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Diamana +PLUS Series – SHAFT REVIEW

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Introduction

There may not be a better known series of high end shafts than the Diamana series by Mitsubishi Rayon.  Virtually every golfer (at least the ones who hang out on golf web sites) has hit a Blue Board or a White Board or their successors, the Kaili and the Ahina.  This fall, Mitsubishi is introducing the newest iteration: the Diamana +PLUS Series.  The names have changed again: the White Board is now known as the D+ and the Blue Board is called the S+.  While it’s not technically the 3rd generation Diamana (that’s coming in early 2013), Mitsubishi claims that these new shafts combine the best of the past two models.

Can these new models fill the big shoes that they’re stepping into? Read on to find out.

Diamana Plus+ Review

The Story Behind the +PLUS Series

As I said, the +PLUS Series is not the third generation of the Diamana line; think of it as generation 2.5.  The +PLUS Series combines the materials from the original Diamana with the manufacturing techniques from the 2nd generation.  Mitsubishi claims that the result is a feel that is closer to the original (smoother) with the improved launch conditions (lower spin, tighter dispersion) of the 2nd generation.

One other technical note: the torque ratings on some of the +PLUS models are higher than some people are used to seeing.  MRC explained to me that this is because they have incorporated a “progressive torque” system in these shafts.  Basically, they’re saying that too many shafts have a torque that is too low.  Too little torque can hurt performance just like too much torque can.  Mitsubishi believes that in with this system, they have found that “just right” middle ground.

Diamana Plus+ Review

Notes, Feel, Price, and Miscellaneous

The first thing that stood out to me about the +PLUS Series was the look.  It seems that 2012 is the year of matte finishes, and the +PLUS is riding that trend with matte blue and matte black.  The look is very appealing without being overly loud (it’s hard to be loud with blue or black shafts in the current golf environment).  The graphics are akin to those on the 2nd generation Diamana with Hawaiian-looking flowers near the grip and a simple Diamana logo.

Personally, I found the feel to be slightly disappointing.  I’ve been a fan of the Diamana line in the past, and I currently play the Kaili in my 3W.  In my hands, the +PLUS Series is not as smooth as the 2nd generation Diamana (I can’t speak too much about the original series because I never played any of those shafts extensively).  Part of that might be the difference between playing the shaft in a 3W (heavier head) vs. a driver.  In any case, “not smooth” by Diamana standards certainly doesn’t mean that these shafts feel harsh at all.  They do feel stable and have a good kick where they should (lower in the S+, a bit closer to the butt in the D+).  Regardless, feel is very subjective and others may have a very different sense of it.

The +PLUS Series is available in weights ranging from 64 grams to 102 grams, and flexes from regular to X-stiff.  In addition to the wood shafts, Mitsubishi is offering hybrid version of both the S+ and D+, also in a variety of weights and flexes.

The Diamana +PLUS Series have an MSRP of $300.

Diamana Plus+ Review

Performance

For the Performance testing, I hit each of the shafts in a Callaway RAZR Fit 10.5 head on a FlightScope X2 launch monitor.  I hit 20 “good” shots with each shaft, changing frequently so that fatigue was not an issue, nor did I get grooved with one shaft to the detriment of fairness.  Testing was done at Golf Nation, in Palatine, IL.

*NOTE: Testing has moved back inside for the winter, and our FlightScope seems to be producing somewhat different numbers indoors compared to outdoors.  To greater or lesser extents, ball speed, club head speed, and spin are all coming in lower than they did outdoors, hence the carry number is smaller.  That said, it’s still an apples-to-apples comparison, so no attempt has been made to “normalize” the numbers: we’re publishing the numbers straight off the FlightScope, as always.

DATA

ANALYSIS

Overall, there was not a ton of variance in the launch and spin numbers between the two models or the two flexes, at least when looking at the averages.  This is fairly normal for me since I tend to have lower-than-average spin.  For other players, the gap between the S+ and the D+ could be much greater.

In comparison to other shafts, both models are relatively middle-of-the-pack in terms of both launch and spin.  If anything, they launch a bit higher and spun a bit less than some other shafts I’ve been working with lately.

One of the more interesting trends in the testing was my ability to hit the stiff flex shafts straighter, on average, than the X-flex.  This is something I’ve noticed before: if a shaft feels too stiff to me, I end up swinging too hard and having uglier misses.  It also connects back to our often-referenced point about the lack of standards in shaft flex: I’ve been playing more X-flex shafts lately, but in these shafts, a stiff is clearly a better fit.

Diamana Plus+ Review

Conclusion

For those that are longtime fans of the Diamana line, I think the new +PLUS Series is worth a look.  While not substantially different from past iterations (why would you scrap a formula that clearly works?), the three different generations do offer players the opportunity to fine tune feel and launch conditions.

