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BBC Reviews: 9-10-9 blade

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    Posted: 03/07/2010 at 12:09am
Received the blade. Looks great!

Blade: 9-10-9 (name is given presumably because the thickness of the cypress plies is 9, 10 and 9 hundredth of an inch (90, 100, and 90 thou, to be exotic).

Link to BBC page for the blade: 9-10-9

Weight: 90 g (plus-minus 1 g)

Construction: cypress-carbon-cypress-carbon-cypress (epoxy glue used)

Plies and thickness: 3+2; overall 7.5-7.6 mm, plies' thickness are 2.28 mm, 2.54 mm, 2.28 mm (approx)

Serial number: BBC-T-04

I once again feel pangs of envy for the people who can build such wonderful stuff with their own hands. I can do some minor things but they are not even close to beauties such as these blades. Kevin from AmericanHinoki, Borko from BorkoAndSon, and Charlie from BladesByCharlie are indeed true masters of the art of the American custom blade...

Here come the pics:











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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote JimT Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03/07/2010 at 12:09am
Played two short sessions with the blade. To start with, I have lightly sealed it, then put rubbers on it - Dawei IQUL 42 Max (2.2) and Air Scirocco Speed 2.2.

Handle feels quite comfortable in my hand. Not too slippery, yet not too much friction so it slides in my hand when I want it. I will still put some grip tape on it later.

Balance is very good, slightly into the head but not by much. Similar to Nexy Color but a tad more aggressive (into the head, that is).

i should say that my first impressions tell me this is not an ALL+ blade. It is at least OFF- . On the other hand I can understand why Charlie marks it ALL+ - probably because it plays very gentle short game due to the thick cypress outer layers and good balance. So it can perform as an ALL+ blade if you put softer, more controlling rubbers on it. But overall, independent of the rubbers, this is easily an OFF- blade (a little faster than Nexy Color).

I like it. I didn't loop much because I played at my friend's place where there is not a lot of room so I played mostly close to the table, no more than a step away.

I must say that with these rubbers 9-10-9 performed better than my Nexy Color - most likely because it is a faster blade and those rubbers are a bit softer than my regular Outlaws. So altogether combo is closer to my ideal speed and control.

It is a little bouncier and stiffer than Nexy Color - I can feel it especially in the short game but it is easily within the limits of my adjustability, and I demonstrated that to my friend by beating him 3-2 (after he led me 2-0... I needed some time to get used to the blade after all).

The blade shows its carbon nature even in sound - it does click but not too rigidly and loudly as some superfast carbons do (Primorac Carbon, Kreanga Carbon) and it is way better in terms of control than they are... which is no surprise as it is an OFF- blade made with soft wood. Very good sweet spot - basically all of the blade is it.

I will play with it more on Wednesday - full session (probably) and in a proper location, at my club, with lots of space, where I can test looping, lobbing, power topspins, some defensive strokes etc.

So far, good impressions. More will follow.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote JimT Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03/07/2010 at 12:09am
Second review- after a few more tries...

Almost no vibration; a bit stiffer and harder feeling than Nexy Color but more flex than Darker Speed 90 (no surprise, of course, you cannot flex a 10-mm 1-ply blade).

Instead of Air Scirocco Speed I put Gambler Outlaw 2.2 on the FH (IQUL 42 MAX stays on the BH; then I will twiddle it, of course). Will test it again tomorrow.

.....

So here is the test results:

Putting Outlaw on BH turned out to be not such a great idea. I was able to play a decent game but combination of a harder (than my Nexy Color) blade and hard-sponged Outlaw while very good in fast blocks, flat hits and low-throw loops was not as great in gentle pushes or a short touch game over the table. Doable, but not great. I could adjust myself if I wanted to spend a couple of weeks on it but ...

So I am putting the softer rubbers back on it. Then perhaps I will try something similar like two Srivers L.

Generally I should say I felt some vibration in the blade this time. Just a bit but it was kinda unexpected. Maybe I was just hallucinating, or not. I will try it again next week and will post here.

Now to updated impressions:

Looping: quite good with IQUL Power MAX. Combination of a mildly tacky fast rubber and 9-10-9's speed and some flex turned out to be very effective in short and medium looping. However, away from the table I felt some lack of power... could have been IQUL's tackiness coming into play but I don't think that was all of it.

