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View Full Version : *facepalm* nothin like a box-beam wilson.


Cup8489
05-07-2011, 04:47 PM
Sometimes I hate tennis, honestly.

Today, i decided to bust out the KPS88 for a full hitting session as my hitting partner wanted to give my Radical MP a try (at my suggestion, he uses a Drive Z 105 and overhits so often that I suggested he try mine, and go figure he was much more consistent with it), and as a result I find myself in a massive dilemma.

I didn't realize how much I missed hitting with a nice solid mid. The KPS88 is a little too even balanced and as a result I had some trouble keeping my shots in the court (doesn't help the sw is so high) but it made me remember the honeymoon with the BLX Tour 90... and made me wish I still had one.

So, Why is it that there is no midplus's that have this feel? it's so frustrating that i enjoy hitting with racquets that I, truthfully, have no real business playing with.. but I dont like hitting with anything else. I just like the feel of the mid, and hitting with the KPS made me remember the ridiculous precision i had with the Tour 90, and to a less extent with the POG i also had at the time.

Regarding the feel of the tour 90, are there any other mids that play very similar to it, but perhaps a tad lighter? I'm going to get back into demoing, as the main restrictions I had previously with mids are largely becoming irrelevant (lack of fitness, getting tired etc... i just finished a 2 hour hitting session with a KPS and didn't feel fatigued whatsoever)

Racket woes, how i HATE you!

Kemitak
05-07-2011, 05:19 PM
Yonex RDS 001 mid doesn't feel like the Tour 90, but it does all the same stuff, except, it has a little less power, a little more spin, and a little more control (I can 'hit out' more with the Yonex). It's also a little lighter, and its hexagonal beam makes it feel enough like a box beam.

You should also try the Prestige and Redondo mid-pluses. Both are box beams, both feel like proper racquets, and both are more forgiving than their mid-sized versions.

You're right, though, there's nothing like a box-beam Wilson.

Power Player
05-07-2011, 05:21 PM
The Donnay Platinum is the best option I have found, as I too love the mids.

Gasolina
05-07-2011, 05:31 PM
Remember... you were just hitting with the 88. Try actually playing with them first before you try and go back.

Sometimes you had to remind yourself why you went away in the first place

Cup8489
05-07-2011, 06:05 PM
Remember... you were just hitting with the 88. Try actually playing with them first before you try and go back.

Sometimes you had to remind yourself why you went away in the first place

The thing is.. I went away because I wanted more easy power (think pure drive). I play with a stick that is set up to play alot like a lightweight mid (the radical is 10 pts hl now, and has a leather grip with a multi strung at 63 for maximum control)

I've come to realize that I play my most consistent tennis with more demanding sticks. I like hitting winners, but I remember that the only problem I really had with the tour 90 was serving, and it was because I was going for power over placement. The KPS is actually way too powerful, the tour 90 was much more for consistency than the KPS (which is mainly for those who attack..)

I am for sure going to do the demoing instead of blind-purchasing, but when i had the 90 i was buyin into the poly hype, and for the way I play a multi is simply much better for my game. If i were to get a mid again, i'd definitely use a softer more powerful string in it, as opposed to the full poly jobs i was using last time.

probably will stick with the 88 while my fitness and strength continues to build, and then do soem demoing in june or so.

Fed Kennedy
05-07-2011, 08:12 PM
Switch out the leather on a tour 90 and you can drop a lot of static weight and still have a very hl racquet. Pb10 mid is also a good look.
Diablo mid looks like it might be good, but I never tried.

There is nothing like the solid feel of a prostaff when applying spin, it feels like you are cutting the ball in half.

petercoffey
05-07-2011, 10:27 PM
Pure Storm LTD GT is worth a try.... but it needs decent strings...not what will come with the demo...and definitely not syn gut

I went from a ncode 90 to an Asian tour 90 to Head prostock 237s to the PSLG

Meaghan
05-08-2011, 12:06 AM
The 88 i loved great s&v and 1hbh but could never dial in my extreme fh due to the headsize. I ended up with a custom vantage 95 it was the only stick i could find with the same stability but with an easier headsize and a choice of weights.

