Diary of a Racketaholic

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

  1. klementine

    klementine Hall of Fame

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    I'd be curious to try a thicker gauge of that combo in a 16x19 frame. Sounds good and budget conscious.
     
  2. Power Player

    Power Player Talk Tennis Guru

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    Its really really good. Highly recommend. No tension loss..no movement, excellent crisp and punchy feel.
     
  3. JGads

    JGads Hall of Fame

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    Full-on agree with the above about the Graph.

    PP, I'm loving your story. Thanks for sharing it. But I'm loving it because it's an honest portrayal of what we've all been through if you play enough tennis. I also love it because I just know you'll figure it out. I lost to so many guys I felt I should have crushed early on in league play after being away from competitive tennis for years, and on occasion it'll happen still, but for the most part I'm fine against DePush Mode now. Yeah it's never that fun, but occasionally when you really hammer a pusher by doing all things right, it is. You'll beat these guys the second time around, I'll bet. But what I like is your commitment to playing the right way, your way, and knowing it'll come.

    Quick update on my own Graphene and strings, even though the performance of the tour bite/nvy hybrid has won 12 games in a row, there's just a little something about it that still seems to get my shoulder more sore than I'd like. So today, I just dropped my blackhead off for a bare bones, cheap, full Prince Synthetic Gut with Duraflex (unfortunately they didn't have Original) string job. Even if this only lasts me a few sessions, I want to see if full Syn gut makes the shoulder feel better, and if performance will drive me crazy compared to my preferred poly or poly/hybrid. If so, then my next setup will probably be yours with the silverstring/Syn gut hybrid.

    Keith, great to hear from the sober! Know you love love loved that frame back then, happy you're still grooving. Wish that thing didn't gave those weird spongy powerhole type grommets but kept the low stiffness, otherwise I'd have tinkered a lot more with mine a lot more back in the day before dismissing it rather quickly. Maybe too quickly. Happy to see you're still grooving.

    Good stuff in here lately, boys.

    Onward.
     
  4. torpantennis

    torpantennis Legend

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    Recently, I've always started my first service game with a S&V point. That tends to give you the right mindset, and the opponent will have something to think about.
     
  5. sma1001

    sma1001 Semi-Pro

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    Just though i'd pop in to say i've been following and really enjoying your chat about playing pushers. Great stuff - keep it up!
     
  6. dnj30

    dnj30 Semi-Pro

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    Have you noticed a higher pitched impact sound with the 1.20. I recently switched from tour bite 16l to 17. Getting a different sound off the stringbed. Is that normal for thinner guage? Kinda annoying, but I like the way the thinner string plays. Btw, I play the Gpp, not the mp.
     
  7. bad_call

    bad_call Legend

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    what tension? got some of those 2 strings but haven't decided what strings and tension to put in the back up blade.
     
  8. SpinToWin

    SpinToWin G.O.A.T.

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    At the same tension thinner gauges make a higher pitched sound, yeah.
     
  9. el sergento

    el sergento Hall of Fame

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    Dude bro's,

    What's a fair price for a POG Mid single stripe in 8/10 condition?


    Also, I need a DePush Mode t shirt now, bloody brilliant.
     
  10. Power Player

    Power Player Talk Tennis Guru

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    Thanks Gads, rather well stated in an inspiring way.


    I think you will really like POSG in the Prestige. It should feel nice and crisp but not too bad on the arm. It is really the best setup when you aren't sure of what you want to do, because it will tell you what you need.

    Honestly, the holy grail for your shoulder could very well be natural gut at 55#s. That string in the Graphene probably feels unreal. You could even cross it with POSG for a Feelgasm.

    God, now I want to do it.


    I like that and I seriously may do that. I do mix in S&V, but to do it that early could really wake my brain up and get me moving forward sooner in the first set, taking away hesitation.

    Yes I did and then it went away. It's how you contact the ball. If you are brushing it a little too much or not compressing the ball enough that happens with the thinner gauge strings. I bet you will notice this goes away the more you get used to the gauge. It took me a few hours to get used to the thinner gauge.


    Definitely better feedback here than the usual tips thread where people bash pushers for 5 pages. This is more of the mental side of it, and I think that makes it more interesting to read.


    52 is perfect. Probably settles in around 48 and just feels great.
     
