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Chad

Gray Nicolls Aus Bat Review - The Best Bats In The World?!
« on: October 05, 2020, 12:09:53 AM »

Sorry for the clickbait title, but hear me out.

'This forum sucks now.', 'What has happened to this forum?', 'Everything has gone downhill.', 'Why aren't the sponsors posting?'

Sound familiar? This is probably the thoughts that have run through each and everyone of our heads at some point over the last few years. This is probably also why I used to post at least 3 times a day, and now it's gone down to less than 1 post on average per day. Blame it on the sponsors not offering deals like they used to? Or on admin for not paying attention to things? Outdated forum features? Lack of ability to post images? No selling posts that catch your fancy? Well, despite all this, I still frequent this forum. Maybe 3 times a day, sometimes 10 times. All I know is that I keep it on my phone as a favourite site, even when my love for cricket was dying.

I'd like to apologise for contributing to this kind of sentiment, I've been in radio silence for a bit. I've become one of those lurkers, all the while still accumulating bats in true Chad form... AND I'VE NOT WRITTEN ANY REVIEWS TO TRY ENGAGE SOME CONVERSATION ABOUT STUFF!!!

Right, so with the water works out the way, lo and behold, my (very brief as it's late) long due review on some bats purchased during my trip to Aus! (Note that I've not used these, but I had the pleasure of knocking one of them in, having 1 modified professionally and knocked in by Kingsgrove Sydney, and also the pleasure of not having to knock another one in because it was so well pressed). I'm not sure if he's still working there, but a big shout out to the chap called Hayden that works/worked in Kingsgrove Sydney. He was massively accommodating, and gave myself and my brother in law a wee tour of the premises, showed me all the machinery they had in the shop, and all the bats for knocking in and repair, as well as ran me through how they prepare bats.

As a note to start with, I'm going to have a couple of new/different forms of measurement, which I didn't have before. One involves using the bat gauge, and another involves seeing the disparity between the width of the bat at the front and back. This will be illustrated as follows:



As you can see, the first two have no disparity, and the 3rd image has quite a large disparity. (Typically 2mm difference will make that kind of a lopsidedness) Also, little spoiler for a future review, but my first sharpie'd SS.

With the gauge, I'll be showing the gap at the maximum point of the bat, OR the point where the gauge gets stuck. (Queue spoiler for the review of a HUGE bat due for review sometime soon)




With that all out the way, let's get on with the incomplete reviews!


Bat 1: GN Maax Lynn-Sane G2 (Chris Lynn Replica)

Size - 15mm shorter blade with standard SH handle (540mm blade)
Weight - 2lb 10.5oz
Toe edge - 19mm
Toe centre - 23mm
Edge peak - 38mm
Spine - 65mm approx
Shoulder - 13mm
Spine into handle - 41mm

Some quick notes on this one. I got this from one of the GCCCs in Melbourne. (The one NOT in the city) I fell in love with this one there, but when I compared the one from Kingsgrove, I preferred that one over this. Nonetheless, after knocking, my opinion has changed somewhat...

With rounded edges, it's hitting 38mm edge and around a 65mm spine. (Really hard to judge by eye using calipers, maybe I need new ones)



So you can see from these first two pics, it's a very nice looking piece. Rightfully graded as a G2 IMO by GN Aus, with the blemishes running along the heartwood, but beyond that you're getting 13 very straight and pretty even grains. You can also see in the image on the right that there is a slight lopsidedness, although not as obvious as the example shown before. The front of the bat is around 107mm in width, and back around 106mm in width. The scuff sheet is probably what's accentuating the difference. You can also see that the toe is a very square one - this is meant to replicate what Chris Lynn did to his own bats. He used to cut off around the bottom inch of so of his bats with a saw, so instead of having him do his own amendments, GN decided just to make them this way for him. Looking at his averages across formats and six hitting ability, you can see that this just works for him.











Profile wise, we're looking at around a mid - mid high swell, with very little wood taken out. It's worth noting that the Chris Lynn Players Edition (The top grade) has no concaving whatsoever, and is pretty close to this shape, albeit with a thicker toe.



