Donnay Pro One 18x20 Review and Comparison

Discussion in 'Racquets' started by Pure Babs, Jun 27, 2012.

  1. Pure Babs

    Pure Babs Rookie

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    I had a chance to play with the "new" Donnay Pro One 18x20 for the last week and hope this review is helpful. First of all, I am a 4.0-4.5 level player. I currently am using the Youtek IG Prestige MP, previously I used Babolat Pure Drives. Only customization so far is an overgrip and rubberband vibration dampener and strung with a Donnay Syn Gut at 55 lbs. I will compare it to the Prestige throughout.

    Groundstrokes: My game is built around my long, fluid, and flat groundstrokes; I play aggressive tennis and always look to step into the court to end the point. My favorite part of the P1 was hitting groundies. The frame itself felt very solid upon impact, but also provided some nice ball pocketing flex. Swingweight felt good, but at times when I wasn't in position the racket did feel a little sluggish getting through the ball. The good thing is, this frame has a huge sweetspot and excellent stability. Off center shots didn't seemed to phase me as much, and I seemed to consistantly get that nice sought after "thwak" sound when connecting with the ball. Additionally, I noticed a lot of spin potential. Although I don't hit with a lot of spin, I did see that I could generate quite a bit of action on the ball especially considering the 18x20 string pattern.

    Comparison: I would need more time to decide which I like better for groundstrokes. It's hard to beat the Prestige's precision, but I did feel like the P1 was more forgiving off the ground, and definitely offered more spin potential. Also, it handled off center shots better than my Head does. I was consistantly hitting deeper with the P1, although I did feel more comfortable swinging out completely (no matter my position on court) with the Prestige, whereas I had to be slightly weary to not overhit some shots with the P1.


    Volleys: My volleys are pretty solid. I wouldn't say they are my go-to shot, but if I need to hit one I am comfortable doing so to end a point. The P1 actually surprised me on this part of the game. I expected it to be not so manueverable... as I did find it a bit sluggish on out of position groundstrokes. However, the stability of this frame really impressed me and made up for the less than manueverable feeling. It allowed me to absorb the pace of the incoming shot and redirect it without feeling any "fluttering effect."

    Comparison: Again, I would need to further test these two frames against eachother to determine which volleys better. As of right now, I would have to go with the Prestige, as I still think it is my favorite volleying stick because of the manueverability factor and accuracy off the string bed. It feels like more of a scalpel at the net than the P1.

    Serves: Serving was a thrill with the P1. It's not the heaviest stick out there, but the plow through and stability really impressed me. I was thumping serves into the court consistantly and found the large sweetspot helped generate nice kick and slice when I needed it to. I really had to have a fluid motion, however, and let the mass of the stick drive through the ball. Additionally, when I went for extra zip and power, it was available.

    Comparison: P1 wins hands down. I served well with my Prestige at the beginning, but now find it difficult to generate pace and power without arming my motion too much. The P1 gave me extra power for less effort, which is perfect for me since I can be guilty of arming the ball during my service motion. I will note however, that the Prestige does have better accuracy, and I was able to hit my spots better with it. Here's hoping that the P1 can improve on that area as I play with it more.

    Overall: Overall I can say I was really impressed with the Donnay Pro One 18x20. It really shines on all areas of the court. It's stable, has a good mass, feel, and offers a nice power:control ratio. I did get a chance to test the 16x19 version, and found it felt stiff, had too much pop and I couldn't harness it's power. This new 18x20 version is much improved, with greater control and flexibility. I would compare it to the Wilson nblade 98 and obviously the Head Youtek Prestige MP. Definitely worth a try, IMO. I'll try to answer any questions you may have to the best of my ability! Here are some pictures first with the prototype "X-Dual Pro" and then a headsize comparison with the Prestige.

    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
     
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  2. tball

    tball Semi-Pro

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    Any word on how it is different from X-Dual Pro?
     
