Demo Days: VCORE 97 (310 & 330), F 3.0, Pro One 97

Discussion in 'Racquets' started by McLovin, Feb 26, 2013.

  1. McLovin

    McLovin Hall of Fame

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    They arrived from TW today:

    [​IMG]

    Right off the bat I'm not liking the Donnay: There is ~ 1 in less grip than the other three, which means my 2HBH will result in my left index finger wrapping around the frame. Something Dunlops used to do.

    Initial swings in the living room has me believing the two Yonex (what is plural for Yonex?) and the Dunlop are going to feel nice. They have a real nice weight & balance. The Donnay feels a tad head-heavy to me, but that may just be in relation to the others. I haven't looked at the specs yet.

    I will bring them on the court tomorrow during my high school girl's practice for my initial hit, but the true test will come Thursday.

    I was hoping for good things from the Yonex, but I'm really looking forward to the Dunlop now that they've given it more grip.
     
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2013
    #1
  2. getsby

    getsby Semi-Pro

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    waiting for reviews. I just thought that P1 lack of maneuverability
     
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  3. McLovin

    McLovin Hall of Fame

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    Well I looked up the specs and they have it as 4 pts HL. The others are 6, 7 & 8 pts HL, which is probably why it felt a bit head heavy when swinging it.

    Of course, some might say normal people can't tell the difference between 4pts & 6pts, so maybe I just don't like the handle and I'm fabricating stuff in my head...
     
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  4. corners

    corners Legend

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    I think it's the abnormal people that can't feel the difference between 4HL and 6HL. But you should be able to get the Donnay to 7HL with the 10 gram buttcap thingee. Did they send you those accessories with the demo?
     
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  5. McLovin

    McLovin Hall of Fame

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    No, they did not. It says '+0g' on the butt cap. I have some lead I can add in the throat, down near the handle. I was planning on adding it to the 310g anyway to get it up to 320g.
     
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  6. corners

    corners Legend

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    Too bad. Those weighted buttcaps are really a nice way to add mass to the handle. I'm looking forward to hearing how the 97 plays for you. If you could draw any comparisons to the C10 I would be grateful.
     
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  7. jjs891

    jjs891 Semi-Pro

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    You may not like the way pro 1 feels just free swinging but I bet you'll love it when you start crushing the balls with it. Pop and plow is very impressive with pro 1. I have no experience with others on your demo list though.
     
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  8. getsby

    getsby Semi-Pro

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    I think VCore Tour close to C10-thin beam, similar stiffness
     
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  9. McLovin

    McLovin Hall of Fame

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    Well, I'll be a good position to do so seeing as how I used the C10 for a little over a year, and still have three of them (2008 pj) hanging in my "stringing room".

    I loved the C10, but found it too heavy for my aging shoulder during long 3 set matches vs younger guys, specifically on clay, where the ball bounces above the shoulders. I'm hoping the 310g, with a little customization, will play like the C10. I got the 330g just so I could see if it played any different than the 310g.
     
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  10. corners

    corners Legend

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    Yeah, I've been spending so much time on the boards I kinda knew your racquet history. :? Will be interesting to hear how the 97 plays given it's firm on-paper flex.
     
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  11. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    Hey McLovin...we have similar tastes. I was interested in all of these racquets as well.

    Haven't yet tried the VCore 97 -310, but itching to try it.

    Tried the Dunlop and disliked the "feel". It just feels very weird to me and hard to explain. I tried both the M 3.0 and the F and found them very similar except for the pattern obviously. Mishits gave me lots of bad vibes and I thought the sweetspot felt very small. Just many other better racquets for me out there, so I dismissed them.

    Love love love the Pro One 97 16x19. It DOES feel head heavy and depending on the specs of your demo, can feel overly sluggish or just right. The Pro One has one of the nicest feeling sweetspots of any racquet around. Makes you want to just hit balls with it all day long. ONLY reason I am not using one is that I just cannot find a pair with specs at or below what they are supposed to be. Weird, I know.

    Looking forward to your findings. I would also add to your list the new Blade 16x19, the new Head Speed MP and the Dunlop Maxx 200G.
     
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  12. un6a

    un6a Semi-Pro

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    McLovin, I'm also curious how these demo racquets work for you, particulary Vcore 97 310g and Bio F3.0 Tour.
     
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  13. McLovin

    McLovin Hall of Fame

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    I hit with the new Blade 18x20 back in December with a TT member (downs_chris) and thought it was OK. He & I are planning on hitting this weekend, and he has the 16x19 version, so I was planning on asking him to bring it along.

