BB Melbourne Club

Discussion in 'Racquets' started by TennisMaverick, Jan 7, 2011.

  1. gregor.b

    gregor.b Professional

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    Thanks heaps for that.Time to spend some cash.If only we had a demo program in Oz.Ah well,as Ned Kelly said, 'Such is Life'.
     
  2. TennisMaverick

    TennisMaverick Banned

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    My PB 10 MP/Melbourne comparison is buried somewhere, but I wouldn't even try to hunt it down!

    The Melbourne's string bed is more responsive and the ball cupping is greater, but, the PB 10 MP is more precise--it's Volkl's most scalpel-like frame. The Melbourne generates spin easier, but the feedback to the hand, when hitting off center, is not as precise as the PB 10 MP(I have two pristine frames looking for a new home).

    The fact that you hit better with the PB 10 MP than the London, tells me that you hit a flatter ball, and, can handle the heft of the stick. The BB London is a Volkl 9-line frame, so it is lighter, and designed for faster swings than the 10-line, so using some wrist with the London, is natural. Want to stop? Increase string tension, but use a multi, to keep the dwell time. I will continue to insist that those who have trouble with the London's string bed and it's pop, haven't strung it properly. If my assumption is correct, and you hit a flatter ball, I would recommend the PB 10 MP over the Melbourne.
     
  3. DevilDog

    DevilDog Rookie

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    Thanks!
    What is the "more popular knot" called?
     
  4. TennisMaverick

    TennisMaverick Banned

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    Parnell knot.

    Found this 4U:

    http://www. youtube. com/watch?v=IWx3iVPZl_c
    http://www. youtube .com/watch?v=mGQW_ONBPPo&feature=related
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2011
  5. sphinx780

    sphinx780 Professional

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    Hey TM and Devil Dog:

    Found the knot pic from the PB10 thread for you.

    Now you've got me as curious as can be on this TM...would this be similar to the PC knot?
     
  6. Hominator

    Hominator Hall of Fame

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    TM would know - he strung that PB10 Mid for me.
     
  7. TennisMaverick

    TennisMaverick Banned

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    That PC knot in the video is basically a Parnell Knot.
     
  8. DevilDog

    DevilDog Rookie

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    TM, how many points HL do you think the Melbourne will be with the BB leather grip?
     
  9. louis netman

    louis netman Hall of Fame

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    I have a demo frame sitting on my bench and this one's 10pts HL, with TW (wide) leather and a Yonex Super Grap overgrip.

    To TM- Haven't hit with it yet , but I'm thinking it will be just a bit too much weight up top for my shoulder (old rotator cuff tear). I hit with it against the garage door and I can already tell that it's a sweet hit...
     
  10. TennisMaverick

    TennisMaverick Banned

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    I'd be surprised if it moved one point.
     
  11. TennisMaverick

    TennisMaverick Banned

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    The BS that you read here that heavy frames are bad for damaged shoulders is inaccurate, as too light a frame can upset the shoulder joint as well as too heavy. There is a big difference between using a frame which is too heavy, vs, a frame which is the heaviest that you can use--which is what takes stress away from the joints, rotator cuff or otherwise. I've torn mine three times, and the third tear caused nerve damage. I still use the same weight frame which I used as a player, and actually, my PB 10 Mid is heavier, and my new London Tour is slightly lighter, at 370 grams.

    Bottom Line: Never stop doing PT on a daily basis because the injury is always there, symptomatic or not.
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2011
  12. sunof tennis

    sunof tennis Professional

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    Thanks Tennis Maverick. Great advice. At 4.5+/-, the PB10 MP is great to hit with, but maybe slightly out of my leagues as I seem to do better in matches with the London. Although, it may make a better tennis player to stick with the PB10, but I am interested in at least trying the Melbourne as you speak so highly of it. I may also go back and demo the PB10 Mid as I only hit with it once. Loved hitting forehands with it, but I was experimenting with a two handed backhand at the time due to TE and that is not a racquet for strokes that are not developed. Thanks again.
     
