AN90/AK90 balance?

Discussion in 'Racquets' started by GasquetGOAT, Mar 20, 2009.

  1. GasquetGOAT

    GasquetGOAT Hall of Fame

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    I recently bought one AN90 and one AK90 on fleabay, measured the balance on my TW balance board, both them came up 4.7pts headlight strung. And I thought they are supposed to be 6 pts headlight strung. I don't get it?

    I'm pretty sure both are genuine as I did a lot of research on both before buying.

    What sort of measured balance do you have of your AK/AN90s?
     
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  2. corners

    corners Legend

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    Sorry, can't help you, as I would like to pick up an AK90, but don't have one.

    In shopping on the bay for one, what do you consider essential clues to make sure you get an authentic frame?
     
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  3. raygo

    raygo Semi-Pro

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    Specs on mine:

    AN90 - 320mm
    AK90 - 315mm
     
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  4. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    There were several versions of the AK90. The earlier ones were more headlight than the later ones.
     
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  5. defrule

    defrule Professional

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    My N90 is 12 points head light.

    I thought K90's were 12 points HL and AK90's we 9 points HL.

    I'm confused. Where does a 6pt come in?
     
    #5
  6. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    12 pts HL and 9 pts HL are UNSTRUNG (US K90 and AK90, respectively)

    6pts HL is for STRUNG (AK90 and AN90).

    Strings typically add 3 pts to the balance.
     
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  7. corners

    corners Legend

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    Breakpoint,

    Do you know where a guy can pick up a 4 1/4 AK90? I live in China, and it looks like the local shops just got some in, but I'm loath to buy a frame in counterfeit land. Any outlets you can recommend in other Asian countries? Thanks.
     
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  8. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    ^^^^
    The thing is Wilson stopped making AK90's last summer, so if some dealer tells you that they just got a new shipment in from Wilson, they are most likely fakes.

    You may still be able to find one on the racks at a pro shop here and there throughout Asia. I would say the best country to go to avoid fakes is Japan, but then of course, everything is very expensive in Japan.
     
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  9. Love50

    Love50 Rookie

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    My AK90 is 6pts HL (strung).
     
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  10. GasquetGOAT

    GasquetGOAT Hall of Fame

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    Raygo, are these specs printed on the racquets? Or are they measured balances?

    315mm is spot on 9pts HL (8.8pts HL to be exact). But 320mm would be around 7 pts HL. :confused: Wilson quality control?
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2009
    #10
  11. GasquetGOAT

    GasquetGOAT Hall of Fame

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    Check the seller's feedback, especially the kind of racquets he/she sold before and the feedbacks on those transactions.
     
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  12. corners

    corners Legend

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    Thanks Breakpoint.

    BTW, I've dug through the archives here looking for measured AK90 swingweights. All I've found are estimates, which range from 318-330, but no measured swingweights.

    Any AK90 wielders have solid swingweight numbers?
     
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  13. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    You're welcome.

    Wilson doesn't publish swingweight specs so all we can go by is feel or if you have access to a RDC machine you can measure it.

    Like I said, there were 3 different versions of the AK90 and each one had a different balance so that's why you get the large range of swingweight estimates.
     
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  14. corners

    corners Legend

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    Thanks for the tip Gasquetgoat!

    Ah, I see - three different versions. I remember reading about two, and recall that maybe your agitating had something to do with Wilson changing the Asian model.

    Breakpoint, for posterity and the archive, would you mind listing the three versions of the AK90 by specs/characteristics and also any cosmetics/clues one could use to differentiate them?
     
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  15. raygo

    raygo Semi-Pro

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    Well, I think Wilson got lucky with my AK90. The throat specs say 31.5cm, which IS spot on...but the listed specs are supposed to be unstrung. I measured my racquets strung with an overgrip.

    The AN90 throat lists the same 31.5cm. I'm guessing it would be closer to the listed specs unstrung, and that's why it's less HL than the AK90 after stringing.

