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    1. Top | #1
      dkyy is offline
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      All wood blades - Fast 5-ply vs Slow 7-ply?

      Let's assume both blades are all-wood.

      I know 7-ply blades are usually faster than 5-ply blades, but there are always exceptions.

      I am interested to know the difference in characteristics between a comparatively 'fast' 5-ply blade like those with hard/Koto outer layer, versus a comparatively 'slow' 7-ply blade like those with limba outer layer and thin overall.

      What would you say in terms of drive, loop and ball feel among the 2 kinds of blades if they are of similar speed?
      dkyy
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    2. Top | #2
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      Quote Originally Posted by dkyy View Post
      Let's assume both blades are all-wood.

      I know 7-ply blades are usually faster than 5-ply blades, but there are always exceptions.

      I am interested to know the difference in characteristics between a comparatively 'fast' 5-ply blade like those with hard/Koto outer layer, versus a comparatively 'slow' 7-ply blade like those with limba outer layer and thin overall.

      What would you say in terms of drive, loop and ball feel among the 2 kinds of blades if they are of similar speed?
      So I have a fast 5-ply (Dawei Matrix) with limba outer plies and a slow 7-ply (Air Limba) with limba outer. I know you wanted to compare a 5-ply with koto to a 7-ply with limba, but I only have experience with limba on both. The Dawei blade is 6.5mm or so and the Air blade is thinner at around 6mm. In terms of drive, there is a significant disparity in speed and feel. The Dawei is fast and solid but is more demanding of accuracy and blade angle. The Air is slower and feels softer, but is more forgiving. When looping, the Dawei has a very small sweet spot, but when you hit the sweet spot there's a lot of power (speed AND spin) available. The blade feels soft but very springy. The Air has a slightly larger sweet spot and is more tame but still not weak. It feels more like it grabs the ball.

      Take that with a grain of salt - I'm not terribly good, nor am I well-versed in top-of-the-line equipment.

    3. Top | #3
      G_ZHANG is offline
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      I think only with a hard outer ply doesn't really make it a fast 5-ply. Like stiga Offence Classic, is still kind of slow in the 40+ era.
      In my mind fast 5-ply is something like Stiga Eternity VPS V, a hard out ply + harden technology (diamond touch?) + a harden second-ply (roasted harden spruce?).
      That's really fast, feels like a hard but thin steel sheet.

      To compare such fast 5-ply with a slower 7-ply (like Malong 3 or hadraw sk), I think it is more or less like the difference between outter carbon blade (fast 5-ply) and inner carbon blade (slow 7-ply).

      Fast 5-ply requires small swing, but fast stroke. It more requires half brush half hit technique. It didn't have enough dwell time to generate enough spin as the old era 5-ply. You will have to play it like outer carbon blade like viscaria.

      Slow 7-ply requires bigger swing, as the long dwell time gives you more time to generate spin and control during the stroke. Just like a inner carbon blade like Malong 5 or inner ALC)
      Last edited by G_ZHANG; 02-13-2019 at 12:57 PM.
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    5. Top | #4
      dkyy is offline
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      Quote Originally Posted by G_ZHANG View Post
      I think only with a hard outer ply doesn't really make it a fast 5-ply. Like stiga Offence Classic, is still kind of slow in the 40+ era.
      In my mind fast 5-ply is something like Stiga Eternity VPS V, a hard out ply + harden technology (diamond touch?) + a harden second-ply (roasted harden spruce?).
      That's really fast, feels like a hard but thin steel sheet.

      To compare such fast 5-ply with a slower 7-ply (like Malong 3 or hadraw sk), I think it is more or less like the difference between outter carbon blade (fast 5-ply) and inner carbon blade (slow 7-ply).

      Fast 5-ply requires small swing, but fast stroke. It more requires half brush half hit technique. It didn't have enough dwell time to generate enough spin as the old era 5-ply. You will have to play it like outer carbon blade like viscaria.

      Slow 7-ply requires bigger swing, as the long dwell time gives you more time to generate spin and control during the stroke. Just like a inner carbon blade like Malong 5 or inner ALC)
      Thanks. Why would slow 7-ply have more swell time than fast 5-ply? Is it because of the wood (Lamba) or thickness or structure of the blade?


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    6. Top | #5
      Ranger-man is offline
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      The thickness of the two blades may also be a factor. The thinner blade has more flaex and hence better at looping. The thicker blade is more solid and thus hits harder but the lack of flex means you need to be more precise with where blade and ball meet (sweetspot). Just my thoughts.

    7. Top | #6
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      There's no real difference without further qualifiers.

