View Full Version : Got my new Prince Michael Chang Longbody!
03-31-2004, 04:59 AM
After reading about 28" racquets on these boards, and seeing my favorites (Fish, Ferrero, Coria, Robredo, etc.) use them, I finally got one yesterday. The Prince Michael Chang Graphite Longbody 690 that I bought off **** finally arrived. It's a 28" racquet with a 95 square inch head; weighs in at 11.2 ounces and felt very headlight. The paintjob was a little nicked up from years of use, but it was a really classy looking paintjob...something missing from currently available racquets. The grip was a natural leather colored Prince DuraTac. I loved the color of this grip and wish that you could still get it, but it too is no longer available.
Anyone who reads my posts on the message boards knows that I just do not like light weight racquets! And yes, 11.2 is light! To start with I removed the Prince DuraTac grip (even though I loved the color, the grip was very worn) and applied 60 inches of .25 inch lead tape to the handle. Next, I applied 6 pieces of the same lead tape cut into 5 inch strips to each side of the head at the 9 and 3 o'clock positions. The racquet still felt a little light so I put 20 more inches of the lead tape on the handle and 2 more pieces of tape on each side of the head at 9 and 3. Still a little light, so I added 14 more inches of tape to the handle and 2 more pieces of tape to each side of the head at 9 and 3. Next, I put on a Gamma Hi-Tech grip (since that was all the lead tape I was able to get on the handle). The racquet felt just a tad too head heavy, so I removed four strips of lead tape from the head. Then it felt great. The finished racquet weighed in at just under 12.8 ounces and 9 points head light. This is still a little light compared to my other racquets, but I guess the 28" length makes a difference and a 13.3 ounce racquet at 28" would just feel much heavier. Also, I normally play with racquet that are much closer to even balance, but this racquet just felt too head heavy at anything much past 9 points head light. I guess it's just the extra length.
I haven't been able to get out on the court with it yet, but just swinging the racquet feels really great, and the extra length of the handle feels perfect for a two-handed backhand. The racquet came with some type of Prince synthetic on it, and it feels to be strung at a rather low tension. I'm going to play with these strings at least once to get a feel for the racquet before I restring it. My regular string is Luxilon Big Banger 16, but I'm thinking about going with a softer synthetic. I'll post more about my experience with this racquet after I try it out on the court tonight.
03-31-2004, 06:14 AM
Ash, Using the balance point on an extended racquet is deceptive. A 28" racquet that is 9 pts HL is going to feel about the same as a 27" racquet of the same weight that is 5 pts HL. You divide the difference in frame length by 2 and subtract it from the distance from the midpoint to the balance point of the longer racquet. An extreme example is an evenly balanced frame that is 29" long. It will feel like taking a 27" frame that was evenly balanced and making it 1" (8 pts)head heavy. You didn't say what your other racquet weighed, but everything else being equal, the swingweight on the Chang is going to be higher.
03-31-2004, 06:50 AM
My main racquet previously was a Dunlop MW200 90 that was weighted at around 13.3 ounces and about 4 or 5 points head light. My first racquet ever that I bought in '91 was a ProStaff 6.0 95, and I've just always prefered racquets with a hefty weight. Less than 12.5 ounces and it just doesn't feel right to me when I make contact with the ball. My new 28" racquet with everything measured out is lighter and more headlight than what I normally like, but it feels right. I guess that extra one inch really does make a difference.
03-31-2004, 07:22 AM
Sounds like they are a close to matching as you can get them. The Changs play very nice. I have 3 of them. I'm not using them now very often because I found a better racquet for my s/v game and doubles.
