Friday, 29 January 2010

Apacs Edgesaber Z-Spark Review

Ok here is the review for the z-spark. First off i will say that it is an all round racket due to its more even balance. The main factor i take into account when i rate any racket is how stable it is on impact. This is the be all and end all for me, and the z-spark is very stable, so it passes my test. The head is lighter than with the lethal 70, so it is better at the net and for fast reaction shots. Where it is not as good is at the back of the court when you need power. This is all because the head is lighter. However the difference is minimal, and i doubt you would notice much of a difference between the two. The z spark is slightly head heavy, just not as much as the lethal 70.

It sure does sound good when you hit the shuttle, especially at 30lbs tension, which is what i had in there. It is a stiff frame so it gives good control, and you can get very good power if you can swing fast enough overhead. I could tell after the first minute that it was a good racket that had control and stability. A nice consistent feel, which i what i look for. I think you can use it for both doubles and singles without any trouble at all. Better than the lethal 70 at the net because it is lighter in the head, but slightly less powerful from the back than the lethal 70. I have said before that the lethal 70 is my favourite, and although the z-spark comes very close, it just falls short in my opinion. This is only because the 70 suits my game better than the z-spark.

Others will prefer the z-spark because it is better for their game. This is just my own personal opinion, so bear that in mind. The most important point is that it is solid and consistent, which is all you can hope for in any racket, whether it is stiff, flexible, heavy, light or whatever. If you are a big hitter you will have no problem with the z-spark, and if you are a net player it will suit you as well. It is certainly more of an all round racket than the lethal 70.

I will give the z-spark 9.5/10. The test racket i had was a UK version made for Apacs Sports UK with the yellow shaft and t-joint.

APACS EDGESABER Z SPARK SPECIFICATION

Frame Material: Hi Modulus Graphite + CS Carbon

Shaft Material: Hi Modulus Graphite + CS Carbon

Shaft Flex: Stiff

Weight: 86 +/- 1g 4U

Lenght: 675mm

Max Tension: 30lbs (i strung mine to 30 without any problems)

Balance: 285 +/- 3amm


SPECIAL FEATURES

Isometric head frame

76 Grommets system
CS Carbon Nanotec

CS Nano Carbon + Hi PER HMG

Japan Troy 30M (30 tonne) for racket frame

Japan Troy T700 (24 tonne) for racket shaft

62 comments:

09SD195 said...

Hi Antony,

I've explored your blog and couldn't find any review Apacs Nano 900 power (Red)...but I think u did reviewed Nano 999...is these two rackets are the same specifications? I'm a double player who love to smash hard from the back of the court, so I need a little bit heavy at the head for that purpose. I've bought Nano 900 power (red) recently. How would u compare between Nano 900 (power) and this new z-spark model?
Who knows, may be z-spark will be my next apacs racke :)

antony said...

Hi there

I have not tested the nano 900 power red, but yes i have tested the 999 power. That racket is head heavy and very powerful, as well as being very cheap. If you like smashing then it will suit you down to the ground, along with the lethal 70.The z spark is more of an all round racket, and not as head heavy as the nano powers and the lethal. For me the lethal 70 is the best for power.

dave said...

suggest putting prices of the racket you review?

antony said...

Hi dave

Forgot about that! The price from apacs sports uk is £89.99 (ouch).

dave said...

lol that is very high...

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the review.

I wonder if there's any difference between the UK version and the ones in Malaysia, because I've seen shops here selling that racket for MYR 80/- (about ~ GBP 15/- at current rates).

Thanks.

wuzent said...

hi,
do you feel any vibration on this racket? The racket is slightly head heavy or just balance? thank !

antony said...

Wow, £15 for this racket is unbelievably cheap.

@wuzent

Hardly any vibration, it does feel very solid on impact. The racket is slightly head heavy.

Anonymous said...

Hi Anthony,

Based on your review, do you think this Z-Spark is totally different from the other ES series ?

antony said...

Yep i think it is much better than the ES 7 and 10 because it feels much more solid with less vibration. However it is also much more expensive because of this.

Anonymous said...

today was buy apacs z-spark (yellow t-join) - MYR 82

Gary said...

Hi Anthony,
Heard of Apacs Stern 78, 85, 100 ?

Can give some reviews ?

Thank you

antony said...

Hi Gary

Not heard of them at all in the UK. I can check with the guys at Apacs Sports to see if they have heard of them.

Anonymous said...

Hi Antony,

The diff between the 2 version of Z-Spark is the flex. How do you think it will affect the performance if the flex was medium ?

antony said...

