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Bobby Jr
07-22-2010, 03:06 AM
I've finally come to the time when I feel the need to upgrade from my original Pro Staffs and wondered if anyone could offer some experience-based advice.

I'm down to 2 well-used Pro Staffs (both St Vincent models which I never even knew about till reading here and checking the code on them) and I can't be bothered finding new gommets etc (I live down-under). I've used them since about 1993 but stopped playing for a decade until last year. I have lead tape on them at 3/9 o'clock, strung at about 61-2lbs and almost any other racquet I pick up feels too light and also tinny when I hit the ball - until I tried a friend's K-Factor a while back which actually felt OK.

Has anyone here moved from the original PS to the BLX Six.One 95 or BLX Six.One Tour and can offer any advice?

Is the Tour a better option for me because it's closer to the orig or would the 95 be similar-enough feel also? I've been to a couple of tennis clubs but the people in the pro shops but not really getting knowledgeable from people I speak to ha ha.

(I'm 35 yrs, biggish s/w forehand, one-handed backhand, all-courter and played tournaments for years if that makes any difference)

roundiesee
07-22-2010, 03:13 AM
AFAIK the KPS 88 appears to be the closest to the PS 85, but since you were using the St Vincent's, the feel may be very difficult to duplicate as none of the modern iterations of the Pro Staff remotely come close to the unique St Vincent's feel. If you are able to demo, that would be the best option. Otherwise you may perhaps seek some advice from some Wilson experts on these boards (eg Jolly Roger, Bounce Hit, Drakulie, Breakpoint, etc)

stevewcosta
07-22-2010, 04:41 AM
I've finally come to the time when I feel the need to upgrade from my original Pro Staffs and wondered if anyone could offer some experience-based advice.

I'm down to 2 well-used Pro Staffs (both St Vincent models which I never even knew about till reading here and checking the code on them) and I can't be bothered finding new gommets etc (I live down-under). I've used them since about 1993 but stopped playing for a decade until last year. I have lead tape on them at 3/9 o'clock, strung at about 61-2lbs and almost any other racquet I pick up feels too light and also tinny when I hit the ball - until I tried a friend's K-Factor a while back which actually felt OK.

Has anyone here moved from the original PS to the BLX Six.One 95 or BLX Six.One Tour and can offer any advice?

Is the Tour a better option for me because it's closer to the orig or would the 95 be similar-enough feel also? I've been to a couple of tennis clubs but the people in the pro shops but not really getting knowledgeable from people I speak to ha ha.

(I'm 35 yrs, biggish s/w forehand, one-handed backhand, all-courter and played tournaments for years if that makes any difference)


Nothing is like the 6.0 85s. Maybe try the new Donnays. PS88 is the other end of the spectrum - terrible feel and 10X harder to swing.

gbc08
07-22-2010, 07:44 AM
Loved my Prostaff 6.0 85's. Never able to really find a racquet that could replace it. Just finally made the transition to a Pro Kennex Redondo 93. Actually like it better than the Prostaff.

geese_com
07-22-2010, 08:42 AM
I enjoy a leaded up AG100. Close enough to a PS85 for me.

rrova
07-22-2010, 09:10 AM
I grew up on the PS85 and there really is nothing like it, as the other posters already mentioned. Even the current 90 sq in racquets from Wilson, although great racquets in their own right, are not all that similar to the PS85.

Like gbc08 I've decided to simply move on from the PS85, and I've settled on the Prestige MP. Although while I trying out a multitude of racquets, the racquet that in my opinion came closest to the 85 was the KBlade Tour. Be sure to give this one a try if you want something similar to the 85.

smack_myster
07-22-2010, 09:36 AM
i feel your pain...i played with ps85 for over 15 years before making the jump and it wasn't easy. NOTHING feels like that racket. i spent a couple years demoing probably close to 50 rackets until i found the answer.

for over 2 years now i have been playing with a Volkl DNX9 and i can't say enough about it. it is a worthy successor to my beloved ps85. stiff feel, nice balance and just has that great feel which not many rackets have...it "feels" like a ps85.

sure maybe the specs are not the same...how can they be...the dnx9 is a 98 incher...nevertheless, i'm telling you the racket is awesome and i recommend you give it a try. in fact...i've hit with it's successor, the PB9 and it felt great too...hard to compare to dnx9 since it was a demo with stringing very unlike what i do with my dnx9 but it did have a good feel and gets fantastic reviews.

oh....and the dnx9 has been much easier on the arm than the ps85...nuff said!!

good luck

by the way...i sold my 3 old ps85 rackets on **** and got almost $600...and they were not st. vincents...you should do quite well on resale!!

sargeinaz
07-22-2010, 07:08 PM
My friend moved from a PS85 to the Yonex RDS001 mid. I know others on the board have done the same. Check it out, its on sale now too on TW.

Bobby Jr
07-22-2010, 07:50 PM
AFAIK the KPS 88 appears to be the closest to the PS 85, but since you were using the St Vincent's, the feel may be very difficult to duplicate as none of the modern iterations of the Pro Staff remotely come close to the unique St Vincent's feel...
Thanks kindly for the reply (everyone else too). I figured it'd not be as easy as picking up the next model.

I wonder if the KPS 88 could be weighted to bring it in line with the original PS. Can you still buy them easily (I'm in Aussie also mind you)? Would a BLX Six.One Tour be somewhere nearby in the list of likely candidates?

I am actually not averse to trying a 95 size head but, like others here, grew up with the PS and would prefer to be able to play roughly the same. I'm getting older but have never needed any help getting power or with head-speed (hell, mine already weigh 385g with the lead tape I added) but racquets I pick up almost always feel like toys compared :shock:. That is the biggest issue for me.

karophiteblu
07-22-2010, 08:00 PM
I would move on to the K90. it is the closest racket there is to the original PS85. At least that is what I read from other threads.

pyrokid
07-22-2010, 08:02 PM
I've actually heard the K90 was closer to the OG prostaff than the KPS.

Kemitak
07-22-2010, 09:14 PM
I've finally come to the time when I feel the need to upgrade from my original Pro Staffs and wondered if anyone could offer some experience-based advice.



