Comprehensive details and review of the Dr Neubauer Matador blade. The Hercules blade is specifically optimised for pimple or anti-spin rubber that work well on faster blades, and is ideally suited to all styles of a disruptive styles of play.

Review is kindly provided by Matt Pimple from OOAK Forum.

Here is the manufacturer’s description:

Dr.Neubauer MATADOR – The new offensive blade for use with pimple-out/Anti-Spin
OFF- blade

This new development has been conceived for players using pimple-out or Anti-Spin rubbers that have a preference for fast blades, yet require a high level of control and disruptive effect.

The special plywood composition of MATADOR provides astounding power for a modern attacking game. Fast topspin shots as well as looping with a lot of rotation are both very easy to perform.

It is one of the very few OFF blades on the market that also produce a distinctive disruptive effect when used with pimple-out or Anti-Spin rubbers.
Most importantly this blade produces the low bounce that all pimple-out or Anti-Spin players are traditionally looking for. This holds true while blocking passively with long pimples as well as for chop-blocking close to the table.
When used with offensive pips-out rubbers this blade provides all you needr-neubauer-matador-bladed for a powerful and highly effective attacking game.

MATADOR is relatively rigid yet still provides a remarkable “touch” for the ball, offering a surprisingly good control for all playing strokes.

MATADOR – A “must have” for aggressive pimple-out/Anti-Spin players!

Price EURO 49.00
Category OFF-
Weight appr. 88 g
Plies 7
Handle straight-flared-anatomic
Speed 93
Control 90
Rigidity 88
Total thickness 6mm
Size of blade 15.3 x 15.3

Dr. Neubauer Matador Review – by Matt Pimple

Abbreviations: Matador (MAT)

Disclaimer: I received the blade from Dr. Neubauer for testing

About the reviewer:

My USATT rating is around 1900. My strength is my forehand with which I score the majority of my points mainly through looping; I play close to the table with blocking and looping. I play with frictionless anti on backhand, mainly for returning serve and blocking topspin loops.


I played the Matador with Nittaku DHS Hurricane 3 Neo 2.15mm (black) on forehand and with Dr. Neubauer frictionless antis Buffalo and Bison (both red and 1.8mm) on backhand. The handle is straight and weight 83g.


The Matador blade is absolutely top notch in terms of quality of the materials and craftsmanship in the same category as other quality blades from Donic or Tibhar but maybe not quite as high as some of 4 or 5-times more expensive high end blades from Butterfly. In particular the Walnut outer plies have a very nice look giving it an appearance of luxury. The overall design is very simple with a light blue dyed handle that has a single lens on one side of the handle. The Matador does not have any printings on the blade face. I actually really like the design of the blade but if you really like fancy printing on the blade face and handle designs with different colors and inlays, this blade might disappoint you. What is also nice about the Matador is the fact that the wings have been smoothed for better comfort. The blade face has a thick varnish similar to the NCT coating Stiga uses on some of its hardwood blades. I did not have any problems sticking rubber to the MAT but some have reported problems. I use rubber cement (Elmer’s brand) and applied 2 layers each on the blade and on the sponge, allow each layer to completely dry, lightly press the rubber onto the blade and then let it sit for a couple of hours with 3 heavy textbooks on top. The Matador is a 7-ply blade with thin Walnut outers, a thinner ayous layer underneath and then 3 thicker ayous layers inside.


The Matador used for this review which I use as my main blade weighs 83g and I also have a spare blade with straight handle weighing 81.5g. I might be interested in testing a little heavier Matador (86-88g) at some point as well…


I would describe the touch of the MAT as medium and certainly not as hard as the Walnut outers might suggest probably because they are fairly thin and the 5 inner layers are soft ayous. The touch is definitely softer than for example the Stiga Intensity which also has Walnut outers or some of the carbon blades I recently played like Viscaria Light, Schlager Light or YinHe VIS-A Pro. I would describe the touch as a “crisper Clipper”. The blade does not have a lot of vibrations as expected from a 7-ply blade but provides outstanding ball feedback to the hand and does not have the “dead” feel of some carbon blades like the Dr. Neubauer Hercules as an example of another excellent combination blade.


The MAT is quite stiff as you would expect from a 7-ply blade similar to a Stiga Clipper but not as stiff as some of the carbon blades I recently played like Viscaria Light, Schlager Light or YinHe VIS-A Pro.


