Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Apacs Lethal 70 Review

Ok here is the review of the Lethal 70, the new to the UK racket from Apacs Sports. Retail price is £79.99 which is pretty steep, but when you realise how good it is you may be more willing to part with your hard earned cash. I will get right to the point, this racket is the best apacs racket by a mile. Much better than the 160i and that was very good. This is in a different league, and i will tell you why in this post. First of all i will get the technical stuff out of the way, which has been nicked from the apacs sports website who are selling it at the moment.

Higher 'kick point' for better racket performance
Manufactured using PU compression moulds for greater shock absorbance
Hollow shaft with all NEW T-joint design giving excellent power generation and super stability
Rapid shaft recovery after every shot


Specification :

Frame Material: 30T HM Graphite ( Mitsubishi M30 ) + Titanium Mesh
Shaft Material: 40T HM Graphite ( Toray M40)
Flex Stiff
Shaft Out/In Dia. 7.4 mm
Weight 3U (86-89g) G2
Length 675mm
Max Tension 40lbs+, Yes 40lbs!
Balance 290 ± 3mm (Head Heavy)

Special Features :-

* ISO frame
* New shaft and t-joint design for lower torsion.
* Spring back reaction on the shaft improved by 30%. Better energy transfer during impact.
* Full Titanium Mesh Power Frame

Ok forget about the marketing hype and look at what matters most, ie, the weight, the balance and the flex. These are what define the way a racket will behave, as well as your skill level. By the way the test racket i used was strung at 30lbs with apacs spider Ti string. You can string the lethal 70 to 40 lbs which is just plain crazy. The weight is 86-89g so it has a bit of weight on its side. It is head heavy, but not too head heavy at all, it didn't feel cumbersome to play with and i had no trouble with faster reaction shots at the net. Adding the grip takes away some of the head heavy balance anyway. The flex is stiff, but not ultra stiff. These are the most important pieces of information of any racket.

The thing that makes this lethal 70 stand out from every other apacs racket so far is that the the head is unbelievably solid. It just does not distort at all, and you feel this as soon as you hit the first shot. Because of this it is far more forgiving than the edgesabers. The edgesabers are pretty unforgiving because to get the best out of them you really need to be hitting the shuttle right in the centre of the head every time. Of course this is not possible so you lose power quite often. With the lethal 70, hitting consistently is a whole lot easier. I don't know what apacs have done to make it like this but it makes a hell of difference believe me. This also gives very good control on shots because the head is stable.

Power is also there, in fact there is a whole lot of power. The head heavy balance and overall weight give you a great advantage in the power department, but the racket also helps you as well. It is the most powerful racket by a mile based on me having the same technique as i always have. For the same amount of effort the shuttle comes off the racket faster, so this tells me this is a low work racket, which is exactly what you want. Always bear in mind that technique is what gives you power and control, the racket can only do a tiny bit, but that tiny bit gives you more confidence, and that can make a difference when it matters.

It was good from the rear court, for getting me out of trouble. I can usually tell if a racket is any good by how much it helps me get out the corners. You always get caught out and pushed deep into the forehand corners when you play singles and it takes a bit of effort to hit back to a good length. Well the lethal 70 helped me out, i felt it was solid and consistent from tricky situations.

This racket is probably the best feeling racket i have played with, and that is the best compliment i can give it. It is better than the tantrum 160 because it is more stable and more consistent. It gives a bit more power as well because it is head heavy. In fact i would say it is better than any yonex racket i have used, and when compared to those it is also cheaper. If you do choose to buy one you will not regret it it all. The moment you hit that first shot you will just know what i am going on about. The frame had no problem with the tension, and i think it works best at higher tensions, like most stiff framed rackets do. Don't be put off by the head heavy balance, it really is not that noticeable, and you can always add some weight to the handle to give you even more power. I suppose i better give it my rating...

POWER=10
CONTROL=10
VALUE=10

VERDICT= BEST OF THE APACS RACKETS, BEST RACKET I HAVE USED, BETTER THAN ANYTHING IN FACT. And by the way, i am not sending the test racket back because i am buying it!!

Next post will be a review on the apacs nano pro 9600 tour, the other test i got to play with.