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  3. Pure Babs

    Pure Babs Rookie

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    Good question, and I was going to put that in there but forgot. The X-Dual Pro should be identical, but I actually liked the final version more. The Dual Pro just felt less solid; I felt more vibration and it overall just had a more demanding/harsh feel. So for me there was a noticeable difference. I even restrung both with matching strings to see if that was the difference.
     
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  4. Praetorian

    Praetorian Professional

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    Interesting. I am currently playing with an X-dual Pro, and was looking to pick up the pro one 18x20 as a racket to add as a backup to my stable. In your honest opinion, is it different enough to warrant NOT to do so?
     
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  5. Pure Babs

    Pure Babs Rookie

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    Weighed both the X-Dual Pro and the P1 today. The P1 weighs 11.5oz but get this... the X-Dual Pro came in at 12.1oz! Wish I could do further tests but this alone explains why they felt so different for me.

    Edit: Both had an overgrip, rubberband dampener, and the 0g donnay cap installed/
     
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2012
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  6. ultradr

    ultradr Hall of Fame

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    Donnay has weighted handle cap.
     
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  7. skeeter

    skeeter Semi-Pro

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    Stock (no weighted butt cap or lead), but with OG and dampener, my X-Dual Pro weighs in at 11.7 oz strung.
     
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  8. ChicagoJack

    ChicagoJack Hall of Fame

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    Pure Babs -

    Awesome cool review, thanks. But I'm confused about the "prototype x-dual pro". What's the backstory, how are these two frames related?

    - Jack
     
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2012
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  9. Pure Babs

    Pure Babs Rookie

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    Hey jack. Glad you found it useful. Donnay originally produced the X-Dual Pro and marketed it as James Blake's frame of choice. A bunch were made, but were very expensive (I think $270) and only available through donnay directly. They are now being discontinued as they are replacing it with the Pro One 18x20, which is supposed to be identical specs to the X-Dual Pro. Confusing, I know. I don't fully understand the company, I am just lucky to know the sponsorship director and thus get to hit all the frames!
     
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  10. BobStar

    BobStar New User

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    OP, thx for the review
    few questions:
    - what do u mean by: " arming the ball during my service motion" , just curious
    - u say: " you play aggressive tennis and always look to step into the court to end the point" .
    The sluggishness you mention combined with the "whereas I had to be slightly weary to not overhit some shots with the P1" seems to me u gonna have a problem with the P1 and prefer the Head. Agree?
     
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  11. ultradr

    ultradr Hall of Fame

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    I really appreciate this review.
    Is 18x20 p1 a feel racquet like head prestige mid plus or more like clubby pure drive? Thanks.
     
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  12. backatcha

    backatcha Guest

    Hey Pure Babs,
    You stated that the P1 18x20 was similar to the YTPMP... I have felt that the control of the YTPMP was perfect but the power/plow was too weak... Please describe in greater detail the power/plow qualities of the new P1, and compare this to the YTPMP.
     
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  13. ChicagoJack

    ChicagoJack Hall of Fame

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    I've not played the 18x20 but I can compare the 16x19 to the frames you mention. The P1 is closer to a prestige than a PD. A PD has a slightly "twangy" feel to it, much more vibration, slight more power, but waay less control than P1. A P1 plays a bit firmer, yet is nicely damp and muted somehow compared to a Prestige. I think that's a much tougher choice. I dont think it's any contest at all between a PD and a P1. I was more comfortable with my demo P1 than I was with my own Babolats after about an hour of hitting.

    Jack
     
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  14. Pure Babs

    Pure Babs Rookie

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    - By "arming the ball" I mean just trying to power it it with my dominant arm, and not using a fluid motion where my whole body is going into the serve.

    - You are certainly right about your second point. I do at this point still prefer my Prestige. Basically, the P1 gives me more power and spin. It is a very stable racket as well, but I found it overall too sluggish compared to my Prestige. I can hit through the ball so well with my Head frame, and still get a good amount of pop. However, I did have trouble with the P1 when I really wanted to step in (especially off the forehand side).
     
