Sunday, 16 November 2008

Badminton Racket Review- Apacs Edgesaber 7

Next up for review is the Apacs Edgesaber 7 badminton racket, which is based on the Yonex equivalent. I have played with it for around 10 days, just like i did with the edgesaber 10, so it has had a good old testing. Here is the technical stuff-


Construction: Hi-Modulus Graphite/ GS Carbon Nanotech
Weight: 4U
Grip: G2
Balance Point: 285 +/- 3mm
Max tension: 30lbs
Flex: Stiff - Extra stiff

Materials

GS Carbon Nanotech
Air resistant frame
Control support cap
Built in T joint


The racket i tested was strung with Apacs Ti Spider 66, which has a gauge thickness of 0.66mm and the tension was 25lbs. The replacement grip was an Apacs PU super grip, similar to the Karakal grip.

First impression is that it has a more even balance than the edgesaber 10, and is slightly less stiff, but only very slightly. The weight felt the same, and with both being in 4U form, this badminton racket is very light indeed. The edgesaber 7 gives a lot of shuttle feedback, just like the 10 does, you can feel each shot come through the frame, it's kind of like a "pinging" noise when you hit the shuttle. There is not as much feedback as there is with the edgesaber 10 though.

The edgesaber 7 is stiffer than the arcsaber 7. Even so, i found it very easy to play clears to the back of the court. This racket is more forgiving than the 10, mainly because it is not quite as stiff, and the string tension at 25lbs also helps out a little bit. The power is just as good as the edgesaber 10 though, if not a little bit better, which surprised me a bit. Fast reaction shots are easy because of the lightness of this racket.

Just like i did with the 10, i re-strung the 7 upto 27lbs tension, and the difference was very noticeable. I found this racket became even more responsive, as the shuttle flew off the string bed. It is designed for higher tensions, and this is when you get the full benefit of what the frame has to offer. The Spider strings felt very similar to the Tour strings i used in the edgesaber 10, both are very capable indeed, and i had no breakages even when i upped the tension.

There is that consistent feel that i look for in any badminton racket, and this aids control and allows you to hit your shots consistently to all corners of the court. The edgesaber 7 allows me to this, and so it does it's job. Hit the shuttle in the middle of the racket and you get the rewards, don't do this and you will not be rewarded, this what happens with the edgesaber 7 and the 10 for that matter. The combination of the stiff frame and the light weight mean that this is the scenario you are faced with, it is the same for all of these type of rackets. You need a solid technique to play with this badminton racket. But the reality is that when you get it right, boy does it feel good. It's like your technique is unlocking the real potential of the racket, and higher string tension is the icing on the cake for me.

The edgesaber 7 is a quality product, i liked it even more than the edgesaber 10, it seemed to suit my game better.

Power
The power is there from this badminton racket, you just have to be able to generate it with your technique. I found no problem at all hitting the shuttle hard. For a little bit more power i would suggest a bit more weight, but the edgesaber 7 had a tiny bit more bang than the 10 did, so i would rate the power as an 8.5/10

Control
I was able to do what i wanted with the shuttle using this racket, so as far as control goes i would give it a 9/10.

Value for money
This is where it gets a bit silly, because the edgesaber 7 is now on sale at apacs UK for just £39.99, and if you add the code BLOG10 in the coupon field you get another 10% off until christmas eve. This represents real value for money, you will get this racket for around £36, and you also get your own string tension as standard, which is a big advantage. How many times have you bought a new badminton racket and then immediately had to re-string it because the tension was crap? My rating for value for money is 10/10.

Overall Rating
I would give the edgesaber 7 a 9/10. In fact i like this badminton racket so much that i am now using it all the time.

19 comments:

Huy said...

hi there

Thks for your great Apac rackets' reviews. I live in Vietnam and I'm really interested in Apacs Edgesaber 7 based on what you wrote.

I wonder which countries Apac rackets are made in? It will be really appreciated if you can tell me more about Apacs brand.

Looking forward to your reply

Thanks

HP

Lefty said...

