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PostPosted: 15 Jun 2018, 06:48 
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Location: Connecticut, USA
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Blade: Sanwei M8
FH: Gambler Burst
BH: Gambler X3 Diamond
Greetings TT gurus,
Let me introduce myself. I took up playing TT seriously a few months back after a long hiatus (15+ years). I purchased my first paddle at the time and have played with that since.

When I last played TT, I may have been considered a beginner and played only with the dead bats that are commonly found cheap. I'm use the shakehand grip and now, after about 2 months playing, I'm a fairly decent player able to chop and loop with some consistency as well as having a decent backhand.

I'm now at the stage where I'm considering upgrading my rubbers from the Gambler Sevens that came with my pre-assembled paddle (Gambler Silver Dragon). I was thinking of using either Gambler Big Gun, Burst w/ Thor's hammer or Zero with Blue diamond sponge for the forehand. On the backhand, I was looking at the Mek-Tek 2.1mm or X3 Diamond with GearZ sponge 2.1mm. I'm also considering changing my paddle to LKT Ayous Hinoki 5-ply. All of these were choices based on information I could find online as well as budget considerations. I try to loop using the Chinese method (using the whole body and not forearm only) and have read that using harder sponge forces you to do this. That is part of the reason for my forehand choices.

I would appreciate any suggestions you may be able to provide regarding my choices as well as your experiences with these rubbers. I have been unable to find any reviews on the X3 Diamond (too new) and the Zero Blue Diamond (surprising since it's been out a while now). I'm open to all suggestions including whether I should change my paddle/rubbers at this time.

Thanks in advance.

_________________
Paddles
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Primary: Sanwei M8, Gambler Burst on FH, Gambler X3Diamond on BH
Backup: Pre-assembled Gambler Silver Dragon with Sevens Rubber
Motto: Always Learnin'


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PostPosted: 16 Jun 2018, 04:26 
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Without seeing you in action, it's difficult to answer correctly. However, based on the info you have given us, the ayous/hinoki blade should be perfect. On the rubber side there may be a conflict between what you want to do, eg fh, chinese style and who you are, eg novice-intermediate and learning. If comfortable with the first, the Burst would be the indicated choice and believe Tom at Zeropong would confirm this. If you're still gearing in the strokes, still learning, then Zero would be a safe selection. Have compared the two and, frankly, they show their family connection with middle-speed, good control, etc. Think Hurricane 3 and Sriver but similar to each other.


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PostPosted: 16 Jun 2018, 06:29 
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Blade: Sanwei M8
FH: Gambler Burst
BH: Gambler X3 Diamond
Epictetus,
Thank you for taking the time to respond. While I've been playing only 2 months now, I'm pretty good at looping (so I've been told by other players who are better than me :)) and try to use the Chinese style. I feel like the blade/sponge may be leading to bad habits due to the soft sponge and the carbon blade (even though it is rated as ALL).

I agree with your assessment that since I'm a novice-intermediate player I may not be able to handle the hard sponge; that is the very concern I have. The only issues that I have with the Zero are that the Zero is not tacky and there are no reviews of the Zero with Blue Diamond sponge. The Burst (w/o Thor's hammer) sponge is, unfortunately, not described on the Zeropong site so I don't know if it is mid hard or soft. My preference would be a mid-hard rubber so I'll have to ask for that information by calling up Zeropong customer service.

Regarding the BH, do you think the Mech-Tek 2.1 mm would be a good choice? I have a better backhand than forehand but still trying to become more consistent at looping. My loops, when they cross the net, are pretty good. I don't know if my lack of consistency in looping is due to my technique or a limitation of the Sevens rubber. I also have a good flick that, more often than not, lands on the table and is hard to return. Looking at the description of the Mech-Tek, it states that it is like Tenergy and my concern is that it may be detrimental rather than helpful at this stage. That is why i was looking at the Zero Blue Diamond as a possible replacement BH rubber.

I will try to capture video of my play but don't have a tripod for my cell phone so it may not be possible at this time.

Any suggestions you can provide will be very much appreciated.

Thanks in advance!

_________________
Paddles
---------
Primary: Sanwei M8, Gambler Burst on FH, Gambler X3Diamond on BH
Backup: Pre-assembled Gambler Silver Dragon with Sevens Rubber
Motto: Always Learnin'


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PostPosted: 20 Jun 2018, 07:39 
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Joined: 14 Jul 2010, 01:49
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Location: Bay Area California
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Blade: BBC All Around
FH: Gambler Burst
BH: Gambler Big Gun
I tried Sevens, Zero, and Mech-Tek on my backhand

Sponge hardness

Sevens < Zero Blue sponge < Thor's Hammer

Speed ( given my level)

Sevens < Zero < Mech-Tek


Blue sponge softer than Thor''s Hammer sponge.

Burst with Thor's Hammer sponge medium hard to hard. Really depends on your swing speed. For me Burst/Thor's Hammer was unforgiving for my slow swing speed. A more advanced player thought Burst/Thor''s Hammer fine.

Mech-Tech is bouncier and spinner than either Zero or Sevens. More challenging to control if your technique unstable.

I use a BBC All+ 5 ply blade.


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PostPosted: 20 Jun 2018, 23:32 
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Blade: Sanwei M8
FH: Gambler Burst
BH: Gambler X3 Diamond
ckwsp101,
Thank you for sharing your experience with these rubbers. I was worried that Mech-Tek would be too much for me to handle at this stage of my TT journey and you seem to be confirming that. Although I have a decent BH, I would by no means say it's extremely good and my fear is that using a very bouncy/spinny rubber would lead to a regression. Could you let me know if you used the 2.1mm or 1.7 mm sponge and if that would make a difference?

Also, I have been looking for reviews of the Zero with Blue Diamond sponge but have been unable to find them. Could you share your opinions about this?

