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View Full Version : Reviews from Demos: BB London, PB 10 Mid, 4D 300, BLX 6-1 Tour


TripleB
07-11-2010, 06:22 PM
Spent several days playing singles and doubles with the Boris Becker Delta Core London, Volkl PowerBridge 10 Mid, Wilson BLX Six-One Tour, and Dunlop 4D 300. Here are my thoughts.

Specs of racquets with a rubberband and 2 overgrips:
Dunlop 4D 300: 319g, 5 pts HL
Wilson BLX Six-One Tour: 363g, 10 pts HL
Becker Delta Core London: 337g, 6 pts HL
Volkl PowerBridge 10 Mid: 353g, 9 pts HL

Wilson BLX 6-1 Tour: solid, solid, solid on groundstrokes and volleys; weight was just too much for me on forehands (my weaker side) – I was too lazy to prepare early in order to hit crosscourt shots off that side; serves had decent pop but after a few games I could feel the racquet head speed getting slower and slower; topspin was better than average (again, the weight of the racquet kept me from getting as much topspin off the forehand side as I would have liked); slice was so amazing – incredible depth, penetrating speed, stayed unbelievably low, favorite shot with this racquet by far; maneuverability was the downfall for me whether at the baseline or at the net; control however was spot on when I had time to prepare for the shots; overall a fun ride but way too demanding for this lazy tennis bum; this was my least favorite of the four

Volkl PowerBridge 10 Mid: nice combination of the London and the BLX 6-1 Tour – seemed like I got the solid feel of the Tour with the maneuverability of the London; more topspin than the Tour and very similar to the London; slice was definitely better with the Tour than with this racquet; serves were much more accurate with this racquet than with either the Tour or the London; movement on quick exchanges at the net in doubles were a bit difficult; had more pop on serves with the PB10Mid than the Tour but not as much as the London or the 4D 300; as far as kick serves I would say this one is better than the Tour, slightly less than the London, but not as good as the Dunlop; after a set under my belt in 95 degree heat, I found that I started to struggle with the depth of my groundstrokes with this racquet - there was a big dropoff in my racquet head speed; accuracy which groundstrokes was still impressive and volleys were rock solid; better than average touch at the net; the last time I demoed this racquet it had natural gut in it and it played much better than this one did (with Wilson NXT); the return of serve was my favorite shot with this racquet - block it back to the exact location you want; the swingweight of this racquet is about 9 points higher than my POG Mid and it certainly showed - I'm not sure I'm strong enough to use this racquet for 3 or more sets on a 90 degree day (ie: I'm far to lazy to work hard enough to play with this racquet); not as excited about this racquet on the second time around as a I was the first - last time I really thought this was 'the' racquet; I was really able to get a similar feel out of the two lighter racquets so this finishes as my 3rd favorite racquet in this demo session


Dunlop 4D 300: topspin and slice are superb with this racquet...heavy topspin available at will and the slice had a lot of speed (surprising, considering the weight of the racquet) and stayed extremely low; stability suffered a bit on balls hit towards the top of the frame, but overall this was a pretty stable racquet against most players; on return of serve against big servers I did have trouble getting the easy depth I got with the Volkl PB 10 Mid, however I was quite impressed by how solid the racquet felt on blocked returns; the return of serve was really the only place where the light weight really seemed to be a negative; serves had good pop, control was as good as with any of the other three racquets, and the kick was the best of the bunch (although with the kick serves I felt the ball moved a bit slower than with heavier racquets) – serving with this racquet as a whole was a pleasure and gave me a lot of confidence; on groundstrokes, control (both depth and side to side) was excellent...probably the best racquet I've tried in a while as far as depth control...I tend to leave the ball sitting shorter than I should, but not so with this racquet; really liked my forehand with this racquet - I typically have a harder time getting pop on my forehand but with this lighter racquet I could really get the racquet head moving; crosscourt shots were awesome (finally found a racquet that I can get angle, pace, and depth going crosscourt with my forehands) – hit one today in doubles that ran my opponent into the fence; volleys offered excellent put away power, middle of the road stability (worst in this 4some), and average touch; loved the fact that I could hold my groundstrokes to the last second and then go down the line or crosscourt; it’s a very close call but I think this is my favorite racquet in the bunch


