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    1. Top | #1
      Medax is offline
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      Looking for a Blade recommendation

      Hi All,

      as the title would suggest, I am looking for a new blade to try out....

      I started 4 years ago with a Joola Rossi Allround (all class) and used this for 2 seasons.

      After improving between 10-15% year on year, I decided to step up a little to Joola Wing medium (all + class).

      Another season and a half passed and my progress was was still slowly improving by around 10% year on year, So I decided to purchase a Stiga Infinity VPS. Sadly, I couldn't get on with this and after 3 months of losing to players I had previously easily beaten, I realised I made a mistake and went back to my Wing Medium which was he right choice as I started winning again.

      Reading a thread in which Der Eche recommended a Galaxy 896, I decided to have a go as the price to the UK was < £10 even with delivery from china and I have to say I have had my best season so far. Was it the blade? Was it that my level of experience was getting better, I cannot say for sure.

      My style is Allround, but I like to attack and drive the ball when possible. I can push, I'm average at blocking and my loops are not as good as I would like them to be. Seems my "soft touch" and "brush" is not very good, but i'm fine with that as I don't have the time to practice or got to a coach. I'd like to loop better (I will persevere), but its not the be all and end all for me as i'm over 40 now and i'm probably never going to play at a higher level than local league, but I am ok with that too.

      I use Tibhar Aurus Sound on both wings and will not be changing these, I've tried about 10-15 others, but these give me the best balance. So i'm now happy with my rubbers, but now thinking about the blade side of things as I have settled on my rubbers

      So I'm wondering if the softer blade is compensating somewhat for my lack of touch and also wondering if there is a good option out there that is not too expensive for me to try (<£50 ?).
      I'd like to have a blade that is forgiving and has a larger sweet spot so that shots I don't hit so well, don't bite me too hard.

      I hear a lot about Carbon having a larger sweet spot, but I also hear Carbon can "ping" the ball back quicker and that's probably the last thing I need as I need the contact time of the bat and ball.

      Is there something out there that I should look at or am I living in cloud cuckoo land and this is just a pipe dream blade ?

      Many thanks in advance for your wise words

    2. Top | #2
      NDH is offline
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      Hi Medax,

      Does your league use TT365? If you PM me your stats, I'll have a look at the standard you play and try and recommend accordingly.

      From what you've said, I'd stick with an all wood blade - When you can comfortably block and loop with an all wood blade, you'd be fine to go to a carbon one.

    3. Top | #3
      Jaffar Lone is offline
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      How many times do you practice in a week is the question that popped up in my mind. Reason is that it takes something like a month to get settled into a new blade.
      I don't think switching to a carbon blade will be a good idea for you, unless you are looking for pace. Carbon blades tend to give you extra pace but there is some sacrifice on 'feeling' and control. Might want to work on your technique in order to improve your stroke play. If you are able to do it then yes switching to a new blade would make sense.

    4. Top | #4
      yogi_bear is online now
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      You can try the stiga all around evolution, yasaka gatien 3d and the red+black flow blade

    5. Top | #5
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      I would recommend the 5 ply wood primorac mate is a nice off - so not too fast with very nice control and a good step up to try and introduce you to slightly faster blades... Also I wouldnt worry too much about your results as long as you are progressing your technique and after several months you'll be far better for it... When you get a new bat treat the matches for the first couple of months as purely practice and really try and feel your bat and practice what you learnt in training the trick is to stay mentally strong and not worry about what others think if your not winning as many as normal as you know your just getting used to your bat still

    6. Top | #6
      Medax is offline
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      I probably should add at this point......

      Summer league/practice is starting soon which gives me a good 12-16 weeks (Teams depending) to try out a new combination before the main league starts.

      As for hours practice per week = 3, league match hours per week = 3 (see the pattern)... Like I said earlier, I know the answer is to go to coaching to improve, but I don't have the spare time for that, so trying to find a forgiving but still all+, off- blade that is not too expensive.

