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View Full Version : I hit with a modern racquet today!!


Virginia
12-31-2009, 02:31 PM
For me, this is something fairly unusual, given my love affair with the classics.
I played with a Boris Becker Mid and it really was a delight. It simply does everything well, including being arm friendly, or so it seems.

It's been strung with gut in the crosses, with some sort of poly in the mains - isn't this the opposite way to the usual method? Anyway, it sure felt nice. Any comments on the choice of strings?

VGP
12-31-2009, 02:34 PM
I guess now that the BB11 Mid (I assume this is the one you used) is discontinued, it's a frame of the past. ;)

Glad to hear you liked it. It definitely doesn't have that hollow, tinny feel of some newer frames.

I've read some users like full beds of gut in their BB11 Mids.....

I had mine leaded up to 12.8 ounces (lead at 3 and 9) with regular 16 gauge synthetic gut. Could generate good spin.

VGP
12-31-2009, 02:38 PM
Oh, I forgot.....

Shame on you, Virginia! How dare you touch a tennis ball with something that wasn't made before 1984!

Ha!

tennis005
12-31-2009, 03:44 PM
Oh, I forgot.....

Shame on you, Virginia! How dare you touch a tennis ball with something that wasn't made before 1984!

Ha!

We are all in a state of shock:shock:

Virginia
12-31-2009, 04:22 PM
LOL! Yes I meant the BB11 Mid - I didn't realise it was discontinued. Oh well, perhaps my little jaunt wasn't quite as disloyal to "the classic cause" as I thought! :)

Did you like the racquet, VGP? How long did you play with it?

Oh and is gut in the crosses unusual?

forthegame
12-31-2009, 04:46 PM
Virginia, I just visited your blog/webpages. I am amazed that you've managed to amass soooo many racquets in such a short time! They do look great!
I think I might start collecting too!
All the best,
4TG.

Virginia
12-31-2009, 05:05 PM
Thank you very much for the kind remarks. Actually, the webpage is a little out of date, as I now have nearly 450 racquets. I also need to take some more photos and email them to Jens (the website owner) to upload.

Such as: my Davis collection, my Lady collection, my Chris collection, my Rosewall collection - and those are just for starters. :)

forthegame
12-31-2009, 05:24 PM
^^^ 450? WOW!
>faints<

jimbo333
01-01-2010, 09:17 AM
For me, this is something fairly unusual, given my love affair with the classics.
I played with a Boris Becker Mid and it really was a delight. It simply does everything well, including being arm friendly, or so it seems.



I'm appalled, Virginia using a new modern racquet, and enjoying it:shock:

(I bought an original new Aerogel 200 18x20 couple of months ago for only $50, but havn't tried it yet, so we all go to the dark side sometimes:))

jimbo333
01-01-2010, 09:20 AM
Thank you very much for the kind remarks. Actually, the webpage is a little out of date, as I now have nearly 450 racquets. I also need to take some more photos and email them to Jens (the website owner) to upload.

Such as: my Davis collection, my Lady collection, my Chris collection, my Rosewall collection - and those are just for starters. :)

450 now! Like I said you are going to catch me up:shock:

And what does the Lady collection involve?

We definitely need to see some new photos soon:)

forthegame
01-01-2010, 09:26 AM
450 now! Like I said you are going to catch me up:shock:

And what does the Lady collection involve?

We definitely need to see some new photos soon:)

Jimbo, do you have more than 450 rackets? Wow!

Meaghan
01-01-2010, 09:27 AM
LOL! Yes I meant the BB11 Mid - I didn't realise it was discontinued. Oh well, perhaps my little jaunt wasn't quite as disloyal to "the classic cause" as I thought! :)

Did you like the racquet, VGP? How long did you play with it?

Oh and is gut in the crosses unusual?

No not unusual, soffens up a stiff poly. I think its a waste of good gut tho !

450 rackets, God, I get stressed when mine gets over ten !!

jimbo333
01-01-2010, 09:49 AM
Jimbo, do you have more than 450 rackets? Wow!

Yes, a few more than Virginia, but not for long by the sounds of it:shock:

Virginia
01-01-2010, 12:36 PM
My absolute limit is going to be 500 - nice round number that!

My "Lady" collection consists of: Dunlop SG, Donnay Ladywood, Puma Lady, Davis Lady Elite, Kawasaki Lady, Slazenger Lady, Tensor Lady, Snauwaert Lady Caravelle, Spalding Lady Spalding. Hm, I'd like one more to make it ten! :)

tennis005
01-01-2010, 12:43 PM
My absolute limit is going to be 500 - nice round number that!

