Diary of a Racketaholic

Discussion in 'Racquets' started by Ross K, Sep 11, 2010.

  1. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

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    This is pretty epic. Half the regulars here are Blading..lol. Awesome.
     
  2. Ross K

    Ross K Legend

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    Talking of of Blading, what's happened to our young patron, the person who set the trend and made Blading respectable around these parts?:)

    [​IMG]
     
  3. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    I am tempted to try it but I am afraid it will too low powered for me. For now I am enjoying the Blade and want to ride that train for a while.
     
  4. arrowtowntennisclub

    arrowtowntennisclub New User

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    Blading

    i just picked up a brand new black and gold BLX Blade 98!

    going out for a hit in a couple hours. needless to say, pretty excited. Picked it up for $100 NZD which is just stupid cheap for a brand new racquet here in nz so i think the price justifies my impulse purchase :twisted:

    edit: any advice on string tension?? will be stringing full poly 17g within the next couple days (kirshbaum pro line evo)
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2013
  5. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

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    Yesssss. Jump into the fire with us.

    I string mine at 51 poly mains. 54 poly crosses. So id suggest low 50s.
     
  6. Ross K

    Ross K Legend

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    Haven't experimented much re tensions but I like full poly @ 48 lbs. Keep us updated on your first hit with the black/gold.
     
  7. JGads

    JGads Hall of Fame

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    IW Demo Court Report:

    Tecnifibre 315 ltd 18/20: oddly, I struggled to really do anything with the ball.
    TF 315 Ltd 16/19: Holy Batman, that thing felt good. Loved.
    Volkl 7 310g: yes. I see what Timbo sees in this thing. Really nice and easy, not at all harsh.
    Volkl 10 Mid: just a delightful feeling sweetspot but not delightful outside of it. A bit sluggish feeling, indeed. My least favorite.
    Black Blade 104: much like the Volkl 7: easy. Feel on this one was nicer than the KFactor I had, which surprised me. I see what the Blade Teamers are liking here.

    Incredibly brief hitting time, but those were my impressions. I did walk out of the tent making a purchase, after all.















    Overgrips.
     
  8. Ross K

    Ross K Legend

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    Why exactly, JG? What stood out for you here?
     
  9. JGads

    JGads Hall of Fame

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    Just felt like old school plush heaven. Didn't realize the SW was THAT low until MD pointed out the specs. Didn't feel like a feather, nor did it hit like one. But again: super brief. Just felt like butter. Longer demo would Be needed to unearth the issues.
     
  10. Timbo's hopeless slice

    Timbo's hopeless slice Hall of Fame

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    y'all have to listen to your uncle Timbo, see? :)
     
  11. Fed Kennedy

    Fed Kennedy Hall of Fame

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    Blade 104 vs volkl 7...help us choose...
     
  12. rlau

    rlau Professional

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    Why do you string the crosses higher? I always string them two pounds lower on a full poly bed, which is supposed to increase the sweetspot.
     
  13. Hankenstein

    Hankenstein Professional

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    Will take the Graphene Speed Pro out for a dance tomorrow again, this time with some silicone, lead and fresh tour bite 17 in 47 lbs and see how it feels.

    Going back and forth between old classics in the 330-340 grams unstrung to modern frames in the 300-315 gram category, 10 days before i shall go down to Turkey and play the seniors world championship... Classic!
     
  14. Federerkblade

    Federerkblade Professional

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  15. MikeHitsHard93

    MikeHitsHard93 Hall of Fame

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    JG,

    How did those technifibres feel in terms of arm friendliness, power, and control?
     
  16. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

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    Because it's syn gut. I like my syn gut tighter.
     
  17. Hankenstein

    Hankenstein Professional

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  18. rolleroh

    rolleroh Rookie

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    FYI--

    Make sure you check both Unstrung Static Weight & Unstrung Balance prior to stringing, bc from my experience Wilson seemingly decided to make the BLX Blades w specs ranging from dead on to just about anything else--- more so than even typical Wilson QA standards.........

    The Static Weight is not nearly as important as Balance, as these magic wands receive their mystical abilities via the balance of their modest static weight// should ultimately feel much heftier than static weight would typically indicate......