      Again like I mentioned about Der Eche's suggestion in a completely unrelated thread, the Galaxy 896 was a complete wild card, but it seemed to help... so maybe the question is...
      I have the same rubbers, but different blade and I've improved about 20% this season... i don't think my technique has really improved by 20%, so there must be something in the change of blade from the Joola Wing Medium to the Galaxy 896 that has helped ? What by pure chance did I get right with this change ? What characteristics of this blade compared to my old one is better for me ? is it more flexible perhaps, the layers are more suited to me perhaps or should I say I am more suited to the layers of the 896 ?

      p.s. I am happy to look on eBay for a second hand version of some blade that might be good to keep the cost down, doesn't have to be brand new, just in good condition
      Thanks.
      Last edited by Medax; 03-22-2017 at 04:05 PM.

    7. Top | #7
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      I can highly recommend the Avalox P500 and Avalox P700 blades mainly as I have them for sale currently on eBay haha.

      In all honesty, both blades had excellent touch and nice dwell. The P500 is an outstanding 5 ply blade while the P700 is 7 ply and plays a lot faster. I was a big fan of the P700 but after trying out a Boll ALC my search for a blade was over.

      TTDB reviews on both blades can be found below if by any chance you were interested...
      http://www.tabletennisdb.com/blade/avalox-p500.html
      http://www.tabletennisdb.com/blade/avalox-p700.html

    8. Top | #8
      James Livesey is offline
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      Quote Originally Posted by XO21 View Post
      I can highly recommend the Avalox P500 and Avalox P700 blades mainly as I have them for sale currently on eBay haha.

      In all honesty, both blades had excellent touch and nice dwell. The P500 is an outstanding 5 ply blade while the P700 is 7 ply and plays a lot faster. I was a big fan of the P700 but after trying out a Boll ALC my search for a blade was over.

      TTDB reviews on both blades can be found below if by any chance you were interested...
      http://www.tabletennisdb.com/blade/avalox-p500.html
      http://www.tabletennisdb.com/blade/avalox-p700.html
      I'm very impressed with my avalox blade. the blue thunder series and P-series are very well reviewed. What's strange is that you are using very soft rubbers but tend to drive more than loop. Generally flex (found mostly in All to off- 5 ply blades) aids in looping, but makes it more difficult to drive and block. I would say try the Nittaku Septear (this is lightweight, 7 ply hinoki) so is medium stiffness and a very soft touch. However, I'm worried that with the very soft rubbers you are using this will be a bit mushy. I've heard people complain about this, but then again I use a fairly soft rubber on a limba outer ply and i don't really find that mushy. I almost got a septear but it is kinda the opposite of what I want: it is stiffer but softer whereas I wanted maximum flex and a crisper feel. If I could change anything, I might replace the outer ply on my blade to something harder, but for now, I focus on spin over speed so it's all good. Stiga Celero might also be a good idea. it's a 85g five ply that's slightly stiffer and softer than most off-. It's pretty new so I don't know a huge amount about it. Also, looking at Butterfly, the Redox, and Kiso Hinoki 5 ply seems to fit your needs.

    9. Top | #9
      UpSideDownCarl is offline
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      Got your PM. Okay, lets see....I have a few ideas.

      1) I am not so sure there is even a reason to change the blade.

      2) The plies of the blade are pretty standard. There are many blades with the same basic plies and same basic speed or, a little faster or a little slower. That might be something that helps.

      3) it does sound like all wood would be best for you.

      4) there is one ply combination that may actually help your level of play a little more. Maybe two. But the second one is much less common these days and harder to find. So I will stick with the first ply combination. But first let's look at your 896.

      If this blade is working for you, you may not want to change at all. You could keep it as it is. Or, you could try something out of the box that will make Der_Echte proud of you.

      You could take apart the handle and add some toothpicks and some glue to fill the hollow space in the handle.

      This modification actually would give you a very good upgrade to the blade you are using.

      If you chose this option, I would buy a new 896 to tinker with so your old setup stays in tact.

      The second option that I think would be useful for you is a very small change in the plies.

      I believe 896 is:

      Limba-Ayous-Ayous-Ayous-Limba

      A blade with these plies: Limba-Limba-Ayous-Limba-Limba

      May give you a little more spin, dwell time and control while enabling you to notch up the the speed/power of the blade.

      Ripper's recommendation of a Primorac Off- is an excellent one. That is the ply construction of that blade.

      But a Butterfly Petr Korbel or a Tibhar Stratus Power Wood would be the same plies with a little extra power. However, these two would both would be a little more head heavy because they have a larger head than the Primorac.

      Any of them would be a good choice. And they are close to your price range. I don't think any of them are over $75 USD. But I have not checked prices in a long time.