And in terms of fitting through the gauge, it does so barely. The spine very nearly doesn't go through, because of the slightly flatter face. This isn't too obvious, as I've made sure I've rounded out the edges sufficiently.

Knocking this bat in was a pleasure - I've only really had to spend significant time on the edges. This is how a bat should be pressed IMO, with a firmness that makes the edges take some time to round, and with the hitting area almost perfect. The rebound is only getting better with additional knocking, which is why I've not knocked the playing area too much - I intend on spending some time on my V Pro Elite net to finish off the knocking in.


Bat 2: GN Maax Lynn-Sane G2 (Chris Lynn Replica) - From Kingsgrove, and modified to have a rounded toe, and also knocked in by them.

Size - 15mm shorter blade with standard SH handle - ever so slightly shorter by a few mm because of modifications
Weight - 2lb 10.3oz
Toe edge - 21mm
Toe centre - 30mm
Edge peak - 41/42mm
Spine- 68mm approx
Shoulder - 12mm
Spine into handle - 39.5mm

Some quick notes again about this one. This is BIG, it's 41mm edges and 67mm spine means it doesn't quite fit through the gauge.



Straight away from the images, you can see that this looks pretty different with the rounded toe. I mentioned to the staff that I was a bit concerned with square toes, as the corner seems to be vulnerable, and straight away, the lad told me that they could probably adjust this for me. (Didn't cost any extra, and was complementary alongside the knocking) This does make the toe a bit thicker, but also reduces the overall length of the bat by a couple of mm. (I do like a slightly chunkier toe though!) As you can see, there isn't much bowing at all.













Profile wise, you're looking at a slightly larger version of what we had before, except it does look a bit different without the square toe. Performance wise, this thing is an absolute cracker. It feels incredible to tap up with, even more so than bat 1. (And this wasn't even the best bat in store, that was a Lynn Players!) Compared to the other Players editions, other than the Lynn edition itself, the performance of this was right up there.


Bat 3: Grade 3 Maax (Australian made, off the shelf)

Size - standard SH
Weight - 2lb 8.4oz
Toe edge - 22mm
Toe centre - 26mm
Edge peak - 37mm
Spine - 62mm approx
Shoulder - 12mm
Spine into handle - 39mm

This was purchased at the same time as Bat 1. This is just a pocket rocket. The specs are nothing to write home, (Probably around 60mm spine and 36mm edges) but the pressing is a firm, crisp press, and with a rounded face means that the edges aren't needing much rounding at all. Perfect pressing IMO, with an almighty crack when you're tapping it up with a mallet. I had a look through ALL the Gray Nicolls bats in store that day, not leaving 1 piece of willow unturned, and I'm glad I did, otherwise I may not have found this gem.



As you can see, this one has a bit more of a bow than the Lynns. This is probably why it feels that bit firmer, and pretty much good to go out the packet. With a slightly rounder face, this bat looks very modest size wise, however you must remember that this is a standard sized bat, and also is about 2 ounces lighter!











Profile wise, you can see that this is not dissimilar to the Lynn-Sanes, but just with a bit of a diet. The edge is slightly offset, which probably aids with the performance lower down the blade. Pick up wise, this one feels like a wand IMO.


I'll have no doubt missed something out, but I'll just mention a few things of what I found with the GN bats I saw in Aus.

  • There was a large amount of bats imported from India there. They were also of good quality, but some were just hit or miss. Almost all the GN Aus bats that I dug out were products of a much higher quality control. There were some lovely Shockwaves from India which were huge, and rivalled some of the GN Aus made bats, but generally speaking, the best of the best were the Aus made ones.
  • GN Aus bats generally didn't have any toe guards on them, but there were a couple of exceptions, so had to keep my eyes peeled for the signs.
  • The tell tale signs of an GN Aus bats aren't anything mysterious - just look for the A stamped on the back at the toe, and also look for the 'Made in Australia' sticker.
  • A slightly less obvious sign would be to look at the binding - if the bat only has binding around the bottom inch of the handle, and tape round the rest, I'm almost certain that's a GN Aus made trait.
  • Buying one makes you want to buy another, and I have a fair few in my collection now!

