Should I "upgrade" my all-wood 5-ply Kiso Hinoki?

Okay, thanks for asking. So maybe Darker has changed the blade around 2018/19? The 7PC is quite an old blade. I have found pictures of it in Darkers 2005 catalogue, so nearly 20 years or perhaps even older.

The 7P-2A is also 6.5 mm btw.
Yep, it's a very old line. I've seen that catalogue you attached. I found a newer one from OOAK forum, I can't remember the year, this one has the aquaselas CNF with the new gold logo.
File_20240111-155814.jpg
I actually wanted this one, but couldn't find anyone selling it here. Couldn't even find any posts on this one, no ratings on revspin as well. The CNF is not as stiff as carbon.

.... The oldest post for the thinner core was from april '17. I really wasn't aware that they changed the core thickness.
Sorry, I meant to say, "the oldest post for thinner core with the dark blue box was from april '17." If what you're saying it's true, that Darker started making thicker cores due to the plastic ball, then perhaps the thicker cores had been around since 2016, or even late 2016. Wonder why people don't mention this change...

Yeah, sorry, the 7t is 7mm thick, the others are 6.5mm. I must've gotten that mixed up with other blades.

Btw, have you ever tried Nittaku S-5? Or even S-7? If you have, is it indeed similar to hinokis?
 
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I asked the seller, he doesn't know the production date, said that it arrived recently, but could be from 2015-2018. The oldest post I could find that had thicker core was from sept '20. The oldest post for the thinner core was from april '17. I really wasn't aware that they changed the core thickness.

I'm new to Hinoki World ( since my return a Nitt. Acoustic was always the best thing since sliced bread to me), but I found this (said to be 2020 on a French tt forum) screenshot from TT11 - they were still selling old versions of 7P-2ACs. And it's a high turnover shop.

7Pc 2020.png


I've put and old photo (left) and my 7P-2AC (right) together, and from what I see these two blades must feel and play differently. On the old picture the central ply is not just much thinner, it is laid horizontally like two middle plies.

Old and New 7P-2A.C copy.png
 
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I've put and old photo (left) and my 7P-2AC (right) together, and from what I see these two blades must feel and play differently. On the old picture the central ply is not just much thinner, it is laid horizontally like two middle plies.
Dang, the grains on your handle are so tight...

It's a bit blurry, but it kinda does look like the core was laid horizontally. This would make it more flexible, wouldn't it?

Would you happen to have the chance to play with both the thicker and thinner cores?


Mine is aligned with the top plies. And the core is much younger than top plies, the grains look twice as wide.
IMG_20240111_204158_1.jpg
 
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Dang, the grains on your handle are so tight...

It's a bit blurry, but it kinda does look like the core was laid horizontally. This would make it more flexible, wouldn't it?

Would you happen to have the chance to play with both the thicker and thinner cores?


Mine is aligned with the top plies. And the core is much younger than top plies, the grains look twice as wide.

Unfortunately I don't know anyone playing with an older 7P2AC.
Re. grains that was my exact thought as well when I first unpacked it. Yours might feel just a bit softer and a bit more hinoki-ish, I guess, but how much would be the difference if at all I've no idea.
 
Re. grains that was my exact thought as well when I first unpacked it. Yours might feel just a bit softer and a bit more hinoki-ish, I guess, but how much would be the difference if at all I've no idea.
I tried measuring the plies on yours and mine.

Yours are 0.75mm top ply, 0.9mm, 0.3mm carbon, 2.6mm core, 0.3mm carbon, 0.9mm, and 0.75mm top ply.
Mine are 1.0mm top ply, 1.3mm, 0.3mm carbon, 1.3mm core, 0.3mm carbon, 1.3mm, 1.0mm top ply.
Looking at the thickness of each ply, it could also be the other way around. Like yours could be more hinoki-ish more catapult effect with the core twice as thick as mine. While mine could have softer feel due to the thicker outside plies.

The grains are different, yours is like "S" shaped, mine is shaped like a "C".

Does your BH side feel spinnier at chopping instead of looping?

I sorta got this idea from how a wood worker plane a board. I don't know how much the effect is, if there is any. I've started making a 3d model from it, if that isn't clear enough, I'll try making an illustration instead.

All three plies on an older 7P-2A.Carbon are definitely aligned.
The thickness on this one is the same as mine, the alignment is different.
 
