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 Post subject: Re: Gambler Rubbers
PostPosted: 28 Jun 2019, 17:44 
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Not having visited in a long while, I decided to pay a visit to the Gambler website.

https://www.gamblertt.com/

They do sell a lot of different rubbers - and they all seem to cost $14. You can get a few of these rubbers (Aces, Wraith, Shadow, Zero) for less - $10 or $12 - if you buy "replacement rubbers for pre-made bats" - perhaps the same rubbers, just without the packaging. Most of these rubbers are only available in Max sponge, but Zero is available with thin sponger (down to 1.0mm). I looked for their old Kevlar blade, which I once considered buying.. but it's not there any more (they still have an oversized Kevlar chopping blade, though).

They do have this...

Image

Wonder if anyone here's actually played with one.

Upshot.. lots of stuff at very reasonable prices. If I were still living in the US I'd try some.

Iskandar


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 Post subject: Re: Gambler Rubbers
PostPosted: 28 Jun 2019, 19:38 
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Oh.. this is INTERESTING. On the Gambler website, if you go to the International Wholesale part of it, you'll see a smaller selection of rubbers available. And if you select any of the rubbers (at least, the several I looked at) there's a picture of.. a fish???? Looks like a bluefin tuna. With Japanese writing. And then you'll notice all the rubbers have "Oh-Toro" sponge. What's oh-toro? (Most places actually spell it o-toro or otoro.. the "o" is long) It's the most expensive, fatty part of the bluefin tuna (maguro) that is sold as sashimi. (Something I plan to try when and if I finally take that trip to Japan.. :lol: ).

Image

This sponge is Japanese. (Gambler rubber is apparently made/assembled in Hangzhou, China.) Note the blurb about the production of this sponge - it won't start until "08/01/2019" - whether this means the eighth of January or the first of August, I've no idea... :lol: If it's August that means this stuff with the o-toro sponge isn't shipping yet! And the REALLY INTERESTING part is that there is no mention of this sponge on the US part of the web site. There, there seem to be two or three different sponges - Nine Ultra Tach and Mech-Tek, for instance, comes with "GEARZ High Volume" sponge (the black sheet has NATIONAL Blue :lol: sponge), while X3 Diamond is available in a choice of GEARZ, THOR'S HAMMER and Blue Diamond sponges. Volt-M and Volt-T are only available on the International site - Volt M is "a small batch premium rubber, created by selecting only the best cuts (!!! sashimi... !) of our exclusive Gambler Japanese “Oh-Toro” sponge and combining with our proprietary formulated top sheet". It is also "closely associated with the `European style' of play, or alternatively `Chinese style' backhand". In other words, much like Tenergy 05?

There's also a blurb about boosting (or "tuning"), which you don't see on the US web site.

"Use of Tuners: Just like the top Japanese rubbers Volt-M actually will get slower after tuning. Gambler generally does not recommend the use of tuners with this high performance rubber, however after a week of play post tuner the rubber picks back the original speed and a touch more spin. If you must use tuner only use paraffin based formulas NEVER mineral oil based tuners. "

Intriguing indeed. They're looking for American and International distributors - I wonder if there isn't already one in Malaysia, maybe I can get a sheet or two of this and not have to pay an arm and a leg for shipping.. :lol:

Iskandar


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 Post subject: Re: Gambler Rubbers
PostPosted: 28 Jun 2019, 21:49 
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I never used the "gun" style blade, but a few years ago I knew a guy that did. It seemed ok, he went back and forth between that and a normal shakehand blade. I think it made the backhand a bit more difficult for him.

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 Post subject: Re: Gambler Rubbers
PostPosted: 28 Jun 2019, 23:28 
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iskandar taib wrote:
Oh.. this is INTERESTING. On the Gambler website, if you go to the International Wholesale part of it, you'll see a smaller selection of rubbers available. And if you select any of the rubbers (at least, the several I looked at) there's a picture of.. a fish???? Looks like a bluefin tuna. With Japanese writing. And then you'll notice all the rubbers have "Oh-Toro" sponge. What's oh-toro? (Most places actually spell it o-toro or otoro.. the "o" is long) It's the most expensive, fatty part of the bluefin tuna (maguro) that is sold as sashimi. (Something I plan to try when and if I finally take that trip to Japan.. :lol: ).