    Balance skewed noticeably either way make it a different stick
     
  19. rolleroh

    rolleroh Rookie

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    edit: any advice on string tension?? will be stringing full poly 17g within the next couple days (kirshbaum pro line evo)[/QUOTE]


    Personally, high 40's/ low 50's feels FANTASTIC, but too much power at expense of control for me-------

    I always play 17 or thinner poly setups as well, and 57/54 has really worked much better for me w a variety of strings (Cyclone 17 & 18/ Yonex PTP/ MSV Focus Hex 1.10/ SPPP 1.18--- you get point)--- assuming most here are Stringaholics in addition to our racquet affliction
     
  20. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

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    This is one of the things I am going back and forth with Re: Blade Vs PSTeam. The Blade has a lot of beef and needs to be strung a little tighter for sure. I find 52-54 with my poly to be on the high end of what I would prefer to be stringing at. When I strung 4g at 52 in the Blade it was freaking sweet. Just a wonderful balance of control and power.

    I did the same with the Team and it was low powered. This actually got me pretty excited as in matches I need that control since power is usually on tap for me. The Team is looking like the more arm and control friendly option for me potentially, as I am hoping I can go back to polybreak mains in the high 40s and cross with OGSM around 52. Polybreak is not only one of the best polys I have used, it lasts long and is real good on the arm. I have been using old school stiff polys to control the blade, and that caught up to me. But I will say that if you can handle Tourbite or stiffer polys, Ice is absolutley a must try in the Blade as a main. It is just too good for the price. Highly recomennded.

    When I played with the team in a match situation I was able to hit real heavy, low to high balls with RIP mains and not worry about them going out. This type of stuff really gives me confidence in a match.

    So anytime I can go with a softer flex and a lower tension, I am in. Thats what hooked me on the yy200 (RIP, TW has finally sold out of them) and is why I bought the Team.

    All that being said, the Blade 98 is such an awesome stick that there is no way I am not going to string it up the same way as the Team and see how it goes. And that goes for the 104 as well. Until I get all these sticks strung up the same, I can't make a real decision.

    For now, its less tennis, soft mains and the green flex bar. I am doing 3-4 sets of 5 Tyler and reverse tyler twists.

    I noticed the upper tip of my inner forarm near the inside elbow was feeling it last night. Not a bad pain, but an ache kind of like after working out. so I am guessing those muscles are getting a workout.

    Starting to think this flexbar may be a must buy for anyone playing all the time. Just to be safe, and to keep your arm poly-ready.
     
  21. Ross K

    Ross K Legend

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    Just another 'Holicey thought on my part... how does the Blade compare to the Organix 10 325 good RHs?:)
     
  22. Fuji

    Fuji Legend

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    I'll give a full comparisson later today, short hand comment: Blade destroys the 325 hands down!

    -Fuji
     
  23. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    I looked at the head guard on my blade 98 last night and it looks like it would be very easy to punch some holes in it. It looks very thin and easy to cut so I might give this a try next time I string the racket. I think just a few strategically placed holes will bring the racquet down from 330 sw to 325.
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2013
  24. rolleroh

    rolleroh Rookie

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    Being the sick individual I am, immediately after my X Force Pro infatuation (new one just arrived today BTW), the Yonex V Core Tour 97 (310) has captured my fascination........

    Have affinity for 16x20 pattern sticks & don't even know how or why I stumbled across this one (think it was Wawrinka v Hewitt match), but want to know how compares to X Pro & Blade 18x20....

    Can anyone offer some insight???
     
  25. keithfival

    keithfival Professional

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    Pst

    Stopped by my local shop today and what do you know, a PST on the demo rack. Couldn't resist.

    I threw on 2 OGs, ~6g in the butt and 4" at 10 & 2. This came to 325g, 4HL, which is actually exactly where I hope to end up. (My one bother about the 104 is that I like the way it plays best closer to 340g but my body prefers ~325g.)

    Right off I noticed the smaller hitting surface and slightly oval/dunlop shape vs. the 104, especially between 3 & 9. Many many more slight mis-hits, espec. on the BH, something I've almost forgotten about with the 104! This may be just be a little re-adjustment, I have the frame for two more days so I'll see.

    I played 2 sets and won by about the same score or slightly better than usual, despite the more frequent mishits. Here's how it felt to me:

    Serve- great, as advertised. Easy easy easy first serves, not huge (but I didn't feel the need to go for huge), but near my normal top end with a very easy motion, thus making most of them. 2nd serve kickers were great too, definitely more speed and jump than usual without feeling at all risky.

    Groundies - mixed. Every time I had FH to step into, it went in, with good pace and drive. Defensive shots off the back foot didn't have a whole lot on them (easy to get those deep with the 104) but nothing drastic. BH got better as the match went on and I had a few up the line winners and started to get deeper cross-court. Never felt totally grooved on the BH and wonder if the 10 & 2 lead placement is right for this frame with the oval shape. 10 & 2 almost face each other rather than back towards the center and 3 & 9 might suppprt the sweet spot more. I may try this next although 10 & 2 almost always works better for me.

