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PostPosted: 20 Mar 2018, 13:56 
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Dark Knight
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Manufacturers often give a control rating to a blade, but don't define what it actually means. I'm interested to hear what you think control of a blade means to you.

To help answer this, think about the following:
- does the speed of the blade affect control?
- does the flex/stiffness affect control?
- do wooden blade offer more control than composite blades (e.g. carbon, arylate, etc)?
- does vibration/feedback affect the control of a blade?

So what does Control of a blade mean to you?

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PostPosted: 20 Mar 2018, 14:51 
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I am Legend
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1) linearity (or not linear), force in vs force out. Some blades are more, some less, not quite overall speed as occasionally you find heavy fast blades that are slightly dead on slow speeds.
Personally I don't particularly like a 'linear' blade but then, there isn't really a definitive reference for a 'linear' blade anyway.

2) feel. For me personally relates to blade stiffness/flex which in turn relates to vibration characteristics.

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PostPosted: 20 Mar 2018, 16:13 
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Blade: Butterfly Defence Alpha
FH: Donic Slice 40 CD 1.5 mm
BH: LKTStrgr+KokBLuJap 1.1 mm
haggisv wrote:
Manufacturers often give a control rating to a blade, but don't define what it actually means. I'm interested to hear what you think control of a blade means to you.
(The probability of next Player with intended play style like the blade)

To help answer this, think about the following:
- does the speed of the blade affect control?
(Yes.Every Player have His or Ideal speed / bounce that, too slow or too fast ruin His playstyle)

- does the flex/stiffness affect control?
(Yes. It affect touch)

- do wooden blade offer more control than composite blades (e.g. carbon, arylate, etc)?
(No, not necessarily. Overall feel count)

- does vibration/feedback affect the control of a blade?
(Yes. Too noisy or too quiet ruin my ability to put the ball where I want)

So what does Control of a blade mean to you?
(The probability of next Player with intended play style like the blade)


[The Google CAPTCHA ate my post :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( )


Last edited by BeGo on 20 Mar 2018, 16:16, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: 20 Mar 2018, 16:13 
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Blade: S&T Black & White
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BH: S&T Hellfire OX
Can’t say I’ve noticed or paid much attention to control ratings on blades. Are they usually inverse to the speed ratings like rubbers? For me I think it depends a lot on the type of stroke I’m playing. I like fairly thin and flexible blades generally as I seem to be able to generate and control spin most effectively. But stiffer blades seem to offer more control and precision when blocking. As usual I’m forced to compromise or choose whether to prioritise my FH or BH.

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PostPosted: 21 Mar 2018, 14:41 
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For me Control means allowing me to do what I need to do as I need to do with it while playing the game. I do that with a blade & rubber combination that allows me to carry that out most of the time. :rock: 8) :party:

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PostPosted: 21 Mar 2018, 16:56 
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In general, when it comes to blades, it's the inverse of speed. Vibrations, "flex" (whatever that means), etc. are more about feel than about putting balls where they're supposed to go. The slower the blade, the easier it is to control where you want to put the ball, even if it means putting more effort into it. Blades that are too fast hinder that ability.

Iskandar


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PostPosted: 22 Mar 2018, 00:19 
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A.D.D.I.C.T.T.
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haggisv wrote:
-1 does the speed of the blade affect control?
-2 does the flex/stiffness affect control?
-3 do wooden blade offer more control than composite blades (e.g. carbon, arylate, etc)?
-4 does vibration/feedback affect the control of a blade?

-1 absolutely, yes. faster blades make it harder to place the ball exactly where you want to and this effect is increased as the incoming ball gets faster and more spinny
-2 unsure about this. I don't think so. feel perhaps though (see #4)
-3 not necessarily - but certainly, in my experience, more "feel" (see #4)
-4 indirectly. these attributes affect how I "feel" the ball on the bat. the more I feel, the better an idea I have of what stroke/bat angle needs to be used to control the ball to the position I'm aiming for

if I was going to weight these attributes, I'd go something like:

10pts - speed
1pt - flex
2pts - wood vs composite
3pts - vibration/feedback

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PostPosted: 19 Mar 2019, 16:20 
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I believe control is subjective.

- does the speed of the blade affect control?
Not directly. I agree with Silver's view that "linearity" is correlated with control. You can have a very fast, but linear response speed that offer predictability therefore high control. Whereas high catapult, springy non-linear blades give impressions of high bounce on low impact but dampened feel on high impact, thus low control. These non-linear blades can cause you to push/flip long especially when first starting to use them.

