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PostPosted: 31 Aug 2015, 12:00 
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Dr. Neubauer Buffalo Review (in comparison with Dr. Neubauer ABS)

Disclaimer: I received the rubber from Dr. Neubauer for testing

About the reviewer:
My USATT rating is around 1900. My strength is my forehand with which I score the majority of my points mainly through looping; my serve is probably above average for my rating. I play close to the table with blocking and looping. I play with frictionless anti on backhand, mainly for returning serve and blocking topspin loops.

Setup:
Both Dr. Neubauer antis were played in red with 1.2mm sponge on a Butterfly Schlager Light blade with Nittaku Hurricane III Neo max on forehand. I have played with the ABS for the last couple of years on various blades recently on Dr. Neubauer Hercules.

Description on Dr. Neubauer’s website:
Quote:
The perfect Anti-Spin combination between spin reversal and control
BUFFALO provides highly interesting playing characteristics thanks to a completely new rubber composition.

A long and tedious development program finally enabled us to combine the strong points of all our existing Anti-Spin rubbers. This results in an exciting new rubber that will set a new benchmark both for control and disruptive effect.

BUFFALO produces excellent spin reversal while blocking against topspin shots with a lot of rotation thanks to its completely frictionless surface. Also control was decisively enhanced to ensure safe and disruptive blocking close to the table.
In that regard BUFFALO can be considered as an alternative to our old frictionless long pimple rubbers especially as far as spin reversal is concerned.

Furthermore BUFFALO enables to produce deceptive attacking shots. The most effective technique is aggressive pushing on chopped balls but counter-attacking against float balls will also put pressure on your opponent.

All in all BUFFALO is a fantastic weapon for blocking close to the table – try it out!

Category: Anti-Spin
Colours: red +black
Sponge: 1.2 + 1.5 + 1.8mm
Speed: 55
Disruptive effect: 100
Control: 83
Category: Anti-Spin
Colours: red +black
Sponge: 1.2 + 1.5 + 1.8mm
Speed: 55


Appearance:
The surface of the Buffalo has kind of a mate finish similar to the ABS and it also appears to be the same sponge as the ABS which is fairly hard and dead. Many people believe it is the best sponge for frictionless antis. The Buffalo topsheet feels harder than the ABS but the most striking feature is the very short pips, much shorter than ABS or any other anti I have tested before like Grizzly or Gorilla. The Buffalo topsheet appears slicker than that of the ABS out of the package.

Weight:
The weight of the Buffalo with package was 69g, the rubber uncut was 39g and the cut rubber was 30g. I did not weight the ABS but the total weight of the blade felt very similar so the weight should be within a couple of grams.

Feel/Touch:
The Buffalo feels quite hard, definitely harder than ABS, but it also has a very direct and crisp feel. Long pips ox players might appreciate such a feeling. Too me it provides good feedback for the ball and quite like the more direct feel compared to ABS. Players who have played classic antis with soft sponge might not like this feel or at least will need to adjust

Speed:
The Buffalo is slow and I mean it is really slow, quite a bit slower than ABS. This is probably due to the combination of a hard topsheet with very short pips on the proven hard and dead ABS sponge. To me this is THE most outstanding feature of the new Buffalo as it can played on a fast OFF blade without any problem. The ABS seemed too fast on the Schlager Light and many blocks against fast loops went long with still drop in with the Buffalo. It is Buffalo to block very short against loops which I have not experienced like this with any other anti. It is still fast enough though to attack with

Control:
The Buffalo has the best control, also because it is so slow, of any anti I have tested so far. The control with ABS is good but with Buffalo it is great. I personally like the crisper more direct feel of it. However, you have to understand that it is still a frictionless anti so it takes quite some time to master it despite its very good control. However the Buffalo is less sensitive to the blade angle than the ABS and therefore it is easier to play with. Most frictionless antis including the ABS are quite sensitive to the blade angle so that the margins for error are smaller. This has definitely been improved with the new Buffalo.

Spin Reversal:
The reversal with Buffalo is absolutely brutal due to the hard and slick topsheet; it is definitely higher than with ABS which actually already has a pretty good reversal. I think it is on par with the reversal of Grizzly.

Throw Angle:
The throw angle of the new Buffalo is quite low and definitely lower than with ABS. This makes it possible to block loops very short and low over the net but it also allows to attack underspin with an aggressive push were the ball stays very low. On the same strokes ABS shows a higher throw and more adjustments have to be made. At the beginning I actually pushed a few balls into the net with Buffalo but you get used to the lower throw very fast and it makes it a more dangerous rubber.

Blocking:
This is what the Buffalo is made for and this is where it really shines. It does not block by itself, but with the right technique the block against topspin becomes a real weapon even better than with ABS. You have more control and can drop the ball shorter to disrupt the attacker but most importantly you can also block fast loop drives because it is so slow.