40 comments:

BOUBOS said...

Thx Anthony,
Good review, I can feel the excitement in your comments. How would you rate that racket for mostly doubles play.
Any plans on testing the Tantrum 300, and the Lethal and Tantrum Light's.
Looking for stiff shaft, light racket(quick), with easier power for playing doubles. I was going to get the Tantrum 200, but no longer available.

antony said...

Hi Boubos

It will be just fine for doubles play because it is so powerful. It is good on defence as well, the shuttle comes off the racket very quickly, especially at higher tensions. Not sure if i will get the tantrum 200, i will have a word with the guys at apacs UK to see what they have available.

Boubos said...

Thanx Anthony,

Tantrum 200 is no longer available it has been replaced by the 300. It supposed to be as great as the Lethal 70, but play differently. Should also be a great weapon.

Anonymous said...

Thank you very much for your review!!

Do you know if a review of Tantrum Light Exclusive and Lethal Light Special is possible? (I am looking for light/quick racket as well...so I'm not sure if Lethal 70 will suit me)

Thanks

antony said...

Hi there

Don't think i will be able to get my hands on those two, but if the lethal 70 is anything to go by, the lethal light will be good for defence and reaction shots, but the biggest factor in all of this is the stability of the head. It makes a good racket into a very good racket, which is what the 70 is.

my said...

Antony, is Lethal 70 same with Lethal 60? I show ebay is selling Lethal with same spec, I am interested to buy one.

antony said...

Hi My

As far as i know the lethal 70 i have tested is new to the UK market, it is a brand new design so i don't think it is the same. Best bet is to have a close look at the spec for it, see what it is made from. You can view the spec on the apacs sports uk web site and compare it with the spec on the ebay model. If you let me know the ebay listing i will have a look for you.

apacs uk said...

Hi All

Nice to see interest being generated. Maybe I can help Antony answer some questions. The Lethal 70 is a different racket to the Lethal 50 and 60, the main difference is in the head construction and T-joint, this gives the 70 a stiffer head with no distortion on impact. Hence the high string tensions it can take!

The Tantrum 300 will be available soon from us in the UK, we are having an exclusive batch made for us with UK on the shaft as we did for the Lethal 70's.

Finally by way of thanks for all the Blog readers positive comments we would like to offer all reader 10% discount on all products on the website www.apacs-sports.co.uk use code CS10
Thanks
Apacs Sports UK

Anonymous said...

yeah,
this is a really good review.
I am actually considering between buying a lethal 70 or tantrum 300/200.
But the tantrum 300 i have heard very little about :S.

Dave said...

Hey, what is your email antony?

antony said...

Hi Dave

email is antcassidy@fsmail.net

my said...

Antony,

Thank you for your reply and the following is Lethal 60 selling at ebay, pls help to have a look.

The spec quoted is exactly same with Lethal 70.

http://cgi.ebay.com/Apacs-Lethal-60-Badminton-Racket-NEW-Yonex-BG65-String_W0QQitemZ170406324415QQcmdZViewItemQQptZLH_DefaultDomain_0?hash=item27ad0228bf

As discuss in badminton center, both are same,

http://www.badmintoncentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=73402

I really very interested to buy one, since your review say it is so good.

Apacs UK,

Thank you for your clarification and most happy to hear that you give 10% to all.

can i know is there any charges for delivery to malaysia? how long it will take?

waiting your clarification to place my order, it is so exciting!!

antony said...

Hi My

I have sent an email to steve from apacs sports uk who should be replying to you in this comments section asap. He will know all about the spec of the lethal 60 and will able to give you the best information. Hope this helps!

apacs uk said...

Hi MY

I hope I can answer your questions. There is plenty of speculation with regard to the Lethal 50/60/70 being the same racket for different regions. The 50 was replaced by the 60 which was placed originally for the asia market. The 70 was developed for the UK, North Amerca and singapore markets, the rackets are similar with very similar specs.

The main difference between the 60 qne 70 is the improved t-Joint and head stability. This is what makes the racket very stable in shots.

Postage to Malaysia will cost about £14 for airmail, a little cheeper for surface mail. Airmail should take about 5-7 days, surface will take a little longer maybe 4-5 weeks.

