Donnay Xene core - True? or BS?

Discussion in 'Racquets' started by AeroFan, Jul 10, 2011.

  1. AeroFan

    AeroFan Rookie

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2011
    Messages:
    146
    I recently saw an ad about DOnnay racquets having "Xene Core Technology", that claimed to have almost no effect on a player's arm due to its dual core technology. I was just wondering if there is any truth to this or if it's complete BS like the babolat cortex system, Also while I have mentioned babolat, do you think that there new "gold 99" racquet plays betetr than a babolat APDGT?
     
    #1
  2. SlowButSure

    SlowButSure New User

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2011
    Messages:
    40
    The Silver is a closer match to the APDGT.

    I've played both and like the Silver much more. Less power, but a lot more feeel and control, more maneuverable.

    The dual cores are very muted. They transmit only a fraction of the vibrations that hollow racquets do. But that's only one factor (and for most not a major one) in arm problems. Incorrect technique can lead to arm pain using any racquet. Correct technique can avoid arm pain using any racquet. And in between the extremes most people will find some individual combination of racquet/string that allows them to play pain free.

    In terms of vibration dampnening, the dual cores are a couple of orders of magnitude better at it compared to the cortex system. There are probably some people that will benefit from that. But there will also be people that continue to have arm issues using the dual cores that nothing short of a stroke overhaul will fix.
     
    #2
  3. suppawat

    suppawat Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2005
    Messages:
    575
    Location:
    Bangkok
    Based on my personal playtest, the Dual Core (Dual XeneCore) racquet is more comfortable than X-Series racquet even though both of them are made of XeneCore. It's a good choice for those hard hitters who are so worried if mishit will hurt their elbows. However, I personally like the feel of X-Series better. Do I believe in XeneCore reducing shock? Yes, XeneCore and other foam-filled racquets can reduce vibration. The dual core contruction can reduce shock/vibration even more.

    For Cortex technology, I don't notice much difference between Cortex and Non-Cortex frames. Actually, there is no rocket science behind the Cortex. In fact, Cortex is the weakest link of the racquet structure. See the pictures below.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    #3
  4. whomad15

    whomad15 Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2010
    Messages:
    557
    owned!

    honestly technique is the biggest factor in arm pain.
     
    #4
  5. tennisnoob3

    tennisnoob3 Professional

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2010
    Messages:
    1,359
    this.

    isnt the throat always the weakest part of any frame?
     
    #5
  6. BobFL

    BobFL Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2007
    Messages:
    3,692
    Location:
    Orlando
    Imo, new Donnay racquets vibrate as much as any other racquet in corresponding weight class. Xenecore is just a marketing name for something insignificant just like liquidmetal, ncode, d3o or any other attempt of brain assassination.
     
    #6
  7. Miami Tiburon

    Miami Tiburon Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2008
    Messages:
    540
    Everybody has there opinion and I have mine as well. The Xenecore technology makes the frame solid , a solid frame will feel different than a hollow frame. I find the Donnay frames to be some of the most stable and comfortable frames I have ever hit with. I think its best for players to demo the frames and see for themselves .
     
    #7
  8. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2004
    Messages:
    43,260
    Not true. Play 6 hours a day with a very stiff, super light, extra long, dense string pattern racquet strung with poly strings at a high tension against opponents that hit the ball hard when you're over 40 years old and I can pretty much guarantee you'll experience arm pain even if you have perfect strokes, and especially if you use a one-handed backhand.
     
    #8
  9. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2004
    Messages:
    43,260
    And so is the wrong racquet and/or strings.
     
    #9
  10. tennisnoob3

    tennisnoob3 Professional

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2010
    Messages:
    1,359
    if you use your hips/body properly, the racquet will feel like a feather and the ball wont have a harsh feeling like it would with improper technique
     
    #10
  11. tlm

    tlm Legend

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2004
    Messages:
    7,454




    You may be right but it seems like there have been more complaints about arm pain from the dual core rackets compared to the x series.
     
    #11
  12. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2004
    Messages:
    43,260
    It doesn't have to do with a harsh feeling, it has to do with physics and physiology.
     
