shares the same speed but offers more speed and more control. Basically the amount of spin is equal to the MX-P but Victas V>15 Extra packs a lot more power with the combination of speed and spin. Although both rubbers are very good, the V>15 Extra offers more control and is also more forgiving on shots and these characteristics makes the V>15 Extra attractive to a lot of players. The topsheet is also very durable as what people around the net have made feedbacks on this rubber. The arc or throw is medium to medium high when looping and when you loop with the V>15 Extra, heavy underspin is easier to lift. Blocking is also very good where in the inherent amount of control this rubber has. Smashing is also

        a very good area where this rubber excels because the ball can sink partially into the sponge producing a good amount of speed and power when smashing high balls.

        I would recommend this to advanced level players who require power, speed and spin but do not want to lose control. If they are looking for a durable rubber because they are on a budget, then this rubber will last longer than they expect it to be. Even with just the Joola Flame series all wood blades, this rubber can already produce power and speed equivalent to using a carbon blade. Overall, this is an amazing rubber and worth its price.

        0 people liked this review
        Posted 03-05-2018
        4.00 New ZL carbon blade from Tibhar

        Tibhar Kinetic Speed
        Thickness: 5.9mm
        Plies: 7 (limba outer plies - CZ composite -? - kiri or koto?)
        Weight 84-85 grams
        Speed: OFF

        The Tibhar Kinetic Speed blade gave me a mixed feeling of holding a blade that feels like ZJK ALC Blue Dragon blade and the ZJK ZLC blade. The shape of the handle vaguely resembles the ZJK ZLC blade but they just do not play the same way. THE KS is a finely crafted blade with good quality and good looks. The handle feels very comfortable and I prefer the KS' handle over the Cedric Nuytinck's shape. The KS handle is similar to the shape of ZJK ZLC compared to the Cedric's handle which has an almost oblong shape. The blade head shape is also like that of the Cedric Nuytinck which has a semi-egg shaped design. The KS is faster than the Nuytinck but the Drinkhall power carbon is still faster. The speed of the KS will not exceed the speed of Viscaria or Timo Boll ALC. The blade has plenty of speed but still not too fast that it is not on the level of Samsonov Carbon.

        The Kinetic Speed has good feel despite having a more stiff construction. The Viscaria feels a tad harder and more crisp while the KS maintains a semi soft feel on impact. Despite having a composite make-up, the Kinetic Speed does not feel too hard and feels a little bit woody. The feel really reminded me of the ZJK ALC and also being a light blade it felt like it only that the KS feels a bit more solid. It has a typical feel of composite blades. It does not feel like it is close to that of the Viscaria's feel but it does not feel hard but not too soft at the same time. The Kinetic Speed is a very predictable blade which offers a player exactly what he applies on the blade. It has good gears. You can have it slow if you wanted it slow and you can have it fast if you apply more power. It is slightly faster than the Nuytinck but almost the same control because the speed difference is not that big. It is well suited for powershots like loop drives, smashes and counter loops middle distance and up to far distance from the table depending on the rubber used. Some players would find it very bouncy near the table and would prefer to use it mid-distance but skilled players have no problem using near the table. The power slightly decreases at far distance from the table. The MX-P would be excellent in the Kinetic force because despite being a fast blade you will still be able to control MX-P on this one. Actually, I think you will not have any problems looping with MX-P on this blade. While the Cedric Nuytinck can be used by intermediate players due to its high level of control despite being a carbon blade, I would recommend the Kinetic Force for more advanced players.