You should definitely try the Pro Staff 88, especially if you add lead to the head of you 85, because the balance will be more similar. I had a tough time switching to the 88 because it's heavier than the 85 in the head. I ended up putting alot of lead on the handle, so the balance is good now, but it weighs about 14 oz.

I can also recommend the Pro Kennex Redondo Mid. It swings (weight and balance) very much like the PS85, but the vibrations are very different. Actually, I think the Redondo feels better than the Pro Staff when it strikes the ball. I've been playing with it for about a year now, and I've had some success with the switch, but because of the dense string pattern, I haven't been able to generate the same spin I used to get from the PS85, (trouble serving slice out wide, net clearance, etc.) Still, I think the Redondo is one of the best I've ever hit with.

Now I'm trying the Yonex RDS 001 Mid, and I'm very very happy. I think it plays the most like the PS85. Though it is a little less powerful, it does everything you'd expect from the 85, it even cuts through the air quicker than most, plus it has a bigger sweet spot (I'm now a big believer in the 'square head').

So as long as you're not afraid to use lead, for $89 a pop, you really ought to try the RDS 001.

Ripper014
07-22-2010, 10:19 PM
I was a very long time user of the PS85 fully leaded... and there is nothing currently on the market that I have played with that is even close to it.

I am from the 70's and have a very classic game... with strokes to match... an all-courter like yourself. I currently use a PS Tour 90... and I am happy with it... though it does not have as much feel as the PS85 it is not a bad racket... though it is much more muted. If I was to choose one racket that would best suit my game it would probably be the KPS88, the biggest issue would be the weight for most people, but with my classic strokes... coming from a well weighted PS85, the KPS88 was very comfortable to play with. It is a very clean hitting frame with lots of plow, I only hit with it for a short time... but all my shots were very predictable. Every good shot was rewarded...

I have also played with both the K90 and BLX90... and find the frames quite muted... I would definitely go with the KPS88... though I hate the paint job.

Bobby Jr
07-23-2010, 07:27 AM
Thanks for the insight and experiences guys. I appreciate it.

@ Ripper014/Kemitak/roundiesee etc - I might give the KPS88 a shot if I can find one here... then the K90 if I'm not feeling the love from the first one.

One thing. I also worked in a pro shop for over a decade (mainly as the stringer) so find it a little disheartening to go into a pro shops and immediately vibe that 99% of racquets nowdays are not even worth picking up - they look so cheap.

So.. kudos to the good advice right here!

bad_call
07-23-2010, 07:37 AM
suggest trying a few in the Head Prestige line. also used the 85 for a few years, 1HBH, all courter, tourney player but a handful (or more) of years older. :mrgreen:

stevewcosta
07-23-2010, 07:45 AM
Thanks for the insight and experiences guys. I appreciate it.

@ Ripper014/Kemitak/roundiesee etc - I might give the KPS88 a shot if I can find one here... then the K90 if I'm not feeling the love from the first one.

One thing. I also worked in a pro shop for over a decade (mainly as the stringer) so find it a little disheartening to go into a pro shops and immediately vibe that 99% of racquets nowdays are not even worth picking up - they look so cheap.

So.. kudos to the good advice right here!

Welcome to the Road to Frustration. I've been searching for a decent racquet for 15 years (trying to replace 6.0 85). In order to prevent my racquet disorder, I recommend you FORGET the 6.0 feel and feedback that great frame provides. Otherwise, you'll be disappointed indefinitely. The newest iterations are not good, esp. the BLX. That thing is like hitting with a pillow. Only racquet I've been excited about is the new Donnay line. We'll see if it's worth the hype. I'll let you know - you have to hear it from a fellow 6.0'er rather than someone coming from junk.

Bobby Jr
07-26-2010, 05:41 AM
Well.. some progress. I demo-ed the BLX Six.One 95 and BLX Six.One Tour today and the first one played like a steaming turd.. the second was definitely better but still doesn't feel so solid or have the plow of my PS85. Maybe some weight and a damper might iron that out enough to be acceptable.

Next up: trying a Yonex RDS001 mid and will try to find a KPS88 as well.

VGP
07-26-2010, 06:09 AM
Thanks for the update.

I haven't posted yet, but I've been reading your thread. I love to see people go through this "process" of trying to replace their PS85s.

I've read many a thread about this over the last five years. A lot of contenders come through the mix.

Dunlop HM200g or AG100, Head Prestige MP series, Yonex RDS001, Wilson Tour 90 series, Wilson kPS88.....etc. All have been tossed around.

I too am curious about the new Donnay line like stewcosta said.

Interestingly, all the frames that are the main contenders fall in the same area of the RSI Racquet Selection Map. Which makes sense.

This is one of the cases where it really does come down to feel. Both in weight, balance and response. I might also add it depends on what "type" of PS85 that has become your reference frame.

As we know, the specs of frames (Wilson seems to be the favorite TTW punching bag) vary. If you've got a head light PS85 with medium flex then the Yonex RDS001 or PK Black Ace might be where you'll end up. If you have one that's a little firmer and was more head heavy then you might prefer the kPS88. And, for those who like the whippier ones like the latest Chinese PS85s, the Wilson Tour 90 series is where they end up.....

Bobby Jr.....I'm interested to see where you fall on the spectrum.

As for me, I've gone old-school again with the Wilson Graphite Force Midsize (http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=309673).

I still have my PS85s - of various models - but I found the Graphite Force at a local used sporting goods shop last year for $10 and I liked it right away.

What started out as a curiosity turned into actual interest in the frame. I'm still in the same boat as far as plastic replacement parts. It's IMPOSSIBLE to find them for the G-Force and I've resorted to cutting up strips of current frames - the individual ones cut from the Dunlop Aerogel 500 fit.

Maintenance can be a bear, but when you can still get a frame for less than $50 it's not too bad. Not true for the PS85.

meowmix
07-26-2010, 01:46 PM
I see that your biggest problem is of grommets, and not of any need to actually replace the frame. My solution is to use individual grommets (eg. fittex), to replace the grommets and then to slap on some head protector tape instead of the bumper (if there is one). You may have to remove a bit of head to get the specs the same, but this seems to me to be the easiest solution.