My "Lady" collection consists of: Dunlop SG, Donnay Ladywood, Puma Lady, Davis Lady Elite, Kawasaki Lady, Slazenger Lady, Tensor Lady, Snauwaert Lady Caravelle, Spalding Lady Spalding. Hm, I'd like one more to make it ten! :)

What about a Wilson Lady Advantage?

joe sch
01-01-2010, 08:17 PM
For me, this is something fairly unusual, given my love affair with the classics.
I played with a Boris Becker Mid and it really was a delight. It simply does everything well, including being arm friendly, or so it seems.

It's been strung with gut in the crosses, with some sort of poly in the mains - isn't this the opposite way to the usual method? Anyway, it sure felt nice. Any comments on the choice of strings?

Virginia,

A stringing blend or hybrid with natural gut can be mixed either way. Most of the pros will put the gut in the crosses to help make the stiff poly more playable. Some put the natural guts in the main, like Federer, to maximize the feel and power from the guts. I like natural gut and would put in the mains to get the most return from the gut investment.

I dont like playing most modern rackets because of they are soo stiff but have to admit I have recently found a modern racket with a 14x16 open string pattern and some other unique designs features that make the racket not too stiff and an outstanding spinner. Strings and pattern are very important to the overall equation ! This is a fact that the speghetti and hiten rackets proved from the past.

Virginia
01-01-2010, 08:21 PM
What about a Wilson Lady Advantage?
Oh, how could I forget - I have one I bought from Bud - brand new with tags, as I recall. It's a beauty too! :)

Virginia
01-01-2010, 08:27 PM
Virginia,

A stringing blend or hybrid with natural gut can be mixed either way. Most of the pros will put the gut in the crosses to help make the stiff poly more playable. Some put the natural guts in the main, like Federer, to maximize the feel and power from the guts. I like natural gut and would put in the mains to get the most return from the gut investment.

I dont like playing most modern rackets because of they are soo stiff but have to admit I have recently found a modern racket with a 14x16 open string pattern and some other unique designs features that make the racket not too stiff and an outstanding spinner. Strings and pattern are very important to the overall equation ! This is a fact that the speghetti and hiten rackets proved from the past.
Ah, thanks for the clarification, joe. The BB11 is, I understand a spin-off from one of the great Volkl classics, so it's not like most of the modern frames.

Anyway, even though I enjoyed it, there's absolutely nothing, I repeat nothing that beats the Chris 5-Star for softness, spin and control. It was principally designed as an arm friendly racquet.

schu47 said I should stop singing its praises here, because it seems to be putting the prices up! I'm collecting them now (I have 6) so hands off everyone! :evil:

jimbo333
01-02-2010, 02:31 AM
Virginia, I was going to suggest a Lady Maxply for you, if there is such a thing, I think I've seen one!

And you mainly seem to collect different racquets to me, I think, which is a good thing:)

Also, just sent you an email, did you get it?

joe sch
01-02-2010, 06:18 AM
Ah, thanks for the clarification, joe. The BB11 is, I understand a spin-off from one of the great Volkl classics, so it's not like most of the modern frames.

Anyway, even though I enjoyed it, there's absolutely nothing, I repeat nothing that beats the Chris 5-Star for softness, spin and control. It was principally designed as an arm friendly racquet.

schu47 said I should stop singing its praises here, because it seems to be putting the prices up! I'm collecting them now (I have 6) so hands off everyone! :evil:

Virginia, Good point about the Chris racket. I do have one and it has some of the same design techniques that produce a great controlled spinner. I believe 16x19 pattern that is very open with large head and the open throat design was patent worthy. If it had a longer handle, like 9", then it would be even better ;) Hint, there is now a modern racket that is superior.

Virginia
01-02-2010, 09:45 AM
Joe, I must admit to being curious about a superior modern racquet, if only to know what it is. :)

P.S. Don't forget you were going to email me. :)

jimbo, yes I got your email - will reply today. :)

Virginia
01-03-2010, 08:16 PM
I believe there is a Lady Maxply, though I've never come across one. I really would love one of those! :)

markwillplay
01-09-2010, 06:35 PM
hey Virginia, I actually play with the becker mids myself. This is the best "modern" stick I have played with. So funny though, as I recover from authroscopic hip surgery, I have started hitting my old warped max 200G....Damn...love it. Bought another one. I just love those older dunlops that have the vibration dampening designed in them. There is nothing like them. If I could make a racquet myself..I think I would make it a 200G with about a 95 headsize and call it a day.

