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Doo6's Ashaway Ti-130 Review

Discussion in 'Badminton Rackets / Equipment' started by CoolDoo6, Jan 4, 2007.

  1. CoolDoo6

    CoolDoo6 Regular Member

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    This will be a multi-post review as I have just received the racket.

    First Impressions

    The racket came in a 6 racket bag that was in blue and orange (this may have been a free gift). I thought the colour scheme was horrible. But, function-wise I am certain that the bag would serve its purpose well. As I had no use for it, I will give the bag away to people I play with.

    The racket itself was red and silver in a colour scheme designed to emulate the old Yonex MP88. On the Ti-130, the silver and red were both darker and glossier. It was obvious that this racket was meant to be the Ashaway MP88 equivalent. The basic paint work could be considered as very good quality.

    The graphic design on top of the paint work was poorer in quality in some parts. At the top of the frame, there was the wording of "ULTRA POWER FRAME". This was a bold claim and I hope they could deliver. For now I saw this as pure marketing. On the side of the frame, repeated 4 times, was the wording "SLIM BODY SYSTEM" in white. For some reason, I just thought this lacked ummmph compared to what would be on Yonex rackets. Nevertheless this succintly described the racket, that it had slim frame. A quick comparison with my Ti-10's told me that the Ashaway had very similar dimensions all round.

    At the throat was the Ashaway logo. It looked of good quality design. Below the throat on one side of the shaft was a small stuck-on US flag, under a coat of gloss. I always thought the americans, compared to their european counterparts, were too overt with their patriotism. So the flag would have to come off. Just scratching with the finger nail should achieve the desired effect. Futher down the shaft was the logo'ised wording "Ashaway", followed BY "Ti" in red. Then in red on dark grey background was the wording in large fonts "-130 TITANIUM MESH". Because of the colour combination, this was barely readable. This was defintely a place where the graphic designer nodded off. Futher down the shaft was 2 rows of wording: "SLIM & LONG" and "Hi-Modulus Graphite". The second row was in small fonts, red on dark grey background, and completely unreadable. Just above the cone was strip of Ti-mesh under a coat of gloss. I saw this as serving absolutely no practical purpose other than to justify the claim that this racket had the mesh feature. This could be contrasted with the mesh on Yonex rackets, which was designed to reduce torque.

    The painted cone looked fine. On it was a sticker "4U-G2". The racket was not G2 in the Yonex-sense. So Ashaway had their own way of classifying grip sizes. The factory grip was unremarkable. But since the G2 Ashaway grip size was roughly equivalent to a Yonex G4, the factory grip will be over laid with additional over grip, and then finally a replacement grip on top to bring it to the size I prefer.

    The racket was ISO shaped, with Yonex equivalent long length. The racket was spec'ed to have high flex and 75g weight. When I weighted it, it was 91g. I presume the approximate weight distribution was: string 5g, grip 11g, and frame+handle 75g. Prior to my purchase, I was hoping the shop weight of the racket was 75g. But I was glad the racket turned out heavier than I hoped. The racket felt head heavy from swinging. The balance point of 297mm confirmed this. The racket felt flexible compared to my Ti-10's.

    The racket was factory strung with red MicroPower at maybe 22lbs tension. On my bounce-shuttle-up-and-down test, I considered the racket power to be reasonable. But only actual playing will reveal how good the power was.

    I was able to purchase the racket very cheaply. From the general quality of this mid-range racket, I certainly would be buying more Ashaway rackets if I ever wean myself away from Ti-10's.
     
  2. spinner

    spinner Regular Member

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    do you have a picture?
     