    #12
  13. rst

    rst Rookie

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2012
    Messages:
    254
    Location:
    northern nv
    i have hit with the donnay x-yellow and xdual silver lite...to me they both felt better on my arm that a dunlop ag4d500 an ag4d100 and a tad better than the ag4d200tour.

    i have been impressed with the donnay (or whoever makes them) rackets.

    note...i do string at the low 50s but i did on teh dunlops too
     
    #13
  14. rst

    rst Rookie

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2012
    Messages:
    254
    Location:
    northern nv
    doesnt physics/physiology hava a lot to do with harsh feelings?
     
    #14
  15. Don't Let It Bounce

    Don't Let It Bounce Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2009
    Messages:
    1,611
    I did not find either the Silver or the Gold to have much at all in common, feeling-wise, with the APDGT. They are both easier on the arm than the APDGT, the Silver perhaps slightly more so. If you want a Babo-like Donnay, try the Formula 100.

    Donnay's marketing is, in my opinion, a little more opaque than it needs to be, and it sometimes seems to me that the unvarnished truth would serve them better than their marketing department's descriptions of their frames. Xenecore is a carbon composite manufacturer that claims especially high tensile strength in its composites. Since the Donnay rackets are, as far as I know, actually made out of Xenecore's composites, it appears that it is not the sort of non-functional gimmick that so many companies market (i.e., regular carbon composite frames with miniscule amounts of titanium, Aerogel, Liquidmetal, d30, etc., etc.) This, of course, doesn't mean that the Donnays are miracle rackets any more than Microgel being a gimmick keeps the MG Radical from being a great stick.

    I like the feel of the dual-core Donnays: solid-feeling, not too much vibration, but not at all mushy. They do feel different from other rackets, but not everyone will like the difference. The Xenecore carbon composite might help some with tendonitis-causing shock, but probably less than traditional factors like string choice, flex, weight, and balance. (And, off-topic, less than non-equipment-related factors like how hard you grip the racket.)

    Softer Donnays like the Platinum, Silver, Blue, Black, X-P Dual Lite, and X-P Dual did not hurt my arm. Stiffer Donnays like the Formula 100, X-P Dual Tour, and Pro One (not overly stiff, that one, but it had a stiff poly in it) did cause me some soreness after a hit, though mid-hit they were still quite a bit more comfortable than the APDGT, PDGT, and others of that sort.
     
    #15
  16. rst

    rst Rookie

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2012
    Messages:
    254
    Location:
    northern nv
    true or a lie?
     
    #16
  17. Marcus2137

    Marcus2137 Rookie

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2011
    Messages:
    300
    My experience/insight:

    I have a pretty iron arm when it comes to rackets. I've rarely felt any discomfort from any racket.

    I picked up one racket a couple years ago though that, despite a 60RA flex rating, started really bothering my arm. During and after play, my arm (from below elbow to shoulder) felt like it had so much pressure inside, it might burst. It would throb for a day after playing and for the first time in my life, I actually would skip an opportunity to play because my arm hurt too much. I was having a difficult time picking up and carrying my 15lbs loaded bag I take to work, with my right arm.

    About that time, I picked up a Donnay X-Red 94+. Instantly, I sensed something very unique about the feel of the racket. Somehow it was plush without feeling overly flexy.

    Within the first few times playing with it, I noticed that the arm pain had gone away. In fact, at first, I noticed that a couple times when I came to play, my arm was still tender at the beginning of playing, but actually felt better after a 2-3 hour session with the Donnay.

    Just for science, I picked up the 60RA racket that had made my arm hurt before to see if there really was a causality between the racket and the pain. Sure enough, within 20-30 minutes, I started feeling the shooting pain/pressure in my elbow and upper arm. As soon as I switched to the Donnay, the pain started fading again.

    SO, I don't know specifically about their marketing, etc. But my results were pretty clear. Even to this day, if my shoulder/elbow is tender or sore for any reason (maybe if I play the day after I practice serves for 1-2 hours and my arm is sore, or I put in 5 days of 2-3 hours/day during a holiday or something), I'll typically reach for the Donnay.

