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View Full Version : Prince Diablo Tour Mid: achille's heel


ferrari_827
05-17-2005, 12:11 PM
The first time I playtested this racket, I really liked the way it swung, had good power, control, great on serves and groundstrokes.

Great, until I started volleying with it. I found it felt strange on volleys, and was much more difficult to volley with than a Head or Yonex.

Anyway, I got another demo to playtest (maybe I was imagining the volley problem or having a technique problem that day). Same conclusion, great on everything, except strange feel on volleys.

Anyone else agree with me ??? It seems strange to me that a racket this good in other departments would be difficult to volley with.

louis netman
05-17-2005, 02:06 PM
My volley is my bread and butter....I bought a Diablo mid to demo with my own setup.....really weird....to this day I couldn't figure out why...

NGreenwald42390
05-17-2005, 04:48 PM
i dont volley well with my diablo either hmm maybe i dont suck at volleys.. it is always the equiptment

kying1031
05-17-2005, 06:01 PM
funny...I can volley extremely well with the Mid...maybe its just me...

MChong
05-17-2005, 08:11 PM
I'm with kying1031 here; the volleys were fine with the Diablo; it's you :-P

AndrewD
05-18-2005, 06:17 AM
ferrari_827,

What do you mean when you say the Diablo felt 'strange' on volleys?

Very curious as it is one of my top options for a new racquet (limited by a wrist injury to midsize only) but as my game revolves around getting to the net I need something that volleys well. Ive played enough tennis of a sufficiently high level to know that its not always technique and some sticks just dont enjoy being up at net. Also played enough to know its often a very personal 'feel' issue. You've mentioned before using Head and Yonex frames. Do you think the rounder headshape of the Diablo might have had something to do with it?

Apart from that, its interesting to note that you liked the other aspects of the frame and thought it had good power and control plus was great on serves and groundstrokes. Sounds like a fair package. If it had volleyed well, would you have stuck with it?

ferrari_827
05-18-2005, 06:44 AM
Andrew, I think the rounder head has something to do with it. An elongated or oval Head shape, or rectangular Yonex shape seems to feel better on volleys. I never had a problem with Wilson 6.0, even the small 85 version.

So I don't think it's just me. Those who have played with the POG or a prince for a long time will probably do just fine.

If it wasn't for this strange feel on volleys, I would most definitely have bought this racket because it's great on serves and groundstrokes.

AndrewD
05-18-2005, 07:27 AM
I think I know what you mean. Personally I do prefer the Head racquet shape for volleying. However, I find actual response from the Prestige to be a bit softer than I would prefer.

Everyone mentions the good power from the Diablo and Im surprised as you dont often see that mentioned with a midsize frame.

Regardless, it's not like Ive got a lot of options in the midsize category. Realistically, there's only NXG, Diablo, POG, PS 6.0 85, ROK, Tour90, RDX500, Prestige, a ProKennex and that's about it.
Tried and hated the ProKennex, Tour90 and the RDX500 (dont like Yonex shape) so Im pretty much down to 6 options. Tried the Prestige and enjoy it apart from the softer feel so that leaves a grand total of 5 frames and I'll discount the NXG because of all the negative feedback Ive heard.

So, only got 4 to choose from. Personally, I find it much easier having limited choice.

Now all I have to do is decide which to start with. Thought the ROK might be too low powered and the PS85 too heavy so that leaves the Diablo and the POG which spec almost exactly the same.

ferrari_827
05-18-2005, 07:36 AM
The IPrestige is excellent for serve/volley. It gives a more powerful and crisp response vs. the Prestige Tour (make sure you use a softer string at lower tensions on this one). Another frame you should be looking at is the ProKennex Heritage Type C.

For serve/volley, I would definitely not recommend the Diablo or the POG.

It's too bad you don't like Yonex because some of the frames are excellent for s/v. Ex: Ti80, RDX500 mid.

AndrewD
05-18-2005, 07:39 AM
Damn, the Heritage was the ProKennex I tried and didn't like. Same with the i-Prestige (felt a bit sluggish at net and unwieldy).

Why wouldnt you recommend the POG or Diablo for serve-volley?

ferrari_827
05-18-2005, 07:58 AM
That's interesting. The IPrestige Mid is actually lighter than the Prestige Tour, and certainly much lighter than the LM Prestige Mid. I find it very maneuverable myself.

What didn't you like about the Heritage Type C ?

