View Full Version : First impressions of the VANTAGE brand

01-03-2005, 06:18 PM
Vantage test review:

The specs:

95 sq headsize
308 gr strung weight
289 swingweight
63 ra
18-20 string pattern
Colour white
Black leather grip
Dunlop grip shape
Strung with vantage string I guess at around 22 kg

Racket was tested on indoor carpet.

My current racket:

The full RDX range, Mp-tour 1and 5, Rd ti 80, vcon 17, Dunlop 200g hm

My first impression when receiving the racket was the quality finish about the racket and the leather grip, it really feels like you are holding a true racket in your hand, the leather grip really makes a difference.This test frame was one of the first frames with the vantage name etc on it. This frame looks like the one that will be sold soon. This being the lightest frame in the Vantage line-up I took it to the courts for first impressions.

How does it play:

The vantage plays solid eventhough being the light racket that it is.
You cant' help but notice when you hit the ball it reminds you of the older frames like the Dunlop revelation and other player frames.


I play semi western, enormous spin potential even from a high dense string pattern was the first thing that struck me.
Very control orientated racket.
because the racket was on the lighter side it was very easy to whip through the ball and hit deep penetrating topspin.
Even slice forehands from the hd pattern are no problem for this racket.
I must admit you must have good stroke mechanics to play with this racket eventhough it is the lightest frame in the range.


Play DH and one handed, Again the control and slice potential of the frame. especially the feel you get from varying pace going from a power DH shot to a slice backhand during a rally, you feel the ball. This racket is low powered thus again good mechanics are important and a good racket for folks who would want to improve their mechanics.


normally I tend to change rackets when I have to serv and tend to serv with a racket that weighs 410+ gr .
So my first impressions I had was that my serv was very slow seemed it was running at half speed.The racket performs well on all spin servs except I couldn't get the speed I wanted ( more on this in the comparison section).


A true volleyers racket , the feel was incredible and I am not a volleying player but I could do things with the vantage like hitting dropvolleys that return back to your side of the court.The spin and control from the frame really shine and are emphasized at the net.

After the first hitting experience I put it up against competitors for a full test to see how it plays against the competition with similar specs:all rackets had been strung with polyester strings, the vantage original string was a multifilament string I would say like the Tecnifibre string nrg range. All rackets strung at 24kg and tested on indoor carpet.

Prince: db control
Yonex: mp 2i
Dunlop: 300 g
Head: lm radical


First things I noticed eventhough this being the lightest vantage it played more like a players frame than the rest of the frames. the 300g seemed out of place this racket really was the sick man of the bunch even with the open string pattern very poor spinpotential. The prince db had good spin potential but a mishit near the upperpart of the hoop and the strings went. the yonex with the open stringpattern had enormous spinpotential but was too powerful . The head lm radical good control but mist spin on shots.Vantage had enormous spinpotential and good control. After the forehand comparison :

1. Vantage
2.Yonex and the Head
3. prince
4.Dunlop 300g


Played both DB and one handed backhands all spins.first up the flat backhand: The Yonex performed well on the DH backhand but was poor on the one handed backhand and again too powerful, the head performed well on the one handed backhand but was less on the DH, again the Dunlop had nothing really going for it after this I switched to the 200g for the further test. prince played well on both dh and one hander.Vantage played well on dh and one hander.
The slice : one racket stood out head and shoulders above the rest, the vantage , this racket really has enormous slice potential. the 200g slightly less slice than the vantage , prince slice was fine but after further testing I found this racket to be pretty powerful too , the lm head performed well on the slice.
Topspin: The yonex and the vantage stood out in the topspin department the vantage getting my vote for being less powerful and more control on the shots.
The prince again on a mishit near top of the hoop the strings went. ( at this point I let the prince go) the head performed much better on the one hander than the two hander but good spin potential.

1. Vantage
2.Dunlop 200g
4.LM radical


Here the Dunlop 200g gets the laurels ( must admit this was my personnel racket weighing in at 375 gr) so I've taken this one out of test.
Yonex served well and very powerful and enormous spinpotential, here the yonex power comes in handy and the open string pattern. Vantage low power but enormous spinpotential. The head medium power but lacking spin on the kick serv.

