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View Full Version : Cat 8 VE vs DNX 8 (modified to 27.25) Update


topper#1
03-25-2006, 05:59 PM
Honestly, I like both frames and keep going back and forth. Played about a 4.6 player today and beat him each set, each using a different frame! LOL

Remember, I have extended the DNX8 to just a hair less than 27.25 inches. I was having problems recently keep the ball in play with the DNX 8 (when trying to swing hard/out) but I was playing with more of a standard Volkl "shaped" grip - I modified it to more of a Babolat or Prince type grip and I can now really hit out much better and have the topspin available to keep it in play - problem was with my forehand (hitting too many flyers with that more std. type Volkl grip). I have modified the Cat 8 VE grip the same way.

Also of note - both rackets now weight about 320 grams (11.2-11.3 oz) and are 5-6 pts HL. After a LOT of experimentation I like this weight/balance combo the best, it also helps the serve improve a good bit (with more pop) on the Cat 8 VE.

Biggest difference between frames.

1. Better serve with DNX 8, but less difference with the weighting of the Cat 8 VE.

2. Both have excellent topspin ability (slight edge with DNX with modified grip). but surprisingly I feel the Cat 8VE hits a better flat ball AND slice.

3. Better volley and "feel" with Cat (simply a great volleting stick) but very solid with DNX.

4. A decent bit (not huge) more overall power with the DNX8 but more control with the Cat 8 VE.

Result: I like and may keep both. They are now so equal in grip shape and weight/balance that switching is no big deal. I may keep both in the bag and depending upon the opponent and how I am playing I just might adjust accordingly. I also have a lot of altitude changes during USTA season and tournament play, and having the power stick a sea level vs the my home base of 3700 feet is a good choice to have.

Bottom line: I continue to like both frames. I string with a gut/hybrid in both at 58 lbs. I am a 4.5 all court player.

topper#1
03-25-2006, 06:00 PM
the boards for now.

SC in MA
03-26-2006, 09:32 AM
Thanks for the update drak. A couple of questions.

Where did you add the lead ? And how much lead did you add in each place you added lead?

Also, did you notice much of an increase in SW ?

Thanks.

topper#1
03-26-2006, 10:37 AM
SC, I added lead in both the handle (under grip) and at 3 and 9 head positions to bring the weight to 320 grams and that 5-6 pts HL spec in both frames. Since every frame often varies a decent bit I can't tell you exact amounts.

The Cat 8 VE IMO swings lighter although it specs out pretty much the same. For me at these specs it is light enough to still be very easy to manuever but there is enough heft for good stability and pop.

And I will reiterate, until I changed the grip to a more squarish shape from the original Volkl, I was having a problem with "forehand flyers" with my semi-western FH grip. I can now swing out a lot more and keep the ball in with the consistent topspin I can now generate so much better with this grip "shape" change - I was surprised just how much differenct this makes!

vin
03-26-2006, 11:27 AM
Thanks for the update!

The more I play with my DNX 8, the more I like it. I've been playing with it for about 5 weeks now but have had a little hesitation about fully committing to it. (It takes a lot to get used to a tweener after being accustomed to heavy and flexible) That hesitation is growing less and less and I am starting to fully embrace the fact that a tweener is the best match for my style of play.

I've played around with the weight and balance a bit, and plan to do so a little more, but so far, I'm finding that I actually prefer it just the way it is at spec.

Maybe I'm not strong enough or good enough for a heavy flexible frame, but at this point, who cares. I know I have decent strokes, decent fitness, and now I have a racket that is making it easier for me to play well more consistently. :)

Now if I could just find a string I like in it! For any string breakers using this frame, Prince Tournament Nylon is holding up pretty darn well. I'm not sold on it's feel though.

bluegrasser
03-26-2006, 11:35 AM
Vin - don't sell yourself short, I found out that 12 oz isn't heavy if the stick is head light enough, also the power factor can be adjusted by lowering the string tension and using a 17g.

vin
03-26-2006, 12:31 PM
Vin - don't sell yourself short, I found out that 12 oz isn't heavy if the stick is head light enough, also the power factor can be adjusted by lowering the string tension and using a 17g.

Thanks for the encouragement, but ...

Even though I know how to properly execute my strokes and generate power from the ground up, I don't think my timing is good enough to get the sequence right time after time and the heavy rackets just seem to make it a little worse.

I like power and I hit a lot of spin. If I don't get the power I want, I just end up swinging harder until I get it. And because I hit a lot of spin, I sometimes come up on the ball too much and lose pace. So, low powered rackets tend to make me overswing and/or hit short spinny balls. It wouldn't be as much of a problem if all my oponents hit hard, but that is far from the case and I often have to generate my own pace. (Hey, that rhymes :mrgreen: )

Don't get me wrong, I can play well with a heavy flexible racket, but it takes the edge off and I don't think that's a sacrafice I want to make in favor of feel. And although I like playing all court tennis, my game is not really about putting the ball on a dime. It's more about using pace and spin to create openings. Whether I like it or not, I'm more like a Nadal than a Federer (relatively speaking, of course).

Maybe sometime in the future more weight and less power will be more appropriate, but until then, I think it's pretty clear what I need to be swinging and my match results are in agreement.

P.S. Glad to see the FX Prestige worked out for you!

topper#1
03-26-2006, 02:13 PM
Vin, the DNX 8 I think plays great with a gut/hybrid and lasts ver well for me. I use BDE 16 gauge mains with a Gosen or Stamina cross - cost for strings from TW is about $14 bucks, I string my own.

Drak

bluegrasser
03-26-2006, 03:49 PM
Whatever works, I do admit to not playing any singles as of late, so that will be the true test.

vin
03-26-2006, 05:44 PM
Drak,

how long does it last you and how does that compare to how a typical synthetic lasts? For $14, I guess I should just suck it up and try it.

bluegrasser,

I hit with the Flexpoint Prestige Mid tonight with one of the hardest hitting 4.5's in my area (it's his stick). Aside from mishits with the small head, I was hitting the ball great and better than with the DNX. It's so frustrating! At 12.2 ounces, it felt easy to swing and my timing was right on.

I give up! :( That Prestige is one smooth stick though.

topper#1
03-27-2006, 07:09 AM
Vin. I'm probably an average string breaker. Indoors a gut/hybrid (16 gauge) will last at least 4-6 weeks playing an average of 3-4 times a week. Plus, you get the big time benefit of playability with about the best tension retention you can get.

Outdoors, with a lot more dirt and grit any string job lasts about half the time for me as compared to indoors. Fortunately, I play 8 months of the year indoors.