The POG string pattern is too open for volleying. It is better suited for baseline play. And the Diablo, as I mentioned, felt strange on volleys. For me, the POG has a nasty all-around feel, period.

ferrari_827
05-18-2005, 08:10 AM
Andrew, your choices are quite limited, considering:

The Tour90 is very heavy, lacks maneuverability
ROK is underpowered (good feel, good volleys though)
NXG Mid/midplus (good, but very dampened response, strange design)

AndrewD
05-18-2005, 08:14 AM
I just didn't like the response from the ProKennex. Probably a bit similar to you and the Diablo.
Im not surprised as regards you opinion of the POG midplus. I had thought the open string pattern might make it feel a bit harsh and limit its playability at net.

I haven't played the LM Prestige but the one I use is the Prestige Pro. Im surprised to hear the i-Prestige is lighter. I'll have to check to see if the guy had weighted it as it was definately heavier than my version. The LM Prestige is rated as 12.3 ounces, so is the i-Prestige supposed to be lighter than that? The weight was the only thing I didn't like about it. Definately crisper and I found a bit more power than my version.

Perhaps I'll just have to grab the old PS 6.0 85 and compare it to the Prestige. Doesn't look like there's much else out there. Still curious about the Diablo but really, they're just alternatives to the Prestige. A bit crisper and a touch more power is all Id really want. Given that I string at 46lbs, there's going to be power, even in the ProStaff lol.

ferrari_827
05-18-2005, 08:22 AM
The IPrestige mid is 12.1oz, with a lower swingweight than the LM Prestige. The IPrestige Mid actually plays and feels very similar to the PS6.0 85, but with more power and larger head. If you strung the ROK low with a powerful string, it might do it for you as well (!)

The best s/v stick I've every played with is the Yonex Ti 70 long, a damn machine at volleying. The Ti 70 88 is still being sold, but the head is probably too small.

AndrewD
05-18-2005, 08:36 AM
ferrari_827,

Thanks for all the information and advice. Well Im stumped then, he must have added lead to the frame and just forgot to tell me. Still, had thought from other posts that the i-Prestige was heavier and stiffer but if it is only 12.1 and with a lower swingweight it might just be the go.

Im only hitting with junior players and helping out a few others this year - no comp- so I can bide my time and use a mid while my wrist heals. The worst that could happen is I buy all three (i-Prestige, PS 6.0 85 and Diablo) and find I only like one. Apart from the Diablo they aren't the most expensive frames around and they'll sit nicely in the collection.

Might have a look on **** to see if I can find the i-Prestige, otherwise I might just grab the old Wilson and have some fun. Going on the TW review I'd have to string the ROK very low to get power and it might be too flexy.

Thanks again

monologuist
05-18-2005, 12:14 PM
guys...have you considered that maybe the handle shape had anything to do with the volleying problems or lack thereof? I know that for me personally, the handle shape makes a big difference in whether I feel comfortable with certain shots...the Prince handle is pretty round, so for some, they might not feel that it is as stable in the hand on volleys (less resistant to twisting)...or maybe it's harder to lock in the continental grip with it than a more rectangular shape...I dunno...just offering a possibility. I personally find that I volley and serve most comfortably with a more rectangular grip, but that my 1 hand backhand feels best with a more round grip like Prince...so for me, the Wilson is the best compromise I can find...feels comfortable enough on every shot..Yonex is pretty good too (similiar to Wilson...maybe a little rounder)

by the way , AndrewD, if you're frustrated by the lack of options of a good volleying midsize, have you thought of trying Vantage? I can volley better with my Vantage than anything I've ever tried, and they have a 90" model...

newnuse
05-18-2005, 04:15 PM
I demo-ed a 200 M-FIL the other day. It was great on groundstrokes, stable with good spin. The serves are pretty good as well. I thought I finally found my racket, then I tried volleys.

I could not volley with the racket at all. Balls kept going hitting the net, not the top of it either. I thought it was me, so I gave it to my friend to try with the same results.

I added a little bit of lead at the 3/9 positions. It did improve a little bit.

I think it had something to do with the balance of the racket, not enough weight at the hoop to block back shots. Full strokes like serves and groundies were fine. Punch strokes like volleys were horrible.

Did anybody experience this with the 200 M-FIL as well???

AndrewD
05-18-2005, 05:01 PM
monologuist,
Im more frustrated by the lack of mid-size frames. I'll volley okay with anything but some racquets are a bit more comfortable than others. The Prince Mono was the best Ive ever used but do think the Prince grip shape has a tendency to slip from continental to eastern if you aren't careful. Head and Volkl give you a natural continental but they're buggers for a one-handed backhand.

