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  1. ricospin is offline
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    #1

    The best W968 Clones without the W968 price

    I think this type of blade always catches my interest. Something about the allure of inner structure blades is very fascinating to me.

    the question is, how close can you get in to w968 (in terms of actual similarities in feeling and performance) without spending upwards of $300.

    Just to generalize, any version of W968 for comparison is completely fine. Prov letter, Prov number, etc…

    A few I can name off the top of my heads that have the same inner structure are:
    (Debatable wether to put the X version of DHS blades, but I decided why not)

    Fang Bo B2/X
    HL5/X
    DHS PG5/X
    Donic Ovtcharov no.1/Senso
    Ovtcharov Innerforce
    That one Vodak blade
    Yasaka Athletico Power

    I’d be more than happy to learn more that you guys know off, and that have actually played with.

    Does such a blade exist? Or should I just save up my money and buy a W968 down the line?


  2. Michael Zhuang is offline
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    #2
    Posted on the other thread too, but this one looks nice:
    https://a.aliexpress.com/_mN6W7iK

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    #3
    Harimoto Super-ZLC has some really good reviews as well. Combining the speed of SZLC with the dwell time of limba-innerforce structure.

    The real one is pretty ridiculously expensive, but I have the Stuor clone coming in, so I'll let you know how that is.

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    #4
    I like the Sword hd5. Same construction, has that trampoline feel that the real one has, except it is more handle balanced, so the amplication of power isn't as pronounce.

  5. ricospin is offline
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    #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Zhuang
    Harimoto Super-ZLC has some really good reviews as well. Combining the speed of SZLC with the dwell time of limba-innerforce structure.

    The real one is pretty ridiculously expensive, but I have the Stuor clone coming in, so I'll let you know how that is.
    I would say that this isn’t what this thread is looking for. I get your logic, but as close to the inner alc structure w968 structure

  6. NDH is offline
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    #6

    This isn't an answer to your question as such, but I'd ask yourself a few things before going down this particular rabbit hole....

    What brings you enjoyment from the sport?

    If you can find enjoyment in less expensive equipment (whether "clones" or just cheaper manufacturers), that's great, and I'm sure you'll find something "close enough" to the W968.

    Personally, I'd rather buy the actual thing..... If that means I don't experiment with a few rubbers or blades in the short term, so I can save up for the actual "expensive" blade, then so be it.

    An imitation will never be as good. It might be close, and it's almost certainly going to offer better value for money...... But it's just never going to be the same.

    Lastly, as I've said many times before.... Unless you are a very high standard of player, the difference between all of the blades you've listed will be minimal.

    Which to me, says that you actually want the W968, so you can say you have the W968 and feel good about it (which is perfectly reasonable, and I would agree with you if that were the case!)

    And if that's right.... Then a clone will never feel as good to you.

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  7. ricospin is offline
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    #7
    Quote Originally Posted by NDH

    This isn't an answer to your question as such, but I'd ask yourself a few things before going down this particular rabbit hole....

    What brings you enjoyment from the sport?

    Ultimately, what brings enjoyment is improving and the occasional outburst of EJ-ing haha.

    but yes, I do agree with your argument of just getting the original. I think the appeal of the W968 for me is that it IS a W968. So all the more for me to get a real one.

    Part of me wants to hear how close or how far all these other blades are in comparison. Like you said, they are all probably similar, but, I’d like to know the differences between them.

    Like something like the DHS PG5 compared to W968 is a genuine curiosity for me. Can something that is about 1/10 of the price be close?

    the idea that one blade can be as close to original is very fascinating to me, but I doubt it would warrant the same satisfaction of owning an actual W968 nat/prov or whatever the case.

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    Last edited by ricospin; 05-10-2022 at 08:54 AM.

  8. NDH is offline
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    #8
    Quote Originally Posted by ricospin
    Ultimately, what brings enjoyment is improving and the occasional outburst of EJ-ing haha.

    but yes, I do agree with your argument of just getting the original. I think the appeal of the W968 for me is that it IS a W968. So all the more for me to get a real one.

    Part of me wants to hear how close or how far all these other blades are in comparison. Like you said, they are all probably similar, but, I’d like to know the differences between them.