Cup8489
05-08-2011, 05:56 AM
Pure Storm LTD GT is worth a try.... but it needs decent strings...not what will come with the demo...and definitely not syn gut

I went from a ncode 90 to an Asian tour 90 to Head prostock 237s to the PSLG

I used to owne the psl but I felt that it was too low powered and that I couldn't generate the same type of angles and spins as with a more open patterned mid.

mosh17
05-08-2011, 06:06 AM
It's not a mid, but I just got done demoing the Dunlop Bio 200 Lite which IMO plays just like a lighter, easier to use tour 90 if you can get past the PJ

Cup8489
05-08-2011, 06:22 AM
I'll consider that. Anyone have any words regarding dunlop's 100 series?

My demo list right now: box tour 90, pog mid, pb10 mid, perhaps yt prestige mid.

Power Player
05-08-2011, 06:51 AM
I thought you wanted a midplus?

Keifers
05-08-2011, 07:37 AM
I'll consider that. Anyone have any words regarding dunlop's 100 series?

My demo list right now: box tour 90, pog mid, pb10 mid, perhaps yt prestige mid.
The Dunlop 100s are much lighter in weight -- you gain significant quickness and lose some stability on off-center hits against heavy incoming balls. The sweetspot is very generous, though; its size is more like a 95's. And the 100s are serving machines-- speed, spin and accuracy.

And if you're willing to consider the 100s, definitely look at the PK Black Ace 93 -- a superb hitting frame.

Smasher08
05-08-2011, 06:13 PM
So, Why is it that there is no midplus's that have this feel? it's so frustrating that i enjoy hitting with racquets that I, truthfully, have no real business playing with.. but I dont like hitting with anything else. I just like the feel of the mid, and hitting with the KPS made me remember the ridiculous precision i had with the Tour 90, and to a less extent with the POG i also had at the time.

I haven't tried any of these yet, but at least on paper the BLX Blade, the Youtek Speed Pro and the Dunlop 200 Tour sound like they might be worth a try.

Like you, I've never really gotten over that original Pro Staff type of feel, and I'm surprised that there aren't really any similar weighted and constructed frames in the 92-95 sq inch range. The tendency for racket manufacturers seems to be to lighten up the weight and thicken the beam once the headsize goes north of 90, which is too bad because it would be great to have frames that feel and play like those classics, but with bigger sweet spots.

Smasher08
05-08-2011, 06:31 PM
So, Why is it that there is no midplus's that have this feel? it's so frustrating that i enjoy hitting with racquets that I, truthfully, have no real business playing with.. but I dont like hitting with anything else. I just like the feel of the mid, and hitting with the KPS made me remember the ridiculous precision i had with the Tour 90, and to a less extent with the POG i also had at the time.

Btw, having tried various rackets over the last 20 years I've come to the conclusion that that kind of feel, plow-through and precision are inextricably linked to the racket's weight, stiffness and beam width.

If you love the racket but find it heavy, I'd encourage you to do more strength training so that the weight won't be an issue. The added benefit would be that becoming a better athlete will also make you a better tennis player!

Power Player
05-08-2011, 06:35 PM
I haven't tried any of these yet, but at least on paper the BLX Blade, the Youtek Speed Pro and the Dunlop 200 Tour sound like they might be worth a try.

Like you, I've never really gotten over that original Pro Staff type of feel, and I'm surprised that there aren't really any similar weighted and constructed frames in the 92-95 sq inch range. The tendency for racket manufacturers seems to be to lighten up the weight and thicken the beam once the headsize goes north of 90, which is too bad because it would be great to have frames that feel and play like those classics, but with bigger sweet spots.