Playtimefun
07-27-2010, 07:18 PM
Good luck in the search Bobby. I have been trying to find a replacement for my PS85s for a while now.

I have not tried the BLX90 yet, but I own Tour 90s, N90s and K90s and while they all have some of the same characteristics of the pro staff lineage... they just dont measure up. I am now playing with a KPS88 but I have cut the bumper guard off and added a little weight to the handle to make it the same balance as an unweighted PS85 and so far it seems to be about the closest that I have found to a PS85. A little more power, but at least it has that "if I do my part - put it on a dime anywhere in the court" feel.

There are very few racquets that have the touch and feel of the beloved PS85 so you are going to have to settle for a similar racquet. I have not tried one yet, but Vantage (which makes custom tennis racquets) apparently has a racquet that is very similar in feel depending up on the flex that you like. Something that you may consider.

Kevo
07-27-2010, 07:57 PM
I hadn't played with a PS85 in years until I borrowed one from an old high school buddy a couple years ago. It did have great feel, but it was flexy and low powered on the heavy side. The control in that frame was out of this world. I felt like I couldn't hit a ball outside the lines.

After reading some of the comments on this board about the PS85 I figure there must have been at least 4 distinct versions of this frame with their own feel.

Anyway, very difficult to match I think, but a lot of the frames that have been mentioned are good recommendations that definitely have attributes of the PS85.

The K90 is a good one to try, the KPS88, the Prestige, the KBlade Tour are all good ones that I've tried. I like them for different reasons. No one so far has mentioned the Pure Storm Limited though. That's what I ended up with, and I like it more and more all the time. Nothing else I've hit with had the same control and feel to it. I also hit with a 1HBH btw.

It's definitely a lighter weight frame, but it's control oriented and it makes a nice frame for customizing. I have tried it various ways with differing lead setups, but in the end I just added some silicone to the handle and have removed all lead from the hoop. So it's definitely open for customizing if you want to go that route. I'm going to guess you could get very close if not match the weight and balance of the PSL to your current frame, but I didn't do the math, so don't take my word for it, but it's probably an option.

xFullCourtTenniSx
07-27-2010, 10:36 PM
There's no such thing as upgrading from a ProStaff 6.0 85... EVERYTHING is a significant downgrade.

KenC
07-27-2010, 11:39 PM
I think your problem is in the feel of today's polarized racquets. The PS85 is less polarized compared to the BLX90 or the KPS88. Because of polarization they have a higher swingweight and a good bit more power than the PS85 has.

As others have said, there is nothing available today that plays like the PS85. I think all PS85 users should start seriously pestering Wilson to offer a reissue built to the same specs as the SV ProStaff. Technically the PS85 doesn't fit in very well with today's baseline centric power game and the 2HBH but for the more advanced all-courters there is no better racquet. I would abandon my PSLGTs in a NY second and fill a 12 racquet Wilson bag with them if they ever did do a proper reissue.

Bobby Jr
07-27-2010, 11:51 PM
I see that your biggest problem is of grommets, and not of any need to actually replace the frame.
Yeah, I could go that way but actually realised I'm not getting any younger (mid 30s) and maybe a larger sweet-spot would make for more enjoyment overall in the future. I don't have any trouble getting the power I want but that wont always be the case. (BTW, I am already back stringing them at 62 with quite thin strings too - 6 months back playing after a 10 year break)

There's no such thing as upgrading from a ProStaff 6.0 85... EVERYTHING is a significant downgrade.
Ha ha, yes. No doubt. Maybe I'll end up being more adaptable to different frames but at this stage most feel pretty poor to me. They really feel like kids toys almost. The sound etc..

Maybe a BLX 6.1 Tour with tons of lead tape on it and string dampener will be the path ha ha.

KenC
07-28-2010, 12:38 AM
... No one so far has mentioned the Pure Storm Limited though. That's what I ended up with, and I like it more and more all the time. Nothing else I've hit with had the same control and feel to it...

All my favorite hitting buddies play with various ProStaffs but I ended up choosing the PSLGT. It is lower powered and very manueverable like the PS85 but is noticeably more arm friendly. It doesn't have the same pop as the PS85 and doesn't hit a heavy ball like the PS85 or the KPS88, but I can hold my own.

The PSLGT has its own kind of magic. It has all the control (and maybe even more) of the PS85 but can generate much more spin for some reason, maybe because it is noticeably lighter. It is more forgiving than the PS85 and it's a lot less fatiguing in long matches.

Macro80
07-28-2010, 12:47 AM
There's no such thing as upgrading from a ProStaff 6.0 85... EVERYTHING is a significant downgrade.

This may just be true.

Kevo
07-28-2010, 08:20 AM
All my favorite hitting buddies play with various ProStaffs but I ended up choosing the PSLGT. It is lower powered and very manueverable like the PS85 but is noticeably more arm friendly. It doesn't have the same pop as the PS85 and doesn't hit a heavy ball like the PS85 or the KPS88, but I can hold my own.

The PSLGT has its own kind of magic. It has all the control (and maybe even more) of the PS85 but can generate much more spin for some reason, maybe because it is noticeably lighter. It is more forgiving than the PS85 and it's a lot less fatiguing in long matches.

Yep, I love the control. I'm using the original PSL btw. I have noticed that it's not quite as easy to get the power that you can with a K90 for instance, but I get more spin and more variety out it. I'm a bit prone to spraying the ball with something like the K90 or KPS88. The power is still available with the PSL I just try to save it for when I am in position to hit it. And when I am, it always goes in, and against most people it will be a winner.

KenC
07-28-2010, 11:27 AM
Yep, I love the control. I'm using the original PSL btw. I have noticed that it's not quite as easy to get the power that you can with a K90 for instance, but I get more spin and more variety out it. I'm a bit prone to spraying the ball with something like the K90 or KPS88. The power is still available with the PSL I just try to save it for when I am in position to hit it. And when I am, it always goes in, and against most people it will be a winner.