Short game: very good on FH, just OK on BH with some unexpected strokes going long happening once in a while (see explanation above)

Overall game: just fine. I played two matches with it against very good opponents, won both of them. But if I were pushed closer to the edge of my abilities, I would have preferred my Nexy Color + Outlaws setup.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jt99sf Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03/07/2010 at 12:11am
Charlie makes fantastic blades. I have one of his originals from over 10 years ago.
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote nomadpat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03/07/2010 at 1:17am
Looking forward to hearing your thoughts, I have my eyes on one :)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ranger-man Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03/08/2010 at 2:47pm
Eagerly awaiting your feedback on the blade Jim. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote JimT Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03/09/2010 at 2:38am
Updated. Put photos in and posted "first impressions" review - check it out above in the first two posts of the thread.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote peter79 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03/09/2010 at 4:16am
Jim, What kind of wood the handle made of?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote kelvinyoong Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03/09/2010 at 4:19am
Looks really nice. Workmanship is top notch. Can't wait for the All Round to reach me.

Is it just me or do all handmade blades have a darker wood shade compared to factory manufactured blades?

Why is that? Do manufacturer's bleach the wood white?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote JimT Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03/09/2010 at 10:38am
Originally posted by peter79 peter79 wrote:

Jim, What kind of wood the handle made of?


I am not sure. Check out their web site, or perhaps you can PM nathanso and ask him, he surely knows.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote JimT Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03/09/2010 at 10:40am
Originally posted by kelvinyoong kelvinyoong wrote:

Looks really nice. Workmanship is top notch. Can't wait for the All Round to reach me.

Is it just me or do all handmade blades have a darker wood shade compared to factory manufactured blades?

Why is that? Do manufacturer's bleach the wood white?


My guess would be that the big companies dry their wood longer or using specialized machines. The dryer the wood the lighter is the hue of the color.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote nathanso Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03/09/2010 at 11:59am
Originally posted by peter79 peter79 wrote:

Jim, What kind of wood the handle made of?
It looks like it might be Mahogany.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote peter79 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03/09/2010 at 10:33pm
Originally posted by nathanso nathanso wrote:

Originally posted by peter79 peter79 wrote:

Jim, What kind of wood the handle made of?
It looks like it might be Mahogany.


Thanks for the info Tongue
I really want to try Fiddler, I'll write a review of it. Whether I like it or not, I'll take it with 50% of the normal price, how is it? Wink
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote holda Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03/09/2010 at 10:43pm
Super looking on the pics.Even I want to give it a shot now.Can I receive it for testing?
Be right back...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Beer Belly Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03/10/2010 at 12:38am
The workmanship looks absolutely fantastic! I can't wait for my CarboFlex Alpha to arrive.

By the way, Charlie said on OOAK that the blades already come sealed.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jt99sf Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03/10/2010 at 1:36am
 
Here's one of the original CARBO-FLEX blades from Charlie. Great handle.
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Jolan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03/10/2010 at 2:14am

Nice picture, thanks for sharing. Is it straight or conical ?

 
Ps : Beware not to let your blade close to an orange (orange is an harmful item full of volatil organic compound....true !) it might contaminate your racket and make you fail Enez test.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote JimT Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03/10/2010 at 10:34am
Originally posted by Beer Belly Beer Belly wrote:

...
By the way, Charlie said on OOAK that the blades already come sealed.


I didn't feel it was already sealed, but in any case my sealing was really slight and didn't change any properties of it.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jt99sf Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03/10/2010 at 11:26am
Originally posted by jcdi jcdi wrote:

Nice picture, thanks for sharing. Is it straight or conical ?

 
Ps : Beware not to let your blade close to an orange (orange is an harmful item full of volatil organic compound....true !) it might contaminate your racket and make you fail Enez test.
 
the handle is an eliptical straight, much, much better than the rectangular ST handles. Very comfortable.
Charlie also made the FH side a bit faster than the BH, perfect for pips play. I'm also ordering the updated custom versions from Charlie. (BBC Tri-carbon)
All of Charlie's blades are pre-sealed and ready to play.
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote JimT Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03/11/2010 at 1:06pm
Updated second review post (see above). Some more testing will follow in a  week or two - after my next tourney.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote JimT Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03/12/2010 at 2:50pm
I forgot to add that one point when comparing between two setups:

