Comparative Review - Old School. Warning - LONG POST!

Discussion in 'Racquets' started by galain, May 13, 2007.

  1. galain

    galain Hall of Fame

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    I decided to write this review for a couple of reasons. One, I am an unashamed child of the 80’s and despite all the ‘advances’ in racquet tech these days, I genuinely feel that those years between the end of the 70’s and the start of the 90’s were truly magical in terms of the racquet market. Wood was vanishing, obscure companies had as much presence as the major manufacturers and players were experimenting with an array of different materials in order to gain an edge on their opposition. For a teenager, it was heady stuff.

    I’m also posting this because in the past year or so I’ve noticed quite an influx of younger board members. Okay – this may be supposition on my part, but judging by the tone of some of the “Well, you suck”, “Oh yeah – well, you really suck”, posts I’ve come across, I’m going out on a limb in guessing that some of these newer members may not be licensed to drink or drive just yet.

    Not that that’s a bad thing – but for all the posts I see lauding the 03 Tour or the new Head SooperDooperWonderGel Extreme (or whatever the hell it’s called), I’ve found myself more and more frequently wondering if those members have ever had the chance to play with an original Pro Staff, swung one of Fischer’s 80’s monoshaft frames, aced anyone with one of Pro Kennex’s Aces or experienced a Max 200G in all its glory. I think perhaps not. So, here I am, sharing my past 3 weeks with you all, after spending them in the company of some fine old friends.

    Please note – it is impossible for me to be impartial. I have tried mightily to be as honest and as unfettered as I can be. I don’t think it was entirely possible, so take this for what it’s worth.

    The Racquets

    Prince Magnesium Pro 90
    Dunlop Max 200G (later edition with the purple tinge)
    Kneissl White Star Lendl Pro
    Rossignol F200 Carbon

    Me
    Age – 37
    Playing level – who cares? Aussie rated “A” grade player once upon a time. Can hold my own these days with Div 2 guys if I’m having a good day. But really, who cares?
    Currently swinging – Voelkl Cat 10


    (cont.)
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2007
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  2. galain

    galain Hall of Fame

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    Serving

    Mag 90

    There was nothing I wasn’t able to do with this frame on serve. It doesn’t give a lot, but it doesn’t ask a lot either. I’ve often found myself using frames that require some small degree of compromise – I may not be able to kick the ball well as much as I’d like, or I may have a little more trouble slicing out wide or whatever. Not so with the 90. It isn’t a heavy frame but it can throw down a heavy ball. Spin is extremely easy to come by – and I’ve used multi’s as well as poly’s in this frame. I think the long narrow shaft lends itself well to manoueverability through the air – it makes the frame very easy to adjust mid swing. The only thing I’ve come across that gives the same precision on serve is Head’s Pyramid Tour – but that is more a function of its extreme headlight balance than anything else. Feel for the Prince is exemplary. Not soft soft, certainly not stiff, but feedback beyond anything I’ve used.

    F200

    If I had to sum up serves with this in one word, I’d say “satisfying”. In the best possible sense, this frame allows you to just ‘thump’ the ball. It hit the heaviest shot of all the frames on serve. I found that even when if I wasn’t able to steer the ball as finely as I could with the Prince, it rarely came back cleanly. The weight of the F200 really makes for a different serving experience. If your technique is good – relaxed swing, good weight transfer, good head speed – the F200 will reward you. It won’t tolerate laziness and the top of the hoop is completely useless, so you really need to be on the ball. If you are, you’ll get a lot of easy points on serve. By far the most flexible of the bunch, the feel of the F200 will be a love it or hate it proposition. For those people who’ve never hit with one, imagine the most flexible frame you’ve swung, and double it. Rossi were marketing their wooden 14mm wide “Graphite 200” frame as a stiffer racquet than this one, if that gives you an indication of its flex. Feel goes with the flex – either you’ll fall in love or you won’t care for it at all.

    Max 200G

    This one gave me a few problems. The sweetspot is quite a bit smaller than either the Prince or the Rossi. Let’s not forget too, this was probably the first modern widebody, which, coupled with its small head, takes some getting used to. Getting a consistent response took a bit of practice. Once dialled in though, the feedback is really nice. The Max 200G is not as flexible as the Rossi, and it’s more solid overall than the Prince. Again – weight transfer is rewarded. Trying to muscle the ball in with this one won’t get you anywhere. Not as heavy a shot as the Rossi, not quite as precise as the Prince. I think this is probably the most string sensitive of the bunch and I could well have a completely different experience at a lower tension with this one. Nice solid feedback. Accuracy was very good. The Max 200G swings very easily for its weight.

    Kneissl White Star Pro.

