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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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