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View Full Version : play test: dunlop ag100, gamma 330x, Pro Kennex Ki5, BB London,


beeveewee
06-01-2011, 07:06 AM
context: After 18 years away from the game I'm a 3.5 tuning up to 4.0. Still playing my Wilson Sting, 12.5oz, 88". Big Hitter Blue Rough 17 mains / Gosen 17 crosses. Demoing the following racquets from TW. First session today and just wanted to rotate through them all for initial impressions.

Dunlop ag100: 15 minutes. Groundstrokes: stable, precise, fast swinging, small but rewarding sweet spot, low powered, lead would help. Volleys: quick, precise, rewarding. Serve/Return: not yet. General: Great advanced level player's racquet that rewards good footwork and proper form. Felt like a lighter Wilson Sting. In order to generate pace I had to really. Like my partner said, "Love it today but wonder what it feels like on an off day."

Gamma 330x: 15 minutes. 14 more than I needed. Groundstrokes: ping, boing, hits best if you take a full swing, anything less (touch, slice, drop) felt like a bad tweener. Volleys: ping, boing (that's with a dampener) Serve/Return: didn't bother General: me no likey

ProKennex Ki5: 15 minutes. Groundstrokes: good pace, predictable, comfortable, hits a beautiful slice off either wing, swishing sound. Volleys: solid, controlled, pronounced swishing sound. Serve/Return: not yet. General: Warrants more time but must overcome the 'swish'. Sounds like an African Rain Stick.

BB London: 15 minutes. Groundstrokes: stable, predictable, good pace, easy to swing, comfortable. Volleys: solid, controlled, good pop, quick. Serve: very good kick action, crisp and solid flat serves with good directional control. Return: quick but still blocks well, fast enough to take a full swing if warranted. General: clear leader after round 1.

I will update the original post after more court time this week.

Cengusiento
06-01-2011, 10:51 AM
Great review beeveewee, I'll wait for the update (I'm still testing the BB London too)

alen_david
06-01-2011, 12:16 PM
You should probably test the rackets for a considerably longer period of time. Probably one hitting session just for one racket. That way, you can get used to it and actually feel yourself playing with it. But if your routine, works out for you, that's fine as well. Btw I own an ag100 and it's wonderful in everything - serves particularly. If there's anything I can complain, it's a bit low powered for groundstrokes.

db379
06-01-2011, 02:18 PM
beevee,

fun review :) . What's your playing style? Do you hit though the ball or brush the ball more? Looking forward to your more detailed review of the London! I am myself trying to decide if this could be a good stick for me (and I do think it could well be).

beeveewee
06-01-2011, 07:42 PM
BB London (update): 2 set match vs. a 4.5. Groundstrokes: stable, predictable, good pace, easy to swing, slightest arm twinge afterward could probably get that to go away with good string setup, backhand felt very good, not as much mass = less plow-through but I tend to have a problem getting my racquet around in time on my BH and this lighter weight racquet helped. Still, I think I would add at least 1/2 oz. . Volleys: didn't play much volley tennis today. Serve: very good kick action, crisp and solid flat serves with good directional control. I could hit the ball hard, getting good pace and good action, however, it just needs more weight to crush the ball like my current racquet does. Return: quick but still blocks well, fast enough to take a full swing if warranted. Really shined on returns, that's where the lighter weight gives me enough quickness to block back some very hard flat serves. General: clear leader after round 1.

more context: I play long classic strokes, single handed backhand, I hit with a decent amount of topspin but not like some guys I see nowadays, big first serve that I can direct pretty well, decent kick serve that I'm trying to improve. Biggest problems are consistency, lack of a drop shot or topspin lob, lack of intelligence in doubles.

john9
06-01-2011, 08:07 PM
Thanks!very helpful
http://pages.eggge.com/images/52.gif