    A surprisingly large sweetspot on this frame considering the tiny head. I felt it was more forgiving than the Dunlop and mine was strung at a higher tension (60lbs). The enlarged lower hoop may have something to do with it. The top of the frame is almost as dead as the F200, so you want to be finding the sweetspot on serve. When you do, the resounding ‘thwack’ you get as feedback brings a smile that stays stuck on your face for a good long time. It’s a real log, this one, moreso than the others. Power is great. Spin takes some dialling in, but once you develop the relationship it’s easily accessible – again, surprisingly so. Accuracy – hmm – perhaps I didn’t spend as much time as I could have. I had the least success of the bunch in directing serves accurately with the White Star. I didn’t really care though – the “thwack” made up for it!
     
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  3. galain

    galain Hall of Fame

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    Groundstrokes

    Each of these frames brings something different and unique to the table. How can you love one child more than another?

    Prince

    The Prince is the rapier of this lot. Beautifully balanced, on pickup it is the one frame more than any other I’ve ever tried that naturally feels like an extension of my arm. I’m not sure if it’s the longer narrow shaft, the metal construction or the exquisite feedback it gives, but if you want to feel out the other guy, parry, expose his weak points and then thrust for the kill, the Mag 90 will do it. It’s incredibly manoeuverable and despite being an old school frame, not as hefty as memory would have us believe (high 11 oz range at a guess). The flex in this frame is, well, its perfect. You couldn’t ask for better feedback from a frame. Honestly, if there was a racquet that could put you in ‘The Zone’, this would be it. Power is no problem, spin is terrific, forehands, backhands, slices, top – whatever you put in to the Prince you’ll get back with no hesitation and no compromises. Just beautiful.

    F200.

    In a word – FLEX. This just feels like it was made to spin the ball. I’m not a spin reliant player, but there’s something about the F200 that just begs you to go and rip felt off the ball. I don’t know if it’s the weird oval shaped grip or the flexibility of the frame that demands spin, but there is certainly a siren call there. I know, structurally, there’s no such thing as a real catch and release frame – it would be physically impossible. This is as close as you’ll come to getting that feel though.

    Directional control is very good with the F200. Not quite like the Prince but still excellent. I’ve always thought the marketing spiel about the inverted throat had some merit to it. The F200 hits short sharp angles very easily and it is surprisingly powerful, so driving the ball is easily done as well. I do think the inverted bridge hampers manoeuverability a little – the frame feels more awkward than some of the others – but for a baseliner it’s hard to imagine a better friend if you like a soft hit. Again – there’s nothing in the top half of the frame – you middle it or you go home.

    Max 200G.

    Well – everything you’ve heard about the 200G is true. It really DOES stiffen slightly on impact. The end result is a heavy ball that is easily controlled. Spin is fine – not on a par with the Rossi, but no problem. The great thing about this is that it screams for you to hit out with it. Strange how it’s synonymous with McEnroe when it really feels so much more suited to a player like Becker. I would describe this one as ‘firm’ more than anything else. It is so very solid. Unless you’re a genius like McEnroe, this is not a frame that will allow you to get too cute. I tried pushing with it – no go. I tried junking things up – meh. There’s no place for timidity here. It would be considerably underpowered by today’s’ standards, but the cuts you can take at the ball and just know they’re going to go in make this a really fun hit. Directional control is fantastic – a real line painter. Feedback is excellent and quite unique. I can see why so many people fell in love with this one. Quiche eaters need not apply.

    Kneissl

    If the Prince is the rapier of the bunch, this is the bludgeon. Probably the most powerful of the racquets here, the White Star is the one to take if you plan on causing your opponent some internal bleeding. This would have been considered a stiff frame back in its day but it isn’t by todays standards. The hollow construction is shared by the Dunlop but they feel completely different. It may be the kevlar, it may be the frame shape, it may be the one piece construction – it’s probably a combination – but the Kneissl has a feel like no other. This is one of the reasons I love 80’s frames. You can tell people really were doing their best with little idea of what to expect from the new materials. The Kneissl feels like someone tried to make a wooden frame out of space age material. Even the construction of the frame – the thick heavy shaft leading to the small thinner head – is a wooden frame in all but composition. I can only imagine what the engineers first thought was in taking this onto a court. You design what is basically a standard frame from this new fangled material – and bang! It would have been like witnessing the start of the industrial revolution. Okay – enough hyperbole. This one hits a very heavy ball. Control is fantastic. I found I had little trouble at all with depth control and directional control was almost up there with the Prince. I’d rate it on a par with the Rossi and the Dunlop, but its spin capacity wasn’t quite as good as either. I loved the balance on this though. It really is a beast of frame – very heavy by today’s standards, yet the bottom heavy construction (I’d say this is a better description than ‘headlight’) made it a joy to swing. It’s a little more forgiving of late preparation than the Rossi or Dunlop. I did have a lot of trouble hitting balls high to my backhand – the small head and weight just didn’t do me any favours here. Much like the Dunlop, this is a frame for big hitters. The feel is unusual. It is crisp but there is a very definite and noticeable flex to the frame. The flex is all in the head though – nowhere else. Feedback is also excellent – maybe because of the one piece construction.
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2007
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  4. galain

    galain Hall of Fame

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    Net Play.