APACS: Good racket, poor customer service
I ordered a Edgesabre 7 strung at 27 pounds. I found the racket to be nicely balanced and I'm quite pleased with it.
The customer service is very poor though. Even though I requested it to be strung 27 pounds, the racket actually arrived very loosely strung. Seems like it was strung at whatever tension and was sitting in a warehouse for some time. I emailed APACS UK 4 days back about this and have not heard back from them.

In summary, the racket is good but you will not necessarily get it strung at the tension you ordred. And if my experience is represenntative, if you have problems with the goods, don't expect it to be resolved.

Huy said...

I posted this on Carlton thread, but juz wanna make sure u can read this so I post it in the recent thread. Sry for any inconvenience. Hope to hear from u, Antony

Hi Atony,

It's me again. I've just read this thread and some of the great reviews of Carlton Airblade Tour.

Find it really interesting. It this the ONE: http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Carlton-Airblade-Tour-badminton-racket-RRP-170_W0QQitemZ290275309013QQcmdZViewItemQQptZUK_Sporting_Goods_Badminton?hash=item290275309013&_trksid=p3286.c0.m14&_trkparms=72:1298|66:2|65:12|39:1|240:1318

Is this still a decent racket since it was made some time ago? Can u briefly tell me the functions of this one (for smasher or defenser or all rounder)? 3U or 4U?

Generally, I wanna to improve to be an arounder (a bit more offense than defense, let's say 60% of offense and 40% of defense), dies this racket suit me?

Can you tell me a bit about Carlton brand? made in uk or china or somewhere else?

At last, what is the good deal and where can we get that? my friend promise me to send me this as Xmas gift. So eager... waiting for ur reply.

Thks and thks a lot

HP

antony said...

Hi there Huy
You have come to the right place for info on the airblade tour because this is the racket i use!! I love them, and have used the airblade for a good few years now. It's the best racket i have ever used. Best place to get one is with Racketworld on ebay, so the link you have there is the right one. If you look through the sellers shop you will find them at "buy it now" prices, or you can just bid as well.

You will not find them cheaper than at racketworld, and the customer service and delivery are superb. I checked the international shipping rates to vietnam and they charge £15. The racket itself should be around £20-£35. When this racket came out a few years back it sold for £80-£100, and even though it has been discontinued, i am sure it is still going. just in another form with different paint.

If you look at the technical spec, it ranges from 78g to 85g. I would say it weighs around 85g, it is very stiff, with a head light balance. You can string it to very high tensions, up to 30lbs if you wish.

This racket is a bit of an all rounder, and it feels very solid and stable indeed. The shuttle flies off the strings, and you can get loads of power with it. A word of warning though, carlton rackets are well known for having problems with the support cap, which is what covers the join between the handle and the shaft. They come loose, but a bit of glue usually does the trick. That is the only problem with them, otherwise you are getting one of the best rackets out there, for a really low price. I thoroughly recommend this racket.
Carlton is a UK make, but i am not sure if they make their rackets in the UK anymore. They are a badminton specialist, so they only deal in badminton, and are considered one of the top names in badminton, because they make good stuff. Hope this helps Huy.

antony said...

Hi Lefty
I will send apacs an e-mail about your experience, and see what they say.

Huy said...

Hi Antony,

Thks 4 ur great reply. There's are something more I wanna ask

The racket itself should be around £20-£35 <-- this should £30-£35, rite? since I cant find anywhere that sales this for £20. From £20 to £35 is a huge difference to me. Since I live in Vietnam, so I dunt know if it's better to buy it here, Asia or UK. If I buy it from Racketworld then my fren will bring it from UK to me (it's really nice to have frens working all around the world :P)

If you look at the technical spec, it ranges from 78g to 85g. I would say it weighs around 85g, it is very stiff, with a head light balance. <-- so it's a 3U (nearly in the low end of 3U so I think it's really similar to 4U, rite?). I wonder if I will have any problems when defensing since it's "very stiff". and how about the smash with "head light".

carlton rackets are well known for having problems with the support cap <-- all of them do? juz afraid that I will through my rackets to someone's head :-s

At last, how do this one compared to Apacs Edgesaber 7? Since I've juz order one Apacs and it will come this Sat... so eager to try it... (I recently bought 3 rackets - one Forza, one Apacs and now wanna one Carlton... gonna get bankrupt :-s)

Hope to hear from u

Thks a lot

HP

@ Lefty : congrats on ur new Apacs. I bought one also, hope it works great for both of us. BTW, the Apacs UK seemed to quickly answer my questions on Apacs. dunt know wat's wrong wit urs?

antony said...