  11. keithfival

    keithfival Professional

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    dbl post...
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2015
  12. keithfival

    keithfival Professional

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    From what I recall, this thing plays great pretty close to stock (fast and good pop) but I always seem to gravitate to ~335-340g no matter what the stick for more solidity and added comfort. That's a lot of weight to add so after many moons of shifting it all around here's what I've ended up with:

    1g @ 12
    4g @ 10/2
    2g @ 3/9
    2.5g @ 4/8
    3.5g @ throat
    16g (two thick overgrips) on handle
    6g in the butt

    Came to 337g, 9HL. When I weighted a second stick the same way it came to 336g, 8HL. This one has more oomph and I may end up liking it even better.

    Power Level

    Power level is pretty reduced with this setup, it's so HL and but not nearly as whippy. Stock I think it has good pop but like this I'd say it's quite low powered. I can't just yank a high FH crosscourt and have it explode off the strings like I can with any kind of APD type stick. It's more like an old school players racket now where you have to hit through the ball but with a nice big 104" head! If I hit through the ball the power is there to finish a point but if I just spin the ball it is definitely coming back.

    Cheap Points

    I had to learn to finish points by hitting through the ball more (still hitting up the back of the ball but without rolling over so much) rather than the hyperspin modern FH. It took a while for this not to feel too risky compared to the safety of uber topspin but now it feels pretty natural and smooth, and not as violent on my body! Not many aces with this setup but a decent wide serve can set up a winner into the open court for sure.

    Over time it has really changed my game in a way I am really enjoying now. My game used to be the typical modern athletic 4.5 game, huge topspin FH to the BH corner, consistent topspin moonbally BH, come to net on "almost winners", run everything down. Now it's a smoother, more relaxed all-court/point construction game. I hit flatter, can move my BH around (short angle, deep or dtl) and drive it more, slice approaches can be deep or short and angled off, I can take moonballs out of the air with high volleys, I use more short angles on both sides to open op the court. It's really fun. I used to have half a dozen highlight reel crazy running FH winners every match. I don't have those any more but I love feeling like I have more options and no glaring holes (like midcourt volleys or what to do with a short backhand). The whole thing is also more relaxed and strategic, less grindy. More Fed less Rafa (though I will always prefer Rafa!).

    Oversize-flexy-players-stick-with-full-syngut is the new black!!
     
  13. Power Player

    Power Player Talk Tennis Guru

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    Ill add that the 104 blade is a better OS than the POG, IME.

    It's one of the few frames I would go back to down the road because it is soft, plays very controlled and reminds me sort of an OS prestige in terms of the accuracy you get from it. Also the large head gives back the power you lose from the flex.

    What got me to try it was I met a guy who is a pretty high level rec player who swore by the frame. If I develop arm pain at all this frame is on my short list. You can probably buy the black PJ for a steal now and Im pretty sure it will be like the new green one.

    I should never have sold mine. I remember saying in this thread selling it would be a bad idea, and it really was. Its just a great frame to have in the closet in case you get in a slump or have arm or shoulder issues.
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2015
  14. Rozroz

    Rozroz Legend

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    i'm reviving my Microgel Instinct to see how it feels after 2 years.
    why did they do that 18X19 pattern btw?
    for more spin?
    why isn't this more common?
     
  15. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    I like the 18x19 in the Blade 104. 2 extra mains give you a little better directional control.

    For more spin you want less crosses and more space between the mains.
     
  16. Power Player

    Power Player Talk Tennis Guru

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    It works really well in an OS frame.
     
  17. torpantennis

    torpantennis Legend

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    That "OS Prestige", i.e a racquet with a more spin oriented feel but still great accuracy/touch/slices/volleys is what I'm after. Have you ever tried IG Extreme Pro 2.0? On TW review it's rated much better than Pure Drive on feel/control/volleys/slices, although it's a similar modern spin monster as PD.

    http://www.tennis-warehouse.com/Reviews/HYTIGX/HYTIGXReview.html
     
  18. el sergento

    el sergento Hall of Fame

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    How does the Blade 104 fare vs. the vintage MG Rad OS?

    I had real control problems with the Rad OS, I felt it had too much pop and I couldn't get a good grip on the ball, although I was stringing ridiculously low at the time.
     
  19. dnj30

    dnj30 Semi-Pro

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    ok, thanks. And @ PP, you are right about the sound lessening over time. First time out with the 17 guage it was really noticeable, now after playing about 15hrs with it the sound is still there but to a much smaller degree. Good call.
     
  20. keithfival

    keithfival Professional

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    Yup, the comfort is why I originally switched. And the players stick control with the forgiving OS is pretty addicting. I would say it's for people who like control, consistency and a big sweetspot. A very easy but honest racket.


    I only hit the MG Rad OS one time (i was playing the MP at the time) and hated it. The stringbed seemed very uneven and twisty off center. The Blade is nothing like that, stable and solid with control and a forgiving, muted feel. I swear it feels like hitting a 95 except without all the mis-hits!
     