Attacking:
The Buffalo is certainly not primarily designed for an attacking style of anti-play like Grizzly for example, but on a fast blade attacking of underspin balls is actually very good. You can either attack underspin with an aggressive push or with kind of a “lift” where the ball is driven with a fairly open blade face. Both techniques will reverse the underspin into topspin. Even though the Buffalo is slower than ABS, I liked the attack with it more because it seems to have more margin for error which allows you to be more aggressive on the stroke. Again, if you primarily want to attack with anti, there are probably better options like Grizzly or Gorilla but blocking is much more difficult with those.

Conclusions:
After only one session, having played ABS for a couple of years, I immediately knew I would switch to the new Dr. Neubauer Buffalo. I played the ABS on faster OFF blades because I liked it for my forehand attack but then my anti play suffered so I switched to a slower blade (ALL+ to OFF-) but I did not like my forehand as much. Now with the Buffalo, because it is so slow, I can play an OFF blade and still control my backhand side nicely. I also like the high reversal coupled with the good control and seemingly less sensitivity to the blade angle, which is something most frictionless antis suffer. The Buffalo might not only be interesting for frictionless “veterans” but also for players coming from long pips ox or classic anti who want to make their game a little trickier.

Below you will find 2 videos showing some techniques the new Dr. Neubauer Buffalo on backhand. My practice partner in the video has a USATT rating of 2400. We are using YinHe and Gambler plastic balls.

1. Backhand drills, mostly block against loop to demonstrate reversal and how short you can block the ball:


2. A couple of practice games

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Equipment:
Dr. Neubauer Matador ST, FH: Nittaku DHS H3 Neo 2.1, BH: Dr. Neubauer Rhino 1.8


Last edited by Matt Pimple on 01 Sep 2015, 01:16, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: 31 Aug 2015, 17:19 
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Awesome review, thanks Matt Pimple! :up: :up: :up:

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PostPosted: 02 Sep 2015, 17:35 
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Great review!

I've tried a lot of slick antis previously and was never satisfied with the control compared to long pips.

I hope they have it perfected now.

How is it against the no-spin tactic?

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PostPosted: 03 Sep 2015, 00:49 
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mynamenotbob wrote:
How is it against the no-spin tactic?


Which no-spin tactic? There is no such thing... :lol:

That remains the most difficult aspect of the game and will still require practice BUT it is improved a lot as compared to ABS. For example I can block those hated ( :devil: ) quick no spin serve short with good control so that the opponent can't unload on the 3rd ball. This was much more difficult with ABS and often I had to take a step or two back and chop it which gets you in a defensive position to start the rally. It is also easier to block no spin drives or counters with Buffalo but you will still need some practice.

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PostPosted: 07 Sep 2015, 04:36 
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I bought a sheet of Buffalo in 1.5 and put it on an Adidas Avenger blade (walnut outer ply). I liked it waaay better than the ABS. It has much better control and is as slow as you can imagine. I'm usually an LP player and found that in general, I didn't have to change my strokes that much with the Buffalo. In fact, I played a match without practicing with it at all and only played slightly worse.

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PostPosted: 07 Sep 2015, 05:35 
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Is it accurate to say the faster and hard/stiff the blade is, the more spin-reversal? Or can I get equal spin-reversal with a slower, hard/stiff blade?

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PostPosted: 07 Sep 2015, 08:13 
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mynamenotbob wrote:
Is it accurate to say the faster and hard/stiff the blade is, the more spin-reversal? Or can I get equal spin-reversal with a slower, hard/stiff blade?

I don't believe the speed of the blade matters that much but generally hard/stiff blades give better reversal. There are some slower blades but hard/stiff that are popular among slick anti players because of the good reversal like Dr. Neubauer Kung Fu or Nittaku Shake Defense. I personally believe that stiff is more important than hard though; I like carbon blades with slick anti.
However, this does not mean that you are not getting any reversal at all on a soft/flexy blade. It will be less but with the right technique it will still be plenty.

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PostPosted: 07 Sep 2015, 09:08 
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I spoke to Carsten about this, related to aggressive pushing against backspin, and he mentioned that you need to push hard and aggressively to get it work, and it works better on faster blades. He also said it will work on slower blades as long as they're stiff. A balsa blade "will not do", he said... not sure why as many of these are very stiff, but perhaps they're not hard enough.

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PostPosted: 07 Sep 2015, 09:30 
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haggisv wrote:
I spoke to Carsten about this, related to aggressive pushing against backspin, and he mentioned that you need to push hard and aggressively to get it work, and it works better on faster blades. He also said it will work on slower blades as long as they're stiff. A balsa blade "will not do", he said... not sure why as many of these are very stiff, but perhaps they're not hard enough.