Boris Becker Delta Core London: this racquet had a nice flexy feel to it but it also had excellent pop – not sure how BB combined these two characteristics in such a light weight racquet, but it’s nice; it played very similar to the KBlade 98 but with a more flexible feel – it didn’t seem to translate into any better touch than with the KBlade but was a bit easier on the arm; it has a 16x19 string pattern but it didn’t seem to give me any more spin (maybe even slightly less) than the KBlade 98…in fact this was the one area that this racquet a bit of a disappointment (although 16x19, the string pattern was a bit closed, looked pretty similar to my 18 main LM Rad MP); slice was better than average, staying low with some good pace, but not as much action on the ball as with the BLX or the Volkl and nowhere close to that of the Dunlop; topspin was better than average but not as good as I was expecting – when I tried to add some extra topspin balls tended to land short; control was spot on with this racquet whether on serves, groundstrokes, or at the net – best control in the group; the pop was pretty much perfect, which allowed me a few return winners and gave me the opportunity to be aggressive on my groundstrokes which offered a very solid feel; volleys offered a solid feel, good pop, and very nice touch; return of serve was slightly better with this racquet than the Dunlop because, with the extra weight, I could block back harder serves and still get them deep in the court; serves had good accuracy with very good pop but kick serves were difficult to get action on; while the Dunlop begged to be used to hit topspin, this begged to hit the flat ball; because my game depends so much on spin, this racquet finishes (ever so) slightly behind the 4D 300

Dunlop 4D 300 vs. Boris Becker Delta Core London in Categories:
Volleys: Becker
Topspin: Dunlop
Slice: Dunlop
Returns: Dunlop
Groundstrokes: Dunlop
Serves: Dunlop
Touch/Feel: Becker
Comfort: Becker
Stability: Becker
Maneuverability: Dunlop
Control: Dunlop
Power: Dunlop
Overall: Dunlop

I would love to try the Dunlop 4D 300 with a leather grip and natural gut mains…I think the weight would be excellent (maybe around 325g), feel would be improved, and power and control would just be enhanced to another level.

I’ve got 4 more demos coming Tuesday to put up against these – Volkl C10 Pro, Volkl DNX 10 Mid, Wilson KBlade 98, and Prince Ozone Tour…really looking forward to putting the 4D 300 and London head to head against the KBlade and Ozone Tour.

TripleB

ace18
07-11-2010, 07:20 PM
Great review

TripleB
07-12-2010, 08:18 AM
Great review

Thanks...did you really like the review or just the fact that I preferred the Dunlop :) (noticed your signature).

TripleB

ayuname
07-12-2010, 08:43 AM
Maybe with some lead on the Dunlop, it would shine above the rest.

McLovin
07-12-2010, 09:56 AM
Interesting, as I also have the BB London demo, and I did not like it one bit (Sam I Am). 5 minutes with it and I had to put it down.

I did, however, really enjoy the AG 4D 300 Tour (not sure if you tried to Tour version or not) when I demoed it last month, but I also added some weight (brought it up to 12.4oz).

But my favorite so far is the C-10 Pro, followed by the Head Prestige YT (which I only hit with for about 5 minutes the other day).

*EDIT: Looking at your specs, it seems as if you have the regular AG 4D 300, not the tour.

TripleB
07-12-2010, 11:02 AM
I did, however, really enjoy the AG 4D 300 Tour (not sure if you tried to Tour version or not) when I demoed it last month, but I also added some weight (brought it up to 12.4oz).

But my favorite so far is the C-10 Pro, followed by the Head Prestige YT (which I only hit with for about 5 minutes the other day).


Below my name you will find the reviews I put up for the Dunlop 4D 300 Tour I tried last month. I liked the weight and balance specs a little more than the 4D 300, so I ordered the Tour first. I basically found that I really loved a lot of things about the Tour but could never get as much spin as I wanted with the 18x20 string pattern. The KBlade 98 that I also had at the time offered similar characteristics with a bit more spin.

