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View Full Version : The 18x20 Midplus comparative review


vkartikv
09-21-2007, 08:43 PM
Comparative test b/w: Head Flexpoint Prestige Midplus Std. length and ProKennex Redondo Midplus

Setup - FXP: Gamma TNT2 17 @ 57 lbs
Red: PSGD 17 @ 60 lbs

Reason for test: I had to stop using my Hotmelt 200G 95s since they were inducing wrist pain. This, of course, magically disappeared when I used the Muscle Weave 200s but I couldn't find the version I like (midplus 95 vs. 95 on the top of the head)

Reason for choosing the FXP and Redondo: I can't handle open string patterns and these seemed the obvious choices since the aerogel was a little too heavy for me to swing. If you would like to read my review on that, I had a separate post that you could find using the search engine

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Test scenario:
About 40 minutes with the FXP, followed by 30 minutes with the redondo and finished it off with about 15 minutes with the FXP again.

Groundstrokes:
These are totally different frames, each with it's own advantage so it all comes down to what you want and what you are willing to sacrifice. The FXP plays a little lighter than the indicated SW. I tested it first when I had not yet settled into a rhythm, which is why I spent another 15 minutes with it at the end.
There seems to be little difference b/w this one and the pc 600. Flat shots land deep when appropriate power is supplied. Feel is very comfortable and the flex is just right. 65 seems a little too high, it's probably closer to 62. Topspin production wasn't hard but then, I am primarily a flat-shot hitter. Sliced backhands are great - I hit a lot of deep approach shots with this one.
The redondo is an absolute dream to hit with. This takes comfort to a whole new level. Even though it is an 18x20 pattern frame, I think it would be more suited to topspinners rather than flat-shot hitters. People with loopy strokes will love this one. People from the 80s or earlier will too. Slices are nice but I had a little difficulty keeping them low to the ground. Perhaps this would improve over time.

Volleys:
No disputes here. The redondo wins this one in a KO. Feel is unmatched. The racquet flexes primarily at the hoops while the throat is stiff enough to give you just the right pop and depth on volleys. Nothing wrong with the fxp's capacities at the net but feel beats everything else. The upper hoop of the fxp is a little stiff and reminded me of the HM 200g.

Serves:
The redondo was a little disappointing in this area. Flat serves down the middle come with ease but out wide is a whole different issue. Kick wasn't all that great. I have improved to the point of getting the ball up to the shoulders on my second serve but this one would never get above the waist. Perhaps it was the flexy hoops.
If you need one reason to buy the fxp, this would be it. Seves are amazing. Flat, slice, kick, it's got them all. I don't know what they put in this frame but the recipe is perfect. It doesn't seem like a midplus at all - this is another area that was reminiscent of the pc 600.

Feel/Comfort:
Just look at the specs and you have your answer! I am not going to use words like butter and jelly and rouse appetites but this one makes you feel happy to be a tennis player. I feel sorry for all those pure drive users - just drive to the nearest store and try the redondo - even if it's just for an hour. If you want to know what wood feels like, look no further. Only the PK core 1 comes close to this one's feel.
The fxp, while not so great in the feel department maintained a nice level of comfort. It's rated a little stiff (for me) at 65 but like I said earlier, it seems more like 62. It flexes at all the right points and I had no pain or any such issues.

Power:
You hold the fxp and you are reminded of Safin. It's almost like you want to go out there and hit the ball as hard as you can. And it lets you do so. If you need a power rating, I'd give it a 70 on 100.
The redondo is actually quite low powered or may be I felt that way because I just couldn't get into my flat-hitting groove. There is no trampoline effect, if you ever wondered what a flex of 57 could do. I'd give it a 65 on 100. If there is one department in which this racquet could use power, it would be the serves.