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  15. Pure Babs

    Pure Babs Rookie

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    I agree with ChicagoJack on this. The P1 18x20 feels more like a Prestige MP, but it does have that sneaky power that you find in PDs. I would say that it doesn't feel as chunky or "clubby" as the PD too, but instead feels much more solid.
     
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  16. Pure Babs

    Pure Babs Rookie

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    This is actually a great point and one that I was going to bring up now that I've played even more with the two frames. The control on the Prestige MP is outstanding... however, I do have trouble getting that power and plow through. That's why I have taken such a liking to the P1. It does everything that I struggle with using the Prestige. For example: more put away power when I need it, more stability on off-center shots, and more easy power when serving. Unfortunately for the P1, the Prestige is so "crisp" and precise off the ground and I don't ever fear taking a big cut at the ball because of its level of control. I run into trouble when using the P1 because its not as manueverable, and I've been prone to overhitting when I get tired and struggle to accelerate through the ball. At this point, I think I am too hooked on the Prestige to give up on its feel and ball control. It might be worth it to experiment with some lead to yield more stability and power...
     
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  17. BobStar

    BobStar New User

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    that and maybe some experimenting with strings/tensions and the prestige can become ur holy grail!
     
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  18. ultradr

    ultradr Hall of Fame

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    Thanks chicagojack and pure bob for feedback.

    I know what you guys say about pd and prestige. Pd has that twangy feel and all mighty power but uncontrollerable at times. Prestige is all around frame with no weakness in any dept. It just that I too sometimes feel lack of plow on groundies, especially the guy at the other side is with pd, pounding Roddick style forehand.:???:
     
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  19. Pure Babs

    Pure Babs Rookie

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    ^^^We should try to lead up/customize our Prestiges to give us that extra plow through, power, and stability against hard hitters. Problem is, I'm not sure exactly where to begin. I know generally that lead should be placed at 12 and 3&9 as well as the addition of a leather grip to counterbalance. Will do some more research!
     
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  20. rrito

    rrito Rookie

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    Mr Babs

    Thank you for the review. The power part has given me hesitation to buy this racquet (no demos where i am), as my previous experiment with 6.1 95 16x18 did not end well due to the uncontrollable power that racquet generated. I was a bit apprehensive that this racquet might be in the same league despite its closed string pattern, but from you review it seems it's not as bad as I thought, even though there were still insecurity when you took big swing/cut at the ball.
    I have just 1 question: have you tried a different string set up to try to curb the excessive power problem? Maybe a full bed of low-power polyester?
    Thanks again for your review
     
    #20
  21. Xonemains

    Xonemains Semi-Pro

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    wow. are you sure the P1 is that good??

    LOL, i think it is. :twisted::twisted:

    you better write down the racquet weight and balance b4 you return the demo then, just for future reference
     
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  22. Pure Babs

    Pure Babs Rookie

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    I'm going to try that next to try to tone down the power. Don't get me wrong, it's still very much a control oriented racket. I'm just comparing it to my Prestige MP most of the time, and thus don't know if anything can beat the control i get with this frame without sacrificing power. It's going to come down to just choosing a racket and sticking with it!
     
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  23. ChicagoJack

    ChicagoJack Hall of Fame

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    Hi Xonemains,

    Yeah, I'm glad somebody caught the depth of that statement, ha ha.The P1 was quite a revelation for me. Yes, I will def heed your advice, gonna weigh and balance everything before I ship it back (If) I ship it back.

    I went looking for a softer frame than my 2012 PD+, so I could keep using my GOAT Gut/Poly hybrid. But I think I might have found a far superior frame for me all the way around. The big test will be getting some quality court time with some of my 4.5, and 5.5 hitting partners. We'll she how she holds up to those deep and diving spinning eggs.