The becker is really a nice stick. The max 200G makes me want to slice everything and come in behind it....no wonder I like it so much. There is something magical about that small head and 18/20 pattern that still feels so soft and controlled....man.

joe sch
01-16-2010, 06:16 PM
Ah, thanks for the clarification, joe. The BB11 is, I understand a spin-off from one of the great Volkl classics, so it's not like most of the modern frames.

Anyway, even though I enjoyed it, there's absolutely nothing, I repeat nothing that beats the Chris 5-Star for softness, spin and control. It was principally designed as an arm friendly racquet.

schu47 said I should stop singing its praises here, because it seems to be putting the prices up! I'm collecting them now (I have 6) so hands off everyone! :evil:

Hi Virginia,

Reviving this thread to let you know I did just today play test the Chris 5-Star against my extreme spin racket and found the chris extremely soft. Probably softer than even the max 200g and pretty close to a woody. The spin and control dont come close to the extreme spin since with the 14x16 pattern, it plays like the Snauwaert Hi-Ten. The design actually compares with both of those classics, take a look:

http://www.woodtennis.com/extreme_spin/chris_5star_es100a.jpg
http://www.woodtennis.com/extreme_spin/chris_5star_es100b.jpg
http://www.woodtennis.com/extreme_spin/chris_5star_es100f.jpg
http://www.woodtennis.com/extreme_spin/snauwaert_hiten_es100b.jpg

forthegame
01-16-2010, 06:21 PM
Hi Virginia,

Reviving this thread to let you know I did just today play test the Chris 5-Star against my extreme spin racket and found the chris extremely soft. Probably softer than even the max 200g and pretty close to a woody. The spin and control dont come close to the extreme spin since with the 14x16 pattern, it plays like the Snauwaert Hi-Ten. The design actually compares with both of those classics, take a look:

http://www.woodtennis.com/extreme_spin/chris_5star_es100a.jpg
http://www.woodtennis.com/extreme_spin/chris_5star_es100b.jpg
http://www.woodtennis.com/extreme_spin/chris_5star_es100f.jpg
http://www.woodtennis.com/extreme_spin/snauwaert_hiten_es100b.jpg

Those racquets look a bit odd. Never seen anything like them. What headsize are they?

joe sch
01-16-2010, 07:03 PM
Those racquets look a bit odd. Never seen anything like them. What headsize are they?

They are all approx 100si which is pretty standard today

Virginia
01-17-2010, 09:39 AM
hey Virginia, I actually play with the becker mids myself. This is the best "modern" stick I have played with. So funny though, as I recover from authroscopic hip surgery, I have started hitting my old warped max 200G....Damn...love it. Bought another one. I just love those older dunlops that have the vibration dampening designed in them. There is nothing like them. If I could make a racquet myself..I think I would make it a 200G with about a 95 headsize and call it a day.

The becker is really a nice stick. The max 200G makes me want to slice everything and come in behind it....no wonder I like it so much. There is something magical about that small head and 18/20 pattern that still feels so soft and controlled....man.
Yes, there's nothing quite like the 200G. But note what joe says. :)


Reviving this thread to let you know I did just today play test the Chris 5-Star against my extreme spin racket and found the chris extremely soft. Probably softer than even the max 200g and pretty close to a woody. The spin and control dont come close to the extreme spin since with the 14x16 pattern, it plays like the Snauwaert Hi-Ten. The design actually compares with both of those classics, take a look:
That's fascinating, joe - I wonder how the Chris Avenger will feel - it's 50/50 fiberglass/graphite and supposedly even more flexible than the Competition. I just recently bought three of them (new old stock) but they are unstrung, so I haven't had a chance yet to try one out.

Incidentally, the fiberglass used in Chris racquets is S2 fiberglass - I understand it's stronger than the standard. I wonder how many other racquets use it.

joe sch
01-17-2010, 10:29 AM
Yes, there's nothing quite like the 200G. But note what joe says. :)



That's fascinating, joe - I wonder how the Chris Avenger will feel - it's 50/50 fiberglass/graphite and supposedly even more flexible than the Competition. I just recently bought three of them (new old stock) but they are unstrung, so I haven't had a chance yet to try one out.

