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azlan
02-17-2012, 05:37 PM
I have a question which was asked by one of my mates that I could not answer. So, I'm wondering if you guys can give me your opinion.

As you all know, the sponges that comes at the back of the rubbers (inverted & pips) have different properties. Some have higher density, harder and some are softer. These sponges are then attached to hard and soft rubbers.
For example, if the rubbers are soft, so do they have :
1. softer rubbers with medium sponge or do they have
2. medium rubbers with softer sponge, or do they have
3. soft sponge and rubbers?
And, does the colour of the sponges make any difference to the properties of the whole rubber, or is it just the manufacturers' preference.

I know these are all very technical stuff, but any views and opinions are most welcome and greatly appreciated. Thanx guys.:)

Anders123
02-17-2012, 10:21 PM
A very nice question. I had thought about this aswell :)

YosuaYosan
02-17-2012, 10:51 PM
I know! I know! :D
But.. I am going to school now (extras and tests on Saturday due to national exam)..

I will write here right away if I could :)

UpSideDownCarl
02-18-2012, 04:03 AM
Okay, let me see if I can give some info.

I will use Sriver as an example. Regular Sriver has the same topsheet as Sriver FX but the sponge on FX is softer. So the hardness of the topsheet does not always change with the hardness of the sponge.

On rubbers like DHS there is a thought that the red rubbers are not quite as good as the Black rubbers. From a technical standpoint the color of the topsheet should not change the quality of the rubber because the only difference should be the color of the dye used. However, it is possible that the red topsheets for DHS are made slightly differently for one reason or another so that the Black ones do in fact work better. I have felt no real difference between red and black myself. But.... :)

Color of the sponge. So, from a technical standpoint the color of the sponge should also only reflect the use of a different dye on the sponge. An orange sponge = orange dye; a blue sponge = blue dye. However, a company like DHS, I believe, actually uses a different sponge and a different quality of sponge, when they use the blue sponge with a Hurricane or Skyline topsheet. I will use Butterfly rubbers as an example again. Sriver, Bryce and Tenergy all have different sponges just like they have different topsheets. Lets say that they decided to have 3 versions of a new Rubber. The Lets call this new Rubber, SBT (Sriver, Bryce, Tenergy). So lets say there is the "Commercial" version of SBT and it has the Tenergy topsheet and the Sriver Sponge; lets also say that they choose to dye this sponge yellow. Then there is the "Provincial" version of SBT and they use the same Tenergy topsheet, but they use the Bryce Sponge; Lets say they choose to dye the sponge on this one Orange. Then there is the top of the line version the "National Team" version of SBT: Lets say it uses the Tenergy Spring Sponge and they choose to dye the Spring Sponge Blue.

So in the scenario above, the different colored dye does not actually change anything. The actual determining factor of whether the sponge is better is the kind of sponge used. But the company has decided to use a different color dye to make the differentiation between the different sponges visible. Does that make sense?

Lets look at Tenergy 05, 64 and 25 for a moment to examine another issue. The Spring Sponge on all three Tenergy rubbers is the same. The topsheet on all three Tenergy rubbers is--brief pause for dramatic effect--THE SAME. I know, many people will not get this or believe this, but it is true. The topsheet itself is exactly the same on all three. So what makes the three so different, and they are different. THE SIZE OF THE PIMPLES. Even though the pimples face in, the size of the pimples is what gives each of these three rubbers different playing characteristics. Tenergy 05 has the smallest pimples which means they have the highest degree of deformation which makes 05 the slowest and spinniest of the three. 64's pimples are about half way between the size of 05 and 25 so 64 has more spin than 25 and less speed; but it has more speed than 05 and less spin. 25, having the largest pimples feels the hardest and fastest. And, because the pimples are soooo large, even though they are facing in, they allow the least deformation of the rubber and give the hardest feeling, the most speed and the least spin. Still they are more than spinny enough and you get more than good enough control from them.

I cannot think of any rubbers where the sponge stays the same hardness while they have versions with softer or harder topsheets, but Tenergy is the closest example to this. With Tenergy, Sriver and Bryce, the black topsheet and the red topsheet play the same. The info on the DHS topsheets not playing the same might come from the fact that so many of the players on the Chinese National Team use Black DHS rubbers for the forehand and their red rubbers are a different brand, often Tenergy, for the backhand.