Image

This sponge is Japanese. (Gambler rubber is apparently made/assembled in Hangzhou, China.) Note the blurb about the production of this sponge - it won't start until "08/01/2019" - whether this means the eighth of January or the first of August, I've no idea... :lol: If it's August that means this stuff with the o-toro sponge isn't shipping yet! And the REALLY INTERESTING part is that there is no mention of this sponge on the US part of the web site. There, there seem to be two or three different sponges - Nine Ultra Tach and Mech-Tek, for instance, comes with "GEARZ High Volume" sponge (the black sheet has NATIONAL Blue :lol: sponge), while X3 Diamond is available in a choice of GEARZ, THOR'S HAMMER and Blue Diamond sponges. Volt-M and Volt-T are only available on the International site - Volt M is "a small batch premium rubber, created by selecting only the best cuts (!!! sashimi... !) of our exclusive Gambler Japanese “Oh-Toro” sponge and combining with our proprietary formulated top sheet". It is also "closely associated with the `European style' of play, or alternatively `Chinese style' backhand". In other words, much like Tenergy 05?

There's also a blurb about boosting (or "tuning"), which you don't see on the US web site.

"Use of Tuners: Just like the top Japanese rubbers Volt-M actually will get slower after tuning. Gambler generally does not recommend the use of tuners with this high performance rubber, however after a week of play post tuner the rubber picks back the original speed and a touch more spin. If you must use tuner only use paraffin based formulas NEVER mineral oil based tuners. "

Intriguing indeed. They're looking for American and International distributors - I wonder if there isn't already one in Malaysia, maybe I can get a sheet or two of this and not have to pay an arm and a leg for shipping.. :lol:

Iskandar


I think Tom (US site guy, I think owner of the brand) said the new sponge will be available after the large US tournament in July-so August 1, 2019 sounds likely. I will likely give them a try.


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 Post subject: Re: Gambler Rubbers
PostPosted: 28 Jun 2019, 23:31 
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I've tried a fair number of Gambler rubbers.

Overall I'd say they're pretty strong and a great value for the price.

Now would I rather have commercial H3 Neo at $20-ish? Yes. That's my favorite FH rubber.

But... Gambler Burst (that's their tacky) on the thors hammer (firm sponge) is pretty darn good at $14. I plays pretty good tuned or even not tuned.

My current blade is the Gambler Fire Dragon Touch penhold blade and that's right there with my Stiga Clipper as my two favorite blades. Granted they're both drastically different style of blades. One's a flexy looping blade where as the other is a stiff ideal short pip blade. But nonetheless, the quality is about the same.

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 Post subject: Re: Gambler Rubbers
PostPosted: 29 Jun 2019, 03:56 
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I got a reply from Gambler to an inquiry - it looks like Volt-M and Volt-T will be available in "the second half of 2019", so this ties in to the August date for the introduction of maguro, er, el-toro, er, o-toro sponge. Bad luck, no dealers in Malaysia, so it looks like if I want to get some I'll have to BECOME a distributor! The minimum wholesale order isn't THAT much, but it isn't small, either, and it would be a hassle - I'd have to pay shipping and import duties, and then I'd be faced with actually selling rubber. A lot of rubber. There is an e-bay like website here, but... Ack... Shipping from the US isn't hugely terrible, but it is $24 (for any size order) - I'd have to order at least a half dozen to ten sheets to make it worthwhile, and to make it worthwhile I'd have to find a couple others who'd want some sheets. Ah well, if only they also sold Innoglue… I'd pay $24 if I could also order a half dozen bottles of Innoglue along with the rubber.

Incidentally - you guys in the US - have your AliExpress parcels been getting taxed yet? :lol:

Iskandar


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 Post subject: Re: Gambler Rubbers
PostPosted: 02 Jul 2019, 05:55 
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Blade: Gambler AC Hero
FH: Mech Tek Predator
BH: Nine Ultra Tack
I've got few Gambler blades that my friends and I are playing around with. So far love the Fire Touch with MechTek Predator for FH and 729 08-ES on the BH and the AC Hero with FH MechTek Predator and BH Nine Ultra Tack. Both play extremely well although I like the AC Hero just atouch more. Really like the Nine Ultra Tack. Little bit grippier than the MechTek Predator and not as bouncy. Great rubber.


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 Post subject: Re: Gambler Rubbers
PostPosted: 10 Jul 2019, 14:53 
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I put together the following table to try and make sense of Gambler's inverted rubber offerings. The Gambler catalog is like everyone else's - lots and lots of different rubbers, added over the years, until you have one convoluted mess. Apparently they started out with card game based names - Aces, Four Kings, Sevens, etc. and now they've got names like Zero, Big Gun and Burst.

Attachment:
Gambler-US1.jpg
Gambler-US1.jpg [ 135.85 KiB | Viewed 816 times ]


Attachment:
Gambler-US2.jpg
Gambler-US2.jpg [ 125.46 KiB | Viewed 816 times ]


Here's their International line:

Attachment:
Gambler-Int.jpg
Gambler-Int.jpg [ 98.11 KiB | Viewed 816 times ]


Note that some rubbers are variations of others - for instance, Volt T seems to be the same as Volt M except that it's tacky. Wraith and Shadow both have "conic pips" but one has a harder sponge.

