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PostPosted: 14 Dec 2015, 11:53 
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Yes, the scale is very different. A 38deg Chinese rubber will feel MUCH harder than a 37.5deg ESN rubber.

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PostPosted: 14 Dec 2015, 14:14 
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I'd like to see the the JP01 bluefire hardness....haggisv do you know if these are all given by ESN so that their harnesses are actually comparable? Or do the manufacturers put their own rating once they stick their logo on it?

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PostPosted: 14 Dec 2015, 14:51 
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Yes ESN has a standard scale that's used for all their rubbers. Not all brands reveal what the hardness is though, it's not always on the packaging, but sometimes we've just got to ask.

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PostPosted: 18 Dec 2015, 03:30 
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Nobody has commented on my post regarding the ESN factory rubbers. They seem to produce rubbers with 6 different sponges from 35º - 47.5º hardness. They are made for a number of different brands under a lot of different names. But in reality they are all the same rubbers with different logo's. In the 47.5º range there are 24 different rubbers, how many, if not all of these rubbers are the same. Am I the only one that thinks this.


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PostPosted: 18 Dec 2015, 07:11 
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Sponge hardness is only of the properties that define the characteristics of the rubbers, there are many others that the major brands can tweak to come up with a unique rubber. A few that come to mind are pimple length and spacing (pimple on the inside of the topsheet) and size of the pores in the sponge.

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PostPosted: 19 Dec 2015, 11:00 
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I understand that pimple length could be different, but the overall thickness of the topsheet is only 2.0mm. The upper/smooth part of the topsheet must be at least half that 1.0mm. How many different lengths of pimples can you play with, with 1.0mm. Maybe 1.00mm/0.9mm any less than that and the rubber wouldn't have any bounce. I have been playing for 50 years and used many different rubbers in that time. whatever was top of the range in any era has always seemed very similar. In modern times since the glue ban, I only see Tenergy and ESN rubbers as being top of the range. I have played with many different ESN rubbers from different Brands and they all seem the same to me. I have also used Tenergy which is definitely different. Because Table tennis rubbers are mass produced and have a finite market, it wouldn't be cost effective to have to keep changing topsheets. I'm not an expert on the manufacture of rubbers, but if they did have to change topsheets during mass manufacture every time they changed brands. This would surely require re-tooling of the machines and very time consuming adding to the overall cost and eating into profits. If there are 24 different ESN rubbers with 47.5º sponge and they all had different topsheets and or sponge. Can you imagine the cost involved in keep changing. Plus who is making 24 different topsheets. It would be interesting to hear from anyone who has worked in these factories and understands what goes on, some of them must play TT.


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PostPosted: 21 Dec 2015, 06:48 
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Hi BACKHAND,

I am not associated with rubber manufacturers, however I have an opinion on the situation that you describe.

I believe that any details of rubber make-up between ESN and the companies that market their "own" branded rubber that is sourced from ESN would very much be commercial in confidence. For this reason I don't think that you will ever find out, except if you can somehow determine it empirically via scientific testing (not just how they feel by a human), and even this may not be conclusive although from what has been reported most ESN rubber is reasonably well QCed.

There is a similar situation between the companies that manufacture plastic balls and those that "brand" them, except that there is not so much secrecy for whatever reason. For example, it is known that there is only one company producing seamless plastic balls, so a branded plastic ball must be sourced from that company.

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PostPosted: 22 Dec 2015, 05:08 
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Thanks Retriever for replying. I agree that you could not have human testing. If you gave 5 different branded rubbers that were the same to 5 different people they would all come up with different characteristics for each one, even though they are the same. A spinney rubber to one is not so spinney to someone else, as what makes a rubber spinney is as much about technic as the rubber itself. Table tennis inverted rubbers is one of my pet subjects. I used to be an agent for a TT Wholesaler and made up 100's of bats for local players in my area. Mostly I tried to stop players wasting there money on whatever was the latest craze and tried to explain it was all a sales pitch. e.g. faster, spinnier, more control, nano technology, micro whatever. There is very little that has change in inverted rubbers over the last 50 years, apart from the tensor type rubbers. Butterfly Sriver and Yasaka Mark V revolutionised TT rubbers circa 1965 and apart from the tensors nothing much else has changed, yet every year something supposedly better is brought out.


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PostPosted: 20 Jul 2016, 20:18 
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I guess BACKHAND and Haggivs made good points.

The big question mark is which year where those models released?
viewtopic.php?f=44&t=3906
That list seems to not be updated, and stopped at gen.4/4.5.
Anything significant happened to sponge formulation after that?

If we can cross the sponge hardness post with the generation list/year of release we might find out which one plays similar.

