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Panda Power: A Racket That Can Take 40lbs. String Tension!

Discussion in 'Badminton Rackets / Equipment' started by DinkAlot, Apr 22, 2009.

  1. DinkAlot

    DinkAlot dcbadminton
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    If this latest iteration, the 10th or so, is up to Panda standards, then as early as two months.

     
  2. Fidget

    Fidget Regular Member

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    That's what Axl Rose said about 'Chinese Democracy'. :eek:
     
  3. j4ckie

    j4ckie Regular Member

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    That’s good news! And also motivation to type up the following and tease some of you a little more :p


    A while back, I was able to get my hands on a Revelation Prototype – don’t know what generation, but I was told it was close to release quality. And a few nerve-wrecking weeks later, it arrived…
    Since then, I have used it many a times, strung it in all kinds of different ways, and even got a second one with different specs. So, here’s my experience with it.

    PP Rev 3.jpg
    PP Rev 2.jpg
    PP Rev 1.jpg

    LOOKS
    As it’s a prototype, it doesn’t have any paint on it. That actually makes it one of the most attractive rackets in my bag. As you can see, the clearcoat makes all that woven carbon visible, and is of pretty high quality as well (several clashes were survived without chips or even scratches). While some may find this boring, I like the understatement. The final version should also have some paint on to make it look even better (the proposed design can be found in the thread).

    SPECS
    Neither the first nor the second PT were actually at my favorite specs (85,5-86,5g, 297-302mm). The first one was at 87,5/286 and the second somewhere around 83/295 (can’t remember exactly as I got it second hand and have no mail or sticker with the precise specs left).

    GENERAL THOUGHTS
    The Rev PT had an unusual butt cap, which was longer than a standard one and rounder as well. Not for me - it created a weird feeling when gripping the racket very low, so I changed both for standard PP caps from broken TPros. As far as I’m told, no one did really like it, so later prototypes and the eventual released racket should have a standard cap.
    The grip size is somewhere below G5. As a result I have to put on a thinly wrapped overgrip under the towel grip (normally I put it directly on the wood), which makes the grip a bit round. Took some getting used to, but after that, I had no issues with it.

    FIRST IMPRESSIONS
    When I first took out the Revelation to play, it was too head light to be comfortable. The weight was good (just slightly heavier than perfect), but the low BP was an issue. I felt it lacked power, making clears not quite effortless and smashes weaker than usual. Drives and defense were very strong as the racket was quite fast, and net play was wonderful as it had great touch. The lack of power was too much to make it a good racket for me, though.

    It’s been quite a while since those first impressions. I constantly experimented with strings, tension and lead tape, and my level of play has changed very noticeably. Every aspect of my game improved, and every time I played with the Rev, I noticed.

    CLEAR
    Not much to be said – anyone with a decent level of play can hit pretty much effortless clears base to base. Depending on the string and tension, my backhand clear with the Rev is weaker or stronger, varying from a longline clear to the service line (33x34 BG65) to a crosscourt hit just short of the base line (anything up to 30lbs) [of course this means clean hits with mediocre to no pressure, not taken 1m behind the body at full stretch ;)].

    DROP SHOT
    This is one of the strong aspects of the racket. The head is very stable, offering very good torsional stability and great touch. Anything is possible, even stop drops disguised as smash are still very controllable. One of the first rackets I had a good feeling on the backhand drop with.

    DRIVE
    Another strong point. While the lead tape slows the racket down some, it also adds some punch. As a result, you can no longer intercept anything within range at a whim, but anything taken before the body will put lots of pressure on the opponent. The stability of the racket is impressive, despite the not-so-stiff shaft there’s no feeling of instability or too much bending of the shaft.

    NET PLAY
    The forte of this racket. All around the net, you notice the great touch it offers. If it’s intercepting drives, tumbling back net shots, or killing loose replies – you’re always in control. I find it to be maneuverable enough to be quick and precise, yet heavy enough to be stable and equal out a slightly imperfect movement at times.

    DEFENSE
    Compared to the other aspects, this is not a very strong area. It’s very controlled, and quick enough, but it’s just ‘very good’ and not ‘very impressive’. In singles, the stability and control make it very strong (making crosscourt blocks nearly easy), while it can be just a little bit slow or stiff in doubles. High defense is not quite as effortless as with a BS09/12, but playing little blocks or half court pushes to turn defense into attack is more manageable because of the controlled qualities of this racket.

    SMASH
    Without lead tape, definitely the weakest department. With it, it’s a pretty powerful racket. Here, everything depends on the specs – with the right ones, it can be amazingly powerful. The stable head and flex-able shaft give it a lot of potential.

    SUMMARY
    The Revelation is a brilliant racket. It’s got great touch, very good control in every situation, and good potential power. That makes it a great all-rounder – it has no real weakness and lacks only little compared to ‘specialist’ rackets. I can’t say for sure how big a part the woven carbon plays, but I can say that this racket had few rivals when it comes to pure feedback. Of all my rackets, only the MX80 had noticeably better/more direct feedback, at the cost of being pretty hard on the arm as it’s super stiff and vibrates a little more. All other rackets can’t quite compare in that regard.