  13. OldButGame

    OldButGame Hall of Fame

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    Really interesting comparison TM !!!....I love the PB10 MP,....and was looking at the Melbourne,.....but maybe I'd be better off getting a second PB10. Good analogies about the 'scalpel',....really true,...(I'd buy yours but I'm kinda compulsive about buyin new,...specially at sale prices!!) :)
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2011
  14. TennisMaverick

    TennisMaverick Banned

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    Hey old man....check your email!
     
  15. sphinx780

    sphinx780 Professional

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    Alrighty,

    I've got a Melbourne in hand and will see what we've got on our hands here after 3 sets of doubles tonight. Will be sure to share my thoughts and initial impressions tomorrow.

    The singles will have to wait til next week but it should be interesting.
     
  16. TennisMaverick

    TennisMaverick Banned

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    I have 1.75 grams on the bridge and an Agassi dampener, for a total of 2 grams, so if you hit flat, use the dampener.
     
  17. DevilDog

    DevilDog Rookie

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    It finally stopped raining and I got to hit with the new string job.
    57M / 54C Gamma Asterisk 17 is a very sweet setup in the Melbourne.
     
  18. sphinx780

    sphinx780 Professional

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    After 2.5 hours of doubles last night I have my first impressions of the Melbourne strung with isospeed control at 56/53 per tom4ny's string job using a 3g dampener.

    First a bit about me. 33y/o 4.5 all court player. My forehand is SW with a long stroke that I would say shear's the ball. So it's a flatter trajectory, the topspin catches at the end bring it in. I add more Topspin as needed. I use a 2bh for controlling the point but also use a slice for defense and variety.

    First impression: This is one plush ride. I always loved how comfortable the BB11 was when hitting but after an hour on the Melbourne, I put the BB11 back in the bag after two shots, there is a highly noticeable difference in comfort.

    Groundstrokes: Wow. For my long, aggressive swings this racquet gave me all the power I needed with an added level of precision that made it deadly. I could attribute a lot of this to the feedback that such a stable stick provides. I did notice when I hit the sweet spot, as others have mentioned but this seemed to only increase the ball pocketing and spin production of my stroke from both sides. This made for very easy access to changing the pace, spin and trajectory of shots directed at the net man. My weekly hitting partner in singles will not be pleased with this added ability.

    Volley's: Touch? Check. Put-aways? Check. Stability and Maneuverability on reaction shots? Check. I never had an issue with the BB11's ability to volley, but I had to be 'feeling it' to have the perfect blend of touch and power...with the Melbourne, I don't have to compensate for the frame's limitations, an off day will still be a great day for volleying.

    Serves: I'll wait on this one to see how it performs when my legs are fresh. With the BB11 I could cheat when the hip flexors and lower back tighten up by using the mass of the stick to generate easy power. I didn't feel like I could get away with that with the Melbourne, but I usually don't play a 3 hours singles match the day before. I could locate my serve just as easily but what I really want to test out before making an opinion is how my serve flies on all cylinders as the access to spin and the sweet spot should make this a very formidable weapon for both my flat and slice serves.

    My opinion is that TM's reviews of this stick are spot on. It plays like an old school graphite frame but with an added stability through the hoop that you don't find often in todays sticks. This took everything great about the BB11, took the additional touches from the Legend and corrected both of their flaws to offer a response, feel and maneuverability that I have never found in a stock stick.

    That being said, I don't find it a challenging frame to use at the 4.5 level and I'm guessing that's due to my game style compared to a flat hitter or someone with abbreviated strokes.

    I'll be sure to update as I continue the extended demo but right now this is a clear contender for my main stick. Singles will be the true test and dialing in the serve, which is traditionally the strongest shot in my game.
     
  19. tom4ny

    tom4ny Semi-Pro

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    Great review! I agree with all of your assessments and am glad that your first experience with the Melbourne was so positive. Dialing in on serve may take a while as I didnt get the sense of much free power from the Melbourne. Everything else you said I agree 100%, especially about comfort and volleys. Good luck in your singles match!
     