    Prince
    Perfect. Enough said.

    F200.

    Hmmm – sailing in uncharted waters here. I think it’s safe to say that this one wasn’t really designed to be used at net, although it is more than capable there. Manoueverability is a slight issue – the inverted bridge plays a little unwieldy compared to the others. The dead upper hoop is a liability. And yet…you play the shot right and there is no substitute for that beautiful soft feedback this frame gives you. The weight of it is enough to put good stick on the ball and the directional control from the back of the court is still apparent at net. Just make sure you’re in position to play the shot.

    Dunlop.

    The small sweetspot took some adjusting too and for some reason I didn’t notice the dynamic stiffness as much at net as I did from the baseline. The problems I was having when I wasn’t hitting out were amplified with my volleying. I was getting a bit frustrated with this until I decided to relax and just have some fun. And then it happened. I hit one shot and thought “Oh – nice”. I started to concentrate more on moving my feet. I started punching the volley. I started to fall in love. The feedback was fantastic. Easily as good as the Prince but completely effortless. I found myself wishing I had a lower tension. As it was, I spent more time at net in the whole week I used this than I did with any of the others. Half volleys were second nature, reflex shots all went in and control was superb. Technique is all important (lets not talk Mac here – he’s a freak) but if you bring it, anything becomes a possibility.

    Kneissl

    Not a precision instrument at net! Easier to move than I would have expected, its still not as good here as some of the others. The weight of the frame allows for easy volleying, but like the Rossignol, you really need to hit the right spot otherwise you can make yourself an easy target. The relative stiffness of the frame helps with control and makes for easy put aways. I take my hat off to Lendl for using this mold in many of his Wimbledon attempts. He was never a natural volleyer and I really can’t imagine him getting a lot of help from his GTX in this department.

    Overall impressions

    Prince Magnesium Pro 90

    Sublime. It does everything well and leaves nothing to chance. Back court, forecourt, serve, feel, balance – I can’t fault it at all. I truly believe this is the best Prince has ever done.

    Rossignol F200 Carbon

    We’re talking a 23 year love affair here. Sure, there are faults. It really doesn’t belong at the net. It is heavy and can be unwieldy. It is insanely, ridiculously flexible. But I never have, nor ever will, experience feel in any other racquet like I do in this. And if you play for love of the game, then nothing else really matters, does it?

    Dunlop Max 200G

    I know the dedication this racquet inspires and I can see why. The feedback is exemplary and completely unique. How the hell did they build a frame that stiffens on impact? You can feel this happening as you hit the ball. Yes – I struggled a little at times. The sweetspot is small and unforgiving. It isn’t (from what I could tell) a touch racquet. But if you like to hit the ball, this frame begs for it. And at net? My God – what a piece of work. Bravo Dunlop. I’m sad we’ve lost the technology to make more of these.

    Kneissl White Star Lendl Pro

    A shining example of old world meeting new. The White Star is built to play like a wooden racquet, which it does, but with a hundred more horsepower. Excellent control for a heavy hitter. Feedback is quite unique – a crisp yet flexible frame? It is possible. I can see why someone like Lendl stuck with this mold for so long – it is tailor made for thumping the ball. Remember your English teacher telling you about onomatopoeia? “THWACK”!


    No – I am not a teenager anymore. I know racquet materials are changing and the game is changing with it. I’m not playing for money though, nor am I trying to qualify for tournaments or get a ranking. I don’t even care too much whether I win or lose, as long as I enjoy myself and can leave the court knowing I did my best. Playing for love of the game is why I am more than happy to keep frames like these within easy reach of my racquet bag.

    You know, you can go to the supermarket and get yourself a barbecued chicken and throw a salad together and it makes for an easy and reasonably satisfying meal. Or you can go to your local produce or farmers market, buy some organic vegies, some free range chicken, fresh herbs and take a few hours baking fresh bread and making dinner out of it all when you get home. It takes more energy. You don’t get any instant gratification. It’s nowhere near as 'efficient'. But it’s special. It’s quality time you’ve invested because you enjoy it, and the payoff is that much sweeter because of it.