As a side note, tapping these up, the ceiling wasn't in too much danger as they're pretty damn high! But if I used the same force as a certain batmaker, well, let's just say I'd be paying for a new ceiling. :D Much love, and also an 'F' for the mobile data users,

Chad

PS. Got another beauty from Aus to showcase/review, so keep an eye out!

Also, here's a little spoiler for a bunch of reviews I've to get round to - meet my oil mat!

« Last Edit: October 05, 2020, 11:37:14 PM by Chad »
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adb club cricketer

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Re: Gray Nicolls Aus Bat Review - The Best Bats In The World?!
« Reply #1 on: October 05, 2020, 12:16:18 AM »

Some lovely sticks there! Cant wait for the spoiler bats :)
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InternalTraining

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Re: Gray Nicolls Aus Bat Review - The Best Bats In The World?!
« Reply #2 on: October 05, 2020, 12:39:44 AM »

I'd like to apologise for contributing to this kind of sentiment, I've been in radio silence for a bit. I've become one of those lurkers, all the while still accumulating bats in true Chad form... AND I'VE NOT WRITTEN ANY REVIEWS TO TRY ENGAGE SOME CONVERSATION ABOUT STUFF!!!


Don't worry @Chad, you are still my hero, and I hate you. :D

Now, on to the more important stuff, what's the weight of the 2 Lynn Sane bats?
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addu84

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Re: Gray Nicolls Aus Bat Review - The Best Bats In The World?!
« Reply #3 on: October 05, 2020, 09:00:05 AM »

@Chad Many thanks for the writeup...can I be greedy and ask for details on the Kook???  :D
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Sivlar13

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Re: Gray Nicolls Aus Bat Review - The Best Bats In The World?!
« Reply #4 on: October 05, 2020, 01:07:30 PM »

Fantastic review here @Chad - I too have become a lurker rather than a poster. Aus GN sticks are up there with the best Ive ever used. I have a Williamson one from a couple of years ago that I bought off eBay and only got topped by a Root Sondhi this season. Its such a shame the factories are so bloody far away!

Great to have you back in a full review capacity big man.
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@SivDrums

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Re: Gray Nicolls Aus Bat Review - The Best Bats In The World?!
« Reply #5 on: October 05, 2020, 02:09:49 PM »

Are all the Max's made in Aus? I thought only the specialist range is made in Aus while rest Delta/Max etc., are Indian made?
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Chad

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Re: Gray Nicolls Aus Bat Review - The Best Bats In The World?!
« Reply #6 on: October 05, 2020, 11:47:23 PM »

I have now updated the review with some more of my thoughts, and also some of the specs. Please do give it another read if you've already read - no doubt I'll have missed something, so feel free to ask if I have! And please discuss - what do you guys think of GN Aus bats? Are they some of the finest in the world? Or is it a case of the grass is always greener on the other side? (For us in the UK anyways) For me, I saw a UK issue Legend there, and it couldn't compare with what the GN premium range had to offer.

@Chad Many thanks for the writeup...can I be greedy and ask for details on the Kook???  :D

Yeah, you can be greedy! And nope, I'm not giving them out, wait like the rest of us. :D I can say it's pretty special!

Fantastic review here @Chad - I too have become a lurker rather than a poster. Aus GN sticks are up there with the best Ive ever used. I have a Williamson one from a couple of years ago that I bought off eBay and only got topped by a Root Sondhi this season. Its such a shame the factories are so bloody far away!

Great to have you back in a full review capacity big man.

It's very easy to get into lurking, but the forum has always been a place where the more you give, the more entertainment and enjoyment you get out of it. :) Yes, it's a real shame they're so far away, but also a good thing! I'd probs buy far more!

Are all the Max's made in Aus? I thought only the specialist range is made in Aus while rest Delta/Max etc., are Indian made?

