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PostPosted: 07 Sep 2011, 07:42 
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Charlie of BladesByCharlie was nice enough to send me a new blade to review. It is a variation of his Fiddler. It is a 3-ply cypress blade with two thin veneers to prevent splitting. It has a straight handle and a slightly oversized head shape. I play a very defensive style with inverted on both sides. I currently play with a Butterfly Michael Maze blade with Palio CJ8000 Japanese Sponge on both sides.

Here are my initial impressions:

I received the blade last Thursday and got to hit a little with it that night. I have been out of town for Labor Day, so I still need some more playing time with it. It is a beautiful blade and the craftsmanship is apparent. I really like the feel of the grip even though I have always played with a flared grip. I put the same rubber combination on the blade as I play on my regular setup to try and isolate the blade's characteristics.

I was impressed with the control over the table when pushing. This seemed to match the control of my Maze setup. As I began to hit, I was surprised at the power the blade had. It would really speed up nicely when putting more into the shot. I had a few issues with the throw of the blade. This may have to do with the flex of the blade. I found quite a few slow/medium speed loops going much lower than expected, often into the net. The opposite seemed to happen when I opened up and hit hard. The ball seemed to go further and have a higher throw than expected, often past the end of the table. This seems to me like the flex of the blade is coming into play as I hit harder. I lost a little confidence in my strokes due to the fact that I wasn't sure what throw (high or low) to expect on a given shot. It's very likely that I can adjust to this with more playing time.

As far as weight and balance was concerned, I found the blade to feel quite head heavy with two sheets of inverted. This is most likely due to the fact that it is oversized. It felt a little less maneuverable than my current blade.

One of the main things I was looking for in a blade was defensive capabilities. I very often chop back loops from mid distance. I have gotten pretty consistent with my Maze blade, and had high hopes for this blade. In this first outing with the blade I got the impression that it was a little too fast to chop back loops with inverted rubber. I was having trouble keeping the ball on the table. On the other hand, I really liked the blade's fishing capabilities. It was very steady and consistent when defending with topspin.

Overall, I was impressed with the blade but don't feel it fits my game. The craftsmanship and attention to detail was superb. I need a little more control in chopping away from the table and more consistent throw when hitting hard. My main strategy is to play heavy defense until the opportunity to attack presents itself. I didn't feel confident in either defensive or put-away offensive strokes. For my style I would need a blade that is a bit slower with a bit smaller head shape. I prefer linear performance so I know what to expect when I swing at different speeds. I could probably adjust to this blade given more time, but I don't think it suits me very well.

I'm going to try and hit some more with it this week before making my final judgement. At this point I think I may be better suited with something slower. I really appreciate the chance Charlie gave me to review this blade, and I'll be sure to post my impressions as I hit with it more. Hopefully I'll get some pictures posted as well.

Blade: Victas Koji Matsushita FL
FH: Xiom Vega Japan Max
BH: TSP P1-R 1.0mm
USATT Rating: 2013


PostPosted: 07 Sep 2011, 09:03 
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Blade: Trinity Carbon
FH: Victas VS > 401
BH: Dr N Troublemaker OX
THanks for the review ckhirnigs113! :clap:

Yes it's well worth giving it at least one more session... sometimes it takes time to adjust to a bat that's very different from your previous bat ;)

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PostPosted: 17 Nov 2011, 17:55 
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I have just received this 3 ply Fiddler from Charlie and am very impressed with it. It supports my forehand looping game and my backhand long pip hitting and chopping style. Though it is only 85 grams (I like my blades heavier) the weight seems ideal being evenly distributed in the blade. Good feel and good vibration go along with this weapon.


3 Ply BBC Fiddler
FH: Vario Big Slam 2.0mm
BH: Donic Piranja 1.2mm

Blade: Keep's Killer
FH: 729 Faster 2.0mm
BH: KTL Stranger 1.2mm

PostPosted: 18 Nov 2011, 00:10 
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I have a different prototype blade from BBC to test drive. So far I have about 30 hours on it. It seems to be getting even better with time. After about 100 hours or so I will offer a review. To me, it does take a second or third look, or many hours to really see if the blade fits your style. My other BBC blade is the Anvil in 7mm. So far, I have found it to be deserving of all the hype. At this point though I am calling my BBC blades my FCC blades ..Feeling; Control;Confidence. Hope you continue to test it out.

Blade: TSP 8.5 Balsa: FH Andro Blowfish+ 2.0 (Black);BH Giant Dragon National Team Talon OX(Red)
Blade: TSP 8.5 Balsa: FH TSP Spectol Blue 2.0-2.1 (Black); BH Strahlkraft OX (Red)
Blade: TSP 8.5 Balsa: FH Joola Express Ultra Max (Black): BH Dornenglanz II OX (Red)

USATT Rating: 1682

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