      The type of woods used make a big difference. The thickness of the blade. The weight distribution. The method of gluing. The relative thickness of the core vs the wood veneers etc etc.


      The more correct question to ask would be: "what is the difference between two blades, one 5 ply and one 7 ply, everything else being the same", which also amounts to: "Why make a 7 ply blade when you could make a 5 ply one?"
      Last edited by Lightzy; 02-15-2019 at 02:59 AM.

    8. Top | #7
      dkyy is offline
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      Quote Originally Posted by Lightzy View Post
      There's no real difference without further qualifiers.

      The type of woods used make a big difference. The thickness of the blade. The weight distribution. The method of gluing. The relative thickness of the core vs the wood veneers etc etc.


      The more correct question to ask would be: "what is the difference between two blades, one 5 ply and one 7 ply, everything else being the same", which also amounts to: "Why make a 7 ply blade when you could make a 5 ply one?"
      From a logical perspective: If the difference between two blades is ONLY the number of ply, then asking the difference between them will only lead the answer of 'none, except the number of ply'.

      Let me bring some context to my earlier question: I am using a 5-ply all-wood OFF- blade (Virtuoso OFF-) that has high dwell time for looping and tons of ball feel without too much noisy vibration, that I like. If in the future when I can fully control my current blade but just want more speed, while still want to keep the dwell time and feel similar, should I go for a faster 5-ply or a slow 7-ply if both blades are of similar speed?

    9. Top | #8
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      I think that any answer to that question would be very hypothetical and any theoretical assumptions may prove wrong in practice. It all depends on so many factors, that its much better to compare particular blades only. And even then the results of the comparison may be not accurate and will differ and depend on the rubbers used and personal style and feel differences.
      My personal feeling is that the 5 ply blades are more sensitive to the rubber properties in a way that, depending on the particular rubber, they may show greater margins for some of their properties, i.e. with different rubbers a 5 ply blade will show more differences in play than a 7 ply blade. But it may be wrong comparing particular blades too.

    10. Top | #9
      dkyy is offline
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      I agree it is very hypothetical...I'd hold off my curiosity until it is time for me to make changes to my gear...pretty happy with it at the moment.

    11. Top | #10
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      All wood blades - Fast 5-ply vs Slow 7-ply?

      One thing you should know, the extra plies make a blade with extra plies stiffer.

      There are ways of organizing the grain so this has less of an impact. But 7 plies, using the same wood, and producing a blade of the same thickness, should be less flexible than a 5 ply. Again, even though the blades use the same kinds of wood and the same overall thickness, if everything else like gluing process is the same, the 7 ply should be at least a little thicker.


      If you take two separate plies laminated to each other with the grain going in the same direction and equalling 1.5mm, it will have slightly less flex than 1 ply of the same wood and the same thickness because of the bonding of the two plies together.

      But, if those two plies bonded have their grains going at 90° angles to each other, then, even though it is the same wood and the same thickness, the two plies will have a considerable amount less flex than 1 single ply.

      So project that over the 7 plies, rather than the 5 plies.

      So, a standard 7 ply grain pattern would be:

      --top ply vertical grain, ply next to top horizontal grain, ply next to core vertical grain, core horizontal grain.

      To make the blade have more flex there are some other combinations that can be used like:

      --top ply vertical grain, ply next to top horizontal, ply next to core vertical, core vertical
      or
      --top ply vertical grain, ply next to top horizontal, ply next to core horizontal, core vertical
      or
      --top ply vertical grain, ply next to top also vertical, ply next to core horizontal, core horizontal

      But, no matter how you slice it, 7 ply blades have less flex than an equivalent 5 ply.

      And most 7 ply blades are not really equivalent to 5 ply blades. What do I mean?

      Well, a Stiga Allround Evolution is Limba-Ayous-Ayous-Ayous-Limba, a Clipper is Limba-Ayous-Ayous-Ayous-Ayous-Ayous-Limba. In effect they are 5 and 7 ply versions of the same thing. Except the Clipper is 7mm thick and designed to enhance the qualities you would get from 7 plies. So, the Clipper is much thicker, is quite stiff and is pretty darn fast for a blade that has such good control and feeling. In contrast, the Allround Evolution is much thinner and is one of those blades famous for its flex.
      Last edited by UpSideDownCarl; 02-16-2019 at 01:22 PM.
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    13. Top | #11
      dkyy is offline
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      Quote Originally Posted by UpSideDownCarl View Post
      One thing you should know, the extra plies make a blade with extra plies stiffer.