Hi Huy
Yep the price is around £30-£35, but be aware that they charge £7.50 for delivery as well, even to the UK. However, this is still a cheap price for a racket of this quality, trust me, this is a top end badminton racket. The stiff shaft will help with control, both on attack and defense, but, with a stiff shaft you need to generate the power yourself. Having said that, when you hit with the airblade you will be able to tell the difference, it feels really solid indeed.

Yes it is head light, but take note of what you can do with lead tape, believe me it does make a hell of a difference. The best combination for power is heavy overall, but with head light balance, the science says so. So what i do with my airblades, is add some lead tape to the bottom of the handle and then cover this with your overgrip. But before you do this, just give it a try and see what you think.
The support cap has a tendancy to move about, but this is only in my experience, i know people who have carlton rackets and they are fine, perhaps i was being a little bit harsh on carlton saying this. My airblades have lasted about 5 years, so they can't be that bad quality can they?
One other question Huy, what are you doing buying 3 different rackets? I think you should find one you like and then buy some more of those, unless you are just experimenting to find that one golden racket!
Comparing the airblade to the edgesaber 7, i would put the airblade above it, simple because i have used it for so long and am more used to the feel of it. The airblade is more forgiving than the edgesaber on off centre shots as well. You will notice a real different feel between the two when you try them, however, just because it has a different feel does not make it inferior, just different if you know what i mean. The airblade weight i would say is a 4U, but this does not matter if you add lead tape to it, you can make any badminton racket suit your style by modifying it. Hope this helps Huy, and good luck. One other thing, you can ring racketworld and haggle the prices with them. My partner bought 4 browning rackets from them and ended up paying just £20 per racket, so if you do decide to buy a few, just try giving them a ring, you never know what might happen.

Huy said...

Hi Antony,

Thks 4 ur information.

So I totally trust u on this. I'm askin my fren to buy the Carlton. We dunt have Carlton here in Vietnam (we used to but no more)

Most of my rackets are 3U except the Forza. And I found it fits me more (my defense skills noticeably increase wit Forza). Juz one problem that I cant make a powerful smash as wit the 3U (let's say juz 80-90% of the 3U). That's why I keep checking and trying, hope to find one baby that can be good for both offense and defense (so I'm really glad to hear that the Carlton's 4U wit gud attack).

The fact is that the more u check, the more u wanna try, the more u wanna buy, and the more u can get bankrupted.

I promise to myself this is the last rackets for the next yrs.

I juz wanna buy one Carlton for test of I'm not sure he can make any discount for me and u r rite the shipment fee is a bit too high.

Thks 4 everything so far.

HP

Huy said...

Hi there,

http://www.badmintoncentral.com/reviews/showproduct.php/product/19/cat/14/page/1 <-- really gud reviews on Carlton Airblade Superlite

We can find it at the same price as Carlton Airblade Tour (also from racket world?)

Any differences between the two?

Final thought before buying :P

Hope u help

antony said...

Hi Huy
I have not played with the superlite, but the airblade tour was the top of the range when it came out, so for the same price i would buy the airblade.

Lefty said...

APACS: Poor customer service continues.
I finally heard back from APACS, (Thanks Antony!).
They've offered the follwoing creative explanation for my loosely strung racket.
"We would just like to point out though that with new technology and materials now used in string manufacture that nearly all string at any tension does tend to move and can feel "sloppy" to varying degrees."

I am comparing 1 & 2:
1. APACS racket strung 7 days back at 27 pounds tension
2. My own rackets strung at 22 pounds more than a month ago.

The strings on my racket are much tighter. I've played badminton for 20 years, so I think I know the difference.

