View Full Version : nCode 90 vs 95

08-14-2006, 12:18 PM
This is a review and comparison thread.

Per request of SFrazeur, I have decided to do a review and comparison of the nCode Six-One 95 and 90 racquets in its own thread. A few individuals were curious on the differences between the two racquets and wondering which one to switch to. Since I have had almost 8 months experience with the 95, and literally a month's worth experience with the 90 (I play 3-4 hours a day, 7 days a week) I feel it's about time I can do my review.

I will first do a review of the 90 then I will do a review of the 95. After the review I will do a comparison between the two.

*note* A few pictures in this review are large so I apologize in advanced to the modem users.

08-14-2006, 12:19 PM
This is a full review with several parts bear with me!

I have been playing with the nCode six-one tour 90 racquet for approximately a month now. I recently switched from my nCode 18x20 95. I will try to give the most thorough review I possibly can - but will restrict my review to the Tour 90 for now.

Location: Various courts located in Reno, Nevada
Court types: hard court, between 60-80% grit - fast and slow courts combined.
Altitude: 4,400 feet above sea level
General weather conditions: From windy to calm, 88-102 degrees

Racquet details:
My racquet does not meet the standard racquet specifications due to lead being added to the frame, and a full poly string. I do not know if other reviews post pictures of the racquet used, but I consider it useful for this review.

Racquet Specs:
ALU Power Rough 16L String @ 54 Lbs (full poly)
lead added to 10:00 position and 2:00 position
Wilson standard dampener
Wilson pro overgrip on 4 3/8 (L3)


08-14-2006, 12:19 PM
Racquet Specs Cont...
(can you see the small strips of lead? These are on both sides of the racquet)


08-14-2006, 12:20 PM
Racquet Review cont...


08-14-2006, 12:21 PM
If there is one thing I can say before I start - this is NOT a racquet to be lazy with.

Coming from an nCode 95, the weight of the racquet actually felt heavier despite the 95 being larger. This weight was mostly due to the lead, and the poly. From the baseline, I generally found that you would have to have a swing index of 5 or 6 in order to get the best out of this racquet. You have to do a full swing, and get into the habit of watching the ball contact the strings so that you do not shank it. Shanking the ball is incredibly easy with this racquet, take your eyes off and you will find your arms will get sore after all the frame hits.

Since the swing index is so high, generating pace on a slow ball is difficult and requires patience, great position, and a full body turn. But once I was able to do all that consistently, I had complaints from friends that my hits were very difficult and heavy. The 5.0+ players that hit with me actually call me up to hit because they like the heavy ball I hit now. But was it different than the 95? Hitting with the 90 actually felt more solid and less powerful.

the sweet spot is incredibly small. But one thing I found is even if you shank the ball, it is more forgiving then the 95 and the balls stay in more often than my 95 shanks did. If you have a weak arm, forget playing with the racquet, shanks do a number on your wrists and arm. Luckily my transition was from "heavy racquet" to "heavier racquet" so it wasn't so bad.

Top spin is very nice with these racquets. Get a great topspin hit and they are very powerful. I had a friend who hit balls to me with my extra Tour 90. He has a very powerful topspin which seemed so much heavier with my racquet then when he hit with his own. But it is decieving though. The ball comes fast, but you do not realize how heavy it is until you hit it. I can understand why players have said Federer has a quite powerful hit. All that energy and weight is transferred to the ball.

Slices feel extremely solid with the Tour 90. Though a word of caution - if you frame a slice, expect the ball to die on you. The racquet is not forgiving for bad slice hits. If you do hit a slice well, you will be rewarded greatly for the ball really stays low. Even on the courts with 80% grit where balls stay up, a sliced ball is extremely difficult to hit back.

Flat balls have a tendency to fly a bit. With this racquet you MUST put a bit of topspin to keep the ball in play, or have a nice high sitting ball to get the flat ball in. Low balls cannot be hit flatly because the swing index is so high that you will get a little dinky hit trying to go flat - allowing your opponent to really drive a winner back.