Hi there

A medium flex would be a bit more forgiving for players who have a slower swing speed. You would also have a little less control, all things like string tension being equal because the shaft would flex more when you swing.

Kevin said...

Hello again Antony,

It's been a while since I last commented, but I have been keeping myself updated on your amazing blog!

One question, I'm quite interested in Yonex's Nanospeed 9900, have you talked about it in your previous posts? I've noticed that most of the latest racket reviews are all done on Apacs rackets, not that there's a problem with that; I was just wondering if you were going to review the 9900?

Thanks!

Gary said...

Hi Anthony,

Can you write some reviews on Gosen and Victor Badminton racquet?

Thank you

antony said...

@Kevin and Gary
Thanks for the kind words. The only reason why i have not commented on other rackets like the nanospeed 9900 is because i can't get my hands on them, unless i go out and buy one! Apacs send me rackets so i can test them for free, and then send them back. It is a good deal for both of us becuase they get a bit of publicity on the web and i get to test rackets for free. I have tried with Victor and other brands but they just ignore me.

If they only knew what good it would do them they may change their minds. Any type of publicity is good publicity in my eyes.

gary said...

Hi Anthony,

I just Bought Apacs Stern 100.

Its 4U. Its a light racquet.Strung at 24 lbs with yonex BG 6.

I find it very difficult to smash and control. No power. But its easier to manoeuvre.

Can you advise me on how can i customise the racquet to increase the weight of the racquetto increase more power and control ?

Would adding lead tape to the head helps ? or should i buy a new 3U racquet ?

Can you see http://cgi.ebay.com/NEW-APACS-STERN-100-BADMINTON-RACKET_W0QQitemZ150410632744QQcmdZViewItemQQptZLH_DefaultDomain_0?hash=item23052c1e28

Can you give some comments on this racquet?

Thank you very much for your time.

antony said...

Hi Gary

With a light racket you will always have trouble getting power and control. Is it head light balance as well? If so you can add lead tape to the head for a bit more power on overhead shots. The downside is that it makes it more difficult to manoeuvre. Try adding lead tape to the handle, right at the bottom of it, then put your overgrip on top of that. You only need a little bit to get a good effect. The extra weight helps control and power without the problems of making the racket too cumbersome to use.

apacs uk said...

Hi All

If any one wants to discuss prices etc direct with us at Apacs Sports UK please feel free to contact us. We ar always happy to do a deal with the readers of this blog!!

email us info@apacs-sports.co.uk

Regards

Apacs UK
Apacs Badminton Rackets

Anonymous said...

Hi Anthony,

Thanks for your great blog - i have found it a great help as well as an entertaining read. i played badminton when i was a boy and then gave it up for 15 years. i recently started playing again and would consider myself an average player (better than a novice but not at an intermediate level).

i thought the comment that you made above in your reply to gary (regarding lighter rackets being more difficult to get power and control) above very related to my own recent experience with a new racket. for the last 6 months i was playing about once a week with an entry level Yonex (MP 7). Recently i "upgraded" to a Head Metallix 6000 tour racket. the specs looked close to my mp7 (medium flex) but somewhat lighter 86g vs 90 - 94g while it was near the top end of the Head range so i thought it would give me some advantage. but when i played with it i found i played significantly worse with it. my control deteriorated significantly and so did my confidence so much so that i started losing games to guys whom i had never lost to before. power was ok and maneuverability was very good so it helped defense but the loss of control completely offset any advantage there. then i changed back to my MP7 and i could immediately find a significant improvement.i was very surprised with this experience as i thought the lightness of the racket would affect power rather than control - or do you think the string tension might be a factor (both rackets were factory strung). do you think there is anything i can experiment with to improve control with the lighter racket (other than adding weight which means giving up the advantage of maneuverability)? or is it simply a matter of practicing a lot and getting used to the new racket? finally the learning for me was that you cannot choose a racket based on specs or how other people found it on the web, but actually playing with it a few times - which means that there is probably no way to actually know whether a racket would suit you other than take a chance and buy it - what is your view?

antony said...

Hi there

You are spot on with what you are saying. No matter what you read on the web, and this blog included, you will only really be able to tell if a racket suits you by going out and playing with it. The problem is that you then have to spend money before you actually know if it will be right for your game. A light racket will have slightly less power and control. It will be harder to control because you have to speed up your swing to get the same results, ie power. A faster swing motion equals less control, unless your technique is spot on, which for everyone other than the professionals, is not going to happen.

