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View Full Version : X Feel Pro 95: String Pattern & Power


TimothyO
01-17-2012, 01:35 PM
I'm curious about two aspects of this frame. if you've demoed or purchased then your opinion is eagerly sought!

String Pattern: Not all 16x19s are the same. Some are denser than others with more space around the edges. Others are more open with the strings more evenly spaced. How would you describe the 95?

Power: Some comments on this forum, TW customer reviews, and TW data disagree on this point. Some call this frame under powered. But the TW data shows a frame far more powerful than my current Speed 300. Which is is?

I'll probably demo the frame anyway but would like to read the opinions of others before pulling the trigger. Bonus points to anyone who add info on spin potential and performance with various string configurations! :)

Edit: I strongly prefer spinny, low powered, control oriented frames. Would the 95 fit that description? If not, how would you summarize its character?

Justin-JP
01-17-2012, 02:53 PM
I was also considering this frame a few weeks back and had mixed reviews.

It's in that mid weight category where I think some people that typically use 11oz ish frames give it a whirl and find it under powered compared to their usual rocket launchers. From what I can gather, it's not that under powered at all but it is flexible, has a low-mid swing weight and not a great deal of mass behind it.

Spin wise, from the few reviews I've seen, it's supposed to be quite 'spinny' but to me the string pattern looks dense. Control was however noted to be very good.

If you can demo it, then go that way first. Personally I went with the Bio 200 Tour which plays like a better version of the Wilson 95 16x18.

corners
01-17-2012, 02:56 PM
Edit: I strongly prefer spinny, low powered, control oriented frames. Would the 95 fit that description? If not, how would you summarize its character?

Curious, why do you prefer "low-powered" frames?

in_ten_city
01-17-2012, 06:23 PM
I demo'd it a while back, and I thought it was a bit underpowered for my strokes. The racket itself is not underpowered though, it has more power than say a Prestige Pro due to a larger sweetspot (but, if you were to add weight to both frames, I have no doubt the PP will have more power). As for string pattern, it's a more dense 16x19, making it better for plowing through the ball.

TimothyO
01-18-2012, 08:14 AM
Curious, why do you prefer "low-powered" frames?

Well, some folks enjoy the perceived spin potential of full poly and use a stiff frame to boost power.

For those of us with sensitive arms stiff string and stiff frame equal pain. So I come at the problem from the other direction.

I use an arm-friendly gut/poly hybrid for spin and power and an arm-friendly soft frame which tames the gut's power. Similar result, different solution.

A softer, lower power frame also provides me with a margin of error when hitting hard with topspin. For me it feels more like a 1:1 system: hit soft and get a soft hit. Hit hard and get a hard hit.

When I first started playing I had a powerful frame with a powerful multi and had zero control, especially when taking a proper full, steady swing at the ball. Like many other low level players I then shortened my stroke and tapped at the ball which would still spray all over the place.

Now when hitting casually I drop the ball pretty much where my hitting partner needs me to or can swing up hard with a WW finish for deep, fast paced top spin shots with pretty good accuracy considering my low level. After much experimentation I feel that a heavier (~12 oz), soft frame with a gut/poly hybrid gives me both delicate touch and power on demand while also providing great stability in an arm-friendly package.

scotus
01-18-2012, 10:15 AM
For those of us with sensitive arms stiff string and stiff frame equal pain. So I come at the problem from the other direction.

I use an arm-friendly gut/poly hybrid for spin and power and an arm-friendly soft frame which tames the gut's power. Similar result, different solution.


Right on. That's definitely a sensible way to go.

Unfortunately, I can't help you with the Pacific. I did demo it, but it was so unremarkable that I returned it without paying a whole lot of attention to it. It also did not help that I popped the string during demo.

corners
01-18-2012, 01:44 PM
Well, some folks enjoy the perceived spin potential of full poly and use a stiff frame to boost power.

For those of us with sensitive arms stiff string and stiff frame equal pain. So I come at the problem from the other direction.

