Explain why St. Vincent Pro Staffs are better.

Discussion in 'Racquets' started by goosala, Dec 30, 2005.

  1. goosala

    goosala Hall of Fame

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    Just because the greatest player ever used them does not mean they are better than the Chicago, Taiwanese, or current Chinese versions. I want to know what inherent characteristics of that particular frame makes it better. Explain why and I guess I can understand the $300 prices that they go for.
     
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  2. djones

    djones Hall of Fame

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    They go for 300, because the general thought is that this is the racquet to have!
    Just as art, you may like cheap paintings better than those million dollar paintings, but it still doesn't mean that those million dollar paintings are better.
     
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  3. diredesire

    diredesire Super Moderator

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    Strict quality control of the factory, some people say the humidity of the area added a little special something to the lacquer/finish. Also, they were slightly thicker (18mm vs 17mm) near the end of the factory.

    TW made a decent article on them:
    http://www.tennis-warehouse.com/Reviews/60/StVincent.html

    Hard to find, though.
     
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  4. jonolau

    jonolau Legend

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    Thanks for the link, a very interesting article about a racquet I never knew existed. Wonder if it is possible to find a good condition stick in 4 1/4 ...
     
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  5. joe1987

    joe1987 Semi-Pro

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    This is as good as asking made in Japan or made in China.
     
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  6. jonolau

    jonolau Legend

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    The handiwork of Chinese made products is actually getting better and better. I believe that they have the ability to come up with really nice goods if they have the right instructions and material. Of course they will always lag in innovation, but they make up for it with cheap and conscientious labour.

    Japanese made products faced the same stigma in the post WWII era, but look where they are now ...
     
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  7. goosala

    goosala Hall of Fame

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    I guess djones answered my question. It was what I thought all along, the St. Vincents were purely subjective due to the fact that Sampras used them and he liked them not really because the other types were inferior. If he had like the Taiwanese made ones then they would be going for $300 a piece now that he is retired.
     
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  8. Without Sampras (and Edberg, Courier, Evert, Connors, etc.), St. Vincent frames would still be valuable. That's because they play damn well. Play for a couple sets with a China frame and switch to a St. Vincent immediately afterwards, or vice versa, and you should notice the difference. That's not to say that either frame is better than the other in 100 different situations. Have you ever played with one?
     
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  9. tandayu

    tandayu Professional

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    As mentioned by Prestige Classic, It has nothing to do with Sampras, Courier, Edberd, etc.. The St Vincent plays and feels different than the later version.

    The price reflects the high demand and low supply. Of course not every body thinks it is reasonable, otherwise the demand will even higher.

    You prefer chef made cooking or TV dinner....
     
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  10. kreative

    kreative Professional

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    i assume a st. vincent pro staff is like a prestige classic or pt 630 made in austria compared to the latter china ones. there's a different feel to them that some are very particular to.

    not that the fact that sampras only played w/ st. vincent pro staffs hurt the desire for people to own one, to play with or to collect, especially since there are only a limited number produced.
     
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  11. arnz

    arnz Professional

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    Roger Federer uses a St. Vincent???:mrgreen:
     
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  12. joe1987

    joe1987 Semi-Pro

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    Fed uses a custom frame. Do a search
     
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  13. tandayu

    tandayu Professional

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    If you see 2001 Wimbledon Sampras vs Federer, Federer's pro staff has black buttcap.
     
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  14. ssjkyle31

    ssjkyle31 Semi-Pro

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    It all in the mind. Only a 6.0 to 7.0 player would see the subtles of the racket. :D
     
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  15. jck01

    jck01 Semi-Pro

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    I agree with you assessment.
     
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  16. mctennis

    mctennis Hall of Fame

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    The quality wasn't better in the St.Vincent factory. In fact it was just the opposite. The molds were sloppy and overpoured and that is why they are heavier than their counterparts made in other parts of the world ( Chicago, Chine, etc). The finish was nice so you didn't notice the heavyness.
     
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  17. man-walking

    man-walking Semi-Pro

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    From what I know they were stiffer.
    (and the stiffer PS Tour 90 in the begin was designed just for Sampras)
     
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  18. goosala

    goosala Hall of Fame

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    I haved owned two Taiwanese made 6.0's and they do in fact feel heavier and are thicker in the beam than my newly bought 6.0's from China. I guess it would correct in saying that the St. Vincents being older were thicker in beam and heavier in weight than subsequent versions. This would be the reason Sampras liked them because he started using them in the late 80's after he switched from a Kneissl frame. So based on this, because they were manufactured out of tolerance makes them better? I guess better for Sampras.
     
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  19. tandayu

    tandayu Professional

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    I hope those people that have doubt and have adverse opinion on the St Vincent frames will be successful in proving that it has nothing special, so... I will be able to buy a St Vincent at the price level of a Taiwanese/China version.

    Keep up the effort, I will very happy when the day has come to buy an affordable St VIncent.
     