    Will likely quickly obtain a P1 used, cause I'd be comfortable using one in any of my league matches. That will buy me some time to demo against some other frames on my list... PK 7G, Head IG Radical Pro, Donnay X-99 Blue.

    Jack
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2012
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  24. rrito

    rrito Rookie

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    cool! please let us know how it went
     
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  25. Pure Babs

    Pure Babs Rookie

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    Strung it up with a donnay hybrid at 53 lbs and hit with it tonight. It feels a lot better versus the full multi. Now i've got a 3 way battle between the 18x20 P1, the Yonex Vcore 95 and the Yonex Vcore 97 Tour... All trying to replace my current Head IG Prestige MPs!
     
    #25
  26. prsherrera

    prsherrera New User

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    hey guys, please help me!
    thes racquets, especially the Dual X-Pro, they behave more like Prestiges with that typical flexibility and comfort, or more like a tweener a PD or something like that?
     
    #26
  27. RollTrackTake

    RollTrackTake Semi-Pro

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    Just finished a 1.5 hours of drills with the X-Dual Pro today. Got a good deal on one and wanted to see for myself how it differs from the Pro 1 16x19.
    I hit with it stock first and did not like the feel & balance. I've been playing with the 10g buttcap in my P1 for the last month or 2. So I then put the 10g buttcap on the X-DP and much better. I did not serve with it. It came strung with Donnay hybrid at 53lbs.
    1. The power is reigned in noticeably. There is still a good amount of power to be had I just needed to work more for it. Faster swings and precise timing were necessary whereas the 16x19 P1 leaves me more room for error.
    2. Control is noticeably better. Still not really what I'd call a 'scalpel' but I could put balls closer to my targets than with the 16/19.
    3. Love the matte black pj vs the glossy one!
    4. When I put the X-DP on top of the 16/19 it appears the hoop on the X-DP is a shade smaller.
    5. The balance & weight are dead on with the 16/19.

    Over the next 2 days I get to use it in match play. That will tell a lot more than the practice drills.
     
    #27
  28. Pure Babs

    Pure Babs Rookie

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    Definitely it plays more like a Prestige.

    Glad you liked it! I LOVE the X-Dual Pro PJ... almost black-out just with the company's decals!
     
    #28
  29. ultradr

    ultradr Hall of Fame

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    How is the PJ different each other? Pro one 18x20 not as mat-black as xdual pro?
     
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  30. Bartelby

    Bartelby G.O.A.T.

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    The decals could be smaller!
     
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  31. RollTrackTake

    RollTrackTake Semi-Pro

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    The X-Dual Pro is the first production of the Pro 1 mold with an 18x20 pattern. It preceded the Pro 1 and was only available buying direct from Donnay to my knowledge. The Pro 1 18x20 & 16x19 were produced after it. I don't have a Pro 1 18x20 but I believe it has the same gloss black PJ as the 16x19 version. A little confusing
     
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  32. Pure Babs

    Pure Babs Rookie

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    The X-dual pro and both P1 versions all have a matte black paint. The only difference (according to Donnay) is that the x-dual pro has less and smaller company decals making it look like a prototype racket of sorts. Great pj on all the sticks though. They are NOT glossy black.
     
    #32
  33. ChicagoJack

    ChicagoJack Hall of Fame

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    deleted pst
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2012
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  34. ChicagoJack

    ChicagoJack Hall of Fame

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    Hi Pure Babs,

    Thanks for the awesome review, much appreciated. I'm thinking/wondering if the early release version 18x20 you were able to obtain was much more flexible than the 18x20's that are shipping today? TW lists the (average) 16x19 as 64ra, and the (average) 18x20 as 68. Add in denser string bed to a stiffer frame, and the 18x20 seems (at least on paper) mucho stiffer, not softer. That's a key distinction btwn the two, for many of us sniffing out the specs from afar.

    I'm stressing the word "average" here as it seems there is quite a range even between racquets of the same model. I have three P1 97's, 16x19's. One is 64 ra, the other two are 67.