      There are ways of organizing the grain so this has less of an impact. But 7 plies, using the same wood, and producing a blade of the same thickness, should be less flexible than a 5 ply. Again, even though the blades use the same kinds of wood and the same overall thickness, if everything else like gluing process is the same, the 7 ply should be at least a little thicker.


      If you take two separate plies laminated to each other with the grain going in the same direction and equalling 1.5mm, it will have slightly less flex than 1 ply of the same wood and the same thickness because of the bonding of the two plies together.

      But, if those two plies bonded have their grains going at 90° angles to each other, then, even though it is the same wood and the same thickness, the two plies will have a considerable amount less flex than 1 single ply.

      So project that over the 7 plies, rather than the 5 plies.

      So, a standard 7 ply grain pattern would be:

      --top ply vertical grain, ply next to top horizontal grain, ply next to core vertical grain, core horizontal grain.

      To make the blade have more flex there are some other combinations that can be used like:

      --top ply vertical grain, ply next to top horizontal, ply next to core vertical, core vertical
      or
      --top ply vertical grain, ply next to top horizontal, ply next to core horizontal, core vertical
      or
      --top ply vertical grain, ply next to top also vertical, ply next to core horizontal, core horizontal

      But, no matter how you slice it, 7 ply blades have less flex than an equivalent 5 ply.

      And most 7 ply blades are not really equivalent to 5 ply blades. What do I mean?

      Well, a Stiga Allround Evolution is Limba-Ayous-Ayous-Ayous-Limba, a Clipper is Limba-Ayous-Ayous-Ayous-Ayous-Ayous-Limba. In effect they are 5 and 7 ply versions of the same thing. Except the Clipper is 7mm thick and designed to enhance the qualities you would get from 7 plies. So, the Clipper is much thicker, is quite stiff and is pretty darn fast for a blade that has such good control and feeling. In contrast, the Allround Evolution is much thinner and is one of those blades famous for its flex.
      Thanks Carl for the very detailed explanation. Good inspiration to me.

      Let's see some real-life examples. An interesting one would be - Tibhar Stratus Powerwood vs Samsonov Force Pro Black Edition. One 5-ply and one 7-ply with similar overall thickness and speed (perhaps one is very slightly faster than the other). How would you compare their other characteristics like flex/stiffness, dwell time, ball hold, control, feedback and any other characteristics that you could explain them?

      Another comparison would be Petr Korbel (or Tibhar SPW) vs Nittaku Ludeack? (Yes Ludeack is thicker but seems to be slower than many other 7-ply)

      Thanks.
      Last edited by dkyy; 02-16-2019 at 02:24 PM.

    14. Top | #12
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      Quote Originally Posted by dkyy View Post
      Thanks Carl for the very detailed explanation. Good inspiration to me.

      Let's see some real-life examples. An interesting one would be - Tibhar Stratus Powerwood vs Samsonov Force Pro Black Edition. One 5-ply and one 7-ply with similar overall thickness and speed (perhaps one is very slightly faster than the other). How would you compare their other characteristics like flex/stiffness, dwell time, ball hold, control, feedback and any other characteristics that you could explain them?

      Another comparison would be Petr Korbel (or Tibhar SPW) vs Nittaku Ludeack? (Yes Ludeack is thicker but seems to be slower than many other 7-ply)

      Thanks.
      You are once again adding too many variables into the equation.

      You could ask people to compare those blades. But they are different. They have different head sizes, thickness, ply construction....

      Comparing a blade that is:

      Limba-Limba-Ayous-Limba-Limba

      To one that is:

      Limba-Ayous-Ayous-Ayous-Ayous-Ayous-Limba

      Is comparing blades with significantly different ply constructions. Add the difference in gluing process, wood treatment, head size, thickness, and you really are not comparing apples to apples.

      So this has nothing to do with comparing 5 ply to 7 ply. You are simply comparing different blades with different designs. So it isn't really looking at how the number of plies affect the outcome at all.

      You are simply asking to compare different blades.

      Why not just compare the different blades without the idea of other qualifications. All you have to do is try each with the same rubbers and see how they feel to you and how they compare. If you have already done this, why not just post your thoughts instead of trying to bait people into answering questions when it sounds like you already have the tools to give us a good enough write up of your assessment of those two blades? Who cares if other people don't agree with what you feel? That happens all the time. Two different people will try the same equipment and feel completely different things. Lower level players will try a blade and not feel any of what a higher level player will feel from the same blade.