I would like to add a leather grip to the 4D 300 and see what the specs were after that...then possibly add a few grams of lead tape (although I typically try to stay away from the stuff) to try and get it between 330 and 335 grams and about 5 points headlight.

Glad to hear about the C10 Pro...have that demo arriving tomorrow as well as the KBlade 98 (one more time), DNX 10 Mid, and Prince Ozone Tour.

TripleB



Here were my thoughts on the 4D 300 Tour when I tried it a month or so ago: the first thing I noticed about this racquet was the flex - felt much more flexy than the 63 rating and my LM Radical Midplus; the flex led to some good topspin for an 18 mains racquet and amazing control on my groundstrokes; touch at net was the best of the bunch because of the extra flex; the extra flex did hurt a bit on groundies where this racquets seemed to be the least powerful of the four; that being said I did hit some nice winners because of the control I had with the racquet and the confidence I had in the fact that the ball wouldn't go out; the weakest part for me with this racquet was the serve - this was the least powerful of the group so I felt like I had to put something extra into the serve to try and get some power out of it - had top notch control on serves - just would have like a bit more power (stringing it at the lower end of the tension would help with this I'm sure); slice was excellent although I don't think the ball went through the court as well as it did with the Wilson; in all this racquet played very similar to my LM Radical Midplus with a bit more power potential (strung at the lower end of the range) and more topspin; volleys were rock solid and touch was amazing and the best of the group; even though not the lowest swingweight of this group, I felt like I could 'whip' my groundstrokes crosscourt better with this racquet than the others; overall and excellent racquet

Then after the next day out: Dunlop 4D 300 Tour: such a fantastic feel with this racquet - flexy (this demo has got to be more flexy than 63) with amazing touch and control; groundstrokes take a little more effort than with the Wilson but the control and angles that are possible are worth the extra effort - I hit two of the best crosscourt forehands I've ever hit in my life, from the baseline I hit the line crosscourt on the inside of the service line (amazing for me); the 'whipability' with this racquet is incredible allowing me to hold my shot to the last minute before hitting it; sometimes, seemingly due to the more headlightness (compared to the Wilson), groundstrokes fall short in the courts; it's a close call but I would say this one has better control than the Wilson; slice stayed lower than with any of the other racquets but landed a little shorter in the court than with the Wilson; the one place I struggle with this racquet is on serves - I have to work a bit too hard to get the pace (could help to string a bit lower) and control suffers some from swinging too hard; my favorite things with this racquet are the control and ability to swing out and have the ball remain in; too close to call right now between the Wilson and this one

After the 3rd day out: Dunlop 4D 300 Tour: still struggling mightly on first serves with this racquet - getting decent pop but every first serve seems to hit the top of the tape; this is one amazing 'scramblers' racquet - if I could get the racquet on the ball I could flip the racquet and get the ball to go in whatever direction I wished - a couple times I was pulled way wide on the backhand side and was able to stretch out and flip the racquet getting the ball to go at an amazing angle crosscourt; control with this racquet is awesome; you have to swing out much more with this racquet than with the Wilson; would love to try this racquet with TurboTwist 1.18 string in it at about 53 pounds - I think it might come alive for me as I tend to struggle with depth if I try to ease up on a shot; the best racquet I've found for sharp angle crosscourt forehands - no racquet I've ever tried has allowed me to hit this shot consistently before the 4D 300T; struggled more today with volleys than the past two days

Last time out: Dunlop 300T: just not enough consistent spin to make this an effective racquet for me, love the plush feel, great touch at net, incredible control (great angles available), slice sits a bit

Mansewerz
07-12-2010, 11:02 AM
The C10 pro is fantastic, I love it so far. My favorite part is that I can hit how I want. Great frame.

TripleB
07-13-2010, 05:29 AM
The C10 pro is fantastic, I love it so far. My favorite part is that I can hit how I want. Great frame.

