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  1. #1
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    Default a user story/review of Voltric 70etune, Arc7 and finally Nanoray 800. warn: long post

    Skip directly to the "Review" if story gets too long/boring

    Background:
    I would consider myself intermediate level (mostly playing doubles) player. Most comfortable smashing from the back court. Front court game has a lot of room for improvement.

    Anyway, I have a Yonex Isometric power racket (sub-50$) that I used to play with before I decided to invest in a slightly higher end racket. Felt other players were able to generate power with very little effort. I have decent technique (at least forehand) that I should be able to do the same.

    I start browsing BC forums wanting to narrow down to what would suit me best. Victor Thruster series was what I decided on and maybe Bravesword if it felt right.

    *Digressing Rant against Victor:
    BC forum seems to have a lot of active Victor reps/user's/fans. Maybe its good PR at work by Victor (at least in the forums).
    But I am sorry to say it has the worst distribution/marketing/PR on the ground in India. I don't even know why they sponsor Ashwini Ponappa if they can't get their products to consumers.
    There are around 5 sports shop in 2 mile radius from where I live. None of them keep Victor rackets. Only Li-Ning and Yonex.
    There is only one authorised distributor in Mumbai city (New Ahmedabad Sports) and when I call them they give me a number to some other shop. I call that person and roll off a few models. He says he will get back to me after checking inventory. He doesn't even know what he has! and of course he doesn't get back to me. I have to call him again and he says he doesn't have BS12 or the TK6000 or any of that range that I ask for. No idea when they will be available also. Never heard of HyperNano, lol.

    Anyway so I email one Mr. Raman who seems to be country sales rep for Victor asking him for retailers who would have BS, HyperNano and others. Says HyperNano will be available in June and chooses to ignore the question on retail outlets. Guess they have no retail or distribution.

    Review:
    So I have to turn to Yonex. (Li-Ning is too confusing really with their models. I have also detected typo errors related to racket weight in their 2014 PDF brochure!! Don't trust them for any consistency even though price is right up there with Yonex)

    Voltric 70et feels right. I order the 4u with NBG 98 (at 23lbs). Clears and smashing feels great. However in defense / fast drive rallies it is terrible. Always late as it is tough to move it cause of it's head heaviness. Frankly I thought I will be able to manage the HH. I was really wrong. Started causing me wrist pain after 3-4 sessions of doubles. Stop using it; wrist pain disappears.

    my recommendation: this racket is for singles. Doubles you need to be very skillful with strong wrists to manage this one (or keep rotating yourself to the back court ). Head heavy rackets should be avoided for doubles imho.

    ArcSaber 7: Having learnt the lesson from above experience, I decide to go for even balance (and a little bit of intermediate budget range). String it with BG66UM at 25lbs. The Arc feels awesome at defense and attack is not bad either. I start to get a bit of elbow pain after a couple of days. Putting the blame on over-playing etc. I rest/ignore and resume. One day a trainer borrows my racket to hit a few. Immediately tells me (after hitting a couple of clears) there is vibration in the racket and it is lacking punch. Tells me this vibration will cause injury. I never felt this vibration. (have never tried different rackets over a decent stretch: inexperience) but realise this (even if minute) vibration could be the cause of pain in elbow. Immediately decide to change and get another one. The trainer loved the VT70e I gave to try and recommends I use that one instead of Arc7.

    my recommendation: avoid Arc7. Spend little bit more and get Arc11.

    Nanoray800: After another round of browsing forums/reviews; narrow choices to Arc11, NR750, NR800, NR900 (going for decent stiffness but with head light /even frame) with whatever feels right in the hand.
    Settle with NR800 4u. String: BG66UM at 26lbs.
    Elbow pain already lessened. This racket is an absolute delight. Awesome at defense due to being head light i.e good speed movement (obv better than Arc7). VT70e has better clearing but I can't see difference in smashing power. Maybe cause I am able to swing faster. Also can control better. Cross my fingers: no problems to crop up.

    recommendation: this seems to be finally the sweet spot racket for me. Stiff shaft, Head Light. 4u weight. Unfortunately I had to spend a lot to find what suited me personally.

