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Initial impressions TSP Spectol Blue
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Author:  agooding2 [ 05 Oct 2016, 10:38 ]
Post subject:  Initial impressions TSP Spectol Blue

Got my sheet of TSP Spectol Blue 1.5 in red from OOAK yesterday. Compared to a regular sheet of Spectol speed, the rubber is more matte, rather than translucent meaning it is more of a cooked pip. Top sheet feels harder, the sponge is marked 43* +/- 5 degrees, and feels very dynamic though there was no dome either way.

Had been playing with Armstrong Attack 3 L which has larger pips and is a raw/translucent pip. Had also been playing with the newer version of Double Happiness 651, with is also a larger pip, but cooked. Both the above have slightly longer pips, the TSP Spectol blue is small and pyramid shape like the old Spectol, while the others are cylindrical.

I put the Spectol Blue on the forehand of a fast custom Kevlar/carbon blade with two layers of VOC-free glue. I play short pips penhold with inverted rubber on the back but mostly block traditional style versus using the RPB stroke. I like to smash with the forehand at the first opportunity. US rating is 1700-1800 depending on the day, high intermediate in skill, don't play as often as I once did.

The Spectol Blue had a very flat arc compared to regular Spectol, which I remember as having a much higher arc. It is extremely fast, fastest I have tried in a 1.5 thickness, the harder sponge does not bottom out on flat hits. It excels at hitting flat and blocking hard loops, with the ball skidding or even reversing slightly on the return. Smashing lobs off the bounce was easy, took good timing but needed very little backswing.

Serve and kill 3rd ball worked great when I had a pop up to work with and the spin on serves and pushes was adequate to force errors. It is not a low spin medium pip, but not a high spin short pip either. When blocking, the angle had to be more exact than with a lower spin raw pip or the ball goes off the end, but get it right and it's low and difficult to counter with some skid on the ball.

Spectol Blue seems to require more of a commitment than other short and medium pips I've tried, it responds best to harder shots, but not as well to medium speed shots. You seem to need to dig the ball into the sponge to get more control, if you don't engage the sponge there is less control. Maybe this is why it is more a rubber for professionals than amateurs.

I will keep using it and compare to other short pips, like Spectol Speed and a sheet of Mizuno Booster EV I have. Looks promising but I will need to practice more often than every two weeks as I have been.

Author:  Debater [ 05 Oct 2016, 18:44 ]
Post subject:  Re: Initial impressions TSP Spectol Blue

What's it like against slow short pushes and fast deeper ones please, also against a slow(ish) rolled no spin ball.

Can you push with it, or to you have to commit to driving through the backspin?

Does a no spin ball "drop" or "fall" off the pimples?

Thanks

Author:  agooding2 [ 05 Oct 2016, 21:34 ]
Post subject:  Re: Initial impressions TSP Spectol Blue

Debater wrote:
What's it like against slow short pushes and fast deeper ones please, also against a slow(ish) rolled no spin ball.

Can you push with it, or to you have to commit to driving through the backspin?

Does a no spin ball "drop" or "fall" off the pimples?

Thanks


Pushing was fine, as sponge is harder and not bouncy it had good control and I could push either short or deep with spin, I wasn't limited to flipping or rolling like with less spinny pips, though it did flip well.

I did not play anyone who pushed deep so I'm not sure how it would be looping backspin, I will try that in the future. You can create spin yourself so the ball does not drop or fall off the pimples when you convert no spin to spin, played someone with anti spin, no issues there.

Author:  agooding2 [ 13 Oct 2016, 07:44 ]
Post subject:  Re: Initial impressions TSP Spectol Blue

Did play some players last night with more spin, and one with less.

Against the players with heavy topspin had to be more aware of the angle but could return most loops. The hardness of the sponge meant that some would go long, so against hard loop drives it was either a nasty fast block or long, not so much variation possible as with a softer sponge.

Against high spinny loops I had no problem returning, the smaller and harder pips meant you could let the ball graze the pips and bump it back short with some backspin if you wanted to do that.

Against a player with heavy underspin I was able to loop when I was in position to use proper technique, but when out of position I had less success. This rubber rewards precise strokes, it is not forgiving of half-strokes.

Against a player with little spin I had to generate my own and so over hit at times, again due to the hardness of the topsheet and sponge. Putting high balls away is no problem but low, nothing balls were more of a problem. So again it seems like a rubber for higher level players, less forgiving for intermediate level players like myself. Sometime it would be nice to try the softer red version.

Author:  agooding2 [ 27 Oct 2016, 01:14 ]
Post subject:  Re: Initial impressions TSP Spectol Blue

After using the TSP Spectol blue 1.5 red a couple more times, I've warmed up to it. It seems to prefer harder contact and faster racket speed than my old Armstrong Attack 3 due to the hard pips and sponge. I found playing at mid distance I can put spin on the ball if I let it drop, a miniloop so to speak, with enough spin to give lower level players trouble. I also found it was easy to change spin on the ball when blocking, the harder sponge allows enough feel to give backspin. I can even chop against topspin much more easily than with softer sponge rubbers.