Feel free to mail us direct on info@apacs-sports.co.uk

Regards

Apacs Sports UK

my said...

Antony & Apacs UK,

I just bought the Lethal 70 yesterday from Singapore and would like to share my feel of using it. It is a 4U G2 specification not 3U as specified by you, maybe got manufacture different specification.

I went to strung Yonex BG80 at 27 lbs manual machine and Just finished my game at 9.30pm just now.

In overall, I feel it is a very good racket and value for money. I feel it is very stiff, head heavy (feel like Yonex Arsaber 10) and not easy to handle if you are not used to it and it needs more energy when using it. But, I love the very solid feel when you hit the shuttle, the repulsion and hitting sound is very clear compare to my other rackets.

On the 1st day I play with this racket I also cannot handle it very well, I am currently using Yonex Muscle Power Limited Edition, Yonex Armotec 900 Technic, Prince Oversize Gold, I can say that the stability is equivalent or better then my Armotec 900 Technic but Armotec 900 Technic is very good in control.

I think, I need another one week to familiar with this racket and to explore the power of this racket, it is very powerful and will be a very good sword for me to kill my enermy, haha...

antony said...

Hi My

Glad you think the same way i do with the lethal 70. It will always take a little time to get used to a new racket so don't worry about that. The main thing is that it suits your game and works for you. The different weight is because different countries have different specs. Also bear in mind that adjusting string tension will help with control more than the racket will. You just have to find that sweet spot between too much and too little to suit.

Red said...

Dear Antony,

Reading your review make me cannot wait to get this racket in my hand..

Is this Lethal 70 available in Malaysia market?
How much it is (in RM)?

Thanks

antony said...

Hi Red

I think that the lethal 70 is a UK version only, so i am not sure if it is available in Malaysia.

Red said...

Thanks antony for your reply..

I would love to get this racket in my hand.... Is there any way for me to purchase it?

Anyway, is there anybody from Malaysia who are read this Mr. Antony blog already purchase these racket. How do you guys buy it(if any)??

antony said...

Hi Red

Apacs sports uk do ship overseas. The web site is www.apacs-sports.co.uk

Kevin said...

Hello again Antony,

I have a question regarding this racket and the Nano Pro 9600 Tour.

I believe Apacs is originally from Malaysia? Or is it based in the UK? Anyways, do you have any idea where the actual rackets are made? Perhaps it might say so on the frame of the racket?

Also, if one should string the Lethal 70 up to 40lbs, (on their US/Canada site it even says up to 45lbs) AND being head heavy.....wouldnt it be pretty damaging to the arm?
That being said, if you are still using it, is it still performing as, well, amazingly? And how's your arm holding up?

Thanks :)

antony said...

Hi Kevin

Apacs is a Malaysian company, and all their rackets are made in their Malaysian factory. Some are made specifically for the UK, but they are still made in Malaysia.

The second point about the tension and the lethal 70 being head heavy is spot on. 40 lbs tension is pretty ridiculous, i have not met anyone who plays with that kind of tension. I have a small amount of lead tape on the handle of my lethal 70, which alters the balance slightly, and makes it easier to work with. I have now got to the point where i have the balance just right for my game, and it helps out with my shoulder. The old shoulder problem is still with me, but i have learned to manage it a whole low better than before. I am afraid it is an occupational hazard.

The lethal 70 is a very good racket indeed, i have banged on about it on here in the past. It suits me down to the ground, so i am very happy with it.

Kevin said...

Hey Antony,

Thanks for the fast reply!

About the tension, I believe most players string under 30lbs at maximum, well most players I know anyways, but do you think stringing 40 is a good idea? If I purchase this racket, it seems tempting to do so...
I'm considering this racket because of the well, "revolutionary"? stability you mention, its stiff flex (i've only ever played with a medium flex racket and its been a while since i bought it; my swing has gotten faster...) and the fact that I can string to 40 lbs! But then again, at 40lbs, I assume that with such a high tension, the vibration transfer to my arm would be quite significant?

