In this final review of new Arcsaber badminton racquets introduced in 2011, I’m looking at the more up-market Yonex Arcsaber 009DX. Yonex introduced the DX hole system a couple of years ago. This change in stringing pattern has allowed the racquet to be strung at much higher tensions (increase to 27lbs compared
to Yonex standard 24lbs). This will certainly appeal to those who love high string tensions, regardless of whether they can play with them or not.
The Arcsaber 009DX is a mid-range extra stiff racquet with excellent graphics using Yonex favourite black, red and white colour scheme. It is a 3U (84-89g) G4 (small grip) which seems to be the norm these days for UK specification badminton racquets. The racquet is strung with Yonex BG55 string. This was a surprise considering the price of the racquet. I would have expected BG65 or BG65Ti performance strings. The racquet is aimed at better club level-advanced players and therefore I expect they are far more discerning about their string choice. I wouldn’t expect an endurance-based string in a racquet at this price.
Yet again the racquet is strung at a good tension so it’s a shame that many players will have to pay extra (unless you have a very good online retailer who will re-string before posting) to get a better performing string. However, it is good that Yonex are stringing at higher tensions to ensure their racquets are playable for a good percentage of players.
It’s hitting time…
The combination of tighter string and the stiff frame really worked for me as it’s more in keeping with my personal preferences. Whilst I’m used to a more aerodynamic frame, I still felt the racquet was pretty fast through the air and delivered a precise hit with little drag. Clears were so much sharper than the Arcsaber 003, however I would expect this due to the specification including materials used.
This racquet seemed that much more responsive, but that’s what you’re paying for…more of the good things. All overhead shots felt really good and clean. Again, the excellent torsion (lack of sideways twist) in the head meant that even extreme shots, hit slightly off-centre, still followed a true path. That’s where the stiffer racquet can really excel – shots delivered that little bit quicker.
As I’ve said many times though, you choose your racquet based on your badminton experience, style, technique, physique and muscular structure. Therefore, what’s good for me isn’t always the same for you. Remember this because only you can decide what suits your game.
So, we’ve established this racquet delivers more, it’s powerful and pretty fast offensively. Can it really be as good defensively?
For an even-balance racquet, the simple answer is yes. But, if you’re looking for a super-fast frame, then Arcsabers are not for you. The frame is not as aerodynamic as a Voltric, or as light in the head as a Nano so it falls into the middle ground and that’s what many players want. This gives them some beef in the overhead department whilst still retaining a degree of speed for all the fast defensive skills and speed around the net.
And that is what this racquet does pretty well, delivers a good all-round game for you without any frills. If the racquet was manufactured in Japan instead of Taiwan I wonder what the price would be? Considerably more I would expect. So, in essence, what you are getting is probably the best of a non-Japanese Arcsaber, if you can cope with an extra-stiff frame – and that’s a big if for many players.
I really liked the Yonex Arcsaber 009DX Badminton Racquet. It suits most of my personal preferences, however there are many players who will not enjoy the extra-stiff frame and prefer the racquet with a medium shaft.
The graphics are good and the racquet certainly delivers better than the other lower end racquets I’ve already reviewed.
RRP for 009DX is £100 but I would expect online discounters to retail around £85-90. That’s a fair price for the racquet and a step in the right direction compared to Arcsaber 5DX.
This has been a difficult racquet to rate because it’s really good for the price but there are also better Arcsabers for a little more money. In the circumstances, I consider a four star rating is fair for this racquet.
If you’re an intermediate – advanced player who can really pack a punch, you may find this racquet really suits your game. It’s certainly worth adding to your testing list when you’re looking for a new racquet.