The Club I used to play at NYTTF (which closed down in November which is why I cannot play there any more) would only sell black DHS rubbers and would not stock the red ones. But, again, I cannot honestly tell if there is a real difference between the red and the black, in part because every single DHS rubber I have used plays slightly differently. So I think it is just as possible that the issue has to do with quality control in Chinese products.

I have to be honest, I don't really know the answers but those are educated guesses about things like the blue sponge on the DHS Hurricane and Skyline that the players on the Chinese National Team seem to use, and on how different hardness of sponge and topsheets might combine.

azlan
02-18-2012, 05:09 AM
Thanx Carl...those are very good explanations. I forgot to include the size and density of the pips, but you're kind enough to include it. :) Very helpful....

Der_Echte
02-18-2012, 11:42 AM
Many professional players like a hard sponge on FH with a very supple topsheet. My FH preferences are similar, eg: Tibhar Aurus and Stiga Calibra LT. Some like it softer on BH to get that "forgiveness" to complete sucessful BH loops. It comes down to a matter of personal preference and there are a gazillion combinations. Topsheet thickness and pip arrangement come into play big-time as well. Also the property of the sponge to rebound and ctapult the ball is important and feel can also be an individual judgement.

Matt Hetherington
02-18-2012, 11:58 AM
hmm interesting subject area. Tibhar used to colour coordinate their sponges to rubber and sponge densities, at least for nimbus anyway. I always found the lighter the sponge was, the softer it was. If the sponge is darker then it is more firm, so black sponge is the hardest, dark blue etc and white, light yellow sponge is softer? Just what i noted from experience I may be wrong

UpSideDownCarl
02-18-2012, 02:17 PM
Hey Azlan, I thought you would be interested in this info. It is info on the differences between Xiom Omega IV -- Asia, Europe, Elite and Pro versions. It comes from this site:

http://www.mytabletennis.com/shop/rubber/inverted-rubber/xiom-omega-iv-pro-rubber.html

"- Omega IV series can be divided into two categories, one is standard version, and the other is extreme version.

- Omega IV Asia, Europe and Elite are standard versions. These three have the same top layer which is quite soft. The difference is in sponge. Asia has hard sponge, Europe has medium sponge, and Elite has soft sponge. Omega IV Asia is for professional players who likes hard feeling but demand strong and stable topspin at the same time. Omega IV Europe is for every players who want the optimum rubber for balanced all-round play. Omega IV Elite is for players who like maximum sound and maximum stability.

- The extreme version is Omega IV Pro. Players may feel that the top layer of Omega IV Pro is quite hard. The sponge of Omega IV Pro is slightly softer than that of Omega IV Asia. The mixture of harder top layer and softer sponge produces completely different characteristics."

So for Asia, Europe and Elite the topsheet is the same but the sponge is different: hard medium, soft. For Pro the topsheet is harder and the sponge is between the hardness of Asia and Europe but closer to Asia.

The pimple structure on the topsheet is the same as the Vega Pro, but the sponge is different and the topsheet may or may not be different.

Interesting how Tenergy changes effect by changing pimples and Omega IV changes effect and feeling by changing sponge and then, for Pro, Topsheet, but not pimples. :)

So many factors you can change to get different effects. :) Gotta love the equipment. :) I think my ideal job would be to test equipment from all the companies all day long. Okay, my ideal second job. I love teaching yoga. :)

UpSideDownCarl
02-18-2012, 02:28 PM
I guess I should add this. It is from the same site:

"- Omega IV series are the advanced version of Vega Pro. Compared to Vega Pro, the advantages of Omega IV series are more spin, better control, louder sound, and additional speed. The pimple structure of Omega IV is identical to that of Vega Pro. Top layer of 100% natural rubber and densely arranged pimple structure is for maximum spin. Unique "Carbo Sponge" gives exciting catapult effect."

From this description I cannot really tell if it is the same topsheet for Omega IV or a different topsheet. But it is the same pimple structure and a different sponge.

Again, I think it is cool how you can change a rubber's playing characteristics by making one small change.

jmillsy2
02-18-2012, 04:21 PM
I agree with Carl.
Im not sure there is much of a difference between red and black DHS- Zhang Yining and Li Xiaodan use a "normal colour" setup.
My coach says that in general, black is a teeny bit slower and spinnier because of the chemicals in the dye, but thats about it. I have wondered, what colours are rubbers pre dying? My guess is white/colourless. That would be awesome, a colourless rubber imagine that guys! Or transparent lol- transparent pimps would be a nightmare to play against when the guy twiddles!

azlan
02-18-2012, 06:22 PM
Great great explanation guys!!:) Simply brilliant!!. Interesting point you brought up there Matt. It made me think, and I believe that there are some truth in what you said:). Nice...

