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PostPosted: 09 Nov 2015, 13:42 
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OK, here are my impressions of the new G40+ ball that is made in Germany, specifically in comparison to Nittaku Premium 40+ Japan (NP40+) and also XSF. I played with it for two hours today on Tibhar Smash 28 tables. SO this is a bit preliminary. I will update as I use them more.

G40+ bounces pretty much the same height as an XSF ball, which is a little higher than NP40+ (and a lot higher than Chinese seamed balls). Personally I like this, but if you are used to NP40+, you will need to keep this in mind.

It is hard to see the seam in a G40+ unless you shine light through it, which is also true of NP40+ (and very different from Chinese seamed balls). However, the seam in a G40+ is quite a bit bigger than a NP40+ (the amount the two halves overlap). Butterfly says that even though they have a seam, the inner diameter does not increase where the seam is. Nittaku Premium has a very very small seam.

Another really obvious difference I can see right away with two new unused balls right out of the box is that the surface of the G40+ ball is a lot smoother than either NP40+ or XSF. It is instantly discernible when you take two balls and rub them together. The sound of two NP40+ (or XSF) is greater than G40+ and you can feel more vibration. If ITTF decides to implement a friction test for balls this could be an issue, since this ball is very different from all of the other plastic balls in this regard.

As everyone mentions, G40+ has weird sound (like old seamless prototypes or Ipong practice balls), but after about 5 minutes you stop noticing or caring. Once you realize the ball bounces normally and not like a broken ball, the sound stops mattering. At first it is strange because we are all conditioned to associate a strange sound with a broken and misbehaving ball.

The good news is that this is a perfectly decent ball and my partner and I had fun playing with it today. Also, new balls right out of the box will not put any dust residue on your rubber!! (Very different from NP40+). Some other commenters say the G40+ is closest to celluloid. I would not go that far, personally.

Contrary to my expectation, the G40+ does not really play all that much like an NP40+, it is not really like a XSF either, and it is definitely not like a Chinese seamed ball (thank goodness). The G40+ is unique. The bad thing about this is that it means that there is even more variability in the playing properties of plastic balls, as this one is really a fourth class of ball. All in all it plays most like XSF I think, but still has unique properties. We are living in an era now with a lot more difference in ball properties than we ever had in the celluloid era.

A nice video review at Table Tennis Daily mentioned that the ball flies very straight in the air. I agree, in fact it is one of the things that seems to me to be different from either NP40+ or XSF (less arc). Perhaps this has something to do with the unusually smooth surface of the G40+? I also had the impression it flies fast through the air. Is this really the case or an illusion of some type? Hard to say but that's how it seemed. If you are wondering why surface texture affects ball flight, bear in mind that (as with golf balls) a rougher texture could creates a thin turbulent boundary layer of air that clings to the ball's surface. This allows the smoothly flowing air to follow the ball's surface a little farther around the back side of the ball, thereby decreasing the size of the wake. Table tennis balls are a lot lighter, so it may be that smaller changes in surface texture are sufficient to affect flight through the air. For a discussion of this on golf balls, see http://www.scientificamerican.com/ar...es-in-golf-ba/ A physicist or engineer might know better if that is reasonable. I think it is highly likely that this effects the way the ball interacts with the table.

I felt like the G40+ ball had more spin after the bounce on the table, and that it jumped less off the table as a result of spin. This could also be due to smooth surface of the ball. My guess is that it is heavier than NP40+ (I will weigh precisely next week) but also a lot harder than a XSF, so it will seem lighter when you play with it. At times it felt somewhat intermediate between XSF and NP40+ but when you flat hit the ball or blocked with authority, the ball seemed to move super fast.

My suspicion is that the very smooth surface of the ball is part of the reason it plays differently. But it is not everything. The G40+ also played a bit differently from a very well worn NP40+. The NP40+ has proved to be very durable, and I have quite a few I have been able to play with for a long time and so the surface gets worn and smooth, but even then they play somewhat differently from the G40+.

A couple of really good players on the next table (Jimmy Butler and Niraj Oak) hit with one briefly, the first impression they had was not altogether positive, but they didn't give it more than about 5 minutes. Not enough time, even for them. I very much value the opinion of very good players, they just see and feel things more accurately. I will try to get them to spend more time with this ball.

I am not sure if people will like G40+ better or worse than NP40+ or XSF. To be honest, I am not entirely sure myself how I feel about it. One thing for sure is that it is more expensive, not surprising. The packaging is really nice. The box protects the balls very well during shipping. Probably adds to the cost. At Paddle Palace, you can get 12 NP40+ for $33.95 (and they have them in stock). Megaspin has 12 XSF balls for $29.95. Butterfly sells the G40+ in the USA for $39.99 for 12 balls (which I think has gone up a bit in last few days). Typical Bty pricing.

The one thing I am sure of is that the G40+ is certainly as legitimate an effort to make a decent plastic ball as either XSF or NP40+. There were no grossly bad bounces (I am very accustomed to 40+ balls, have used them exclusively for 18 months). Didn't break one in two hours.

