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PostPosted: 20 Apr 2020, 02:24 
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Hi All,
Hope you're staying safe during these times.

I have gotten back into table tennis due to the current circumstances and I have been using my rackets that I got from Japan when I was there in the 90s. I was wondering if I could have your opinion on these rackets and what to get for them to overhaul them. I know I will need new rubbers, edge tape, and new glue (apparently Butterfly Clean Chack is illegal now?). I have the following two rackets:

1) TSP Control with Spectol rubbers on both sides. I measured the sponge with a ruler and its only around 1mm thick. I know that Spectol is supposed to be pips out but these ones are pips in (I don't know why). I find that the control on the rubber is decent but that the ball sometimes bounces off the racket a little too much. Perhaps it is my technique? I also find that I backhand push really well with this setup and the front topspin shot is also very good as well. I am looking to replace the rubbers and edge tape for this. What do you folks recommend for this setup?

2) Kokutaku penhold blade with a Kokutaku Spindle. I measured the sponge to be around 1.8mm thick. I am looking to keep this racket exactly like it currently plays. What rubber do you folks recommend?

Please note that I have been playing with 38mm celluloid TSP 3 star yellow balls that I got from when I was in Japan. I also have played once or twice with 3* Kevenz 40mm and found that it is more dead feeling.


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PostPosted: 20 Apr 2020, 11:35 
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Wow.. you're like me. I stopped playing around 2001 (when the 40mm ball was starting to appear but everyone was still playing with the 38mm ball). And didn't start playing again until about four years ago. The smooth Spectol sounds weird.. as far as I've known it's always been pips out.

I've never heard of those bats - please post pictures! The old yellow 38mm TSP balls were really, really nice, but they were hard to find. And you couldn't just buy 3 star Nittakus off the shelf, either, in town (other than the short period when K-Mart was selling them, for some unknown reason). The yellow TSPs were especially hard to find, even from mail-order or at tournaments.

As far as refurbishing the bats - forget about the stuff about illegal glues. No one's going to be subjecting your bats to a VOC tester, not unless you play at the top national or in international tournaments. For us hobbyists, I'd say just use Elmer's Rubber Cement (or if you can get it - Stapes and Office Depot have it - Best Test Rubber Cement). Works just fine. I'd suggest getting new rackets and balls - the current "40+" balls are slower than the old 38mm balls, but they're a lot easier to control. Since the balls are bigger everyone's moved to thicker sponges, in fact a lot of rubbers are ONLY available in the thickest allowable sponge (typically 2.1mm). Kokutaku was/is a Japanese brand, but most of the Kokutaku stuff available these days comes from the Chinese Kokutaku (not really sure what the relationship is between the two but most Kokutaku rubbers these days are the typical Chinese tacky variety). It sound like you were playing penhold, with thin sponge - what was your playing style? I suppose it's easier to find Chinese penhold blades than good Japanese penhold blades these days, or at least the choice is far bigger.

Iskandar


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PostPosted: 20 Apr 2020, 12:42 
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iskandar taib wrote:
Wow.. you're like me. I stopped playing around 2001 (when the 40mm ball was starting to appear but everyone was still playing with the 38mm ball). And didn't start playing again until about four years ago. The smooth Spectol sounds weird.. as far as I've known it's always been pips out.

I've never heard of those bats - please post pictures! The old yellow 38mm TSP balls were really, really nice, but they were hard to find. And you couldn't just buy 3 star Nittakus off the shelf, either, in town (other than the short period when K-Mart was selling them, for some unknown reason). The yellow TSPs were especially hard to find, even from mail-order or at tournaments.

As far as refurbishing the bats - forget about the stuff about illegal glues. No one's going to be subjecting your bats to a VOC tester, not unless you play at the top national or in international tournaments. For us hobbyists, I'd say just use Elmer's Rubber Cement (or if you can get it - Stapes and Office Depot have it - Best Test Rubber Cement). Works just fine. I'd suggest getting new rackets and balls - the current "40+" balls are slower than the old 38mm balls, but they're a lot easier to control. Since the balls are bigger everyone's moved to thicker sponges, in fact a lot of rubbers are ONLY available in the thickest allowable sponge (typically 2.1mm). Kokutaku was/is a Japanese brand, but most of the Kokutaku stuff available these days comes from the Chinese Kokutaku (not really sure what the relationship is between the two but most Kokutaku rubbers these days are the typical Chinese tacky variety). It sound like you were playing penhold, with thin sponge - what was your playing style? I suppose it's easier to find Chinese penhold blades than good Japanese penhold blades these days, or at least the choice is far bigger.