    I hope this review helps in saving you some money and get a fix on what would really suit you.
    Also welcome comments on the mistakes done / looking further.

    PS: Strings: Feel BG66UM is way way better than NBG98.
    Cliff note from forum reviews: 66um are supposed to break/loose tension within a couple of months tho. BG80power for durability and obv power.

    *Hope Victor reps in the forums take note and escalate the issue to relevant people. I wonder how they are recouping the sponsorship money given to AP. I see no Victor products anywhere I play/shop.
    Free run being given to so called 'Evil Empire'. ;-)

    Final thoughts: All others being same (hitting technique, footwork etc), rackets make quite a difference in the game. But I don't think you need an armoury of them unless you are a collector. One racket for singles, one for doubles and one all rounder backup should suffice.

  2. #2
    Administrator kwun's Avatar
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    thank you for the review.

    and agree with Victor marketing and Li-Ning product confusion.

    it is hard to break the Yonex stronghold. Victor has been very old school for a long time, but recently they have stepped up on social marketing. but what matter is what's on the street.

    there have been a significant increase in Victor presence in the professional tournament, badminton fans and player must be taking note of that shift. i hope Victor will be able to ride that wave and not miss the boat. they need to step up marketing, get their product out there to be played and reviewed. make sure players can have better access to their product.

    i also noticed the same at least in Hongkong. Victor is only carried by some stores while Yonex is everywhere.

  3. #3
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    yw. yeah, we need better competition from others. Yonex distributors/retailers don't budge even a bit on prices. There is almost a cartel effect with an insider telling me that retailers are warned not to undercut each other on Yonex products or Yonex will de-authorize them from their official retailer list.
    With regards to Victor, the person selling the Victor line had all their sub 50$ rackets. None of the high end ones, which reveals to me that Victor is only trying to sell to the beginner market. But I think that's a major misstep. Every beginner I know wants to buy Yonex cause that good player /coach at the club or at coaching uses the Yonex at the high end range.
    The coach/good player uses Yonex cause there is nothing from the high end available to him/her from others.

  4. #4
    Regular Member visor's Avatar
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    Good that it only took you 4 rackets to find a racket that matches your strokes and play style. It took me 2 yrs and over 10 different rackets! But it was a fun journey, and it still hasn't ended yet...

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    Regular Member visor's Avatar
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    Re Victor rackets, I got all mine online. These days with global sourcing and online payment, really makes it too easy...

  6. #6
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    I think in general it's a supply does not meet demand issue with Victor as a whole.
    Here in Canada, Victor Canada gets whatever HQ (Victor Taiwan i'm guessing) decides to give them. I don't know if there are any rules/contract agreements between HQ and a region but a lot of the products you find on victorsport.com cannot be found on victorracquets.com (victor canada) website. I don't think it's a fault of the regional distributors, but it seems to me that regional distributors are at the mercy of HQ.

    Consequently the retailers get hurt because they cannot provide the product to their customers that they want (classic supply vs demand).

    I have a small sponsorship with Victor as a coach here in Downtown Toronto. I do have to say that we are fortunate to get BS12s (blue), JJS, TK6000, TK9000, JS9 and JS10s, etc (sometimes > 2 months after official release). I do know that retailers and reps are always pushing Victor Canada to get product. I can understand from their point that they really don't have control when they ask HQ to send a product because it's got a lot of interest and buzz. They are in the business to make money after all.

    Although this is pure speculation, this is what i believe based on what i've observed.

    I know that there are 2 factories that produce rackets for Victor (one in Taiwan and China). I don't know how many there are in total, but that could explain why it may appear that Victor's supply of rackets to the world is small compared to Li-Ning and Yonex. Their competitors at least can manufacture rackets at a pace that can meet demand.

  7. #7
    Regular Member clawhammers's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by visor View Post
    Re Victor rackets, I got all mine online. These days with global sourcing and online payment, really makes it too easy...
    +1

    It would be faster to purchase online from China. I use a reliable taobao agent there.

    However, I live in a country, whose import policies are more lenient, hahahaha

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by clawhammers View Post
    +1

    However, I live in a country, whose import policies are more lenient, hahahaha
    ^this.. death by taxes/ridiculous red tape is what our government has mapped out for us.
    See no reason for a government to levy custom duties when there is no manufacturing locally. Especially for sports goods (and items like medical equipment etc)

    Anyway people need to see, hold and feel the racket to make a proper & informed decision in addition to reading reviews on forums/sites and such.