        1 people liked this review
        Posted 03-05-2018
        4.00 Excellent control carbon blade

        Tibhar Cedric Nuytinck
        Speed: OFF
        Plies: 7 (limba outer-ZC composite -?-kiri?)
        Thickness: 5.8mm

        Finally this blade that I have been waiting for so long to test arrived. I was intrigued with this blade because Samsonov used this blade. The blade's handle was shown to be wrapped with handle grip covering the entire length but the single black or blue stripe at the middle of the handle gave us a clue that this was the blade he was using. I think he covered it only to protect the identity of the blade as this blade was designed and advertised for another player with the same name. I think Vladi uses the VS Unlimited blade nowadays but he spend significant time using this blade in tournaments. The blade is encased in a big and better looking box unlike other Tibhar blades with their small boxes this one has a better packaging. The blade itself has a high quality finish like the Unlimited Blade series before. The blade surface seem to have a very thin layer of sealing or the blade is just smooth. The head shape seem to be semi-egg shaped. it is not as profound as those Waldner egg shaped blades. The blade weighs about 87 grams and the weight tilts towards the head but it never felt head heavy when I used the Aurus Prime and Select rubbers at maxed thickness. The neck and wing part need only a little bit of sanding. If only they have pre-sanded the neck part of the blade, this would have been perfect. The handle is very comfortable but the Unlimited series seem to be my personal choice for their handles and they feel bigger to the hands.

        When I bounced the ball onto the bare blade, the ball bounced on a medium height. It is surprising that Tibhar did not release any OFF+ blades in their latest set of blades. They would usually make 2-3 blades with one being very fast, one medium speed and the other is a typical all around blade. I would probably attribute this to the fact that the new generation tensor rubbers nowadays when even paired with off- blades only can already compensate to the blade's lack very fast of speed. In short, blade's power can be increased by using fast rubbers like Aurus Prime or MX-P. I did not have a chance to test this with an MX-P. The Cedric blade has enough speed but it is not too fast. In fact it is slower than the CCA Unlimited before and the past blades such as Paul Drinkhall Carbon and Samsonov Carbon blade (the one with the blue handle). If I compare it to other brands, the Cedric Nuytinck blade is closer to the Carbonado 145 in terms of speed and maybe feel except that the Carbonado feel more stiff.

        What I like about the Cedric blade is that it is a high performance blade despite being not too fast at all. The blade excels close to the table and mid distance from the table. It has enough power that will let the player feel it is not a slow blade. However when it is paired with an MXP- or Aurus Prime it is good even at far distance from the table. The blade feels medium soft. It has this flex that you need when you loop the ball and looping with it is very easy. The Cedric blade has very good control and seems to be as good as the Samsonov Stratus carbon in terms of handling however I like the Cedric better because it feels a bit softer if my memory does not betray me. This would be one of the best control carbon blades in the market if paired with the right rubber. I suggest to pair this more with MX-S if you are a pure looper and with Aurus Prime or MX-P if you hit more or need more power in your shots. It is just easy to handle that even an intermediate level of player can use this probably with slower rubbers like a 2.0 MX-S or 2.0 EL-P. The blade also provides good control in blocking and when you want to use long pips in the back either for pure blocking or attacking long pips style, the blade is good enough to use. I would assume it would also pair well with Chinese rubbers because of the limba outer plies and the woody feeling due to the very thin carbon layers.
        1 people liked this review
        Posted 02-18-2018
        4.00 Excellent 7 ply all wood blade

        The Xiom Zeta Offensive all wood blade is koto 7 ply blade from Xiom. The ZOC is about 87 grams in weight and about 6.2mm thick. It feels harder than the Xiom Solo which has an identical composition. The Xiom Solo despite being a 7 ply blade, the feel and flex is a that of a 5 ply blade and the speed is only at OFF- and not a true OFF blade. The ZOC feels a tad harder than a Clipper CR with more speed and power. The blade is an attacking blade but offers very good control slightly lower than that of the Solo. The blade feels like having a semi-hard feel with some flex. When paired with a a powerful rubber like Omega 7 Pro, it is excellent away from the table while maintaining control. This is also a cheap blade priced at about 50USD.
        1 people liked this review
        Posted 02-18-2018
        4.00 Best Mid-range priced rubber