No, I haven’t. Do they have spruce top plies? I always wanted to try the Andro Ligna CI or CO. Feeling is said to be similar.
It's an all European Spruce blade. Heavier, slightly less soft than hinoki, from what I've read about.

Could you somehow post pics of the bottom side of your handles? With you having 3 7p2aC, I wonder how different they could be. If it's not much of a trouble for you.
 
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It's an all European Spruce blade. Heavier, slightly less soft than hinoki, from what I've read about.

Could you somehow post pics of the bottom side of your handles? With you having 3 7p2aC, I wonder how different they could be. If it's not much of a trouble for you.
I've done that already. He is the picture again.
 

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I tried measuring the plies on yours and mine.

Yours are 0.75mm top ply, 0.9mm, 0.3mm carbon, 2.6mm core, 0.3mm carbon, 0.9mm, and 0.75mm top ply.
Mine are 1.0mm top ply, 1.3mm, 0.3mm carbon, 1.3mm core, 0.3mm carbon, 1.3mm, 1.0mm top ply.
Looking at the thickness of each ply, it could also be the other way around. Like yours could be more hinoki-ish more catapult effect with the core twice as thick as mine. While mine could have softer feel due to the thicker outside plies.

The grains are different, yours is like "S" shaped, mine is shaped like a "C".

Does your BH side feel spinnier at chopping instead of looping?

I sorta got this idea from how a wood worker plane a board. I don't know how much the effect is, if there is any. I've started making a 3d model from it, if that isn't clear enough, I'll try making an illustration instead.


The thickness on this one is the same as mine, the alignment is different.
:D and I thought I was a nerd :geek:
All I can say is my 7PC is the softest and dwelliest blade I've ever had, by a country mile.
As for the catapult, I don't really feel it with Rakza Z, my Acoustic/GoldArc8 combo is way more bouncy.
7PC is not linear though - in a good, predictable way. It slows down considerably in a short game and has more gears than an Acoustic which is a lively blade overall.
My BH loops will be spinnier than chops with any racket I guess, as I'm not a defender.
 
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Can anybody compare the 7PC to the 5p-2a? Or with other looping-focused blades (ie, Viscaria, Korbel, w968)? I found the 5p-2a to feel pretty good but with a slightly vague hand feel (could just be the hinoki softness), but wished for a bit of speed. Probably due to me using H3 - wondering if the 7PC would help with that.
 
:D and I thought I was a nerd :geek:
LOL I couldn't help myself :ROFLMAO:
Naah, doing that have actually helped me adapt to this new blade much much faster than what I had expected.
This blade is indeed awesome!

As for the catapult, I don't really feel it with Rakza Z, my Acoustic/GoldArc8 combo is way more bouncy.
7PC is not linear though - in a good, predictable way. It slows down considerably in a short game and has more gears than an Acoustic which is a lively blade overall.
My BH loops will be spinnier than chops with any racket I guess, as I'm not a defender.
Unfortunately, I've never played with a non tacky rubber... I've been considering to change into non tacky ones the past few days, though all my 3 blades still have relatively brand new Moon Pros.

Yep, the 7p carbon isn't linear. Similar, but I don't have to push it as fast as the all-wood hinokis*. The Acoustic was also one I had in mind, just in case I couldn't get an all kiso hinoki blade.

Here's what I meant with how the grain alignment could affect the spin. The pictures on the right would be yours, mine's on the left.
Asset 5.png
 
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Can anybody compare the 7PC to the 5p-2a? Or with other looping-focused blades (ie, Viscaria, Korbel, w968)? I found the 5p-2a to feel pretty good but with a slightly vague hand feel (could just be the hinoki softness), but wished for a bit of speed. Probably due to me using H3 - wondering if the 7PC would help with that.
I've never played with a 5P, but 7PC is slower than Joola Rossi Emotion, never mind Viscaria.

It's roughly in the same ballpark with Nittaku Acoustic and Korbel and may be a bit faster in the top gear when carbon kicks in. But it all depends on the rubber, weight and technique.

7PC is not a slow blade, as already mentioned, it's somewhere in the lower OFF, you will need to apply power to make it fast ( and in combination with Rakza Z it is asking for a full swing), but it won't play like a Viscaria.

7PC is IMHO a blade for a clever all-round game where variation of placement, speed and spin is the key. Long dwell gives you an advantage in this kind of game. This blade is also good in using your opponents' power, blocking fast aggressive topspins is quite effective, as the blade feels solid and reacts strongly to a hard impact.
It's not a blade for an all-out offensive player, whatever the level.