    My next round of demos will contain the Speed MP or Speed Pro, or both, along with the 18x20 version of my frame, the X Force Pro, and maybe the M 3.0 or one of the new Slazenger V98s.
     
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  14. McLovin

    McLovin Hall of Fame

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    [​IMG]
     
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  15. rlau

    rlau Professional

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    I still have a Donnay Pro One 97 16x19 and for me it also performed a lot better with the +10 grams buttcap. Made a huge difference! So don't dismiss it too soon!
     
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  16. corners

    corners Legend

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    Haha, totally. Watch out. But don't take it personally, I'm really stalking the 97.
     
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  17. McLovin

    McLovin Hall of Fame

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    OK, so I got out with three of the four today: Both Yonex and the Dunlop. No reason for me not grabbing the Pro One other than I ran out of time during practice. Here's the initial impressions:

    VCORE 310g: Wow, what a frame. Really, from the first hit it felt real solid. I'm going to put a little lead in the throat and see if I get a tad more plow through, but it everything I homed it would be. Great spin, easy to swing, and just all around nice. I didn't want to put it down. I only served a few with it, but the few that I did had nice kick.

    VCORE 330g: Surprisingly, not as nice as the 310. I felt I had a little trouble getting around the ball on a few of my forehands, and it felt sluggish at the net. Backhands were solid though, but I assume that is due to having two hands. No serves. I will do that tomorrow.

    F 3.0: Honestly, I liked this. It did feel a bit 'tinny', but that may be due to the poly thats in there. But as far as swinging & hitting through the ball, very, very nice. Like the 310, it could use a tad more lead to give it that 'little something'. No serves.

    I'm hitting tomorrow w/ a local junior, so I will get in some match play & see how they really play. I was just outside w/ the girls team I coach, so no points, just hitting balls back & forth.
     
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  18. Circa 1762

    Circa 1762 New User

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    McLovin, would you say the 310 and 330 generally have the same "feel"? I've been interested in the 310, but I hit the 330 a few weeks ago and found it a little stiff. Does the 310 feel like the same racket, just lighter?
     
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  19. tistrapukcipeht

    tistrapukcipeht Professional

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    my local pro shop has gotten it, this weekend I will hit with it and probably rent it.
     
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  20. McLovin

    McLovin Hall of Fame

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    Well, I only hit with them for ~ 20 minutes total, but neither felt all that stiff to me. But I wasn't focusing on that so much as I was trying to get a feel for how it swung. I will say that the one thing that went through my mind as I switched back & forth between the 310 & 330 was the 310 felt softer.

    I don't know...maybe 'softer' isn't the best word. Smooth? Plush? My vocabulary isn't as broad as I'd like it to be. All I can tell you is after hitting with the 310, I didn't want to put it down.

    Like I said, I'm playing sets today, so I should be able to get a better idea of each frame. I also pulled out one of my C10 Pros so I can compare to that as well as to my current X Force Pro.
     
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  21. Greg G

    Greg G Professional

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    Have you hit with the 89T? Just wondering if you could compare the 97 to the smaller version.
     
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  22. McLovin

    McLovin Hall of Fame

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    No, I haven't. I mentioned in another thread somewhere that 97-98 sq. in. frames seem to be the sweet spot for me. <= 95 feels too small, >= 100 feels too big.

    I know it's all mental, but with so many frames to chose from, there's no need for me to venture outside my comfort zone.
     
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  23. Greg G

    Greg G Professional

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    No worries! Enjoying your review of the 97s, keep it coming! :)
     
    #23
  24. tom4ny

    tom4ny Semi-Pro

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    sometimes TW strings frames too high and the F3.0 tour really shines when it is strung on the lower end of the recommended tension. I had asked TW to string my F3.0 with Kirshbaum PL2 at 52 and it came in around 60! After I had my local stringer re-string for me it was like a different frame. It also feels less "tinny" and you can even feel some ball pocketing at 55 lbs and below.

    lead at 10:2 seemed to work best for me but I have gone back to playing stock and it is stable on most shots. it is only when I am late and off balance against a very hard shot that I might have an issue but it is not enough for me to keep the lead in place. this is a pretty powerful frame.

    Good luck with all of them! :)
     
    #24
  25. Hominator

    Hominator Hall of Fame

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    I found the P1 to be tip-heavy, as if there was lead at 12:00.
     
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  26. ci2ca

    ci2ca Semi-Pro

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    Deleted post
     
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  27. ci2ca

    ci2ca Semi-Pro

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    Loving the 310 tour! It's super whippy but enough mass to remain solid feeling.
     
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  28. getsby

    getsby Semi-Pro

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    McLovin, how would you rate your level (ntrp, 1min-10max) ?
     