        Musa 3

        The Musa 3 is a very under rated rubber in the market today. Much attention has been given on newer and faster ESN rubbers, the Musa 3 seem to be not given much attention by players. There are ESN rubbers that were released by TT companies with rubbers like Roxxon, GTT rubbers that are in the mid-ranged cost of 30-35usd but they have older generation topsheets with newer sponges glued to them. The Musa 3 looks different that the topsheet is unlike rubbers before it and that it is not a slow rubber with less spin but rather it is surprisingly fast and bouncy. Upon checking, the Musa 3 is a medium soft rubber. You can feel the softness when you are pressing lightly against the topsheet but not as soft as a Vega Elite. It is closer to the softness of Vega Europe. The Musa 3 is very fast and bouncy that people who have tried it seem to think that it is faster than the Acuda S2 or Bluefire M2 but slower than MXP or Rhyzm 48. It feels like a classic Japanese rubber that is spin-elastic. You can say it is like an improved classic rubber like Mark V but the spin and speed are marginally higher. The spin is very good and it has a high amount of spin. If the likes of the Omega V pro or Euro and even the Omega VII Pro have very high or extreme level of spin, the Musa 3 has high amount of spin. I would put it as having the same level of spin with Acuda S2 or Bluefire M2 but feels softer. The arc is medium to medium high arc when looping. The ball digs deep into the sponge and topsheet when looping producing a very good amount of spin. The power is good up to middle distance from the table. I feel the power diminish at about 6 feet away from the table. It is better as a close to the table rubber that is very good for quick attacks, blocking, flicking and drop shots. The Musa 3 is an all around rubber that can basically do any type of shot being an offensive rubber. If the Vega Series like Europe, Asia, Japan and Pro versions were o be phased out in the market, the Musa 3 can actually replace all of them because it is as good as those rubbers mentioned. I would suggest this to players are budget conscious that want to have the best value their limited budget can buy. Even higher level players can actually use this effectively as a backhand rubber. This was tested with the Zeta Offensive Carbon blade. Uncut Weight is 64-65 grams
        0 people liked this review
        Posted 02-18-2018
        4.00 Best-selling SP in Japan

        The Vega SPO is already in the market for a long time when I tested it. Tony of Tony's Table Tennis informed me that the Vega SPO is a best -selling short pimpled rubber in Japan but seem no to have caught the attention of people outside Japan. It has a medium soft sponge. The sponge feels like a Vega Europe but when combined with the topsheet, the Vega SPO feels like a medium hardness pips out rubber. The pip structure is arranged in a diagonal manner and they feel grippy. The pimple structure feel they have some softness like the Royal and when you compare it to the TSP Super Spin Pips, the Super Spin Pips seems a bit harder. It is closer to the feel of Stiga Royal. The Vega SPO has a similar black carbo sponge similar to that of the Omega series rubbers especially the Omega V sponge in particular. If you compare it to the Xiom Zava short pips before, the Vega SPO has a more firm feel while the Zava has like a medium soft feel. The ball sinks deeper into the sponge with the Zava compared to the Vega SPO.
        The pip structure is very grippy but not tacky like the Stiga Radical. When doing push-chops, you can push-chop with it with heavy amount of spin and it feels it has more spin than TSP Super Spin Pips and RICT 802-40. Backhand topspin opening against underspin seem to be very good both in the forehand and backhand. A friend of mine who is not a short pips user tried the Vega SPO as his forehand rubber because he is usually inclined to slap and contact the ball deeply against the sponge. He being a beginner in using short pips as a forehand rubber, was able to easily use the SPO as a forehand rubber because he could easily slap the incoming balls with underspin. I can say that this shows that the SPO is not hard to use. I like it as a backhand rubber because it is easier to use than the RITC 802-40 and Stiga Radical because of the RITC 802-40's lesser grip and the Stiga Radical's unpredictability. The SPO's effect is more predictable when to expect heavy pin or no spin from it. It could attack really well because the pips can grab the ball better compared to common short pip rubbers that has lesser grip. A good knuckle effect is also observed with punch blocking and the ball sometimes float low and slows down when you are blocking against it sometimes disrupting your timing. ​​The speed is fast at 2.0mm and much more at max sponge thickness. There is a big gap with the their speed. If you compare the speed, Royal and SPO seem to have equal speed but I am not sure enough comparing the speed with the Raystorm.
        0 people liked this review
        Posted 02-18-2018
        5.00 Controlled looping carbon blade