Unfortunately, even with any offered discount Vantage is too expensive.

newnuse, I think you need a frame that is solid in the very upper part of the hoop. That's where you're going to hit a good volley so if its lacking in weight up top - due to design or being too headlight- then you'll have issues. Some people I know have found that the case with the i-Radical due to its overall weight. Im also sure that's a reason why the PS 6.0 85 and Prestige are so good for volleying as was the old Dunlop 200G. Solid all-around so no twist on reflex volleys or hard drives hit right at you. Hit today with a POG midplus and I got that kind of twisting plus a real loss of control if the strings were parted.

newnuse
05-18-2005, 05:40 PM
monologuist,
Im more frustrated by the lack of mid-size frames. I'll volley okay with anything but some racquets are a bit more comfortable than others. The Prince Mono was the best Ive ever used but do think the Prince grip shape has a tendency to slip from continental to eastern if you aren't careful. Head and Volkl give you a natural continental but they're buggers for a one-handed backhand.

Unfortunately, even with any offered discount Vantage is too expensive.

newnuse, I think you need a frame that is solid in the very upper part of the hoop. That's where you're going to hit a good volley so if its lacking in weight up top - due to design or being too headlight- then you'll have issues. Some people I know have found that the case with the i-Radical due to its overall weight. Im also sure that's a reason why the PS 6.0 85 and Prestige are so good for volleying as was the old Dunlop 200G. Solid all-around so no twist on reflex volleys or hard drives hit right at you. Hit today with a POG midplus and I got that kind of twisting plus a real loss of control if the strings were parted.

Yeah AndrewD, totally agree about the lack of midsize frames. I love the feel and stability of a midsize. I've been looking for a racket since I've started playing again a few weeks back. Have not found the racket yet. It seems like today, all the rackets are specialized. You get a players frame, small head, and heavy so it's diffilcult to customize. Or you get a midplus with a large head and lighter weight. You get one extreme or the other.

In the 80's companies with use the same mold for different rackets with many midsize frames. They would change the material composition, flex and weight. This gave you more options. If you didn't like the weight or flex of a certain frame, buy one of the same mold & different material. Companies like Wilson had tons of midsize frames, ProStaff, Ultra1/2, Sting1/2, Graphite Matrix...etc... ahhhhh.... my search goes on

AndrewD
05-18-2005, 07:58 PM
newnuse, don't I know it. When I was playing regularly (before my extended break from the game) I knew if my old 200G was out of action I could just ask to borrow a friends Mag Pro, Spectrum, Graphite Pro, Wilson Ceramic etc, etc, etc. Far more variation. Today its all 95sq if you're lucky and 98sq in general.

Personally I think there are two limitations in a 98sq. Firstly, control is often overshadowed by power which means you have to alter your swing (fine if you're just starting out, having regular coaching or great if you're older and have lost a step but otherwise, too many unforced errors). Secondly, they seem to lose tension too quickly. That means you restring more often and end up spending more money. I also dont believe that the average club player is good enough to control a 98sq without seriously modifying their swing and even then its dicey. Others dont agree with that but Im basing it on what I see when I play and the reasoning that the average club player is not a 4.0+ but a 3.0-3.5. Anything 4.0 and up is a different kettle of fish but I dont believe its the norm. When you take the step up to 4.5 then you do need to have a bit more power and take a few more chances as its harder to win through control alone. Also, returns become better and serves harder, with more top. But, at the average 3.0-3.5 level it's still errors that lose matches not being overpowered. Remember, Im also talking about the average player who doesnt train 3 times a week or have coaching but gets to hit once a week. I think a mid is good but a 95sq could be a little better (best of both worlds). Im just a little hesitant to go there in case the wrist pain returns, although I sometimes wonder whether the ProStaff Tour95 mightn't be a good, low priced, softer flexing and customisable option.

Probably shouldnt have said any of that as people here can rarely allow someone to just have an opinion without telling them how wrong they are. However, thats just the way I feel about it.

newnuse
05-18-2005, 11:00 PM
AndrewD,

I haven't visiting this board for very long, but I've notice certain topics do get people going.

I'm not what is classified as a midsize anymore, but anything from 90" to 93" is good for me. I could live with 95", not sure about 98".

A midplus is suppose to give you a larger margin of error. For me, it's the opposite. A bad hit/miss hit with a midsize is a bad hit/miss hit with a midplus. If I hit the frame with a MS, it's going to hit the frame of a MP as well or at the very least hit the very outer edge of the string bed... and twist the heck out of my wrist.