Iskandar


Hey,
I have a box of 3 of the TSPs, although one recently cracked so I have only 2 left. As for the Nittaku, its a little more orange-ish. I got it from the club I used to play at. I'll post pictures of it later when I get back to the table! I find that the new 40mm ball is more boring. I can't put enough spin on it and it quite frankly doesn't sound as satisfying. Its also really slow compared to the 38mm.

I currently play with the shakehand grip and the TSP racket, but sometimes pick up the Kokutaku. I'd prefer to stick with the shakehand. As for my style, I used to have two main strategies. One was to be offensive and try to make consistent shots so the opponent makes mistakes, or frustrate the opponent by playing very defensive and pushing the ball with lots of backspin which helps me dictate the speed of the game and make an overly offensive player have to play slow.
What kind of blade and rubber would you reccomend? I was looking at the Butterfly Sriver EL for rubbers.
Here are pics of the bats:


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PostPosted: 20 Apr 2020, 16:59 
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I think these are old pre-made bats, which is why the sponge is thin. As such, they'll be rather slow, and much too slow for the new ball. Back then beginners were advised to start with 1.5mm sponge and even the top players didn't use anything thicker than 2mm. Now 2.1 or 2.2mm sponge is considered standard, even for beginners. I really would suggest getting new bats, and put these in a display case somewhere.

If you're looking for a bat to buy, there is a lot of choice these days, in fact the market is bewildering. I've been buying stuff directly from China, and I'd suggest this bat. Despite the price, it's excellent, the blade is the one I prefer over many other more expensive ones.

https://www.aliexpress.com/item/1854620589.html

There are similar bats available from US dealers, too.

Iskandar


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PostPosted: 20 Apr 2020, 22:33 
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Blade: TSP Ctrl / Yasaka Xtra
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I actually had both of them custom made - I have two pre-mades from that era (TSP Sanjo) and they feel like absolute trash. Heavy, no grip on the rubber, barely any sponge at all on them.
The penhold bat was like something along the lines of 20,000 Yen ($200) and the TSP was like 14,000 Yen ($140) - I put the order in and I picked them up something like 2 days later IIRC. For some reason the guy put Butterfly edge tape on an all TSP bat :^)

I feel like the blades should still be fine - they've been in cases all this time and I doubt much tech has gone into wooden paddles in the past 20 years. I'd still like to overhaul them regardless of if I'll actually be using them as my main bats. Perhaps for use for my mother or father or friends when they come over (once this virus is done with).

Is Chinese equipment actually good? I wouldn't mind paying more for something that lasts longer (i.e. changing $50 rubber once a year vs $10 rubber once every few months). I've been reading around and I've noted that the cheapest store for table tennis for me is either PPGear or Cole's TT (I live in Canada). Unfortunately due to the pandemic, buying straight from China is out of the question as barely any sellers use DHL, and I currently have an EMS packet still stuck in China at the airport from a month ago.

I've also noticed there's bats with "infused carbon" or whatever. Is that a marketing gimmick or legit? I'd like a bat that's comfortable and makes a good sound. I generally like to play with a tempo, and sound is really important to me. It also indicates to me as to how I've hit the ball.

I did order DHS 40+ balls from Amazon last night and they should be here today. I hope that they're better than the one I played with a while ago.


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PostPosted: 20 Apr 2020, 23:41 
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If that's the case then yes, the old blades should be OK. If you're going to be playing with the modern ball then I'd suggest thicker sponge. Older rubbers such as Sriver or Mark V should work, but so would Chinese rubbers.

Chinese equipment is variable - there is some awful stuff sold in China, but most of the stuff you find from certain dealers (such as the one I linked to) is good. I don't think Japanese or European blades are any better than Chinese ones as a whole, just a lot more expensive. There's some Chinese stuff that's pretty expensive, even. As far as rubbers go - there are a lot of good Chinese sheets, but they haven't managed to copy the most expensive Japanese sheets yet (Butterfly Tenergy and Dignics). Also, the Chinese make sheets that are of a different style (hard sponge, tacky topsheet) compared to most of what's sold by the Europeans and Japanese (if you browse the Dignics 09C thread, it's interesting that Butterfly has just come out with a sheet that mimics Chinese style rubber and selling it for $100 a sheet). Unless you're good enough to make money playing tournaments, the Chinese stuff is plenty good enough, and even if you ARE that good there are plenty of top players (including the top 3-4 in the world) who use Chinese blades and rubber.

Iskandar


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PostPosted: 21 Apr 2020, 00:32 
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If the old rubbers come off cleanly and if you are going to use VOC free water based glue then you may need to seal the blades . VOC glue was much thicker and did not require blades to be sealed. The newer VOC free glues will just be soaked up by an unsealed blade.