    The other main rackets I use are Head PT280, PT57a, and occasionally a TGK238.5. The PTs are also gentle on the arm (the TGK slightly less so), but both are also much more flexy than the Donnay. The X-Red 94+ is somehow "soft" without being that "flexy". The Head rackets are top notch also, but every time I switch from the Prostocks back to the Donnay, I'm shocked again and think to myself, "wow, the prostocks really don't have anything on the Donnay." I constantly cycle back and forth between the Head PTs and the Donnay, and I love both equally.

    Currently, I have my Donnay X-Red 94+ strung with full poly (Pros Pro Nano Vendetta 16) at 62lbs (an experiment since I string my own), and it feels surprisingly plush and comfortable. My arm feels like gold after a normal 2-3 hour session of hitting/match play.
     
    #17
  18. corners

    corners Legend

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2008
    Messages:
    5,441
    Interesting. It looks like Xene corporation is trying to break into other markets (aerospace, auto, shipbuilding, etc.). This PDF contains more info than all Donnay's marketing nonsense. The whole point of Xenecore seems to be the use of a "smart" foam, Expancell microspheres, that unlike polyurethane foams injected into racquets like Pro Staffs for years, actually play a structural purpose. They are strong enough to re-inforce the graphite composite from within. This has allowed Donnay to make racquets that are thinner in the beam than anything else on the market. So the technology is real and not BS. It has allowed a completely new type of product to enter the market - one with a 15mm tip!

    In addition, the use of Expancell also saves Donnay money. Because the foam plays a structural role, reinforcing the graphite "tube", they can use less graphite in their racquets. Graphite is expensive. Also, the Expancell microspheres fill the inside of the frame layup and expand under heat and pressure, taking the place of the air bladder traditionally used to expand the layup from within against the confines of the mold. Because there is no bladder to remove after curing, Donnay can do things like use a real continuous hoop instead of making a hairpin with a separate bridge piece, as all other racquets do.

    So the tech saves money in the manufacturing process, yet Donnay initially charged more for their racquets than anything else on the market! That turned me off big time. Even still, I have tested a couple of their thin-beamed frames and rather liked them. My wife plays the X-White.

    So is the technology real? Absolutely, and Donnay Xene Core racquets are substantially different than anything else on the market.

    But does this do anything positive for the player? Donnay claims the solid core and continuous hoop of their Dual Core racquets reduce shock and vibration. And their marketing department has made a bunch of claims about this. But I find these claims, and the explanations for how this is supposed to work, pretty dubious. For example, they claim that wood racquets were easy on the arm because they were solid, rather than hollow like most graphite racquets. Um, I'm pretty sure wood racquets transferred less shock because they were four times more flexible than graphite racquets! I've never read anything that suggests "hollowness" increases shock!

    But I'm biased. I hate marketing. Someone once said, "If you're in marketing, kill yourself." I rather agree. I wish the engineers would just sit down and figure out how to explain the real benefits of the tech they have devised, no BS, and let the consumer make an educated decision.

    Finally, I think it's very strange, and rather suspicious, that Donnay pulled the X-Series line after only about a year on the market and quickly replaced them with the Dual Core series. I've heard a couple reports of the foam breaking apart inside the frame and rattling around. My hunch, and I have no evidence for this, is that they found the Expancell foam to break down after repeated impacts in the X-Series, realized that the product would not hold up over time, and so quickly re-engineered it. The Dual Cores have two or more extra graphite sections inside the beam separating smaller compartments of Expancell, so they rely on the foam for structural integrity much less than the X Series. I found the X racquets to have much better feel than the Dual Cores, but I wouldn't buy another X racquet because of this suspicion that they were essentially under-engineered.
     
    #18
  19. vegasgt3

    vegasgt3 Rookie

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2005
    Messages:
    329
    I felt the x series were easier on the arm than the dual core. I owned the black and platinum. I think the problem is the thin beam just doesn't allow for enough shock dampening.
     
    #19

Share This Page