I would definitely not touch a MP if I had a bad wrist. The further the ball hits from the center line, the more it will torque your wrist. That's just a fact. Larger string beds will naturally allow contact further away from the center line.

MS give you more margin for error if you don't quite hit it right. If I'm late or my aim is off with a MP, the ball flies all over the place. With a midsize, the ball is not as far off target. The extra power with a MP magnifies my mistakes.

I prefer the feel of a MS. It gives me better feedback. I know exactly where the ball struck. I don't like muted/dampened rackets. Larger string beds will naturally result in a more dampened racket. Vibrations loose there itensity the further you are away from the source.

All ofthis results in me having more confidence to go for my shots. I aim for lines, swing harder, play more aggresively....etc...

AndrewD
05-19-2005, 03:18 AM
newnuse,
I do agree and its just unfortunate it stirs up the hornet's nest here. I wish that I had the kind of game that could fully utilise a midplus. However, I don't hit with enough topspin to really control that extra power and I don't like a very tight string bed. So, midsize is the best option for me (85sq-95sq). Hitting the frame hasn't been a problem so far and overhitting has been reduced to a minimum. Probably the only thing Id be getting from the midplus is the ability to hit shots when Im not in good position. Or, hitting shots when I haven't bothered to make good position and am letting the racquet do the work. Still, there are one or two out there that I think are worth a hit but they're usually the low powered ones like the i-Prestige.

If my wrist could handle it I guess Id be looking for something in the 95sq range, semi-open string pattern (the Mono was 16x21 so 16x20 would be fine) not overly heavy (so I can add or subtract weight depending on how I feel each time I play) and no extreme headshape or grip shape (so no Yonex or Volkl and possibly no Head frames). Unfortunately, Im not sure it can.

Have some reservations about Wilson as constantly reading comments where people say how stiff they play but they're probably my best bet.

monologuist
05-19-2005, 06:52 AM
well...crossing Yonex and Volkl off your list will not help your cause, as they are two of the finest racquet manufacturers out there right now, if not THE finest. THe Yonex RDX-500 mid and the Volkl Tour 10 V-Engine mid would have been great choices IMO. I was once averse to the "weird" Yonex shapes, but after trying them, I realized why everyone was raving about them. THe Volkls are not really that strangely shaped actually.

newnuse
05-19-2005, 10:07 AM
Funny, I thought Volkls & Heads had the most extreme rectangular grip shapes. I didn't think the Yonex was that much different from the Wilsons. I demo-ed a Volkl T10 Gen II. The racket felt good, but my hand started to get fatigue after 30 minutes. I demo-ed a Head Flex Point Radical & LM Prestige MP. The grips on Heads are horrible for me. It felt much much too flat.

I guess Wilson's player's line is stiffer. I never had a problem with Wilson because they are very stable and just plow through the ball. I don't feel anything in my wrist or elbow.

I think those unstable, large head, light rackets are much worse on your wrist than a Wilson player's frame. The impact of the ball is much worse on your wrist with a large head racket. I wouldn't rule out one of those 95" Wilson rackets. I always try to put a little lead tape at the 3 & 9 o'clock position to further increase stability. It works well for me. Of course, if it becomes too heavy.... that's a whole new set of problems.

monologuist
05-19-2005, 12:05 PM
the Volkls do have a very rectangular grip...like Head....Yonex is rounder...more like Wilson (between Wilson and Prince)

AndrewD
05-19-2005, 08:20 PM
monologuist,
I dislike the Yonex headshape but it the trouble with Volkl is that the grip shape hasn't been overly healthy for my wrist. Had to swap the pellet over for a Head one when the wrist pain started but by then the damage was done. Regardless, there isn't anything within their range which suits me. Ive played the t10GenII and found it too flexible, the v-engine version I just didnt like at all. Nothing wrong with the Yonex grip shape or the RDX500 mid apart from the head shape and the price. The rest of the Yonex range I find incredibly limiting if you play at net.

Basically, because of the particular wrist injury/problem and the reasons for it, I have to be very mindful of the grip shape I use. Prior to this year its always been Dunlop or Prince, never Head, Yonex or Volkl. Never had a problem before although Ive had the wrist problem for the last 12 years. Have hit with a couple of Head frames and a couple of Yonex frames with no noticeable concern. Never hit a Volkl until this year. Never had wrist pain until this year.