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  1. Caddy is offline
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    #1

    Darker Esteem / Darker Liberta Synergy

    So I have ordered and played the 7p-2a.7t now since 6 weeks and I am super happy with it. The blade finishing is superb and I also really adapted well to the playing characteristics of the All Hinoki wood structure.

    Compared to my previous blade Xiom HAL the spin development is definitely stronger as well as the speed/catapult which I had to get used to in the beginning, but adapted really soon and helps to produce both more safe and dangerous shots from mid-distance. Yet, close to the table game is still controllable and the hinoki kick doesn't get in the way here. Furthermore I also benefit from the lighter weight of the wood (82 grams) as I prefer harder and hence more heavy rubbers on both Forehand and Backhand.

    Due to my enthusiasm I am now tempted to get another Darker blade and have laid eyes on the Darker Esteem. The review on TT11 (https://blog.tabletennis11.com/two-hinoki-darker-blades) already gives a good impression and comparison and states it composition as: hinoki-carbon-willow-kiri-willow-carbon-hinoki.

    I would be interested in some more opinions on the Esteem of people here that have or are still playing it.


    Furthermore, the Liberta Synergy is another blade that looks quite interesting to me even though it doesn't feature any Hinoki plies. Would be thankful if experiences and opinions on this blade were also shared here.

    Thank you!
    Last edited by Caddy; 06-06-2021 at 11:51 AM.

  2. Kolev is offline
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    #2
    If you like the hinoki feel stay with it and go for 7p-2a carbon. Esteem doesn't have a hinoki.

  3. Caddy is offline
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    #3
    I know it’s not an All Hinoki construction, but the top ply is Hinoki though.

  4. UpSideDownCarl is offline
    says I like to hit Heavy Topspin
     
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    #4
    7P-2A.7T is quite fast. It feels great but it is a fast blade.

    Personally, with Hinoki, I like Hinoki with nothing but Hinoki. So, a 7 ply Hinoki blade where all the plies are Hinoki is going to be fast and is going to generate a lot of spin. If you mix it with other woods, or add carbon, it could be faster, but it probably won't feel as good or generate as much spin.

    If you wanted to try something, have a look at the Darker Speed 90. That is a One Ply Hinoki blade.
    Setup 1: Blade by Nate: Vortex Spin Machine, FH Evolution MX-K, BH Evolution FX-P
    Setup 2: OSP Virtuoso Plus, FH Rasanter R 48, BH Rasanter R 48
    Spin is Everything

  5. Kolev is offline
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    #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Caddy
    I know it’s not an All Hinoki construction, but the top ply is Hinoki though.

    Ooops. Sorry. You're right. I remember long time ago, during the celluloid era I really wanted to buy this blade. During my investigation I talked to a guy who was playing with it and he couldn't manage to convince me so I skipped it.
    Maybe Mr Tynikin would share his experience with this blade since he played for quite some time with it


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    #6
    Quote Originally Posted by UpSideDownCarl
    7P-2A.7T is quite fast. It feels great but it is a fast blade.

    Personally, with Hinoki, I like Hinoki with nothing but Hinoki. So, a 7 ply Hinoki blade where all the plies are Hinoki is going to be fast and is going to generate a lot of spin. If you mix it with other woods, or add carbon, it could be faster, but it probably won't feel as good or generate as much spin.

    If you wanted to try something, have a look at the Darker Speed 90. That is a One Ply Hinoki blade.
    Of course the DS90 would be tempting as well but there are 3 factors that concern me:

    1) a bit pricey
    2) around 90 grams is a little heavy if paired with harder more heavy rubbers
    3) danger of break due to 1-ply construction

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    Last edited by Caddy; 06-07-2021 at 09:44 AM.

  7. Caddy is offline
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    #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Kolev

    Ooops. Sorry. You're right. I remember long time ago, during the celluloid era I really wanted to buy this blade. During my investigation I talked to a guy who was playing with it and he couldn't manage to convince me so I skipped it.
    Maybe Mr Tynikin would share his experience with this blade since he played for quite some time with it

    What was the reason he couldn’t convince you?

    I will try to send a PM to him then on his opinion.

    thanks


  8. UpSideDownCarl is offline
    says I like to hit Heavy Topspin
     
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    #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Caddy
    Of course the DS90 would be tempting as well but there are 3 factors that concern me:

    1) a bit pricey
    2) around 90 grams is a little heavy if paired with harder more heavy rubbers
    3) danger of break due to 1-ply construction

    All good reasons.