It's funny how if one of my hitting buddies takes one of my racquets in the beginning of a session they say it feels light and underpowered, but after an hour if they pick one up they say how nice it is to swing and how much easier it is to play with.

But then if I pick up a PS85 in the beginning of a session its hard to pry it from my hand since I like them so much. After an hour its much easier to pry it from my hand since the weight starts to take its toll, so I understand where they are coming from.

Anyway, I would never suggest the PSL as a replacement for the PS85, but I would say its worth a long demo for those who come from the PS85 but are seeking something less hefty, more arm friendly, and more forgiving. I say long demo because it takes a lot of time to adapt to a racquet like the PSL.

Edberg
07-28-2010, 11:39 AM
I ordered the PS 85 (China) from TW a few years ago and wasn't impressed at all. Strung with NXT the racquet was very difficult to play with, was unforgiving, imparted way too much vibration.

I played the K90 and now the BOLLOX and it is an excellent upgrade. A little more flexible, more spin, more control or less power however you perceive that also a bigger sweet spot. No cons for me at least.

I can't believe people shell out the cash they do for a 20+ year old Prostaff on **** or wherever. The new Bollox rules. Thanks Wilson.

VGP
07-28-2010, 12:22 PM
I ordered the PS 85 (China) from TW a few years ago and wasn't impressed at all. Strung with NXT the racquet was very difficult to play with, was unforgiving, imparted way too much vibration.

I played the K90 and now the BOLLOX and it is an excellent upgrade. A little more flexible, more spin, more control or less power however you perceive that also a bigger sweet spot. No cons for me at least.

I can't believe people shell out the cash they do for a 20+ year old Prostaff on **** or wherever. The new Bollox rules. Thanks Wilson.

Glad to hear that you enjoy your k90 and BLX90.

What you say "unforgiving" and "imparted way too much vibration" for the PS85 I would call control-oriented and feel-responsive.

I hated the BLX90. It was polarized and muted. The feedback was weird. Just my take.

But we are entitled to our opinions, right?

I do agree with you on the prices of old PS85s. The good ones are collector's pieces now.

Kemitak
07-28-2010, 05:00 PM
As for me, I've gone old-school again with the Wilson Graphite Force Midsize (http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=309673).



Funny, because when I'm playing for fun (and not for points or pride), lately I've been using a Wilson Graphite Matrix I bought for about $30 (nearly new). It's so similar to the PS85. The throat is a little narrower and it's a touch more flexy, but it's so close, I have to laugh at people buying and selling PS85s for over $200. There are so many great Wilson racquets from the mid 80's that fly under the radar.

Virtua Tennis
07-28-2010, 09:03 PM
I played with the prostaff orig all my junior to college years and now being in my 40's I bought the k protour and have not looked back since.

The 96 in head made my serves and returns a weapon. While the slightly thicker and lighter body gave me more power on my groundstrokes with less effort. At my age and with the slight upgrade to the k protour I'm playing tennis like I did when I was 16.

stevewcosta
07-29-2010, 10:39 AM
Nothing comes close to the maneuverability. Nothing comes close to the feel. And few are in the same league in terms of performance.

PS, a BLX racket has no need for a dampener... The racket's dead enough to begin with.


Also, the BLX sucks balls. Nothing else in the world compares to how bad it is.


I couldn't agree with you more!!!! BLX 90 is one of the worst frames ever. I have 4 6.0s - I think I have a St. V. with a bumper - it's rock solid with red primer. Didn't Chicagos at one point have red primer (or was they grey or both?). Problem is, the butt cap was swapped out...how else do I confirm?

Macro80
07-29-2010, 11:19 AM
I really dont think the China model is as bad as you are suggesting, I bought one off **** for a laugh and love hitting with it now and then. The feel is incredible.

VGP
07-30-2010, 07:14 AM
^^^^ nice.

goran_ace
07-30-2010, 07:15 AM
when you decide on a new racket let me know if you want to sell one of your worn out PS85's. I'm not looking for anything in playing condition, I just need an SV to add to my collection and hang on the wall.

plus
08-01-2010, 02:36 AM
The kfactor kblade tour comes close concerning feel and crispness, but lacks the stability or plough through. The K90 is the best alternative, only a bit more muted. Tour 90 too clumsy, K88 too and too powerful, and I agree the BLX 90 is not even close, way too 'indirect' feel, couldn't get used to it..

So K90 with a crisp string!

mutantducky
08-01-2010, 12:43 PM
it is different but I'm also a ps85 user and I really enjoyed hitting with the Yonex Rdis 100 Mid more so than the Dunlop 100 and K88.

Bobby Jr
08-09-2010, 06:25 AM
A small update. I had a lengthy hit with a friend's K90 today which he's got leaded up a little at 3 and 9 o'clock. It wasn't strung tight enough for my liking but even then was a very big improvement over the Six.One Tour for me and, by far, the best I've tried so far. I felt I could play with it and not be conscious of how different it is to a PS85 all the time. That alone is a good sign.

Maybe a K90 with a bit more lead and strung tighter will be the ticket.

Re: the KPS88 - I haven't found anywhere that can lend me a demo one yet so will plug along until I get a chance to hit with one.

No rush...

Bobby Jr
10-14-2010, 08:25 PM
Update #2: I've given up trying for now and just ordered some new grommets from TW. They'll fit my two Taiwanese frames which I use most often but the St Vincents will need to be custom jobs I think. Maybe the best ticket will be to get some China/Taiwan grommets and make them fit.

morten
10-15-2010, 02:14 AM
I couldn't agree with you more!!!! BLX 90 is one of the worst frames ever. I have 4 6.0s - I think I have a St. V. with a bumper - it's rock solid with red primer. Didn't Chicagos at one point have red primer (or was they grey or both?). Problem is, the butt cap was swapped out...how else do I confirm?

Again we agree.. BLX sucks. :) i enjoy the 4D100 leaded in the handle only, at the moment, time will show if it replaces the ps85..

