I've decided to leave my favorite blade Tibhar Samsonov Alpha and try out a blade with more power and speed, without trading in too much control and feeling. A lot of research brought me to the Nittaku Latika, which looked like an affordable step-up at €55,-. And indeed, despite the decent price, I received a high-quality blade with a comfortable and well-sized FL handle.
The biggest issue I foresaw was that the Latika is a rather heavy blade at around 90 grams. I was surprised to see how easily I was able to adjust to this. The only difficulties that still arise are when I need to use my wrist a lot, like when flicking or serving.
Overall I'd characterize this blade as a well-balanced OFF blade. There is still a bit of vibration in there, giving a it the bit of feeling that I was looking for. The speed is as you would expect for an OFF blade.
I recently switched my BH rubber from Vega Pro to Vega Europe with the aim of gaining more control. This worked out well: I can now cope more easily with incoming topspins, both by blocking and counter-attacking. Had to adjust my short play though as it is quite bouncy.
This blade is well suited for those who seek for powerful topspin shots and dominating rallies. It blocks incoming topspin shots with great speed and control as if you're a wall, but I couldn't find this consistency in playing aggressive shots. For me overall it was too stiff and not controllable enough but I can imagine that in the right hands this could be a deadly weapon.
I've tried this rubber on both backhand and forehand. It's well suited for close to mid-range looping with enough speed and spin. Basic backspin pushes and flicks are fine as well. The only problem here is the control; sometimes it's hard to find the correct angle and arc, topspins flying over or into the net. Same with blocking.
I've used this rubber on my FH. It's best-suited for playing heavy-topspin shots near table. The medium-low throw and speed allow you to put your full power into these shots. However, it lacks power when you try to play powerful strokes. For power-play as well as blocking I really felt like I lacked feeling.
Not really important, but the "Sound" was nothing special to me.
Using this combined with Nimbus Sound (really soft) on FH and Primus on BH.
Blade offers a lot of control and feeling, especially in blocking or looping near table. Speed is perfect for me as a near-table offensive player, but you have to work hard when playing topspin far away from the table.
Overall a very nice blade for allround to offensive players.