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  1. #1
    Regular Member Maklike Tier's Avatar
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    Default Forza Ti-550 N-Forze S - Short Term REVIEW

    Recently I got made an offer I couldn't refuse and managed to get my hands on some Forza rackets. The first one I decided to try out was the Ti-550 N-Forze S, which is the less stiff brother of the VS (Which I also have, but will test that later. Maybe.)

    Initial Impressions.

    Man, the Forzas have a dense stringbed! 96 holes and only two shared grommets make for an incredibly dense string pattern, which I discovered is the equivalent of adding a pound to your stringing without actually adding a pound to your stringing! So many strings are recruited when you hit the shuttle, it gives you extra oomph and also extra control.

    The graphics are simple and fairly conservative. The metallic teal colour is rather unique in the badminton world and looks fab with neon yellow strings. The external portion of the frame is entirely dominated by a raw Titanium mesh finish, with most of the graphics happening inside the frame, primarily raw carbon and silver foil. There's an overkill of 'buzzwords' such as 'CONTROLLED FORZE' and 'EXTREME POWER' which seem amateurish and a blight on an otherwise pretty cool if understated racket.


    Specifications.

    Dry Weight - 87g (claimed 87g +/- 2g)
    Dry BP - 295mm (claimed 285-295g)
    String - VS850 @ 27lbs
    Grip - RSL Replacement Grip
    Wet Weight - 94g
    Wet BP - 308mm
    Spec - 3UG5


    Initial Hit-Up.

    Those of you out there that love the Victor SW35, or wish that their ArcSaber10 was a bit stiffer are going to find a lot of joy in this racket. It has a similar feel to the SW35 but perhaps not quite as well damped as that racket. I got more feedback from the hit and certainly felt it in my shoulder during the initial hit-up period of adjusting to its sweetspot. Power is there in abundance and there was no issue with clears which were crisp and precise, and smashes were a real joy and equally as potent as a SW35.

    Speed-wise the racket was fairly quick considering it's BP, but it's more of an all-rounder racket like the ArcSaber series. Couldn't really complain about the speed of it at the net because I instantly played well with it and was pulling shots I know I'd struggle a little with my regular go-to, the Victor BS12. That's one of the upsides to stiffer rackets is that their torsional stability means the shuttle goes exactly where you put it.


    Conclusion......to be continued!


    As I've only given this racket single digit hours court-time, I'm not going to give a rating for the various attributes at the moment - I'll leave that for a future update.
    What I will say about this racket is that it's a very high quality piece of gear, and a great companion piece to something the like SW35, Arc10, BP300C, or for anyone who likes fairly evenly balanced rackets, well and truly into the 'STIFF' rated category. It will also suit Intermediate+ players only as it's quite an unforgiving precision piece of kit that punishes any sloppiness.

    I'm really looking forward to more court time on this racket.....just a shame Christmas has to come along and mess things up! If you like really stiff rackets and a fairly even balance, this racket is definitely worth adding to the collection.

    As for the Ti-550 VS? Honestly, the S is one of the stiffest rackets I've ever swung - every bit as stiff as the SW35 - so the VS will probably be off the charts and probably unplayable for me, but we'll see.
    Last edited by Maklike Tier; 12-21-2010 at 11:34 PM.

  2. #2
    Regular Member Badderz_Alpha's Avatar
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    Nice write up! Yes, the 550 S is a nice racket, but has now been succeeded by the 555 S... slightly different paintwork and I believe of slightly higher quality construction... same deal with the 550 VS and 555 VS too...

    Yes, I have tried the 555 VS and it WAS very stiff! and very head heavy! ... great racket, but i found I could not play with it, just not my type of racket, I imagine it would be great for the singles player... look forward to what you think of the 550 VS



    find me at facebook.com/badmintonalpha or twitter: @badderz_alpha

  3. #3
    Regular Member Maklike Tier's Avatar
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    Yeah, I know the 550 has just been succeeded by the 555, but I couldn't get my hands on one. Forzas aren't exactly the easiest rackets globally to get! Maybe not so bad in Europe, but everywhere else it's a struggle. They really should remedy that because they really are very, very good rackets.

    The 555 has CNT and a filament wound shaft I believe, which would make it quite up there in terms of the most technical rackets out there.

  4. #4
    Regular Member Maklike Tier's Avatar
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    Some quick snapshots.Name:  IMGP6707.jpg
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    What sort of price is it ? And where can I get it ? I wouldn't mind trying it, if the price is right VS sounds like a great racket as well.