  21. Power Player

    Power Player Talk Tennis Guru

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    I knew I tried it and that is why I like this thread. You can post your experiences in here and dig them back up from the archive -

    http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showpost.php?p=7745680&postcount=16891

    I think I prefer a medium power frame. I consider that Graphene MP to be that. It's not a low powered one like the old prestiges and its not a cannon like the Extreme.

    Seems I perform well best with a middleweight like the graphene. This was reinforced again last night, as I am able to generate enough beef on the rally balls to keep them deep and I still get excellent precision. I look for placement over power in a frame, but I like a little power too. And that is what the Prestige provides.
     
  22. torpantennis

    torpantennis Legend

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    Yeah, I think EP might be too high powered for my game. I have no problem delivering power with the leaded up IG Prestige. The problems are slightly too low launch angle, low spin potential and unforgiving response off sweet spot. A slightly bigger head and a slightly more open pattern, still with the honest response, is what I need. Blade 104 does seem like a good candidate, just too bad but I couldn't find any cheap offers on old versions of it.

    I will probably order something relatively cheap. POG OS is another candidate. Just too bad that it doesn't have 18 mains. That 16x19 might be too open at 107 sq.in? OTOH, the beam is thin at 19mm. Ahhhh, the decision is so hard. Just too bad that I cannot demo the racquets. :neutral:
     
  23. bad_call

    bad_call Legend

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    weirdness...couldn't hit for crap with the full syngut setup time before and the poly hybrid was the reliable fall back. this time the syngut kicked butt and the poly hybrid was sailing the balls. maybe the warmer temps had something to do with it.
     
  24. spinovic

    spinovic Hall of Fame

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    I strung my wife's Blade Team with Alpha Gut 2000 and it feels superb. I was pleasantly surprised. Syn Gut seems to be the one string type that is really hit or miss for me. Some I have loathed (see HEAD PPS) and some have been great (Duraflex). With any string type I prefer some over others, but Syn Gut seems to be the only type where I find some I can't stand. In any case, the Alpha Gut 2000 renewed my interest in synthetic gut.

    But, ultimately, I don't break strings, so I always keep one frame strung with a full bed of natural gut. It is cost effective for me. The only reason I don't string them all that way is because I enjoy trying different strings.

    I really love the new HDX Tour from Tecnifibre. Maybe their best string. I need to play with it some more.

    Has anyone tried the Prestige Rev Pro? The old Mid with its specs and 18x20 pattern was too demanding for me, but the Rev Pro looks like it might be fun to try. Also, switching to the 16x19 makes the new Prince Textreme 95 more intriguing.

    Which is more powerful? Textreme or Graphene?:)
     
  25. spinovic

    spinovic Hall of Fame

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    The Radical OS has an 18x19 and it can be had for cheap. Have you considered it?
     
  26. spinovic

    spinovic Hall of Fame

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    I agree. I think the 18x19 works quite well in the 104. That racquet seems to provide an almost perfect balance of everything.

    I believe I bought it from you, right? Or was it Jack?
     
  27. klementine

    klementine Hall of Fame

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    Yes, this happens sometimes. I think I prefer a certain set-up, remembering how it once played, then the opposite holds true.

    Could be the temperature, could be some strange gravitational vortex or the fact that I'm currently 10lbs. over my ideal weight.

    Prolly the latter. :)
     
  28. Power Player

    Power Player Talk Tennis Guru

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    Tough to beat the response of the prestige. The newer graphene version is easier to use. You could also consider the tecnifibre 315 ltd 16x19.

    If you want a bigger head size, it just matters how big. But honestly, the Blade 104 is a great frame for what you are looking for.

    The POG OS is honestly rather advanced for being an OS. Im not sure if that is the way to go.
     
  29. JGads

    JGads Hall of Fame

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    Totally running into this scenario tomorrow, not knowing what to expect from my newly relaced Prestige. A full Syn gut setup in a frame for the first time in ages. Not expecting great performance, just hoping for good enough, to go with comfort, for maybe a few hitting sessions. An experiment.
     
  30. klementine

    klementine Hall of Fame

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    ^ The trick with syn.gut is to string it at the right initial tension. That way when it starts to get 'crusty' and harder, hopefully the tension drop wil make for the perfect syn. feel.

    At least that's my take, and I'm stickin to it.
     
  31. JGads

    JGads Hall of Fame

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    Went with 55 lbs with Prince Gut Duraflex 17, we'll see.
     