    POWER: 8.5/10
    CONTROL: 9.5-10/10
    SPEED: 9/10

    Below, you can see the result of a few intense sessions and one frustrating day….on the bright side, you can see the woven structure isn’t merely painted on. It’s visibly disturbed near the break (sth. you can’t always take for granted).

    PP Rev 4.jpg
     
  4. visor

    visor Regular Member

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    ^^ Intersting... that shiny woven fibre you see there is woven ti, looks exactly like the RKEP Pro9000.
     
  5. DinkAlot

    DinkAlot dcbadminton
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    This iteration is PT # 6 of 10. Two iterations are better than this one but # 6 is excellent.


     
  6. CanucksDynasty

    CanucksDynasty Regular Member

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    Precision Pro or Revelations....decisions decisions decisions.
    :D
     
  7. j4ckie

    j4ckie Regular Member

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    Interesting. What changed? Materials used? Frame/head shape stayed the same, didn't it?
     
  8. Borbor

    Borbor Regular Member

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    my pandas came in thru the door just now :D

    can't wait to try it out tomorrow night
     
  9. raistian

    raistian Regular Member

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    OMG mine too! Thanks Mr Panda. Will report back.

    panda_powers.jpg

    Interesting how it's almost as long as my ancient Cab15 long.

    pppp_vs_cab15.jpg
     
  10. bluephoenix71

    bluephoenix71 Regular Member

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    I thought the concept of bringing more lbs to the string tension would be increased sensitivity that is usually good for drops... is my theory rubbish? :)
     
  11. Mark A

    Mark A Regular Member

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    Any UK/EU PPro orders

    I'm bringing a few personal rackets in from the Panda soon, so any UK/EU customers wanting PPros should let me know ASAP - I can bring a few in with my stuff. I've got three orders so far, and I can probably stretch to half a dozen (unless my pending small-claims thing is resolved in my favour;)).

    M.
     
  12. dimcorner

    dimcorner Regular Member

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    Pandas FTW!

    427831_289203367859618_1590433852_n.jpg

    Pic courtesy of ClearOne in Orlando, FL
     
  13. BlueTornado

    BlueTornado Regular Member

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    Nice stencil!!
     
  14. Jacob mm

    Jacob mm Regular Member

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    How much does a Precision Pro cost??:)
     
  15. Fidget

    Fidget Regular Member

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    Cost of a Precision Pro? A few trifling dollars.The mystique of belonging to Club Panda? Priceless.
     
  16. Borbor

    Borbor Regular Member

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    put it this way, the cost of two NEW PPs would still come out to less than one vtzf.

    if u lucked out and got his factory 2nds, those are probably the best bang for the buck.
     
  17. visor

    visor Regular Member

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    Not if you know where to get your vtzf... ie TW or HK. ;)
     
  18. Borbor

    Borbor Regular Member

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    welllllll, hkg prices are more the exception than the norm.

    can't wait till my buddy comes back :D
     
  19. Jacob mm

    Jacob mm Regular Member

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    How many holes does a PPRO have?? :)
     
  20. DarthHowie

    DarthHowie Regular Member

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    Review of Precision Pro

    Rackets tested: 88.6g 291mm & 88.5g 292mm with Ashaway Zymax 67 (version 2) @ 26lbs

    Hours played: Tuesday: 3 hrs, Thurs: 3 hrs, Friday: 3 hours, Sunday: 4 hours

    All my personal opinions are relative to my prior experience playing with the folowing rackets:
    Precision Pro 85.5g @ 285mm BP (26lbs zymax 67)
    Carbonex 30MS @ 25 lbs Zymax 67 (my previous primary racket since 2006)

    With Dan's advice (and forum posters... like Kwun) I was convinced to give the heftier version a try (3 grams more to what i used prior). To my surprise not much was compromised. It didn't feel head heavy at all (which was one of my concerns). Speed wise, it was a tad bit slower then the 85.5 gram one that i had, but still a lot faster than my CAB 30ms.

    With the slight loss in speed (only noticeable in my defence and when i'm doing flat drive drills in warmup - "bingo") there was a much larger gain in power. Hits were just as crisp but with a louder *crack* when smashing. This was pretty evident in doubles games.

    I did play a mixed game with the racket but it wasn't too competitive so my preference is to the lighter version (because i used it under pressure) much better when it comes to control and redirects for mixed. I even got a chance to play with the racket for 5 games of singles. Good control, for fast back court drops and i noticed it more in my net play.

    When my strings break, i'm very eager to give the Ashaway Zymax 65 a try on my rackets with the same tension to see how it performs.

    I forgot to add...... This is now my permanent racket of choice since i've retired my 2 remaining CAB 30MS.. I own a CAB 50 but had a harder time adjusting to that racket (felt slower and stiffer) compared to the 30MS. My adjustment to the precision pro was little to none whatsoever.

    Also from a stringer's stand point, it's a treat to string since there is an extra shared hole at the top and bottom to add if you have friends that are perpetual hackers and mis-hitters that break string often. The only other stringer friendly racket design i've had experience with are victor rackets.
     
    #6020 DarthHowie, Sep 24, 2012
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2012

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