1. Yonex
2. Vantage
2. Head
The head had more power than the vantage but the vantage had more spinpotential so a dead heat

The Yonex really was out of place at the net except for the overheads. The head performed very well nice touch and feel , felt solid.
The vantage really plays very well at the net it has enormous touch.


The verdict:

I would say the yonex has to be more orientated for a woman it has enormous power and spin potential and very forgiving.
The head played surprisingly well at the net very nice touch, on the forehand it didn't have that much spinpotential but had good control and I find is more suited to a one handed backhand than the DH backhand,.
The vantage and this being the lightest available one in the line-up really had the players feel to it. from the high dense pattern came an enormous spinpotential and excellent control, must be said is low powered frame but this aids your mechanics, with good mechanics you can create your own power in this frame.Only thing I couldn't do with this frame was the power first serv, but I think this is down to being used to playing with frames in the 370+ gr region.

So after fully testing this vantage I would say this being the lightest version in the range it plays better than the competition and is very player frame orientated this frame can go up against the likes of the 200g and I prestige and the Yonex tour frames (when it comes to control and spin). can't wait to test the heavier vantage frames.

01-03-2005, 06:41 PM
I must ask, how did you get to test the Vantage frame. Did the company approach you, or did you approach them?

01-03-2005, 11:22 PM
Interesting post yonexplayer,

Did Vantage create this racquet to your specifications?

I believe if Vantage offered to customize the paintwork to match any racquet on the market. There brand would become more popular.

A Vantage customized racquet with blue paintwork similar to the new dunlop "tommy has" racquet would be cool.

01-04-2005, 02:19 AM
I'll be very curious to see what the price is though. Does anyone remember Prince in the late 80's I think it was, offering to make a frame to your personal specifications. Great idea but I think the asking price was around $500.

Equinox, i forgot to ask you where you got your POG's from?

Russell Finch
01-04-2005, 02:24 AM

Why not email Paul (aka racketdesign ) and ask

01-04-2005, 03:07 AM
Price will be sub $200. We wont be copying other brands cosmetics, or thier willingness to use invented technology. No gimmicks, just quality frames, personalized for you, and painted black or white.

01-04-2005, 04:17 AM

That's sub-$200US is it?

Im playing Veterans (Seniors) in Australia but would it be fair to assume you won't be setting up a distributor here in the near future? Also, I gather you were with Dunlop (traditionally very popular here in Australia as in the UK where you're from) so, as a former user of the old 200G (until the last one warped) and Muscle Weave 200G 90 (until cracked) it'll be at least interesting to see what comes about.

01-04-2005, 04:49 AM

Tennis Warehouse International.


Ask for megan she was very helpful. :)

Heh you still haven't bought those pogs? :p

01-04-2005, 05:17 AM
no mate, I've been putting it off till my trip to Melbourne (Jan16-20, just in time for start of the Open) and the off chance I'd get it there. Also had been thinking about the Dunlop 300G o/s as an alternative. Different playability but highly available. Of course, I might have been put off by Molik using it successfully. Or I might have had my attention diverted by Molik LOL .

If I can't get it there I'll be giving TW a buzz. All up, they prob only work out to about $200 AUS for one frame and thats a damn good price for such a good all-round racquet.

ty slothrop
01-04-2005, 06:08 AM
when it comes to vantage, i'll take the menthol 100's any day of the week ; )

01-04-2005, 06:18 AM

01-04-2005, 04:08 PM
is it me or has this post got a little criptic? someone tell me if im missing somthing

01-04-2005, 04:43 PM
RacketDesign, you thought so too eh? I was worried it was just me LOL.

So, what's the word on Vantage availability to Australia ?

01-04-2005, 04:58 PM
Availability everywhere... once the raw frames arrive here ! The website should be live and the product available within the next couple of weeks. Send me an email with your contact details and I will send you some further information in a couple of days.

01-04-2005, 05:33 PM
Thats great ! Plain simple rackets white or black with a leather grip; made for people who want an honest no frills racket. The review was quite an endorsement and they're coming from a cool place like Britian. Can't wait to try one ! I wish them the best !