    Unmodified, the two racquets feel noticeably different during swinging. The AN90 feels a little heavier but more solid, the AK90 was more maneuverable but a bit whippy. It must be due to the balance.

    Hope this helps!
     
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  16. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    All three versions were identical cosmetically so there's no way you can tell the difference from looking at them. You have to play with them to tell any difference. I've only played with the first and the third versions and the first version was very headlight while the 3rd version is much less headlight so it has a higher swingweight. I heard the 2nd version also has a higher swingweight than the first version but that it felt strange to some people. I personally prefer the 3rd version and that's all I own. I thought the first version's swingweight was too low and too headlight.
     
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  17. GasquetGOAT

    GasquetGOAT Hall of Fame

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    BP, do you know if there are different versions of the AN90 as well?

    With the 3 versions of the AK90, do they have the same 315mm balance printed on the throat or are they actually different?
     
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  18. GasquetGOAT

    GasquetGOAT Hall of Fame

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    I see, so the AN90 is actually closer to the listed specs than the AK90. An overgrip typically adds 5grams to the handle which shouldn't add more than 1pts HL, your Ak90 must be very headlight to begin with.

    I had to add 8 grams of lead under the leather grip to bring the AN90 up to spec, it is now 324mm and 340g strung without overgrip. But after adding a dampener and an overgrip it'd be closer to 350g, hardly an AK90 anymore..
     
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  19. KiNG

    KiNG Rookie

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    Has anyone noticed that the AK90 shares the same balance with the KPS88?

    So you can basically add 29grams of lead at the balance point of the AK90 and make it play like a KPS88 but with a 90 head. But I'm sure it won't be that simple...
     
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  20. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    Not that I know of, but I don't know for sure. I've owned many AN90's and never noticed any differences other than due to quality control common with Wilsons.
    Again, the cosmetics are identical, including the spec stickers. You can't tell the difference from just looking at the frames anywhere. The only way to tell any difference is by playing with them.
     
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  21. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    The KPS88 already does have a 90 sq. in. head. Check that headsize thread.

    This one: http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=244169
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2009
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  22. corners

    corners Legend

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    BP, thanks for the info on the three AK90 versions. I thought I read somewhere that the later versions are stiffer than the first as well.

    Why did Wilson make these different versions? I've always been leary of trying an Asian version because it seems to me that making a lighter version of a frame is a little bit gimmicky - like it couldn't possibly have the same characteristics as the original, so why not just try a different frame. But since so many posters at TW have positive relationships with the AK90 I'm considering getting one.

    The fact that Wilson brought out the first version, being more headlight - like the USK90 - seems like they were making the miniature, a replica. The third version, being less headlight gives me the impression they were actually trying to make something that plays well -I've noticed other lighter weight players frames with higher balance than the heftier ones. Is that your impression as well?

    Finally, in terms of the differences between 1st and 3rd in balance and swingweight, how large are the differences?

    Thanks
     
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  23. GasquetGOAT

    GasquetGOAT Hall of Fame

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    I see. Thanks for the clarification.
     
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  24. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    The first version may have felt a tad more flexible because they probably used less graphite in the hoop to make it more headlight but with the side effect that the hoop was also a tad more flexible. It's a great racquet but I found that the swingweight was lower than what I was used to and since there was less weight in the head the power was also a bit lacking (something lead tape could easily solve). I complained about this (and I'm sure others did as well) so Wilson started making later ones with more weight in the head, so less headlight and with a higher swingweight. I would estimate the SW of the 1st version to be around 317, while the 3rd version to be closer to 325.
     
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  25. raygo

    raygo Semi-Pro

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    I agree with your analysis. :) I've tweaked my own racquets and they feel completely different from before (in a good way). Makes me wonder how important the racquet itself is, if you're going to customize weight/balance/swingweight anyway. :confused: (That was a rhetorical question, in case anyone has an itchy 'reply' finger.)