Great to hear...my demo of the C10 should be arriving in about 3 hours.

Can't wait to get it out on the court with the others coming with it ( Ozone Tour, DNX 10 Mid, KBlade 98 ) and the other demos I currently have ( 4D 300, BB DC London, PowerBridge 10 Mid, BLX Six-One Tour ).

Should be a lot of fun!!!

TripleB

Pneumated1
07-13-2010, 09:34 AM
You'll likely become addicted to the C-10's feel, plow, and stability--all in a heavy, lowish swingweight package. I've played one for a couple of months and love it. The funny thing is that I recently broke a string and had to go to my old 300G to finish a match and I loved it. Additionally, I did play a match the other day with my 300 Tour, and I played a great match with it. I can't seem to walk away from the Dunlop 300's, especially with the newer technology, but I can't put down the C-10 Pro either. There's been a lot of discussion lately about the old vs. new technologies, graphite, carbon, etc. I think what you have in the C-10 and the newer Dunlops is the very best of the old and new, respectively, imho. This will likely be a hard decision for you.:)

I never demoed the regular 4D 300 because I don't really want outside help on spin production. And while the C-10 has the same pattern, the Volkl is definitely more dense where it matters, in the sweetspot, allowing for more penetrating, "flatter" topspin, which is my style. This may be the only drawback for you, as I bet the London and C-10 have very similar string patterns.

Whether you decide on a 4D 300, a C-10 Pro, or something similar, you'll have an arm friendly stick that you'll likely play for a long time. You've made good choices.

skraggle
07-13-2010, 09:46 AM
Great review as usual from TripleB...the C10 might just surprise you. It's a polarizing frame, as some hate the flexy head feel and others (I'm in this latter camp) find it very addictive...

TripleB
07-13-2010, 10:45 AM
Great review as usual from TripleB...the C10 might just surprise you. It's a polarizing frame, as some hate the flexy head feel and others (I'm in this latter camp) find it very addictive...

Thanks.

Got my C10 Pro demo in today and it weighs 6 grams less than the specs at T-W indicate (340g vs the 346g stated). Makes me look that much more forward to trying it.

Maybe the C10 weight loss was to make up for the DNX 10 Mid which the T-W specs show at 340g but came in weighing 353g.

The Ozone Tour and KBlade 98 were pretty close to what the specs indicated: OT was 3g less than the specs and the KBlade was 2g more than the spec.

Weather's not looking so good for tennis tonight but hopefully will get to put the Dunlop 4D 300 up against these three (exclude the 353g DNX 10 Mid) during the next few days to see which offers the most of what I'm looking for in a new racquet.

Thanks for everyones comments.

TripleB

Mansewerz
07-13-2010, 10:54 AM
Great review as usual from TripleB...the C10 might just surprise you. It's a polarizing frame, as some hate the flexy head feel and others (I'm in this latter camp) find it very addictive...

I've used it for a while, and i dunno, maybe i'm just not as sensitive to it, but I don't feel the head flexing a whole lot. I guess the frame feels nice and soft, but it's not like this crazy noodle feeling. I dunno.

But it does feel great.

EDIT: Just curious TripleB, why not the Pb10 mid? Sure you got tired in 95 degree heat, but doesn't everyone? Just keep playing with it more, you'll get used to it. I got tired with the C10 pro, but put me in the heat for a while and i'll get tired with anything.

ollinger
07-13-2010, 11:05 AM
You know the old dogma is obsolete when the Volkls are both well off spec and the Prince and Wilson come in close to target.

SlapShot
07-13-2010, 11:58 AM
That's odd that the C10 came in that light - all 4 of mine are between 346 and 348g strung with a rubberband.

I think you just might like the C10, BBB. And I agree with Mansewerz with regard to the flex - it's not nearly the noodle I was expecting. Then again, I have strung it above 58# every time I've strung them - maybe it feels softer when it's strung in the low 50's.