01-05-2005, 01:49 AM
Have you ever considered a flat blue or red color scheme as well? I like the flat black, but I think sales of flat white might lag a bit next to blue or red, which seem to have been the predominant and more dependable color schemes of the 90s from what I can tell (think PT280, Prestige Classic, SRD Tour 90, RD-7, RD-Ti 70, Fischer VT Pro 98, now the N-Code 90, Pure Drive/Control, RD-Power 7/10, etc...most popular paint schemes based on variations of blue or red usually).

01-05-2005, 02:22 AM
Have you considered no paint at all? Just RAW frames!

01-05-2005, 04:19 PM
Thanks for the imput guys.
however, we hope that people will focus much more on the ability to define thier racquet specifications and not be too concerned about colour. We felt matt black and matt white offered the most classic / stylish look for this kind of premium product. Would love to hear what anyone else thinks though...

01-05-2005, 05:01 PM
Racketdesign, it all depends on who you identify as your target market. Having worked for over 10 years in Public Relations and Marketing I've had quite a bit to do with those kind of seemingly basic decisions such as, in your case, preferred colour scheme. My observations, based on those 10+ years and that relate to your position are that
1) black or metallic is the preferred 'male' colour
2) White is construed as a 'female' colour.
3) Lighter shades of pretty much any colour but especially, Blue, Green, Red and Yellow are equated with 'cheapness' - not cheapness in a poor quality sense but in a 'less than prestigious' sense.
4) if a colour is chosen, the darker it is the more 'serious' the product is seen to be.
5) if white is chosen it is best used in conjunction with black - perhaps in a bumper guard for a tennis racquet?
6) Tan/Calf skin Leather suggests prestige. Even if not using it from a sales point of view (the frames being customised a leather grip is the buyers choice) it can be advantageous from an Advertising point of view.

Of course individuals might have slightly differing ideas, however, those points are the ones that came up time and again when polling the largest sector. I think, if looking at the 'venerable' racquets or those called 'players frames' I could make a strong argument that most, if not all of those categories apply.

All up, you just want people to focus on the quality of the racquet and not give them any reasons to doubt that. Resultantly, simplicity as you're going for is the best route.

Couldn't see on your site what you've got planned for the frames but am sure you've got people going through all those decisions for you.

01-05-2005, 05:24 PM
Personally, I wouldn't mind seeing a matte or glossy Royal Blue color, sort of like the new Dunlop M-Fil 200 or Slazenger Pro X-1 or the old Head Pro Tour 280, with a tan leather grip. I just happen to like the color blue.

01-05-2005, 06:03 PM
White or black is just fine ! No oddball graphics or look where "we" put the secret ingredient like the rest of the crowd. A hang tag with what it is composed of is just. fine.

01-05-2005, 06:23 PM
Have you thought about the rough look, aka Yamaha Secret 04. It's has a modern & minimalism feel to it. Imagine this, you leave Secret 04 (without the big letters on the throat side) in one of those hip hotels, it blends right into the whole environment!! That dark gray finish is one of the main reason why its resale value in **** is so good up till now.

01-05-2005, 07:15 PM
RacketDesign, do you have a picture of your frame? It's be nice if I can see what it looks like.

01-05-2005, 10:59 PM
I understand the reasoning behind white or black, but I just think that black is going to sell more.

And red suggests more of a literal "Prestige" factor. In general, it seems like with many player's frames, the "most serious" or "higher-up" or "marque" frame in a model line is red or red based in color design.

I.e. RD-Power 7 and 10. One dark blue, the other dark red, both basically the same racket; but the red represents the "marque" "spokesperson" if you will for the line. Same with the PT280 and the Prestige Classic 600. Both basically the same frame, but the PC600 is the "flagship" and hence gets the more literally prestigious, "royal," red carpet, treatment...the red paint job. It symbolically seems to represent a more "serious," high-performance racket.

The old Rafter racket, the Precision Response vs. the Precision Spectrum, both again very similar rackets, but the red Precision Response is the cover model.

The Super RD-Tour and the Super RD Comp, both the same mold, but the dark red/black of the Super RD-Tour vs. the skateboarder green of the Comp, the dark red/black scheme's got the "weight of expectations" behind it, the color marks it as the more "serious" offering.