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    10. Top | #10
      UpSideDownCarl is offline
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      Here is a link to a thread where Der_Echte shows how he opens the handle. It shows a pretty crude method. He now uses a heat gun to warm the handle before he uses the tool to separate. The heat makes the separation happen smoothly.

      https://www.tabletennisdaily.co.uk/f...ding-the-BEAST


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    12. Top | #11
      Medax is offline
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      Carl,

      where can I find this information about the plies of a blade so I can find one that matches what you are suggesting?

      I know what you mean about the "upgrade" for the galaxy.... it does look and feel a little "Fragile" and one good hit against a table and I might break it... this was one of the main reasons for me looking for a similar blade tbh.

      What do you think about the avalox avx BT550? Are there any good other good quality clones that are worth considering ?

      I'll take a look at the Eche Special too

      Many thanks all.

    13. Top | #12
      UpSideDownCarl is offline
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      Quote Originally Posted by Medax View Post
      Carl,

      where can I find this information about the plies of a blade so I can find one that matches what you are suggesting?

      I know what you mean about the "upgrade" for the galaxy.... it does look and feel a little "Fragile" and one good hit against a table and I might break it... this was one of the main reasons for me looking for a similar blade tbh.

      What do you think about the avalox avx BT550? Are there any good other good quality clones that are worth considering ?

      I'll take a look at the Eche Special too

      Many thanks all.
      If you missed it, I listed some of the blades that are not too expensive that have the wood plies I recommended.

      They were:

      1) Butterfly Primorac Off-
      2) Butterfly Petr Korbel
      3) Stratus Power Wood

      There are a few other blades with the same or very similar plies like:

      1) OSP Virtuoso Off-
      2) OSP Virtuoso Plus
      3) Nittaku Acoustic

      But those last three are considerably more expensive than the price range you listed.

      The Nittaku Acoustic has a different core but the Limba top ply and Limba 2nd ply make it a similar enough construction.

      If you wanted a blade that has the same plies as the 896, it could be:

      1) Stiga Allround Evolution

      As far as fragility is concerned, with the 896, that is the last thing you should worry about. For a $16.00 blade, if you got 3 or 4 of them they would still be less expensive than most blades. So if that is your reason for changing blades, DON'T. Stick with what you have.

      Avalon blades are good. They feel great. But based on things you said you probably don't want one of the Avalox blades.

      The P-500 and the BT-550 are:

      Koto-Spruce-Ayous-Spruce-Koto

      And the BT-555 is:

      Limba-Spruce-Ayous-Spruce-Limba

      Of those, the Koto ply is harder and would mess with your control which is not what you want. So the BT-555 with the Limba top ply would be best for you. But the Spruce under the Limba makes it bouncy like a trampoline and would still mess with your control too much. And the P-700 is a decent amount faster than you want.

      The reason the two plies of Limba next to each other on each side of the blade is what would help you is the extra control and spin that ply combination gives you. So I would stick with what you have or go with one of the less expensive Limba Limba blades I listed at the top.




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    15. Top | #13
      UpSideDownCarl is offline
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      So, despite the fact that the Avolox blades are excellent, they are not quite what you need Medax. I could be wrong. But I am pretty sure that the blades I suggested would be more in line with what will help your game.


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    16. Top | #14
      Medax is offline
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      Hi Carl (Or should it be TT oracle ),

      thanks a million for the wise words....

      Keeping the same blade and maybe even purchase 1 or 2 more to experiment with/ have in reserve is a good idea and the one I suppose I should really do...

      I like the idea of going a little quicker with the Limba-Limba-Ayous-Limba-Limba combo though....

      Hmm decisions, decisions

      I wonder if I can get both from the same supplier to save shipping, best of both worlds then and I am sure I'm not the first and won't be the last to have a few spare blades in the cupboard

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    18. Top | #15
      XO21 is offline
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      Quote Originally Posted by Medax View Post
      Carl,

      where can I find this information about the plies of a blade so I can find one that matches what you are suggesting?
      This article on ooakforum may be useful - http://ooakforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=43&t=7194

      It's a little old but a lot of the classic blades are on there, it's certainly a good reference point!

