Wednesday, 2 December 2009

Apacs Nano Pro 9600 Tour Review

Ok, i have been testing the Nano Pro 9600 Tour for the last 2 weeks now, giving it one of the most thorough tests i have given any racket. I have probably played with it at least 10 times. Well the result is that it comes a very close second to the Lethal 70, very close indeed. It appears to have the same head stability, and that makes all the difference. It is slightly more flexible then the Lethal 70, but not by much. I strung it at 28lbs, so it was a little bit less than the 30 i used on the Lethal. Here is the thing, not one single apacs racket has ever had a string break whilst i have been testing it. I guess i am just lucky in this respect, but it does help to show the quality of the factory apacs strings, which have been in all the tested rackets. It also shows the rackets can take higher tensions without any trouble at all, another testament to their durability.

The last 2 tested rackets have something different to the others, there is definitely much better stability when hitting the shuttle. This results in very good consistent shots time after time, and that is what the difference is. These last 2 rackets are as good as anything out there, if not better, and that includes the Yonex brand. The bonus is that these rackets cost much less than the latest Yonex offerings. If you do happen to buy either the lethal 70 or this Nano Pro 9600 i would really like you to comment on what you think of them, because although we are all different, i do believe these 2 bats are at the very top of the tree.

Here is the technical details..

Frame Material : Hi Modulus Graphite + Nano Carbon

Shaft Material : Hi Modulus Graphite + Nano Carbon

Flex : Medium -- Stiff ( 7.5 - 8.0mm)

Shaft Out/In Dia. : 7.5/4.0mm

Weight : 3U (86-88g) G2

Length : 675mm

Max. Tension : 30lbs

Balance : 285 ± 3mm

Special Features :-

ISO frame with new grommets system

Anti-Vibration cab
Aerodynamic wing X-section frame

Add to this the string tension of 28lbs with apacs spider 66Ti string and a towelling grip.

The first thing to notice is that the balance point is slightly less than the lethal 70, so the nano pro tour is less head heavy, and a more even balance. Having played with both, there is very little difference between the balance of the two, you will hardly notice it. The nano tour is also a bit less stiff, there is bit more give in it, but again, the difference is small. The nano has a solid feel when you first hit the shuttle, and it is down to the head being very stable. Much more stable than the Hotshots and the Edgesabers. This makes it very easy to work with, and you will find you can mishit some shots and still get a decent result. On defence it also makes the difference, the shuttle will come off the strings very well indeed, you do not have to put in as much effort to lift off smashes, and if you do, you will find the shuttle can be driven back with a lot of interest. It is a low work racket, and i like low work rackets!

I did notice there was some weight in the head, but i think apacs have got the balance just right. You do need some weight in the head to get power and some control, but you can make it feel as though it is not there by just adding the grip to balance it out. This means you have a racket that does not feel heavy and cumbersome, yet you get the benefit of knowing the head will help you. I think this is where yonex have come up a little bit short with the arcsaber 10, to me it feels too head heavy and very cumbersome. You will get the benefit from the back of the court when you smash, but around the net for the reaction shots you lose out. I like a compromise between the two, and i think this is what the nano pro tour gives you. It all depends on what you like in the end, and what you can get used to. The new Z slash appears to be more evenly balanced, so i guess yonex are aware of the need to produce more user friendly rackets. The price is still a complete joke though.

Apacs are moving in the likes of yonex with these last two test rackets. They offer better value for money, and the end product in my opinon is better to play with. The only reason why people choose yonex over the likes of apacs is because of the aggressive marketing and the brain washing. Well i am probably doing my bit to market apacs with this blog, and the reason is that they took the time to actually read this blog and allow me to test their rackets for them. I get nothing in return, and don't want it either. I am buying myself a lethal 70 at the end of all this, just like anyone else does. They are a company that should now be able to move forward now, because they have managed to get their hands on the best rackets that apacs in Malaysia are making. Getting the lethal 70 for the UK is a big bonus in my eyes, and now we have another little gem with the nano pro tour 9600.

I probably do not need to tell you how it plays because it is virtualy the same as the lethal 70, great power and easy control from all around the court. Easy to use, great on defence and on clearing and snashing, great everywhere in fact. Doesn't matter if you play doubles or singles, it will be great in any situation as long as you have the skills to back it up and see what it can do.

The reason why these 2 rackets are different is in the head stability, this is the major breakthrough, and it sets them both apart from previous rackets. The nano costs £59 here in the UK, and it is a great racket. I will give it a 9.5/10 second only slightly to the lethal 70.


dave said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
dave said...

one thing i want to ask about is why do you like the towel grip?

antony said...