  3. CoolDoo6

    CoolDoo6 Regular Member

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    Reason For The Purchase

    I always felt good towards Ashaway products ever since I accidently tried out their string as a last resort in finding power. But I never had a reason to try their rackets as I was very happy with my Ti-10's. Not too long ago, I finally decided to try out a fake Ti-10 I got from eBay early on in my search for a Ti-10. As I could not get a refund, I was lost as to what I should do with it. I even obtained a letter from Yonex certifying the racket was a fake. But I simply could not get anywhere with eBay. So I left the racket laying around. In a recent clear out, I thought I would throw the racket away. Then I decided to give it a try before throwing it out. So I strung it up with some old pieces of used string and gripped it up with used grip. As the fake was lighter and flexier than my Ti-10's, I didn't think I would get anywhere with it. But as soon as I played with it, I could not put it down. The fake was 21g lighter than my 120g main Ti-10, and I could hit very hard with it. The lightness also improved my defense. The flex made backhand and power shot significantly easier, especially when I was out of position and straining under pressure. I had either became very agressive with the fake or by pure coincident, I started a lot of racket clashes. It got to the point of me thinking one more game and the racket was kaputz. So I had to find some replacements quick. As buying another fake of same was impossible, this gave me a chance to try out the Ashaway. I estimated that the Ti-130 was closest to my fake and ordered it. Fortunately however the final playing weight of the Ti-130 will be heavier compared to the fake. This was fortunate because my sudden switch from a 120g racket to a 99g racket killed my arm joint. The damn weights were dangerous ! The playing weight for the Ti-130 will be 110g-115g and much closer to the 120g I was used to.
     
  4. gabxzz

    gabxzz Regular Member

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    All the Ashaway racquets I have owned are sturdy well built. Cant believe that it can compare with a Ti-10 though, good luck :D. Waiting impatiently for your review.
     
  5. CoolDoo6

    CoolDoo6 Regular Member

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    I have only a very old camera and not much camera skills. The racket itself looks better than the pics.
     

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    #5 CoolDoo6, Jan 4, 2007
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2007
  6. CoolDoo6

    CoolDoo6 Regular Member

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    First Outing

    I used an overgrip on the original grip, and a heavy replacement grip on top to build the grip to the size I needed. The final playing weight of the racket became 112g. With the added weight, the racket no longer felt head heavy, and was much easier to manouvre than when the racket was in it's factory state. I left the factory string intact and did not replace it with my usual.

    The factory string tension of 22 lbs+ was considerably higher than my preferred tension of 15 lbs. As I had not used such high tensions for more than a year, I thought I would try it and see how it felt. I presumed the high racket flex would counter balance the stiff string bed.

    During play using feathers, I found that I could not hit very hard with the racket because the string bed was too hard. When I switched back to my usual racket, I had no trouble hitting hard. So I was not suffering from a weak arm day.

    Unlike the Yonex MP88, whose flex was very noticeable, the Ti-130's flex was much lower to the point that I did not notice there was flexing going on. This eased my worry over the racket flex as I did not want a racket that flexed too much and sent the shuttle in completely unexpected directions. Throughout play, the racket accuracy produced no surprises.

    The racket power again produced no surprises. It could be descrbed as adequate or reasonable. The racket produced no shots that went out, as my usual racket did. Nor did it produce shots that fell short so as to enable the opponent to execute an easy kill.

    112g may sound heavy, but I did not notice the racket weight during play. The defence was perfectly fine. The racket produced rigorous power during driving defence. One noteworthy point was that I had no problem with the racket timing at all, in contrast to when I switched to another racket that I had not used before.

    Overall, I found the racket to be adequate for the job. It exhibited neither weaknesses nor great strengths. I would characterise it as a rather stable platform. Of course, I am not yet done with the racket. I expect a power surge to come when I put on my usual string and tension.
     
    #6 CoolDoo6, Jan 5, 2007
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2007
  7. spinner

    spinner Regular Member

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    why do you string your racquets at 15lbs? And thanks for the pictures
     
  8. CoolDoo6

    CoolDoo6 Regular Member

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    At a guess, it's because I am an arm player who has a very weak arm. Low tension just feels nice and I don't find my power being affected in a negative way. A bouncy string also helps when I have no time to get a big swing in.
     
  9. glencomienda111

    glencomienda111 Regular Member

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    ive used the ti-130 years ago when i was just a beginner, it was broken by my stringer.
     
  10. CoolDoo6

    CoolDoo6 Regular Member

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    The racket has a thin frame but it is only made from HMG. Perhaps it is not suitable for very high tension. At a guess, I think it should be able to handle 24-25 lbs.
     
  11. glencomienda111

    glencomienda111 Regular Member

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    i had it strung to 28lbs. my bad:)
     
  12. CoolDoo6

    CoolDoo6 Regular Member

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    If you can do it, why not ?