What the rubber does not seem good at is a safe, low speed roll as the ball does not sink in enough to give it the spin for best control, so I've changed to contacting the ball more forcefully and brushing more rapidly and playing more positively. I find if I try to play "safe" I get less control on the ball, so it's better when I'm prepared for a full stroke.

Author:  agooding2 [ 31 Oct 2016, 10:46 ]
Post subject:  Re: Initial impressions TSP Spectol Blue

Played with a new sheet of Mizuno Booster EV 1.8 red to compare. Felt noticeably softer and not as crisp, both topsheet and sponge. Noticed more spin on serves, but not as good feel, especially on rolls and flips. Switched back after an hour and appreciated more the hardness of the Spectol Blue 1.5.

Plan to try the Victas V-101 1.6 which I think is TSP also and a sheet of Spectol Speed 1.5 as well.

Author:  agooding2 [ 26 Nov 2016, 11:45 ]
Post subject:  Re: Initial impressions TSP Spectol Blue

Did a 6 hour clinic with Spectol Blue 1.5 and it felt like I could do anything I wanted with it, so sticking with it. Could spin, hit, block, push and serve and the harder sponge feels very precise.

Played with boosted Spectol Speed 1.5 and it felt mushy and indistinct in comparison.

Victas V-01 1.6 was very soft so it bottomed out and played far too flat for consistency, like Joola Tango Ultra.

Author:  agooding2 [ 01 Feb 2017, 00:17 ]
Post subject:  Re: Initial impressions TSP Spectol Blue

Very happy after I've adjusted to the Spectol blue, plenty of speed, enough spin for my game.

Only thing I feel like it lacks is a little bit of cushion on blocks and a little bit of control on rolls.

You need to play positively with this rubber. Sometime I might try the red version just for a bit more forgiveness.

Author:  nathanso [ 01 Feb 2017, 05:22 ]
Post subject:  Re: Initial impressions TSP Spectol Blue

Any sink effect on flat-hit balls with Spectol Blue 1.5? Spectol 21 Offense sure had sink.

Author:  agooding2 [ 01 Feb 2017, 05:32 ]
Post subject:  Re: Initial impressions TSP Spectol Blue

nathanso wrote:
Any sink effect on flat-hit balls with Spectol Blue 1.5? Spectol 21 Offense sure had sink.


Some, not as much as my Armstrong Attack did, doesn't look that weird to me but others complain about it's "weirdness."

Author:  bbkon [ 24 Apr 2017, 13:19 ]
Post subject:  Re: Initial impressions TSP Spectol Blue

agooding2 wrote:
nathanso wrote:
Any sink effect on flat-hit balls with Spectol Blue 1.5? Spectol 21 Offense sure had sink.




Some, not as much as my Armstrong Attack did, doesn't look that weird to me but others complain about it's "weirdness."


same rubber like fukuhara or you mean armstrong short pips?

Author:  agooding2 [ 24 Apr 2017, 21:53 ]
Post subject:  Re: Initial impressions TSP Spectol Blue

bbkon wrote:
agooding2 wrote:
nathanso wrote:
Any sink effect on flat-hit balls with Spectol Blue 1.5? Spectol 21 Offense sure had sink.




Some, not as much as my Armstrong Attack did, doesn't look that weird to me but others complain about it's "weirdness."


same rubber like fukuhara or you mean armstrong short pips?


Short pips, Attack 3, not Attack 8 which is the medium pips that Fukuhara uses.

Author:  ericd937 [ 16 Jul 2017, 21:29 ]
Post subject:  Re: Initial impressions TSP Spectol Blue

I've been playing with Spectol Blue about 2 months. I'm playing 1.7.-1.9 sponge on my forehand. I really really like it. Its fast and direct. Powerful from mid-distance. Really high control. The OP talked about having that cant miss feeling, I second that about Spectol Blue.

I actually ordered a sheet of Spinpips Blue when I ordered the Spectol Blue. I'm enjoying the Spectol Blue so much that I haven't even had the desire to try the Spinpips Blue.

Author:  bbkon [ 22 Jul 2017, 02:48 ]
Post subject:  Re: Initial impressions TSP Spectol Blue

ericd937 wrote:
I've been playing with Spectol Blue about 2 months. I'm playing 1.7.-1.9 sponge on my forehand. I really really like it. Its fast and direct. Powerful from mid-distance. Really high control. The OP talked about having that cant miss feeling, I second that about Spectol Blue.

I actually ordered a sheet of Spinpips Blue when I ordered the Spectol Blue. I'm enjoying the Spectol Blue so much that I haven't even had the desire to try the Spinpips Blue.


how is spinpips blue?

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