    350g is a good weight for the K90 with the balance you described. Very solid...it seems a little too flimsy bone stock.
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2009
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  26. corners

    corners Legend

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    Hey Raygo,

    Where did you apply lead to get to 350g? And how does your AK90 350g compare to the USK90 (if you've hit that frame)? Thanks
     
    #26
  27. corners

    corners Legend

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    Thanks BP. So to clarify, there's no way to tell if an AK90 is 1st or 3rd gen, aside from measuring balance/swingweight?

    Also, as I mentioned earlier in this thread, the local shops here in China have AK90s in stock. I've compared these frames to my own USK90 and note only two differences:

    1) One shop, the shop my local friend recommended, has an AK90 with "R" (registered trademark) on the outside of the hoop, just below the PWS. My own USK90 has "TM" in this position, as do the AK90s at three or four other shops here.

    2) Compared to mine, all the AK90s I've seen here have a slightly duller, more matte finish to the paint, while my USK90 is has a more satiny finish.


    What do you (or anyone else:)) make of these differences?

    Thanks
     
    #27
  28. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    Correct, or by playing with them.

    All my AK90's also have "TM" printed below the PWS.
    I've never noticed any difference in finish between the AK90's and the US K90's.
     
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  29. corners

    corners Legend

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    OK, Thanks again BP!
     
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  30. raygo

    raygo Semi-Pro

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    Never hit with the US K90, but I've always been curious! I put 12g underneath the trap door and 4 underneath the top of the grip. That gave me the 310mm balance (SW was about 310 according to the DIY method, if I remember correctly). It was very maneuverable with that setup. I've come to prefer a heavier swingweight (340-350), though, and a balance around 320mm...it feels much more solid and doesn't get pushed around by the ball compared to the old setup. Depends on what you're looking for. Good luck!
     
    #30
  31. BOZO

    BOZO Rookie

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    My 3 AK90 fall right about 4-5 point head light that's why I prefer USK90 but my AN90 is identical 6 point that's why I still keep using ; ) .. I wish I will get some more AN90 when I go back to my country.
     
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  32. mawashi

    mawashi Hall of Fame

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    I have a 2nd hand AK90 n it feels like it's 9 pts hl strung n weights in only at 342g. I really hope it's a 1st generation n not a fake.

    The 3rd generation if there is such a thing is reasonably nice but I would really prefer it to be slightly softer as a frame that weights in at 350 - 351g doesn't have quite the plow through of the us version n a bit of softness won't hurt.

    mawashi
     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2009
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  33. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    It sounds like you have a 1st Gen AK90.

    The 3rd Gen has more plow through due to the more head heavy balance.
     
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  34. mawashi

    mawashi Hall of Fame

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    Ah... thanks again BP.

    mawashi
     
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  35. GasquetGOAT

    GasquetGOAT Hall of Fame

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    Both of my AK and AN90 have the "R" instead of "TM". The AK90 was bought in China and the AN90 was originally from Singapore.
     
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  36. GasquetGOAT

    GasquetGOAT Hall of Fame

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    Thanks for the confirmation. I feel better now.:)

    Why don't you try adding some lead on the handle to make them more headlight if you prefer 6 pts HL?
     
    #36
  37. BOZO

    BOZO Rookie

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    I have done modified some racquet before and it didn't come out right so I just stay away with it. Moreover, I feel USK90 is much better than AK90.
     
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  38. s18sshoot

    s18sshoot New User

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    THREE different versions of the AK90?what are they?
     
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  39. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    I just said what they are in my post which you quoted, i.e., versions 1, 2 and 3.
     
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  40. GasquetGOAT

    GasquetGOAT Hall of Fame

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    I see. To me, the only difference between US K90 and the AK90 is the USK90 has more weight in the handle hence more headlight and over all heavier. The mass in the hoop should be no different between the two. When I modified my AK90 to around 350g, it felt nice and solid not much difference to stock US K90. But each to his own. :)
     
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