And Carl, super find on the Xiom rubbers. All is very clear now. Like you said, a minuscule change on the rubber and sponge properties, a huge change in the overall characteristics of the rubber. And like D_E said, it all comes down to preferences.

All the points actually helped me a lot in understanding the playing characteristics of each rubber. I assume the manufacturers R&D dept is the best department:). I would put you there Carl, you can test out the rubbers and fiddle with the combinations. But of course, after your yoga classes:)..

Thanx guys!! But if anything more pops up, do post them here. I'm very interested. Any views are welcome, no matter how silly you think they are:)

Mauno100
02-18-2012, 08:01 PM
I've heard that manufacturers use some form carbon in the black dye which would make the differences. In my own experience black pips-in rubbers are slightly spinnier than red. An equipment salesman told me that the difference is much bigger in pips-out rubbers but the difference is not in spin but in durability. Especially long pips are hit so that the black pips would brake a lot easier than the red. I have to add that the differences caused by colour in pips-in rubbers are so minute that the differences in overall quality are much much bigger.

azlan
02-19-2012, 12:49 AM
Now, that is quite a good point Roope :). We hardly ever see players using red long pips. Since carbon is black, I guess there is a possibility that they use it in the dye. Thanx for the info...

dici
02-19-2012, 01:13 AM
Don't forget that sponge color does affect the topsheet color too. Actually, Ma Lin, Kong Ling Hui use red as their forehand before the speed glue ban. I remember I checked through one of the chinese TT website, most likely is the bokett about why most of CNT player now using the black top sheet instead of red as most of other. One of the reason is their sponge color. Most CNT player has a blue sponge for forehand, as the blue sponge color does not go well with red top sheet, and it may violate the ITTF rule.

I'm recall there are a few rubber with black or some dark color sponge too, and they have only black top sheet for it. And they release the other version of sponge color for the red one. But I'm not sure about xiom vega with black sponge.

azlan
02-19-2012, 02:47 AM
One of the reason is their sponge color. Most CNT player has a blue sponge for forehand, as the blue sponge color does not go well with red top sheet, and it may violate the ITTF rule.

I can see your point there Dici. Most probably, with the blue sponge or even black on Xiom rubbers, it may be a little transparent and the colour of the sponge might come through the red rubbers. What I don't quite understand is why bokett comes into the picture?


I remember I checked through one of the chinese TT website, most likely is the bokett about why most of CNT player now using the black top sheet instead of red as most of other. One of the reason is their sponge color.

Do you think you can still find the article from Bokett? I tried, but was unsuccessful...:)

UpSideDownCarl
02-19-2012, 03:25 AM
I have wondered, what colours are rubbers pre dying? My guess is white/colourless.

I could be wrong but I believe that is right; that rubber, before being dyed is a semi-clear, milky-white-colorless color, sort of like what rubber cement looks like.

JustAlt
02-19-2012, 07:26 AM
Don't forget that sponge color does affect the topsheet color too. Actually, Ma Lin, Kong Ling Hui use red as their forehand before the speed glue ban. I remember I checked through one of the chinese TT website, most likely is the bokett about why most of CNT player now using the black top sheet instead of red as most of other. One of the reason is their sponge color. Most CNT player has a blue sponge for forehand, as the blue sponge color does not go well with red top sheet, and it may violate the ITTF rule.



This doesn't make sense because most of the CNT players used black rubbers on the forehand with orange sponge before they switched to the blue sponged rubbers.

azlan
02-19-2012, 10:25 AM
This doesn't make sense because most of the CNT players used black rubbers on the forehand with orange sponge before they switched to the blue sponged rubbers.

Most CNT players might have been using black rubbers back in the day, but according to Dici Ma Lin and Kong were not. I think, Ma Lin was forced to change to black, because DHS doesn't produce red rubbers with blue sponge for some reason.

dici
02-19-2012, 01:57 PM
@azlan, actually bokett is just one of a large forum over china there. But after the searching, I found it was from another forum. However, I just found over mytt about this info, it is stated in ittf rule 1.3 sponge section, "Translucent red coverings may not be used over dark sponges or dark blades, and translucent black ones may not be used over light sponges or light blades."