Well, for myself, I would use the lead tape to make the whole thing head light...slightly, since then I get the low work, good maneuverability and power combination. Another question though, may I ask why you leave it at a head heavy balance? In your previous posts you've proven that a head light racket with weight concentrated at the handle/back is the best combination. So is it just a personal preference? Or is there any other reason?

And lastly, on another note, I have noticed that many players wear some sort of knee brace? It's like a piece of cloth, with a hole where the knee cap "sticks" out. I assume it stretches your knee and somehow transfers the stress to the muscle?
What's your opinion on me getting a pair for my knees? They aren't injured, for now, but I have been intensifying my game for the past little bit and I have started to feel a slight strain of sorts them...

Thanks again!

antony said...

Hi Kevin

My own thoughts on the lethal 70 being capable of holding 40lbs tension is that it is suicide for your shoulder. The other problem is finding a string that is capable of getting to that tension without breaking. Trust me, if you mishit a shot the strings are going to snap right away.

Even the lead tape will not help much on the power front at that tension, it will mostly come down to how fast you can swing the racket, and how much you can make the racket and the strings flex on impact. You need a very solid technique, alomst flawless to avoid injury in the long term, and probably after an hour or so.

As far as knee braces go, if you don't have pain then don't use one. As with anything, you need to build up alowly, so if you are playing more and more then you are bound to start feeling little niggles and strains, it is your body's way of telling you to slow down a bit, so listen to it.

Kevin said...

Hi Antony,

Ah right, I knew it'd be bad...just not THAT bad! Ok, 40lbs is definitely a bad idea...maybe 26 or 28...30 seems....like it's still pushing it a lot...

Right...so, the balance makes more of a difference at lower tensions?

Oh, all right then, so there's no point in attempting to prevent the injury before it happens?

Thanks again for the reply and the advice!
Kevin :)

antony said...

Hi Kevin
The balance will make some difference, but the problem at 40lbs is that you just cannot make the strings flex enough to get the power, you would have to have an unbelievably fast arm action. Add to this the stiff flex of the lethal 70 and you will need even more speed. It just adds up to injury, and for what? Then add the fact that you will break the strings evry time you mishit the shuttle, and the costs start to increase dramatically as well. As always you have to find the balance of tension, power, what is best for your game, and what will not cause you injury. When you find this balance you will be able to play your best game with the racket. There is a whole lot more to this as well, such as footwork. If you are not in position to hit the shuttle then your technique will not be correct, and you will be off balance and so will not have good technique, will can result in a loss of power or injury to bits of your body through over stretching. The list goes on, and the racket is the least important of all, remember that.

Kevin said...

Right...hmmm ok then, what do you think about 28 or 30lbs of tension instead? Is that still that bad? I know that those numbers are still considerably more than the "norm" (where most players are around the low-mid twenties..i think anyways).

hmm ok, and that I can only find out through trial and error yes?
On that, how does one get to know how he plays and his "style" of play?

Right, because technique is always more important :)

Thanks again for helping!
Kevin :)

antony said...

Hi Kevin

28 to 30lbs is still a very high tension. The best way to find out what tension is right for you is to slowly increase it. I started off like most people do at about 18-20lbs. As i improved i decided to up the tension, by about 2lbs each time. This was over a few years. I currently play with around 28-30lbs tension in my lethal 70, although the actual tension right now is more like 25lbs becuase you lose tension the longer you play with the same set of strings in.

The classic way to injure yourself is to jump to very high tension straight away because all the pros do, or all the other good standard players at your club do. The only reason i have higher tension is because i feel it gives me extra control over the shuttle, and i like it that way. As for power, the higher tension probably takes away a little bit from the rear court, but i am ok about that, it suits my style of play, and my arm is also fine after playing.

If i decided to increase the tension to say, 35lbs, it would seriously affect my game from the back of the court, and my arm would be aching for days after because i would have been straining to get the power, as i could not swing my arm fast enough to make the strings flex to get power. There may be a nice "ping" when i hit the shuttle, but that is about the only benefit to it. Build up gradually till you find the balance between power and control, the best string tension will help you out in both areas.

Oscar said...