You really do need weight to help you get power. Some of these super light rackets are little more than gimmicks that can cause injury over time as you flail around trying to get used to the way they are. You can aid control by upping the string tension. The strings have a huge impact on the feel of any racket. Personally i like higher tension, but your technique has to be good enough to get the best out of this high tension. Remember that the actual racket plays a small part in how you play. Improving your technique is far more important. Think of it this way, if Lin Dan played with your racket he would still be able to smash with power and control because his technique is almost flawless. However, we are not Lin Dan, so we must try to find a racket that fits the balance between helping us improve our strengths and reducing our weaknesses.

My advice woukld be to try a higher string tension. If you are currently using factory strung strings then the tension will be around 18-20lbs. Go to your local stringer and ask for 22lbs. A small increase is recommended because you will need to get used to the extra strain on your muscles and shoulder. You should notice an improvement in control with slightly higher tension. As for the string, choose either yonex or ashaway, the actual type will not really matter, so don't get too concerned with the string gauge just yet.

Anonymous said...

Hi there Anthony,

Great Blog you have here.. By the way could you make a review of this two racquets that i am thinking of buying:

1) A Dunlop Aerogel 4D Elite racquet

2) Yonex Armortec Tour

Thanks.

Gary said...

Hi Anthony,

I couldnt get badminton racquet lead tape around my area. Can I use tennis racquet lead tape/balancer tape as a substitute?

Can I use tennis racquet lead tape/ balancer tape (produce by pacific) for badminton racquets?

Kevin said...

In regards to Gary's question, I want to confirm something as well. Is there lead tape produced specifically for badminton? I had the impression that there was only lead tape for golf and tennis.
Thanks!

antony said...

@ Gary and Kevin

You may be able to find some tape on ebay, but tennis tape is just the same.

Kenny said...

just got a pair of this z-spark model for bnd 60+ each ( 20-30 pound) really loved it ..smashes a lot faster compared to my ES10 .too bad we don't have lethal 70 or tantrum 160 here... else i would have gotten them too

Keith said...

Hi Antony,
I've been reading your blog(http://badminton-racket.blogspot.com/) posts on many of your racket reviews and guides lately. I must say I'm very impressed in your knowledge of badminton rackets. :P I find your guides and reviews very resourceful and i look up to you in searching which racket would suit me best.

I have played badminton for several years now. Including a long break of three years before now, i finally got back my interest in badminton. From January till now, I've been playing a lot, practicing hard to grasp back the techniques and skills I've learn before. I also found back my strengths and weaknesses.

Now I'd like to buy a new racket for myself after using the old Yonex Carbonex 5000, a very heavy racket made of alloy, for a very long time. Sure I am used to it already, but the weight(which i don't feel that all comfortable compared to using lighter rackets like 2U/3U) would really hurt my arm in the long run. I can consider myself of being a hard hitter. My type of game play is to drive the shuttle all the way back most of the time and tire out my opponent and then make net shots. Swinging my carbonex 5000 fast and hard is really i chore so I am looking for a racket and i need your advice. :)

Okay, after telling you my type of game play, i have got to tell you my inability. It is that i find myself in difficultly trying to hit from baseline to baseline. The power just isn't there. As i tried one of my friend's racket which is 3U(a hell lot lighter than my current racket i must say), medium flex and a squared-off frame(which i do prefer), using the same swing speed and strength, i could drive the shuttle back further than what i could do with my carbonex 5000.

I am willing to try out Apacs rackets mostly because they are really valued for money! Can you recommend me any Apacs racket that would suit me? (: Thanks a lot. I'll be looking forward to your reply.

Regards,
Keith

antony said...

Hi Keith

Thanks for taking the time to read this blog, your comments are much appreciated. The one golden rule i will say to you is, spend any money you have on some coaching before you invest in a new racket. If you are struggling to hit from baseline to baseline then your techniwue needs looking at. No racket in the world will ever make up for good technique. Once you have improved your skills then look for a racket, but even then do not go spending large amounts of money. A neutral racket with lots of flexibility would be the best bet, not one with a stiff frame. Hope this helps you and if you need any more advice just post a comment, i will be happy to help.

Keith said...

Antony,
Thank You for your advice!
I must agree that my technique is really bad on hitting from basline to baseline and that technique is more important than racket. But I'm sure some types of racket would help me by a little in power? A racket with high flex would aid me in a slightly farther shot? :) I'm working in my technique now and soon spending money for a coaching. Thanks again. :D

gary said...

Hi Anthony,

I learn a lot about racquet from your blog.

I want to learn about technique from you too. Why not write some articles about badminton techniques?

antony said...

