Aequalis & Reedhead & Reynolds Usa Adjustable Tension

Discussion in 'Classic Racquet Talk' started by rodracquet, Apr 12, 2013.

  1. rodracquet

    rodracquet Rookie

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    In a recent post about adjustable tension racquets of which there are quite a few out of the USA came the REEDHEAD REYNOLDS version which I suspect evolved into the AEQUALIS which had a similar but more modern look.

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  2. rodracquet

    rodracquet Rookie

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    Pic 2 shows the rollers system employed and in the butt cap the device tightens drawing down the throat.

    [​IMG]
     
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  3. rodracquet

    rodracquet Rookie

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    The throat draws the main strings down.

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  4. rodracquet

    rodracquet Rookie

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  5. jimbo333

    jimbo333 Hall of Fame

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    Brilliant again Rod, where do find all these weird and wonderful rackets?
     
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  6. rodracquet

    rodracquet Rookie

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    My wife tells me it is because my stupid eyes are gazing a computer screen all day and night when I should be working. My back specialist agrees.

    My mission in collecting isn't about just owning racquets but to ask sellers for permission to store the pics to promote and preserve in forums like this and others in which I am involved. I am just amazed at all the innovations from day dot to now which get tried, fail, succeed, and then get tried again......
     
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  7. jimbo333

    jimbo333 Hall of Fame

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    Well I really hope you continue to be honest, especially with the website, you're doing a great job identifying and then preserving the details of all these marvellous rackets:)
     
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  8. Autodidactic player

    Autodidactic player Semi-Pro

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    I managed to find a NOS version of the more modern update of this racket. It's a really interesting racket. Wilson did something similar a few years ago with their "Rollers" rackets. Here are some pictures:

    Full racket with cover
    [​IMG]

    Throat
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    Rollers
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  9. joe sch

    joe sch Hall of Fame

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    Very nice design. I bet its a great spinner, have you hit it ?
     
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  10. Autodidactic player

    Autodidactic player Semi-Pro

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    No. I am always tempted to hit with all my oddities but I decided a few years ago that I would leave the NOS ones unhit. :(
     
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  11. rodracquet

    rodracquet Rookie

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    Very special model. Covers off Diagonal stringing but does it also have some tension adjustment?
     
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  12. Sanglier

    Sanglier Rookie

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    These go for way more than I care to spend on any single frame when they pop up on the bay, so I don't have one to look at up close, and probably never will. However, based on their patent drawings, I think the answer to your question is "technically - yes":

    [​IMG]


    However, by going with a diagonal string layout, they actually made tension adjustment more difficult. You can see that in this design, only the bottom two strings are being pulled by the tension regulator. As anyone who has strung a racquet knows, roller or no roller, once the strings are woven together like this, they are not going to have much movement longitudinally, so the only strings where the tension is likely to change significantly are the two that are directly connected to the regulator. Considering where they are located on the racquet face, I would venture that the practical effect of tension adjustment on this frame is slim to none.

    In contrast, their earlier design (with a conventional orthogonal string bed) was far superior in the tension-adjustment department:

    [​IMG]


    Here you can see that 4 of the mains are directly pulled by the tension regulator, with 4 more indirectly affected by what happens to the first 4 (essentially doubling the number of affected strings compared to the diagonal design). More importantly, all eight of the affected mains are located at the center, hence any tension adjustment will likely have a direct impact on string bed behavior and play quality.

    Obviously, this mechanism cannot be directly carried over to a diagonal string layout, so while the 'improved' Aequalis design was arguably better for spin generation, the latter may have come at the expense of tension adjustability. However, I am not aware of the original orthogonal design being ever put into production, so calling the diagonal design an improvement may not mean anything.

    The Wilson version of the rollers are for sure not tension-adjustable. I think they are known for having terrible vibrations more than anything else?