    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2007
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  5. Hedges

    Hedges Guest

    My favorite post so far this year. Thanks, Galain!
     
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  6. jayserinos99

    jayserinos99 Hall of Fame

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    Galain, bravo...you just made me want to pull out my mag pro 90s again for a hit...
     
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  7. couch

    couch Hall of Fame

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    Great post Galain. I'm going to the bay right now and going to buy some vintage racquets. :)

    I grew up playing with the POG OS when I was 18, I'm 37 now so a lot of those racquets were used just before I started playing. I remember watching Lendl, Wilander, and of course Johnny Mac use those racquets but have never played with any of them myself.

    Thanks for the reviews and a little glance back at the Glory Days of tennis and the gear that was used.
     
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  8. anirut

    anirut Legend

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    Hug, hug ...

    I LOVE THIS THREAD!

    ... only if I can get one F200 for my collection ...
     
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  9. LarougeNY

    LarougeNY Professional

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    The string patterns on the prince and the dunlop are radically different. What's the string pattern on the 200g?
    By the way, really great in depth review. I would try these rackets, but they're probably 3 or 4 ounces heavier than the ones I'm used to.
     
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  10. !Tym

    !Tym Hall of Fame

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    Have you ever tried the Prince Precision Graphite 90? It had the same exact mold as the Mangesium Pro 90, and it was for me a much more flexible and organic feeling frame than the POG. I would basically echo everything you said about Magnesium Pro 90 with Precision Graphite 90. It feels more like an extension of my hand than any other racket I've ever tried. It's shaft is so narrow that it's virtually a mono shaft racket, yet still just enough of a Y-shape throat structure as to give SOME stability. The good mass takes care of the rest, by no means is it a POG OS for stability, but it's enough.

    With this said, I don't like the plastic bridge. The racket mold makes me feel as you said like I can hit ANY shot in the book at any time and just literally pin-point an opponent to death Fabrice Santoro style. The practically mono shaft design also is what makes it feel so PURELY natural on volleys and one-handed backhands. YET, my one problem with the frame is that I do no feel it has enough juice for the modern game, perhaps with natural gut like Pioline had in his Magnesium Pro, but with ordinary synthetic gut strings I found it very underpowered. Not in the sense that I couldn't get kept hitting the top of the tape like with the RD-Ti 70 88 which to be honest, I think might have had more to do with the 18x20 pattern in a very small head not giving enough spin, and thus a TOO flat ball trajectory when strung tight rather than pure power necessarily. With the Precision Graphite 90, it's no problem to get depth or anything, but the response is very muffled and muted feeling for me, and I just never felt like I could get the EXPLOSIVE out of nowhere pop I can get with more modern frames. The MSpeed 98 for example when you want to really explode into the ball with a "modern" type swing, the ball will really POP that extra gear. I feel like I can't do that with the Precision Graphite 90, it gives you all the NUANCED gears in other words but not the mach gear. The POG 90 still allows that extra gear of explosive pop for me when I want to just outright end a point, not so with the Precision Grap;hite 90. Instead, I feel like the racket turns me into more of a McEnroe type, probing player; but while that's fun it's not my game in its entirety. I'm known as a fairly explosive hitter, so to lose that explosiveness is why I don't use the frame.

    I just wish Prince would bring back this mold, except reinforce the throat bridge by using graphite instead of a plastic yolk, and stiffen up the frame overall. Either that, or perhaps, try to modify the mold by hybriding it with the CTS desing, wide body at the tip, narrow at the throat; but keep the NEAR mono shaft design. It's really the best of both worlds.

    Y-shape gives better stability, but mono shaft is superior for that INTUITIVE all natural feel on serves, one-handed backhands, and *especially* volleys.

    Btw, have you tried the Precision Graphite 90? If so, how does it compare to the mangesium pro 90?

    Thanks.
     
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  11. wally

    wally Rookie

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    YES YES YES.....

    My first racquet was a head TXE and absolutely fantastic stick

    Great post
     
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  12. c_zimma

    c_zimma Semi-Pro

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    I am 15 years old, and I really enjoyed reading your post. Great stuff. I play with a Head Classic Tour and I did use a ProStaff 6.0 95 for quite some time. I would say they are pretty classic frames, not T-2000's or Prince Pro's, but they have some nice touch and feel. Thanks for a great review of some true classic frames.
     
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  13. shadowrtype

    shadowrtype New User

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    Galain, this was beautifully written and a wonderful read. Posts like this is the reason why I visit this forum almost every day. This review was jackpot and I've been looking for someone to write up something like this for a while. Fabulous job!
     
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  14. galain

    galain Hall of Fame

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    Thank you all for the kind comments. I really wasn't expecting this to get noticed so quickly.