Hi Gary

Thanks for the kind words. I think the best way to learn about technique and coaching would be to visit the big badminton sites, or sign up for video coaching tips, i know that badminton england have such a thing in place. Perhaps other countries also have the same thing. Youtube is another good place to see videos about technique, from top international players like Zhao Jianhua and Peter Rasmusson.

wsxwhx700 said...

IS VERY GOOD..............................

RIAZ UDDIN said...

your blog is very nice.Hi,Friend how are you?you can not only WATCH LIVE SOCCER ONLINE but also WATCH ANY LIVE SPORTS from my blog.
Please look at below blog.
http://watchlivesoccer-online.blogspot.com/

dave said...

any reviews coming soon?
I've been checking my RSS feed for months!
kinda looking for a new racket and definitely for new knowledge!

antony said...

Hi Dave

I have been a little busy with a dissertation recently, but that is done now sl i will have some free time to start posting again. Still waiting for a new batch of Apacs rackets, so if Steve from Apacs reads this, then where are those rackets!!

jj ng said...

Hi antony, I consider myself an average to intermediate player. I want to buy a new racket and would like to learn from you. I am currently using an old Yonex carbonex 21 SP which was my father. It has been in extremely good condition, and a good racket. but i find it difficult to smash compared to some other rackets. the string tension is 25 lbs. Do i need a lighter racket? Does higher tension mean more power? I hope to get more control to play better up front the court and have stronger smashes and shots. I am not an advanced player so should i avoid stiff rackets?

by the way may i know what does the balance in "285 +/- 3mm" means? what balance would suit me? i am currently looking into apacs racket as i saw a lot of positive review online. thanks.

antony said...

Hi jj

I think your best bet is to read some of the older posts in this blog. Just start from the beginning and work your way through. They will tell you all about weight, string tension, stiffness and balance points, and what all these things mean. All the information is there for you, Hope this helps!

jj ng said...

Hi antony

I have gone through quite a few forums and review and decided that I will go for either Apacs Nano 900 Power or Lethal 6 ( I tired to look for Lethal 6 review but I couldn't find any, it is claimed to be the latest lethal model by an ebayer ID badmintonbay from malaysia). These 2 rackets are not that stiff because I do not have powerful swings.

But what I am concerned is that lethal 6 is 5U 82g+-, would that be too light for semi offensive single play? the nano 900 power red is said to be head heavy with 4U which i think suit me. Otherwise the two rackets would be quite the same. I also noticed that the balance points are the same for lethal 6, nano 900 power red and white and some other models. I saw from review that higher BP means heavier head. If it is true, why the nano 900 power red which is claimed to be more head heavy has the same BP as others?
thanks a lot :)

09SD195 said...

Apacs Nano 900 power (red) is my first apacs racket that I tried.Then, I sold it to my friend because he like it. I then, bought Z-spark but now used by my wife. I prefer 3U racket for powerful smash. That's why now I moved to Tantrum 200 and Lethal 50. Really love these 2 rackets. Lethal 50 for single and tantrum 200 for double. Not looking for other rackets anymore as I really satisfy with these 2.

simonKLgoh said...

Hi Antony,

I've been reading your blog ever since a friend recommended it and have even made a link to it when I was selling away my extra pieces of EdgeSaber Z Spark rackets which I got from Malaysia.

May I know what's the difference between this "EdgeSaber Z Spark" & a new racket called "EdgeSaber Z Rapier" which some of the guys I know is selling online?

antony said...

@JJ
One thing i have noticed is that Apacs rackets all seem to have very similar balance points on the specification, even though they are quite different when you play with them.

@Simon
Not too sure what the difference between the z spark and the z rapier is. The problem i have is that being from the UK, the only apacs rackets i get hold of are from apacs UK. With apacs being a malaysian brand there are loads of different rackets available in the far east that neither i nor apacs UK can get hold of. The rapier being a good example of this.

simonKLgoh said...

For your info, the Z Rapier is pictured on this Indonesian blog.. http://duniaraket.blogspot.com/

jj ng said...

hi Antony
I am thinking of buying a Nano 900 Power red as I want to have better smashes. I am thinking of having it strung at 24lbs as i think i will prefer more power, but shall I do pre stretch to 26 lbs? thanks

antony said...

Hi JJ
Pre stretching is always a good idea as the strings will hold their tension for longer.

simonKLgoh said...

Just for curiosity sake, a friend of mine asked me this question.. Where are Apacs rackets manufactured in? Malaysia &/or UK? Obviously I told him Malaysia but he insist that there are some made in UK which are priced a little dearer than those in Malaysia. Have you an answer?

antony said...