      Go with what you feel and share from the perspective that it is what you feel rather than that it is "correct". If you do that, it will be helpful to you and many others on the forum.
      Last edited by UpSideDownCarl; 02-16-2019 at 07:11 PM.

    15. Top | #13
      dkyy is offline
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      It looks like my questions have been more complicated than I wanted them to be, or they need to be.

      So, back to basic - How do you compare SPW vs SFPB? How do you compare Korbel vs Ludeack? I know their physical construction but am more interested to know their playing characteristics.

      I do not have any of these blades except my brother has a Korbel that I had played with for a short while so I can't compare them myself.

      If I am to compare my V- vs my brother's Korbel, then they are with different rubbers (V- with EL-S/VE while Korbel with Rozena/Rakza 7 soft) so my comparison wouldn't be fair. Based on how they are as-is with different rubbers, I feel V- has less vibrations and slower, while Korbel has more vibrations and higher speed. Both are flexible that I like. They feel different on the balls but I don't know how to describe it in words. My V- is 89g alone and 180g overall, while the Korbel is 95g alone and 190g overall.

    16. Top | #14
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      Some of the difference you feel undoubtedly is the rubbers. Some is that the Korbel is 6 grams heavier. But, of course they are also different blades. So they will feel different.

      Which setup (blade and rubber combination) do you feel you like more?

    17. Top | #15
      dkyy is offline
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      The V- seems requiring me to be very accurate at my movements otherwise the ball goes to net or outside the table. I also need to play physically harder with it.

      The Korbel allows me to be more relax at my movements to keep the balls on table or move it to where I like it to be.

      This is based on my very short period of time on Korbel so it may not be very accurate.

      I like V- when I am on training and the unique feel that I can get from it. When I am tired and a bit lazy I feel more comfortable with Korbel.



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      Quote Originally Posted by dkyy View Post
      From a logical perspective: If the difference between two blades is ONLY the number of ply, then asking the difference between them will only lead the answer of 'none, except the number of ply'.

      Let me bring some context to my earlier question: I am using a 5-ply all-wood OFF- blade (Virtuoso OFF-) that has high dwell time for looping and tons of ball feel without too much noisy vibration, that I like. If in the future when I can fully control my current blade but just want more speed, while still want to keep the dwell time and feel similar, should I go for a faster 5-ply or a slow 7-ply if both blades are of similar speed?
      Hi, I read the thread and found your curiosity very close to my case. I used 5-ply blade for nearly 2 year (1 year with Peter Korbel and 1 year with Nittaku Malong 5).
      Because I had found 5-ply blade lacking of speed, I have started 7-ply blade for 1 year. At the begining, I used Innerforce Alc for 2 weeks, then I have used Clipper Wood and then Nittaku Avalox P700 for 6 months. For rubber, I only use H3 Neo 40degree for all blades.
      In my opinion, it's better to upgrade directly to 5ply+2Alc blade such as Innerforce Alc, which would be less painful than going to 7ply all wood blade

    19. Top | #17
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      Quote Originally Posted by infinity168 View Post
      Hi, I read the thread and found your curiosity very close to my case. I used 5-ply blade for nearly 2 year (1 year with Peter Korbel and 1 year with Nittaku Malong 5).
      Because I had found 5-ply blade lacking of speed, I have started 7-ply blade for 1 year. At the begining, I used Innerforce Alc for 2 weeks, then I have used Clipper Wood and then Nittaku Avalox P700 for 6 months. For rubber, I only use H3 Neo 40degree for all blades.
      In my opinion, it's better to upgrade directly to 5ply+2Alc blade such as Innerforce Alc, which would be less painful than going to 7ply all wood blade
      I totally agree with your experience.
      5-ply feels fundamentally different from 7-ply allwood. 5-ply's are generally more flexible and better for looping. 7-ply's are more direct and better for driving and blocking. 5-ply's have a much more pronounced catapult effect when looping hard.
      I feel like some 5+2 composites retain some of the characteristics of 5-ply allwood.
      For example, both stiga intensity and ML5 have this flexible catapult effect, though one is a 5-ply allwood and the other is a 5+2 composite.

    20. Top | #18
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      I like to play with 5 ply all wood blades. The high feel and large sweet spot are a must for developing my form.

    21. Top | #19
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      Xiom solo and Tibhar force pro blue are examples of slower and flexy 7 ply blades. To some extent, dhs pg7.

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    23. Top | #20
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      Quote Originally Posted by yogi_bear View Post
      Xiom solo and Tibhar force pro blue are examples of slower and flexy 7 ply blades. To some extent, dhs pg7.
      Force Pro Blue is one of my favorite blades of all time.
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