Once again, Donnay. Honestly. I came from the 90s graphite as a kid, and the new Donnay Duals are the closest I have found to what you are describing.

Cup8489
05-09-2011, 11:03 AM
The Dunlop 100s are much lighter in weight -- you gain significant quickness and lose some stability on off-center hits against heavy incoming balls. The sweetspot is very generous, though; its size is more like a 95's. And the 100s are serving machines-- speed, spin and accuracy.

And if you're willing to consider the 100s, definitely look at the PK Black Ace 93 -- a superb hitting frame.

Would you say the 100s are more user friendly overall compared to say the blx90?

stevewcosta
05-09-2011, 01:16 PM
Sometimes I hate tennis, honestly.

Today, i decided to bust out the KPS88 for a full hitting session as my hitting partner wanted to give my Radical MP a try (at my suggestion, he uses a Drive Z 105 and overhits so often that I suggested he try mine, and go figure he was much more consistent with it), and as a result I find myself in a massive dilemma.

I didn't realize how much I missed hitting with a nice solid mid. The KPS88 is a little too even balanced and as a result I had some trouble keeping my shots in the court (doesn't help the sw is so high) but it made me remember the honeymoon with the BLX Tour 90... and made me wish I still had one.

So, Why is it that there is no midplus's that have this feel? it's so frustrating that i enjoy hitting with racquets that I, truthfully, have no real business playing with.. but I dont like hitting with anything else. I just like the feel of the mid, and hitting with the KPS made me remember the ridiculous precision i had with the Tour 90, and to a less extent with the POG i also had at the time.

Regarding the feel of the tour 90, are there any other mids that play very similar to it, but perhaps a tad lighter? I'm going to get back into demoing, as the main restrictions I had previously with mids are largely becoming irrelevant (lack of fitness, getting tired etc... i just finished a 2 hour hitting session with a KPS and didn't feel fatigued whatsoever)

Racket woes, how i HATE you!

Have you played with the 6.0 85? Now that's something special (the 88 was a lead pipe...balance was too even as you state). Even better (since I don't prefer 85 or even 90 sq. in. racs are the old Yonex Rs that were 97 or 98 sq. in.) The great feel is due to box beam, weight, balance and good materials. I have my eye on the Donnay Dual Core Gold 94s and 99s. Hopeful that these shine...cautiously optimistic and hope I can feel the ball.

slick
05-10-2011, 06:59 AM
If thats the feel you like then why try to find something close, just play with the 90.

I don't know why everyone is so afraid of a 90 head. I play much better with the BLX90 than I did with a bevy of 100sq in sticks.

I thought I "needed" a modern stick. None of them had that great pro staff feel so I finally went back and now play the BLX90.

Never played better. I noticed no increase in mishits, probably less. Accuracy is hugely improved and nothing is as good for volleys. Serve better too.

BLX90 Awesome racquet!

Power Player
05-10-2011, 07:15 AM
Personally, if my 2hbh was better I think I would have stuck with the mids. The feel and control you get from a mid is amazing. I also think the PST LTD would be a real nice option to try out as well. Going back to a 99 was not an option for me, but the Donnay sticks play so different, that they swing like 95s..and I can really use the entire racquet face for spin, which I realized I was missing with the mid. Slick, I think thats awesome that your game works better with a mid, because they are so satisfying to hit with.

Everyone hits different. To me, the best mids are the PC600 and the Pro Staffs... I loved the K90 so much..it just was not a match for my game. The Pc600 matched up better, but in the end I found a midplus that feels and plays very similar to a mid, so I'm happy.

Cup8489
05-10-2011, 07:53 AM
If thats the feel you like then why try to find something close, just play with the 90.

I don't know why everyone is so afraid of a 90 head. I play much better with the BLX90 than I did with a bevy of 100sq in sticks.

I thought I "needed" a modern stick. None of them had that great pro staff feel so I finally went back and now play the BLX90.

