Jack the Hack
09-27-2006, 11:55 PM
For those of you that have tried all of these frames, could you please post your opinions and comparisons of how they perform in comparison to each other?
I have been using the TT Bandit in oversize for the past two years. I have modified my frames with lead tape at 3 and 9 o'clock for increased weight and stability, and I string them at 67 lbs using 18g Ashaway Kevlar in the mains and a soft 16g synthetic gut in the crosses to mute the power. I've played pretty well with this setup, but I don't like the way it serves and I don't have pinpoint control on my volley with those frames. I tried moving to the Head Flexpoint Fire for several weeks this summer because I got much more precision on the serves and volleys, but my groundies suffered from control issues. Anyway, to make a long story short, I am looking for a frame that might give me more on the serve and volley, but will keep my strokes intact.
I have been looking at different Prince frames that would seem to be close to a happy medium, and the Diablo XP (OS) and the TT Warrior (OS) might fit the job. I should mention that I am a 4.5 baseliner with a semi-western forehand and a two handed backhand. I like to run opponents all over the court to wear them out, but I am looking to improve my serve and volleying skills in order to win more efficiently and potentially move up a level.
The Warrior OS got a great review from TW, and I did play with a midsize version that felt really solid. However, I have also heard good things about the Diablo XP... so I'm curious about what others have to say about these frames in comparison to the Bandit.
Jack the Hack
09-27-2006, 11:58 PM
By the way, the only direct comparison of the Diablo XP oversize with the TT Bandit that I could find on the forum was this:
For those of you who have been (like me) wondering about this racquet, here is a little review of my experiences with it over the past 3 hitting sessions:
I can only compare this to the racquets I’ve played with, and my comments will no doubt be influenced by the type of game I have. I’m a 31 year old 4.5 baseliner with a 2-handed backhand. My forehand grip is between eastern and semi-western. I hit pretty hard off of both sides, but I don’t have a killer serve or great volleys. I’m a singles player by nature, but I’m becoming a better doubles player, and I’m looking for a racquet that will improve my doubles game. Basically, I need something that will slice and volley better than my POG LB, but I’m not willing to give up all the other positive attributes of the POG LB, some of which stem from its 28 inch length. Every review needs a reference point. Sorry if this review kind of turned into a POG LB vs Diablo XP OS comparison.
Action, Fit, and Finish
Parts of the racquet are day-glow reddish orange. There’s no way around it. It’s no classy black POG, but I can get over it if it hits well. The grip isn’t leather, but it’s nice and long for my 2-hander. It feels very maneuverable.
The demo is strung very loose, but I didn’t have much trouble with control. It’s lighter, stiffer, and more head heavy than my POG LB, but it’s still very stable, comfortable, and maneuverable. It plays like a cross between the POG LB and a TT Bandit. The first thing I notice is that my rally balls have more pace and spin on them, and they are landing deeper. You can murder the ball with this racquet and generate crazy spin. I can also get more on the ball when I’m not properly set up. Whereas the N 6.1, Prestige, or POG LB punish you for not setting up, this racquet allows you to generate a better shot when on the run, out of position, stretched out, etc. That kind of reminds me of the Bandit and other head heavy tweeners. Getting a more effective shot with a short stroke also improved my slices, drop shots, and lobs. However, I found myself using more topspin to tame the power when really ripping a ball. That might have been because of the low tension of the demo. Kick serves to the backhand could be reached with ease because of the 28in length, and the larger head helped me find the sweet spot when hitting on the rise. It’s great for hitting dippers off both sides when your opponent is at the net. However, the power could be a liability, causing overhitting on short balls that have fallen below the net. The feel was good, and directional control was decent, but not as good as with a POG or a POG LB. In conclusion, the XP OS is less demanding from the baseline than the POG LB. You lose some feel and control, but you get more power, maneuverability, and the ability to hit better shots when you’re not in position. The XP is capable of more variety and more forgiving if you’re having a bad day. If you’re “On” and can stay in control of the rallies, the POG LB is still the sweetest playing racquet out there for singles, but I’d give the XP an edge for doubles.
Volleys / Overheads
This is where the XP’s stiffness, 107 headsize, maneuverability, and balance give it an edge over the POG LB. Volleys were crisp and the frame was stable against big hitters. It lacked that killer punch through the court you get with an N6.1, but it was more maneuverable, and the length has a help on overheads and high volleys. I did find myself choking up a little to minimize the right-hip blind spot against a guy I play doubles against who crushes every return down the line right at the netman.
My serves were kicking like crazy, but I did feel some loss of control. Flat serves were out of the question, but that might have been a string tension issue. It kind of serves like other 28in racquets. You get more reach, but less control, and you get the sense that the ball is further from your hand. It’s easer to hit down the middle on the deuce side and out wide on the add side than it is to slice out wide on the deuce side. Interestingly, I find long racquets are better for hitting inside-out forehands than crosscourt forehands, which is kind of the same thing. Maybe the length causes you to hit late. Choking up helped a little with the wide slice. Whereas a POG OS or N6.1 thumps the ball with mass, you get the feeling the power comes from the strings, which is a less controllable kind of power. Still, not a bad serving racquet, and for me the serve is the hardest stroke to adjust with a new frame.
This racquet is an exact cross between a POG LB and a TT Bandit. VS the POG LB, you give up some control and feel, but you get some tweener characteristics like a larger sweetspot and better maneuverability. The XP is amazing from the baseline, and not as much of a liability at the net as other 28in racquets I’ve played with. A great racquet for a baseliner with a 2-handed backhand. I’m going to order one up.
Does anybody else have a comparison like this? Do you agree or disagree with Z-Man's opinions?
(Z-Man: If you did get a Diablo XP OS, how are you liking it now?)
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