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  20. kabob

    kabob Professional

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    If stiffness is so grand and a key criteria for owning a St. Vinny, more players should turn to the Pro Staff Tour 90. Harshest, stiffest and best feel (debatable) of all the 17mm beam small-head Pro Staffs.
     
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  21. tandayu

    tandayu Professional

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    The ps Tour 90 is way too stiff for me and lack the feel of the PS
     
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  22. arnz

    arnz Professional

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  23. Keifers

    Keifers Legend

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    Hmmm... I guess they were trying to make the Tour 90 swing and play more like Pete's heavily-modified SV 85 when they made it so sluggish to swing and added Hyper Carbon.

    Too bad because even though some people enjoy playing with the T90 and swear by it, I suspect Wilson would have sold many, many more if they had made it a 90" version of the real 85, not Pete's 85.

    Were we mere mortals shortchanged by Wilson's (probably desperate) desire to get Pete to move on from the 85??
     
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  24. goosala

    goosala Hall of Fame

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    If the St. Vincents were heavier then they must be close to 13 ounces strung. I can definitely feel the weight difference between the Taiwanese vs. Chinese made frames. The current Chinese made frames play a little lighter and a tad more flexible and easier on the arm than my 1994 Taiwanese frames. This is the same trend that happened to the Pro Staff Classic 6.1 vs. the Hyper 6.1 vs. the current Ncode 6.1: they started getting a tad lighter and more flexible. I guess it all depends on what you like unless you are the PS man then you can influence the world that the oldest, heaviest, and stiffest stick is the best.
     
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  25. The various early and late St. Vincent frames that I've measured are 12.5 ounces strung, and that's with the heavy original grips on them.
     
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  26. TearsOfGlass

    TearsOfGlass New User

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    I have also measured the beams of both the China and St. Vincent Prostaffs and the China is 17mm while the SV is 18mm.
     
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  27. jck01

    jck01 Semi-Pro

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    Sampras started with a Kneissl frame? I didn't know that. Thanks for the info.
     
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  28. TheRed

    TheRed Professional

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    Yes, the St. Vincent frames probably play quite well but that doesn't justify the $300 price. As you probably know, the Prestige Classic plays quite well also but it fetches no where near $300. As the next poster says, supply and demand is the reason for the price but even if this is true, the idea that the price is high because of the pro players that used this stick need not be excluded. It would be ignorant to deny that having these great players use only the St. Vincent stick in no way affects the demand. As we know, supply won't be increasing anytime soon.
     
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  29. Tennis Ball Hitter

    Tennis Ball Hitter Semi-Pro

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    The TW articel on the St Vincent wasn't really informative ... anyone know a better article?

    The article initially raves a about what appears to be very strict quality control (so does this mean they did not bother to use the same quality control standards at other factories producing the same racquet?) and then what appears to be strict quaility control turns out to be BS ... made evident by producing thicker frame dues to dodgy/old molds.

    My geuss is the demand for these racquets is mainly driven by the fact that the greatest tennis player in history used them most/all of his entire career.
     
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  30. Better article? I don't know, is there a better version of Bible somewhere?

    Good guess. Sampras wasn't the only notable player to use a St. Vincent.

    Yes, it was said that the molds were making thicker frames. Guess what? This produced frames that felt even sweeter because perhaps they needed a higher density of graphite. Why do you think the St. Vincent factory was shut down? Because the frames were horrible hype, or because it was not cost-efficient to produce quality frames in a quality manner?

    There is a difference between precision and accuracy.

    If having like a 0.5mm beam width difference between frames bothers you, then get a frame that was made in China. You'll be near the beginning of the line.

    If you don't like such manufacturing practices, then I invite for you to buy a new Toyota Echo.
     
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  31. goosala

    goosala Hall of Fame

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    So what you are saying is that slopply made frames are better and command a higher value? I guess GM and Ford wished this manufacturing trend were true.
     
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  32. If there was no difference between precision and accuracy, then I suppose they would be sloppily made frames. Also, it wasn't a blanket statement as you are implying.

    Your analogy is not entirely accurate. I was thinking of something with more soul, since that's what St. Vincent frames seem to have. Think of something more handmade, where each unit is not the same as the million before it.
     
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  33. Richard Pur

    Richard Pur Rookie

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    The above-referenced article talks about other Wilson models made in St. Vincent. Was one of them the Wilson Ultra FPK? If so, the new one I still have in the closet could be worth mucho dollares!!!!
     
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  34. DXS

    DXS Rookie

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    I've got one of those too, but I think they were made in China.
    -ds
     
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  35. goosala

    goosala Hall of Fame

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    The Ultra FPK was a very good frame but the pros did not take to it. I think Zina Garrison used the Ultra Ceramic for a while when she played in the Wimbledon final in 1990.
     
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  36. PBODY99

    PBODY99 Hall of Fame

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    The painted first roung of DEMO Wilson must have been made there also. I strung for Herman's World of Sporting Goods in this period and the Wilson demos of a brand new frame were much different from the production models that were made in Singapore or elsewere.

    The Ultra FPK was a great playing frame, but no player made it famous.:cool:
     
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