Incidentally, the fiberglass used in Chris racquets is S2 fiberglass - I understand it's stronger than the standard. I wonder how many other racquets use it.

Hey Virginia,

Im really keen to see a picture of your Chris Avengers.
Sounds like a really fun racket to play.
Glad that you found 3 NOS models since you play those rackets.
I would like to put either some natural gut or a copoly like MSV in my Chris racket and see how nice it plays.
My model currenlty has a syn gut which is not too impressive.

Cheers,
Joe

Virginia
01-18-2010, 09:44 AM
All the Chris racquets have the same mold - it's just the composition that's different. The top level model is graphite and boron, the next one is 100% graphite, then the Competition at 80/20 and finally the Avenger at 50/50. I'll try and get a photo up soon. It's a medium dark blue, matt finish - not quite as durable looking as the Competition.

The Competition that I just received a couple of days ago, has the original Chris strings in it (and is numbered only 353!). I'm going to try it out today and see if it plays any differently from my first one.

Virginia
01-18-2010, 05:01 PM
The Competition that I just received a couple of days ago, has the original Chris strings in it (and is numbered only 353!). I'm going to try it out today and see if it plays any differently from my first one.
Not really any appreciable difference, except it felt even better! Amazing really, since it has the original Chris Pro Synthetic strings, which are 21 years old! The racquet itself, when I got it, was in near mint condition, at least 9.5/10, so it had obviously had next to no use in its long life. :)

v205
05-17-2010, 10:57 PM
Virginia, have you tried the currently available Pro Kennex Redondo / Black Ace? They have classic feel with their 100% graphite construction.

Virginia
05-18-2010, 09:30 PM
Yes, I know the Black Ace - it's very nice, but I've discovered the perfect racquet for me, so I won't be changing. I still like having a hit with various racquets though and have a pile of them just waiting for me to try. :)

schu47
05-19-2010, 06:05 AM
Hi Virginia,

Reviving this thread to let you know I did just today play test the Chris 5-Star against my extreme spin racket and found the chris extremely soft. Probably softer than even the max 200g and pretty close to a woody. The spin and control dont come close to the extreme spin since with the 14x16 pattern, it plays like the Snauwaert Hi-Ten. The design actually compares with both of those classics, take a look:

http://www.woodtennis.com/extreme_spin/chris_5star_es100a.jpg
http://www.woodtennis.com/extreme_spin/chris_5star_es100b.jpg
http://www.woodtennis.com/extreme_spin/chris_5star_es100f.jpg
http://www.woodtennis.com/extreme_spin/snauwaert_hiten_es100b.jpg

Joe and Virginia,

Very interesting comparisons.

A similarly-designed racquet that I think plays surprisingly well is the Spalding Orbi-Tech. I got one mainly because it was odd-looking -- big wide throat, round head -- but was amazed at how solid it is -- extremely stable. Not a lot different from the Chris 5-Star, actually, although more maneuverable and a little stiffer. Perhaps companies were on to something with those wide throats.

These are my wide-throated Spaldings: the Assault 95, which has a 16x19 string pattern; the Orbi-Tech 95, which is 16x18; and the Ellyp-Tech .83 A/R, which is a more powerful, 100 sq. in. variation with an unusual 16x17 pattern.

I know Spalding hasn't been a big name in racquets since the wood era, but I think they've made some very interesting frames over the years. I also like their narrow-beamed, graphite midsizes from the '80s -- the Tour Pro, Le Sport and Graphite Legacy. I think they're under-rated.

(I hope these photos stick. I've had trouble embedding images from Picasa)


http://lh4.ggpht.com/_R75QH658YRs/S_PnJGu4jfI/AAAAAAAAfyg/-88-8SLwGz4/s800/P1050865.JPG

http://lh5.ggpht.com/_R75QH658YRs/S_PnLp1nHfI/AAAAAAAAfyw/p5sMRjw_84o/s800/P1050869.JPG

jimbo333
05-19-2010, 09:14 AM
Great photos, and I can see them this time:)

You really do find some interesting racquets, I can imagine these would play really well!

schu47
05-19-2010, 12:47 PM
Thanks, jimbo, for letting me know.

Hope the photos stay on there and don't disappear after a day or so.

Actually, Orbi-Techs are not uncommon on the auction-site-which-shall-not-be-named, and usually go for a reasonable price, so it wouldn't cost anyone an arm and a leg to give one a try.