Bobby Jr
12-02-2010, 10:20 PM
Update#??

I am about 90% ready to take a punt and buy a some KPS88s.

For anyone who's done the same: will I regret it?

I never guessed I'd get this precious about a new frame until I demoed what was available and realised nothing plays remotely close (stock at least) to the PS85. I was even talked into trying a couple of Babolat and Head frames and none were doing it for me. Not in the least, they look like toys ha ha. (doesn't seem to bother Nadal tho)

Fed Kennedy
12-02-2010, 11:12 PM
the 88 is not like the 85 at all. it is a great racquet on its own but most 85 users would probably say it feels like a heavy POS. the fed stick will handle more like the 85.

ATP100
12-02-2010, 11:27 PM
Are your 85's heavily modified or just a little lead tape? I have been using 85's since they came out, kramer woods before than, I just received 2 88's about six weeks ago and after some heavy modifying, they are real real close, if not the same.

Fed Kennedy
12-02-2010, 11:37 PM
thats sounds pretty awesome atp, how did you mod your 88s?

atomicbluecivic
12-04-2010, 02:20 AM
Being a user of a Chicago, St. Vincent Prostaff, Taiwan Prostaff, and China Prostaff, I would say the KPS 88 is most similar to the St. Vincent Prostaff.

The SV Prostaff had a 'curvy' font. Taiwan used an italicized font. China Prostaffs used a "Times Roman" font. That said, in terms of dimensions, the KPS88 was most similar to the SV Prostaff.

The China and Taiwan models were thinner and smaller than the SV model. The SVs were actually bigger than the chinese 6.0 85s. The SV was about 19mm thick with a head size of 87-89 sq in. Also, the beam profile from the front/back was more akin to the KPS88, with a thicker appearance.

After playing with all FOUR interations. I would say the KPS88 played the closest to the SV Prostaff. Of course, the Chicago and SV models are identical (less bumper). The China and Taiwan versions actually feel like whips (very, very HL) compared to the SV model.

Bobby Jr
12-04-2010, 05:39 AM
Being a user of a Chicago, St. Vincent Prostaff, Taiwan Prostaff, and China Prostaff, I would say the KPS 88 is most similar to the St. Vincent Prostaff....

The China and Taiwan models were thinner and smaller than the SV model...

After playing with all FOUR interations....
Thanks for the comments atomicbluecivic.

I think there is one small factor in the Taiwanese version - the early ones were very good and very similar to the American made ones. Only the later ones were notably different. I have two early ones (bought in 1993) and they have identical frame thickness as both of my St Vincent frames. They're also basically the same stiffness. The Chinese frame I bought however feels like a completely different racquet no matter how I try to adjust the balance/weight. You're right there - they're more whippy.

I feel some KPS88s coming up...

Are your 85's heavily modified or just a little lead tape?
Yes, I've got 3 layers at 3/9 on each frame which spans about 8 strings. Total weight 370gm, 7-8pts head-light.

movdqa
12-04-2010, 11:08 AM
> I feel some KPS88s coming up...

You'd best hurry, they're becoming scarce.

Limpinhitter
12-04-2010, 12:38 PM
I've finally come to the time when I feel the need to upgrade from my original Pro Staffs and wondered if anyone could offer some experience-based advice.

I'm down to 2 well-used Pro Staffs (both St Vincent models which I never even knew about till reading here and checking the code on them) and I can't be bothered finding new gommets etc (I live down-under). I've used them since about 1993 but stopped playing for a decade until last year. I have lead tape on them at 3/9 o'clock, strung at about 61-2lbs and almost any other racquet I pick up feels too light and also tinny when I hit the ball - until I tried a friend's K-Factor a while back which actually felt OK.

Has anyone here moved from the original PS to the BLX Six.One 95 or BLX Six.One Tour and can offer any advice?

Is the Tour a better option for me because it's closer to the orig or would the 95 be similar-enough feel also? I've been to a couple of tennis clubs but the people in the pro shops but not really getting knowledgeable from people I speak to ha ha.

(I'm 35 yrs, biggish s/w forehand, one-handed backhand, all-courter and played tournaments for years if that makes any difference)

Have you tried the Babolat Pure Storm Ltd. GT? It might be too flexible for some, but, I thought it had as sweet a feel and touch as any graphite frame I've tried. It's the closest thing to a wood frame with a 95sq in head. Just a thought. Here are the specs: http://www.tennis-warehouse.com/Babolat_Pure_Storm_Ltd_GT/descpageRCBAB-BPSLGT.html

t135
12-04-2010, 01:42 PM
Isn't that what Sampras switched to?

Limpinhitter
12-04-2010, 02:39 PM
Isn't that what Sampras switched to?

I don't know if he permanently switched to it. But, it looks like the frame he's been using against Agassi lately.

Bubba
12-04-2010, 03:58 PM
Yeah, I could go that way but actually realised I'm not getting any younger (mid 30s) and maybe a larger sweet-spot would make for more enjoyment overall in the future. I don't have any trouble getting the power I want but that wont always be the case. (BTW, I am already back stringing them at 62 with quite thin strings too - 6 months back playing after a 10 year break)


Ha ha, yes. No doubt. Maybe I'll end up being more adaptable to different frames but at this stage most feel pretty poor to me. They really feel like kids toys almost. The sound etc..

Maybe a BLX 6.1 Tour with tons of lead tape on it and string dampener will be the path ha ha.

Bobby J.
Don't sell yourself short man... I'm 43 and went through this transition myself... my 85 St. V's are on my wall (slight pause in post for fond memory)... while the RDS001's are by specs the closest to the ps85, they just didn't do it for me (I have 5 on the wall now :-)).

I went through various frames and ended up with the K90's and leaded them up quite a bit (polarized setup). That is until the KPS88's came out. Can't say it's a true replacement to the 85, but it's damn close - with one slight mod... I trimmed the bumpers slightly in order to spill off a little head weight and to get them to about 9 pts HL. Mine weigh in strung and over-gripped with a #64 rubberband dampener right at 389g. (Also a little lead near the base of the grip and some silicone in the handle)

I'm a hard hitting, 1hbh baseliner with a little serve and volley thrown in for good measure, and find the 88 a great stick. Now discontinued, the $140 price is right to stock up on several.