    Setup 1: Blade by Nate: Vortex Spin Machine, FH Evolution MX-K, BH Evolution FX-P
    Setup 2: OSP Virtuoso Plus, FH Rasanter R 48, BH Rasanter R 48
    Spin is Everything

  9. MK73 is offline
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    #9
    If you want to try a slower Darker blade try either 7P-2a (all+ to off-) or 5P-2A (off- to off). The 5p plays more linear due to the basswood medial plies. The 7p is a tad thinner (6,3mm vs. 6,5mm) and feels a bit softer than the 5p. Darker has also released a new 7-ply hinoki CNF blade called "Aqua Selas". But I don't know how it plays.I haven't played with the "Esteem" either, but Patricks review is certainly very reliable ("toned down 7t. with less catapult"). His blade was 75g, if I remember correctly. I find that is too light for a blade.

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    #10
    Quote Originally Posted by MK73
    If you want to try a slower Darker blade try either 7P-2a (all+ to off-) or 5P-2A (off- to off). The 5p plays more linear due to the basswood medial plies. The 7p is a tad thinner (6,3mm vs. 6,5mm) and feels a bit softer than the 5p. Darker has also released a new 7-ply hinoki CNF blade called "Aqua Selas". But I don't know how it plays.I haven't played with the "Esteem" either, but Patricks review is certainly very reliable ("toned down 7t. with less catapult"). His blade was 75g, if I remember correctly. I find that is too light for a blade.

    Yes, that final conclusion of the review actually is what sells it to me. A little less catapult and I assume also a lower trajectory would be what I am looking for.

    Concerning the blade weight I will try to get one around 80 grams. Since I order it via Japan they could directly request it from Darker which increases the chance to get a heavier version.


  11. Kolev is offline
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    #11
    Why not buying from TT11 , Spinfactory or Zeropong.it or somewhere else in Europe? Everytime I am buying from Japan is a nightmare with the customs and administrative taxes and finally I am paying much more than just buying from here.....and with all those new EU customs regulations.
    BTW I did not buy the blade cause I was told that it was kind a stiff and lacking feeling. I was actually atracted by it's low weight...then I bought a Legato 7P Carbon which was one hell of a blade but didn't like the handle so I swap it and got a counterfeit . Stupid me(for once)

  12. Caddy is offline
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    #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Kolev
    Why not buying from TT11 , Spinfactory or Zeropong.it or somewhere else in Europe? Everytime I am buying from Japan is a nightmare with the customs and administrative taxes and finally I am paying much more than just buying from here.....and with all those new EU customs regulations.
    BTW I did not buy the blade cause I was told that it was kind a stiff and lacking feeling. I was actually atracted by it's low weight...then I bought a Legato 7P Carbon which was one hell of a blade but didn't like the handle so I swap it and got a counterfeit . Stupid me(for once)

    Well, the price was around 30% less compared to European sellers. Together with also certain cheaper rubbers in the same range (30% less) I just had to pay the mail fee. Additionally you get a discount if you reach a certain amount. Maybe I got lucky, but I didn’t have to pay any customs when ordering the 7p-2a.7t five weeks ago. Just for the shipping costs which where basically 0 after deducting the discount.

    I am not quite aware about this new EU customs regulations. Afaik sports goods are not charged additionally here.

    Last edited by Caddy; 06-08-2021 at 08:28 AM.

  13. Kolev is offline
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    #13
    Consider yourself lucky if you haven't paid anything when ordering from Japan.
    Btw I have never had any issues when buying from China but many friends around me were cought to pay taxes and waste time in offices

  14. MK73 is offline
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    #14
    A little less catapult and I assume also a lower trajectory would be what I am looking for.

    7P-2A and 5P-2A would give you that, too (but they will be less powerful from far behind the table). Less catapult and lower trajectory were actually the main reasons why I chose the 5P. The 7t for me is a two-winged-loopers blade which is perfect from far behind because it so powerful. It's less versatile for a close to mid-distance game IMO. Maybe the "Esteem" is the solution for you, but I think it will feel different compared to the 7t (stiffer and harder because of the carbon). I also wonder why Darker used willow in that blade. Isn't that a type of wood which is normally only used in defensive blades? Very unusual.

    I recently bought a used Nexy TAMAR V which is an all hinoki 5-ply. On Thursday my club re-opens and I am very curios how that compares to the 5P. I have read a lot of very positive reviews.

    Last edited by MK73; 06-08-2021 at 12:34 PM.

  15. Caddy is offline
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    #15
    Quote Originally Posted by MK73

    7P-2A and 5P-2A would give you that, too (but they will be less powerful from far behind the table). Less catapult and lower trajectory were actually the main reasons why I chose the 5P. The 7t for me is a two-winged-loopers blade which is perfect from far behind because it so powerful. It's less versatile for a close to mid-distance game IMO. Maybe the "Esteem" is the solution for you, but I think it will feel different compared to the 7t (stiffer and harder because of the carbon). I also wonder why Darker used willow in that blade. Isn't that a type of wood which is normally only used in defensive blades? Very unusual.

    I recently bought a used Nexy TAMAR V which is an all hinoki 5-ply. On Thursday my club re-opens and I am very curios how that compares to the 5P. I have read a lot of very positive reviews.

    Would be nice if you can share your impressions on that Nexy Blade.

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