Excluding old gen. tensor sponge we are left with 3 sponges not too soft sponges (47 45 42 deg.) and maybe about 4 kind of topsheet= 12 kind of rubbers repeating. Sure light variations will still be there but will you blind test be able to spot the difference?


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PostPosted: 21 Jul 2016, 00:26 
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ennioannio wrote:
If we can cross the sponge hardness post with the generation list/year of release we might find out which one plays similar.

You're right, that would be very useful indeed. :up: It would take quite a bit of effort though, and a lot of knowledge from a lot of people to make a substantial list.

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PostPosted: 21 Jul 2016, 14:36 
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Heh heh heh... I'd have to say I lean towards the same opinion - there's less of a difference between most rubber than marketing - or players - make out to be. This comes from trying maybe 15 or so different Chinese rubbers ranging from very cheap (Reactor Corbor - about $3.50 a sheet) to sheets costing about $25, even Hurricane III (I get mine for about $10, but the AliExpress price is more like $30). They all play more or less the same - you can feel differences but they don't really affect play, definitely not as much as different blades do. My experience with ESN Tensors is limited - just Palio Macro Pro (I think this is a 2nd Generation tensor) and Andro Rasant. Yeah, they do feel different compared to the Chinese sheets, but again, they don't affect play at all - I can even switch between the Tensors and Chinese and my strokes are about the same. If you actually have to stop and think and concentrate to figure out the difference between two rubbers when switching back and forth, that means the differences between the two are subtle, rather than obvious. I don't have the same problem with blades - I can tell immediately the difference between my N11s and my Stiga Allround Classic - the latter is slower, and I end up playing more of a soft, pushing game rather than an attacking one.

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PostPosted: 26 Jan 2017, 08:56 
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I made some small updates to the first post in Silver's list. But i dont feel like i want to mess with the list since i usually dont know which gens they are. I would rather feel like adding to haggisv's list with hardness. I think that if we put them there in decent order of release, one can guess roughly which generation they are. I know at least most andro, Gewo, Victas and Palio Tensors decently well.

I disagree that Tensors would be as similar to tacky chinese rubbers as you say Isk. I find some techniques i cannot do with non-tacky rubbers, while as other techniques works better with Tensor's and similar. But i play on a low level. But i agree that probably blades make a bigger difference.

Tacky Tensors are special though, doesnt work like neither non-tacky Tensors or tacky chinese rubbers ;)

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PostPosted: 27 Jan 2017, 00:20 
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Curious about what shots can't be done with non-tacky rubber. Spinny serves? Brush loops? (People were doing brush loops with Sriver and Mark V. And a lot of people claim they get "twice the spin" when serving with Tensors.)

I've never played with a tacky Tensor (the only one I can recall offhand being Thor's), so I'll have to defer to you on that point. Does Thor's come with a "protector sheet" like Chinese sheets do? If it does, then maybe it is using Chinese topsheet technology, even if the topsheets are made in Germany.

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PostPosted: 27 Jan 2017, 01:48 
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Hi Isk

You are probably right they can be done, but at least its much harder. For example i can hardly do inside out straight flick loop with non-tacky rubber. I guess its not a very common technique but i really like those shots alot with tacky rubber. But i find normal cross-court loops are better with non-tacky rubber. Could be just me personally. But at least they work differently for me, so it has to be some differences that can have effect on play.

Yeah, i was thinking of Thor's. Flick loops is great with this one. But sometimes in some shots the grip does not seem to work with this rubber and ball can drop dead off and also normal crosscourt looping is different, not as controlled as other looping rubbers i would say.

Yes i think so, its bit sticky so at least you should use protective sheet. Dont know where the topsheets are made, but probably ESN, since there are other sticky ESN rubbers (Xiom). But im not sure. Talked to someone much involved in a Tensor brand and he said he thinks the chinese have some secret for their sticky rubbers the germans are not aware of. Who knows..

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PostPosted: 27 Jan 2017, 13:02 
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My theory (which a lot of people don't agree with :lol: ) is that the stickiness comes from adhesive that is applied to the topsheet and left behind by that "protector sheet". That's why it wears off, and that's why some sheets (Sanwei A+ for instance) comes in tacky and non-tacky versions (even though there's only one entry in the LARC). The sheet has to be designed to accept this adhesive, so you can't just apply the "protector film" to a regular non-tacky Tensor, it won't stick. Apparently you can make a tacky rubber tackier by putting a sticky protector sheet (like the ones Butterfly sells, made to be used with non-tacky rubber) on a tacky sheet, it will leave some adhesive behind and make the rubber super-tacky. Doesn't work on sheets that were non-tacky to begin with, but WILL work on some "non-tacky" Chinese rubbers (such as Yasaka ZAP). This is why I think Thor's topsheet has a Chinese-like formulation.

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