    If they vary in flex so much, Perhaps the best answer is to ring up Donnay or TW, and ask em to look for (on the code sticker) a matched set of whatever is in my wheelhouse.

    Thanks!

    - Jack
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2012
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  35. RollTrackTake

    RollTrackTake Semi-Pro

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    Look up the definition of 'matte' then the definition of 'glossy'. I'm not saying the Pro 1 is shiny black or iridescent.
    Kal El & Suppawat both made the same distinction in the first version of this thread 6 months ago. They each posted hi res pics of the X-dual pro next to the Pro 1 16x19 and if you insist I can do so as well.

    http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=408173&highlight=full+review+donnay+pro&page=7
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2012
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  36. tball

    tball Semi-Pro

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    Pro One is glossy. Dual Pro is matte.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2012
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  37. mrrockstar

    mrrockstar New User

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    How does Sweetspot and Power compare to P1 16x19?

    I have a P1 16x19, it is the biggest sweetspot of every racquet I ever had (Prestige Mid, Prestige Pro, Volkl PB10 mid, ProKennex Qtour, ProKennex Ki5, Babolat APD GT...)

    and Power of P1 16x19 is also rated quite high above average

    Thanks!
     
    #37
  38. RollTrackTake

    RollTrackTake Semi-Pro

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    Nice pics! Thanks for saving me the trouble!
     
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  39. RollTrackTake

    RollTrackTake Semi-Pro

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    I've only had the X-Dual Pro for a week. In that short amount of time on the court i've found it to be less powerful than the Pro 1 16x19. Especially when hitting slightly off the smaller sweetspot. There are others on the boards with a lot more experience with it who are better players who may disagree. In an attempt to be as comprehensive with these racquets as possible, I got a 3 week demo with the Pro 1 18x20 coming from Donnay. I've read others say that racquet plays different than the X-Dual Pro.
     
    #39
  40. Pure Babs

    Pure Babs Rookie

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    Jack, that may very well be, as I did get an early release version. If I didn't have the specs in front of me though, I would swear the 18x20 was more flexible than the 16x19. It could also be that the power level is a lot higher with the closed pattern. Who knows. Specs can be decieving. Could also have been the strings... I'd have to hit with the 16x19 again!

    Whew, thanks for catching that, and yes, you are dead-on. The P1 retail is actually more glossy than the completely matte X-Dual Pro. But like you said, it's not the shiny glossy you would find on say the 2012 Pure Drive or BLX Blade etc.

    I have a feeling you are really going to like the final retail 18x20. I was one who did feel a difference between the two (with the XDP feeling more demanding and less powerful). Really a smooth feeling racket and I would have switched to it if not for the Yonex Vcore 95 (for power and maneuverability).
     
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  41. RollTrackTake

    RollTrackTake Semi-Pro

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    How does the Pro 1 & Yonex 95 D compare? I keep reading glowing commentary about the 95 D. I haven't used a Yonex since the RQ 380 (Monica Seles racquet circa early 90's). But the 95 D, Ezone XI 98, and the Vcore 98 all look like they could be really great offerings.
     
    #41
  42. Pure Babs

    Pure Babs Rookie

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    I would say the Yonex offers better pop and maneuverability, and also is a tad stiffer. Unlike with the P1 18x20, I have no problem whipping around the yonex and it's just easier to handle for me. Without sounding like a fanboy, I think the 95d is great from anywhere on the court, and ultimately it's how I served with this frame that convinced me to switch.
     
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  43. RollTrackTake

    RollTrackTake Semi-Pro

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    Your assessment is similar to others I've read. Over the course of playing a lot more during this really hot summer I've found myself not being able to whip the P1 as consistently due to fatigue. At first I tried to fight through it hoping I would get stronger. Now I'm turning to my BB London on day 2 or 3 of a tournament. I'll probably hit the weights more over the next few months. It's cheaper than buying new 95 D's! But I'd still like to give them a go!
     