Pneumated1
06-02-2011, 09:34 AM
BB London (update): 2 set match vs. a 4.5. Groundstrokes: stable, predictable, good pace, easy to swing, slightest arm twinge afterward could probably get that to go away with good string setup, backhand felt very good, not as much mass = less plow-through but I tend to have a problem getting my racquet around in time on my BH and this lighter weight racquet helped. Still, I think I would add at least 1/2 oz. . Volleys: didn't play much volley tennis today. Serve: very good kick action, crisp and solid flat serves with good directional control. I could hit the ball hard, getting good pace and good action, however, it just needs more weight to crush the ball like my current racquet does. Return: quick but still blocks well, fast enough to take a full swing if warranted. Really shined on returns, that's where the lighter weight gives me enough quickness to block back some very hard flat serves. General: clear leader after round 1.

more context: I play long classic strokes, single handed backhand, I hit with a decent amount of topspin but not like some guys I see nowadays, big first serve that I can direct pretty well, decent kick serve that I'm trying to improve. Biggest problems are consistency, lack of a drop shot or topspin lob, lack of intelligence in doubles.

For a second there I thought you were describing my swing and playing style.:) I'm surprised that you felt an arm twinge with the London, as it's one of the more arm-friendly options available. It almost has to be a string issue, as you stated. I pretty much agree with all of your assessment, and I've been playing the London for about three months. The frame plays remarkably stable for me with approximately 1/4 oz. of lead, distributed throughout the frame. Just be careful not to stack or isolate your lead in one location on the London, as the stick is sensitive to mods and the "feel" and characteristics of the racquet changes-----if you do.

I have about 1 gram of head tape at 12, 1 gram of lead at 3/9, 2 grams at 5/7, 1 gram inside the throat, and a heavier-than-stock replacement grip. These changes create more stability/heft, while preserving the stick's natural tendencies (feel and response).

beeveewee
06-03-2011, 06:18 AM
Dunlop ag100: half a set. Groundstrokes: stable, precise, fast swinging, small but rewarding sweet spot, low powered, lead would help, found more power today not sure why, feels great on backhands, comes around very quickly. Volleys: quick, precise, rewarding. Serve: Wow! This thing serves like a much heavier racquet. I was getting excellent pace and good action. return: quick into position, good soft response. General: Great advanced level player's racquet that rewards good footwork and proper form. Felt like a lighter Wilson Sting. In order to generate pace I had to put in the effort but that's fine with me. This is my new leader by a hair. However, I think I still want a larger head size and a bit more starting weight so will definitely demo the 300.

BB London update: half a set. Groundstrokes: I get a bit more ping from this racquet than I like, not the solid 'thwok' I like. Probably could blame on strings. Not sure I can throw open the floodgates by considering string and lead setups while evaluating these racquets. Serve: Good action but couldn't find much pace on first serves. I can't account for this from the specs of this racquet.

beeveewee
06-05-2011, 07:27 AM
BB London update: one set. Serve update: Finally loosed my kick serve demons. Have had a kick serve before but never able to get extreme height. My opponent was well behind the baseline and the ball was at his head which he would shake in disbelief. I think it is largely due to the weight/balance that enables me to keep a loose wrist and still generate that last second whip over the top of the ball. However, I couldn't hit a hard flat serve to save my life. Some racquets I can tell it is only a matter of time. This thing feels completely elusive, like I may never figure it out. But dang, that kick serve!

This is the first time I've expiramented with my kick on a lighter frame. I don't credit the BB London for being the best kick-serve racquet per-se, more that this is the first racquet that has allowed me to generate enough head speed to unleash my potential. Now that (I think) I have discovered the timing and motion formula I suspect I can get the Dunlop to perform similarly (And I already know I can serve flat serve bombs with that frame).

BTW, as much as I like the BB London, and despite the kick serve revelation, it is only tied with the Dunlop right now. My hitting partner has demos of the Dunlop 300, Black Ace 98, Donnay X-red, and something else on the way. That should be very interesting.

edman9898
06-05-2011, 10:20 AM
You REALLY need to try to Dunlop Biomimetic 200 Lite! It plays a BLX 90 but with more forgiveness and power. You can lead it up with a starting weight of 11.5 oz strung. Gives that nice "thwack" sound off the stringbed, and does everything very well. It's a great all court stick. Trust me, if you like the AG100 and London, you'll LOVE the 200 Lite.

beeveewee
09-01-2011, 08:48 PM
finished my racquet search, you can find my new post by searching my username.