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  29. Torres

    Torres Banned

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    Would be interested hearing your thoughts on that.

    Only thing that causes me to slightly hesitate on pulling the trigger on one is whether the swingweight is too low, the flex/softness a bit high, and whether adding lead to compensate for the swingweight just messes up the balance too much.
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2013
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  30. McLovin

    McLovin Hall of Fame

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    No need for me to rate myself...the USTA has done that already. I'm a 4.5, but under the right conditions (70 degrees, medium-fast hard courts) can hang w/ some 5.0 college players (I'll be 45 this summer). My style is more like a Baghdatis/Ferrer/Hewitt: Predominately baseline, run tons of balls down, feed off other's pace, but can smack a forehand every now & then.

    I play doubles weekly, and will S&V on both serves, but my volley is more defensive than offensive.

    On clay I become an "average 4.5"...
     
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  31. McLovin

    McLovin Hall of Fame

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    Well, I've been using this frame for a little over 1 1/2 years now (I have 3). I'm not sure why I'm demoing others as I have never played better in my life. Maybe its the frame, maybe its the string setup (17g gut mains @ 54, 1.23mm Co Focus crosses @ 52), but something about it just gels with me. I haven't changed anything: It is stock w./ overgrip & Sampras dampener.

    When I used the M-Comp 95 (aka X Feel Pro), which effectively has the same weight/swingweight as the X Force Pro, I added two strips of lead in the throat. The thing just came alive. I think it was 12.5.oz static weight, but I didn't change the balance at all.

    But the reason I went with the X Force Pro 'stock' was, at the time, I needed something slightly lighter as my aging shoulder was fatiguing during long matches on clay. Adding weight kinda defeated that purpose...

    Ok, gotta go workout. I'll write up the results from my afternoon hit when I return.
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2013
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  32. getsby

    getsby Semi-Pro

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    Thank you, good. In looking forward to more detailed reports, especially Dunlop and Yonex (310g)
     
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  33. auzzieizm

    auzzieizm Semi-Pro

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    need more in depth reviews for them!!!! :)
     
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  34. McLovin

    McLovin Hall of Fame

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    OK, so I finally got out for some decent hitting. Conditions were perfect: 70 degrees, no wind, no sun (we were indoors)

    Yonex VCORE Tour 310g:
    I placed a long strip of lead on both sides, inside the throat. I did this to try & increase the static weight, but not alter the balance much, it at all. I liked the way it swung initially and wanted to see what a little more heft would do.

    I think ci2ca summed it up best: whippy. I could really whip through my forehand. A very maneuverable stick with decent spin & power. Nothing to blow you away, but just solid across the board. Very easy to swing on the serves, and power to be had (I popped a few nice ones up the tee). Real solid on the returns as well, although the kid I hit with doesn't push you around on his serve.

    I tried a few S&V points but failed miserably. Not because of the racquet, but because of me. It felt maneuverable up there, I just took my eye off the ball.

    I tried to pay attention to the stiffness, and when I switched back to my X Force Pro, I did notice a softer feel, but the 310g doesn't come across as a "harsh stiff", just firm, if that makes sense.

    I'm putting MSV Focus Hex soft in it for my Saturday hitting session w/ fellow TT member downs_chris.​

    Yonex VCORE Tour 330g:
    I gotta say, if I had the strokes & strength to get this thing around, I would be all over it. But I just don't have the ability to handle this beast. When I did get through it on the forehand, it produce some real deep, heavy balls. Backhands were much easier to hit, and it showed. Nice drive & plowthrough.

    Serves were effortless once I got the racquet moving. In fact, I finished the day off with this frame & popped two aces up the tee (I'm 5' 9", and my ace count is usually in the low single digits...like '1').

    A great playing frame for someone who can handle its heft.

    Oh, and I brought out the C10 Pro, and it's nothing like the C10 Pro IMO. Less power, more control. Similar weight/balance, but the Yonex is definitely stiffer. Again, not harsh stiff, just more firm.​

    Dunlop Bio F 3.0:
    This is truly the surprise of the bunch. I could hit with this thing all day, provided I can get that 'tinny' sound out of my mind. I didn't get to put any lead in there (I only had enough for the Yonex), but plan on putting some in for Saturday.

    Like the Yonex, it was whippy, but I felt I could really drive through the ball on the forehand. I like a little more heft on my backhand, but I still was comfortable rolling it cross court or driving up the line. I also hit a few slice backhands, and it drove right through the ball.

    Serves...this was by far the best serving frame of the bunch. I could really accelerate up & through, producing a great combination of spin, power & placement. Again, this is all relative as my fastest serve comes in ~ 100, but I felt like I was hitting 100 every time, but right in the corners.

