View Full Version : Head MG Extreme Jr, 4.4 oz.'s Later

02-03-2012, 05:15 PM
I've been intrigued to try and see if I can create a well balanced, accurate hitting all court setup in my preferred specs in a more forgiving, more powerful package than the flexy 95"s I've customized in the past. When I happened to stumble upon this frame shopping in person, I noticed how light it swung, and how light the throat and handle felt compared to most frames you see in stores at any weight. Most retail frames have a lot of extra mass throughout the frame, giving stability without high SW's, but they often feel as the string bed has too much power at the bottom. This frame felt as if it was the lightest of possible graphite hairpins, with no extra added mass anywhere besides the actual plastic grommets and handle. Once I brought it home and put on a larger pallet and butt cap, I lengthened it from 26.2 to 26.85", a length I have found performs well at my specs for a 100" going from what I have done with 95"s of the same brand. I then gripped it, and measured the strung specs and SW to find out what I hoped would be when I first picked up the frame; that this is the lightest SW of any frame I've ever found, including pro stock frames at:

249g with grip and strings
34.4cm balance

Mouth watering at how much lead I would be able to add to the hoop and handle for extreme power and stability, I found using the TWU reverse engineering tool that I could add 34g under the bumper area, 80 inches of 1" wide lead tape wrapped around the grip at 7" from the butt, and 20g inside the butt to achieve my balanced specs of 383g,31.9cm(7 pts. HL), 367SW. I strung it with pacific classic gut 16 mains and weissCANNON Black5edge poly 17 crosses at 58/52.5 lbs. from the stringway tension advisor, dropping 1.5 lbs. for the thinner 17 gauge poly cross and then 8% more from the poly manufacturer recommendation. This produced a firm feeling string bed.
I first balanced it and compared it to my other frames at these heavy specs to make sure it swung similarly, then I took it out for some serves to adjust the lead and make sure that I found the SW and balance that let me serve the hardest with the right amount of curve.
The gut/b5e poly gave it good controlled power and bite, and the stiff flex gave it the directional control I was hoping for. I had some serves jumping like Sampras' once I took some lead from the butt and redistributed it to the upper handle and hoop. Compared to my best performing frame that I've customized like this, the TGK 238.2 prestige mp 16x19, It blew it out of the water on serve accuracy and power!

I took it out for a hit today on green clay and it impressed me in almost every category. Groundstrokes were effortlessly heavy without much input, volleys were powerful and precise, and returns felt controlled and easy to get deep which carried over to running groundstrokes. I could hit as flat as an 18x20 radical or prestige mp (which was surprising for the head size) or as loopy as I wanted. The topspin was sufficient enough for hitting accurate dipping passing shots and topspin approaches. Directional accuracy was as good as I have gotten on any frame on everything including serves. The distance between the 8 center mains is only 76mm, the same as the prestige mp 16x19, which is why this larger hooped frame has great control for flat hitting; it's fairly dense in the center and has a lot of uweaved space on the perimeter. Overall I have 134g(4.7 oz.) of lead distributed across the upper hoop, upper handle, and butt. The best part is, next time I beat someone and they ask, "What frame do you use?" I can reply, "It's a junior model." :)

Edit: Sorry TT mods for wrongfully mentioning a different retailer in my OP about this frame.

Edit: The title should read: 4.7 oz.'s later!

02-03-2012, 10:17 PM
Bump for edit

02-03-2012, 10:55 PM
I wish they made Junior frames with bigger grip sizes - sounds like a success, and now you've got me jealous of your frame. I didn't realize that it's that easy to swap out a pallet - maybe I'll try that, as I've been eyeing junior frames for a while.

I've found that a big head size with high density in the center as you describe is a great combination. It's a reason why I really like my Warrior OS.

02-03-2012, 11:07 PM
Photos or it didn't happen. Must see the size of lump that 80 grams at 7" makes.