Enjoy!

JoelDali
12-04-2010, 08:19 PM
Just demo the 88, then buy some.

If you hate the light and tinny modern frame feel that most legitimate tennis athletes abhor, you'll love the 88.

Don't let fairies tell you its too heavy. They said the same about the 85 for years.

:)

howy
12-05-2010, 12:37 AM
I would go for a K Blade Tour. I think it comes closer to the original than the new PS88.

rudester
12-05-2010, 02:16 AM
thats sounds pretty awesome atp, how did you mod your 88s?

Another with same question

Bobby Jr
12-05-2010, 05:41 AM
...until the KPS88's came out. Can't say it's a true replacement to the 85, but it's damn close - with one slight mod... I trimmed the bumpers slightly in order to spill off a little head weight and to get them to about 9 pts HL. Mine weigh in strung and over-gripped with a #64 rubberband dampener right at 389g.
Thanks for the reply Bubba. Someone who's done the same journey already.

I'm quite interested - I thought the KPS88 was 363gm (is that unstrung? If so, how much would a normal set of strings weigh?). How much weight do you think you added at the grip end?

I run my PS85s at about 370g and leaded a fair bit at 3/9 to about 7pt HL. I wouldn't mind a heavier set-up but it'd have to be a little more HL.

bad_call
12-05-2010, 05:57 AM
^^ check out the Prince Tour Diablo Mid. picked up a used one and surprised how comfortable for a somewhat "ole school" racquet. TW did a review on it.

rudester
12-05-2010, 08:17 AM
Really never could find true replacement for PS85 SV
Held on to K tour 90, K88 and Blx tour 90, as i see possibilities in the future. Reading the posts on K88, i would like to revisit this racquet since i have not used it in awhile, wish they would have made it just a bit more head light. Out of curiosity i did a search for grommets, and it seems as if there will be a problem obtaining these. as in the Saint Vincent. Something to consider.

JoelDali
12-05-2010, 08:49 AM
88 grommets are everywhere.

Bubba
12-05-2010, 09:14 AM
^^ check out the Prince Tour Diablo Mid. picked up a used one and surprised how comfortable for a somewhat "ole school" racquet. TW did a review on it.

Nope. I have 3 of these on the wall as well. Not close to the 85.

Bubba
12-05-2010, 09:17 AM
Thanks for the reply Bubba. Someone who's done the same journey already.

I'm quite interested - I thought the KPS88 was 363gm (is that unstrung? If so, how much would a normal set of strings weigh?). How much weight do you think you added at the grip end?

I run my PS85s at about 370g and leaded a fair bit at 3/9 to about 7pt HL. I wouldn't mind a heavier set-up but it'd have to be a little more HL.

I trimmed my bumper guards in a unique way (it's gonna sound funny, but I used a hole punch to cut out semi-circle pieces between each grommet... thereby reducing some head weight, but retaining protection for the frame head) - I actually posted a pick of it here in one of the other threads some time back. Injected a few grams of silicone into the handle, and wrapped 12g of lead around the base of the handle just above the butt cap.

The rest is string, overgrip, and rubberband.

Do a search for this thread to see the pics: Bubba's Approach to trimming Bumper Guards - PICS

hoodjem
12-05-2010, 09:30 AM
I enjoy a leaded up AG100. Close enough to a PS85 for me.Same here. I believe the AG100 (plus lead and leather) is the closest modern equivalent to the PS 85 SV.

rudester
12-05-2010, 09:44 AM
88 grommets are everywhere.

Thanks Joel, guess i did not look hard enough.

morten
12-05-2010, 11:24 AM
Isn't that what Sampras switched to?

i think it is the pure storm.. the thicker one,,

bad_call
12-05-2010, 03:07 PM
Nope. I have 3 of these on the wall as well. Not close to the 85.

easier to use than the 85...didn't post they were the same.

Fed Kennedy
12-05-2010, 03:26 PM
nice work on the grommets bubba, that is a great idea.
how does it feel to trim the 88 bumper and then put a little lead on 3 and 9? anyone tried this?

Fed Kennedy
12-05-2010, 03:57 PM
what kind of balance point change are we talking about if you switch out the wilson leather for a synthetic on an 88? (i don't have a balance board). weight diff seems to be minus .3 oz.
sorry for the annoying nerd questions.

Bubba
12-05-2010, 05:17 PM
what kind of balance point change are we talking about if you switch out the wilson leather for a synthetic on an 88? (i don't have a balance board). weight diff seems to be minus .3 oz.
sorry for the annoying nerd questions.

Gonna' make it even more head heavy than it already is...

You can make a quick balance board if needed. Or you might be able to use the TW U tool.

t135
12-05-2010, 06:16 PM
I switched from original ps 6.0 95 to head Youtek prestige pro. The PP is a sweet racquet.

Bobby Jr
12-06-2010, 04:28 AM
Bubba and Feb Kennedy - what is your take on the quality control of the KPS88? I've read a few times on the board that they are really poor....

I'm no Pete Sampras but do you think it's fair if I bought 3 or 4 to expect them to be within say 5gm and 1pt balance of each other? Or is that dreaming with Wilson QC nowdays?

movdqa
12-06-2010, 08:37 AM
One of the other KPS threads has a good discussion on the variances of the KPS. As someone with frames from 12.6 oz to 13.1 oz, I'd say that it's pretty awful but it does give you more choice in frame weights if you can find those weights.

My heaviest frame is useless to me in matches - it is just too heavy for me. I can't get it around fast enough against hard hitters and it's hard for me to get enough racquet head speed on the serve. The others are lighter and they work out well but it's a pain if you get one that is truly too heavy.

Best thing to do is to ask the person or retailer that you are buying from for the static weight. If you can get something light enough, then you can fix the QC issues.