        Testing was done with Xiom Omega VII Pro, Vega Intro, Vega SPO and Musa 3 rubbers. The ZOC+ blade weighs 84 grams but the range of weight is85-87 grams. The blade has a medium stiff feel. It feels stiffer than the Feel AX blade and a tad faster but it almost has the same feel. I am not sure if the top ply is made of Walnut or colored Limba. Central ply looks like Kiri. The ZOC+ feels light, balanced but never hollow. Even if it is labelled as OFF+, it should be rated it as OFF only because it is not faster than Viscaria. I say it is as fast as Viscaria. On a bare blade doing ball- bouncing, the height of the ball bouncing against the bare blade is medium high and a little bit higher than Feel AX or almost the same bounce as Viscaria or Xiom Stradivarius. The Zeta Offensive Carbon+ is a "can-do all" all-around offensive blade. I still love the Feel Ax, I switched to the ZOC+ immediately because the control never really decreased in my part but I felt an increased in speed by a few notches indicating that the ZOC is a faster blade than the Feel AX. The ball feedback with the ZOC+ is excellent to feel in the hand and it does not feel too hard nor too soft. The blade has enough hardness to give you the power and speed but it has a softness innate to the blade when you are hitting with it so it has a combination of balanced softness and hardness. The Zeta series blades have actually one of the best handles in the line of blades for Xiom. The handle is just right including the wing part. If I compare it with the Feel Series blades, the wing part of the AX and other blades are wider and you need to sand them. The Omega series have also good handles but they feel too slender at times and with the Zeta blade handles, they feel just right.
        The Zeta Offensive Carbon+ is an excellent attacking blade with balance on looping and driving. Looping the ball is as easy as looping with the Feel AX but it feels much faster. The blade feels bouncy but not too fast. It has more than enough speed that you need for powerful shot but it has control like that of an off- blade. Smashing is very good but the best qualities of the ZOC+ is looping, blocking and inside the table strokes like flicks and drops are all easy to execute with it. The ZOC+ has been my main blade with much preference compared to the Feel AX, both have the good flex in looping but the Zeta Offensive + blade is just a step better. In terms of power ZOC+ is limited to the middle distance from the table and farther from the table it loses some amount of power on your shots unless you place a very fast rubber with it like Omega VII Pro. The Zeta Offensive + can be used by players that are in the intermediate level when it is paired with the Vega Intro 2.0mm or Vega Elite 2.0mm rubbers in which control is really abundant. Advanced and even elite players will greatly love the Zeta Offensive Carbon + because it is dynamic, fast, controllable and excellent in every shot. It is about 60-65usd so the price for its performance is really good.
        1 people liked this review
        Posted 02-12-2018
        4.00 Great Beginner's Rubber

        - this is a very under rated beginenr's rubber although the characteristics of this rubber is even good enough for advanced and intermediate level of players. Speed is OFF-, it is slightly faster than the Yasaka Mark V but it has the classic feel of Japanese rubbers in older times. The Vega Intro is a user friendly rubber to develop strokes. The rubber is not too fast but it offers high level of control. The topsheet is very grippy and is spinnier than Mark V or Sriver EL. Beginners can use the 2.0 version of the Intro and intermediate players can use the max version with no difficulty.
        0 people liked this review
        Posted 02-12-2018
        4.00 OFF+ medium soft rubber