Iskandar


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 Post subject: Re: Gambler Rubbers
PostPosted: 10 Jul 2019, 23:30 
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That's really helpful, thanks! I'm liking the Evolution MX-P these days, since I've gone back to inverted on my forehand. I'm thinking maybe the Big Gun Thor's Hammer would be similar if I wanted to try something?

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 Post subject: Re: Gambler Rubbers
PostPosted: 11 Jul 2019, 01:39 
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Let's see - MX-P would be the among the top two hardest and spinniest of the Evolution line. They also warn about having to "be a pro" otherwise you aren't qualified to use it (horse hockey, in my experience... :lol: ) So we want something that's fastest and most spinny, as well as non-tacky - something that's suited for "Euro-style" looping or Chinese backhands, and we won't care too much about the "Control" parameter. Big Gun is actually mildly tacky, probably doesn't matter that much, but (when it becomes available) Volt-M would be the one I really want to try. Second choice (with the same characteristics but toned down a little) would be Mek-Tek Predator. X3 Diamond would have less spin but more speed, and might be another choice, and finally I'd try Big Gun. The nice thing is, at these prices, you can try two or three for the same price as MX-P.

Maybe someone can come up with similar tables for the Evolution line, for Andro rubbers, for Donic rubbers, etc...

What is 37 Japanese (or might this be Chinese??) degrees translated into the ESN scale? If this is the Chinese scale, it translates to 46-48 degrees - note that a lot of Tensors (and MX-P) are 47.5 degrees.

viewtopic.php?f=44&t=23663#p255215

Iskandar


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 Post subject: Re: Gambler Rubbers
PostPosted: 11 Jul 2019, 02:19 
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a comparative table with factors like speed, spin, hardness, capault, control with simple ratings like low/medium/high would be great to try and untangle the spiders web of confusion manufacturers have created.

AS an example I have just acquired a sheet of Rhyzer 43 to try as an alternative to Aurus Select for two similar spec on paper new gen thin topsheet rubbers they play totally differently, the Aurus being linear and low catapult and the Rhyzer very high catapult.


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 Post subject: Re: Gambler Rubbers
PostPosted: 11 Jul 2019, 03:04 
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Problem is when you try to compare stuff from different brands, it's nigh on impossible, the ratings used aren't on the same scale. You can still make generalizations, though, based on sponge hardness, for instance. And in the end a lot of rubbers (even ones from the same brand) might as well be identical because it doesn't make much difference which one you use. Still, it'd be nice to see, at a glance, the factory data for a line of rubbers (e.g. all the Evolutions) so you can try to decide which to buy.

I'd like to see "catapult" defined, by the way.. a lot of people use the term, but how do you actually measure it, or is it measurable at all?

Iskandar


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 Post subject: Re: Gambler Rubbers
PostPosted: 11 Jul 2019, 03:32 
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Well, Paddle Palace, for instance, do have a comparison table of rubbers showing spin, speed, control, and hardness: https://www.paddlepalace.com/Rubber/products/1/

I can see a few problems with charts like that, however.
Are all assessments made by a single person or do they have multiple people working on that? how do they normalize the results between different testers?
Are they using the same blade with all rubbers? What is the blade?
Do they reassess old rubbers periodically? If they don't, then an old spin rating of 90/100 might have become 80/100 by now (or 95/100) compared to new rubber technologies that have appeared on the market, and there's no way to know that from the chart. Neither is there a way to know when a particular assessment was taken.


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 Post subject: Re: Gambler Rubbers
PostPosted: 11 Jul 2019, 06:31 
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You've hit the nail on the head as to why those comparison charts aren't really that helpful. It's random people "rating" which in and of itself is EXTREMELY subjective. You can only kind of compare within a brand but unless you've played with them all, impossible to compare two different rubbers from two different brands.

That being said, the chart the Iskander put together is awesome. Thank you!


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 Post subject: Re: Gambler Rubbers
PostPosted: 11 Jul 2019, 10:49 
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I'd trust Paddle Palace more than I'd trust.. what's it called now.. Revspin? At least it's within one company and the same few people are involved.

Rating rubbers will ALWAYS be subjective. There's no way around it, opinion and feel are always involved, one person's opinion will differ from someone else's, especially when differences are miniscule and subtle, so you need more than one person involved. I'll bet Butterfly and ESN have actual calibrated methods involving instruments for measuring things such as "spin" and "speed", maybe even "catapult" (whatever that is..) but their R&D will always involve experienced players evaluating intangible stuff like "control" and "feel". In the end, the best test is to buy one yourself and see if you like it (much less painful with cheap sheets). And even then, it might take you a while to figure out if you really do like something better than something else... :lol:

Iskandar


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