Playtimefun
12-06-2010, 08:40 AM
Here is an example of Wilson quality control - specs for unstrung KPS88 - all for 4 1/4 grips when I was ordering. All unstrung but with plastic wrap on handle of course... which by the way, the plastic on the handle with the papers weighs about 1.1 grams. (yeah, I had to check it out!!!)

Wilson QC is about as poor as you can get. As you can see, from this many racquets, ONLY ONE... actually met the spec of 9 pts. HL which they are all supposed to be unstrung. And these were the LIGHT ones. Tons of heavier ones.

Specs that were emailed to me:

4 = 352 grams (12.41) - 6 pts HL

4 = 350 grams (12.34) - 6 pts HL

Racquet weights with the most HL balance,

1) 350 grams (12.34) - 9 pts HL
2) 362 grams (12.77) - 8 pts HL
3) 360 grams (12.70) - 8 pts HL
4) 358 grams (12.63) - 8 pts HL
5) 356 grams (12.56) - 8 pts HL
6) 354 grams (12.49) - 8 pts HL

Here are the lightest racquets we found as singles, and NOT part of the 2 x 4 matched pair sets we have grouped.

1) 352 grams (12.41) - 7 pts HL
2) 350 grams (12.34) - 7 pts HL
3) 350 grams (12.34) - 7 pts HL
4) 348 grams (12.27) - 6 pts HL

According to the TW customization tool, it takes 4 grams of lead tape 1.5" from the end of the handle (basically at the top of the butt cap) to increase it 1 pt HL. So in the end, I ender up getting...

1) 350 grams (12.34) - 9 pts HL
2) 350 grams (12.34) - 7 pts HL
3) 350 grams (12.34) - 7 pts HL
4) 348 grams (12.27) - 6 pts HL

These were the light ones, as they had another 20 in stock that they said were way heavier and did not even bother giving me the specs on them.

I am typing this at work (on my coffee break) and unfortunately cannot remember the exact weight you save by trimming the guard and grommets but if I remember correctly, it is around 9 grams. Basically trimming the bumper guard and grommets, it basically removes material to give you another 2.5 to 3 points HL WITHOUT adding lead tape.

I take it down to the point of actually pulling the grommet strips out and cutting away the material in between each of the grommets.

In the end, all of my racquets (so far - have not modified the 9 point HL one yet) are between 354 to 362 grams, 6-8 pts HL, all with Prince 18 Gauge @ 58 lbs.

I find that there is a small loss in the stability, but it is not huge. Its a trade off though... you add weight to the handle to get the desired HL and you can have a pretty heavy racquet (depending upon starting weight). But the stability is incredible if you can swing it. Not to mention the absoloutely incredible slice backhand a person can hit - lol.

Acording to the TW calculator, I have lost about 0.4% to 0.6% of the stability by doing this, but the ability to move the racquet (being a doubles specialist) is more key to me.

If you want to know more exact weights... let me know. I have a scale that is accurate to +/- 0.02 grams at home that allowed me to measure everything at every stage.

JoelDali
12-06-2010, 12:54 PM
I wonder if Neil Peart balances and weighs his drumsticks like some of you extreme anal freex measure tennis racquets.

I don't see how in the hell 1 gram can destroy lives and wreak havoc on mankind like this.

Seriously, a few paperclips are going to tear your shoulder off?

:)

Not trying to be offensive, I'm just flabberblasted by the anal racquet tardation.

Fed Kennedy
12-06-2010, 03:35 PM
Sorry joel, its raining in cali. There is nothing else to do except watch fed win wtf over and over again and contemplate the grip and bumper permutations of the 88. I'd get drunk but on the off chance the courts dry I have to drive there and bob said the dui was a bad look. :(

Bobby Jr
12-06-2010, 03:40 PM
I don't see how in the hell 1 gram can destroy lives and wreak havoc on mankind like this....

Not trying to be offensive, I'm just flabberblasted by the anal racquet tardation.
Ha ha.. for sure, I can see your point. I'm not at all worried about 1gm. I couldn't even discern it. It's the 10gms and all at the head end of the frame sort of issue I'd like to avoid.

Given the significant variances in weight I've read about for the KPS88 I think it's fair to worry whether, if I buy 4 frames, they will actually be similar enough that they don't require annoying amounts of customising.

When you've used the same frame for 20-odd years it makes finding a new frame a little more complex than for those who are happy to play with whatever new fad Head/Babolat fluro painted toy comes out each season.

cork_screw
12-06-2010, 04:07 PM
I really enjoyed the BLX 95 18x20. Thought it was an incredible racquet. Also you should try the Power Bridge 10 Mid.

NLBwell
12-06-2010, 04:15 PM
I switched from original ps 6.0 95 to head Youtek prestige pro. The PP is a sweet racquet.

After serveral years or so with my Saint Vincent 85, I went to the Head Pro Tour 280 for several years and was happy, but it wasn't perfect. I tried the Prestige, but the smaller head with dense string pattern would not work for me. After the 280 died (I lost the other one) I went for several years without being happy with any racket. Then, TW was selling the old Bosworth Kennex Black Aces, which I played with even before the I used the SV. I got a couple of those, but the grommets have given out. I ended up with Microgel Prestige Pros and I am finally settled on a racket. The open string pattern gives me good spin and still maintains control, while I couldn't get enough spin with the other Prestiges. I've got lead at 10, 2, 4 and 8 and lead in the handle. The Microgel version is comfortable and has a good feel to it (the Youtek is stiffer but worth a try). I grew up playing with wood and have very long traditional strokes.

Limpinhitter
12-06-2010, 06:04 PM
I wonder if Neil Peart balances and weighs his drumsticks like some of you extreme anal freex measure tennis racquets.

I don't see how in the hell 1 gram can destroy lives and wreak havoc on mankind like this.

Seriously, a few paperclips are going to tear your shoulder off?

:)

Not trying to be offensive, I'm just flabberblasted by the anal racquet tardation.

Hahahaha! Neil Peart could play with a Regal Tip 7A in one hand and a Vic Firth Corpsmaster MS2 in the other and not notice the difference!