Overall:
Well, I am keeping both, of course! If I had to choose one, it would be the fxp purely because of the serve. I could use a lot of help in that department. If I was playing in the mid to late 90s when babolats were relatively new and everyone used rather low-powered racquets, I would choose the redondo. I am not going to say one is better than the other - it all depends on what you want to sacrifice. If you can sacrifice power, go with the redondo. If you like to go to the net a lot, go for the redondo. If you like your racquet to do a little bit of work for you, it would be the flexpoint prestige Midplus. Since they don't make Max 200Gs anymore, I am keeping the redondo purely as a reminder of the olden days.

A few final words:
Please note the strings and tension used during this review. I think the fxp would do well at 58-60 lbs with a soft multi. The redondo would probably need to be strung at 65 lbs to help flatten my strokes a little more.
Once again, if you want to compare these two with the aerogel 200, please look for my comments on that frame.

Looking forward to your input, as always!

anirut
09-22-2007, 12:29 AM
Thanks, kartik, for your comparative review!

I'd agree with up the tension a little on the Redondo for nice flat play.

I'm putting a link to this review in the Redondo thread.

Best,

pham4313
09-22-2007, 12:43 AM
FXP stiffness feels like 62 which might be even flexier than the LM prestige MP at 63. I thought it feels much crisper.

Pro_Tour_630
09-22-2007, 04:09 AM
nice review V!!!!

You are not alone who had pain go away by switching from HM200G to MW200G. The HM is a 2X4 compared to the noodle MW.

As for FXP MP, I too thought it was excellent on serves especially 2nds. I did not care too much for the Redondo since it was probably too good for me, a very precise instrument which lacked in the serve department. Did not have that plow through feel of PT630. It had a pinging sound when I hit the ball. Not saying it is bad, some may like this metallic sound. I OTOH like a thumping PC600 sound. How a racquet sounds to my ears plays a very important role when I test frames and from a certain sound I produce confidence in my shots. Which is why I do not give up on many 18X20 Midplus frames too easily since I like to test them with different types of strings and tension for a few months.

basil J
09-22-2007, 08:43 AM
Put 3" strip of lead tape at 3:00 & 9:00 and the redondo serves up some good heat. I have been using a kfactor 6.1 recently and serving bombs with it. I added the weight to the redondo and now all of my shots have more pace and weight and the frame remains as comfortable as it was prior to adding any weight. The ping dissappears as well. the only shot I hit better with the wilson is a kick serve, otherwise they are now pretty equal in performance, with the redondo being much more arm friendly.

vkartikv
09-22-2007, 10:30 AM
Thanks for the suggestion Basil J. I don't know if you have tried the original type C midplus but that one was just the opposite of the redondo - great at serves but mediocre at other departments. And it was one of those rare PKs that actually hurt my wrist..

vkartikv
09-22-2007, 10:32 AM
FXP stiffness feels like 62 which might be even flexier than the LM prestige MP at 63. I thought it feels much crisper.

I don't know about 'crisp'. I'd say the slazenger pro x1 or the yonex mp tour 90 were crisp but the fxp is certainly in the lower flex rating range. I'd encourage you to give this a try should you like the 630s..

vkartikv
09-22-2007, 10:33 AM
nice review V!!!!

You are not alone who had pain go away by switching from HM200G to MW200G. The HM is a 2X4 compared to the noodle MW.

As for FXP MP, I too thought it was excellent on serves especially 2nds. I did not care too much for the Redondo since it was probably too good for me, a very precise instrument which lacked in the serve department. Did not have that plow through feel of PT630. It had a pinging sound when I hit the ball. Not saying it is bad, some may like this metallic sound. I OTOH like a thumping PC600 sound. How a racquet sounds to my ears plays a very important role when I test frames and from a certain sound I produce confidence in my shots. Which is why I do not give up on many 18X20 Midplus frames too easily since I like to test them with different types of strings and tension for a few months.


Same case here. The sound is very important to me which is why I never stray away from the 3 or 4 types of string I always use. Everything else gives me a response my arms are not accustomed to and that generally leads to displeasure. We are all creatures of habit, is it not?