With that caveat the speed is enough for anyone outside the professional realm as far as I am concerned.
Far more important that the speed here is a) if you like this dwelly/softy/springy feel of thick hinoki and b) whether your style allows you to use it to your advantage.

That's what I can say after just two sessions with my new 7PC.

Just my 5c, your mileage may vary.
 
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Thanks @S-Pin that gives some context performance-wise as to how this blade behaves.
Would appreciate it if anyone could have a stab at comparing how this blade feels relative to a typical 5-ply hinoki carbon blade such as Gergely etc (my second blade is tmount hinoki ace). I was contemplating getting an all wood hinoki blade (such as Vodak Hinoki off-), however am wondering if the darker 7p2a carbon might be a good compromise between all-wood and tradition 5-play carbon.
(I'm more interested in the thicker centre-ply variant above since I suspect that makes better use of the carbon layers based on comments by SDC about carbon layer separation distance)
Cheers, LLS
 
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I couldn't quite see how the grains are aligned.
Is this correct?

View attachment 28096

Is the spin generated differ from one another? The diagram in the post below could explain what I mean.
All three have the same structure: core=vertically >carbon> medial ply=horizontally>top ply=vertically

There are no differences between the these three blades apart from the weight (87, 88, 90g) and the shape of the handle (the newest has a rounder handle).

I don’t think that one would actually be able to tell the differences of spin generation of chops and topspins because of the alignment of the hinoki plies. I am not, that’s what I know for sure 😊
 
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I've never played with a 5P, but 7PC is slower than Joola Rossi Emotion, never mind Viscaria.

It's roughly in the same ballpark with Nittaku Acoustic and Korbel and may be a bit faster in the top gear when carbon kicks in. But it all depends on the rubber, weight and technique.

7PC is not a slow blade, as already mentioned, it's somewhere in the lower OFF, you will need to apply power to make it fast ( and in combination with Rakza Z it is asking for a full swing), but it won't play like a Viscaria.

7PC is IMHO a blade for a clever all-round game where variation of placement, speed and spin is the key. Long dwell gives you an advantage in this kind of game. This blade is also good in using your opponents' power, blocking fast aggressive topspins is quite effective, as the blade feels solid and reacts strongly to a hard impact.
It's not a blade for an all-out offensive player, whatever the level.

With that caveat the speed is enough for anyone outside the professional realm as far as I am concerned.
Far more important that the speed here is a) if you like this dwelly/softy/springy feel of thick hinoki and b) whether your style allows you to use it to your advantage.

That's what I can say after just two sessions with my new 7PC.

Just my 5c, your mileage may vary.
This is a very good description of the blades properties. I would say it’s faster than Korbel, especially when you hit harder. I play close to the table with counters, blocks and quick attacks. This blade provides a lot control for this kind of game. I have also played boosted tacky rubbers on forehand (H3, Skyline 3 prov), but I prefer T25 now, which, although it is the slowest Tenergy, has a bit more catapult and provides more power than the Chinese rubbers. The ease of use of this combination is better. I have never played with Rakza Z, but it sounds like a good match, too.
 
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I would say it’s faster than Korbel, especially when you hit harder.
I have never played with Rakza Z, but it sounds like a good match, too.
It may well be, I only played my friend's Korbel with much faster rubbers.
I do like Rakza Z on 7PC. I first tried RZ on my Ludeack and it was a poor match, Ludeack throw is high and the arc was ridiculously high, and it was slow. With 7PC the arc is lower, and with a hard topspin it just flattens. So I get surprisingly flat spinny loops if I can say so, with a forward kick, same with blocking hard topspins. Quite nice.
And now when I think about it, RZ feels indeed faster on my 7PC than on a Ludeack, so yes, 7PC must be faster than a Korbel.
I'm yet to try RZ on my Acoustic, I guess it will be a nice spinny combo, but I just don't want to be torn between two blades :D .
 
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I'm yet to try RZ on my Acoustic, I guess it will be a nice spinny combo, but I just don't want to be torn between two blades :D .
Yes, combining the RZ with your Acoustic will certainly result in a controlled and very spinny topspin blade. But it might also lack power for harder killing shots. I mean it all depends on what you prefer and what your playing style is. If you want to loop like hell this could be the real deal. 😊
 
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