Nope, only some of the bats are made in Australia. The vast majority of Maax bats would have been made in India, but they'd have made some with the willow they had in Aus. This particular Maax 750 was a G3 made in Aus. (I get the feeling there's more batmaking going on in GN Aus than in Robertsbridge, as I could spot a fair few Aus made bats, but I could be very wrong!)
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Re: Gray Nicolls Aus Bat Review - The Best Bats In The World?!
« Reply #7 on: October 06, 2020, 09:08:42 AM »

Hi Chadders,

Good to see you and the piano back.

Could you add prices paid or at least what the retail of the bats were in the shop.

Just to play devils advocate, the willow that Australia and India receive is all sent from Robertsbridge. So what makes the aus made bats better? Size ? Pressing? Value for money? 

Chad

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Re: Gray Nicolls Aus Bat Review - The Best Bats In The World?!
« Reply #8 on: October 06, 2020, 10:14:51 AM »

Hi Chadders,

Good to see you and the piano back.

Could you add prices paid or at least what the retail of the bats were in the shop.

Hi Rob, its nice to be back writing reviews - they're not great, but at least I can try to share thoughts I have! (However badly done it is!)

In terms of what was paid, I don't remember exactly, (Was almost a year ago) but I believe the Lynn-Sanes were a little north of 300, and the Maax 750 was around the 150 Mark. (After conversion from AUD)

Just to play devils advocate, the willow that Australia and India receive is all sent from Robertsbridge. So what makes the aus made bats better? Size ? Pressing? Value for money?

Not sure what everyone else thinks, but for me, I'm almost certain that Robertsbridge is the birthplace of bats just as good as the Aus made ones. (I had one made by Alex as an Ashes special, which I deeply regret selling, but that was excellent)

The appeal of the Aus made bats for me is that they're more readily available and it is very transparent which are made in Aus, while Robertsbridge made bats, if I'm totally honest, I wouldn't be able to pick out. I'm sure there are some distinct features, but I've heard of some which turn out not to be true. (Like the S stamp instead of sticker on top of the handle, shoulder stamps etc) While with Aus made ones, it's plain and obvious. In order to make sure I got one made from Robertsbridge, I'd have to go through the custom bat route, or get someone knowledgeable to pick one out for me from shops!
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Re: Gray Nicolls Aus Bat Review - The Best Bats In The World?!
« Reply #9 on: October 06, 2020, 10:37:43 AM »

Hi Chad as normal all look stunning and look forward to the review of the powerspot. Seen a few of these Indian made GN player editions and all look very nice and big.

On the Aus made bats is it not that they are all narrower around the 104/105mm width like most kookaburra bats Iv come across??

This has always put me off Aus GN bats as most that have owned them have spoken highly of the performance but a narrow bat is just my absolute non negotiable point when ever buying a bat
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Re: Gray Nicolls Aus Bat Review - The Best Bats In The World?!
« Reply #10 on: October 06, 2020, 11:11:42 AM »

Hi Rob, its nice to be back writing reviews - they're not great, but at least I can try to share thoughts I have! (However badly done it is!)

In terms of what was paid, I don't remember exactly, (Was almost a year ago) but I believe the Lynn-Sanes were a little north of 300, and the Maax 750 was around the 150 Mark. (After conversion from AUD)

Not sure what everyone else thinks, but for me, I'm almost certain that Robertsbridge is the birthplace of bats just as good as the Aus made ones. (I had one made by Alex as an Ashes special, which I deeply regret selling, but that was excellent)

The appeal of the Aus made bats for me is that they're more readily available and it is very transparent which are made in Aus, while Robertsbridge made bats, if I'm totally honest, I wouldn't be able to pick out. I'm sure there are some distinct features, but I've heard of some which turn out not to be true. (Like the S stamp instead of sticker on top of the handle, shoulder stamps etc) While with Aus made ones, it's plain and obvious. In order to make sure I got one made from Robertsbridge, I'd have to go through the custom bat route, or get someone knowledgeable to pick one out for me from shops!

Hi Chadders, any review is better than no review, and they are all worth a read
yes agree that with the Aus bats, you know what ones are made there. The prices you paid seem pretty reasonable, it helped that you were there instead of having to pay the custom duties ( mine was over 100 charge )
On the uk made bats , they will have a 12 piece handle.

