Discussion in 'Racquets' started by Kevin T, Aug 20, 2006.
Patiently awaiting your kind feedback!
I'm interested too, a friend of mine is looking to pick up a few retros
Oops, sorry, I just saw this post.
I indeed bought a few Retros a few months ago, as they were being discounted by an online retailer (TW never sold this frame). I could only get them in 4 & 1/2 grips, which I had to build up to 5/8 (my size) with a sleeve. Not a bad thing since it adds the right amount of weight to the racquet, which is a bit light in stock form. The frames also came with a bunch of Retro 6-pack bags (one per racquet!), which look cool but are flimsier than regular Fischer bags (the Retro bags are basically a nylon shell, with no hard support at the bottom).
Cosmetically, the Retros look nice, but rather basic. Simple grey paint with 4 red lines on the side and on the bottom of the hoop. Nothing like the works of art of previous versions, but I kinda like the stark Germanic simplicity of this new look, similar to my 1980's Fischer RC-4 skis and the old Stan Smith snowshoe monoshaft racquet. It seems that Fischer was trying to cut costs a little bit on this model: old mold, basic paint, half racquet cover, which I have not seen in a long time (it adds to the Retro effect, I guess), and cheap bag. But the specs are as tight as ever for Fischer: the racquets came with stickers stating the actual weight and balance, and all of them were between 2 grams of each other (319 - 321). Excellent Fischer quality control, as always.
How do they play? Very nicely, I must say. With the added 12 grams of the build-up sleeve (and no added lead) and TF red code strings at 55, they are at the 12 oz mark, just right. I've always liked thin-gauge poly in Fischer frames, there's something about the flex of the racquet and the bite of the strings in that combination that produces nice feel and control, with tons of spin, especially on the slice backhand. I find the Retros to play very nicely from all parts of the court, but they are volleying machines! Perfect flex for touch and angles at the net. They are not underpowered from the back court either, as I initially feared. I could no longer play with the Vacuum Pro 90, I must admit, even though I loved it 10 years ago. It is simply too demanding a frame, especially on clay where one has to generate one's own power. But the Retro 98 has a lot of similar characteristics in a larger head. Does it contain SIC ceramics? It says so on the racquet... Despite the controversy on this issue, I would bet that there IS indeed some ceramics in the layup. That distinctive muted, elastic yet solid feel of the Retro is too similar to the old Fischers for it not to contain ceramics. It's just a guess, however. I have one Vacuum classic 98 with air carbon (the yellow version), which came from the exact same mold, and is also a very nice racquet in its own right, but the air carbon version feels significantly different and more generic (Wilson-like, etc.). So really, for the price, the Retro is a true gem of a racquet that should appeal to Fischer fans. Is it the exact same thing as previous incarnations? No, simply because it's 320 grams and not 330, but it's really really close to past Fischers, and a little customization (as simple as putting on a heavier leather grip) could easily bridge that gap.
Thanks so much for digging up this old thread. You can still get this frame for a reasonable price from Canada on the big auction site. I think I'll give it a shot. Happy holidays.
I'm a long-time Fischer user and agree 100% with Fabrice's comment about the current Air-Carbon layup feeling more 'generic' than the classic Ceramic fiber Fischers of the 1990's/early 2000's. They simply have an awesome, unique feel that is unmatched by any other layup.
Fabrice thanks for the write-up. Now that the retros are a more reasonable price I am seriously considering getting myself one for Christmas. Shame about the lower quality finish compared to the original Pro Classics.
Fabrice if I may I have a question or two. How does it compare to the Pro Classic 90 in terms of
1) Power - actually you answered this RE the clay court comment, how much more powerful? A slight power increase or a lot
2) Is it less flexible than the Pro Classic 90"? Slightly or a bit more stiffer
3) Solidity? Obviously at 10 grams less weight stock there is less graphite so has much less solid is it? Does it still feel hefty against pace like a Pro Classic 90".
I will try your tip about thin gauge polys.
1) Power - The power increase from the Vac. 90 is noticeable, but the Retro is by no means a powerful racquet. But the thicker beam (22 vs 19 mm), larger head, more open string pattern, and longer main strings produce more ball speed. I'd say it has the same amount of power as a C-10 pro or a Head Pro Tour 280, but less than a 6.1 95, for example.
2) "Is it less flexible than the Pro Classic 90"? Slightly or a bit more stiffer."
A bit stiffer, but still on the flexible side.
With my set up (12 extra grams in the handle), it feels VERY solid against pace. The 10 grams missing in the stock frame compared to a 330 g Fischer may just come from lighter grip pallets, or lighter grommets, not from the graphite itself. When you tink about it, 10 grams is really not much.
"I will try your tip about thin gauge polys."
18 gauge works really well. Signum poly pro plasma and TF red code look nice with the red stripes of the frame.
Fabrice thanks for the quick and concise reply.
I recently picked one of these up and have had a hit with it. It is too early for me to tell much but the initial feeling is very nice!
Are you still using these and can you give us an update on how it is going and your string choice? Still using the thin poly?
Still have a few in my collection, but I've recently gone back to the Pro Number One for a little more pop. I'm also trying out the MSpeed Pro # 1 98. Tough pick between these two, but I'm leaning toward the non-magnetic version. Both are sweet, though.
Fabrice, Which Pro #1, 320g or 330g version?
320 grams. Thanks to the help of some good people who post here on TW (thanks Mrs. Day, Andrew, and Wenda), I was able to stock up on some of the most recent Pro # 1 versions (red & black / red, black, & white). I customize them a little to add some weight to the handle. But I'd love to get my hands back on the 330 g. red & silver or the VT 98 red. Had both of those a few years ago and stupidly let them go. But the 320 g. version is still pretty good when you don't have the 330 g as a point of reference. It was the same thing when the Prince Ti Response came out: everybody was complaining that it was a step down from the Precision Response 660. But if you go back today to a Ti Response, you'd have to admit that it was a really great racquet, far superior to most of the current Prince releases. Same thing again between the POG and the Prince Graphite II. Pick up a PG II MP today without the original graphite as a reference and you'll find it to be a very capable racquet (albeit with a string pattern that's almost TOO open if that's possible). So I'm still enjoying the 320g Pro # 1, but any owner of a 330g can always tempt me with an offer...
Hit with mine last night. Strung with basic Prince Syn Gut @60. Everything but the backhand was working great; timing was off but that is typical with me when using a racquet for the first few times.
After hitting strokes for about 30 min. we played two sets. On serve I hit several aces and only had 1 double. Many forehand winners (my strength) and while I struggled with backhand I am confident that will come around. All- in-all I am very impressed!
I have read that these frames like a low tension, can anyone comment on their experience? I have a hard time imagining more comfort/feel than I am getting @60 but if someone has tried it I would love to hear about it.
Thanks for info. I was mulling over the purchase of a Retro when the prices go down a bit more but I don't think I will now.
Separate names with a comma.