  32. Fuji

    Fuji Legend

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    I tried RIP Control 17g @ 55lbs in the redhead, solid tension for that string at least.

    -Fuji
     
  33. bad_call

    bad_call Legend

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    well I am carrying a bit too much around the waist. chalk it up to that and the gravitational vortex. :)
     
  34. Power Player

    Power Player Talk Tennis Guru

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    Thats perfect. My go to tension with Syn gut has always been 55. In the 18x20, its going to work just fine.
     
  35. el sergento

    el sergento Hall of Fame

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    Even Delpo rehabs like us mortals :) Shout out to Mikeler for turning me on the the Flexbar:

    [​IMG]
     
  36. el sergento

    el sergento Hall of Fame

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    I found RIP Control to be like a black hole of power, or a vortex of power suction, in keeping with the current lingo.

    In other words, it's the most underpowered string I've ever used.
     
  37. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    ^^^ He has the forearm squeezer I recommend too. I wonder how many of these people read TTW on those long flights!

    The real key to getting rid of arm pain is to buy my current racket. I've never had a twinge using full poly except for 1 or 2 strings.
     
  38. el sergento

    el sergento Hall of Fame

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    Delpo would crack it in two after a couple of forehands. Those Princes are so thin.

    BTW, how does it volley vs. the EXO's? I find the EXO's so mushy on the volley, I find it almost impossible to really stick a good volley.
     
  39. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    I saw that! :)

    Flexbar should be the #1 thing on your list if you have any TE pain
     
  40. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    It's better in every respect than the exo versions.
     
  41. JGads

    JGads Hall of Fame

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    Syn gut setup is cool as a change of pace. Comfy, pillow like actually. Drove the heck out of the ball as opposed to the spinnier poly, but at times more springy/jumpy than I want as I missed the grab and deadness of poly mains. Also, from the looks of it, these strings may snap in Session 2. If
    I were playing matches I cared about, not a setup I'd continue with, but for now with casual hitting and practice sets, it's just fine and will play until the snap and get back to a hybrid.
     
  42. Power Player

    Power Player Talk Tennis Guru

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    Yep, exactly. Its a great comfort setup. Im thinking about getting another MP and putting gut mains and syn crosses in it, just to try. I just have a feeling that could be rather amazing if I can get used to how the ball comes off the strings.
     
  43. SpinToWin

    SpinToWin G.O.A.T.

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    Just out of curiosity, why not poly crosses?
     
  44. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    Did you ride your bike up to my club tonight? I was pulling out of the parking lot and I thought that was you.
     
  45. klementine

    klementine Hall of Fame

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    ^ Mikeler,

    I'd really love to hear your impressions and pros/cons, after what a year now?, of using an ESP frame.

    I had a brief stint with the 100T ESP, but had to let it go. I can't jive with full-poly anything, not because of the stiffness, but due to restringing and hybrid setups just went to mush in like 20 minutes.

    Still browse the specs and think, maybe I could make it work, maybe string at tensions that I'm not used to, like 60+lbs., and go for the model that's port-less?

    I enjoyed it so much on serve and net, effortless. Yet was way outside my comfort zone on groundies.

    EDIT: Never mind, just scrolled down to see you original esp thread, done a good job keeping it updated.
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2015
  46. Power Player

    Power Player Talk Tennis Guru

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    I just like syn gut crosses a lot. Used to the feel.

    Yep that was me.
     
  47. Fuji

    Fuji Legend

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    Really?! I love RIP control, it's so weird. I find it to have SO much pop in the sweetspot. I have heard a lot of people say it's under powered, but I find even "powerful" poly's to be more dead!

    -Fuji
     
  48. SpinToWin

    SpinToWin G.O.A.T.

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    I think it has more to do with the response that people find RIP underpowered. You don't really feel the ball exploding off the stringbed, since the feel is pretty mushy, whereas the crisper poly strings give the feedback of power. You feel like you're hitting more power with the poly, at least that's my theory.

    Fair enough.
     
  49. Power Player

    Power Player Talk Tennis Guru

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    I have definitely used gut poly and it's rather awesome. Just like the lesser priced syn gut cross option. Its more comfortable.

    Anyway, just a wild card setup I may try sometimes since the prestige's 18x20 pattern and feel is a perfect match.
     
  50. klementine

    klementine Hall of Fame

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    ^ I've tried that set-up in a MgPresM+ and it feels like heaven. Just a little hard to control slices and volleys, gotta be super deliberate with those strokes, and the crosses tend to saw through quicker than the mains, but if you're not much of a string breaker, it's awesome.
     

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