Chad

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Re: Gray Nicolls Aus Bat Review - The Best Bats In The World?!
« Reply #11 on: October 06, 2020, 12:53:42 PM »

Hi Chad as normal all look stunning and look forward to the review of the powerspot. Seen a few of these Indian made GN player editions and all look very nice and big.

On the Aus made bats is it not that they are all narrower around the 104/105mm width like most kookaburra bats Iv come across??

This has always put me off Aus GN bats as most that have owned them have spoken highly of the performance but a narrow bat is just my absolute non negotiable point when ever buying a bat

Hi Chris, thanks for reading and dropping a comment. In terms of them being narrower - yes and no. I've got a fair few GN Aus bats, and most of them sit in the 107mm-108mm width category. The ones that don't are the Atomic and the XXX models.









As you can see, these are big profiles. I suspect that since these tend to be lightweight, and that the craze was as big an edge as possible, to appeal to the light bat users, they narrowed the bats a bit. The Atomic blue is 105mm, while the other 2 are 106mm. For me, 106mm - 108mm is acceptable, and once it reaches 104mm, it is a definite no for me. (Atomics are 2lb 8.7oz, and the XXX is 2lb 11.4oz with 2 grips)

There are 2 reasons why narrowing is done - to keep the bat weight down, and also to make the bat look bigger than it is. (This is what I was meant to touch on in the bat width tapering towards the back of the edge)

Hope this answers your question! In terms of culprits for narrower bats, SS, SG, those GN Indian Players are a bit narrower as well. (Apparently thats just the standard width they use over in India) I've seen a few Keeleys too which are narrower than standard. They used to have the width tapering from 108mm at the toe to 104mm at the shoulder in some cases!
« Last Edit: October 06, 2020, 12:55:23 PM by Chad »
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Re: Gray Nicolls Aus Bat Review - The Best Bats In The World?!
« Reply #12 on: October 06, 2020, 03:16:56 PM »

Cheers Chad and once again some more stunning bats.

Must say I have cleared out all my bats now and Im left with just two. The first is my match bat from last season that I made myself and the second is my GN Oblivion Stealth. Personally have never had a poor performing GN regardless of U.K, Indian or Aus made. The most consistent of the big brands for me performance wise and probably just but only just the best softs but only value for money wise vs GM.
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Re: Gray Nicolls Aus Bat Review - The Best Bats In The World?!
« Reply #13 on: October 08, 2020, 01:49:56 PM »

THANKS CHAD!! :) :)


Hi Rob, its nice to be back writing reviews - they're not great, but at least I can try to share thoughts I have! (However badly done it is!)

In terms of what was paid, I don't remember exactly, (Was almost a year ago) but I believe the Lynn-Sanes were a little north of 300, and the Maax 750 was around the 150 Mark. (After conversion from AUD)

Not sure what everyone else thinks, but for me, I'm almost certain that Robertsbridge is the birthplace of bats just as good as the Aus made ones. (I had one made by Alex as an Ashes special, which I deeply regret selling, but that was excellent)

The appeal of the Aus made bats for me is that they're more readily available and it is very transparent which are made in Aus, while Robertsbridge made bats, if I'm totally honest, I wouldn't be able to pick out. I'm sure there are some distinct features, but I've heard of some which turn out not to be true. (Like the S stamp instead of sticker on top of the handle, shoulder stamps etc) While with Aus made ones, it's plain and obvious. In order to make sure I got one made from Robertsbridge, I'd have to go through the custom bat route, or get someone knowledgeable to pick one out for me from shops!
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Re: Gray Nicolls Aus Bat Review - The Best Bats In The World?!
« Reply #14 on: October 08, 2020, 03:10:42 PM »

Dont think Ive seen a bad aus made gn,,most have been absolute stunners, especially performance wise.
Must be over 20yrs since Ive seen a decent uk one,,,at one point it was all Id use.
Cant even remember the last time I saw one used around here,(Oxfordshire)

And as always with your collection, Id be more than happy to own and use any of them ,,,,,thanks for taking the time to post again
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