Calling all Kneissl experts

Discussion in 'Classic Racquet Talk' started by TCTEN, Nov 26, 2011.

  1. TCTEN

    TCTEN Rookie

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    In my ongoing quest to expand my racquet collection I have been fortunate enough to acquire a very nice "White Star Masters 30". My request from you experts out there is to enlighten me with any info regarding this frame such as.. what does the "30" signify.. what years was this frame in production..etc. Any and all info would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance fellas, look forward to your replies.
     
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  2. TCTEN

    TCTEN Rookie

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  3. Don't Let It Bounce

    Don't Let It Bounce Hall of Fame

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    I'm not an expert, but I remember the frames, and I can at least get you started.

    The Masters 30 was the successor to the White Star Mid, which you're more likely to see on auction these days. It came out in the mid-late 80's, and the "30" referred to its head size being 30% larger than standard, which (if it really was 30% larger, and it wasn't just a marketing approximation like many companies have done and do) would make it somewhere in the 85 to 90 sq" range. My memory, for what little that's worth, has it at the smaller end of that range.

    Nice-looking stick, as so many Kneissls have been. If someone who knows more than I do of posting pics can help with making those pics visible, I'd enjoy seeing one again.
     
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  4. racquetfreak

    racquetfreak Semi-Pro

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  5. chrischris

    chrischris Hall of Fame

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    How does it play?
     
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  6. TCTEN

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    Great, so the "30" refers to the head size which is 30% larger than the standard of 70 sq. in.?
     
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  7. TCTEN

    TCTEN Rookie

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    Just got it yesterday and haven't had a chance to hit with it yet. Don't have court time until Saturday (too cold to hit outside up here in good old MN :(). Its gonna be a long week cause I can't wait to try her out.
     
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  8. retrowagen

    retrowagen Hall of Fame

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    Kneissl made this frame (in Kufstein, Tirol, Austria) in 1986 and 1987. It's a 92-sq-in (30% larger than "standard," as other posters have identified) graphite-fiberglass composite, and the same frame as the White Star Mid it replaced under its graphics.

    Plays like a nice all-around frame of its era; not limited to either baseline topspin play or S&V, but can transition easily between either. A little flexy by modern standards; a little less manoeuverable than other similar frames of its day and ilk (Puma BB Winner; Wilson JK Staff; Prince Graphite Comp Series 90, etc.); makes cool "air rifle" sound on ball impact (from hollow core construction), etc.
     
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  9. TCTEN

    TCTEN Rookie

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    Excellent, thanks for the info Retro.
     
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  10. Hannah19

    Hannah19 Professional

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    Is there anything this guy does not know concerning tennis rackets?
     
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  11. chrischris

    chrischris Hall of Fame

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    Ok, let us know!.. i am interested in hearing your evaluation.:)
     
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  12. chrischris

    chrischris Hall of Fame

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    Hope not, he is a great source , dont you agree?
     
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  13. Hannah19

    Hannah19 Professional

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    absolutely.......!!
     
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  14. TCTEN

    TCTEN Rookie

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    Will do this weekend.
     
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  15. Colpo

    Colpo Professional

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    Generally agree, although I Googled "Kufstein" and it doesn't exist! (I keed, I keed...Retro rules!)

    The thing one immediately notices when hitting with an '80s Kneissl nowadays is how shaft-heavy they are. The shafts were in fact sculpted in a manner that was reminiscent of the shafts of classic wood frames, with their thickness and bevels intact. As a result, you get a solid hitting, whippy frame that, particularly in the case of the 30/Mid or the earlier Big, could be somewhat unwieldy on a hard/faster surface. Between the static weight, the heavy shaft, and the wide, eggy face, they were alot of bat to get through the strike zone with consistency. Best player I ever saw with a 30, not that there have been many or even several, was an Italian guy then in his 30s who played on slow red clay only and could just skewer his challengers on that surface with both his short and long games. He had plenty of set up time, and he used the cushioned, flexy response of the 30 to literally hold his shots. I hit with him once and started to feel it in my thighs about 20 minutes in. A nice player who could have succeeded with any frame, but really matched well on his preferred surface with the Masters 30.
     