1) BBC 9-10-9 (by the way, couldn't Charlie come up with a better name, this sounds like a serial number, not like a good blade's name... Anvil! that's a name, but it's taken already) + two med-soft rubbers (IQUL Power, Air Scirocco SN - 38-39 degrees)

2) Nexy Color (softer blade) + two hard springy rubbers (Gambler Outlaw - 41 degrees)

they both play almost as good as each other at the table and against "regular" inverted opponents. However, when pushed back I preferred (2) and also it is way better against LP/MP/Anti players

Here is why: when you play against LP/MP/Anti then (with all other things being equal) you would really prefer your rubbers to be harder-sponged - they react less to the deceptive nastiness coming from the opponent. An example: when the other guy punches/counterdrives the ball with his pips, your regular counterdrive or loop stroke with softer rubbers would put the ball into the net. With the harder rubbers it takes just a minor adjustment to overcome that. Same with the BH loop against pips - all you need to do is to open the blade a bit more, whereas with softer rubbers you need to add a lot of your spin to defeat whatever is coming back at you. Just my individual opinion, of course. but that's what works better for me.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Jolan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03/17/2010 at 4:03pm
These are my 1st photos of 9-10-9 :
 
It's 83gr, 14.8mm x 15.3mm. Handle length is 10.2 and it's 8mm thickness.
 
It looks beautiful indeed !
 
Bouncing ball on naked blade gives a very clear christal sound. Doesn't look too fast compared to Acoustic, Tenor, Maze. I intend to dress it with Tenergy 64 2.1mm and Xtend HS max.
First test friday, or, if I'm lucky, tomorrow
...
 
 
 


Edited by jcdi - 03/28/2011 at 4:52am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Jolan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03/17/2010 at 4:05pm
Oh, I forgot, it is conical ! Thank you Charlie, you made my day !
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Jolan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03/19/2010 at 5:18pm
Alright, first draw. More complete review will follow.
I've had half an hour yesterday and 1 hour today with it. That's all my tendinosis left me...
Mated with Yasaka Xtend hs max and T64 2.1mm.
Blade with rubbers, edge tape and overgrip is 171gr, very light !
 
First hits confirmed it is not an all+ but an off/off-. lets say in the upper part of off-.
 
Speed is comparable to Korbel/Samsonov alpha. That is to say faster than Nexy color.
 
Throw  : .High ! Paired with T64, it's too high unless you close angle and keep being activ. I switched xtend FH and t04 FH and it felt much better. Def need low throw rubbers. I'll follow Charlie's advice and have order a pair of Baracuda. We'll see.
 
Feel : Soft ! This is what I was expecting. Looks like the ball is sinking into the blade and stays contacted long. Slow loop are incredibly spinny due to extra dwell time. Typical Hinoki feel !
 
Rigidity : high ! It's stiff when blocking and flexible enough when  looping. That's what I like the most in this blade. Soft cypress slows down the ball and exagerate contact time while stiff construction and , I suppose, hard carbon, makes the all thing very rigid.
 
Sweet spot : There is no sweet spot...! The all blade is a sweet spot ! You can hit the ball anywhere, you'll have the same response.
 
Handle : Not very relevant since Charlie can make you what you like. I got what I asked : conical ! So comfy, thank you again.
 
Balance : Slightly head heavy. I suppose due to lightness and heavy tenergy, it brings weight to the head. Altoghether, great !
 
I played 3 matches tonite. The more I played the better I was. This blade gives me the envy to counter and stay close to the table. Dunno why...
I like it a lot and will certainly keep it. I wait until I receive Baracuda, should make it even better. Hope my elbow will give me a break...
I'll come back with it then.
I created a topic on french forum too : http://www.tennis-de-table.com/forums/sujet-40148-1.html
Already 360 visits !
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BladesByCharlie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03/19/2010 at 11:11pm
hi jcdi, sounds like your having fun.  i have to admit i guessed on the 'coning' of the conic.  maybe we can come up with a way to measure the circumference of the the handle at the butt, then at the thumb/finger slopes, so players can order the degree of "conic" that they want.
i have been making more conic handles since yours, with even smaller circumference at the thumb/finger.  it never ceases to amaze me how different hands are.
i like players having a choice and not having to make do with whatever the manufacturer has decided will fit the most just kinda ok.
i'm liking the conic enough to try making my tapered into a slight conic...feels good and allows a more free wrist when i want it
thanks again for having me bring back my conic making,  charlie
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote JimT Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03/20/2010 at 10:53pm
Once I am done at the tourney tomorrow, i am going to play some more with 9-10-9 (oh I really wish you had named it somehow differently.. how about BBC Carbon Ultimate? Wink... or BBC Terminator?)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ianworz Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03/21/2010 at 2:04pm
Great looking blades Charlie!