    Volleys- basically didn't hit any volleys in the match which is very unusual. I'm usually up there all the time to finish off points b/c my partner gets everything back from the baseline. Don't know if I was finishing more points/causing more errors from the baseline or he was just off, but very atypical that I never had to come in.

    All in all I can't say I felt totally grooved with it at all, but the serve and offensive forehand were quite effective and I did win on the easier side of usual. I like that it felt solid and playable at 325g and the comfort seems good. I'd like to see how it feels against a bigger hitter where the defensive shots come more into play. Day #2 tomorrow!

    BTW- No idea what it's strung with, looks like Prince Lightning, that white/silver shiny criss cross pattern. Maybe mid 50s.
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2013
  26. rolleroh

    rolleroh Rookie

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    *** Sorry all *** DISREGARD ***

    Just saw thread dedicated to this frame
     
  27. klementine

    klementine Hall of Fame

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    back and forth... i sway with the wind......

    I think I'm addicted to the PS90........ low(ish) swing weight.... extreme HL balance and a well centered stick.

    Past two times I've played, whatever sticks I started with, I've ended up things with the Ps90.

    Liked the k90.. might have been too much for me at the time.. a little stiff and a high swing weight. The BLX90.... mehh.. too damp for a 90. I've had this PS90 since x-mas and it's growing on me.

    Pondering if I should go for another 90 or just hold onto this one and see what happens with the next line. Still holding strong to the exo3T100(18x20) and the blade98... then there's always the occasional hit with my wife's PresMid.

    And of course all the temptation that boils in my blood when reading this thread..... ;)
     
  28. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    Ross....played another singles match with the Blade 16x19 last night and I am really starting to feel at home with it. You should try the 5 grams on the butt end. Definitely like it better than stock. I am starting to serve better with it too, which is good news. Usually serve is the last thing to fall into place for me with a new racquet. Can't wait to try out other string combos in the Blade, but the poly/multi combo I have now is very nice. It's ZoVerve 17g mains and Thunderblast 16 crosses at 52/55. 4th outing with it and it's still playing nice. Also...not missing the 99S one bit! :)

    p.s. picked up a 2nd Blade today
     
  29. JGads

    JGads Hall of Fame

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    Was at IW again yesterday. No better spot for a tennis fan.

    Wish I were there again today - an awesome slate of matches. Fed-Wawrinka and Gulbis-Rafa could both be fun or complete disasters. But would be superb to just park at Stadium 2 for the day to see four consecutive solid R16 men's matchups. (Making a mental note of this for next year)
     
  30. corners

    corners Legend

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    I'd hold out, just in the hope that they add Kevlar back to the braid in the next line. The K90 had a bit too much hoop mass for most people, which they've addressed with the PS90, but the raw feel of the K was the best. Plus those things were nearly bombproof, while Jolly can cave the PS90 in 2 minutes or whatever.
     
  31. arrowtowntennisclub

    arrowtowntennisclub New User

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    Have had a couple hours on the black and gold blade. playing it stock from factory with sensation, no dampener or overgrip. This thing really takes me back to my younger days of playing with a wilson oversized graphite frame with power slots (can't remember the name, it was a cheap racquet). Feels heavier than stated weight when holding it in hand, but absolutely canes it through the contact zone when swinging. The lag is perfect for me and the ability to rip it so quickly is something else. Just absolutely pounds the ball and the head speed i can get on it puts vicious spin on the ball even with factory strung sensation.

    Two handed backhand, my glorious 2hander thats always been my best side, had gone inconsistent.

    until now. its not an extended stick. it doesnt have a xtra long handle like most yonex, but god damn its accurate. and CONSISTENT.

    untangibles. those shots when you are out of position so you just scramble, swing and crack the ball with an improvised followthrough, get plenty of those with the blade. I think it must be the lower static weight and higher swingweight that brings the head around heavy and solid. I cant really demo here in NZ so i dont get to try out as many frames for a short amount of time like most of you guys in this thread. And im am aware of the 'honeymoon' period.

    cant wait to string it up with my pro line evo and chuck a tournagrip on it. such a solid racquet. Even though its a 18x20 string pattern, the control, accuracy, versatility and slice-ability reminds me of a 16x20 pattern or a cross between a prestige mp and my old rdis200.

    exceptional racquet for this baseliner, yet volleys amazingly well. i was surprising myself to say the least
     
  32. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

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    Yep, it's so good stock. I was thinking about selling mine and sizing down a grip size, but I may just keep them on hand while I spend more time with the Storm Team. I am lucky to have 2 that are very close in spec..don't feel like rolling the dice again for a while.
     