Many thanks!

_________________
Paddles
---------
Primary: Sanwei M8, Gambler Burst on FH, Gambler X3Diamond on BH
Backup: Pre-assembled Gambler Silver Dragon with Sevens Rubber
Motto: Always Learnin'


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PostPosted: 21 Jun 2018, 05:33 
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I'm familiar with these rubbers.

I've been playing with Burst thors hammer on my penhold forehand since January. I like the sponge for the price point. It's not as tacky as you might imagine. Good grip. Just don't expect H3 or anything like that. Sponge is solid. I think after about 6 months or so on it, it's softening up and I prefer the pop it had when firm. Recommend boosting it.

My buddy tried the Mech-Tek predator. Spiny & softer. Just not a lot of pop. That's a backhand rubber if I've ever seen one.

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Stiga Clipper Classic
FH - TSP Spectol Red 2.0
BH - Dawei 388D-a 1.5


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PostPosted: 21 Jun 2018, 07:56 
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Blade: BBC All Around
FH: Gambler Burst
BH: Gambler Big Gun
learninTT,

I tried Zero blue sponge in 2.1mm.
I had no issues.
The topsheet had less tack compared to Sevens.


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PostPosted: 21 Jun 2018, 09:38 
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Blade: Sanwei M8
FH: Gambler Burst
BH: Gambler X3 Diamond
ckwsp101,
Apologies for not being clear with my question; I was asking if you used Mech-Tek in 1.7 or 2.1 mm when you said it was too bouncy and hard to control.

Regarding Zero with Blue Diamond sponge, how did you find the overall experience as compared to the Sevens? I've read that the Sevens sponge is too soft and feels dead. I've also read that the Sevens has a lower throw causing a loop against backspin to go into the net. This is the only rubber that I've played with so I don't have a point of reference but I do find that if I don't whip my BH/FH, it goes into the net. I've always attributed it to errors in my technique but now think that the rubber may have a part to play in it. Could you provide your opinion on this?

Thanks!

_________________
Paddles
---------
Primary: Sanwei M8, Gambler Burst on FH, Gambler X3Diamond on BH
Backup: Pre-assembled Gambler Silver Dragon with Sevens Rubber
Motto: Always Learnin'


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PostPosted: 21 Jun 2018, 12:34 
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BH: Dornenglanz OX
learninTT wrote:
I do find that if I don't whip my BH/FH, it goes into the net. I've always attributed it to errors in my technique but now think that the rubber may have a part to play in it. Could you provide your opinion on this?

Unfortunately it is due to technique... it does not matter what the throw of the rubber is, you just need to adjust for it, and the ball will go over the net. High throw rubbers can make it easier to get the ball over the net, but there's nothing you can't do with a lower throw rubber, it just requires some adjustment.

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PostPosted: 21 Jun 2018, 14:08 
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Blade: BBC All Around
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learninTT wrote:
ckwsp101,
Apologies for not being clear with my question; I was asking if you used Mech-Tek in 1.7 or 2.1 mm when you said it was too bouncy and hard to control.

Regarding Zero with Blue Diamond sponge, how did you find the overall experience as compared to the Sevens? I've read that the Sevens sponge is too soft and feels dead. I've also read that the Sevens has a lower throw causing a loop against backspin to go into the net. This is the only rubber that I've played with so I don't have a point of reference but I do find that if I don't whip my BH/FH, it goes into the net. I've always attributed it to errors in my technique but now think that the rubber may have a part to play in it. Could you provide your opinion on this?

Thanks!


I tried Mech-Tek in 1.7mm

It was fine for me at my playing level.

With sound technique I can produce a strong opening loop against backspin ball with any of the mentioned Gambler products.
Yes you need to make a "minor" adjustment for higher or lower throw rubber.


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PostPosted: 21 Jun 2018, 20:27 
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Blade: Sanwei M8
FH: Gambler Burst
BH: Gambler X3 Diamond
haggisv wrote:
Unfortunately it is due to technique... it does not matter what the throw of the rubber is, you just need to adjust for it, and the ball will go over the net. High throw rubbers can make it easier to get the ball over the net, but there's nothing you can't do with a lower throw rubber, it just requires some adjustment.


That is not what I wanted to hear :P. But seriously, thank you for letting me know that it is due to technique. My primary problem was on the BH and I thought this may be due to the lack of power on the BH vs FH and getting a rubber with higher throw would help. I guess I'll have to work on improving my technique..

ckwsp101 wrote:
I tried Mech-Tek in 1.7mm

It was fine for me at my playing level.

With sound technique I can produce a strong opening loop against backspin ball with any of the mentioned Gambler products.
Yes you need to make a "minor" adjustment for higher or lower throw rubber.



The Mech-Tek in 1.7mm seems to be out of stock currently and the 2.1mm may be more difficult to control on my backhand so I guess I'll have to wait. I'm still waiting for my Sanwei M8 blade to be delivered from aliexpress and I'm hoping that the 1.7mm would be back in stock by then. I guess I'll have to play with it to find out how much of an adjustment is required.

_________________
Paddles
---------
Primary: Sanwei M8, Gambler Burst on FH, Gambler X3Diamond on BH
Backup: Pre-assembled Gambler Silver Dragon with Sevens Rubber
Motto: Always Learnin'


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PostPosted: 21 Jun 2018, 20:47 
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I definitely agree with Haggis. Getting a dialed-in backhand topspin drive can be a problem, I definitely had it a couple years ago. Watching some videos (mainly Brett's) helped, but what REALLY helped was some coaching and time with a robot. It was a matter of racket angle and use of wrist that was the problem. The problem is definitely NOT the rubber (unless you're playing with long pips and trying to loop, or something like that.. :lol: ).

Iskandar


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