Never played better. I noticed no increase in mishits, probably less. Accuracy is hugely improved and nothing is as good for volleys. Serve better too.

BLX90 Awesome racquet!

The main issue I've always had with mids was putaway power. I'm only a 3.0 or so (not sure) and so i sometimes struggle to generate enough pace to give my opponents trouble. I did like the BLx90 tremendously when i owned one, and sold it in order to get a racquet that allowed for more easy power.

But, my game matches a mid very well.. so I am now kinda stuck. Lookin to save up funds for getting the mid that works best when i've finished demoing.

olliess
05-10-2011, 10:50 AM
The main issue I've always had with mids was putaway power...But, my game matches a mid very well..

Hmm, I've always felt the opposite -- that mids were the best for putaway power, the tradeoff being that they give you less help at the other end of the scale (when you're scrambling to stay alive).

Out of curiosity, why do you specifically feel mids are a good fit for your game?

Keifers
05-10-2011, 11:28 AM
Would you say the 100s are more user friendly overall compared to say the blx90?
Based on what you've written in this thread, I would say the 100 could well be more user friendly for you.

I remember one of the very first thoughts I had when I hit with the AG100 was, Wow, seems like I just have to think where and how I want the ball to go, and there it goes! Due I realized soon after to the racquet's precision and its super-quickness.

I think you'll find the sweetzone bigger than the BLX 90's, but you'll give up some stability on off-center hits against heavy incoming balls.

Think of the 100 as a rapier. I would suggest adding it to your demo list.

slick
05-10-2011, 12:31 PM
I think you'll find the sweetzone bigger than the BLX 90's, but you'll give up some stability on off-center hits against heavy incoming balls.



Nope. Based on TW Professor comparison the sweetspot of a BLX90 is 15.2 sq in compared to 12.3 sq for in the AG100. Big difference.

But you are right, the plow through of a BLX90 is better than any current racquet except the KPS88.

I've tried the AG100, 200, and 300. The BLX90 is in my opinion far superior in every respect.

I think you win more points against good players by putting the ball exactly where you want to both set up and finish points which the BLX90 (and AG100) excel at. At the 4.5 level or higher you won't win by just hitting it hard with poor control.

Cup8489
05-10-2011, 03:17 PM
Hmm, I've always felt the opposite -- that mids were the best for putaway power, the tradeoff being that they give you less help at the other end of the scale (when you're scrambling to stay alive).

Out of curiosity, why do you specifically feel mids are a good fit for your game?

I tend to judge a frame by how well it plays with my worst strokes, which are the backhand and serve. I find that with mids in general there is virtually not adjustment period on the backhand at all, and the accuracy on serves makes up for some of the loss in power. Idk beyond that. I've just grooved my strokes to them after playing the prince nxg mids for junior and senior years in high school, and have never really developed that heavy topspin game, but something more akin to, dare I say it, the federer play, with some spin but less than many of my peers.

Tbh I only even noticed a true lack of power when I tried out a friends k pro tour a few years ago, when he said I was hitting bigger shots...and that is what convinced me to start searching.

But I always seem to end up with a mid. I've owned the nxgs, a pog,a kps, a blx90, two Wilson stings, a Wilson graphite force,, and I've demoed a mgpm, ag100, and maybe a few others. I think my only issues with mids are that my technique can cause me to fatigue from trying to outhit guys using pure drives and that I'm out of shape and rather smaller than they, so power generation is not as easy for me as for others.

Sry for the long post.

BreakPoint
05-10-2011, 06:08 PM
Nope. Based on TW Professor comparison the sweetspot of a BLX90 is 15.2 sq in compared to 12.3 sq for in the AG100. Big difference.

I would take those comparisons by the TW Professor with a grain of salt. What really matters is how the racquets feel in your hand when you actually play with them and hit the ball with them. By that measure, from my experience, the sweetspot of the AG100 is bigger than that of the BLX90.

slick
05-11-2011, 05:36 AM
I take anecdotal impressions with a grain of salt.