    Larouge - the Mag 90 has a 15x16 string pattern VS 18x20 for the 200G

    Anirut - keep your eyes peeled my friend - they do pop up often (although you may be bidding against me!)

    !Tym - yes to everything you said. I have hit with the Precision 90 and I agree - beautiful frame. As you say - more muted and 'mushy' than the Mag 90 and i thought less gutsy overall. I still get enough juice from the Mag 90 to compete today when I want to.

    Thanks again everyone - I'm really glad it's striking a chord with people.
     
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  15. Alafter

    Alafter Hall of Fame

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    Your sentiments, like a torch, will be carried by the 'younger members of this board', 20 years from now. They will wonder if the new generation of players hitting with Prince Adamantium RollerFlex Ultimate CarbonGraphitalite with Electromagnetic Powered Port ever had the chance to hit with the O3 tour, the K90 or the Head Microgel, Babolat PD.

    It's a relative thing, right? The sentiments will remain the same over time. But now, we (the younger) are still in the age of living in the contemporary world--and every right to carry on with the tennis we are living ;)
     
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  16. tennis_hand

    tennis_hand Hall of Fame

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    I can't be bothered about all the nostalgia of the 'old days'.

    All I know by comparison of rackets are: K95s have bigger sweetspot, less jarring on off-center hits, than your good old prostaff 95s. The feeling of hitting the ball is overrated, the feeling of winning is what matters. We live in contemporary times, not in 80s. Swing whatever you like, don't discount the new rackets just because you don't like them.

    I know a Luger still kills, but a desert eagle is just better. Period.
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2007
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  17. Deuce

    Deuce Banned

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    A not so parallel universe...
    The smile never left my face from the title to the last word of post #1.

    Thank you, galain. That truly needed to be written.

    And it's great to see a 'youngin' appreciating it, as well (post #12).

    One thing about the Mag Pro 90... The one in your photo has a 16x16 pattern. I've always strung mine with a 14mx18c pattern, which I'm quite sure is the recommended pattern. 9H and 9T ought to be crosses, I believe.
    I strung mine at 44 pounds, by the way.
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2007
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  18. Deuce

    Deuce Banned

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    A not so parallel universe...
    No way in hell.
    Today's frames will never be viewed in the same light as those of the 80s.
    As galain so eloquently explained, it was a magical era, for reasons of circumstance.
    The chances of living though something similar, insofar as tennis racquets are concerned, at any point in the future, are slim to none.

    Take it from us - we were there.
     
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  19. Alafter

    Alafter Hall of Fame

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    Eh yeah, of course -- you where there. You are STILL there now, in your head, living every moment of beautiful magic of the 'magical era' of tennis racquet, wallowing in it, and at the same time, refusing everything that taints your memories of those sticks. I really respect that. A fortified mental wall fueled by your fantiasies of 'the good old days'.

    But do remember that the magical era of 80's frames only lives on in such a supremist manner in some people's head, like yours.
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2007
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  20. Alafter

    Alafter Hall of Fame

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    Naughty Naughty Tennis_Hand! If you read carefully,the OP just wonders if we ever got the chance to try out racquets from his time, not that they are superior to today's sticks in anyways. Please do distinguish him from some certain oldbag 80's racquet supremist that you&me encountered before ;)
     
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  21. Deuce

    Deuce Banned

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    A not so parallel universe...
    You're quite arrogant for one with so little experience.
    You simply don't get it, kid. But don't blame me for that.

    Try as you might, you won't be able to ruin this thread.
     
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  22. origmarm

    origmarm Hall of Fame

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    My second racquet was a Magnesium Pro 90, was my dad's old one. I still have it and whenever I feel like I'm getting sloppy I like to drag it out and hit on a wall with it.
    I still have an old Donnay aluminium one that I play with sometimes also.
     
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  23. Alafter

    Alafter Hall of Fame

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    You don't get it, either. And that, from one with so much experience. And I don't blame you for it.

    I haven't even tried or even thought about ruining this thread's content. It's just you, deuce, just you.
     
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  24. AndrewD

    AndrewD Legend

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    galain,

    As others have said, fantastic post and an absolute pleasure to read.

    After just snagging 3rd place in my club doubles competition, while using a 24 year old Prince Graphite Comp Series 110 (circa 1983:back when they were still made in the USA) I can fully appreciate how much fun and how much success you can still have with the 'old school' frames. I also find that the overall feel of those racquets is so much more satisfying (whether the kids are willing to admit it or not) than the modern equivalent due, I do believe, to the higher grade/quality of graphite that was previously used. These days you have other materials substituted for graphite and the end result is a 'distant/dislocated' kind of feel that might be practical but is never pleasing.
     