  20. TennisMaverick

    TennisMaverick Banned

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    The ball cupping ability really helps on serves if you use a lot of wrist action to grind the ball. The stick gives you a lot of time to make the ball's RPM move in the direction that you want--like pitching curve balls, sliders, and fast balls. If you don't use a lot of wrist or don't swing very violently, you'll still find a lot of pop with flatter serves and a lot of swinging spin with slices.
     
  21. basil J

    basil J Hall of Fame

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    Nicely done

    Very nice review. I like that you added some comments on the contrats between the BB 11 & Legend, both good frames in their own right, but lacking the stability I was looking for.
     
  22. sphinx780

    sphinx780 Professional

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    Basil- with how close you came to keeping the legend, I think you owe it to yourself to demo if you get a chance.

    TM- Many many thanks for your impressions on the sticks and helping me get a near perfect idea of how this stick would feel in hand given my racquet history. It gave me the frame to refernce to pull the trigger.
     
  23. TennisMaverick

    TennisMaverick Banned

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    It is an impressive stick. If I were to start competing again, this would be my stick until I start moving slower than my opponents, then, I would go to the X10 325 to short-hop groundies--or the PB 7 if I lost more than one step. BB DC takes traditional graphite frames to a new level. The lines have really split now, as Organix, beam shape, and putting it in all four poles, puts Volkl into the future of tennis. BB/Volkl will give players a real choice as to how they want to play and how they treat their bodies.
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2011
  24. sphinx780

    sphinx780 Professional

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    I'm glad to hear Tom's sentiments of the stick echoed mine.

    Hopefully my very subjective review when referencing my stick background will help others get an idea of whether this is worth a test run or not.

    I find that referring back to the familiar is the best way for me to understand how a stick plays and hopefully that'll benefit others too.
     
  25. louis netman

    louis netman Hall of Fame

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    TM- i'm back to my "therapy frames," -- and it's becoming obvious that all great frames should be therapeutic-- never harmful. melbourne and PB 10 are rockin K-A frames! thanx for the head's up in my other thread...
     
  26. gregor.b

    gregor.b Professional

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    I am now officially excited because in about 13 hours I will be hitting with my new Melbourne.By all accounts this should be,if nothing else,a nice comfortable ride.Will report back afterwards for a comparison to the Organix 10.
     
  27. TennisMaverick

    TennisMaverick Banned

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    Check out my "BB Melbourne vs X10 325" thread:

    http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=377746
     
  28. sphinx780

    sphinx780 Professional

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    I am definitely a heavy wrist user and swing pretty violently. I tend to use a hard flat serve for 90% of my firsts with the occasional slice to keep the opponent off balance. My second has always been a higher arced slice that I move around the box pretty well.

    When fatigue sets in to my hips my swing with the BB 11 slows down dramatically and I use the racquet mass to come down on the ball and direct the flat first serve. I find a combination of my wrist snap and the racquet balance allows me to get away with this. I couldn't get that from the Melbourne on the first try...but that is always my plan B serve when the arm and body are telling me I've pushed too far.
     
  29. TennisMaverick

    TennisMaverick Banned

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    The BB 11's string bed has more pop than the Melbourne, which was its primary negative issue; it was over-powered for a 10-line frame and its dwell time was too short, so it lacked feel--Boris never liked it, and he worked with R&D on it, even the SE. However, for those who needed the power, it fit. IMPO they should tame it and re-release it with DC instead of DNX. Its balance was very polarized, in numerous axis, but the Melbourne, addresses all of those issues. It's a better racquet by far.

    As far as fatigue is concerned, it happens at all levels with the serve. That is why at GS events, many player's serves disintegrate after the middle of the fourth set; their legs are gone, and the modern serve is about legs--you're in good company. Perhaps you should change how you use your legs to last through the whole match. Think about losing 10-15% overall, but having that 85-90% for a whole match. You'll probably win more.
     