        - 66 grams uncut
        - medium to medium soft
        - off+
        The Rhyzer 43 is a toned down version of the Rhyzer 48. It is labeled as 43 degrees but the total hardness with the sponge seems to be medium and sometimes even harder than the usual 45 degree rubbers that I have tried like the Joola s Maxxx 450, Rakza 7 or Adidas P7. With the Rhyzer 43, at tleast you could feel the softer topsheet compared to the Rhyzer 48 rubber which has an overall hard feeling. What I like about the Rhyzer 43 is that it easier to use than the 48 version. In my case, I choose to place it in a slower blade like the Xiom Feel Ax because when I placed it with the Rhyzer 48 in the Pro Spin Power blade, the Rhyzer 43 still goes off the table easily. So I placed it with in a slower blade which is the Feel AX and then the magical moment happened. The rubber is very good and the speed is more than enough even with a slower blade. The Rhyzer 43 is still very fast and the speed is equal to that of the MX-P. If people are looking for a substitute of the Adidas P7 then this rubber will suffice. It has the control and feel of the P7 but the speed and spin is marginally bigger. The topsheet is very grippy like the 48 version but the softer sponge allowas the ball to sink into the sponge easier. The rubber is very bouncy that it is easy to slap and drive low flying balls. At least the Rhyzer 43 is a little bit controllable compared to the 48 degree version. Nevertheless, the 48 and 43 Rhyzers are excellent both as forehand and backhand rubbers.I am currently using the Rhyzer 43 as my forehand rubber in one of my rackets because the 48 is not just for my level.
        0 people liked this review
        Posted 02-12-2018
        4.00 Superfast ESN Rubber

        The JoolaRhyzer 48 is hands down the fastest ESN rubber in the market right now. I have tested it bought with a not-so-known Pro Spin Power blade which is an off+ balsa-carbon blade and the Xiom Feel Ax which is a softer Viscaria blade. People have asked me to compare this with the Xiom Omega VII Pro and there is quite a big difference and in my opinion they are in a different class. I think the upcoming Omega VII Tour should be the equivalent of the Rhyzer 48 and not the Pro version because they feel really different and the VII Pro is marginally softer and lighter. The Rhyzer 48 being 68-69 grams uncut and the Omega VII Pro being 65-66 grams uncut. The Rhyzer 48 is medium hard. It feels a lot firmer than Omega VII Pro. Even the topsheet of the Rhyzer 48 is not as soft as the VII Pro.
        The Rhyzer 48 is a beast waiting to be tamed. I think it is not for the untrained. The speed is ridiculously fast. I would boldly rate it as faster than the MX-P rubber. I have used the MX-P on a similar blade with balsa-carbon composition but the at least the MX-P is controllable. The Rhyzer on a very fast carbon blade just goes off the table with a long and high trajectory. I would think maybe because of the trend today of not using blades that are too fast, the Rhyzer is enough to use that you will not lack the speed or power that you need in your shots even if you will just use it on an all+ blade. It should be paired with an all wood blade or if you choose to have a composite blade then the speed of the blade should not exceed that of the Viscaria or Timo Boll ALC blade. Its speed should rival Bryce Speed or even faster by a few notches. The good side is, if you have the training or the skill, the Rhyzer48 is a powerful rubber to use. If I compare it to the the Rhyzm 48 before, the Rhyzm 48 is a mild version with lesser amount of spin. When you are in the receiving end of the Rhyzer 48, you could feel how heavy and spinny the balls are when somebody is using it against you. The very long trajectory of the Rhyzer 48 ensures you that even at 4 meters away from the table, yours shots will not fall short. Also, at close to the table distance, very short swings will handle the ball more than enough to attack it with good amount of speed.
        If in terms of spin , the potential level of Rhyzer 48 is much higher than any other rubber in the market with the exception of maybe Tenergy 05 but the level of spin between the 2 seem to be very minute. The ESN rubbers, over the years, have been inching closer to Tenergy in terms of spin. Speed is not a problem for ESn rubber as a lot of ESN rubbers are faster than Tenergy 05 but it is the rubbers grip towards the ball that ESN rubbers are trying to catch up to and I think with Rhyzer, the topsheet’s grip can compete with T05 and give it a run for its money. If you compare it to Xiom Omega VII Pro, the O7P is easier to produce spin probably because the sponge is softer and the rubber is easier to use but the Rhyzer if used correctly can have a higher level of spin. I would wait for the Omega VII Tour to fully compare rubbers in terms of spin and speed.
        The Rhyzer is an excellent offensive rubber that does not need an off+ blade to be used. In fact, it needs a slower blade to be fully utilized by players like me who are not pros or not on elite level of playing style. In my opinion, this will be the hot selling rubber early 2018 unless newer and better rubbers will come out later this year.
        0 people liked this review
        Posted 01-21-2018
        4.00 High Performance rubber