Hi Dave

I like the towelling grip because it offers better grip than the karakal over grips. You have to change it more often but it is worth it. I seem to have been going through sweaty hand syndrome lately! so i reverted to towelling.

Lefty said...

Antony, I respect your views and use an APACS racket myself which I find good.
IMO, it's a bit of a stretch to comment on the reliability of the string based on it not breaking after playing with it 10 times.

Unless you mishit a hard shot, I'd not expect *any* string to break after just 10 sessions. I'd consider that a given, not an indicator of high quality...

antony said...

Hi Lefty

Fair point, i just wanted to get across the fact that it is not a sub standard string. It doesn't "notch" like cheaper strings tend to do. I have also used the apacs string in the Nano 999 i got a few months back and the string lasted a long time in that, more than playing with it 10 times! Hope you are doing well and enjoying your badminton, haven't heard from you in a while.

Lefty said...

Hi Antony,
I'm doing well, thanks.
Missed your blog for a few months as nothing was added.
I kept checking back and glad to see you're back. Look forward to reading more stuff from you...

antony said...

I had a bit of a sabatical but i intend to ramp up the posts with more ramblings..

Boubos said...

Thx Anthony,
Great review, I am waiting after some Apacs demo's, and am anxious to compare my findings with yours. I should have the Lethal and Tantrum Light models also, I will forward you my impressions. I am playing more double then single and with age, becoming less powerful, I am looking for something that gives easy power but lots of control in defence.

antony said...

Hi Boubos

Good idea, if you e-mail me your reviews i will put them up on the blog, you can be a guest reviewer.

Anonymous said...

hey there, I own a np9600 tour myself and I agree with your review of it. The racket itself is very well made has very good feel. I can play drops very well with it, though my clears and smashes lack in power. But I guess that's a problem due to my technique.

antony said...

Yep glad you like it, it is a fine racket.

Anonymous said...

hyy anthony
I was just wondering when you would be having a test of the new apacs Z-spark.

antony said...

I will be sending an e-mail to apacs sports in the next few days so they can send me a test racket.

Anonymous said...

I am a quite short female and most rackets tend to be a bit short for me and I'm finding that i now have to hold my current (due to be replaced) racket so that the bottom of the handle goes into the palm of my hand so i can get the reach that i need to hit the shots! all probably wrong but i am about to get a new racket and a friend has recommended the EdgeSaber 9 however I don't understand what tention would be best as I am not the strongest player and tend to play against male apponents who manage to hit much harder and faster than i can manage - any suggestions re tention of strings/type of strings and if i should go for another racket or just stick with the edgeSaber 9? I would pitch myself as a basic/intermediate player.

antony said...

Hi there

I would suggest buying a far less expensive racket than the edgesaber 9 if you are a basic to intermediate standard player. Look for a racket with a flexible shaft, this will help you to generate a bit of power with a slower swing. As for string tension, if you are lacking in power then you should try a lower tension, this works the same way as the flexible shaft does, it helps you out with the power side of things. The downside is that you will find you have less control over the shuttle.

The actual racket is not that important because you can change the way it feels and plays by experimenting with the strings. A £30 racket will do just fine i reckon. Most factory strung racket have a tension of about 20-22lbs which is just fine for a start. As you get better you will soon realise how important the strings are to your game. I string my rackets at 30lbs because i enjoy the control it gives me. This kind of tension is not for beginners though, or intermediate players come to think of it.

Diwan said...

Hi there,

Wondering if you've tried the Apacs Nano 9900 or Nano 9990 to see how they compare to this one.

I'm thinking that since they're the newer models, they've improved on the Nano Pro 9600 Tour.


Anonymous said...

I heard Apacs stopped producing Nano Pro 9600 Tour. Is that true?

antony said...

Hi there
Not sure if they have stopped making it, it is still available in the Uk.

Anonymous said...

The Nano Pro 9600 doesn't appear to be available on either of the two Apacs UK websites I could find and

Do you know if there is anywhere else that is selling this racket in the UK? What about getting one from Hong Kong or Malaysia---any experience of this? Alternatively, are you able to recommend me something very similar (i.e., medium flex, neutral balance, good head stability and quality) out of the many rackets you seem to have tried.



antony said...

Hi Toby

I will send an email to apacs sports uk to see if they will getting some new stock in soon. Not sure if anyone else is selling the 9600, there may be a seller on ebay if you look closely. You could also try apacs canada, just check out the shipping costs before you buy, or try to negotiate a better deal with them.