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  16. retrowagen

    retrowagen Hall of Fame

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    Haha, Triumph, there really *is* a Kufstein, and a kitschy Austrian folk song to go with it!

    Great comments about the M30, Colpo, thanks for that. The comments on the shaft design and characteristics were spot-on. Fischers of the same era also had different molds pertaining to the integrally-moulded grips... no pallets at all! (I think in the case of Fischer, the practice ended with the move of their tennis production to China). One really can't help but feel connected to the frame, without any high- or medium-density foam pallet between the grip and hairpin to quell the vibes. If nothing else, the WS Mid / M30 suffered from its really hunky shoulders. They are massive, and make the frame so torsionally stable as perhaps to be almost cumbersome. Sublime for half-volleys, though, IMHO.

    The best player I knew of using the WS Mid / M30 was "The Bouncing Czech," Milan Šrejber, the 6'-8" tall giant from Prague who played the ATP tour in the late 80's, earning a few scalps of top-ten players while on the scene (mostly by the virtue of his monster, coming-from-the-third-floor serve - his game was reportedly otherwise rather 2-D). Later in his life he was arrested on fraud or corruption charges (embezzlement and illegal skid-greasing political contributions), and nowadays, according to the Internets, is keeping it real as a real estate developer in the Czech Republic.
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2011
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  17. Colpo

    Colpo Professional

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    That guy was huge. I recall he knocked off Becker, no small fry himself, from out of nowhere at the Boca West event (now Key Biscayne). One minute he was a major up and comer, the next he was being assailed by his fellow pro and the tennis media for unabashedly throwing matches (I recall an incident of a delayed post-match handshake by Timmy Mayotte where Milan's lack of effort was just plain abominable.)

    Back to the Kneissls, I'm straining to recall any other pros who played the Mid/30 or Big headsize. A Maleeva sister played the M25. The Brazilian one-hit wonder Carlos Kirmayr final'ed at the Forest Hills event in 1981 with the monoshaft version of the WS Mid, a completely different frame.
     
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  18. chrischris

    chrischris Hall of Fame

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    TCTEN , how was it to hit with??
     
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  19. TCTEN

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    Still haven't had a chance to hit with it yet.. (winter in MN sucks:-()... although I'm itching to. Have court time tomorrow morning though and I will be certain to leave my impression of the Kneissl shortly after.
     
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  20. TCTEN

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    All right I finally got out on the court with this beautiful frame and after all the ooohs, aaahs and questions about this curious racquet from my buddies I got to have a hit with it. My first impression was that it plays lighter than I would expect at 12.4 oz.,as a result its pretty quick at the net due to the HL balance. It has a fairly generous sweet spot which seems to be centered low on the face... I suspect this is the result of the egg shaped hoop.

    I didn't like it quite as much while hitting from the back court however, it doesn't have the same stability or plow through that I get with my Head Graphite Pro or Rossi F200 and it certainly can't match the pop I can get on serves and groundies that I get with the other two, especially the Head GP. I do have to say though that it has serious spin potential, the 16x19 pattern and 92in. head make this a wicked spin machine.

    To recap, my assessment of this racquet is as follows,
    Nice to volley with, HL quickness, generous sweet spot.
    A little weak on serves and groundies.
    Big time spin potential.

    All that said though I am extremely pleased to have this beauty added to my collection. To me the composite classics of the 80's are the most desirable due to their unique and aesthetically pleasing designs while being just as playable as current racquets.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2011
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  21. gregor.b

    gregor.b Professional

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    That is one sweet looking stick. Looks a bit like the Estusa Becker shape wise.
     
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  22. TCTEN

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    Yeah I have to agree that head shape is very similar to the Puma/Estusa Becker frames. I'm not sure but I believe that Kneissl was the first to have the "egg" shaped heads. Also, if I'm not mistaken the Adidas Lendl frames were almost identical to the Kneissl's with exception of the paint job . Besides the head shape, another unique aspect of these frames is the sculpted shaft which is very reminiscent of wooden racquets, these traits really add to the cool factor of Kneissl frames if you ask me.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2011
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  23. stapletonj

    stapletonj Semi-Pro

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    Funny, I had one of the 20s back in the day and could
    serve like a big dog with it. Volleying was sweet too, just couldn't get any real penetration on groundies.
     
