Tibhar Evolution MX-S Review

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Just had my sheet arrive - Black, Max, 73g uncut, 179x168mm (same vital stats as MX-P really) . Cut to 151x156 the weight is 48.88g, which is around the standard for max thickness, hard ESN rubbers these days. Many thanks to Matthias Landfried over at tt-shop.net for the help in getting a sheet sorted!

This is a different beast to the rest of the Evo range. The sponge is different - smaller-pored, and without the booster smell which was so obvious on the original Evolutions and Bluefire Ms. It's obviously still a hard sponge though. The topsheet is monstrously grippy when you run a finger down it, and reasonably stiff. It feels like the grippiest ESN topsheet I've ever experienced. For comparison, I have a sheet of Omega V Asia here which has a far softer topsheet, less grip to the finger, and feels softer than MX-S overall despite having a harder sponge. I guess it's going to be very stable.


Once on the blade, MX-S has a hard, definite feel when bouncing a ball, with a dull "thock" sound. It feels fairly fast without feeling overly bouncy. The spin test is the headline news though - massive. Small wrist movement = big reaction on the following bounce.


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Full-size pics are available here.


I gave it the full 3 hour treatment last night with Stiga's 40+ seamed ball. It wasn't long enough for a full review because it was more of a coaching session and I didn't play a wide enough range of strokes in the depth I want. I'll be back with a more formal review next week, so I'll just give some rambling comments for now.


MX-S was on the FH side of my regular Samsonov Pure Wood blade, and on my backup Pure Woods I had Big Dipper and Tenzone Ultra (BH rubbers on all 3 are Airoc M).


Warm-Up


I was slightly disappointed for the first 10 minutes. During the initial loop-counterhit warm-up MX-S didn't feel particularly "special" at all (meaning that no overriding quality jumped out at me). It was incredibly stable and easy to use, the arc was medium and nothing dramatic happened. At this point the only thing that jumped out at me was how easy the counterhit was, even against heavy loop. For comparison, I had a higher arc with both BD and TZU on the backup blades, but counterhits and blocks were more difficult.


Serve, Loop Against Backspin, Loop against Block Exercise


I then switched to a serve, push long, loop against backspin, block, loop/drive against block, free exercise. This is where MX-S made a lot more sense.


On the serve, you notice a real lack of bounce. This helps to keep serves short and tight, and also encourages you to add a lot more wrist action, which in turn results in big spin. This is an excellent rubber for serving, and all the associated other short game bits.


Then the long push comes in, and you loop against backspin. I'm not overstating things here when I say that this is the easiest rubber for lifting backspin that I've ever tried. It absolutely eats pushes and chops alive. I usually have to warm up my backspin-lifting strokes for a few minutes to get my bat angles adjusted after a counterhit warm-up, but not this time. I genuinely didn't miss a single one during the exercise.


And then the loop/drive against block, which revealed another interesting point. Driving the ball is very easy with MX-S, but it is noticeably slower than hard ESN rubbers from previous generations (MX-P and M1 are the obvious touchstones). You have to generate some power yourself on basic drives or you can offer up an easy ball. There were times when I stepped around to use FH from the BH wing and I ran out of room to get a full stroke in. The drive produced was a bit weak, and the court was obviously totally opened up. You need to be fully committed to get the rewards in this scenario. However, looping the ball against block is easy and very effective. In fact, taking a more Chinese approach and loop-driving more often than not was the most efficient and consistent approach for me in general during the session.


I stuck with this exercise (and slight variations in placement) for a full hour. I felt that it was giving me a good insight into how MX-S was working. After that we did some matchplay...


Matchplay


The qualities I'd seen during the exercises stayed true during the match. Short game was truly great, counter hits and blocks excellent. The FH flick isn't my best shot (needs work), but MX-S seemed good here too, although the lack of extreme arc did mean that I needed to get to the peak of the bounce - there wasn't a lot of leeway if the ball dropped. The main points worth talking about were during open play. Basic topspin drives had a medium arc, and the arc then doesn't change much when you start to load the ball up with topspin. With this comes the ability to disguise the level of topspin to some degree - the arc doesn't give the game away. Adding wrist to a loop brings heavy spin with ease.


Summary so far


Positives? Solidity and control - it's very easy to use, predictable, low catapult and linear. Good (but not wild) pace. High spin potential. Zero feeling of slippage with 40+. Super easy to vary spin, depth and placement during loop-loop play. Autopilot when lifting backspin.


Downsides? The medium arc isn't forgiving of positional problems, so recovery strokes on the run aren't as easy as some rubbers. And it isn't the fastest rubber around, which makes drives a little weaker (although that will be related to my blade choice to some degree - a faster blade will make this less obvious). I'm nitpicking here though.

 
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MX-S is bloody awesome. That's all you need to know. I've never played with a rubber that generates so much spin!!


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Able to generate massive spin is often also the recipe for being very sensitive for incoming spin ;)

MX-S might surprise you! The topsheet's grip is massive, but it's also a little bit harder and less elastic than some, so it feels really quite solid in the short game and isn't hard to handle at all. The converse of that is that you only get the big spin out of it with reasonable bat speed. The combination of topsheet and sponge seems to work really well at keeping things linear and predictable.
 
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hello.

I have been play this rubber for many weeks now. Only testing. I think this rubber is very nice feel and grip, I also like this more than tenergy 05 because of the more spin is producing.

But I will still chosen tenergy because I used it for many years since was younger.

I am butterfly seller but I think this is a good rubber to sell if more people testing it to see.

hope it help you.

hayato
 
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Just want to warn people that this is not a Tenergy 05 substitute. Great spin, but the approach to the strokes is different enough that you should get it if you want something different.
If MX-S isn't a T05 substitute, can you compare with T05fx in terms of speed, spin and control?
 
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If MX-S isn't a T05 substitute, can you compare with T05fx in terms of speed, spin and control?

I haven't used T05FX in a while and never for a very long period. MX-S is harder and less catapulty so it plays in some ways more like a Chinese rubber. My guess is that this was Tibhar's primary aim in creating this version of Evolution - to have something for players with Chinese style strokes.

For the right player, MX-S is a better version of Spinart.

So my guess is that it comes do to whether you prefer spring sponge catapult with soft sponge or less catapult with hard sponge.
 
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Anyone tried boosting it with 1 layer of falco tempo long booster? How it plays?

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Could you compare with MX-P ?

Waking the dead necromancer style. The most recent post in this thread before yours was from back in August of 2015.

But, anyway, if you missed the main details: harder sponge, less catapult. Topsheet is very grippy.


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