  6. #6
    Regular Member demolidor's Avatar
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    Forza are easy to get in UK but not much cheaper than Yonex ... the VS is used by a lot of doubles players (internationally by Kamilla Juhl for example .

  7. #7
    Regular Member Maklike Tier's Avatar
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    These are top shelf rackets, so they're never going to be cheap Yonex alternatives. The fact that the new ones use the latest materials and stringing technology means for me at least I'd be happy to pay Yonex prices for them.

    I'm a bit scared of the VS. The S has wrecked my shoulder as it is (3 days later and I'm still in the hurt box!)......but it was worth it!

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by demolidor View Post
    Forza are easy to get in UK but not much cheaper than Yonex ... the VS is used by a lot of doubles players (internationally by Kamilla Juhl for example .
    What sort of price are we talking ? Less than 100, or 100+ ? i have decided not to spend money on the Yonex High End rackets or not. So my budget nowadays is <100. As its cheaper in the long run

    I think Flemming Quach uses this racket, not sure if its the S or VS though.

    I have my eyes on another SW35, a SOTX racket, and now this.... now you can see why my budget is under 100

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    from a friends experience he loved the Vs but will never buy it again he bought 3 i think he paid around 70-100 each i have a feeling rrp is 140 or something he is on his last one after less than a year

  10. #10
    Regular Member Maklike Tier's Avatar
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    Yeah I gotta admit though that is one great thing about Victors for example - insane value for money. I have no idea how much the Ti-550 is retail - I got mine......err........through a contact who does business with the company that makes them.

  11. #11
    Regular Member Badderz_Alpha's Avatar
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    What sort of price are we talking ? Less than 100, or 100+ ?
    Yes, both the 555 S and VS retail here ( the uk ) for 135 .... also I suggest you take a look at the Ti 666 too for the same price... you should be able to pick up the 550 S / VS for less now if you can find it ....

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    135 is too much for me, to be spending on Forza rackets.

  13. #13
    Regular Member demolidor's Avatar
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    Haha 135 is on the high side (almost RRP even). I've seen at least one place in the UK listing them for 119; they're (the 550's) ~100 over here factory strung. 555 S is ~94 somewhat surprisingly, VS not available; probably not imported since the 550VS didn't seem popular. Mostly seen the blue/S version. Maybe I should start a little business in Forza and Li-Ning stuff, has crossed my mind before since the lines direct to the suppliers are quite short ...
    Just bumped into a site that has the 555S for 87,50GBP and 666 for 94 ...
    Last edited by demolidor; 12-24-2010 at 09:55 AM.

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    The high-end Forza rackets are definitely in a lower price range than the top Yonex rackets. Because I have a good connection with Forza Benelux, I can offer the Forza 555 S/VS for about 100. The 555VS, which is comparable to the 900P, costs therefore about 40 less.

    French Open MD-finalists, Schottler and Kindervater, play both with the 555VS. Denmark Open MS-winner Jan Jorgensen plays with the 290, which is equivalent to the 555S. Those 555's are simply awesome!

  15. #15
    Regular Member Maklike Tier's Avatar
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    Where would be the cheapest and best place to buy a 290 from, that ships internationally?

  16. #16
    Regular Member Maklike Tier's Avatar
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    Okay, so I've had the racket for a month now.

    I'm not really diggin' this racket. I actually think that 96 string holes is overkill, and unless you're particularly strong, the stiffness of this racket is at the detriment of playability, making it suited to either those with strong arms, those that like super stiff rackets, or advanced level players.

    I cut the strings after only one week, because with VS850 @ 27lbs - in combination with the 96 hole stringing - I couldn't generate enough repulsion or control the touch shots with enough precision. I changed over to BG66M @ 24lbs and that helped quite a bit.

    Generally what I've found, is that string and tension is a dynamic thing, depending very much on the design of the racket as much as anything else. The extra strings on the 550 makes the tension seem much, much higher than it actually is, and the super stiffness of the shaft (I found it stiffer than the SW35) has an effect too. If you buy one, be aware of this.

    As I said early on, if you love super stiff rackets, Forza has definitely made that a priority with their top end rackets. When they say 'Stiff', they mean it! I can see advanced players really getting to like this racket, but for me it's not an improvement over the current go-to, the Victor BS10 and 11.

    Current lovers of the SW35, or those that love even balanced rackets like the ArcSabers but wish for something stiffer, should definitely consider the 550/555 series S and VS rackets.


    Which of course leads me to the question.......what do I do with the unstrung 550 VS I have here that I'll never use? Any takers?

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    How much ?

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