08-14-2006, 12:22 PM
Be prepared to have sore wrists the first time you take this racquet for a "test drive" at the net. You must have strong wrists, but volleys are excellent with this racquet. Even most of the shanks go in, due to the weight transfer, a good solid technique with volleys will be very rewarding.

The Tour 90 has less power, but more control on the volleys. Against heavy hitters, hitting late is extremely difficult on your wrists and arm. Hitting on time, and on the strings feel great - there is a very solid feel.

When I hit with my friend we did a couple of volley points where he would hit and approach, and I would try to pass him. He had great touch with the racquet, and said when he volleyed with the racquet he never felt better.

If you are looking for a low powered but forgiving racquet, and have strong wrists and arms, then this racquet is for you. Otherwise, beware.

08-14-2006, 12:22 PM
Serves and overheads.
TBH (To Be Honest), this racquet doesn't have that great power for the serves. You are able to hit the balls with heft and weight, but expect to do more placement shots than Andy Roddick serves. Spin generation and consistency are this racquet's strong points for the serve. I did some statistics with my 95 vs 90 and here they are

nCode nSix-One 95 1820
serve 1: 102
serve 2: 105
serve 3: 104
serve 4: 96
serve 5: 107
serve 6: 110
serve 7: 112
serve 8: 115

nCode nTour 90 1619
serve 1: 103
serve 2: 102
serve 3: 104
serve 4: 105
serve 5: 111
serve 6: 113
serve 7: 109
serve 8: 110

Even though I wasn't able to pump up the speed quite so high with my racquet, I was able to get more consistent results. The racquet is not one that you can really force to get a good serve, you must really guide the ball and relax with it.

08-14-2006, 12:23 PM
Return of Serve.
Quite surprisingly, the racquet was very solid on the return game. If you have quick hands and quick feet the racquet can take the pace of the ball and get it back quite quickly, but the ball does slow down a bit. The control was great, but a mishit on the frame for service return can spell doom for you.

For the forehands, (my strongest stroke) I was able to take plenty of balls and return them with accuracy to any corner I wished. These were returns of serves ranging from 60 MPH to 110 MPH. The slower paced balls were just so easy to put away, but the faster balls were either blocked back or shanks.

For the backhands, I found myself doing blocks most of the time. Due to the heavy racquet, if I swung late my wrist would be sore for the remaining points. The one thing I could count on is the stability of the return.

08-14-2006, 12:23 PM
Overall Impressions
This racquet is for those of you that do not have a lazy game. When you put effort into the game, and concentrate, the racquet will reward you many times over with its solid feel and consistent performance. Once you let off your game you will find yourself hitting a ton of bad shots, dinky shots, and feeling very sore afterwards - then wonder why you ever switched to the 90.

When you do your homework, and maintain your concentration, this racquet is for you!

08-14-2006, 12:34 PM
Thanks for the review, Swissv2.

However, do you have the exact specs of the racquet as played by you (strung and balanced), such as: static weight, balance, swingweight, flex, etc.?

08-14-2006, 12:36 PM
no I didn't get into that much detail - this would be just the general impressions. Essentially the racquet is a retail with lead placed and poly strings used. thats all.

08-14-2006, 12:45 PM
no I didn't get into that much detail - this would be just the general impressions. Essentially the racquet is a retail with lead placed and poly strings used. thats all.

Yes, but Wilson racquet' actual specs can vary wildly as their quality control is terrible. One cannot go by just their published "target" specs. Your racquet may be much heavier than the published specs and that would affect its playability greatly. It would be very useful to us to read your review knowing how much your actual racquet weighs and what the balance is since you keep saying how heavy it is, as it can range anywhere from 12.5 oz. to 13.5 oz and 6 pts. HL to 10 pts. HL.

08-14-2006, 12:47 PM
In that case I will talk to a friend that can help out as he has dealt with racquets and stringing for over 35 years now.