I can't blame you for hoarding such fine cypress.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote JimT Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03/23/2010 at 12:47pm
Played about 40-50 mins non-stop with the same combo: BBC 9-10-9 with Dawei IQUL Power MAX (FH) + Air Scirocco Speed 2.2 (BH).

Basically, I just want to confirm all the previous observations and say again - this is a darn good blade. I am keeping it, for sure.

Next step: Outlaws 2.0 on both sides (2.2 turned out to be a bit too fast for me on this blade which is about the same speed as Nexy Hannibal or Galaxy W-1 or Btfy Jun Mizutani, I guess). Hopefully that will work out just fine, as both IQUL and ASS lack just a tad of hardness to quickly return the ball by simply putting the blade in its path...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Jolan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03/24/2010 at 3:30am
Have had a third test yesterday, 1 hour. 
I followed first Charlies advice about Baracuda and, to be honest, didn't like it at all. Baracuda is even higher throw than T64 while being slower. I find the blade to be also high throw. High throw + High arc = Balls out.
I reglued then 2 sheets of Xtend hs max and it felt much better. I really liked the overall combo lightness. Xtends are 40gr each + 83gr blade + glue/edge tape and over grip = 167gr ! Besides, no more head heaviness, only pure balance.
 
Speed : Comparable to Waldner senso carbon. In the low range of carbon OFF. 
 
Control : Tones of it. Huge sweet spot, perfect balance, enormous feedback. Nice clicky sound.
 
Blocks : Blocking with that blade is very rewarding. It's slow enough to punch block if you wish or "control block" if you feel the need. Feedback is huge. Xtends help a lot. They are not very sensitive to incomming spin and also help to keep the ball low.
 
Loops : Despite relative stiffness and thickness, looping is very easy. Cypress has a soft touch and contact/dwell time is long. Therefore slow/spinny loops are pieces of cake. For power looping and mid-distance counter loops I still find some difficulties. But it is quite normal as my current set up is very different and I can't train enough at the moment to adjust my strokes.
 
Hits : I'm naturally a poor hitter. The least I can say, this blade doesn't help much. High throw + low weight are making things even more difficult. I'm not saying you can't hit properly with that blade. I say I can't.
 
Short game : I also have some difficulties there. Nothing wrong, just need time to adjust. I always felt that short game is the toughest thing to fix when you get a new combo. Since I've had to put some max thickness tensor rubbers on the blade for matching my speed needs, it makes the overall combo quite bouncy and it doesn't help much to keep the ball low and short. On the other hand, the blade isn't too fast and full of control, so it's ok.
 
Flicks : Excellent, sharp, precise. Low weight plus rather stiffness help.
 
All in all, I also find (like JimT) it's a very good blade. It's rare to find blades that both excel  in blocking and looping game. You can be either active or passive, the blade leaves you many options opened. It is beautifully crafted and the price is very reasonable for such a high quality product. Considering Charlie is making blades from 40 to 120usd, if I you can't find something matching 100% your specs in big brands catalog, then it's a very valid option. I don't know whether Charlie made me a special sample since I specified him I played with off blades, but the one he sent me has nothing to do with an All+....That is to say, I suspect him to be able to adjust the model you are ordering to your own needs. Charlie, correct me if I'm wrong. If so, that is indeed a major asset compared to what you can find at a normal TT retailer. It is not "cousu main" but very close. And so, for almost the same price. Even cheaper if you consider new BTY ridiculous expensive products...
Neottec Hinoki Carbon
Victas V>01 Limber 1.8mm
DHS G888 1.8mm
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Peter C View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Peter C Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03/24/2010 at 9:48am
Charlie

I must admit, the conical handle on the Barna Super and Dunlop Prexy, which a clubmate has; feel more comfortable in the hand, for wristy shots; than most modern flared handles.

Regarding dimensions I couldn't tell you, but here is a link to the Barna blades thread, showing pictures of the Barna Super; to which I refer.

http://mytabletennis.net/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=16834

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