The old RD line. The RD-3 vs. RD-7. Basically the same mold and of comparable playability, but the RD-3 is the unadvertised model...the "cheaper" model...kind of a purplish-silverish color scheme, the RD-7 with the famous and distinctive but subtle dark red over black color scheme. Again, the darker red design signifying that this is the royal one. The RD-23 vs. the RD-27, again basically the same mold, but the RD-23 has the bluish scheme, the RD-27 the red based scheme...same connotations.

And the RD-Ti 70 vs. the RD-Ti 30? Same deal, one silver, the other red. The red being in many people's minds one of their favorite paint jobs ever. The red signifying again a greater Prestige. To me, it's no accident that all the "lasting" player's rackets that have turned into "classics" are all of a more forboding and serious tone...i.e. black or red based.

Most of the "signature" frames I can think of back to Korda's old red Volkl, to Head's Prestige to their i.Prestige to their LM Prestige, to the Wilson PS 6.0 and the 6.1, to the Tour 90 and the NCode 90, to the Dunlop 200g, to the RD-7/Super RD-Tour, etc...all black or red based.

It just seems like the rackets with the staying power are either black or red, or some combination of both hues.

Whereas with white rackets, there's only really been two in the 90s that have had any real success from just off the top of my head, the Rafter racket and the RQ-180.

Of the 80s white rackets such as the Prince Spectrum and Tricomp, etc.? They've long since been forgotten. It's the blackish POG Mid and the 6.0 Classic that still have a following and are still taken "seriously," because they just have that foreboding, I mean serious business, look.

Now, all this said, I think white rackets are cool too, and obviously the flat black will be a hit since Mark Philipoussis has unintentionally made that all the rage. However, I think that ultimately sells of an all-white racket might not be enough to justify a two paint job scheme, which would require more trouble and greater production costs I think. In this case, maybe the Mega Age route of just plain black would be smarter. BUT, don't paste those cheasy 99 cent store decals on there. A LOT of people loved the stealth, all black design of the Mega Age rackets, but EVERYONE hated the decals.

With that said, I think white is cool in a retro sort of way, and I have no problem with the color and would use it; I just think that if there's a way to swing for red as well or in liu of that would be wiser...look at all the people who pine for the simple RD-Ti 70 and Prestige Classic paint job, and call them the best ever. When people talk about their favorite paint jobs, inevitably it's either red based or black based or a combination of both.

To me, adding red would not be tacky either nor unsuggestive of performance. In fact, to me nothing exudes HIGH-performance like red painted rackets do. The Prestige paint job is anything but tacky, it's simple and timeless. Maybe red on a car might be a little overbearing, but on a racket; it's just right. To me, white does seem to suggest more of a less performance oriented image. Black and red, however? Well, just look at all the "classics" people associate with the various brands, the PS 6.0, the Prestige Classic 600, the RD-7, the POG, etc. I honestly believe that this is not just a coincidence.

Red and black just seem to *feel* like the most "serious" colors. And also, I think that adding red would satisfy the crowd who likes color in their rackets, yet also be understated and "serious" enough to not seem too kidish...i.e. Agassi's old Radical Trisys 260. I believe this important, because I really think will Vantage mostly appeal to a very specific market niche, namely slightly upper middle-class, adults who take their tennis *hobby* very seriously but who aren't good to enough ever get sponsored nor quite foolish (or quite rich) enough to fork over $175 a racket just for a custom grip mold.

I don't maybe it's just me, but I think if you're going to offer two racket colors only, black and red are the only way to go.

While I understand that white and black connote the most simplicity of design, and are the most suggestive of CLASSIC, no pretense rackets...it's nice in theory, but I just don't think white will sell quite enough in the long run to be worth it.

Red and black have proven to have the most staying power and "prestige" (Prestige Classic 600) and SERIOUS connotations (the PS 6.0 Classic) over the long haul in my opinion, but again this is just my opinion.

Again, I would have no problem with white, but I most likely wouldn't buy white. If given the choice, I'd most likely choose black, and if given another choice, it'd most likely be red. In fact, if red were available, it'd be my only choice.

I think if you were to conduct a market survey, I think that most would end up picking the red or black racket over the white one, EVEN IF the black and white concept sounds better in theory. In reality, I truly feel that the majority, push come to shove, would purchase either black or red if given the choice.