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PostPosted: 21 Apr 2020, 03:30 
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Hi NissanskylineN1, it has been a very long time since I have seen the Tsp Spectol inverted rubber.
This rubber served me well in my early playing days. In those days both sides of the racket had to be same color (red) . Thanks for brining back those fond memories!
All the best in your search for modern equipment , it will be quite different.

oldhands


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PostPosted: 21 Apr 2020, 04:06 
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iskandar taib wrote:
If that's the case then yes, the old blades should be OK. If you're going to be playing with the modern ball then I'd suggest thicker sponge. Older rubbers such as Sriver or Mark V should work, but so would Chinese rubbers.

Chinese equipment is variable - there is some awful stuff sold in China, but most of the stuff you find from certain dealers (such as the one I linked to) is good. I don't think Japanese or European blades are any better than Chinese ones as a whole, just a lot more expensive. There's some Chinese stuff that's pretty expensive, even. As far as rubbers go - there are a lot of good Chinese sheets, but they haven't managed to copy the most expensive Japanese sheets yet (Butterfly Tenergy and Dignics). Also, the Chinese make sheets that are of a different style (hard sponge, tacky topsheet) compared to most of what's sold by the Europeans and Japanese (if you browse the Dignics 09C thread, it's interesting that Butterfly has just come out with a sheet that mimics Chinese style rubber and selling it for $100 a sheet). Unless you're good enough to make money playing tournaments, the Chinese stuff is plenty good enough, and even if you ARE that good there are plenty of top players (including the top 3-4 in the world) who use Chinese blades and rubber.

Iskandar


You know what then - I'll probably shell out a few bucks and get a beginner Chinese racket and see how that goes. There's a local store that sells a Dawei Kama with 388s on both sides for $75 CAD. There's also ColeTT - debating between their Buster, Air, and Budget Looper Combo. Although I've been looking at the separates and some of these blades and rubbers are pretty nice (Galaxy W1 with Gambler Oh Toro on both sides maybe?) US shipping will be a pain in the bum though with this current situation.

ChasFox wrote:
If the old rubbers come off cleanly and if you are going to use VOC free water based glue then you may need to seal the blades . VOC glue was much thicker and did not require blades to be sealed. The newer VOC free glues will just be soaked up by an unsealed blade.


Thank you for this! I was completely unaware about this. I will then stick to my Clean Chack for adding the new rubber! Apparently acetone is the way to go for getting old rubber off?

oldhands wrote:
Hi NissanskylineN1, it has been a very long time since I have seen the Tsp Spectol inverted rubber.
This rubber served me well in my early playing days. In those days both sides of the racket had to be same color (red) . Thanks for brining back those fond memories!
All the best in your search for modern equipment , it will be quite different.

oldhands

You are welcome! What do you use now? Do you have any wise words of wisdom for me as I change into using a new blade? Any rubber suggestions?


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PostPosted: 21 Apr 2020, 06:06 
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NissanskylineN1, I am still a fan of Yasaka Mark 5 after all these years & have used this on many
rackets over the years. Current racket will be ( once we get back from this crisis) Tibhar Premium
Contact with Butterfly Rozena both sides. Trying something new.
If you want to try to remove your original Spectol rubbers you may want to consider using
lighter fluid which has worked for me in the past. My guess is that the rubbers were originally glued
with some type of Voc rubber glue.
You may want to check out this site as it is located in Canada :www.pingpongdepot.com
Maybe easier than waiting for something from the states

oldhands


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PostPosted: 21 Apr 2020, 10:55 
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oldhands wrote:
Hi NissanskylineN1, it has been a very long time since I have seen the Tsp Spectol inverted rubber.
This rubber served me well in my early playing days. In those days both sides of the racket had to be same color (red) . Thanks for brining back those fond memories!
All the best in your search for modern equipment , it will be quite different.



Um, not exactly true. Before the two color rule was adopted there were NO rules about rubber color. You could have the same color, you could use different colors. When I first got interested in table tennis there were green and blue and other colors. Yasaka Tornado had this beautiful golden color topsheet. But black sheets were pretty much non-existent (I later found out there were black sheets around during the hardbat era) until Tackiness came along (mid-70s IIRC). There WAS something called Yasaka Black Power (which had some questionable language on the back of the packet) which claimed that they had discovered the secret of making black sheets that actually worked. After the now-postponed Olympics, they were going to introduce a new rule allowing several approved colors of rubber again, though you still have to use black on one side. You can already buy other-colored rubber (even though it's not approved for tournament use as yet):

https://www.aliexpress.com/item/33032381804.html

I'd stay away from water-based glues for several reasons - they're not really required, they will eventually damage the blade (according to several interviews of pros I've read), they require blade varnishing (which I do as a matter of course in any case, it's not difficult), and the main reason is they're a major pain in the neck - they take forever to dry and it's so easy to make a mistake - just touch the very end of your fingertip to the dried glue on the blade and the rubber and you have to do it all over again. I suppose if you still have the old Chack you could use it but Elmer's Rubber Cement was the glue which all table tennis vendors at tournaments were using back before the VOC ban.

