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PostPosted: 26 Jun 2018, 15:52 
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Hello everyone, first of all I've been an avid reader for a number of years however only recently signed up. 802-40 has been a "well studied" rubber around here, however there seems to be quite a bit of misunderstanding and variations (both versions and batches) about the sponge with which it is supplied. Right now, I'm looking for a more consistent alternative.

As a quick introduction of my short pips journey:
-Started with 802-40 1.8mm "soft 35 degrees" from Zeropong a number of years ago. Excellent topsheet, however very slow sponge which I quickly gave up on.

-2 years ago, moved to Shanghai and restarted table tennis with weekly coaching and occasional tournament participation. Bought 729 Legend 105 1.9mm 34 degree sponge - overall very good rubber, very soft topsheet and sponge yet fairly fast, great block/smash, touch shots etc, however far too little friction for me, and hard to consistently initiate attacks on low balls.

-Moved on to Super Spinpips 21. A nice well-rounded short pips, not quiet as soft and a bit slower than legend 105 but decent amount of spin. Very predictable and comfortable rubber, harder hits were fine, however simply not lively enough for over the table attacks.

-Bought "new" 802-40 38 degrees 2.2mm from the 729 flagship store - significantly different from what I remember of the "western market" 802-40. Pip density and width are more or less the same, however are notably taller than the "old" 802-40 which I remember to be very flat (I remember reading a post about this but can't find link), overall very large pips. The sponge however was surprisingly fast, cream colored with a light green tint and very springy. I see a lot of posts preferring spinpips over 802-40 in terms of speed, but my experience is that the 38 degree cream/green tint sponge is significantly faster. Very crisp with a fairly loud "clicky sound".

-After a year and many chips, I replaced the 802-40 with the same 38 degree 2.2mm from the same store. Topsheet is the same, however this time came with a more light green "lettuce" colored sponge, than creamy green . Significantly more porous than the last version, notably softer, still fairly fast on the low gears, however bottoms out on harder hits. Sound is more muffled compared to the cream/green sponge and far less clicky. I asked 729 about the versions and they told me nothing changed |( .

I suppose I can live the lettuce version, or keep trying my luck on getting another light creamy green, but so far after 2 more tries keep getting the "lettuce", doesn't inspire alot of confidence. Can you recommended a more consistent alternative satisfying fast, medium high spin, and crisp, clicky, sound/feel?

I'm guessing the crisp/click comes from a combination of large pip size and soft sponge. The smaller diameter 802 and 105 pips are decided more muffled sounding.

As a side note, current versions of regular 802 still comes with yellow sponge (both 35 degree and 41 degree "hard" versions) and is significantly slower than the green 802-40 sponges (either version).

_________________
Setup1: Xiom Stradivarius, TSP Spinpips Red 2.1mm, Xiom Vega Asia 2.0mm Setup2: Adidas Strike Wood 7, 802-40 2.2mm, Rakza 7 Soft 2.0mm


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PostPosted: 26 Jun 2018, 16:20 
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BTW, I've considered other conical pips like Hexer, Joola Express Ultra, and Spinpips red/blue, but all of them have either smaller diameter or sparsely populated pips ([url-ext=]www.guoqiuhui.net[/url-ext]). How do they feel in the crispy department?

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Setup1: Xiom Stradivarius, TSP Spinpips Red 2.1mm, Xiom Vega Asia 2.0mm Setup2: Adidas Strike Wood 7, 802-40 2.2mm, Rakza 7 Soft 2.0mm


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PostPosted: 28 Jun 2018, 02:31 
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Try Waran, it has a hardish spinny topsheet on a soft tensor sponge, and it is LOUD.


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PostPosted: 28 Jun 2018, 02:38 
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Have you looked at Yasaka Razka PO? It has large pips and a good click when striking the ball hard. I am not much of a long pips player anymore (used to play Feint when it first came out and Challenger C4 back in the 1970's). You also mentioned conical shaped pips and so you might also find Yasaka Elfrark of interest. I played it a bit this past year and did not find it very effective causing disruption, so if that is what you are after with conical pips I would skip it. But it had a nice controllable feel about it (striking or chopping/pushing) and was good for returning serves.


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PostPosted: 28 Jun 2018, 03:04 
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sderyke2002 wrote:
Have you looked at Yasaka Razka PO? It has large pips and a good click when striking the ball hard. I am not much of a long pips player anymore (used to play Feint when it first came out and Challenger C4 back in the 1970's). You also mentioned conical shaped pips and so you might also find Yasaka Elfrark of interest. I played it a bit this past year and did not find it very effective causing disruption, so if that is what you are after with conical pips I would skip it. But it had a nice controllable feel about it (striking or chopping/pushing) and was good for returning serves.


VICTAS 102 hands down very loud spinny and bit more sink than 802 40 taller pips


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PostPosted: 28 Jun 2018, 10:15 
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have you tried Haifu Dolphin Factory Tuned? I hear that tuned max sponges create a crisp clicking noise, which might be what you're looking for. Plus, they should be darn fast! :lol:


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PostPosted: 28 Jun 2018, 10:38 
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Thanks everyone for all the suggestions. Waran and Victas definitely sounds interesting! How do you find the surface friction (if possible compared to spinpips/802-40) as I do a fair bit of looping to open up.

Tried Haifu dolphin, but their consistency is far below even 729 amongst Chinese circles :lol:, Never know what you will get from them.