  30. gregor.b

    gregor.b Professional

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    Righto! Have just finished a fairly solid hitting session with the Melbourne (not a match) and,if anyone cares,here is what I reckon.A two hour session of c/c drills,returning drills and volley drills ( no serves due to tricep injury)and I am not sure I will have too much positive support after what I have read from many of the posters.On a run of the mill,everyday c/c rally with 3/4 court heavy ball,I felt that the racquet lacked a little stability in the upper hoop.Before the haters want my head on a platter,I feel as though this racquet actually plays better slightly lower in the hoop ( maybe 1-2 strings).Next,what I found on returns was quite pleasing.Having come from a 340 plus s/w I found it refreshing being able to get through the return (when I could lay my racquet on the ball or it wasn't above my head) and really drilling the b/h return if the serve was a touch short.Easy stick for returning.On volleys,I think everyone on these boards have said it better than I could.This thing is ridiculous.I could control balls that were past me,balls that were at me,balls that were at my b*lls,high,low,etc.I tried to miss a volley,half volley and couldn't (maybe I didn't try too much to miss).My only real issue (which for me is a BIG ISSUE),is the BIG shot.There was a slight flutter in the hoop which I don't think I can live with.For me,almost,but not quite.
     
  31. TennisMaverick

    TennisMaverick Banned

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    Why don't you just play the ball in the sweet spot?

    No matter what the stick is, the sweet spot is going to get met after the 2nd or 3rd ball, and every ball after, regardless of where that matches-up to my regular stick.
     
  32. gregor.b

    gregor.b Professional

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    I am not a tall/big guy, (5/9, 155) and have always preferred to take the ball a little higher in the hoop on the f/h,but unfortunately for me,it seems the racquet does not lend itself to this.On the b/h,not an issue,I get behind the ball,but I like to give myself room on the f/h and I find the flutter a little disconcerting.No such issue with my old bats.It almost feels as though the racquet needs more weight up high.
     
  33. TennisMaverick

    TennisMaverick Banned

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    You lose a lot when you don't use the sweet spot. Hitting higher in the string bed, above the sweet spot, to accomplish additional leverage, would be counter-productive. If you think that you personally get more off the ball by having the top of the frame doing more of the driving, then modify the frame to do so and hit in the sweet spot for the maximum response.
     
  34. gregor.b

    gregor.b Professional

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    So you would suggest lead at 3 and 9,10 and 2 or 12? I have never been a big fan of modding but in this one I will make an exception as it does so many things so well.
     
  35. TennisMaverick

    TennisMaverick Banned

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    Are you slapping a flat FH or are you rotating the racquet's tip for topspin?
     
  36. gregor.b

    gregor.b Professional

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    I hit very few if any balls flat,maybe the occasional first serve return but otherwise,the shot is typically rotational,one way or the other.Mate,I have invested a lot of time and money trying to find new racquets and am starting to become frustrated.My blades are starting to show some signs of wear (slight vibration even in the middle) and I need a go to stick.
     
  37. TennisMaverick

    TennisMaverick Banned

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    The Blade has a lot of heft in the head. To match it, try .5 inch of 1/2 in wide lead tape, sliced in half, putting each 1/4 in piece on the upper area of the Melbourne's hoop, directly on the black section of the DC Wing, by the 3rd/4th cross from the top. See how that works for you FH.

    Have you tried the X10 295? I know that it is 16x19, but the bite is huge, and the ball does not fly as many 16 mains do. The center 12 mains are very tight. It is much like the Blade.
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2011
  38. DevilDog

    DevilDog Rookie

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    I changed from a PDR+ so I hit the ball very high in the hoop with lots of spin. I haven't noticed anything but a solid feel all the way to the top of the frame. I have mine strung at 57M/54C with multi and the sweet spot is huge.

    Was the racquet you used a demo?
     