I use an arm-friendly gut/poly hybrid for spin and power and an arm-friendly soft frame which tames the gut's power. Similar result, different solution.

A softer, lower power frame also provides me with a margin of error when hitting hard with topspin. For me it feels more like a 1:1 system: hit soft and get a soft hit. Hit hard and get a hard hit.

When I first started playing I had a powerful frame with a powerful multi and had zero control, especially when taking a proper full, steady swing at the ball. Like many other low level players I then shortened my stroke and tapped at the ball which would still spray all over the place.

Now when hitting casually I drop the ball pretty much where my hitting partner needs me to or can swing up hard with a WW finish for deep, fast paced top spin shots with pretty good accuracy considering my low level. After much experimentation I feel that a heavier (~12 oz), soft frame with a gut/poly hybrid gives me both delicate touch and power on demand while also providing great stability in an arm-friendly package.

OK, I see where you're coming from. Thanks.

In my opinion, though, if you've got a stick with good control and spin potential, and a string setup that provides the same, more power is good, not bad. From your post, I suspect you wouldn't necessarily argue with that, but in general I think people say "low power" when they mean "high control". If you think about it, the difference between a very powerful stick (high ACOR) and a soft, wimpy stick (low ACOR - Pure Storm Ltd. is the poster boy) is, at most, about 4% in terms of power potential or ACOR. That difference translates into about 4mph on a hard groundstroke or serve. So if both frames are dialed in in terms of string tension, and both offer good control, one of them gives you spin and the other gives you the same spin and an extra 4 mph. The thing that confuses me is that a player would eschew those 4 mph. It would be like saying, "No, my serve is plenty fast, I don't need 4 extra miles per hour." Which is kind of absurd. If you can get the extra speed with the same control and spin, why not take it?

Now, the Ltd. is really soft and comfy, and that might be why a player chooses it, and that makes sense. But choosing it because of it's "low power" doesn't compute.

The pros play with racquets that are much more intrinsically powerful than ours (higher ACOR) and swing 20-30 mph faster than us on groundstrokes and serves, and for them control is clearly more important than anything else. With our slow swings it seems that more powerful racquets can only help us. Now, if you hit flat I can (kind of) see wanting a less powerful frame, but if you've got the spin to bring the ball down into the court it's hard to see those 4 extra mphs as a threat.

TaihtDuhShaat
01-18-2012, 08:23 PM
OK, I see where you're coming from. Thanks.

In my opinion, though, if you've got a stick with good control and spin potential, and a string setup that provides the same, more power is good, not bad. From your post, I suspect you wouldn't necessarily argue with that, but in general I think people say "low power" when they mean "high control". If you think about it, the difference between a very powerful stick (high ACOR) and a soft, wimpy stick (low ACOR - Pure Storm Ltd. is the poster boy) is, at most, about 4% in terms of power potential or ACOR. That difference translates into about 4mph on a hard groundstroke or serve. So if both frames are dialed in in terms of string tension, and both offer good control, one of them gives you spin and the other gives you the same spin and an extra 4 mph. The thing that confuses me is that a player would eschew those 4 mph. It would be like saying, "No, my serve is plenty fast, I don't need 4 extra miles per hour." Which is kind of absurd. If you can get the extra speed with the same control and spin, why not take it?

Now, the Ltd. is really soft and comfy, and that might be why a player chooses it, and that makes sense. But choosing it because of it's "low power" doesn't compute.

The pros play with racquets that are much more intrinsically powerful than ours (higher ACOR) and swing 20-30 mph faster than us on groundstrokes and serves, and for them control is clearly more important than anything else. With our slow swings it seems that more powerful racquets can only help us. Now, if you hit flat I can (kind of) see wanting a less powerful frame, but if you've got the spin to bring the ball down into the court it's hard to see those 4 extra mphs as a threat.