    Like something like the DHS PG5 compared to W968 is a genuine curiosity for me. Can something that is about 1/10 of the price be close?

    the idea that one blade can be as close to original is very fascinating to me, but I doubt it would warrant the same satisfaction of owning an actual W968 nat/prov or whatever the case.
    Honestly, once you get past £50, you get severely diminishing returns.

    Is a £150 blade 3 times as good as a £50 blade? Absolutely not (generally speaking).

    Is a £300 blade 6 times better than that £50 blade...... Again, no - It's not even twice as good!

    You pay that extra for the branding, prestige (in this instance), and marketing.

    If anything, the biggest increase in performance will come from your mental side - Feeling good, enjoying what you have and knowing you have the official W968.

    Last week, I was fortunate to have a hit with a custom DHS blade made for one of the pro's (I can't remember which one unfortunately).

    It had the exact same rubbers as my current set up, so I could do a direct comparison.

    I imagine this custom blade would cost £300 plus if it were to be sold.....

    All I noticed was that it was slightly quicker. That's it. It didn't give me any feelings of superiority, it just felt like a nice blade.

    I use my Ovtcharov ALC because I like the look of the handle, I like the player and the general characteristics suit me.

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  9. Colin Ksh is offline
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    #9




    You should wait and see for yourself on the new Xiom TMXi blade. It doesn’t have the same composition as w968 with its structure being inner (alc and zlc woven) unlike w968 being pure inner alc. Most of the Korean players who previously use w968 are switching to this blade (an jaehyun, Cho daeseong and so on)so more or less to an extent it could possibly be similar to w968 in terms of feeling, playing characteristics etc.
    Interestingly, is it’s available in two versions the normal tmxi and tmxi pro. pro with red lens, non-pro with gold lens. Pro : bigger head size, heavier and stated to have used pro grade hardware as xiom said. Moreover, some specs such as vibration, speed etc are unknown for pro. I’ve watched a review on youtube(I’ll add links below in case you wanna check. two separate videos for both tmxi and tmxi pro. Reviews are in korean but subtitle is availabe) and out of my curiosity I asked and it is said that tmxi is similar to HL5 and tmxi pro is similar to w968. But the pro model won’t be easy to get outside of Korea I guess. 247tabletennis is also curious about this blade, one of the reasons is that whether it could be a replacement to w968 also some dhs blades tend to suffer blade splinters but how about this blade. According to xiom, it'll be widely available sometime in may ie this month. In terms of price they are still unknown but I guarantee even the tmxi pro won't be as expensive as w968 not even close 😂. I'll add some photos if you'd like to see. Hope this help

    tmxi pro : https://youtu.be/aM6e6jmEcFw

    tmxi : https://youtu.be/s2bSpuEXd1w
    Last edited by Colin Ksh; 05-10-2022 at 11:04 AM.

  10. Kuba Hajto is offline
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    #10
    I think you have to answer one question for yourself. Do you want W968 or a blade that you like? If you want W968 because it is W968, then just buy it :| If you want a blade you like, just buy used until you find one you like.
    /devnull

  11. Attitude is offline
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    #11
    Quote Originally Posted by NDH
    Honestly, once you get past £50, you get severely diminishing returns.

    Is a £150 blade 3 times as good as a £50 blade? Absolutely not (generally speaking).

    Is a £300 blade 6 times better than that £50 blade...... Again, no - It's not even twice as good!

    You pay that extra for the branding, prestige (in this instance), and marketing.

    If anything, the biggest increase in performance will come from your mental side - Feeling good, enjoying what you have and knowing you have the official W968.

    Last week, I was fortunate to have a hit with a custom DHS blade made for one of the pro's (I can't remember which one unfortunately).

    It had the exact same rubbers as my current set up, so I could do a direct comparison.

    I imagine this custom blade would cost £300 plus if it were to be sold.....

    All I noticed was that it was slightly quicker. That's it. It didn't give me any feelings of superiority, it just felt like a nice blade.

    I use my Ovtcharov ALC because I like the look of the handle, I like the player and the general characteristics suit me.