I have more faith in science.

pennc94
05-11-2011, 06:38 AM
I would take those comparisons by the TW Professor with a grain of salt. What really matters is how the racquets feel in your hand when you actually play with them and hit the ball with them. By that measure, from my experience, the sweetspot of the AG100 is bigger than that of the BLX90.

Perhaps it was more difficult for you to find the sweetspot area with the BLX90 giving you the impression that it was smaller than the AG100? Unless there is something incorrect about the TWU methods, the findings are an objective fact.

Keifers
05-11-2011, 04:51 PM
Nope. Based on TW Professor comparison the sweetspot of a BLX90 is 15.2 sq in compared to 12.3 sq for in the AG100. Big difference.
Nope yourself. :)

I'm a big believer in quantitative analysis and I admire what TW Prof is doing in advancing our understanding of the physics of racquets and strings.

In this instance, his AG100 sweetspot size prediction is not born out on the courts. If you look at the big AG100 thread, you'll see that many members have made particular mention of the unexpectedly large sweetspot, comparing it to that of 95" frames. I haven't read any similar comments about the BLX90 -- or indeed any of the Wilson Tour 90s.

I would take those comparisons by the TW Professor with a grain of salt. What really matters is how the racquets feel in your hand when you actually play with them and hit the ball with them. By that measure, from my experience, the sweetspot of the AG100 is bigger than that of the BLX90.
Yes, I remember your positive comments about the AG100's sweetspot, BP.

Perhaps it was more difficult for you to find the sweetspot area with the BLX90 giving you the impression that it was smaller than the AG100? Unless there is something incorrect about the TWU methods, the findings are an objective fact.
Um, if the BLX90's ss area is so big, why would it be so difficult to find?

BreakPoint
05-11-2011, 07:15 PM
I take anecdotal impressions with a grain of salt.

I have more faith in science.
But it's not really science. It's an inanimate machine that doesn't play tennis and can't feel anything. How big a sweetspot is is based on feel, not science. What good is a huge sweetspot if you can't feel it? What matters is how a racquet performs out on the court, not how it performs in a laboratory.

If we could choose racquets based on what happens inside a laboratory, there would be no need to ever demo racquets again. But I think we've all had the experience of demoing a racquet that looked good on paper, but were disappointed with how it actually played out on a real tennis court, hitting real tennis balls, in real tennis situations.

BreakPoint
05-11-2011, 07:17 PM
Perhaps it was more difficult for you to find the sweetspot area with the BLX90 giving you the impression that it was smaller than the AG100? Unless there is something incorrect about the TWU methods, the findings are an objective fact.
Hmmm...when is something bigger harder to find than something smaller? :confused:

Fed Kennedy
05-12-2011, 12:06 AM
I agree with breakpoint...the tw prof is an inert measurement that is useful in predicting a racquet's potential but has nothing to do with actually playing tennis.
The ag100 is a much more forgiving racquet than the blx90, particularly when serving. However, if the OP seeks to find that "wilson box beam feel" there is no substitute for the original. The plow through, slice and weight of shot cannot be replicated by a lighter racquet. I have tried both these sticks and the blx 90 is a far superior piece of equipment.

slick
05-12-2011, 05:57 AM
Nope yourself. :)


Um, if the BLX90's ss area is so big, why would it be so difficult to find? After all, 90 sq. in. is not a large area to hide in.

Who said it was to difficult to find? Feels pretty big to me, bigger than the AG100 which I demoed.

Maybe because it has more heft some of you can't get the timing right and have more mishits?

To me the TW Prof is right on. The BLX90 has a big SS and the KPS88 has an even bigger one. I use the BLX90 because I can swing it easier than the KPS88 and thus play better despite the smaller SS.

Perhaps this the same thing you are finding with the AG100?

pennc94
05-12-2011, 05:58 AM
Hmmm...when is something bigger harder to find than something smaller? :confused:

slick confirms from TWU: sweetzone BLX90 > AG100.
your experience: sweetzone AG100 > BLX90.