    I had mine restrung to 14.25 lbs using Ashaway MicroLegend XL, and the bounce I prefer is appearing. I will see tomorrow how well it plays.

    I found the semblance of the Ti-130 to MP88 was only skin deep. Beyond the paint job, Ti-130 has absolutely nothing in common with MP88.

    I am interested in comments by Yonex classic Ti-10 users who also tried the Ti-130. From swing characteristics to head balance, I found the Ashaway racket very close to Ti-10. Anyone else seeing what I was seeing ?
     
  13. CoolDoo6

    CoolDoo6 Regular Member

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    Second Outing

    After waiting days to test play the Ti-130, I wasn't disappointed. The bounce power due to the low string tension was nuts. I had to scale back my arm strength several times before I had the bounce under control. Initially, I totally messed up my opponent's warm up because I kept hitting the shuttle too far.

    During play, the clearance, lob, and touch shots were excellent. So was the accuracy. Though I had some problems with the smash and the attacking drive because the string bed was simply too mushy and couldn't produce hard and fast shots. However, I compensated the weak smash by accurate placement, and that saved the day.

    Like the first time out, I experienced no timing problems with the racket. In most respects, the Ti-130 played like my Ti-10's and no adjustment was necessary on my part. The racket's flex was definitely not HIGH as rated by Ashaway. I would rate the racket between very low flex to stiff.

    Next step: reconfigure the string for stiffer string bed to fix the power smash and drive.
     
    #13 CoolDoo6, Jan 8, 2007
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2007
  14. gsloh

    gsloh Regular Member

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    Sounds interesting by what you're saying.

    You mentioned you got it on the cheap, how much did you get it for and where did you buy it from :) ?
     
  15. morewood

    morewood Regular Member

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    Ashaway UK recomends nothing more than 24lbs on there racquets, however I've not had problems with my Nano Titanium being strung at 26lbs.
     
  16. CoolDoo6

    CoolDoo6 Regular Member

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    The racket retails around 45 to 50 GBP. The trade price is around 28. My supplier is all mine. You go find your own :cool: .
     
  17. CoolDoo6

    CoolDoo6 Regular Member

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    High Tension

    By coincidence, the county player in my club also bought a Ti-130 at the same time as me. As he had been after my Ti-10's, I was going to suggest the Ti-130 to him given the similarities. But he was one step ahead of me. He tried a Ti-130 belonging to some other guy he played with and liked it.

    Anyway, he broke the factory string first time he used it. He wasn't known to be a string breaker. The PowerGut 65's I strung for him 3 months ago were still going strong on his other rackets. So I suspected it was a poorly done factory string, or the thin string simply wasn't suitable for stronger players. I restrung the racket at 26 lbs on stiff setting using PG65 Orange. Whilest being pulled side to side during the the crosses, the frame was rock solid and shown very little compression. From this I estimated that the frame could probably take a few more lbs. But it was not bad for a reasonably priced thin frame racket to take 26 lbs without showing obvious stress.

    I ordered 2 more Ti-130's for another club member looking for spare rackets. These arrived with 3U G2 stickers on them. These weighted 92g and 92.5g, which were directly equivalent to Yonex 3U rackets. The idiocy was that my 4U was 91g. The 2 new rackets came with much better looking red and black 6-racket bags.

    I restrung my Ti-130 to 14.5 lbs on medium stiff setting to tone down the bounce slightly and increase the string bed stiffness. Hopefully this would be enough to bring back my preferred smashing power tonight.
     
    #17 CoolDoo6, Jan 11, 2007
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2007
  18. jerby

    jerby Regular Member

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    It's generally not my place to reply in revieuw threads about rackets I don't know, But are you asking people if they also fidn their 75g, flexy, extremely head-heavy racket to be similar to their 90gram, stiff, bit headheavy, ti-10?:confused:

    congrats on your new racket though...
     
  19. CoolDoo6

    CoolDoo6 Regular Member

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    Nope, I was asking if Ti-130 was same as Ti-10 in play. I already had the answer, but I was looking for a second opinion.

    Ti-130 was not 75g, nor flexy, nor extremely head heavy. Ti-130 was same weight as Ti-10, a little bit flexier, and had the same head heavy feel.
     
  20. jerby

    jerby Regular Member

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    their site says 75grams...and high flex...weird...;) what a marketign scam
     

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