    The best way to crack a market for any racket company would be to give demo rackets to retailers which they can rent out (against a deposit/without a deposit to their regular customers)

    Victor as suggested may have an opposite problem of not being able to keep up with production. But if that is the case why introduce new product lines (JetSpeed) when something like BraveSword is so much in demand. Does Yonex pay them to make such decisions..lol?

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    If you want to get a BRS 12, you can get it from Mr. Raman. I had inquired 2-3 days back and he said that he has that racket in stock. However, the price quoted by him is something around 9500/-
    There is a stronger presence of Victor shops in Delhi Gurgaon region where you might find 2-3 retailers who keep more Victor rackets. The shop New Ahmedabad Sports is useless in terms of high end Victor rackets coz most of the times they havent even heard about the product.
    But I agree with you, if they are sponsoring Ashiwini Ponnappa then they should atleast set up the market for the consumers properly.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Amrish View Post
    There is a stronger presence of Victor shops in Delhi Gurgaon region where you might find 2-3 retailers who keep more Victor rackets. The shop New Ahmedabad Sports is useless in terms of high end Victor rackets coz most of the times they havent even heard about the product.
    Any info on shops in Mumbai which stocks em? Cause I didnt get any details from Raman who as stated earlier ignored the query altogether. +1 to N.A.S. (their official distributor having no clue)
    Anyway I have settled with NR800 for the time being till it gives away or I feel the urge to indulge in some retail therapy

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by vinay_s View Post
    Any info on shops in Mumbai which stocks em? Cause I didnt get any details from Raman who as stated earlier ignored the query altogether. +1 to N.A.S. (their official distributor having no clue)
    Anyway I have settled with NR800 for the time being till it gives away or I feel the urge to indulge in some retail therapy
    Nope...N.A.S. is the only official guy for Victor in Mumbai. Lets see for now i found that Total Sports in Pune has BRS 12. Planning to buy that 😊

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    Quote Originally Posted by DarthHowie View Post
    .....a lot of the products you find on victorsport.com cannot be found on victorracquets.com (victor canada) website.....
    And carrying WRONG information, to say the least.

    http://www.badmintoncentral.com/foru...=1#post2337805

    Offending page:
    http://www.victorracquets.com/PRODUC...4/Default.aspx

  13. #13
    Regular Member ant01's Avatar
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    If you ever get a chance then you should give li-ning and victor rackets a try regardless of any issues they they might have, because they both have some excellent rackets.

    I agree with your trainer about arc11 > arc7, since I find arc11 a bit weak in attack.

  14. #14
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    Thanks for input on arc7. I was thinking of getting it since it was on sale. Now i can put that thought to bed. LOL.

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    Quote Originally Posted by neverwalkalone View Post
    thanks for input on arc7. I was thinking of getting it since it was on sale. Now i can put that thought to bed. Lol.
    ynwa :-) .....

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    Quote Originally Posted by vinay_s View Post
    ynwa :-) .....
    Haha... Glad someone noticed

    U should play interchangebly between vt70e and nanoray800. I read in one of paul stewart's review that our smashes tend to weaken when playing head light rackets for some time. Interchanging between both rackets will help maintain your smash power.

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    Quote Originally Posted by NeverWalkAlone View Post
    Haha... Glad someone noticed

    U should play interchangebly between vt70e and nanoray800. I read in one of paul stewart's review that our smashes tend to weaken when playing head light rackets for some time. Interchanging between both rackets will help maintain your smash power.
    Football/LFC second love

    had kept the vt70e for sale but didn't get a (local) buyer.. so the plan is to remove the orange grommets and re-string it... will use it for training/ for that once is a while singles game/backup
    Don't know if removing the orange grommets will make any difference.. have read somewhere in the forum that the weight of them are hardly 1g or so.. (etune = yonex marketing bs as per most reviewers).. will find out for myself in a few days..

    didn't know about this "prolonged playing with head light weakens smashes" thing .. will check out his review.. thanks

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