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Avalox P700 vs, Sanwei M8
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Author:  steveh [ 25 Sep 2020, 07:23 ]
Post subject:  Avalox P700 vs, Sanwei M8

Sometimes experiments don't turn out the way you think they will. That was the case with my short pips blade comparison experiment.
First, some caveats about the experiment and my perspective:
1. All play done vs. a Robopong robot. "Punching bags don't hit back."
2. I was an inverted looper for 20 years (USATT 1900-1950) , followed by a long break, then 10 years as a full-time hardbat player (LKT Toxic with Dr Evil-attacker/USATT 1750-1800).
3. Since switching to short pips with sponge in March, I have been playing exclusively with a Sanwei M8 with Friendship 802 on 1.7mm sponge.
With that out of the way, here is the review:
Both blades were given 2 coats of Minwax poly, followed by a light sanding. Rubber sheets were glued on with Elmers Rubber Cement.
Out of curiosity, I downloaded the Advanced Spectrum Analyzer app and did the test multiple times on the bare blades. The result is that both blades recorded 1270 hz, which is a result I did not expect. I have reservations about both the repeatability and the validity of this test as a predictor of blade speed, but that is a discussion for another day.
I tested both blades with new sheets of Friendship 802-40 on 2 mm of 35 degree sponge. The Sanwei had 1.7 mm sponge on the unused side, and the Avalox had 2.2 mm sponge on the unused side. The Sanwei setup weighs 156 grams; the Avalox setup weighs 170 grams.
Backhand blocking against moderate topspin: the P700 felt more solid; the Sanwei vibrated a little more (you could feel the impact more). The Sanwei also produced a higher tone on impact.. I would say control was equal, although the P700 was just a little faster and more direct.
Counterdriving vs. moderate topspin: The Sanwei was a dream in terms of control, arc, feel, and speed. The feel of the impact was truly excellent (keep in mind the caveats above). The P700 was just as fast in countering, but it felt slower and deader. For me, the arc seemed higher, and control seemed a little worse than the Sanwei. I suspect this judgment reflects my preference for blades with noticeable vibration and feeling.
Flat hitting: Sanwei hits landed shorter in the opponent's court/lower arc. The P700 hits were just a little harder to land consistently and landed deeper.
Pushing vs. backspin: I could discern almost no difference, although the Sanwei seemed to have just a little better touch.
Driving against backspin: A little more feel with the Sanwei, but otherwise the blades felt the same.
Conclusion: I expected the Avalox, being so much more expensive and famous, would be significantly faster than the Sanwei. I don't think it is, but I will learn a lot more when I can play against a human being. Both blades perform very well with the 802-40 with 2.0 mm sponge, and I believe both setups provide plenty of speed for short pips attack. Personally, I prefer the Sanwei because of its greater vibration and feel, even if the P700 proves to be faster. Actually, I might like the Sanwei even better with 1.9 mm sponge (another experiment). To me, the Avalox felt plenty fast and very solid on blocks, but it had a certain wooden/dead feel I don't care for so much. As always, all comments and questions are welcome.

Author:  TTbuddy [ 25 Sep 2020, 08:54 ]
Post subject:  Re: Avalox P700 vs, Sanwei M8

Thanks steveH. After words like: 'The Sanwei was a dream in terms of control, arc, feel, and speed', can't wait to give it a go when back to TT post COVID lockdown (soon hopefully!) :up:

Author:  steveh [ 25 Sep 2020, 23:06 ]
Post subject:  Re: Avalox P700 vs, Sanwei M8

After more thought on the two blades, I can summarize my opinions about them as follows:
Avalox P700: stiffer, harder, bigger sweet spot, faster, fewer vibrations, less feeling.
Sanwei M8: more flexible with more vibration/more feeling of the ball on impact.
I suspect much of the difference is due to 7 layers of wood vs. 5 layers of wood (Sanwei). My preference for the Sanwei is due to my preference for (and familiarity with) softer and more flexible blades.

Author:  haggisv [ 29 Sep 2020, 21:18 ]
Post subject:  Re: Avalox P700 vs, Sanwei M8

Interesting comparison!

A few thoughts:

- The different thickness of rubber on the other side of the blade can have some impact on the feel.

- I suspect you prefer more vibration and something a little slower than the P700. The P500 or BT550 might be more suitable.

- The M8, being a lot cheaper, would be probably not be as consistent in performance (much cheaper materials and workmanship), meaning that if you buy another one it may feel quite different.

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