VISIT WEBSITE: http://www.mitsubishirayongolf.com

{ 22 comments… read them below or add one }

Finnegans December 11, 2012 at 10:24 am

What do you think about the fact that Mitsubishi Rayon America acquires Aldila?

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GolfSpy Matt December 11, 2012 at 10:28 am

Certainly interesting. My primary thought is that the shaft industry is not as profitable as we might think it is, and there are a lot of players in the market. It’s only natural that the less profitable/smaller ones will be gobbled up by the bigger ones.

On a separate note, I’m interested by the fact that $375 seems to be the new $300: the magic price point for shafts. $300 was THE number for a long time, but it seems that all of the sudden it’s $375. Nothing to say about that, really, just something I’ve noticed.

Best,

Matt

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GolfSpy T December 11, 2012 at 10:58 am

Love that that have 90g and 100g offerings in the D+. Might have to look into these given my apparent need for a heavier shaft.

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stevenhw8 December 11, 2012 at 12:44 pm

Matt,

Did you tweak the settings on the LM? Compared to the previous shaft, these are 30-40 yards shorter for you!?

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GolfSpy Matt December 11, 2012 at 12:52 pm

Gotta read carefully:

“*NOTE: Testing has moved back inside for the winter, and our FlightScope seems to be producing somewhat different numbers indoors compared to outdoors. To greater or lesser extents, ball speed, club head speed, and spin are all coming in lower than they did outdoors, hence the carry number is smaller. That said, it’s still an apples-to-apples comparison, so no attempt has been made to “normalize” the numbers: we’re publishing the numbers straight off the FlightScope, as always.”

Best,

Matt

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stevenhw8 December 12, 2012 at 1:49 am

Sorry, don’t know why I totally skipped that part :P

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ms1195 December 11, 2012 at 1:23 pm

Nice review. So I gather from this that waiting for the 3rd Gen shafts would be best. That or find the old white board for less money.

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GolfSpy Matt December 11, 2012 at 1:27 pm

Thank you.

I think it’s all about what you want/like. Personally, I didn’t like this series as much as the Kaili/Ahina series. Others may like it more. I don’t know exactly what the third generation will bring, so who knows if I’ll like that either. I would also expect that the third generation will be more than $300, so that could be a factor for some.

Best,

Matt

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Dave S December 11, 2012 at 2:20 pm

I just cannot imagine being good enough at golf where it makes sense, both financially and game-improvement-wise, to go out and drop another $375 on a shaft after spending that same amount on a driver. I realize the shaft is nearly (if not more) important than the head, but the improvement can’t be worth that amount of $$ unless you’re a pro… in which case, you’re not paying for it anyway.

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CJ July 20, 2014 at 2:17 am

a lot of players need the expensive shaft because they generate too much torque at the bottom of the swing and they will repeatedly snap heads of the cheaper 80-120$ shafts

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Yohanan December 11, 2012 at 7:12 pm

Just ordered nike vr ltd for the shaft for 180 shipped.

I will hit it. Then pull it if need be.

Fubuki a in the f12 LS. Like it. So it stays for now.

Shopping now for a fubuki k and don’t care what head it has? Just as long as its south of 2 bills.

Cheers!

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Drew December 12, 2012 at 10:01 am

This site is becoming very elitist and may put off the avg weekend hacker like myself. I rarely see reviews on value products. You guys can be very defensive when critized so please note that Im just voicing a concern. I still like the site but when I look at how very few reviewed you have of say, putters, these types of reviews leave me scracthing my head.

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GolfSpy Matt December 12, 2012 at 2:40 pm

Drew,

Thanks for the comment. When you say the site is “becoming very elitist” are you referring to reviews of expensive products? If that’s the complaint, I think there are two things that are causing a disconnect.

1) The front page/blog vs. MyGolfSpy as a whole. First of all, whether you look at just the front page or the whole site, we’re reviewing more gear than we ever have in the past. This is based on the feedback we received in the Tour Staff contest: readers wanted more reviews. And we are still reviewing gear at all levels of the price spectrum; you just may not be seeing some of it on the front page. If you step into the forum, you’ll see a lot of reviews written by the MGS crew. Whether reviews appear on the front page or in the forum is entirely X’s discretion and it’s simply based on traffic and reader demand. That said, the top training aid we’ve ever reviewed costs about $20. I reviewed a training aid about two weeks ago that cost $20. Both of those were right here on the front page.