I will write more after I have played with it some more, and also after other people in my club at various levels have had a change to try it out. But as things stand now, I would say I still like NP40+ best. Then I would say XSF = G40+ (so XSF wins on price). And as things stand now, I simply won't use any Chinese seamed ball.

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PostPosted: 09 Nov 2015, 15:36 
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the g40+ ball is the worst of all available balls in terms of spin (a lot less spin) and if you play with a slick anti, its like a different sport. this comes from someone who has had no probem with the other polyballs. the nittaku premium is in between the g40+ and most other available polyballs.

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PostPosted: 09 Nov 2015, 15:47 
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Thanks for the detailed review Baal! :up: :up: :up:

If it's indeed less spinny, and curves less in the air, it's a deal breaker for me (if the price wasn't already). It's hard to believe that this wasn't by design, and if it was by design, what were they thinking? Surely they know most people WANT spin like celluloid?

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PostPosted: 10 Nov 2015, 03:15 
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Here are the data on G40+ weight (measured with a Denver Instruments laboratory balance).

G40+ average weight was 2.76 grams +/- 0.03 grams (standard deviation) calculated from 6 balls.

NP40+ average with a sample of 6 was 2.70 grams +/- 0.02 grams (standard deviation).

Main conclusions from this:

1. The NP40+ is the lightest plastic ball. In fact the heaviest NP40+ ball you will ever find is most likely going to be lighter than the lightest ball you will find in a reasonably sized sample of almost any other brand. In fact, some will be lighter than some of the celluloid balls.

2. The average weight of a G40+ is almost exactly the same as XSF (based on my earlier measurements with the same very well calibrated laboratory balance). By comparison, Chinese seamed balls from last year were pretty much always at 2.80 grams or greater. Unless they have managed to fix that, they will not be approved for long after January 1.

I have misplaced my calipers so can't measure diameter! Angry

I think that when people say a ball feels lighter or heavier when they play, that feeling may or may not have something to do with the weight. More often it has something to do with the hardness of the ball. (Kicking a deflated football, it may feel heavier). I think, though that the way a Nittkau Premium plays has a lot to do with the fact that it is simply a slightly smaller ball than the others (based on my precise measurements of weight, and wturber's measurements of diameter).

Next Level mentions that the G40+ has a lot in common with XSF (and on a lot of shots that seems right to me) and I think that may be due to the fact that they have the same weight. However, the differences I notice between G40+ and XSF may have to do with the fact they are made of a different plastic with different hardness and external texture. I think the G40+ flies straighter and maybe faster.

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PostPosted: 10 Nov 2015, 03:28 
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AA wrote:
the g40+ ball is the worst of all available balls in terms of spin (a lot less spin) and if you play with a slick anti, its like a different sport. this comes from someone who has had no probem with the other polyballs. the nittaku premium is in between the g40+ and most other available polyballs.


I think it is important to distinguish between the actual amount of spin on the ball (which none of us can measure since none of us have a camera that can do it) and the effects the resulting spin produces, which is generally what we see with our eyes. The complication is that there is more than one effect of the spin.

1. The spin on a ball affects the ball's flight path and possibly even it's speed (since it produces turbulence around the ball, which affects ball flight).
2. It effects the way the ball bounces on a table (it may jump to the side, and with super heavy spins sort of slides0.
3. It affects the way a ball reacts with the opponent's racket (blocks off the table, serves pushed into the net, etc.).

All of those things can cause an opponent to have problems (but they are different problems). I think the properties of the plastic used can affect which of those three things is more important. Balls with rougher surfaces are certainly going to react more with the table, so spin causes the ball to jump more, but that also means less spin is remains by the time the ball reaches the opponent's racket. I strongly suspect the surface roughness could have a substantial impact on ball trajectory too. Of course, diameter and weight matter too. One of the most striking differences between NP40+ and G40+ is the texture of the surface.

I feel like the G40+ flies quite straight, as if spin does not affect trajectory (less arc, no wobble), and I also felt like the ball bounced very predictably most of the time. I also seemed to force more errors with my serve but it was one session.

My personal favorite remains the Nittaku Premium 40+, but I am perfectly happy to play with the G40+ or the XSF, I just need some time to get used to a switch from one to the other. Having mostly played with Nittaku since June, when I started with the G40+, I would say it was a full 30 min before I felt comfortable.

For sure, those three are infinitely better than any Chinese seamed ball I have tried. I am looking forward to trying some more recently produced Chinese seamed balls, though. I am not sure where to get some.

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PostPosted: 10 Nov 2015, 05:41 
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I definitely don't think it curves less in the air - it all depends on how you play. What it doesn't do is get held up by the table. Here is a comparison and a match. In the comparison, the G40+ shows up around 2:25 or so and you can hear the distinct sound. The match is all G40+ and has a warmup (two matches actually, best 3 of 5 and best 2 of 3).




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PostPosted: 10 Nov 2015, 10:23 
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Baal wrote:
Here are the data on G40+ weight (measured with a Denver Instruments laboratory balance).

G40+ average weight was 2.76 grams +/- 0.03 grams (standard deviation) calculated from 6 balls.

NP40+ average with a sample of 6 was 2.70 grams +/- 0.02 grams (standard deviation).