    #43
  44. ultradr

    ultradr Hall of Fame

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    do you find x-dual pro and pro 1 18x20 different?
     
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  45. ultradr

    ultradr Hall of Fame

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    I'm currently demoing Pro 1 18x20. I feel like the grip size is way small for 4 3/8.
    Anybody feels similar with Pro 1 grip sizes ?

    Pro 1 18x20 plays fantastic. Only thing is that I may have to punch a bit more on my volleys compared to my old Head Flexpoint Prestige MP, which is heavier.

    I wonder how would it feel if I install butt cap weight and use non poly, like natural gut(which is my current choice of string...)
     
    #45
  46. suppawat

    suppawat Semi-Pro

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    Finally I managed to get the Pro One 18x20. The mold is exactly the same as X-Dual Pro, but the paint is slightly more glossy like Pro One 16x19. The cross strings are not as open as Q-Tour's.

    On the first 10 minutes of hitting, I had a hard time finding the sweet spot. It doesn't feel like other Donnay racquets I tried. The racquet has very stiff hoop but less stiff in shaft. For sure, it cannot not be 62 as stated on Donnay website. However, the ball impact feel is very solid and comfortable.

    After adjusting my swing to be more compact and wristy and tailweight +10g in the handle, I started to see the strength of this racquet. The racquet swung much more fluid than Pro One 16x19 and most MP racquets I tried. Feel like I am hitting a shorter racquet, maybe 25-26". It's pretty fun to hit the ball angle to angle with good pace. When hitting string, the ball seemed to explode off rather than dwell in the stringbed. The power level was better than Q-Tour, Dual Pro, IG Prestige MP. Off-center hit still had sufficient power and didn't feel hollow like IG Prestige MP. Plow-thru was great for 320g racquet and I really enjoy hitting flat for 2 hours without tiring my arm.

    The only downside I feel was spin potential. It didn't brush the ball as good as Pro One 16x19, and far away from X-P Dual. But I am going to change string to Solinco Tour Bite and see if it spins better.

    I need to get more court time to provide more review.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    #46
  47. ultradr

    ultradr Hall of Fame

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    thanks Suppawat for reviews and great pictures.

    I ended up getting a used x-dual pro. I felt like it is same as pro one 18x20 although it depends largely on strings.
     
    #47
  48. tball

    tball Semi-Pro

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    Some comparisons from playing over the last month:

    I have an older X-Dual Pro 18x20, not the current one.

    Compared with Pro One 16x19 , X-Dual Pro hits a heavier ball and has better directional control. It swings heavier, and maybe that's the reason. I am not very interested in spin, and prefer flat hitting. X-Dual Pro works very well in this scenario.

    X-Dual Pro > Head IG Prestige MP . Again, heavier shorts, and better control. I find the IG MP very maneuverable, but it lacks in power.

    Older Head YT Prestige Pro vs. X-Dual Pro == a tie. That older YT has both power and precision which is equal, if not surpassing, X-Dual Pro. It maybe caused by the weight differential. The swingweight feels about the same for me for both of those (ie. slower/heavier than Pro One 16x19, IG Prestige MP). YT PPro generates more spin, when required. Very noticeable on serve. I am on the fence between these two. Donnay feels nicer, swings smoother and is better looking...
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2012
    #48
  49. tball

    tball Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2004
    Messages:
    782
    On a map, I would put the Donnay X-Dual Pro (18x20) in the quadrant with the following racquets: Head YT Prestige Pro, Volkl Tour 10 MP, Vantage 95 16x19, Donnay Pro One International (old Black and Orange version).

    For flat hitting, and mostly baseline play, they feel oh so close together that any further differentiation may be superfluous.
     
    #49
  50. ultradr

    ultradr Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2006
    Messages:
    3,490
    so x-dual pro is different from pro one 18x20 after all ?

    donnay says they are identical frames....
     
    #50

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