        I got to review this for megaspin.net and xiomtt.com. The Omega VII Euro is the younger brother of the Omega VII Pro having a lesser amount of speed and slightly lesser amount of spin. Just like the previous series, the euro version is always the more controllable one except for the Omega V Euro which seems to be harder than the V Pro version. Anyway, as tradition of Xiom for tis Euro rubber version, the Omega VII Euro is fast attacking rubber with high level of spin. Strange thing though that the Omega VII Euro seem to feel a bit more firm than the 7 Pro version and this is probably because of the topsheet hardness. You can say that the 7 Euro is a very good all around attacking rubber that can do everything well from attacking to blocking and also short strokes inside the table. The Omega 7 Euro is a do all rubber that is not too fast with very good control and high level of spin. If the Omega 7 pro is designed for higher level of players, the Euro 7 version is the best for intermediate and advanced players. Even beginners using a 2.0 sponge can use it well because it is very easy to control and use. The topsheet has the same topsheet with the 7 Pro but has a lower spin potential than the 7 Pro. The Omega V Euro seems to be harder in its sponge and seem to be tackier or grippier but at the same time it is also spin sensitive. The Omega 7 Euro however is not as spin sensitive. I find the V euro sometimes spinnier than the VII Euro spinnier when you are doing brushing contact with the ball on loops. This rubber is good for both backhand and forehand as this is already very spinny and controllable for most players and their levels. It is best paired with medium hard or stiff blades.
        1 people liked this review
        Posted 01-21-2018
        5.00 Easy to use offensive rubber

        I got this from megaspin.net and xiomtt korea. The Omega VII Pro is the newest Xiom rubber that was just released this January. I have this rubber late December 2017 and I was able to fully test this for a few weeks. This is indeed a different ESN rubber because it doesn't feel like the previous Rasanters. The texture of the topsheet is different with the Rasanters being smoother compared to the topsheet of the Omega VII rubbers. The topsheet is soft and the Pro version feels like it is softer than 45 degrees overall if you take into account the soft topsheet and the sponge. The sponge is a black porous sp[onge like the usual carbo sponge that Xiom has but it looks different from the older rubbers. The topsheet is very grippy, it seems to be a little tacky compared to the plain grippy topsheet of the Rasanters. The O7P is one of the easiest rubber to use. I think aside from the weight which is 45 grams cut to a 150x157mm blade head, the rubber is very easy to use which is its main selling point. Even people who have tried the O7P say that the rubber is so forgiving that even with poorly executed shots, the ball goes in and gives you a huge room for mistakes but still be able to return the ball with ease. I would say even intermediate level players can use the O7P with ease and confidence. The Omega 7 Pro is a very fast rubber. It is a purely offensive rubber that can attack near and far from the table while leaving room for errors. It is very forgiving that even if you slap very low flying balls, you would still be able to land the ball on the other side. It is faster than the MX-P and slightly faster than the Rasanter R47. The speed of the O7P is more or less equal to that of the Tenergy 64 speed but with a higher angle. The spin is quite surprising because the Omega 7 Pro is not only very easy to produce spin, it is very easy to produce very heavy spin. The very grippy topsheet when combined with the topsheet softness lets the ball sink deeper into the sponge allowing the player to have more grip with the ball. The level of spin for the O7P is very high, in fact it can be spinnier than the MX-P but it is easier to use. The O7P loops well either by thin brushing contact with the ball or sinking the ball deeper and use more sponge compression to produce spin and speed in stronger shots but the Omega 7 Pro favors the sponge compression more because it is just the way it was designed to do with the polyballs. It is a trend with polyballs that people need to compress the sponge more when spinning the ball to produce heavier spin and the O7P is geared towards this approach. The O7P is also an excellent attacking and blocking rubber in the backhand where in those backhand shots like flicks and slaps near the net are very accurate and easy to do. It also blocks very well despite having a sort of tacky topsheet. It absorbs the impact easily on very strong shots making blocking very easy while maintaining control over the ball. So far, the Omega 7 Pro is the easiest high speed/spin rubber in the market right.