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  25. jayserinos99

    jayserinos99 Hall of Fame

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    Just to add, I picked up a Max200G and Head Graphite Pro this weekend and got to hit with it...along with a DB24 MP recently strung with RIP Control 16 at 55 lbs. The Max200G was strung with TNT Fat Core at a fairly low tension and the Graphite Pro was strung with a syn gut at an even lower tension than the 200G...anyway, all three hit quite well and although the DB24 was the most modern of the bunch I loved the feel of the ball from all frames.
     
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  26. Alafter

    Alafter Hall of Fame

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    My comment would only be for those attempting to establish old racquets as having the definite better feel, as that would not be correct-especially when feel is subjective. So whether some older players are willing to admit or not, the superior 'feel' or satisfaction of older racquet is only limited to themselves and not a standard that others will have to admit to.
     
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  27. Alafter

    Alafter Hall of Fame

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    However for those who would love to share the feeling of older racquets and promote younger ones to give it a shot to see what it is like WITHOUT establishing some sort of subjective superiority, of course that is always welcomed--I myself love to try any racquet I can get my hands on.
     
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  28. nickb

    nickb Banned

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    Great post and awesome review...well done!
     
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  29. max

    max Hall of Fame

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    Good job, Galain; it's true that that period was a time of great change and experimentation: today's racquet-building situation is much more formulaic. (This said, Pro Kennex did have that wood-graphite sandwich frame recently). What you wrote made me want to string up one of my Max 200 Gs! Thanks much, buddy.
     
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  30. Hedges

    Hedges Guest

    My favorite new technology is the TW forum ignore list ;)
     
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  31. max

    max Hall of Fame

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    re: Alafter's "feel" notion.

    I'm not so sure "feel" is always subjective. I think it's possible for a frame to win a lot of "feel respect" from many, many people, and for some frames to be off-putting and harsh to many people. The Dunlop Max 200 G is widely renowned for its feel; I think many real tennis players might find the feel of a K-Mart racquet to be pretty nasty.
     
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  32. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

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    Great job, Galain! I've never hit with a Mag and don't think I've ever seen one. But between you and Deuce, it sounds like a great frame. I do enjoy these kind of threads.
     
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  33. vkartikv

    vkartikv Hall of Fame

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    Can someone please post the specs (especially flex) of these racquets?
     
    #33
  34. Alafter

    Alafter Hall of Fame

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    We're not comparing cheap quality racquets to expensive quality racquets. We're comparing quality racquets over 2 different periods of time.
     
    #34
  35. AndrewD

    AndrewD Legend

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    Galain's original post was one of reflection, as were most all of the follow up posts. Yours, on the other hand, are argumentative and, as a result, out of synch with the overall tone of the thread. So, even if it wasn't your intention, you have managed to, at best, dampen the spirt of the thread, at worst, ruin it. Why not - rather than take over proceedings, as you are doing, and moving the discussion away from it's original design - leave it as is and start your own thread? That way, you can say everything you feel needs to be said without clogging up an otherwise enjoyable read.
     
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  36. retrowagen

    retrowagen Hall of Fame

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    I really enjoyed and appreciated galain's reviews of those four classics. I'm the same age as he is and remember playing tournament tennis for four years with the Kneissl White Star Pro Master (same as the Lendl Pro) and a transition season afterwards (1987-88 ) where I played tournaments with the F200, Max 200G, and a few others (including that Prince Precision Graphite 90), finally settling in with the Head Elite Pro and Elektra Pro.

    I felt galain's comments were right on the money in regards these frames. Really, the materials, stiffness, and heft of the rackets were quite a bit different then than the popular performance rackets of today are, making comparisons a bit like apples and oranges. But I think it is true these factors of materials, stiffness, and heft made for a softer and more sensitive feeling racket. Thinking linearly, the evolution of tennis rackets is still continuing away from the standard sized wood frame, in both size, weight, and feel. It's probably market-driven and not revolutionary.

    However, I myself would not dare to suggest that today's rackets are superior to yesterday's. They're all just tools, but they're like friends: you find one that you feel happy and comfortable with, who helps bring out the best in you and helps make you look good, and you remain loyal. I've used the Head Prestige Classic Mids since 1993 and don't intend to change - I have yet to find anything I like as much. All of the modern rackets I have tried don't have a subjective solid and muted feel like the rackets I have used for the last 25 years... they just feel light and tinny to me and are far too powerful on their own.

    I brought out my old Kneissls a few weeks ago for some sets of doubles with some advanced players I play with weekly, and enjoyed the experience. I could generate more pace off the ground and on service with those than with more modern gear. I had forgotten how deliberate one has to be to volley well with those tiny sticks, but they are sword-like manoeuverable.