I'm not interested in sink/deception so much as consistency. Would like to get something I can replace time after time and get the same results.

_________________
Setup1: Xiom Stradivarius, TSP Spinpips Red 2.1mm, Xiom Vega Asia 2.0mm Setup2: Adidas Strike Wood 7, 802-40 2.2mm, Rakza 7 Soft 2.0mm


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PostPosted: 28 Jun 2018, 12:03 
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BTW any of you veterans tried all the new short pips? Can you rank speed/spin between Waran, Spinpips Red, Victas 102, and Rakza PO?

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Setup1: Xiom Stradivarius, TSP Spinpips Red 2.1mm, Xiom Vega Asia 2.0mm Setup2: Adidas Strike Wood 7, 802-40 2.2mm, Rakza 7 Soft 2.0mm


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PostPosted: 29 Jun 2018, 02:07 
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Waran although quite spinny is not a great looping rubber due to the low throw.

if you liked Spinpips 21 then Spinpips red or blue might be what you need


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PostPosted: 29 Jun 2018, 18:13 
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lasta wrote:
BTW any of you veterans tried all the new short pips? Can you rank speed/spin between Waran, Spinpips Red, Victas 102, and Rakza PO?


rakza has less spin than waran and 102 .rakza is a nice rubber but odd and waran has a unique way to slow down the ball creating good sink


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PostPosted: 05 Jul 2018, 15:45 
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Thank you everyone for the responses. After consideration and guidance from the coach, I've decided to stick with the 802-40. So far, there doesn't seem to be any direct alternatives offering moderately high speed and maintaining the same level of spin from 802-40. I can generate plenty of power on active strokes winning cheap points from faster equipment is not going to help in the long run. With off-position strokes the slightly slower classic rubber will at least keep in the the game for the next shot.

I now have enough extra sheets to last me a few years :lol:. Not as good as I remember, but at least my "stock" is consistent amongst themselves. That being said, coach also recommend I employ RPB more often, and my old Rakza is getting a little dull...

_________________
Setup1: Xiom Stradivarius, TSP Spinpips Red 2.1mm, Xiom Vega Asia 2.0mm Setup2: Adidas Strike Wood 7, 802-40 2.2mm, Rakza 7 Soft 2.0mm


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PostPosted: 07 Jul 2018, 03:00 
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lasta wrote:
After a year and many chips, I replaced the 802-40 with the same 38 degree 2.2mm from the same store. Topsheet is the same, however this time came with a more light green "lettuce" colored sponge, than creamy green . Significantly more porous than the last version, notably softer, still fairly fast on the low gears, however bottoms out on harder hits. Sound is more muffled compared to the cream/green sponge and far less clicky. I asked 729 about the versions and they told me nothing changed |( .

I suppose I can live the lettuce version, or keep trying my luck on getting another light creamy green, but so far after 2 more tries keep getting the "lettuce", doesn't inspire alot of confidence. Can you recommended a more consistent alternative satisfying fast, medium high spin, and crisp, clicky, sound/feel?


I suspect the change in color and pore size/density is the consequence of variations in mixing and vulcanization. From what I've seen (in YouTube videos and stuff that was posted on Yinhe's web site that's been taken down since), the process of making sponge is pretty inexact. Raw, unvulcanized rubber is introduced into a masticating machine which mashes the (solid) rubber between two large rollers. They add powdered pigment (for color), sulfur (for vulcanization) and sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) into the mix, and it all slowly mixes together. The stuff is rolled flat, and put into steam mold to vulcanize and cure. The pores come from the carbon dioxide gas generated when the baking soda decomposes (which means that sponge is pretty alkaline, containing sodium hydroxide..). After the slabs come out of the mold it's got to sit and cure for a long time, since it will shrink with time. Then it is sliced to thickness and is ready for use. Apparently they don't have that much control over hardness and density, this is why the sponge is graded for hardness after it's sliced and put into bins according to hardness. Density will vary quite a bit (which is why rubber sheets, even the expensive ones) vary in weight. Pore size is also not that well controlled. ESN and the Japanese have better control than the Chinese do, so their sponge is more consistent with respect to hardness and pore size than Chinese sheets are. So when they say "nothing has changed" they mean it.. it's just batch-to-batch variation, and if the rubber is less "clicky" you'd probably have to find other sheets from a different batch - and you may be out of luck because maybe ALL current batches are like the most recent sheet you bought, due to some change in factory procedure that happened some years back.

I have a sheet of 802-40, now if only I could find it again... Had it for about two years, thinking I'd give it a try someday. Didn't notice a green sponge, then again I hadn't taken it out of it's packet yet.

Iskandar


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PostPosted: 07 Jul 2018, 15:26 
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Wow! Thank you for the detailed reply. As far as I can see in Chinese stores, all 802-40s now have a green sponge. I don't think they advertised the change but it's certainly different. Also, the regular 802 is also advertised as Mystery III but that has a completely different (yellow) sponge, much slower. Doesn't inspire a lot of confidence eh?

Broke down and ordered a sheet of Spinpips Red after Nathanso's review. No expectations, just see what happens.

_________________
Setup1: Xiom Stradivarius, TSP Spinpips Red 2.1mm, Xiom Vega Asia 2.0mm Setup2: Adidas Strike Wood 7, 802-40 2.2mm, Rakza 7 Soft 2.0mm


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