- does the flex/stiffness affect control?
I'm with the camp that stiffness correlates with linearity, therefore for me stiffer=more control. But more so because it it affect feel/vibration/feedback. Most blades don't flex so much as to alter your intended trajectory.

- do wooden blade offer more control than composite blades (e.g. carbon, arylate, etc)?
Yes but subjective. Generally carbon and especially arylate blades significantly dampen vibrations, gives the impression of larger sweet-spot but not because they are more uniform, but because you feel the difference less. For some people, this "impression/illusion"=control. For me, I think crisp, direct contact/feedback with the least muffled sensation=control.

- does vibration/feedback affect the control of a blade?
Yes, vibration, hardness, density, sharpness all contribute to feedback. Won't affect your play immediately, but over time, the blades with more and unfiltered feedback will gradually help you correct your strokes.


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PostPosted: 19 Mar 2019, 19:38 
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What does it mean to me?
Control rating given by manufacturer, printed on blade or packaging:
Exactly nothing.

I assume this rating to be mostly taken out of thin air, and sometimes filtered through stars.
Manufacturers make sure that their "5 star" products generally score better than their "2 star" counterparts. This does not always make a better control score for the ones with many stars (less control may be seen as "more badass"), but there tends to be some kind of progression, which does not always make sense to me.

When I assess/describe a blade:
In order of importance:
  • Predictable behavior (consistency) is the most important. Stiffness plays a role in this department. Must not flex too much (although the flex problem may exist only in my mind...)
  • Not overly fast on passive shots.
  • Tactile feedback.

Some background for my criteria:
When I came back to TT after a 25year break, two of the blades I tried early were the Yasaka Synergy and Galaxy T11+. Both are fast, lightweight, syn-fiber/balsa constructions without a "slow mode". Looking back, I realize that I would now score them pretty low in the control department. Re-Impact blades and a few other balsa blades I have tried are just as fast in ordinary play, but drops the bounce noticeably on passive shots, which gives much better control.

The Friendship W-1 is another one I tried back then, and still keep in my bag. The "feedback" is a pretty strong vibration, without much variation to tell me when my stroke "hit the spot". Pretty good control, but that vibration draws it down a bit. Now using the Galaxy LQ1 kindly given to me by Charmander Defender. Similar speed, less vibration, and that feedback is "graded" so it gives me a feeling of what I am doing and how well I do it.


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PostPosted: 19 Mar 2019, 23:10 
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Whatever blade delivers the ball to the table more often, relative to ones current established neural pathways/muscle memory. Relative measures of "Too slow" can be considered "out of control" as much as "too fast," depending on one's current established neural pathways. Therefore, any characteristic of a blade that causes uncertainty during play will be considered "less control." Speed/Slowness/Flex/Stiffness/Vibes/no vibes. Literally all of these things can be interpreted as adding control or lack of control if one is not accustomed to it. You need to develop those neural pathways to become accustomed to it, through repetition.

For example, I have my mouse set to fast on my computer, but had to teach a class using a mouse that was super slow. I was an uncoordinated mess trying to get to the start menu to change the setting due to the loss of control. It's all relative.

So, for me, in my current condition, a slowish blade has more control for defending...like ALL- (Defplay/VKM speed). However, i do like stiffer blades as well. When I decided to play JPEN again for a while using a 1-ply hinoki for a couple of months, switching back to a Defplay was painful. I couldn't get anything back on the table and every chop was falling short.

Thus, control is relative and cannot be objectively identified as none of it is universal because we are all unique snowflakes physiologically, with different abilities, and different styles of play with different needs.

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PostPosted: 22 May 2020, 15:05 
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Sorry for resurrecting an oldish thread, but I wanted to endorse some of the comments in this thread. I take no notice of “control” ratings and believe they are quite meaningless. Unlike speed ratings which are useful in determining what equipment to try. My philosophy is that the players provides the control, that control is a function of your whole game - the speed of your blade, the flexibility of the blade, the rubbers you use, your stroke mechanics, the ball you use etc. so now when I watch or read blade reviews and the reviewer says something like “where this blade really shines is the amount of control it gives you” i take no notice.


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PostPosted: 23 May 2020, 00:59 
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I think it can typically reflect the amount of dwell the blade has i.e do balls ping away quickly like on a fast hard carbon blade or hold on the blade a bit longer as on a blade with soft outer plies. I get best control from a soft feel all+ blade that is also fairly stiff e.g the S&T black & white . So called control also makes it easier to manipulate/spin the ball.


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