Main conclusions from this:

1. The NP40+ is the lightest plastic ball. In fact the heaviest NP40+ ball you will ever find is most likely going to be lighter than the lightest ball you will find in a reasonably sized sample of almost any other brand. In fact, some will be lighter than some of the celluloid balls.

2. The average weight of a G40+ is almost exactly the same as XSF (based on my earlier measurements with the same very well calibrated laboratory balance). By comparison, Chinese seamed balls from last year were pretty much always at 2.80 grams or greater. Unless they have managed to fix that, they will not be approved for long after January 1.


Does this mean that only the NP 40+ currently meets the new regs for Jan 2016 ?


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PostPosted: 10 Nov 2015, 11:40 
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Multispoke wrote:

Does this mean that only the NP 40+ currently meets the new regs for Jan 2016 ?


No, as things stand now, XSF, G40+ and NP40+ all meet those new regs. In Technical Bulletin 3 but G40_ and XSF are walking a very fine line.

http://www.ittf.com/stories/pictures/T3 ... oD2013.pdf

they state the range that balls have to meet, how many outliers they will allow, etc. etc. For weight, the thing I measure most accurately they state: ball should weigh 2.7g, but any weight between 2.67 and 2.77g is acceptable for any one ball. No more than 1 ball out of the 24 sampled may be outside this range. The sample mean must be between 2.69 and 2.76g. In carrying out statistical calculations we treat any weights less than 2.60g or greater than 2.85g as outlier

At the moment I am not sure how some of the Chinese seamed balls will do. Certainly if they did not make any improvements after about April of this year, they will have problems (at that point I almost never found a ball under 2.78 and most were over 2.80). I have read that they are working on their plastic formulas, and while that would seem likely to be true, the source of that information was not someone I find very reliable.

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PostPosted: 15 Nov 2015, 06:47 
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I have had about five long sessions with the G40+, and I have had lots of my clubmates try them. I have mainly been using them since mine arrived because I wanted to get as familiar with them as possible. With time now I will revise my order of preference for plastic balls to Nittaku Premium > XSF > G40+ (from best to worst). This is something of a matter of taste, but for me at least, I am sure of it.

The main reason for this is that with a bit of wear the G40+ gets even more smooth and shiny on the surface than they are when new. Once that happens, with maybe 90-120 minutes of use, the playing properties decline a great deal. You start getting very low sliding bounces, unpredictably, since the normal bounce of this ball is very high. Also the ball becomes harder to control. This does not happen when they are new, at least not as much.

Everybody who has tried them at my club has said they feel very fast, more so as they get shinier on the outside. With the speed and high bounce, the game becomes distinctly less spin oriented. I haven't managed to break one yet, but it hardly matters if their wear makes them not useful for other reasons.

I am going back to the Nittaku Premiums.

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PostPosted: 16 Nov 2015, 12:31 
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Thanks Baal for the review and follow up. I very much value your opinion.


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PostPosted: 17 Nov 2015, 10:26 
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Baal wrote:
...I am going back to the Nittaku Premiums.


It's a pity that a lot of the tournaments preserved with the 40+ butterfly ball plus a lot of master events use the XSF ball -> 2 totally different balls. Really can't see what we can't play with the Nittaku Premium. But then life is never than simple. :^)


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PostPosted: 18 Nov 2015, 01:05 
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Yeah, I wish I could do like Baal and just "Pick" a plastic ball to use.

Unfortunately, every tournament out here seems to use a different ball. Nittaku Premiums in the capital area League, XSF at the Xiom event I just played in, Butterfly Poly (not the germans) at the Potomac and MDTTC tournaments that just past. 3 different balls...play nothing alike. There's no sense in picking a specific Poly and using it. Nor am I going to buy a set of balls just prior to each tournament, especially the butterfly balls because they are expensive and have a 1-3 session lifespan.

For me, it makes more sense to just practice with the cell balls because they are as different from the Polys as the polys are different from each other. Plus, when I inevitably step on one during drills I won't scream out in anger at the $3 I just lost. :lol:

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PostPosted: 18 Nov 2015, 12:33 
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Ian, you will scream BLOODY MURDER when you hit with the Joola 40+ seamed ball at TEAMS.

I did a tourney with that ball in upstate NYC earlier this year and let out enough cuss words about inconsistent bounce to last a decade.

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PostPosted: 18 Aug 2016, 07:21 
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just played a tournament over the weekend with G40+.

My perception is that it bounces slightly higher than the Nittaku or XSF (my favourite of the new balls); flys faster, so sidespin doesn't have as much effect; and doesn't grip the table as much, meaning chop serves don't hold up as much, and loops don't "kick" as much.

Could get used to it, but far prefer Nittaku / XSF / DHS. This is ignoring the annoying broken sound, which you get used to.

Also, tournament organizer (Butterfly tournament) :lol: was complaining about continually having to replace broken balls.

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PostPosted: 18 Aug 2016, 10:13 
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Your observations are about what I saw. At least on slow underside balls they bounce consistent enough.

On mid distance topspin rallies the ball gets to you faster, you must speed up the timing.

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