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  24. TCTEN

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    To be sure I didn,t mean to imply that the 30 is a poor serving racquet, it just didn't have that rocket launcher feel that my Graphite Pro does. Furthermore for those who like to put a lot of spin on their serve its an excellent stick.
     
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  25. michael valek

    michael valek Rookie

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    re comments on Milan Šrejber, sounds like typical post communist czech behaviour (the corruption stuff). its ok, i'm half czech. next time im over there i'll be trying to source some more old kneissls, put your orders in.
     
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  26. rodracquet

    rodracquet Rookie

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    Just wishing to promote my Kneissl Elite Star racquets.
    [​IMG]
     
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  27. TCTEN

    TCTEN Rookie

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    Very cool racquets rod, never seen them before. Do you have specs for them?
     
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  28. TCTEN

    TCTEN Rookie

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    Since you're offering, see if you can find me a nice GTX pro.:)
     
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  29. RiggensAuroraHO

    RiggensAuroraHO Rookie

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  30. rodracquet

    rodracquet Rookie

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    Sorry not a routine contributor so only a year or so late.

    95 sq in 55lbs 325g-335g 100% high modulus graphite, 72v D.A ultra firm, Vostik system which was sensational no tennis elbow.

    [​IMG]
     
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  31. Autodidactic player

    Autodidactic player Semi-Pro

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    OK, here's my contribution. The Kneissl White Star AERO 30 Club. What's interesting about thuis racket is that it has an independent grommet strip covering the string holes and making the exterior of the racket smooth.

    [​IMG]
     
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  32. joe sch

    joe sch Hall of Fame

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    Excellent memory recall on the "air rifle" sound point as a result of the hollow core construction which is how almost all the modern rackets are made, ie air shells. Also good point regarding the lack of high- or medium-density foam pallet between the grip and hairpin to quell the vibes. I love the flex and feel provided with the fiberglass mix with the old school graphite. The standard white star pro is one of my favorite hitters of all time.
     
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  33. RiggensAuroraHO

    RiggensAuroraHO Rookie

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    That is the best part; the grip is part of the frame, so you feel everything! And the White Star Pro had kevlar in it, so it was soft with great feel.
     
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  34. retrowagen

    retrowagen Hall of Fame

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    Sorry, at the risk of sounding super pedantic, the White Star Pro was a Graphite-Fiberglass composite; the White Star Lendl Pro, its replacement, the White Star Pro Masters, and its replacement, the Masters 10, were Graphite-Fiberglass-Kevlar composites, all from the same mold.

    Also from the same mold, at various times, was the Red Star Pro (Graphite-Fiberglass-Boron), and Super Pro Vario (Graphite-Fiberglass-Kevlar with adjustable balance system).

    The Adidas Lendl GTX and its replacement, the Lendl GTX Pro-T, were made from the same mold, too, but were Graphite-Fiberglass composites. The first run of the Lendl GTX's were made by Kneissl in Kufstein, Tirol, Austria. Later, Adidas secured the molds and grommet molds from Kneissl and made the frames at a facility in France.

    It should also be mentioned in passing that another company who made grip palletless frames (e.g., each racquet grip size was molded in a slightly different mold, with corresponding grip size molded in, so that no added foam or plastic pallet was needed beneath the grip to achieve that size), was Fischer (also of Austria) - until they switched production to Taiwan and China circa 1993.
     
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  35. joe sch

    joe sch Hall of Fame

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    Thanks for being so pedantic.
    I left off the Lendl on the WSP and I also loved hitting with the later adidas GTX Pro-T's
     
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  36. Don't Let It Bounce

    Don't Let It Bounce Hall of Fame

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    Did Pavel Slozil ever play with the WS Big?
     
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