    In retrospect, this was yet another solution in search of a problem, but it created some nice collectibles in the process, so it's all good. :)

    ----
     
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  13. Autodidactic player

    Autodidactic player Semi-Pro

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    I took a close look at the racket an I've concluded that the model I have is not tension adjustable. I read the entire patent - which is a mind-numbing task - and it seems that the inventor had not decided if the production model would be tension adjustable:

    The butt cap does not appear to be easily removable. I wiggled it a bit and it seems firmly attached. I believe you'd have the remove the grip to remove the butt cap. The butt cap does, however, have a bump in the center of the bottom that clearly appears to be designed to cover the tensioning nut:

    [​IMG]

    A close look at the side of the racket throat shows that no string goes completely down the shaft and that the cross string that goes through the throat is tied off in a knot. The side of the throat has a plastic insert that is clear enough for you to see through and you can't see any string. I tried to get a picture but it's not very clear. You can see the knot clearly on the right side of these two pictures:

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    I'd love to know if anyone has one of these Aequalis rackets that is tension adjustable. Please post pictures if you have one.
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2014
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  14. Sanglier

    Sanglier Rookie

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    Thanks for the close-ups! I have been jealous of your rare and unusual racquet collection since I discovered this board. :)

    As I understand the patent, the cross string tie-off is exactly where you show it to be (marked '46' in the patent drawing). No string goes down the shaft past that point. Rather, it's the wedge piece (which they call "connector member", labeled '44' in the drawing) holding the cross string that's supposed to go up and down to regulate tension. It's hard to tell whether the wires '48' connecting the wedge piece to the screw mechanism in the grip are hidden inside the frame or visible from the outside, though your observation suggests they may be entirely absent.

    On the frame Rod posted in the OP, this wedge piece (connector member) is quite narrow and seems to be made out of metal, and has a rather optimistic scale next to it showing just how far down you are supposed to be able to crank it. In contrast, the wedge piece on your NOS example seems to be fashioned out of clear plastic(?), and is too broad(?) to travel significantly further downward, so you are probably right that Aequalis had left out the tensioner mechanism on their production model, possibly because they had no choice but to face the fact that it's a completely unworkable feature, which increases production cost for essentially zero practical gain.
     
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  15. rodracquet

    rodracquet Rookie

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    Sorry been awhile since posting. Great to see the close ups and well done on scoring this model. It is a nice looking racquet.
     
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  16. Autodidactic player

    Autodidactic player Semi-Pro

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    I managed to find another one of these which is slightly different from the first one. The NOS racket on the right in the picture below has 29 rollers (three at the top of the hoop) and the used one, on the left, has 30 rollers (four at the top of the hoop). I'm curious about the differences. My guess is that the 30 roller model is an older design. Stringing the 29 roller model looks much easier since there is no double looping of string on any roller(s) like there is on the 30 roller model. Look closely at the stringing on the four rollers at the top of the hoop on the used model. Does anyone have any information.

    [​IMG]

    Here is a picture from the top of the hoop:

    [​IMG]

    Sanglier - I also removed the rubber butt cap on the used racket and can confirm that there is no tensioning screw under the butt cap - at least in this racket:

    [​IMG]
     
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  17. Sanglier

    Sanglier Rookie

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    Very interesting, David! Since you and Rod have more weird racquets in your collections than anyone else who post here, if neither of you know the answer to a question about a weird racquet, chances are nobody else does either! :-?

    I certainly don't know why there is a four roller variant. However, given that the three roller variant is the one shown in the patent drawings, I think it's a relatively safe bet that the four roller model was a "product improvement" that came later. The question is - what was "improved"?

    Obviously it does not improve the tension adjustment mechanism, given that the manufacturer appears to have abandoned that impractical feature on the production model.

    It also doesn't change the stress distribution all that much, since those two peripheral strings are only marginally involved in absorbing the energy of ball impact.

    If I have to guess, I would say that this change was solely intended to help the stringer.

    The three roller model must have been very awkward to mount on a two point machine (commonly used at that time), since the top center cross-over is right where the mounting post would be. Based on your photo, the four roller arrangement seems to have circumvented that problem by shifting the cross-over point into the frame itself. I assume there was an adaptor for the throat region, as that transparent wedge doesn't look all that mounting-post-proof to me.

    Beyond that, I really can't see any advantage of one arrangement over the other.

    Have you played with the used one yet? My guess is that it would have a ton of string vibration, as there is so much room for the strings to move in every which direction and virtually nothing on the frame to dampen that movement. However, the grip does seem to have a piece of wood(?) wedged between the tubings, which are at least partially filled with some sort of fibrous material, so it may not be THAT unpleasant to play with?

    ---
     
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  18. rodracquet

    rodracquet Rookie

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    Apart from being a nice looking racquet I guess the roller system helps to deliver more flex in the strings when a ball is hit.
     
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