@JustAlt, yea, most of them use black, should have not use "most" for me. But Ma Lin and Kong did use a red topsheet by that time. Not sure how about the euro rubber, if the black one has a better quality as the chinese rubber? or both black and red has similar quality?

azlan
02-19-2012, 02:38 PM
Thanx for clarifying it Dici:) much appreciated.

Mr. RicharD
02-20-2012, 10:13 PM
Hey I just got back from the Western Open in Berkeley California, so sorry I'm late on that azlan ;). As to your question they realistically with every brand out there and more being created have probably made every combination of soft to hard rubbers with soft to hard sponges.

As to the comment on dye. Black dye and red dye are made of different chemicals so one way to look at it is that some people are allergic to red dye 40, but not red dye 30. So yes the color can change the characteristics of a rubber's topsheet. Being apart of Joola and getting to really see the other side of the Table Tennis world has really opened my eyes. You can check out some of our photos on the Facebook page JoolaUSA and I'll have videos of our event soon.

The black dye I'm told in general makes the rubber slightly tackier than the red dye so that is why the traditional red FH and black BH has been switched. Realistically unless you're at the highest levels of play it won't hinder your game unless you strive for a technique driven game.

I'm also not sure what the question is azlan. Do you want rubbers that are a good example of soft topsheets with soft sponges or what have you?

Just let me know brother.

Peace out fellow TTers.

azlan
02-21-2012, 05:11 AM
Thanx Richard:)..basically what I am asking if whether what generally makes a rubber being categorised as soft. medium or hard rubbers..is it the sponge or the rubber itself. Carl had explained it quite thoroughly, saying it's a combination, including the pips and colour of the sponge. From what I understood it, it was like mix and match to get the best result.

For instance, tacky soft rubbers and sponge, makes the ball spin a lot, but it's no good in the speed department ( I'm not going to mention about control because I don't have any issues in that department no matter what rubber I use).
Hard rubber and hard sponge gives you speed, but not so good in the spin department.

So generally, I was asking what is the combo for the best rubber that gives you the best of both worlds..spin and speed. I am referring to rubbers like Tenergy, Calibra, Hurricanes, Skylines, Nimbus and such. Carl, Matt, D_E, Dici and the gang did give me some examples and I am grateful for that. But, a bit more informations and insight wouldn't hurt, would it??:):) Thanx again buddy. BTW, hope you did well in the tourney..:)

Anders
02-21-2012, 11:35 AM
I don't really have anything to say about this topic, since most of it has been said. But I'll tell you one thing, and that is that the Andro Hexer HD is the best backhand rubber I have ever had! :D

But ofc, the Tenergy series and the Calibras are nice too.. Just I like the Hexer HD the best ;)

Mr. RicharD
02-21-2012, 03:30 PM
Oh sorry my bad I didn't mean to say I was competing in a tournament. The company I work for runs some of the top tournaments in the U.S. I am the videographer/photographer. It was a blast watching everyone play and even some of the up and comers. We had one U13 boy (not sure what his age is he is like 4 foot tall) who ended up winning 3 of his 4 events. For a second during the first day I thought he was going to die of exhaustion. He literally played for 5 hours straight with only a couple minutes of rest time in between all of his matches. Good thing is that he'll probably end up being rated higher than all of those events and then won't be able to enter as many in the future. I'm really excited to see what is in store for him in the future.

Now back on topic. What you mentioned about combinations is a more generalized term of what rubber and sponge combo's produce the most spin and speed. With the more modern technologies it's generally medium sponges and pip structure (doesn't really matter whether soft to hard) that produces the most speed and spin in a rubber. The reason being is that harder sponges are the best for feeling the ball and generating spin by technique with a medium to soft topsheet. That combination is generally more player friendly. For instance we are getting ready to market and sell the new Joola rubber Rhyzm which is in the Tenergy 64 category of speed and spin, but is extremely player friendly with a medium hard sponge and a softer topsheet.

What was mentioned about the Red topsheet for Blue Sponge skyline 2 is (and I don't mean to reiterate but...) that red topsheets may not have dark sponges as they change the color of the topsheet and produce a different, but close color to black thus breaking the rule of different color rubbers. Ma Lin will still use the red skyline 2 with orange sponge in doubles as I saw in either the Hungarian or Slovenian (I'm so far behind been so busy with USA Pong).