    I think there are many of us on this forum who discovered in the late 80's, with the advent of the original Wilson Profile and the subsequent widebody craze, that racket design was changed forever, mostly for the worse. More modern gear makes up for lapses in skill, footwork, technique, or racket preparation.

    I encourage the more mature of us racket collectors to string up your old sticks and let some younger players try them. They may or may not be impressed, but certainly it might help lend a perspective of how the equipment has changed (and how the game has changed, accordingly), and perhaps create a bit more respect for those of us who are still tilting at windmills with "archaic" sticks.
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2007
    #36
  37. NoBadMojo

    NoBadMojo G.O.A.T.

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    really nice one Galain, and props to you for taking the time to share all that with us. As a former lover and player of the f200, it always makes me think back to those days when the game was played differently, to a large degree because of the gear, and i am happy to have learned to play with wood and progress through the different racquet eras..
    i tend to associate oldies like the Mag90 with certain matches or events, so when I think of the Mag90, I think of Pat Cash and I think he won W using that frame beating lendl in straights? I remember the Mag90 wasnt very popular until Cash's big win, and after he won, you couldnt even get thru to Prince on the phone for a long while..so the buying what the pros use thing was also big back then
    I think many people, equate old school feel with flexy more so even though they might say its the graphite..i think the f200 likely was lots more glass than graphite. for me, i think there are some fine racquets made these days..ones with tighter specs, and ones which dont fatigue as easily...my old Prestige Classics only made it a couple seasons rotating 4-6 frames back then. the 200g's were notorious for snapping during play, warpage, etc. guys were only getting a few weeks out of these sometimes. sure there is a graphite shortage, but i love the ball feel of my dnx10mps....they've got fiberglass in them, and thats even more old school than graphite..i am also thankful I dont have to try and swing one of those heavy frames around at my advancing years..the new stuff allows me to keep hitting all the shots rather than some of the shots....with the new stuff i can still play at a pretty high level....certainly at a higher level than i would be able to with the nostalgic stuff
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2007
    #37
  38. hrstrat57

    hrstrat57 Hall of Fame

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    thanks

    Awesome post....and so spot on with max 200g....

    I just pulled my max 200g's out of my closet(I have a thread kicking around on it) forgot how good they truly are. A nightmare to manufacture so will never be reissued.

    Thanks for taking the time to share, I wish I could be so eloquent.

    200g's are back in the bag.....fresh gut is on the way!
     
    #38
  39. TW Staff

    TW Staff Administrator

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    galain,
    Thanks for the great review. Brought back some great memories.

    Chris, TW.
    (Former Rossi F200 user as well as Max 200G)
     
    #39
  40. thomas martinez

    thomas martinez Professional

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    Pretty cool Galain, spot on about the Mag 90. One of my favourite frames of all time. Though as someone pointed out, totally strung wrong. It.s a 14 x 18 pattern. You skip no holes on the mains, and Prince recommends 2 piece stringing. Shame you can't get any decent allow frames any longer. All the stuff out there, it's rubbish, and it shows.
     
    #40
  41. galain

    galain Hall of Fame

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    Dear Friends

    Thank you again for all the kind feedback. If the review has encouraged some of you to pull your old sticks out of the closet for a brief rendezvous (or a longer one), then I am happy. If it brought back happy memories for you and made you appreciate your current set up all the more, then I am still happy. If it made you curious about some older style frames that you may never have had the opportunity to take for a spin, then even better.

    And if you think I'm just an old hack who's full of hot air and mildly fractured nostalgia - well I guess that's okay too (galain bends over and farts in your general direction).

    Deuce and Tom - thanks for the heads up. You know we kind of do things a bit backward and upside down in Oz, but I honestly never noticed. Goes to show you just how much an extension of my arm the Mag 90 was!

    Have a good day everyone.
     
    #41
  42. psp2

    psp2 Banned

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    I have few F200s and measured their flexes at 40-41. Max200G came in around 42. I don't have a Mag90, but my Mag110's flex is quite high for an alloy frame: 62.
     
    #42
  43. VikingSamurai

    VikingSamurai Banned

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    Yes, you are correct..


    On a serious note. I have all of those frames, and as a 32 year old have played with them and still think about those players and the great matches.. As I am too young to remember seeing Laver and the like play, I still feel that the eighties was the best era of tennis.. Not the greatest, but for me, the best!
     
