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PostPosted: 09 May 2018, 07:14 
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Blade: Dr.N Magical Touch
FH: DHS H3N
BH: DrN ABS 2.1
OSP Ultimate Review

About the reviewer:
My USATT rating is currently around 1800. My strength is my forehand with which I score the majority of my points mainly through looping; 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 but recently also more with attacking shots.

Setup:
I played the Ultimate with DHS Hurricane 3 Neo 2.15mm provincial orange and blue sponge (both 39deg and black) on forehand and with Dr. Neubauer frictionless anti Rhino+ (red and 1.8mm) on backhand. The handle is straight, and weight is 93g with 5.95mm thickness as given by OSP card included with the blade. I confirmed the weight with my own balance at home as well.
I used rubber cement (Elmer’s brand) and applied 2 layers each on the blade and on the sponge, allow each layer to completely dry, lightly press the rubber onto the blade and then let it sit for a couple of hours with 3 heavy textbooks on top.
The setup was tested with 3 different kind of balls: XuShaoFa (seamless plastic), Nittaku premium (ABS) and Nittaku J-Top (practice balls).

Introduction:
The OSP Ultimate is a 7-ply Off blade with a Limba-Ayous-Ayous-Ayous-Ayous-Ayous-Limba construction and is aimed a resembling an old Stiga Clipper blade though I do not know how close it might come to that as I have never played with an old Clipper blade myself.

Appearance:
The Ultimate blade is absolutely in the top echelon in terms of quality of the materials and craftsmanship and falls in the same category or even better as other high-end blades from Butterfly or Nittaku. In particular the limba outer plies have a very nice look and grain giving it an appearance of luxury. All the edges and the handle are very smooth, so no further sanding was needed. The logo is set perfectly into the handle and the blade exudes perfect craftmanship overall. This is probably the finest blade I have ever owned though I have not owned a Nittaku blade from the instrument series, but I have owned some high-end Butterfly carbon blades.

Weight
The Ultimate used for this review was 93g as mentioned above which seems to fall in the normal weight range for this blade. I might be interested in testing a little lighter Ultimate (86-88g) at some point as well, however the setup feels completely balanced and not of any kind at all. Actually, I was a little bit worried initially because I usually prefer my blades a little bit lighter but was very pleasantly surprised when I tried it first that the paddle did not feel heavy at all. I have not experience this before with other heavier blades I had tried.

Feel/Touch
I would describe the touch of the Ultimate as medium-soft and definitely softer than the Dr. Neubauer Matador but what I really like about this blade is that it feels very solid and not hollow like some other all-wood blades sometimes do. The blade has some vibrations you feel in the palm of your hand which are not disturbing in any way but give an absolutely clear feedback and feel of the ball unlike anything I have seen before with any other blade.
The Hurricane 3 with the orange sponge (39º) felt absolutely perfect in terms of hardness on the Ultimate whereas the blue sponge Hurricane 3 (also 39º) felt too soft for my liking. I also really like the hardness of the new Rhino+ anti which is a little bit harder than the older Rhino and felt maybe a tad to hard on the Matador blade. I probably wouldn’t recommend playing an anti with a really soft sponge on the Ultimate though I did not test this myself and I generally prefer the harder sponged Dr. Neubauer antis.

Flex
The Ultimate is quite stiff as you would expect from a 7-ply blade similar to a newer Stiga Clipper I had tested and probably also slightly stiffer than the Dr. Neubauer Matador which was my main blade before the Ultimate and has a similar thickness. Indeed, it has a similar stiffness as some of the carbon blades I played before like Viscaria Light, Schlager Light or YinHe VIS-A Pro without the hard and dead feel of carbon. The Ultimate is not for those who like flexy 5-ply blades of the same thickness.

Speed
I would rate the Ultimate as a solid Off blade faster than the Dr. Neubauer Matador I was previously using and in the same speed category as for example Viscaria Light or Schlager Light; I found the speed very good for the use with the new plastic and ABS balls. However, the Ultimate really shines in the gears it provides for example in comparison to the hard Matador with similar construction and thickness. It is slower on touch shots and serves and provides 1 or 2 more top gears on high speed shots with full use of body. I wouldn’t call the Ultimate bouncy, but it does provide more catapult effect than the Matador.
Despite its Off speed I have no problems dropping balls short with the anti on my backhand.

Control
I have never played or tested a blade before in the Off category with this much control as the Ultimate and I was absolutely amazed by the feel and control this blade provides. I wasn’t really sure what to expect initially and I had read quite a bit about various OSP blades, but I was absolutely blown away by how the Ultimate plays. I have never experience this with any other blade before. Absolutely amazing!