    Exactly this screams for a collection of budget options. The TT market is so intransparent in terms of quality and specs.
    This makes it so hard for younger players or those who dont want to pay a fortune for their equipment. Even i remember my early TT-Days (about 20 years ago) in which i was completely lost. Getting your hands on decent information out of the big TT-citys was close to impossible, because nearly nobody has a clue about equipment in smaller clubs.

    This alone makes information like this pretty valuable.
    On top testing around without any orientation is srsly expensive.

    For example i found my budget solution for the Viscaria: Yinhe Pro 01. The only difference from these blades is not noticeable for 90% of the players and doesnt justify double the price. I mean a "crisper" feeling is literally nothing you should spend more money on.





  12. Michael Zhuang is offline
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    #12
    Thats why i have put together a collection of budget versions of each major blade archetype.

    Outer alc - yinhe v14 pro $38
    Inner alc - fang bo carbon $47
    Outer zlc - lemuria zlc $32
    Inner zlc - stuor zlc $30
    Wood - yasaka ma lin offensive $40
    Straight carbon - sanwei cc $12

    each blade is under $50

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    Last edited by Michael Zhuang; 05-10-2022 at 04:29 PM.

  13. ricospin is offline
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    #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Ksh




    You should wait and see for yourself on the new Xiom TMXi blade. It doesn’t have the same composition as w968 with its structure being inner (alc and zlc woven) unlike w968 being pure inner alc. Most of the Korean players who previously use w968 are switching to this blade (an jaehyun, Cho daeseong and so on)so more or less to an extent it could possibly be similar to w968 in terms of feeling, playing characteristics etc.
    Interestingly, is it’s available in two versions the normal tmxi and tmxi pro. pro with red lens, non-pro with gold lens. Pro : bigger head size, heavier and stated to have used pro grade hardware as xiom said. Moreover, some specs such as vibration, speed etc are unknown for pro. I’ve watched a review on youtube(I’ll add links below in case you wanna check. two separate videos for both tmxi and tmxi pro. Reviews are in korean but subtitle is availabe) and out of my curiosity I asked and it is said that tmxi is similar to HL5 and tmxi pro is similar to w968. But the pro model won’t be easy to get outside of Korea I guess. 247tabletennis is also curious about this blade, one of the reasons is that whether it could be a replacement to w968 also some dhs blades tend to suffer blade splinters but how about this blade. According to xiom, it'll be widely available sometime in may ie this month. In terms of price they are still unknown but I guarantee even the tmxi pro won't be as expensive as w968 not even close 😂. I'll add some photos if you'd like to see. Hope this help

    tmxi pro : https://youtu.be/aM6e6jmEcFw

    tmxi : https://youtu.be/s2bSpuEXd1w
    Looks cool, but wouldn’t an jaehyun just be using the handle like most pro players?

    Also can’t buy if there’s no cpen.

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  14. Colin Ksh is offline
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    #14
    Quote Originally Posted by ricospin
    Looks cool, but wouldn’t an jaehyun just be using the handle like most pro players?

    Also can’t buy if there’s no cpen.

    I think he’s using the actual blade. Not like I know everything and can tell for sure but before it was released, he’s been testing abundant of prototypes so I believe he is using the real tmxi. Jeoung young sik previously uses w968 just like other national players from korea but by the time Ice cream blades were out, he uses AZX and now switches to AZXi.
    And yeh I haven’t seen the cpen for tmxi so far yet. Sry that I didn't know your grip that I should have stated in the reply above. To conclude, I guess it'll be more or less similar to w968.

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    #15
    I’ve actually been using a Yasaka Athletico Power for the past few weeks, really like it a lot, feels a tad crisper and bouncier than w968, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing since it means I don’t need to use as much strength in my strokes. So for my daily training it’s really good, since the multi ball training usually goes on for quite a while. The price is not that bad, around $98, but I can only find it in China, so it costs an extra $40 to get it to the states, not really worth it imo. I’m currently waiting to get a Tibhar SK Hybrid AC, which costs about the same, about $98 if you consider the 30% discount you can get one tt11. That TMXi you posted looks interesting too, might get one in the future.

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    Last edited by DukeGaGa; 05-11-2022 at 06:28 AM.