TripleB
07-13-2010, 01:36 PM
EDIT: Just curious TripleB, why not the Pb10 mid? Sure you got tired in 95 degree heat, but doesn't everyone? Just keep playing with it more, you'll get used to it. I got tired with the C10 pro, but put me in the heat for a while and i'll get tired with anything.

My forehand is my weaker side...probably because I'm typically more lazy with foot movement on that side. I've always had problems with heavier racquets when trying to hit crosscourt, whether trying for depth or the sharp angle. I struggled with the PB 10 Mid on the forehand as well. I just couldn't get the depth I was hoping for on my forehand side with this racquet over the period of three sets. Fantastic racquet when I was willing to prepare early. The 4D 300 and BB DC London do not give me the same solid feel of the PB10 Mid on groundstrokes but I seem to have a lot more options as to the type of shot I can hit...especially with the 4D 300.

That's odd that the C10 came in that light - all 4 of mine are between 346 and 348g strung with a rubberband.

Yea, I was a bit shocked by it being that far off...I know that Volkls are typically known for their quality control. With an overgrip and rubberband the C10 Pro makes it up to 346g exactly.

I was truly amazed that the DNX 10 Mid came in 13 grams overweight...with the PB 10 Mid weighing in at 345g, I'm pretty sure I'm going to struggle with the DNX 10 Mid, which is 353g and only 5.5 points headlight.

BTW: the C10 Pro is brand new...wrap still on the grip...brand new Volkl Gripper strings in it 8-).

TripleB

fuzz nation
07-14-2010, 07:33 AM
The one thing I still vividly remember about that DNX 10 mid was it's no more than moderate HL balance. I demoed it a couple years back with a couple of other frames including the M-Speed Pro #1 from Fischer and that Volkl was mighty slow compared to everything else I tried in the group.

I know that if I got hold of one or two for myself, I'd also be grabbing a pack of lead tape for the handles. With a balance maybe in the range of 8-9 pts. HL, I'd bet the DNX would be a ferocious performer - at least for me!

***Thanks for the observations, BBB***

Enjoy the test drives!

TripleB
07-14-2010, 08:01 AM
The one thing I still vividly remember about that DNX 10 mid was it's no more than moderate HL balance.

***Thanks for the observations, BBB***

Enjoy the test drives!

I got a chance to hit with the DNX 10 Mid last night and wow...what a slow racquet. With its weight* and balance, I had so much trouble trying to get this racquet into the correct position or time my groundstrokes right. It didn't take long to realize that the PowerBridge 10 Mid is a much better racquet - with my two demos the PB 10 was 7 grams lighter and at least 2 more points headlight. *I still can't believe the DNX 10 Mid came in 13 grams over specs (I just measured it again just to be sure...yep, 353g).

You're welcome...hope somebody got something out of them.

I still need some more time with the C10 Pro Midplus...couldn't seem to find the sweetspot on a regular basis last night and when I did the balls seem to be flying. Looking forward to another hitting session with it tonight.

Still loving the Dunlop 4D 300 Midplus...with the extra overgrips I had to put on it, it weighs in at 319g (309g strung)...great confidence from all over the court.

KBlade 98 is still just as good as it was the last time I demoed it. Solid, amazing control, perfect power, great spin - only thing I don't care much for is the stiffer feel (compared to the Dunlop and Prince)...still get some arm pain using this racquet (would put gut in it if I went with it).

Really enjoyed a lot of things about the Ozone Tour (even with the Prince Syn Gut Dura string) on the first night out with it...incredible spin, solid feel, pinpoint control, not as mushy as I was expecting, good power - two things I don't have dialed in yet are the serve (less crisp than other two racquets) and volleys (missed the sweetspot a number of times last night).

Anyway, that's just a brief thought on each racquet from last night.

TripleB

TripleB
07-15-2010, 07:19 AM
BTW: after playing last night I've got my new racquet choice narrowed down to 2.5 racquets.