  39. sphinx780

    sphinx780 Professional

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    I think you nailed it on returns and volleys from my impressions as well.

    For the big shot issue, TM is much more adept at diagnosing than I ever would be but the one piece of information I would like to get from you is, what is your swing path/swing style like?

    The reason I ask is that I felt this way with the BB11 at first (which is much more pronounced in it's flaws) but after finding a groove with the stroke and timing, I didn't find that same issue going forward after 4-5 hitting sessions. I felt this was due to a different balance point from my prior racquet (dnx10 MP) shifting my timing slightly.
     
  40. sphinx780

    sphinx780 Professional

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    From my impressions, I'm in 100% agreement here. What I'm finding off the ground with the Melbourne is that I am hitting a much more consistently aggressive ball than I did with the BB11 due to the dwell time. Their may have been more power off the 11 bed but unless I was in optimum hitting position to pull the trigger I had to go for a safer ball because of the potential for it spraying off target.

    Of course, I still think that the maneuverability makes up for this by allowing me to hit that big shot with just as much pace because of how much quicker I am able to get through the ball.
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2011
  41. gregor.b

    gregor.b Professional

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    No.A brand newie from TW.Strung by me with Mantis power syn.at 50M 47C.
     
  42. gregor.b

    gregor.b Professional

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    I will give that a crack and see how it goes.I have tried the X 295 but found it well under the weight of what I prefer.My blades come in at 330 strung.With the X 295 I did a back to back hit with the X 10 325 and much preferred the latter. If it volleyed even close to the Melbourne,I would probably use it but as I get older,I find myself getting to net more and more.An interesting thing.My friend put the X10 325 on a scale and the Volkl came in at 330 strung.We were a little surprised.We understood these to be +/- 5 grams.
     
  43. Hominator

    Hominator Hall of Fame

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    Have you tried the X10 325? I'm thinking you might like it.
     
  44. gregor.b

    gregor.b Professional

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    This was my first hit with this thing,and my weight of shot was not quite as heavy on my f/h which is ,as for most people,the shot I do the most damage with.The off f/h was definitely less of an issue than the c/c.I could not penetrate through the court (hard) as I normally do and did not appear that I was getting the jump off the court as I do with my old sticks.My strokes are fairly classic style with long swings and average headspeed unless trying to finish a point where obviously the RHS increases dramatically.
     
  45. gregor.b

    gregor.b Professional

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    Yes I have and yes I did.My only issues were that the one at the pro shop weighed 330 strung (should be 340?) and it was nowhere near as good at net as the Melbourne.I have not completely taken my eye off this one.
     
  46. gregor.b

    gregor.b Professional

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    So is the BB 11 still available? Sounds like it might be a fun hit.
     
  47. Hominator

    Hominator Hall of Fame

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    I play tested it when it came out and thought it wad good, but not great. I tried it again a couple weeks ago and really liked it. I've since made the switch.
     
  48. TennisMaverick

    TennisMaverick Banned

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    That's why the frame was problematic. The Mid was even worse. But they sold well because non-Volkl players liked them, especially the Mid. I had to weigh mine-up to 390 plus grams and string at 65 lbs to control the ball. The PB 10 Mid saved me.
     
  49. TennisMaverick

    TennisMaverick Banned

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    Nothing is going to be as good at the net as the Melbourne for a 98in2. Perhaps the Prestige or Dunlop 300, but they are not as stable on half-volleys. The Melbourne is also far softer than its listed stiffness rating on TW, so there is a ton of feel.
     
  50. sphinx780

    sphinx780 Professional

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    It's a great hit. But I was referring to the Melbourne's ability to get through the ball faster. Used is the only way you'll find an 11 these days.

    If you did find one, make sure to keep the string bed under 55lbs...I'm not sure if it was the DNX or what but the complexion of the stick went from very playable to an uncontrolled mess. The 11 would only accentuate the lack of stability in the upper hoop that you are finding in your Melbourne (which still surprises me).
     

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