  16. ricospin is offline
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    #16
    Quote Originally Posted by DukeGaGa
    I’ve actually been using a Yasaka Athletico Power for the past few weeks, really like it a lot, feels a tad crisper and bouncier than w968, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing since it means I don’t need to use as much strength in my strokes. So for my daily training it’s really good, since the multi ball training usually goes on for quite a while. The price is not that bad, around $98, but I can only find it in China, so it costs an extra $40 to get it to the states, not really worth it imo. I’m currently waiting to get a Tibhar SK Hybrid AC, which costs about the same, about $98 if you consider the 30% discount you can get one tt11. That TMXi you posted looks interesting too, might get one in the future.
    I know a really high level player who uses Athletico Power and has connections to CNT, so I assume it's good.

    Tibhar SK AC seems cool, I don't know if it's actually worth it.

    For the meantime, w968 is touted as slower than commercial hl5- in this case I glued on a sheet of new skyline tg2 neo on my b2x. My thinking was too slowdown the fang bo b2x's speed I use a rubber which I know is pretty slow.

    I think I will stick to allwood if I don't like this feeling with my b2x. I reckon my infinity and fang bo will be the same speed, and it's going to be splitting hairs as to which I want to use.

  17. ricospin is offline
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    #17
    Update: I was able to hit with A W968, and I have to admit it was underwhelming to hit with.

    I somehow developed this idea of the blade being a unicorn blade that can do it all, at least offensively speaking. But in reality, it feels just like any other table tennis blade.

    I will say that the loops feel easier as you get more assistance from the carbon. But I realized that carbon might not be the move unless I can get in an off- category or maybe a high all+.

    The vibration/hand feel is completely different than regular HL5. It was similar to the wholeness (I can feel the blade as reacting as a whole instead of feeling each individual layer. There is no muted carbon feel, but an all wood feel with less 20% dwell) that I felt with the fang bo, but significantly softer.

    I've been eyeing a DHS PG5 for a while, maybe I will try it out.

    Any PG5 users want to chime in?

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    #18
    Quote Originally Posted by ricospin
    Update: I was able to hit with A W968, and I have to admit it was underwhelming to hit with.

    I somehow developed this idea of the blade being a unicorn blade that can do it all, at least offensively speaking. But in reality, it feels just like any other table tennis blade.

    I will say that the loops feel easier as you get more assistance from the carbon. But I realized that carbon might not be the move unless I can get in an off- category or maybe a high all+.

    The vibration/hand feel is completely different than regular HL5. It was similar to the wholeness (I can feel the blade as reacting as a whole instead of feeling each individual layer. There is no muted carbon feel, but an all wood feel with less 20% dwell) that I felt with the fang bo, but significantly softer.

    I've been eyeing a DHS PG5 for a while, maybe I will try it out.

    Any PG5 users want to chime in?

    The funny thing is I was also underwhelmed when I first played with my HL5x. I think the expectation is that these blades are game changing, which they are not. However as I played more with the blade I learnt that it’s upsides were subtle and nuanced - underwhelm went to admiration as I found my way around it.

    Ultimately I found the speed a little too much as you know and play with my all wood blades more now, but I hope to revisit it at a later stage.

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    #19
    my 2 cents
    Sword HD997 feel nothing like W968 but arc seems to act like it
    Power G 7 said to be good to learn large stokes that the w968 has , but no idea never used
    Yinhe Pro feeling can't remember exactly lacks a few gears the W968 has but pretty amazing for the price

    but personally iv going to stick with the yasaka Alnade inner( N301 but with more control imo) pretty happy with going to get 3 total for back up purposes
    Last edited by 729B2; 05-22-2022 at 11:37 AM.

  20. Gozo is offline
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    #20
    I wish to share my personal experience here:

    In my case I will talk about Darker Speed 90, arguably the best One Ply Hinoki Blade out there. I own one. I have played with it and I know with direct knowledge its characteristics and not based on hear say or reading about it from internet forum.

    I also have owned its Taiwan Cloned version which to my surprise plays and feel better ( I ordered the custom premium version and not stock version ).

    Now if I have not own and play with the original DS90 and straight away use the clone I will never know and compare it to the original.

    So, my point is, if money is not an issue, just buy the original and then decide later if you want the clone or not. I mean you will never satisfy your inner demon if you have never play with original.



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