I've been wanting to try the Gambler Ohtoro rubbers (in particular Volt-M) for a while, it's just that shipping from the US costs a bomb. The stuff I order from China has "free shipping". Problem is it DOES take 3 weeks or so to arrive. There's a thread under blades about the Sanwei M8 - I like it because it's got a really nice feel, and it's light (75-80 grams). The fact that you can buy the bare blade for under $10 (sometimes as low as $6) including shipping is a bonus.

Iskandar


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PostPosted: 21 Apr 2020, 23:05 
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iskandar taib wrote:
I'd stay away from water-based glues for several reasons - they're not really required, they will eventually damage the blade (according to several interviews of pros I've read), they require blade varnishing (which I do as a matter of course in any case, it's not difficult), and the main reason is they're a major pain in the neck - they take forever to dry and it's so easy to make a mistake - just touch the very end of your fingertip to the dried glue on the blade and the rubber and you have to do it all over again. I suppose if you still have the old Chack you could use it but Elmer's Rubber Cement was the glue which all table tennis vendors at tournaments were using back before the VOC ban.

I've been wanting to try the Gambler Ohtoro rubbers (in particular Volt-M) for a while, it's just that shipping from the US costs a bomb. The stuff I order from China has "free shipping". Problem is it DOES take 3 weeks or so to arrive. There's a thread under blades about the Sanwei M8 - I like it because it's got a really nice feel, and it's light (75-80 grams). The fact that you can buy the bare blade for under $10 (sometimes as low as $6) including shipping is a bonus.

Iskandar


So I just got my DHS D40+ balls. Wow they are so different!
They bounce less off the paddle but have more spin due to their slight texture on the ball. It also invites more of an aggressive play.

So I'll probably order some Mark Vs locally for now to refurbish the blades and play with the TSP one for now.
Once this situation is over, then I'll look into getting a new Aliexpress racket or one from ColeTT. China shipping takes usually 1 month to Canada using economy and 1 week with EMS (during BAU times).

Thank you all - will keep this thread updated!


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PostPosted: 27 Apr 2020, 04:54 
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UPDATE:

So I was looking at TT11 for Mark V rubbers to update the TSP and noted that basically due to the free shipping deal, its better for me to just order a new racket instead. WOW I am impressed!

I ordered a Yasaka Extra Sweden with Mark Vs and asked the seller to assemble it for me. I am very impressed with the workmanship! The cutting is perfect and the edge tape is also Yasaka brand, which I was worried about. They put it in the blade box for me and gave me the rubber packaging as well. Came in a neat little box. I ordered it on Thursday and it came on Sunday afternoon. Thoroughly impressed - no DHL fees either!

It feels amazing to have new rubber, and theres so many differences to the TSP! Its a lot heavier and a lot thicker than the TSP. The rubber is also very grippy compared to the old rubber on my TSP (I definitely need to change the rubber on those). I am so excited to play tonight!!

Once this epidemic is over I will definitely be ordering some AliExpress rubbers for the other rackets.


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PostPosted: 28 Apr 2020, 00:56 
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Hi NissanskylineN1, when we can restart playing again , I hope you will enjoy your new racket from TT11.
Allow some time to get used to the feel of the new bat, the Mark V rubbers are quite different from the
Tsp you have. Please keep us posted , when you can, on how you are getting along with your new set up.

Iskandar, from a sense of nostalgia, I was wondering if you ever had the chance to try the
gold Tornado or the Black Power from Yasaka and what your playing impressions where.


oldhands


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PostPosted: 28 Apr 2020, 01:08 
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No, I didn't get a chance to try those. The first time I attended a club session at University, one of the members had a bat with the Tornado on both sides.. I thought it really looked cool. Back then pretty much all sheets were red except for a very few.

My problem (if you read some of my older posts) is that I find differences in rubbers small, and subtle, so it's the rare rubber I can't play with or that I find very different from other rubbers. Blades, on the other hand.. the differences there can be dramatic even for blades that are ostensibly similar.

Iskandar


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