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GM Chroma Signature Review - from Six Sixes

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Chad:
Hiya all - it seems like a fair few have already beaten me to posting about the GM Chroma, so I hope you don't get too bored reading about my purchase experience.

First of all, a big thank you to Rob @Six Sixes Cricket . I believe that Rob was actually the first person I ever bought a bat from online, back in 2012. It was a Black Cat Custom made in the shape of an M&H Distinction, albeit a much smaller sized one. I do regret selling that on without giving it a proper go, as the stickers were gorgeous, and the bat was made by one of the best.

Enough with my reminiscing, onto the purchase itself. I was a bit cheeky and offered to post up pictures for Rob, placing my order 2 minutes after receipt of the photos. Of course, @SOULMAN1012 got there before me, but it's okay, I still managed to snaffle 2 Chromas. (A 606 which isn't featured here, but is impressive too) Rob got it sent up and with me the day after some notes changed hands, and I received this.



Here is a close up of the grains:



A close up of the front sticker:




I had been anticipating a new GM model after a few whispers about GM potentially releasing a very popular profile which isn't far off what many pros use. Was it going to be a Kohli shape? Must have a duckbill, right? Every other pro uses that. Perhaps they're gonna copy Steve Smith's? And of course, the profile they were actually releasing was going to be based off of Ben Stokes' bat.

A review isn't a review unless we have the mandatory profile shots from numerous angles:











@InternalTraining Here's the bow:



Here is how the bat looks through the gauge. This was placed at the swell:






Any narrowing at the back? Pretty much none, the slope shown below will be because of the scuff sheet:





 :o :o :o Pictures before specs?

Weight: 2lb 9.0oz - up from 2lb 8.9oz last Friday
Edges: 37mm
Spine: 62mm
Toe edge: 19.5mm
Toe centre: 25mm
Shoulder edge: 16mm
Splice leading into handle: 37.5mm
Face Camber: 4-5mm
Width: 107-108mm throughout the face and also the back edge. No skimping on width here!
Pick Up: Subjective, but this feels quite light. I'd probably rate it as 2 on the GM Index. Feels light for 2.9.
Handle: Oval, and a nice medium thickness

One thing I think I'll note here is that the grips used by GM this year are pretty thin and light - around 1.2oz. This is around 0.6oz lighter than the Terrain grips used last season - I'm assuming it's to try compete in size for weight. Whether they're grippy enough can only really be determined after using the bat.

About this particular bat - it pings quite noticeably better than the 606. (Both have the same shape and specs) It does however have about 2oz to its advantage. However I have found that the bat just naturally pings exceptionally off the stains. (It really gives an almighty crack when you hit the stain around 23cm up from the toe) I can't imagine how big the 606 would be had it been the same weight, or even made into a 2.10!

In terms of hitting area coverage, I would say it starts waking up around 7.5cm from the toe (Where the lowest blemis/pin knot is) and responds decently around 30cm from the toe. (It's really tough to say how much purchase exactly you'd be getting from connections at those 2 extremes, but I'd imagine you'd get enough power to beat a fielder in close for a single. If in doubt, use the middle. :D)

Here's a tape measure just to give a rough idea of the middle position. I'd say it's around 20-24cm up the blade, so around a mid swell. :



Now - how does it actually stack up to the Ben Stokes Player Edition?











Well, short answer is that the profiles are pretty similar, however the Ben Stokes Edition is just more imposing in size. The spine height of 65mm and edges of 39mm mean that there's even more wood packed into the middle (You can see it fills out the gauge a little more), coupled with a little less tapering towards the toe and splice/handle. Responsiveness wise, there is a noticeable difference (It is just under 2oz heavier though) - however I think @Marc28 (At least I think that's Cricket Bat Info Marc's account) mentions is worth noting - chasing after a 'golden unicorn' of a bat that performs as good as the Players bats might net you around 15-20 runs more on aggregate throughout the season compared to a really good quality bat that suits you, but you really can't tell. It's entirely up to you whether that extra performance benefit will be worth the extra 400.

Many thanks to @Six Sixes Cricket - a retailer I would highly recommend to anyone. If you're looking to visit physically, (please don't at the moment) I hear he has a nice wee coffee machine. ;) If you do visit, please do knick his Custom GN for me, will exchange for some notes/coins. :D

Also, many thanks to the equipment used to help try measure/quantify things. (Calipers not pictured)



And lastly, thanks for reaching this part of the review. I do enjoy typing these up, but it is massively time consuming, so I'm grateful if you've spent the time to read, even if you think I just talk $H!+. (Do let me know if there's anything I don't cover, or that I am talking rubbish in) Hope it gives some good insight into what the Chroma is, and gives you an idea of whether its a bat that will suit you or not. :)

Jimbo:
Top work mate, great review. Huge fan of those photos on the reflective table surface as well.

jonny77:
Top work mate. Looks a nice stick

e4sby:
Absolutely love mine! Picks up so much better than my PE Stokes did... mine weighs just under 2.8 (when I weighed Wednesday) and picks up like a wand, right up my street. Also have a bat on order which is similar shape so will be interesting to compare.

Top photos as per @Chad

SurreySam:
Great review, love the effort put in.

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