TCore Master X Rubber
Weight: 67 grams uncut
Sponge Hardness: 53 degrees (Very Hard)
Top sheet: Semi-tacky
This is a long-awaited rubber from TCore/TMount. Took at least 2 years to review their rubbers again due to the pandemic. I have used the TCore Ace 1 and 2 in the past and they are above average rubbers. Speed was noticeable compared to regular Chinese rubbers but the spin is lower compared to tacky Chinese rubbers. The Chinese factories have tried to replicate the Euro or Japanese feel in their rubbers while still maintaining the Chinese tacky topsheet but it wasn’t until 10 years ago that bouncy Chinese rubbers came out. Some made non-tacky topsheets but were fairly bouncy. For example, the RITC Focus Snipe which was a very soft, non-tacky rubber which was for its time was a bit advanced for Chinese rubbers in terms of bounciness. Haifu did a good job back then releasing their Whale rubbers for Haifu 1 and 2 which at that time were a bit different from regular Chinese rubbers because the sponge was a bit more responsive and produced faster shots while maintaining the tackiness of the top sheet. The Whale 3 and Shark rubbers were one of the best earlier Hybrid like rubbers produced before with the only drawback of not being too durable. The previous models of TCore Ace 1 and 1 have almost the speed of older generation of Euro rubbers but the topsheet was completely non-tacky. If I am not mistaken Friendship made the Ace 1 and 2 rubbers. The topsheets of the 2 rubbers lack the Chinese feel and therefore give you less spin. The bounciness of the Ace 1 and 2 rubbers made them a better hitting rubber compared to any other major Chinese rubbers in the market at that time.
The Master X solves the problem of having more spin while the speed did not reduce too much. The speed is still at off+ level. I would put it at being slightly faster and bouncier than Hurricane 3 Neo. I tried the Master X at both boosted and non-boosted conditions. Even when non-boosted outside the factory, the Master X is already faster than regular Chinese rubbers that are tacky. The M-X is obviously factory boosted. You can see the very slight doming of the sponge out of the box. Straight out of the box, the rubber is very much playable even at higher levels though it would not hurt if you boost the rubber to make it softer and bouncier. The 53- degree sponge hardness is roughly like 41 or 42 degrees by DHS sponge hardness but it does not feel dead. You will appreciate the liveliness of the rubber by simply doing forehand and backhand driving drills or doing flat-hitting sessions. This rubber, for a modern Chinese rubber, does not easily hit the net when doing less spinny drives or just flat hitting. The ACE 1 and 2 rubbers are still much better than the Master X in terms of pure hitting because they are just designed to somehow mimic European rubbers. Does the Master X still feel like a typical Chinese rubber? My answer is not really. The bouncy feel borders being a hybrid rubber. I would say it has some similarities with Rakza Z Extra Hard but a little less speed but more spin and grip on the ball.
The topsheet is more on the grippy side and there is minimal tackiness. If you check out the pictures posted, you can see the fine topsheet quality that the M-X has. It has lost the typical grainy tacky surface that one would usually see among other Chinese rubbers. At a distance, you can mistake the Master X as a European rubber. Only on closer inspection one can realize that this is a high-quality, smooth-topsheet rubber. How is the tackiness of the topsheet? It is quite less compared to regular tacky, Chinese rubbers. It could not pick up and hold the ball for even 2 or 3 seconds. The tackiness is almost non-existent with more of a grippy surface but when you press your finger against the topsheet, there is some tack that makes your finer stick to the topsheet but it is not too obvious. The upside of this is that the Master X can produce tons of spin on whether you brush the ball very little in order to loop and hit through the sponge more, the Master X will still enable you to produce heavy spins on loops. I would still say it still favors people who brush contact the ball. The Hurricane 3 still has a higher spin potential but higher spin potential means more effort and more skills needed. The Master X is already spinnier than most Euro and Japan rubber nowadays but would need less effort in producing spin. It is more forgiving having a slightly higher arc than Hurricane 3 or Sanwei Target National.
This is a bit more pricey than regular Chinese rubbers but way less expensive than the so-called National Versions of Hurricane 3s in which you are not sure if you have the authentic one or not. Even if you have the real one, you are still not sure with the quality. Hands down, the Master X is probably the best new Chinese rubber in the market right now .If you are looking for a rubber that has the capability of giving tons of spin but would not want it slow without boosting, the Master X is the rubber that can be highly considered by the buyer.