    If I could just get rid of that tinny sound. And I think its more of a sound than it is a 'feel'.​

    Donnay Pro One 97 (16x19):
    I don't know if I got a bad frame, or a bad string job, or if that is how the racquet plays, but I hit all of 6 forehands & 6 backhands, and not one went in. In fact, they weren't even close (~ 3-4 ft out).

    Its funny because some of the reviews say its not powerful enough, others say its too powerful. All I can say is between my X Force Pro and the other 3, I had no problems swinging out and keeping the balls well within the lines.

    I put it down & didn't pick it up again.​

    Pacific X Force Pro:
    OK, this isn't a demo, this is my frame, but I'm including it here as it was my 'baseline' frame I compared the others to.

    When doing the demo, I played two games with one frame, then two games with my X Force Pro, then two with another, and so on. Kinda like cleansing your palette between tastes of wine.

    Anyway, I noticed two distinct differences between the X Force Pro and the others: ball trajectory and depth.

    With the X Force Pro, most of my shots cleared the net by 3-4 feet and consistently landed between 2-4 feet from the baseline. This happened every time I switched back to it. The other frames hit a nice ball, but I was clearing the net by 1-2 feet, and most shots were landing shorter in the box.

    Now, this may be due to strings/tension, or it may be that I'm just so used to these frames that I can trust them. Either way, I'm starting to think I'd be an idiot to do anything other than buy 3 more of these. But I never claimed to be smart...​
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2013
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  35. DustinW

    DustinW Semi-Pro

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    Agree. I had high hopes for this one and was greatly disappointed. It swung heavy (and I'm used to 12 oz frames), I though the sweetspot was smallish, volleys came off dead, and I was getting a lot of vibration at the top of the frame. Not impressed.
     
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  36. Boricua

    Boricua Hall of Fame

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    I think if the Pacific is the best for you, buy them. should be a great frame. I used an old , 2003 Fischer (pre-Pacific) this past week and it is a solid,solid tweener stick.
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2013
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  37. keithfival

    keithfival Professional

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    Is the X Fast Pro as comfy as the X Feel Tour? TW has the stiffness as 68 vs 56. The X Feel Tour felt sublime when i demo'd 2 years ago but at the time i was looking for power. Now that I'm looking for comfort I'm thinking about it again...
     
    #37
  38. downs_chris

    downs_chris Professional

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    Good hitting yesterday! I think your assessment of all the frames are pretty spot on -- the Yonex 310g felt very comfortable, even though the stiffness rating might scare some people. The 330g one was fun because of how much plow through it had, but I don't know how it work in a long match or in fast exchanges at the net...

    but the F3.0 Tour -- kind of blew my mind how much spin I was getting out of an 18x20 string pattern...that frame "won" the demo session for me...I don't even play with 18x20 frames -- but I really enjoyed this one...
     
    #38
  39. McLovin

    McLovin Hall of Fame

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    First, let me apologize. I mistyped the name of the frame: The M-Comp 95 is equivalent to the X Feel Pro, not the X Feel Tour.

    Second, I've never really used the X Fast Pro, other than a quick demo. It is my understanding that it is Pacific's answer to the Babolat Pure Drive, and since I never liked the Pure Drive, and I wasn't all that thrilled with the X Fast Pro, then I guess they've nailed it?

    The X Force Pro, however, is a bit more powerful than the X Feel Pro, so that may be worth a look.

    After typing all that, I think Pacific needs to rethink the naming of their frames. I'm so confused...
     
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  40. McLovin

    McLovin Hall of Fame

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    Yeah, I kept serving to your backhand in the ad court to see how many times you could rip that angled return. After you went 3 for 3, all of them being clean winners, I decided it wasn't a good idea...

    The funny thing was, the backhand return was the only shot I didn't feel comfortable on with that frame. Everything else was just so easy.
     
    #40
  41. Moz

    Moz Hall of Fame

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    Interesting given our mutual M Comp 95 history....I just got a Donnay x-dual core gold 94 to try (with +10g buttcap weight) and do not get on with it at all.
     
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  42. airdupont

    airdupont Semi-Pro

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    Stay away from Donnay....their graphite is very weak
     
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  43. syke

    syke Professional

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    #43
  44. McLovin

    McLovin Hall of Fame

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    Interesting. Chris seemed to echo my feelings: Add a slight bit of weight in the handle to give it more heft, but none up top.

    I also looked up his review of the F 3.0, and he seems to have similar preferences as me. I'll be paying more attention to his reviews.