JoelDali
12-06-2010, 07:21 PM
Hahahaha! Neil Peart could play with a Regal Tip 7A in one hand and a Vic Firth Corpsmaster MS2 in the other and not notice the difference!

Seriously man.

I think the lower skill levels are of chosen activities people perform the more obsessed they are with endless speculation of meaningless details.

Someday I'll make that short film of the 40 year guy in guitar center playing Eruption hoping everyone can hear and see his holy greatness. The old ****ers in the parks across america playing tennis on "court 1" hoping everyone is watching and seeing their great 3.0 skills. Or the guy at our local court that has a cache of K90s perfectly modeled after Feds, all the way down to the stencil and string saver positions.

DVXuser reminds me of this forum. You've got a million wanna be film makers with the most incoherent knowledge of film technology jargon and obscure concepts of sound, light, lenses and equipment. But then I check their work on Vimeo and its obvious they'll never amount to anything.

Now, there is nothing wrong with being immersed with the insanely complex craft of film-making and the dissection of graphite sticks with geometrical patterns of string made of man made chemicals. Nor the beauty of the guitar: a block of wood and 6 metal strings.

John Lennon once said give me a fuching tuba and I'll make it speak.

Last year in ringer league, Harvard guy broke both of his Babs and borrowed a funky old Wilson stick from one of his female players and it didn't make a god damn difference. He still obliterated us 4.5 jackasses that post messages on tt asking what overgrip will make me Godlike and get me to heaven.

Is our obsession with such idiotic details of tennis racquets serving as filling the void for not having the talent to make a tuba speak? Yes, yes I did I cut the bumper off some of my 88s. Yeah I added some lead to the handle too! But I still suck and can't serve 120 for the life of me. I can't really tell the difference between my modded and my un-modded frames. Oy vey.

I'm not disparaging us, I'm guilty too but not at the lengths I witness here. And there's nothing wrong with it, I think its marvelous most of you know more about racquet technology than the top 10 pros combined. I mean, could Andy Murray possibly know the ins and outs of Head racquets like VSBabolat? Hell nah.

Last night I made an unbelievable get that won a point and the teaching pro that was picking up balls on the court next door witnessed it and said 'great shot!'. He didn't ask what strings I was using, or what overgrip. He didn't ask how much my 88 weighed or if I liked my CB 2.3. LoL.

Sorry for rambling sparky, I just drank a watermelon Four Loko and im about to go on a date at Mas Farmhouse with a chick that looks like a blonde 32 year old Joan Collins. I will probably end up spending over $250 that could go towards lead tape and RDC machines. :(

Fed Kennedy, write me some new cali inspired tennis poems would ya?

Cheers!

Seth
12-06-2010, 08:25 PM
Seriously man.

I think the lower skill levels are of chosen activities people perform the more obsessed they are with endless speculation of meaningless details.

Someday I'll make that short film of the 40 year guy in guitar center playing Eruption hoping everyone can hear and see his holy greatness. The old ****ers in the parks across america playing tennis on "court 1" hoping everyone is watching and seeing their great 3.0 skills. Or the guy at our local court that has a cache of K90s perfectly modeled after Feds, all the way down to the stencil and string saver positions.

DVXuser reminds me of this forum. You've got a million wanna be film makers with the most incoherent knowledge of film technology jargon and obscure concepts of sound, light, lenses and equipment. But then I check their work on Vimeo and its obvious they'll never amount to anything.

Now, there is nothing wrong with being immersed with the insanely complex craft of film-making and the dissection of graphite sticks with geometrical patterns of string made of man made chemicals. Nor the beauty of the guitar: a block of wood and 6 metal strings.

John Lennon once said give me a fuching tuba and I'll make it speak.

Last year in ringer league, Harvard guy broke both of his Babs and borrowed a funky old Wilson stick from one of his female players and it didn't make a god damn difference. He still obliterated us 4.5 jackasses that post messages on tt asking what overgrip will make me Godlike and get me to heaven.

Is our obsession with such idiotic details of tennis racquets serving as filling the void for not having the talent to make a tuba speak? Yes, yes I did I cut the bumper off some of my 88s. Yeah I added some lead to the handle too! But I still suck and can't serve 120 for the life of me. I can't really tell the difference between my modded and my un-modded frames. Oy vey.

I'm not disparaging us, I'm guilty too but not at the lengths I witness here. And there's nothing wrong with it, I think its marvelous most of you know more about racquet technology than the top 10 pros combined. I mean, could Andy Murray possibly know the ins and outs of Head racquets like VSBabolat? Hell nah.

Last night I made an unbelievable get that won a point and the teaching pro that was picking up balls on the court next door witnessed it and said 'great shot!'. He didn't ask what strings I was using, or what overgrip. He didn't ask how much my 88 weighed or if I liked my CB 2.3. LoL.

Sorry for rambling sparky, I just drank a watermelon Four Loko and im about to go on a date at Mas Farmhouse with a chick that looks like a blonde 32 year old Joan Collins. I will probably end up spending over $250 that could go towards lead tape and RDC machines. :(

Fed Kennedy, write me some new cali inspired tennis poems would ya?

Cheers!

Pure Genius.

NLBwell
12-06-2010, 08:50 PM
Sorry for rambling sparky, I just drank a watermelon Four Loko and im about to go on a date at Mas Farmhouse with a chick that looks like a blonde 32 year old Joan Collins. I will probably end up spending over $250 that could go towards lead tape and RDC machines. :(

Cheers!

She could end up costing you a lot more than the $250 you could spend on tennis.
Still, we all hope to find the one who is worth it.

SVP
12-07-2010, 02:57 PM
[QUOTE=JoelDali;5241969]
a chick that looks like a blonde 32 year old Joan Collins. QUOTE] Trying to picture Joan circa 1957. Oh yeah, heavily made up and augmented then too.

JoelDali
12-07-2010, 04:08 PM
Trying to picture Joan circa 1957. Oh yeah, heavily made up and augmented then too.

She was actually a very cool chick and very down to earth for being so done up...I'm usually not into that but whateva. Nothing better than epic bewbs and a warm personality.