    #43
  44. keithchircop

    keithchircop Professional

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    i dont see why some younger players have to post negative msgs in this thread. galain is a guy who thinks of the good old days when using those racquets; and for whatever reasons he has, prefers those racquets to the newer ones. good for him.

    tennis_hand, if you prefer using the latest K-factor, good for you. if you think its newer technology gives you an advantage over feel-oriented players with a 200G, even better for you. but is your racquet the one you enjoy most using, or the one with which you win the most? if the answer is both, great. if not, there lies the difference between you and most people here.

    i'm 25 and dont use a modern racquet. i dont buy into these amazing technologies which are nothing but marketing ploys to keep players changing racquets ever other year. try old racquets and try new racquets and see for yourself. you might like the older racquets less or you might like them more. for example, IMO the latest prestige is the worst one of all time. dissing older racquets just because they are older is nonsensical.
     
    #44
  45. progman_2000

    progman_2000 Rookie

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    Great thread - I'm 39 and have a hearty collection of POG OSs and Spectrum Comp OSs, so it does my heart good to know I am not the only one stuck in the 80's as far as racquets go
     
    #45
  46. Hedges

    Hedges Guest

    I think these specs are pretty close.

    The Original Dunlop Max 200g Specs:
    Headsize: 83.6 sq. in., Weight: 12.5-12.9 ounces/355.4g, Balance: 8 points (1 inch) Head-light, Flex (RDC): 40*, Swingweight: 337, Beam Width: 22 mm, Grip: leather.

    Rossignol F200 Specs:
    Headsize: 83 sq in., Weight: 340 g, Balance: 12 points HL, Flex (RDC): 40*, 80% Fiberglass
     
    #46
  47. _skunk_

    _skunk_ Rookie

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    Thanks Galain for the nice review, I'm 37 years and I've been a f200 user for more than 15 years, I've been hitting extensively as well with the max200g, but my fav has always been the f200. Years are passing and I was in need of something more appropriate to my age and to my fitness condition, something i could handle it for at least 3 sets, but could not find yet a frame that gives me the same feedback of the F200.
    I do agree that with the new rackets it's easier to play, but feelings are different from performances and time to time I like very much to hit again with my F200.

    Interesting sticks Galain :) , I think they very similar so some of mine :)

    [​IMG]


    Message for Chris from Japan,

    I'm sorry not to have you replied to your old question, but sincerely i did not see that post, i really don't know, even if i do not use anymore the gtx, except for fun sometimes (too much demanding for my actual level), getting separate from them ......, although your offer is really tempting. BTW i will be in japan for the next 2 weeks for holidays, any nice pro-shop you suggest to visit?
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2007
    #47
  48. hrstrat57

    hrstrat57 Hall of Fame

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    200g sweetness

    One more comment on Dunlop max 200g. It is the only racquet I have ever played that has not required the addition of lead tape at 3/9 oclock.

    Amazing perfection right out of the box. Big sweetspot for a mid at least for me, no need to enhance it....

    BTW others in last 15 years have resided in my bag in multiples(at least 3 of each)

    -Prince orig graphite mid(93)
    -Prince precision graphite 640 (midplus)
    -Wilson prostaff classic 6.1(midplus)
    -Wilson hyper prostaff 5.0(midplus)
    -Wilson prostaff orig(st v) (mid) / Wilson Kramer staff(st v) (mid)
    -Head Radical tour tt(1997) (midplus)
    -Head ti radical(midplus)
    -Head i radical(midplus)
    -Head i prestige(midplus)
    -Dunlop Max 200g(mid)

    Great thread, thanks all!!!
     
    #48
  49. z-money

    z-money Semi-Pro

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    Hey Galain, cool post man. my buddy Josh and you would have a good time chatting about tennis i wager. However im sorry today im a lil too young to have used your rackets, my loss huh. I am a 86er, however the rackets they made before i knew what tennis was its what i use now. i use pro staff 85s pc 600s and POGs. Long live the classic graphites!
     
    #49
  50. max

    max Hall of Fame

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    Sorry, Alafter, to seem obtuse. With respect to presenting a comparison between the Dunlop Max 200 G's feel and that of another racquet, I chose one which would provide a stark contrast (a K-Mart frame), in order to more clearly show my point: "feel" can be an objective thing as well as a subjective thing.

    Compare the feel of a Dunlop Max 200G and a Wilson Profile. You'll appreciate that one definitely IS more flexible than the other. People generally gravitate toward items they like. . . I think that's the main point to consider. Gillette, for example, does considerable expensive testing on its razors for this reason: if they can get an extra 2% of use their razors, that translates into millions of dollars otherwise not gained.

    I think the issue of "time" is irrelevant here; I think this post can be confusing if you take this as "old man's nostalgia". A racquet built in 2007 can feel better, to most people, than one built in 1977. Correspondingly, it just may be possible that a certain 1981 frame is better than a 2001 frame, to most people.
     
    #50

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