    The 310g will make it to my next round of demos, which will likely include the 18x20 X Force Pro, the Graphine Speed Pro, and one more TBD.
     
    #44
  45. Bubbagumptennis

    Bubbagumptennis New User

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    McLovin, how would you compare the power level of the Vcore tour 97 310 to other racquets in its weight class? I'm a serve and volleyer currently using an old Aero Pro because of cracks in other frames. As long as I can serve bombs with it, I'll probably get it! I can't demo though /: I just want something in that weight class that I can serve with, and not get pushed around from the baseline with. My volleys seem to be the same no matter what racquet I use.

    Thanks in advance!
     
    #45
  46. McLovin

    McLovin Hall of Fame

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    Well, to be honest, I'm not the one to ask as far as 'serving bombs', because I'm only 5' 9" and top out ~ 105MPH on the serve.

    However, compared to other frames, the power is definitely on the lower side off the ground, which is something I like. But I didn't notice any significant drop in power off the serve.

    Tonight I play doubles, and one of the guys in my league is pure serve & volley. He's going to give the 310g a swing and see if he likes it (his current frame is the MicroGel Radical). I'll update his thoughts on it either tonight or tomorrow.
     
    #46
  47. downs_chris

    downs_chris Professional

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    The Dunlop feels so quick in the air -- which I like for returns. I'm really surprised at the angles I was able to hit with that frame. Still kinda of day dreaming about it...haha
     
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  48. suppawat

    suppawat Semi-Pro

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    My demo experience is pretty much similar to yours. But instead of Pro One 97, I had Head G-Speed Pro in the demo session along with Yonex VCore Tour 97 310g, and Dunlop F3.0 Tour.

    I agree with you that Dunlop F3.0 Tour is a big surprise. The racquet has the best stability among those three and penetrate the court well. It is quite fast thru the air, but not as fast and whippy as the Yonex. I have a good confidence in hitting ball harder with this stick. The only annoying thing is the plastic sound from hitting. I tried changing string but the plastic sound is still there.

    For Yonex VCore Tour 97, this is also another surprise. Power is much improved from previous Yonex VCore frames I tried. I played against harder hitters and the racquet handle heavy balls so well. You are right, this frame is whippy. It fits those who have fast & short swing. The racquet is so maneuverable, and this makes the racquet one of the best defensive frames. I test 3 string jobs - Solinco Tour Bite 16L, Solinco Outlast + Volkl Classic Synthetic gut, and Solinco Barb Wire. The Barb Wire set up works perfectly for me. The ball dips inside the baseline nicely while I lost control from the hybrid and get amplified harshness from Tour Bite.

    The Head G-Speed Pro didn't get along well with me after 3 demo sessions. I gave it to my friend to try and we experienced the same thing. We had to open up racquet face a lot during backswing and hit the ball very hard to get the ball cross the net. Plow-thru was too low to allow you to loosely hold the grip and hit the penetrating ball. This frame tired me so bad and forced me to stay aggressive all the time, which is not the way I play these days. It can be good for younger hard hitter who love to finish point quickly. IMO, this stick is not good for a longer groundstroke rally. I did 3 string jobs as well, and none worked for me.

    For Pro One 97, it's not in the same category as Yonex VCore Tour 97 and Dunlop F3.0 Tour. The Pro One 97 and Head IG Radical Pro are in the same heavy ball hitter category. Weight distribution is toward to head for greater plow-thru effect. They are good for those who love hitting heavy balls far from the baseline. If you want to test Donnay racquet in the same versatile racquet category as those 2, I'd recommend the Pro One 18x20.

    Now I am waiting for the Wilson Steam 99s to ship in, so I can test it against the Babolat AeroPro Drive 2013.

    [​IMG]
     
    #48
  49. McLovin

    McLovin Hall of Fame

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    That is disappointing to hear. I had hoped a change in string would get rid of that. I guess after using it for a while one might get used to the sound, but then again, maybe not.

    I used the Yonex 310g last night and played some of the best doubles I've played in a while. It just felt so nimble around the net. I was also able to return just as well as with my X Force Pro, although power was lacking on occasion when I hit my 2nd or 3rd shot from the ground.

    Same could be said for my serve, although I'm guessing if it had gut/poly (my normal setup) instead of full poly, there would be a bit more power. But overall I was very, very happy with the way it felt.
     
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2013
    #49
  50. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2009
    Messages:
    14,041
    Location:
    Atlanta GA
    Guys...I couldn't get past that sound/feel of the Dunlop 3.0s either. It made me feel like the racquet was made out of balsa wood or something...very hard to describe. For me it was more of a feel than a sound. It also didn't feel very good unless you hit the dead center of the racquet.
     
    #50

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