        5 people liked this review
        Posted 01-08-2018
        5.00 Super attacking blade

        The Xiom ZX3 blade is the flagship blade of the Xiom Feel Series. This is also the most expensive blade among the 8 newly released blades in the Feel series. I had the opportunity to play with this blade for several weeks at the same time testing this. The ZX3 has a very high quality craftsmanship. Although it doesn't say on the blade surface that this is kiso hinoki, I have confirmed that this is kiso hinoki as what the HX Pro and HX blades are also made from. This is a very fast blade. This is the 2nd fastest blade in the Feel series with the HX Pro being the fastest one. Some people would say that the ZX2 is the fastest because it is thicker than the ZX3 but I feel a small difference in extra speed and kick on the ball with the ZX3 compared to the ZX2. Both blades are OFF+ and stiff but the ZX3 is slightly softer than the ZX2 that it makes looping. The ZX3 is about 88-89 grams and feels slightly head heaavy. Most of the Feel blades produce are on the medium heavy or heavy side of weight. Xiom says that they intended this because the new Xiom Omega 7 Pro and Euro Versions are lighter than current ESN and Tenergy rubbers so to combine with the Feel blades will make the racket not too heavy. Anyway, the ZX3 loops great despite being a very fast blade. It is not as fast as a Schlager Carbon but a few levels slower. The blade is very bouncy but it keeps a good control. Also, despite being stiff, there is a mixed feel of softness upon impact of the ball. The ZX3 attacks really good near until far the table but even near the table the blade is very controllable. It is both a looper's blade and an aggressive loop driver/smasher blade because it can just do any attacking stroke with great precision and ease.
        2 people liked this review
        Posted 12-25-2017
        4.00 Controlled looping Carbon Blade

        The HX version is a thinner version of the HX Pro with the same Kiso Hinoki outer plies. The blade has slightly wider wing part compared to older models like the Omega or Vega Series blades. The handles of the 2 blades are thicker by a millimeter. Usually, when I measured the older blades they have, the handle thickness is just 25mm+. With the HX Pro it is 26mm+ and the HX version almost at 26mm. The wing or neck part of the blade needs to be sanded slightly but this is not a big problem. The only concern that I have is that the metal logo at the sides of the handle easily tarnish because of sweat from the hands. I would suggest probably sealing or varnishing the logo to prevent this from happening.
        The HX version is a toned down version of the HX Pro and it has control written all over it. The HX version is thinner and definitely slower than the HX Pro but still plenty fast. I would compare the speed of the HX version as slightly faster than the Stradivarius but slower than the Ignito. For other brands, the HX version is as fast as or slightly faster than the Timo Boll ALC with a more solid feel. The HX version can be everybody’s carbon blade because it is that just good of an offensive carbon blade. The one who used it aside from me even commented that it has the same control of a Timo Boll Alc but has a slightly different feel because of the different composite materials used. The HX version is good for spinning mostly near and mid-distance from the table. Near the table, it is good to loop with because of the control and not fearing the ball overshooting the table but the HX version is best at middle distance. If you want to play far from the table, you would probably need a faster rubber like the Omega V Pro. The one I used for the test for both blades and other Feel blades is the Xiom Omega Euro DF.
        0 people liked this review
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