TCore KTS Core ALC
Weight: 82 grams
Plies: 7 with ALC 2nd layer.
The TCore KTS Core ALC is the premier and flagship shakehand blade of TCore/TMount. The quality of construction of their newest blades is in the level of high-end Japanese blades. The blade is one of the 3 KTS blades sent to me and this is the one I am introducing to players because not many players have tried this excellent blade. The blade head size is 150x157mm while the average thickness is 5.9mm. The average weight is 86 grams but the one I have gotten is 82 grams which is pretty light for an offensive blade that does not have a balsa core or having a smaller head size. On an initial view of the blade, the plastic covering is almost unnoticeable and you would think the design on the blade head. There are no designs in the blade head. You would initially think that the design you are seeing upon opening the box is printed on the blade but they are only in the adhesive plastic covers. These adhesive plastic covers can be used also to cover your rubbers. The KTS series have a somewhat improved shape for their flared handles. The older T Series like the T540 and T560 blades have a somewhat slender neck part of the handle. The moment I held the KTS blades, I felt the neck part is a bit thicker compared to their older model blades. The neck part of the Viscaria is at 22.6mm thickness while the KTS ALC Core blade has a thickness of 22.7mm. In recent years my list of flared blades has really narrowed due to the increasing number of flared models having a very slender neck. I fact, I opted to shift to an ST blade jus tbecause a lot of blades now in the market seem to be uncomfortable to my hand. The FL handle of the KTS blades maybe bulky for some Asian hands or smaller hands but for European people with bigger hands, the FL handle of the KTS Series would fit right into their hands comfortably. The finishing of the blade is on the best I have seen in the market nowadays. It is almost smooth but never slippery. A lot of blades have this rough texture in their handles whereas the KTS blades do not have them.
I used the Tmount Master X rubber with the tests for more than a week. I have also used other rubbers from other brands such as DHS Hurricane 3 Neo 37 degrees and Stiga DNA Platinum H and Dragon Grip on this blade and the other KTS blades. The speed is OFF but I would say it is fast for an OFF blade but not enough to be an OFF+ blade. It has the medium stiff feel when hitting the ball. I can feel the speed but I would put it a bit slower than the Innerforce ALC or Ma Long V blades since the 2 mentioned blades have the nearest playing characteristics with the KTS ALC Core blade. I would describe the speed as not overwhelming but the presence of a good amount of speed is obviously felt. The KTS ALC Core is actually the slowest among the 3 KTS blades I have tried with the ZLC version being the fastest. I have tried bouncing the ball against the bare blades of KTS ALC Core and Viscaria, KTS ALC Core is obviously slower and has a slightly slower bounce. Through experience, I would say KTS ALC Core is faster than the Nittaku Acoustic Carbon blade. Overall, the speed is that of a control-offensive blade in which it is fast enough to do all your power shots but is more concentrated on better control and accuracy plus it is not best for far distance positioning unless you use rubbers that are at 50 degrees and above which will give you more speed when applying more power to your shots.
The KTS ALC Core blade is best used for a looper or spinner. Like other blades with an inner composite construction type, there is a good balance of speed and flex that allows a player to loop the ball with less effort. It felt almost like looping with just a 7 ply all-wood blade. For most player levels, the KTS ALC Core would be sufficient enough if they are just looking for speed. When paired with fast rubbers, the ALC Core becomes a potent offensive weapon for your mid-distance loops or counters. I have observed the KTS Core ALC as having a medium arc when looping. This is when I have used different rubbers for the test with different angle and situational loops and have repeatedly seen the arc is medium to medium high. For the DNA rubbers, the arc was medium high while with the TCore Master X, the height was medium sometimes medium-high. The best feature of the KTS Core ALC is the excellent feel on ball contact. There is no excessive vibration but the feel has a combination of hard and soft feel. Having a limba wood outer layer actually makes it pair well with tacky non-Chinese rubbers and also Chinese rubbers. This is almost the perfect looping blade wherein the KTS Core ALC blade lets you loop the ball with good feeling on ball contact. Ball feel and contact are 2 important factors that advanced-level players are looking for in my opinion. The combination of these 2 factors let you gauge your loop’s strength and spin generation properly. When you have these 2 factors, the accuracy of your shots and spin generation also increase.
Overall, this is a beautiful blade to look at with its modern design and also the excellent factory finish that could rival Butterfly. If you are looking for a premium-blade that will give you the performance with its price ratio, the KTS Core ALC is one such blade. It is a bit pricey for some people but it is definitely worth it.