  33. Boricua

    Boricua Hall of Fame

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    i have three new rackets in mind. Extreme Pro 2.0, Steam 99 s:twisted: and Pro Kennex Q5 295. Wish I could demo the three but as always I have to buy and sell if I dont like. On a positive note, I can choose the string I like and not use any string the demo rackets come with.
    If I did not hit with loopy forehands I would never think about the Steam, but 80-90 % of the time I do hit loopy topspin (I have similar forehand strokes as Jason,Tw playtester, I think) so the Steam is supposedly made for my style of play. I am skeptical a bit because of the tension loss, I would probably use 4g full bed or Poly Plasma Pure (original orange color would be too much with this racket's paint job).
    The Extreme is the racket that in theory attracts me the most. Good spin, good plowthrough, I like the cosmetics eventhough some say the round head is too round.
    Finally the Q5. Seems a bit light but the other Pro Kennex rackets seem too heavy for my strokes. I need fast swings and if the racket is too heavy its tough on me and I play singles. Obviously what attracts me from the Q5 is the arm friendliness. Now or sometime in the future I will get this racket or some light Pro Kennex even if its not my main racket or just sell it, but I would like to see how they play and feel. Curiousity kills me.

    So, I will send back to TW the Organix 7's , one almost new and the other one completely new. and decide next week which racket to get.

    Honestly, not finding the "right racket" is getting on my nerves.:) Would me nice to have a main racket for an extended period of time and demo other rackets just for fun.
     
  34. Ross K

    Ross K Legend

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    klem,

    Know you said you like it quite extreme but what's your exact favoured head-light balance?


    Jack,

    Great that you're happy with the new mods and the arrival of 16x19 no. 2. Frustratingly, work and weather has set things back a bit for me this week playing-wise, gauging quite where I'm at with the frame (got new strung frames to use too :evil: ). Hoping Friday might see a change.


    arrow,

    My limited experience of the gold/black is similarly positive. Want to compare it to my 16x19 ASAP. Also want to throw a K Blade into the mix and have an unrestrained and possibly illegal night of maximum Blading.:)
     
  35. keithfival

    keithfival Professional

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    Day 2 with the Pure Storm Team went steadily downhill. Tried 3 & 9 and later 12 and just never really grooved. I think ultimately the PS (both the Team and GT) are just too muted/not enough feedback for me. Also, it feels much harder to use than the 104, much less forgiving and requires better positioning which, for me, equals more off-center sitting ducks and missing a lot of defensive swipes which I normally make. Oh, and my volleys were atrocious. The 104 makes me a decent volleyer, the PST offers me no such generosity!

    After struggling mightily to win two ugly, close sets I pulled out the 104 and literally felt like Federer for the next 20 minutes. Effortless returns, drop shots, volley lobs, BH DTL...the whole arsenal was right there. I fear the is no return from the 104 headsize. Proceed with caution....

    K Blade Team 104, I'm sorry I doubted you!
     
  36. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

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    Ross, may want to try my method and just use one stick for a few weeks. I have a Team, Blades and a 104 Team. I have hit with them all, got them somewhat sorted and will now just use the PSTeam again for a few weeks if not longer (barring a string breaking mid match).


    It helps - big time. Going back and forth with multiple sticks all the time will kill your timing and also make it very tough to ever really figure out how you groove with each stick. More importantly, it will help you dial in your optimal SW. After 1-2 weeks of the same racquet you will start to feel if it is swinging too light or too heavy.

    Anyway my main goal is 100% confidence and control during matches, so that is why I go this route. It allows me to holic out every now and then, but also allows me to spend adeuqte time with each stick. This is key because right now I have 3 fantastic racquets.

    Keith interesting stuff..I think we hit different, as I have more confidence with the Babo. I can't find a shot I struggle with when I use it. My drop shots and volleys just stick more. I do find the 104 the easiest racquet to use, but for me, the Team is still a very easy racquet as well. It just suits my style of play. What can I say, I watched too many James Blake forehand vids when I returned to tennis.
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2013
  37. Ross K

    Ross K Legend

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    Really wish you luck here B. I know the feeling well of getting majorly down re not seeming to settle on a frame. Keep us all updated on how it pans out.

    FWIW, it was a very close thing for me between the Blade and 99s. What the 99S is primarily about (big spin), you already know what to expect, but I think you might be pleasantly surprised by some of the less immediately obvious traits like solidness, ease of swinging, volleys, dynamic serving, feel (which is definitely softer than anticipated), and it's just a plain fun ract to play with. Unfortunately, as is well documented, stringing this thing is a bit of a can of worms altogether. Re the control issue and way ball can sit up a bit, I suspect if I stuck longer with the frame this could get ironed out.