    19. Top | #16
      Medax is offline
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      I'm leaning towards the Tibhar SPW According to TT DB, its got the most control of the 3 and if it is a little bigger, more room for error for me

      Also whilst searching for plies information online, I came across this that I thought might be worth sharing...

      http://stervinou.net/ttbdb/index.php

    20. Top | #17
      UpSideDownCarl is offline
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      Just a few pieces of info:

      I think all three of those blades are great. Not sure the Tibhar blade has more control than the others. They will all feel like related. The Butterfly blades have thicker Limba plies and a different gluing process so they might actually have more control but the SPW might have a bigger and crisper feel. Nevertheless, they will be more similar than different. The more important difference is that the Primorac has a little less speed because it is smaller and thinner with a little extra flex. And it may in fact be the blade that is easiest to control of the three I listed.

      The lists of blades with what plies are in each blade, can be very useful if you know and have felt how enough of those woods feel for different shots. But they can also be overwhelming when you haven't felt a lot of the woods. And they don't give the full story on the blades. Because how a wood is treated before gluing, the gluing process, if the wood undergoes an aging process or a heating process can all affect how a blade plays. Also, there are harder and softer versions of Limba and Koto. And the same can be said for most woods.

      And one of the things that make it hard to tell the value of a review from TTDB is that the people who write the review are of varied skill and experience and some have tried many different setups and some are giving a review of the only TT setup they have ever tried. So, while some of those reviews are more valuable than others, you have to put the numbers and the reviews into context. And nothing is more valuable than trying a setup for yourself. Trying BEFORE buying.


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    22. Top | #18
      Medax is offline
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      How does bigger and crisper translate into actual usage? Sounds like primorac is the sensible option and tees sport is selling it in the UK for <£35.....

      Which one of these would be preferable?

      http://www.teessport.com/search/primorac

      Thanks

    23. Top | #19
      Ilia Minkin is offline
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      Quote Originally Posted by Medax View Post
      How does bigger and crisper translate into actual usage? Sounds like primorac is the sensible option and tees sport is selling it in the UK for <£35.....

      Which one of these would be preferable?

      http://www.teessport.com/search/primorac

      Thanks
      Bigger head size lets you to sense more accurately how you hit the ball. TSPW is that kind of blade, it feels reeeeaalllyyy nice. Beware though that oversize blade means more rubber on the racket which makes it head heavy. If you use soft rubbers it should be not a big deal.

    24. Top | #20
      James Livesey is offline
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      Quote Originally Posted by UpSideDownCarl View Post
      If you missed it, I listed some of the blades that are not too expensive that have the wood plies I recommended.

      They were:

      1) Butterfly Primorac Off-
      2) Butterfly Petr Korbel
      3) Stratus Power Wood

      There are a few other blades with the same or very similar plies like:

      1) OSP Virtuoso Off-
      2) OSP Virtuoso Plus
      3) Nittaku Acoustic

      But those last three are considerably more expensive than the price range you listed.

      The Nittaku Acoustic has a different core but the Limba top ply and Limba 2nd ply make it a similar enough construction.

      If you wanted a blade that has the same plies as the 896, it could be:

      1) Stiga Allround Evolution

      As far as fragility is concerned, with the 896, that is the last thing you should worry about. For a $16.00 blade, if you got 3 or 4 of them they would still be less expensive than most blades. So if that is your reason for changing blades, DON'T. Stick with what you have.

      Avalon blades are good. They feel great. But based on things you said you probably don't want one of the Avalox blades.

      The P-500 and the BT-550 are:

      Koto-Spruce-Ayous-Spruce-Koto

      And the BT-555 is:

      Limba-Spruce-Ayous-Spruce-Limba

      Of those, the Koto ply is harder and would mess with your control which is not what you want. So the BT-555 with the Limba top ply would be best for you. But the Spruce under the Limba makes it bouncy like a trampoline and would still mess with your control too much. And the P-700 is a decent amount faster than you want.

      The reason the two plies of Limba next to each other on each side of the blade is what would help you is the extra control and spin that ply combination gives you. So I would stick with what you have or go with one of the less expensive Limba Limba blades I listed at the top.




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      by 550 is ayous ayous limba top ply. It is very light and quite slow with lots of vibrations. A pure looping blade with lots of flex and a nice soft feel. Very very spinny and probably not what you're going for. All avolox blades seem aimed at looping. If you want to develop that part of your game then maybe, but you will definitely get worse before you get better.

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