Hi Simon
I think that they are alll made in Malaysia, but some are made just for the UK. The lethal 70 was one that was made only for the UK i believe. I can send an e-mail to Apacs UK to find out more if you want it?

simonKLgoh said...

Hi Antony,
If some are made for UK market, are they also made in Malaysia? Maybe its the models which are made "for" UK market are thought to be made "in" UK. Yes it would help myself & some players in general if you could clarify this with Apacs UK. Much appreciated :)

antony said...

Hi Simon

As far as i am aware, all the rackets are made in Malaysia. The ones for the UK market just hava a "UK" sticker put on them, meaning they are bound for the UK only.

Anonymous said...

hye...i just want to ask something...i am beginner in badminton..i just started to play badminton..my question is..i buy a yonex carbonex 6 super for a cheap price..is it good?can you give me the specification of this racket?can you give me a tips to choose a good racket.thank you.

mr ejat..

puneet said...

Hi Antony,

I am looking to buy a apacs racket and someone suggested me apacs edge saber 7. I like the weight of my racket which I am currently using which is Yonnex Muscle Power 825. I like the head weight and everything except the string tension is only uptill 22. I play quiet strong game so want some racket which has same weight specs as Yonnex MP825 but with greater tension like upto 30.

can you pls suggest which one of apacs will be good for me.

thanks,
Puneet

antony said...

Hi Puneet

I would suggest that your current 825 could take any extra tension, so it can go up to 28-30lbs tension. Yonex are finally waking up to the fact that their rackets are capable of handling higher tension.

Anonymous said...

Hi !
I'm planning on buying a new apacs racquet and i'm currently looking at the edge saber spark. Is it the same as the edgesaber z spark? and i'm buying it in Canada will it have different specs?
http://www.apacscanada.com/edge-saber-spark-p-125.html
Thats the one i'm looking at. It doesnt say anything about a T joint and its medium flex when you said its stiff.
please help me out ;)

antony said...

Hi there

I would suspect it is the same racket. Some vendors do make mistakes when they tell you about the spec.

Anonymous said...

Thanks ! i really wonna buy this racquet but then i read your review on Tantrum 300 and you made it sound even better !
I currently have a Yonex armortec 150 and i think it is crazy heavy. I dont know whether it is just heavy or REALLY head heavy and i have played with racquets that are a lot lighter than it and i can still produce the same amount if not more power.

Can you tell me what the stiffness of the shaft does for the racquet? and what the T joint really does.

How does the EdgeSaber slash compare with the lethal 90? and which racquets are similar to the edgesaber slash?

Thanks

awang said...

i already use edge saber z spark...i strung my racket at 25 lbs...n now..my string are broken...and wen i want to string it at tension 26 lbs..the stringer not confident to string it...he said that the maximum tension for that racket only 25lbs..and he also said that my racket is fake one.. i bought my racket for rm 280..so is that true or not???? pliz give me a favor...tq...

antony said...

Hi Awang

Sorry to hear about your problems. What i do know is that in the UK where i am from, the edge sabre z spark can be strung up to 30lbs, and this information is direct from the apacs sports web site in the UK. As far as in malaysia, i am not so sure, but i would guess that it can be strung to very similar levels. However, if your racket is a fake, then that is a serious problem. There have not been any reports of fake apacs rackets yet in the UK. My advice would be to head over to badminton central, where there is an apacs fan club thread. Post your racket details on there, and someone may be able to determine if it is a fake. Did you buy it from a reputable shop or store? If so you can always take it back and ask them, or find another z spark and have a hit with it, you should then be able to notice if there is a difference if one is a fake.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps what the stringer mean is that it is fake of Yonex Z-slash ^_^

Anonymous said...

it looks like 80 Grommets system

Maria said...

Nice post

awang said...

helo dere..after a yer later...den i post it bck here... at d same blog... right now i wan to update my edge saber z spark racket..i ordy use it a yer ordy..dis racket is very nice n excelent..less vibration n because of its smol frame..u can hit d shutle a d sme spot every time u mke a shot..in recently posted here a yer ago by me...wen my rcket was broke d string n my stinger said it only can be strung up to 25 lbs..he make a mistke..after i bring it to another shop..wich is hved a gud reputation here at my town..my racket can be string up until 30 lbs without any problem...right now..after a yer ordy..i stil use my edge saber z spark n it was strung up with 27.5 lbs...it was rely nice to hve an original rcket...tq u ol..hehe