I would rate the MAT as an Off blade (it is listed as Off- on paddle palace); it is slower than a Clipper but slightly faster than the Hercules. It is definitely slower than a Clipper in the short game such as serve, return or pushes and behaves more like an Off- blade in that department but it does develop Off speed on loops with full body use.


This is the category for me where the MAT shines better than ANY other blade in this speed category. For me the combination of feel, touch, stiffness and the speed make for a perfect control without the dead feel of some of the carbon blades I played before. With the MAT I can feel the ball better on impact and then guide it to wherever I want to.


Despite the harder Walnut outers the dwell is actually very good and the spin generation on looping is some of the best I have ever seen, definitely higher than Sclager Light or VIS-A Pro. I would say that the rotation on topspins is one of the absolutely highlights of the MAT. It was the first thing I immediately noticed when I was doing forehand drills and it was also what drew me to this blade. When my coach (USATT 2400) used the MAT the spin generation was just insane and higher than on his normal set-up of Schlager Light with Nittaku DHS Hurricane 3 Neo as well. Because of this and the outstanding control and feel my coach actually also switched to the Matador and used my spare blade to play the recent Arizona Sizzler tournament. He ended up winning the Open event against a former Chilean national player.

Throw Angle:

This in my opinion is the most interesting part of the MAT as it gives a medium throw, maybe a little bit lower than Clipper, on forehand looping (with the Nittaku DHS Hurricane 3 Neo) but it has a low throw and passive blocking or aggressive pushing with Buffalo or Bison anti on backhand. I believe that on blocking or pushing with anti the Walnut outers seem to dominate the throw of the blade but on looping the softer ayous inner layer come into play. This is the only symmetric blade where I have ever seen this kind of behavior which makes the MAT a great blade for players who play a combination style with long pips or anti on backhand and an attacking topspin game on forehand.


From the very beginning I really liked the MAT for looping because of its outstanding spin generation but also the great control and consistency. It doesn’t have the high end power that some of fast carbon blades provide but it produces from spin and less seemingly easy mistakes like balls flying over the table. It definitely improved my topspin game. The MAT even develops enough power to loop or counterloop from mid distance with good technique and use of the body.


The MAT is very stable and controlled on blocking as you would expect from a 7-ply blade both on forehand with inverted and on backhand with anti. Probably due to the outer Walnut plies I found it just as easy to block as with some stiffer carbon blades. It was very easy to getting used to blocking with the MAT after coming from Vis-A Pro or Viscaria Light I was using before switching.

Short game:

The MAT plays more like an ALL+ blade in the short game with a very nice feel for touch shots. You also get a very nice ball feedback to the palm of your hand. It is much easier with the MAT to drop balls short or return serves than with fast carbon blades as you might expect from an all wood blade.


The Dr. Neubauer Matador is a great new Off- blade with outstanding control on all shots designed for combination bat players who like a faster blade for an attacking style of play. Indeed, it does very well what it is advertised to do. For me this is first blade I have tried that works perfectly with frictionless anti (Dr. Neubauer Buffalo) on backhand for blocking and with inverted (Hurricane 3 Neo) on forehand for an aggressive looping game without having to compromise on either wing. I have played with played in the past that allowed for a powerful attack with forehand like Schlager Light but were too fast and bouncy for the anti or I have played with blades that gave great control and reversal for the anti like the Dr. Neubauer Hercules but were not fast and dwelly enough for topspin attack with forehand. The construction of the MAT allows that passive blocking with anti as well as looping with inverted works equally well. This blade can even be used with great success at a high level like my 2400 USATT rated coach for a two-winged attacking game with inverted. Also, the high level German anti player Maik Schoenknecht (TTR 2050; USATT estimated 2400) has switched to Matador as he stated in the German forum.
I would recommend the Dr. Neubauer Matador to combination bat players who like to block with anti or long pips on backhand but also want to be able to attack and loop with inverted on forehand without wanting to compromise on either wing. If I was covering 75% of the table with my anti on backhand or wanted to pay short pimples on forehand I would prefer to use the Dr. Neubauer Hercules but to me the MAT is the best blade I have tested for a modern combination style. Additionally it can also be used for a modern two-winged offensive style for a player who emphasizes control, consistency and spin over outright power.