Hi Antony,

Thanks for the review, it was a good read. I recently bought the Lethal 70 from eBay and currently awaiting for it to get delivered. As you have mentioned in the comments, having a high string tension can be damaging to the shoulder especially if you're not used to it. The racket I bought is currently strung at 32 lbs using the Yonex BG68Ti strings. Am I running the risk of injury if I use this racket? Should I get it restrung to a lower tension before I start using it? My last racket was strung at 27 / 28 lbs but obviously as you said with prolonged use the tension goes down.

Thanks again and hope to here from you.

Regards,

Oscar

antony said...

Hi Oscar

The only you will know if the tension is ok is just go out and use it. A jump from 17/28 to 32 is considerable, so if you find you just can't get the power, then it is probably too much for you. More importantly, if your arm and shoulder start to ache the next day, then this is another sign that it is too much.
Good choice on the racket though, let me know what you think of it when you have played with it a few times, i love the lethal 70 to bits.

jaks said...

Is this the same as Apacs Lethal 7?

Cause i came across Lethal 7 and Lethal 70. Are these two different rackets? or the same ones?

antony said...

Hi Jaks

They are two different rackets, the 70 is a higher spec racket so it will cost more.

Craig said...

I don't understand can you give me any insight. I play 1st division club level and decided to buy an apacs racket, the lethal 70(per your review)in dec '09. I have never had a problem with any racket from cheap yonex's to protech carlton forza you name it all are usable all perform well relatively. The lethal 70 however is unuseable (i mean unuseable have gave it to others to test also). It takes so much power off smashes and clears to the point where i literally cannot clear full court length(usually a relaxed stroke for me). The sweet spot is also tiny and if you miss it a smash becomes a drop. I have tried it strung at different tensions with different strings also different grips. I also bought it from apacs uk new so it can't be a fake. I have had it for a year now and gave it an ample chance on and off. contrary to your review it is extremely head light, with grip it balances just at start of shaft and the shaft is at least an inch shorter than any other racket i have seen. I am truly baffled. As you have said the racket only makes a slight difference which i agree with of every other racket i have layed my hands on but not this one and not in a good way unfortunately. I am not trying to insult you or apacs would just love to know why my geniune lethal 70 is unusable(by not just me) and the opposite of your review. A reply would be greatly appreciated

antony said...

Hi Craig

Sorry to hear you do not like the lethal 70. I am a bit baffled by this. I know that every player is different, and what works for one may not work for another. I use the lethal 70, played with it last night. The racket is head heavy, well at least the one i have been using for the last year is, and was bought from Apacs UK, just like yours i believe. If we are both using the same racket, then how can we think so differently? Well i could send you mine, and you send me yours? The nsee what happens! Seriously, i gave that racket a very good review because i felt it deserved it. If you want to talk more then send me an e-mail to antcassidy@fsmail.net I don't like hearing that you are having problems with a racket that i totally recommend.

Anonymous said...

Really True I used Yonex Volteric(3U) , Yonex Ti10 , Zslash[For a short Period],tantrum,.... This is the best .
Worth A Buy!

rgds
GK

Anonymous said...

I tested Lethal 60 with my Coach,sr players and others they liked it and many of them bought this. Personally i hope String strength and grip matters most. At higher lbs the racket performs like a angel But initially too i preferred Tantrum to this. But later everything changed. Now Im an addict to this. My Volteric(3u) ,Ti10,carltons,Ashaway are resting in peace.It takes time to get used to .But its a greatest product from
Apacs

rgds
GK

antony said...

Hi GK

Glad you like the 70, i know i do.

Anonymous said...

Just want to say that the spec I have for the Lethal 70 is as follows:
Weight: 88-90g
Balance: 290+/-5
Flex: 7.5
Max Tension R.S.T: 35 pounds

A little different to what you've written?

antony said...

Hi there

The spec i used for the lethal 70 was direct from the apacs sports uk website. The test racket was a UK spec version only, which i beleive is different to some of the specs from other countries. I will send an e-mail to apacs sports to ask them what the differences are if you like?

Anonymous said...

Yes, that would be great if you can e-mail apacs sports and ask about this.

By the way, what's the approximate balance point of your Lethal 70 once you've strung it and gripped it? Mine is about 293mm, but I removed the original grip and put on a fairly thin overgrip. I need to find a decent thick grip now I think.