APACS have offered to restring the racket if I pay one way shipping.
I thought I paid them in full for a correctly strung racket to be with me last week? Now I have to wait another 15 odd days and pay for one way shipping to finally get what I already paid for?

antony said...

Hi Lefty
I have always had problems with any store that pre strings rackets for me, they are always too loose, always. However, if they say they will string at a certain tension then it should be pretty close to what you regard as the right tension. I know machines vary, but not that much. I will give you an example, i had my airblade strung at 27lbs two weeks ago at a racket shop, but it was no where near what i would call 27lbs, and the reason is that i usually have one of my friends string it at 27lbs, the difference was huge. I asked the shop what was going on, and they said they did string at 27lbs on their machine. The machine is the key in all of this. What i do now is ask for 30lbs, which they can't believe, and they tell me the frame will break. I said do it anyway, and the frame was fine, because even though they think they strung it at 30lbs, it was not any tighter than 27lbs on my friends machine, if you know what i mean.
The solution is to string yourself, and i am looking into this, because god knows how much money i have spent on re-strings over the years. My suggestion would be to get apacs to string at 30lbs and see what happens, at that tension the strings should not even move!

I know what 27lbs feels like, as you do too Lefty, and those strings would not move much at all, and you will get such a high pitched "ping" when you hit the shuttle, so any less is just not right.

apacs uk said...

Hi All

I would like to apologise to any one who has tried to contact us in the last few days we have had Server issues and thus we have not had e-mails, we did explain this to Mr Lefty but it appears he left this out of his comments.

However we have offered to fully restring the racket as soon as it is sent back. We don't offer poor customers service it is bad for business!

I do hope we can consider this matter resolved, we can only do our best to keep the customer happy!

Sorry for any inconvenience caused

Lefty said...

APACS: Issue handled professionally.

The APACS team and I have been in touch throughout last week. They've been responsive and have paid great attention to details. They are in the process of restringing my racket.

I've also ordered another EdgeSabre 7 racket and would recommend it to anyone.

antony said...

Hi Lefty
Glad you have sorted out any problems, and glad you like the edgesaber 7, it was my favourite as well.

Lefty said...

Thanks Antony. I really liked the ES7's balance.
I've finally entered the 21st century ;-) having moved on from my Cab8-DX.
My shoulder/upper back's still trying to adjust to the massive weight difference in racket weight, but I'll survive.

antony said...

Hi lefty
It is funny you should mention the Cab 8DX because i played a match the other day and one of my opponents was playing with one. After the game i nicked a go with it, and it still feels superb even now. The string tension was very tight, about 27-28lbs but the frame could take it no problem. When i had then i used to string them this tight as well, and the head would end up in a cloud shape after a few seasons. I really want to get my hands on one and play some matches with it. I keep looking on ebay to find one, and soon i will!!

Ming said...

Hi Anthony,

I'm new with the APACS brand, never heard of it here in The Netherlands, but it's caught my eye since some time. A friend of mine was thinking about picking up a arcsaber 7, since he liked the thought of a rather high-end racquet with a medium stiffness. But since it costs 110 euros here, it's rather.. VERY expensive. So how does the Edgesaber 7 compare to it's counterpart? Is it nearly the same, slightly worse, slightly better, and in which way do you think it's different? If it's similar, maybe I can convince my friend to consider it. Though I doubt it, since Yonex is way too popular here and nobody I know has ever mentioned the Apacs brand. And he will prolly think it's just a cheap replica, especially with such a low price.. So, you have any arguments to convince him?
sorry for the long comment, couldn't help myself.

Ming

antony said...

Hi Ming
I would say that the edgesaber 7 is not as good as the real yones arcsaber 7 because the head is not as stable on impact. It is about 80% as good if you want my honest opinion. A better Apacs racket is the lethal 70 or the nano pro 9600 tour which i have recently posted reviews on. The price is very high for you, but i know that apacs sports uk deliver to european countries and the shipping costs are not that much. I am sure you could buy it from their UK site and get it cheaper than that price even including the shipping costs.

My advice... look at a lethal 70, it is the best racket i have tested by far.