Regardless of the combination very often there are a lot of rubbers these days the produce speed and spin at very high levels. The combinations of soft vs hard sponges and rubbers are mostly for the players touch and preference, typically it's the blade that will help produce the best qualities from the rubber rather than vice versa.

I hope that helps if I'm still not answering the question just let me know lol.

Later everyone.

rhonis
02-21-2012, 04:09 PM
I don't really have anything to say about this topic, since most of it has been said. But I'll tell you one thing, and that is that the Andro Hexer HD is the best backhand rubber I have ever had! :D

But ofc, the Tenergy series and the Calibras are nice too.. Just I like the Hexer HD the best ;)

now i play with Calibra. I agree it's the best!

JustAlt
02-21-2012, 09:29 PM
Ma Lin will still use the red skyline 2 with orange sponge in doubles as I saw in either the Hungarian or Slovenian

If you're talking about this year, I'm sure you saw Ma Lin just warming up using the backhand rubber on the forehand stroke. He does that quite often.

azlan
02-22-2012, 04:05 AM
Yup, it's true. Ma Lin uses orange sponge DHS, not blue. :)

JustAlt
02-22-2012, 07:16 AM
Yup, it's true. Ma Lin uses orange sponge DHS, not blue. :)

He did but uses blue sponge at the moment(Well who knows about really at the moment, but at least in the last tournament).
But what Mr.Richard suggested was that he is using RED rubber on the forehand, not just a black rubber with orange sponge.

I think first time Ma Lin was using a black rubber with blue sponge was 2008. At least in the olympics he did. I believe that was Globe 999, the same rubber he used to have in red before. Kong Linghui used that rubber too, in black, years before the speedglue ban.

Mr. RicharD
02-22-2012, 12:47 PM
Lol, I can't seem to find the video anywhere I think I may just have dreamed it up. I definitely hear him hitting with his bryce, but I can't find him serving with the red rubber and orange sponge. I may have just seen an Orange sponge Black sheet and switched the colors in my head.

Correction noted JustAlt. Thanks for that :S.

YosuaYosan
02-22-2012, 12:55 PM
I know! I know! :D
But.. I am going to school now (extras and tests on Saturday due to national exam)..

I will write here right away if I could :)

Gah I guess Sir Carl has explained quite much..
There are also lots of discussion on the internet about this..

Sorry I can't help too much further because of the limited time too :(

azlan
02-22-2012, 03:23 PM
It's ok Yosua.:) Whenever you have the time...

dici
02-22-2012, 04:08 PM
Lol, I can't seem to find the video anywhere I think I may just have dreamed it up. I definitely hear him hitting with his bryce, but I can't find him serving with the red rubber and orange sponge. I may have just seen an Orange sponge Black sheet and switched the colors in my head.

Correction noted JustAlt. Thanks for that :S.

You just remind me that he quite often use red DHS top sheet for doubles play. I think he still do this up until 2010 if not mistaken...But I have been rarely or not at all to see Ma Lin use red topsheet as FH since last year.

azlan
04-11-2012, 10:46 AM
Now that Yasaka had just launched the Rakza 9, which they claim is harder than the 7 series. From what was written on the thread (http://www.tabletennisdaily.co.uk/forum/showthread.php?2584-New-Yasaka-Rakza-9), they say they changed to a harder rubber, but maintained the same sponge. The difference is so minuscule for the price I think.

Now, what I don't understand here is why do they changed the rubber, but not the sponge or the structure of the pimples instead? I just think that they get better result if they change the pimples structure, just like what Butterfly did with their Tenergy series.

Giangt
04-11-2012, 12:14 PM
A comparison of the Tenergy rubbers is showing that the figures speed/spin/control are not the same. If you look at the stats of the Rakza's (http://www.tabletennisdaily.co.uk/fo...Yasaka-Rakza-9) changing the topsheet gave the Rakza 9 more speed and control. They probably figured that changing the structure of the pimples wouldn't meet their goal.

The more deformation the topsheet has, the more spin you can produce because of the contact area with the ball. The more tension in the rubber you have, the more speed you have.

By changing only the structure of the pimples the deformation of the topsheet wouldn't be the same, thus changing the spin and control characteristics.

Hope this helps your understanding a bit :-)

azlan
04-11-2012, 06:12 PM
Very good explanation Giangt...:) it actually helped me a lot. Thanx