Prince Ozone Tour - amazing spin/kick, serve finally came around with it last night, way above average control, better than expected touch, great maneuverability, love the depth of my groundstrokes; concern is lack of crispness on serves...replacing rubber grommets with the plastic ones or going to a co-poly (instead of the Prince Syn Gut Dura that's in the demo) may solve this problem

Dunlop 4D 300 - superior (at least in this bunch) 1st serves (so much confidence), excellent kick on 2nd serves, amazing touch, heavy biting slice, very good topspin (although not the depth I get from the Prince), wonderful maneuverability (really can hold the shot and then let loose); concern is lack of stability, when side by side with the Prince and KBlade 98, it really showed when returning hard 1st serves, trying to correct this problem tonight...added 10g of lead tape, 6g in the handle and 4g total at 3/9, makes racquet 328g and 5 points headlight (almost identical specs to the LM Rad MP I've been playing with but this racquet has an open string pattern)

Wilson KBlade 98 - super solid feel, very good topspin, excellent slice, superior control, decent maneuverability, have a lot of confidence in playing with this racquet; concern is the pain in my arm when I used this demo several weeks ago and then again this week, thought of stringing it with natural gut if I bought it but the demo is strung with NXT so it has a reasonably soft string already in it, not sure if I really want to take a chance on this racquet (that's why it's the .5 possible racquet), going to not play with this one tonight and see if I have any pain with the Prince or Dunlop

I have the 300 for tonight and tomorrow morning then it has to go back...have the KBlade and Ozone through Monday...should finally have my new racquets order next Wednesday.

TripleB

Pneumated1
07-15-2010, 02:09 PM
Once you find your ideal, customized weight for a Dunlop 300, there's no turning back. They beg for a little lead and respond most admirably with a little. . . . or a lot.:) The question is whether you desire rock-solid stability or just a little extra stability while maintaining maneuverability. These 4D300's don't need much lead to play like much heavier sticks. I've had as much as a 1/2 an ounce on my 300 Tour but play it well now with an extra 1/4 ounce.

Thanks for your reviews.

ace18
07-15-2010, 05:05 PM
Thanks...did you really like the review or just the fact that I preferred the Dunlop :) (noticed your signature).

TripleB

Well, I might be partial, but I thought your review was well thought out and written, nice work, :)

ace18
07-15-2010, 05:10 PM
Once you find your ideal, customized weight for a Dunlop 300, there's no turning back. They beg for a little lead and respond most admirably with a little. . . . or a lot.:) The question is whether you desire rock-solid stability or just a little extra stability while maintaining maneuverability. These 4D300's don't need much lead to play like much heavier sticks. I've had as much as a 1/2 an ounce on my 300 Tour but play it well now with an extra 1/4 ounce.

Thanks for your reviews.

I agree with you. I typically play with 2G at 10 and 2, and about 5G in the handle, the other night, I took the lead off the head and it volleyed really well for me. I was also blistering my groundstrokes. In the winter, I lead it up more, summer less. I play some big bangers too, and I don't notice instability that often, probably volleys more then anything. I play both singles and dubs, I can get away with less lead in singles then dubs.

A_Instead
07-15-2010, 05:19 PM
BBB,
You should try the new Wilson BLX Pro Tour. I am really starting to enjoy it. Its fun to play with and no spin issues with the dense string pattern, solid, hits a nice ball. Reminds me sort of a Kblade but swings easier and hits a heavier ball due to additional weight.

sargeinaz
07-15-2010, 05:24 PM
BBB, is it possible for you to post a pic of the London so I could see the string patten/density that you discussed (it being more dense in the center). If not, no biggie, i understand. Thanks.

TripleB
07-15-2010, 07:38 PM
BBB, is it possible for you to post a pic of the London so I could see the string patten/density that you discussed (it being more dense in the center). If not, no biggie, i understand. Thanks.

I wish I could...I've already got them packaged up and ready to take to have them shipped back. If I have some extra time and remember it I'll take it out and take a picture in the morning.

TripleB

sargeinaz
07-15-2010, 08:42 PM
I wish I could...I've already got them packaged up and ready to take to have them shipped back. If I have some extra time and remember it I'll take it out and take a picture in the morning.

TripleB

Sounds good to me, thanks. Good luck with finding your racket, I can relate big time.