If you go to the forum, you’ll also find numerous threads asking what you want to see reviewed. When I shifted my focus to shafts and training aids, I started this thread:

http://forum.mygolfspy.com/topic/7001-suggestions-for-reviews/page__hl__%2Byou+%2Bsee+%2Breviewed__st__30

and asked what people wanted reviewed. Not trying to strain my arm by patting myself on the back, but I’ve reviewed (or tried my damnedest to get) everything that was requested. If you want to see a certain putter, GPS, or bag reviewed, contact Golfspy Dave. Spyzinger, Sarah, and Frank also do great reviews and are happy to field suggestions.

2) What we review vs. what we try to review. Shocking as it is, not every company wants a thorough, honest review of their product. There are dozens of companies that tell me, “No” when I ask for stuff to review and dozens more who simply never return emails or phone calls…and dozens upon dozens who say they’re going to send stuff but never do.

T often says of TaylorMade: they’re #1 for a reason, they take care of their business. When they say they’re going to send something to you, they do, period. When you send them an email, they respond, period.

Such is the case with shaft and training aid companies of varying sizes. Don’t get me wrong, there are small companies that are OUTSTANDING to deal with (and some big ones that stink), but on the whole, the bigger companies (with more expensive products) are a lot more reliable and easier to deal with, thus you may see more of their reviews.

I could go on and on about this, but I will wrap up with one last thing: for reasons unknown, reviews tend to come in spurts. Right now, I could literally build a fence with all the shafts I have in for testing. Other times, I am swimming in training aids. Then you may not see a review from me for three months. It’s just the odd nature of things around here. If you feel like you’re seeing too many shaft reviews and you’re not into that, skip ‘em. Check back in the next day and see what T or Dave or X is writing about.

Again, thanks for the comment. Feel free to send me an email at [email protected] if you see something that you’d like reviewed.

Best,

Matt

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Drew December 12, 2012 at 3:54 pm

Matt, I appreciate the detailed response and it gives me new perspective on how you guys go about running your site. I will be sure to send you a note in the future with suggestions. And for those reading comments here, don’t get it twisted, MGS is head and shoulders above the other sites and remains my favorite golf site, hands down! :)

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Dave m December 14, 2012 at 9:18 am

Hit these with the 913d2 felt awesome

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GolfSpy Matt December 14, 2012 at 3:31 pm

Good to hear. Have you hit other Diamana shafts in the past? Any comments on how these compare?

Best,

Matt

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Eric December 14, 2012 at 4:45 pm

I have a 913D with the d+ 82g and its awesome feeling is smooth, spin is great and dispersion is tight. I didn’t really like the feeling of the ahina (put it in a driver) and kaili. I played the kaili for a bit of time in my fairway woods and switched them for 2 blueboards (also 83g) that I still carry (with no plan to switch it in a near future). I think the + series is really close to the original series just maybe a touch better in the spin category, same smooth feeling.

Also I understand that not every people feel the difference between two shafts and but I do and I really appreciate to read this kind if review. I am pretty sure I am not alone…

Great article I really like all your shaft review! Keep them coming please :-)

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GolfSpy Matt December 15, 2012 at 7:32 am

Eric,

Thanks for the kind words and for adding your thoughts on these shafts.

Best,

Matt

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rob April 9, 2013 at 7:03 am

I have tried every shaft almost ever made, the one point about these shafts is
I ama x flex but I can hit the R flex in these shafts seems very stable even when over loaded. Therefore as the liter the flex usually = more distance i recomend you take this into account when ordering

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Shane July 2, 2013 at 12:35 am

I am disappointed in the Diamana Kai’li 65 Mid Stiff flex shaft. It did provide more kick/height but control was sacrificed. I swing about 100 mph and even on the smoothest of swings the toe/face would close too easily and produce hooks. I have a low trajectory and have been looking for that magic shaft. The next shaft I am going to try is the Grafalloy Blue High Launch. It’s torque rating is 3.2 and I am hoping for better results. My driver is the Titleist 910 D2 10.5 and it is going to cost me about $90 for the shaft/sleeve/grip/shipping. Not too happy about that. The Kai’li is definitely too whippy or wimpy.

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Sean November 12, 2013 at 2:16 am

Thank you for the helpful review.
I am just wondering which weights you used for S+ and D+ shafts 62,72, or 82 g shaft? (I coundn’t find the information)
I am about to try S+ (maybe 62 stiff) My average driving is about 250-260 yards in good conditions. A mid tempo swinger. Any recommendation about the shaft choice?

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Alex January 27, 2014 at 5:41 pm

Nice review! One question I have is, how can they charge $300 for these shafts when they are the shafts in certain clubs?

I just bought the Titleist 913H and it comes with a Diamana S+ 82 Stiff shaft for less than the price of the shaft alone. Is there a difference between the shaft I will be receiving (bought it online) and one bought directly from a shaft vendor?

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