I'd like to jump in here and note that the flexy racquet will be hitting the slower groundstroke, but will always have more spin potential than a stiffer frame with higher ACOR of the same specs. The stiffer frame transfers more of the ball's force to the strings, stretching the strings more in the normal plane (ball into strings) causing the increase in power and shot speed from the larger rebound, but at the same time less stretching is going on in the lateral plane (ball grabbing 4 mains and dragging them across the crosses), thus reducing the spin potential. The flexy frame will absorb more of the ball's energy, not stretching the strings as much in the 'ball into strings' plane, giving the stringbed more ability to stretch the mains across the crosses, giving it the slower shot, but with more ability to create topspin from the mains acrosses crosses rebound.

TimO seems to be a huge fan of spin potential in a racquet and strings, so I figure this is why he is a fan of these 'low powered' flext frames.

Now if the SW is low enough to swing extremely fast with 2 racquets of the same specs, one flexy and one stiff, the stiffer frame will be the better choice since one can achieve the higher shot speed and still retain a lot of spin potential, thus the large following of lighter, stiffer, lower SW frames.

The effect of flex on spin really takes effect at higher SW's >345 where the racquet head isn't pushed back as far and the strings are stressed more.

corners
01-19-2012, 12:27 AM
I'd like to jump in here and note that the flexy racquet will be hitting the slower groundstroke, but will always have more spin potential than a stiffer frame with higher ACOR of the same specs. The stiffer frame transfers more of the ball's force to the strings, stretching the strings more in the normal plane (ball into strings) causing the increase in power and shot speed from the larger rebound, but at the same time less stretching is going on in the lateral plane (ball grabbing 4 mains and dragging them across the crosses), thus reducing the spin potential. The flexy frame will absorb more of the ball's energy, not stretching the strings as much in the 'ball into strings' plane, giving the stringbed more ability to stretch the mains across the crosses, giving it the slower shot, but with more ability to create topspin from the mains acrosses crosses rebound.

TimO seems to be a huge fan of spin potential in a racquet and strings, so I figure this is why he is a fan of these 'low powered' flext frames.

Now if the SW is low enough to swing extremely fast with 2 racquets of the same specs, one flexy and one stiff, the stiffer frame will be the better choice since one can achieve the higher shot speed and still retain a lot of spin potential, thus the large following of lighter, stiffer, lower SW frames.

The effect of flex on spin really takes effect at higher SW's >345 where the racquet head isn't pushed back as far and the strings are stressed more.

Good points all. But the question: who doesn't want, or can't use, 4 extra miles per hour on their shots?

TimothyO
01-19-2012, 05:00 AM
Good points all. But the question: who doesn't want, or can't use, 4 extra miles per hour on their shots?

I'm a mere 3.0/B-level ALTA. While I can hit really hard top spin shots off floaters I have a harder time doing that against tougher incoming shots. Still lots to learn!

So both you and Shaat are correct. As you note I see low power as more control too. And as Shaat notes I enjoy effect on spin potential of a flexy frame.

I'm no where close to blasting opponents off the court with power so for me it's all about placement and consistency. Extra spin helps me drive shots into the court, especially on serve. It also helps me with gadget shots like extreme slices. And when I do get a floater to attack the spin gives me confidence while the soft frame/string combo saves my elbow! :)

I also read somewhere on here that a good rule of thumb for frame/string design is that a smooth, solid stroke for one's physique and skill should drop a groundstroke between the service and base lines in a controlled fashion. That stroke should feel comfortable and not rushed. This setup lets me do that with confidence.

Edit: I should note that weight also has a power of its own. Lots of rec players use light, stiff frames for power. I prefer soft, heavier frames for power (heavy by modern standards...12 oz seems to be the upper limit for stock frames used in lower level rec play). My wife has also moved to soft, heavy frames (she played in hich school and is used to heavy wood frames). She hits flatter and loves her Pre-GT Pure Storm modded to over 12.0 oz. Stiffness is in low 60s. It was MY PS but she has commandeered it!