Yes, if we are only talking about the case of the aggressive push against backspin you are correct that a faster blade work better. But this is not because the reversal is better but simply because the ball arrives back at the opponent faster giving less time to react. On a slower blade the reversal would be just as fine but the opponent has more time to react. The aggressive push with slick anti is a very effective shot.
I am not sure why balsa does not work as well though if you combined it with carbon (for example T11) it should work too. I personally just don't like the typical balsa feel and I don't think looping works particularly well with balsa.

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PostPosted: 07 Sep 2015, 15:46 
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The main blade I have been using since it came out is the resized Tibhar CO-S-3. I don't know how hard and stiff it is, but I like it with Grass D.Tecs and also for twiddling and also for the forehand.

I have a Grubba Carbon ALL+ and a Gergely OFF+ as other possibilities, but if possible I'd like to stay with the CO-S-3. The thing is I have one Buffalo on the way, but my experience with these gluesheet antis is they wreck blades when you try to take them off, so I need to get it right the first time.

I have other blades NSD (too big and heavy), Kung Fu (too small). For me CO-S-3 is just right.

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PostPosted: 08 Sep 2015, 02:25 
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mynamenotbob wrote:
The main blade I have been using since it came out is the resized Tibhar CO-S-3. I don't know how hard and stiff it is, but I like it with Grass D.Tecs and also for twiddling and also for the forehand.

I have a Grubba Carbon ALL+ and a Gergely OFF+ as other possibilities, but if possible I'd like to stay with the CO-S-3. The thing is I have one Buffalo on the way, but my experience with these gluesheet antis is they wreck blades when you try to take them off, so I need to get it right the first time.

I have other blades NSD (too big and heavy), Kung Fu (too small). For me CO-S-3 is just right.

My opinion is to always stick with the blade you like, in this case apparently the CO-S-3 (I don't know this blade), when testing a new rubber. That way you only change one variable! You could worry about another blade maybe later on down the road. The Grubba Carbon works well with slick antis (hard and stiff!).
Here is the trick with the Dr. Neubauer antis which come on a glue sheet: apply a layer of glue (I use Elmer's rubber cement) on the glue sheet and one layer on the blade. Let dry and then attach. If you do it this way you will be able to take the anti off (but carefully!) and reglue. I have done it with this method many time with several different Neubauer antis without any problems.

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PostPosted: 16 Sep 2015, 17:57 
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haggisv wrote:
I spoke to Carsten about this, related to aggressive pushing against backspin, and he mentioned that you need to push hard and aggressively to get it work, and it works better on faster blades. He also said it will work on slower blades as long as they're stiff. A balsa blade "will not do", he said... not sure why as many of these are very stiff, but perhaps they're not hard enough.
Low impact on a balsa blade will increase dwelling time considerably and thus decrease reversal. The Buffalo's sponge is designed to absorb impact, so you would have to get enormous incoming speed or a powerful forward stroke to prevent the impact from being low. Perhaps a fast balsa blade used for all-out attack might get you good reversal, but what would you use it for in that style? Even so, apart from attacking topspin or backspin, in an active defensive style I think a balsa blade might do well with this anti, as it would allow better spin-variation on defensive strokes (chops, chop-blocks). And you would have still have reversal enough on aggressive pushing; no attack speed on it, but dropping the ball closely behind the net will be satisfactory as well, tactically speaking.

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PostPosted: 16 Sep 2015, 19:32 
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Yes good points! :up:

I can't quite make up my mind.... either put it in one of my existing blades that I know (ie Smart), or put it on the Phenonemon blade that I tested, since it seemed to work quite well. I'll have to decide soon, as I should have them within a few days.... can't wait. :oops: :oops: :oops:

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PostPosted: 16 Sep 2015, 20:03 
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haggisv wrote:
Yes good points! :up:

I can't quite make up my mind.... either put it in one of my existing blades that I know (ie Smart), or put it on the Phenonemon blade that I tested, since it seemed to work quite well. I'll have to decide soon, as I should have them within a few days.... can't wait. :oops: :oops: :oops:

I'd guess Smart for chopping, Phenomenon for close to the table play.

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PostPosted: 17 Sep 2015, 02:22 
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@haggisv: my advice would be to use whatever blade you usually use with your pips, so if that is a Re-Impact with balsa use that first. Don't change too many variables for a first test though I do believe the Phenomenon would probably work better.
Also, frictionless anti works best for a blocking game at the table. There are better rubbers (long pips, classic anti) for chopping. It is possible to chop with Buffalo which I practice sometimes but I only do it in "emergency" situations in a match.

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