    Re the Extreme Pro, I've never tried the 2,0 version, but have tried the IG version before, as well as the much older MG Extreme Pro. For me, coming from the APD (like yourself of course), I felt the EP had a very similar way of hitting big and blasting, and with a lot of spin. In short, I liked it a lot from the baseline. My issues here were certainly these older versions are very stiff (and I'm talking about forearm pains within less than 1 set), as well as them feeling a bit cumbersome and hefty. I believe the 2,0 is somewhat improved though all around.
     
  38. Ross K

    Ross K Legend

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    Good advice, PP (specially like the bolded bit.) Yes, well, 16x19 is definitely my central focus. Just want a little comparison with the gold/black to throw in there.
     
  39. keithfival

    keithfival Professional

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    Yeah, I get the sense the PST is more for guys who drive through the ball, more timing oriented, if that makes sense. After a long period with the APDC+ I think I got used to coming over the ball with a little more wrist and spin which translates nicely to the 104. I can easily brush the ball deep, and then whip over it on short balls for pace. More brushing than driving.
     
  40. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

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    Yep, thats it. I get so much spin that if I brush too much, it's fluffy. I still come over the ball, but I need to drive it or my shots sit up too much.
     
  41. Fed Kennedy

    Fed Kennedy Hall of Fame

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    Keith I feel you. I like the blx blade team 104 best right now...the touch on this racquet is ridiculous. I like it better than the new black 104....

    Boricua what happened with the volkl 104? Too much pop?
     
  42. keithfival

    keithfival Professional

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    Nice. From the little I've heard/seen about it, people feel the BLX is a slight upgrade from the K... PP, if you go all the way with the PST I'll give your BLX 104 a nice home!
     
  43. Boricua

    Boricua Hall of Fame

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    Yes, at least for me too much pop at times. Also, may seem strange, but for me having too much hitting area is as bad as having too little area to hit. I just got lost. 100head size is what I prefer. Also for my loopy strokes it was too bulky and slow. When I hit drive type strokes the racket moved well and fast. The stiffness did not bother me, great dampening and I used full Cyclone. Nice paint job, very classy, Great racket but not for me for the reasons stated.
     
  44. Boricua

    Boricua Hall of Fame

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    I an inclined to try the Extreme first and later on the Steam. Would using 4g be an option wirh the Steam? How many playing hours could I get? This Steam seems to me like these problematic teenagers who have alot of potential but do things along the way that drive you crazy. The Extreme would be a good and not so talented kid but less problematic. In any case, the Q5 will be waiting for me in the third round to cool things off. That is, unless the Extreme or the Steam make me fall in love. This could take a while.
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2013
  45. Timbo's hopeless slice

    Timbo's hopeless slice Hall of Fame

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    I predict you will hate the Extreme if you thought the X-7 felt bulky!

    that is one chunky piece of kit, huge, fat beam and a strange head shape than feels way wider than a normal 100, I just put my wife's Extreme MP up beside my X-7 and it's actually wider in the middle!
     
  46. Boricua

    Boricua Hall of Fame

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    Thanks for telling me. I wonder Lwhy would TW playtesters give it such a great review? Could be heavy. Steam, and Q5 it is. Uncle Timbo knows best
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2013
  47. Timbo's hopeless slice

    Timbo's hopeless slice Hall of Fame

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    oh, it isn't a bad frame, but it IS clunky

    My wife loves it, but she is a big hitting baseliner, only comes to the net to shake hands... (she has won Open tournaments back in the day)
     
  48. Boricua

    Boricua Hall of Fame

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    I hate clunky. I think I will try the Q5 295 with Poly Plasma mains at 53 and Pacific Classic gut at 56. And, yes it's a waste of gut but I don't care this time. Later on I will maybe maybe get the Steam depending on future reviews. Thanks Timbo and enjoy your X7, classy frame indeed.
     
  49. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

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    :) i doubt ill sell it. Its a great stick and so arm friendly. I have yet to set it up with my string setup either. So im not writing it off by any means, just working out the psteam and seeing how it goes.

    Ross, since you have both blades...do the grips feel the same size? They changed the grips on the new black ones so i was curious about that.
     
  50. Fed Kennedy

    Fed Kennedy Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2008
    Messages:
    4,750
    Location:
    With Roger
    Power, Im thinking gut mixed with 4g for the blade team might be grrrreat...the full bed 4g is awesome...so much control.

    After playing today I'm sold on this thing...I started to wonder about the prostaff 100...
     

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