I suggested that your experience that something bigger (sweetzone BLX90) is harder to find than something smaller (sweetzone AG100) could be due to the difference in mass, balance, and swingweight that affects your swing. It could be you that has a harder time finding the larger sweetzone given how your swing might be better suited with the AG100 specs.

Keifers
05-12-2011, 06:45 AM
Who said it was to difficult to find? Feels pretty big to me, bigger than the AG100 which I demoed.

Maybe because it has more heft some of you can't get the timing right and have more mishits?

To me the TW Prof is right on. The BLX90 has a big SS and the KPS88 has an even bigger one. I use the BLX90 because I can swing it easier than the KPS88 and thus play better despite the smaller SS.

Perhaps this the same thing you are finding with the AG100?
Um, pennc94?...

Dunlop specified the 100's recommended tension as 55-65. Your demo was very likely strung at 60 or 62; I'm guessing TW Prof's numbers are based on 60 or 62. The vast majority of players reported they much preferred stringing around 55-56-57. Some of us wrote that Dunlop should re-state the range as 50-60.

The BLX90's range is given as 50-60.

I'm thinking that this accounts for the difference in sweetspot sizes that you perceived -- and for TW Prof's numbers.

BreakPoint
05-12-2011, 12:54 PM
slick confirms from TWU: sweetzone BLX90 > AG100.
your experience: sweetzone AG100 > BLX90.

I suggested that your experience that something bigger (sweetzone BLX90) is harder to find than something smaller (sweetzone AG100) could be due to the difference in mass, balance, and swingweight that affects your swing. It could be you that has a harder time finding the larger sweetzone given how your swing might be better suited with the AG100 specs.
Not just my experience. It's the experience of the great majority of people who have played with both the AG100 and the BLX90. The Wilson Tour 90's (all of them) are notorious for having small sweetspots. People have been commenting on this ever since the first one came out in 2003, and it's been the same with every version since.

I can hit shots all over the stringbed regardless of what racquet I'm using. With the Tour 90's, you can feel that the sweetspot is smaller, i.e., it's located in a very small region of the stringbed. Whereas, with the AG100, you can feel that the sweetspot is bigger because even off-center hits are rewarded with better feel and more power with the AG100 than with the Tour 90's even when the ball hits the same spots on both stringbeds.

sunnyIce
05-12-2011, 04:02 PM
FWIW, I have played extensively with both the AG100 (4D100), & BLX90, and the 90 is the easier hit by quite a margin. On slowish or medium paced balls the 100 is a great hit, and quite easy to wield, especially if the traj is loopy. If incoming is heavy and fast, its like peeing into the wind with the 100.

sunnyIce
05-12-2011, 04:05 PM
And again, if you just opened a can of balls, its easier to play with 100, but once the balls get older and heavier, you can feel the vibe quite a bit. The 90 is solid all the way. And control is amazing.

Cup8489
05-14-2011, 03:57 PM
Interesting thing happened today.. I took the kps Nd my rad out for a hit and afterward decided to add weight to the kps handle to make the grip shape closer to my head. I added 28 (!) grams to the handle and accomplished many things. The grip now feels perfect, while the kps is suddenly a very maneuverable hammer! I didn't expect this... But now it plays soo much better than before.. I'm gonna keep it like this to make sure I didn't just have a great day lol

Cup8489
05-15-2011, 07:08 AM
Took my KPS out for another hit today.. Idk how heavy it actually is but for whatever reason the weight has had no effect on me, which was rather surprising. this modification has made the racquet considerably easier to use...

Starting to believe in higher sws on a heavy headlight frame, but i suppose I should look to acquire something that really plays like a traditional mid and do some modding to that to see if the playability transfers in any way to it.

maybe a 13.5 oz Prestige Mid with a 350 sw? hmm.