03-31-2004, 11:26 AM
I used to have one (OS). Mine was fortunately very clean specimen with, yeah, gorgeous appearance. I was not crazy about the outer green color (I love nature's green but other than that don't like any 'artificial' green) but blue part inside the frame, I loved it. I think MC original was one of the best looking racquets I have owned. However I didn't play it often (My main was PS6.0 95 then) so finally sold to another TW-er here. I guess I couldn't adapt myself to that extra 1 inch (felt a little bit awkward). Good luck with your new toy! Tenny
04-01-2004, 05:17 AM
I didn't have anyone to play with last night, but I did get to go out and practice serving with my new racquet. So far, I'm loving the extra inch of this racquet. My serve seemed to consistently land deeper in the serve box with a touch more pace than normal. There was no major boost of speed on my serves, but it did appear to have a small boost. The most noticeable difference was spin. I was able to generate what appeared to be a great deal more spin with this racquet. This racquet is an inch longer and has a more open string pattern than my normal racquet so those two factors together I believe contributed to this boost. I didn't like the replacement grip I used on this racquet though (Gamma Hi-Tech). I need to find a thinner grip. Taking the advice of members of this board I ordered a Head replacement grip this morning, and since I usually prefer leather grips I also ordered a prokennex leather grip to try out. If the prokennex leather grip is thin enough I'll probably go with it. I think my normal wilson leather grips would be too thick for what I want. I didn't care too much for the prince synthetic strings that came on this racquet. I also ordered Klip X-Plosive 16 (gut/poly hybrid) strings this morning. This will be the first time I've tried Klips or a hybrid sting job. I normally use Luxilon Big Banger 16, but after hearing so much talk about hybrid jobs on the boards I'm going to give it a shot. Hopefully, tonight or this weekend I can try the racquet out in match play.
04-01-2004, 06:28 AM
It's a great frame. Of the few 28 inch racquets I've tried, I liked it the best. A hitting partner used to use it, and he had excellent control with it. I think the natural balance of the stick is such that the extra swingweight doesn't impede things. Interesting to see how it volleys with all that weight; but if you're used to the heavy sticks it should be good. Some guy I know lent me his Mizuno 21 Matsuoka stick. Have been hitting with it. The 13-plus ounces build the muscles. The high swingweight makes you prepare, and I find that even impacts footwork (depending on the shoes, of course). :wink:
04-02-2004, 07:41 AM
You know I'm a Mizuno fan from way back. Couldn't get my hands on the Matsuoka stick before it sold out. How does it compare to the Pro 8.9 we have both hit with? That low flex must be reminiscent of my old Rossi F200s. Have a good one.
04-03-2004, 05:24 AM
Hi Kevin. Cheers to Charleston...
Yeah, this guy called 'MC' got into the stock before you. You got to be quick... :)
I think it has vague similarities to the 8.9. The weight is not as high as advertised. I replaced the PK leather grip with an 80% (cut-down) Head calfskin, put in a damper (necessary), and it weighs at 13.1 ounces. Balance right about 31. I can swing it, which surprises me. No way the swingweight is 400 with that setup (or even with the original grip). I'm guessing it's about 370 or even less.
It's sweet. The feeling on groundies when you connect is explosive. Depth sort of produces itself. I take a medium sized cut. Take into account that I'm about 175 and, uh, a few years (or so) older than you.
Got to be prepared on every shot. If I'm feeling strong, then serving with it is also good. If I remember to snap the forearm (a tip from a former hitting partner - snap the forearm, not the wrist per se), then it creates some amazing pace and kick...but if I'm tired.
Volleying is really the challenge, a real challenge. You better be on every volley. Not sure if you would want it as a game racquet if you serve and volley; probably not. But to build your muscles and teach your feet to get in position, it's a winner.
04-03-2004, 08:07 AM
Thanks for the info. Larry! I'm sure "MC" has already stripped them down and repainted the frames? The Pro 8.9 was a terrible volleyer anyway, so your comments don't surprise me. I just bought a Rossignol F295, >12.5oz with a slightly head-heavy balance. Talk about feeling old. Thought I had picked up a baseball bat compared to my Rok. Is the RDX 500 calling your name?
04-03-2004, 12:09 PM
No, no, Michael lost his paint gun, I think... :wink:
Truly, it's tough to volley with...headheavy at 12.5, that's got to have some swingweight. :(
Not yet looked at the RDX. Pretty happy with the Tours. I have one Graphite II as a backup for those 'ease of use' days. Right now it's unstrung, but if I gave up the Yonies I could pick up another and just go with them. I think SpecialK described the Graphite II as playing like glass - good description, fine frame.
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