Dwell/Spin
Dwell is very high on the Ultimate and you can really feel the ball “sticking” to the blade on impact therefore it allows to produce high spin on loops but also on slower, lower impact shots like serve and push. I really felt that when focusing on good technique my loops were really loaded with spin and I did notice some practice partners having problems with the blocks more than they used to have.

Throw Angle
I would call the throw angle of the Ultimate on loops with the Hurricane rubber as medium and I did not have to adjust to it much at all and could pretty much right away loop with the same technique and bat angle as before. However, on blocking with the Rhino+ anti the throw angle was very low forcing me to dump a lot of shots into the net initially, which you can also see in the video. I needed a bit of bat angle adjustment here but after I had this figured out blocks were actually more dangerous as they bounced lower and seemed to trouble opponents more.

Looping
Looping is a pleasure with the Ultimate because it’s so stable and solid and can you feel the ball on the blade and then coming off. The control is very good here on fast loop as well as slow spinny loops. The dynamic and speed the Ultimate develops on fast loops with body use is similar to Off carbon blades but with better spin in my opinion. The looping performance is another outstanding feature of the Ultimate and my looping has become more consistent with higher top end speed.

Blocking
THE highlight for me both with the Hurricane and the anti. The blade feels very solid and stable when blocking and in particular my forehand block has never been that good. This is probably the biggest impact the Ultimate had for my game and it was also the point one of my standard practice buddies made.
Smashing was another highlight with the Ultimate and it is something I usually don’t really do much, however because of the stiffness and stability of the blade it works very well.

Play with anti
I have only tested the Ultimate with Dr. Neubauer Rhino+ but that is my favorite anti at this point anyway. The blade worked exceptionally well in combination with the hard sponge slick anti and gave very good spin reversal which can be attributed to the stiffness of the blade. After I got used to the rather low bounce with anti on the Ultimate, I felt that my blocking became more disruptive as blocks stayed lower over the net and with the good feel of the blade I was able to block very short as well. I have recently started to work more on attacking with my anti and it is easier to do that with the Ultimate compared to the Matador as the ball seems to stay on the blade a little longer.

Conclusions
The OSP Ultimate is an excellent 7-ply all-wood Off blade with great craftsmanship and an out of this world ball feeling. It works great for looping, blocking and smashing without having to compromise on short game and serving. In addition to this it also works great with anti in terms of spin reversal, control on blocking and attacking.
I would recommend the Ultimate to any double winged looper or loop-drive player who is looking for outstanding ball feel, stability and speed combined with good control. Players coming from a carbon blade looking for more feel will really like this blade as well as players coming from a 5-ply all wood blade looking for an upgrade in speed and blocking capability. Interestingly the Ultimate work extremely will with the Dr. Neubauer anti I am using, and it can therefore also be used a combination blade with anti and I can see it working very well with short or medium pips for an aggressive blocking and counter game.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xkfh_lZxX7s&t=7s
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xkfh_lZxX7s&t=7s[/youtube]


P.S.: I tried to embed the first YouTube video as well but for some reason couldn't get it to work hence the URL.

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Equipment:
Dr. Neubauer Magical Touch ST, FH: DHS H3 Neo 2.1, BH: Dr. Neubauer ABS 2.1


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PostPosted: 14 May 2018, 23:57 
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Great review and video, Matt. I'm getting the urge to try anti again... :rofl: I had the Immune OX blade by OSP before and it was a great blade, just to slow with the new balls. I may have to give the Ultimate a try.

Is that Portland?


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PostPosted: 16 May 2018, 03:49 
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Blade: Dr.N Magical Touch
FH: DHS H3N
BH: DrN ABS 2.1
kevgeomcc wrote:
Great review and video, Matt. I'm getting the urge to try anti again... :rofl: I had the Immune OX blade by OSP before and it was a great blade, just to slow with the new balls. I may have to give the Ultimate a try.

Is that Portland?

Thanks Kev! The Ultimate is solid Off I would say and not too fast with the new balls. I'm not sure how it would work with LP ox but it's great with anti. A friend of mine thought it was too fast with LP ox but disruptive effect and reversal was very good. He also tested it with an MSP anti (don't remember which one) and liked it with anti.

Yes. that's the club in Portland and coach Jiwei.

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Equipment:
Dr. Neubauer Magical Touch ST, FH: DHS H3 Neo 2.1, BH: Dr. Neubauer ABS 2.1


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