That militaristic-looking Assault 95 is quite a little beast. And it has that rough, gun-metal gray finish like the Secret 04.

jimbo333
05-19-2010, 01:24 PM
Thanks, jimbo, for letting me know.

Hope the photos stay on there and don't disappear after a day or so.

Actually, Orbi-Techs are not uncommon on the auction-site-which-shall-not-be-named, and usually go for a reasonable price, so it wouldn't cost anyone an arm and a leg to give one a try.

That militaristic-looking Assault 95 is quite a little beast. And it has that rough, gun-metal gray finish like the Secret 04.

Cheers mate:)

I will definitely try and get one of these at some point!

rodracquet
11-26-2010, 12:44 PM
I have been hitting with a Vortex and like it very much. The Orbitech didn't impress me at all but I would like to introduce perhaps the widest throat treatment I have seen on a model called the RIVAL AU 700. While its design was meant to be based on the palm of a hand (go figure) it actually looks more like an upside down flat top. Never hit with it....who knows. Joe what do you know about these?

http://i519.photobucket.com/albums/u354/tennishistory/RIVAL8.jpg

kevoT
11-26-2010, 01:20 PM
Oh, I forgot.....

Shame on you, Virginia! How dare you touch a tennis ball with something that wasn't made before 1984!

Ha!

I don't get it :shock:

retrowagen
11-26-2010, 08:59 PM
I hit a couple nights ago with a recent thrift store acquisition, a Head Youtek Speed Pro (it was $1.47, I couldn't pass it up!)... Same weight and balance as my beloved 1988 Head Elite Pros... strung similarly... hit back-to-back with an Elite Pro.

Couldn't believe the lack of ball feel and control of the Speed Pro relative to the Elite. Really day and night for me. Not a good tool for my game. But maybe perfect for someone else? I don't know.

What I do know: I'm out $1.47.

:)

Bud
11-26-2010, 09:46 PM
I hit a couple nights ago with a recent thrift store acquisition, a Head Youtek Speed Pro (it was $1.47, I couldn't pass it up!)... Same weight and balance as my beloved 1988 Head Elite Pros... strung similarly... hit back-to-back with an Elite Pro.

Couldn't believe the lack of ball feel and control of the Speed Pro relative to the Elite. Really day and night for me. Not a good tool for my game. But maybe perfect for someone else? I don't know.

What I do know: I'm out $1.47.

:)

That's a great deal on a recent model racquet. The Speed Pro does has a very dampened feel to it.

retrowagen
11-26-2010, 10:12 PM
That's a great deal on a recent model racquet. The Speed Pro does has a very dampened feel to it.

I thought of all current frames available, it'd be one I ought to feel at home with relatively quickly - the two models of tennis racquet I've logged the most hours with in the last years are the Head Elite Pro (90 sq-in, 18x20, Prestige-esque mid), and the Fischer Pro Classic 98 (98 sq-in, 16x20, constant-beam midplus); I guessed the Speed Pro would play like an amalgam of those two models. But I couldn't hit a flat forehand or backhand with it to save my life, and I thought it had no positive feel (and hence no touch) whatsoever on volleys. My game is all-court, and I hit the full complement of flat, top, and slice throughout the course of a match as situations warrant it. It reduced me to playing heavy topspin and slice from the baseline, which for me was a boring and tedious way to play the game. Not my cup of Darjeeling, but probably a viable fit for the majority of players I see out there at my club and at regional tournaments.

pshulam
11-27-2010, 06:21 AM
I hit a couple nights ago with a recent thrift store acquisition, a Head Youtek Speed Pro (it was $1.47, I couldn't pass it up!)... Same weight and balance as my beloved 1988 Head Elite Pros... strung similarly... hit back-to-back with an Elite Pro.

Couldn't believe the lack of ball feel and control of the Speed Pro relative to the Elite. Really day and night for me. Not a good tool for my game. But maybe perfect for someone else? I don't know.

What I do know: I'm out $1.47.

:)
I should visit thrift stores more often! What a bargain!

VGP
11-27-2010, 06:24 AM
It's not necessarily a bargain if you don't like the frame, although you can make some money on the item if you decide to sell.

pshulam
11-27-2010, 06:58 AM
It's not necessarily a bargain if you don't like the frame, although you can make some money on the item if you decide to sell.
Agreed. Selling for a profit is definitely a bargain.

retrowagen
11-27-2010, 07:22 AM
It was cheaper than a mail-order demo! :)

I'll try to sell it to someone who will like it better than I.