Obviously, ideally: Black, red, white, blue, yellow, and green would all be available; but realistically two colors are feasible. So to me, it would make more sense to pick the proven colors that have held their value the longest in black and red, vs. going for the gimic of simplicity, black or white. In this case, it sounds great, but when I objectively look at what racket model cosmetics have stuck in the modern age, it's been overwhelmingly black or red.

01-06-2005, 03:45 AM
Hmm, upon further reflection; white'll be easier for you to market your brand image, as being the "pure" rackets.

However, is not a gloss finish possible, like Philipoussis' gloss black Prestiges? I don't know, maybe it's just me, but I don't like the way matte rackets feel in my hand. Though some it's ok (the 6.0 or old Precision Graphite for example), I just don't like the matte finishes that feel "sticky" in the hand. Specifically, the Precision Response Titanium, that almost felt like fly paper when caressing it. To me, gloss finishes feel sleaker in the hand, and more streamlined and agile; but obviously this is not really a selling point.

I remember a poll on the old TW board, and most seemed to favor gloss finishes by a bit, but not by much.

Perhaps, conducting a preliminary market survey for matte vs. gloss finish as well, before making a final decision?

Ultimately, none of this would probably matter very much since those who buy Vantage rackets will do so probably for very SPECIFIC reasons...namely performance. No way to satisfy everyone with regard to paint color and finish, so might as well just go straight down the middle neutral with matte finishes and black or white...simple, minimalist, and transparent.

Haha, truthfully the suggestion for a "RAW" frame would be cool too, paint your own fuscisia!

01-06-2005, 04:38 AM
I thought the Kneissl White Star line (White Star Lendl Pro, Mid, Twin, Big)and later Aero line of the 80s, serious player rackets, looked great with their white paintjobs. The Slazenger Pro Braided (original black and white version) was also a sharp looking stick IMO.

01-06-2005, 06:47 AM
I don't care about the paintjobs....just put some specs on your website, it is January after all....

ty slothrop
01-06-2005, 12:55 PM

secret's out I guess, i am he of the Glen Cove Slothrops, formerly of Massachusetts

01-10-2005, 04:46 PM
Today had first playing experience with the vantage on claycourts!!!
So time for second impression!!!!

How does it play well, first of all haven't played on clay since august so it was a daring experience going back to the red clay!

The vantage was strung with polystar energy at 24kg.(don't know if this string is available in the us , but it is the brand rainer shuttler endorses and the string with the star logo, polyester string you can compare the polystar energy to bb when it comes to tension stability etc)

opposition were national ranked players so the vantage got a real hitting in on the clay.

This racket really does play unbelievable the enormous spin potential you get from this frame is just well enormous. and best off all the control ,you can really use the court with this racket sending balls left right and centre and the drop shots , the feel, it really is that good!
in my previous post i mentioned i didn't really like the power level for serving but tonight my first serves especially on the red slower clay the spin potential was really emphasized and the vantage worked for me!!! enormous kick and slice on the serves.
Then i changed rackets and tried my Yonex rd ti 80 , well folks i have to tell you the vantage frame i have wipes the floor with the yonex rd ti 80 on the clay ( more control, more spin, more feel and even plays more stable) i didn't think this would happen but i have to admit it the vantage has wiped the floor with my trusted rd ti 80 , and the odd thing is the vantage i have is the lightest version(and high dense string pattern 18*20) and this frame plays better than the rd ti 80, unfortunatly i didn't have the RDX's with me. Next time i will put it up against the RDX's.

Brent Pederson
01-11-2005, 09:25 PM
One more vote for red. If you make white rackets, you're not going to sell many of them. White is for refrigerators, sinks, and sheets and minivans, not tennis rackets. White implies sterility, emptiness, space. That may be a good thing for a fridge, but for a tennis racket, you want to imply speed, force, power, destruction! Ferrari red, like the ti-70, is the way to go. Alternatively, the blue of the pt280 is quite nice, but, nah, way too passive.

But, really, this is a no-brainer. Red all the way, and keep the graphics as minimal and simple as possible, so as not to get in the way of the "Ferrari"-ness of it...

I'm betting right now that if you make it a choice between red and black that the red will outsell the black...

Russell Finch
01-12-2005, 12:06 AM
I'd have to agree