02-03-2012, 11:08 PM
Only Head frames have the interchangeable pallets (maybe pro kennex as well?). The pallets are only available on TW Europe and are kinda pricey with shipping- about $16 for 1 and $20 shipping. Since I knew I'd be sticking with the Head brand for customization, I stocked up a while ago. Also, the pallets come really long so it's easy to extend a frame beyond the hairpin, although the pallet material isn't so rigid so longer extensions beyond 3/4" or so will need some reinforcement. And, be sure to get the TK82S version, as it is squarer shaped like a Wilson.

02-03-2012, 11:10 PM
Photos or it didn't happen. Must see the size of lump that 80 grams at 7" makes.

Hehe- I cut the pallet completely off from 6 1/2" to 7 1/2" and wrapped the lead around the skinny hairpin, but it still bulges a little. The annoying thing is that the lead isn't as tight as could be, and my upper hand from 2hbh's keeps moving it ever so slightly, screwing up the timing of the swing.

02-03-2012, 11:39 PM
And, be sure to get the TK82S version, as it is squarer shaped like a Wilson.

I prefer the most rectangular shape, what are those named / numbered?

02-03-2012, 11:48 PM
The rectangular ones are the TK82 no "S". the TK82S come on the speed line of frames. For whatever reason, Head decided to put a Wilsonesque shaped pallet on that line only.

02-04-2012, 04:44 PM
Update- I originally concentrated the lead in the hoop all at 12, but I realized that I wasn't taking full advantage of how large of a sweet spot I could create with this bigger hoop size. So I took the hoop lead off and reapplied new lead spanning from 3 o'clock on one side all the way across to 9 o'clock. I started with it going even further down the sides of the hoop to 4 and 8, but the sweet spot felt too low and powerful at the bottom of the string bed. This led me to incrementally exacto knife off some of the bottom ends of the lead 1/4" at at time until the lead ended at 3 and 9. Now the entire top half of the inside of the hoop is covered with 1/4" wide lead, with each side of the string bed stacked 2 wide with 3 layers on the inner stack, and 2 layers on the outer stack for a grand total of 187.5 inches of lead, or ~47g; the most lead I've ever added to a hoop for a SW in the 360's.

The frame has a little more flex set up like this, which I am welcoming since topspin potential was the only thing lacking the way it was set up before; the frame felt very crisp like that. And, I had to remove 13g of the wrapped lead at 7" to achieve the same specs. It's all tuned up and balanced at the same specs of 383g,31.9cm,366-367SW. Now I should get more power on off center hits. The frame swings very smoothly like this.

02-05-2012, 01:21 PM
I totally get what you are trying to do with the shorter frame, allows for more mass in the hoop thing. But I'm curious about why yourself and travlerajm are experimenting with adding length to a Jr. frame rather than cutting down a standard 27". What's that about? What's the dif?

02-06-2012, 10:25 AM
More lead in the head for the same SW means more power and a bigger sweet spot, especially more lead where I want it in the head, from 3 and 9 up. This creates a very uniform power response across the whole hoop, from left to right, and bottom to top. This helps to make shots struck anywhere in the string bed have more similar power and depth, without any hot zones at the bottom to avoid shots to flying long, or dead zones at the top giving shorter depth, or weak zones at the sides. Since the Jr frame has such a low SW, even after lengthening it, the SW is extremely low allowing for the addition of lots of lead. With a SW in the 250's, I was able to add 47g to the top half of the hoop for a 367SW. This created the most uniform string bed I have ever attempted. Most standard frames won't allow more than the addition of 15-25g to the head for a SW in the 360's, giving a less uniform response for shots struck outside the center.

02-06-2012, 07:13 PM
- Thanks for the explanation, much appreciated.
- And thanks also for the vendor source for Head TK82 pallets. Just ordered 12 for 117.80 Euros. $153 US.
- I just payed for something in euros. I feel like James Bond now.