Federer Using Actual Retail Frames?

Discussion in 'Pros' Racquets and Gear' started by faultfoot, May 28, 2011.

  1. faultfoot

    faultfoot Rookie

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    With a lot of talk currently going on regarding racket paintjobs, I wanted to start another discussion of Federer's use of actual, "available to public", retail frames.

    Based on photos I've seen and from opinions of other members of this board, Federer has been documented to use what appear to be stock frames in his playing career. If I'm not mistaken, the rackets are:

    1. PS85 (in its original, retail paintjob)
    2. PS85 (disguised with the silver HPS6.1 paintjob)
    3. PST90 (the retail, short pallet version)
    4. *K90 (*not to trying to start a firestorm, but some believe the K90 is Fed's frame)

    Anyone know if Federer ever used the PS 6.0 95 or the n90 in its stock form? Anybody possibly have pics?
     
    #1
  2. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    No, he did not.

    He's only used two racquets regularly on the pro tour - The PS 6.0 85 and the K90 (both under various paintjobs).
     
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  3. faultfoot

    faultfoot Rookie

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    Actually, Federer's use of the retail PST90 (be it for a couple clay tourneys in 2003) prompted me to wonder if Federer ever used the stock N90.

    I know Wilson Japan issued a Fed signature N90 version to the public, but I'm not sure whom Wilson was trying to fool, as that version also had the same short pallet like all the other retail N90s.

    I think you're correct in that Federer never used the short pallet/retail N90.
     
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  4. stangaele

    stangaele Rookie

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    from various photos on the web i can confirm federer never used N90 racket (he always has a longer pallet than retail version racket)
     
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  5. faultfoot

    faultfoot Rookie

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    Yes, I've never seen Federer with a short pallet (i.e,. retail) version of the N90 either.

    But I did come across Federer using a stock, short pallet PST90.

    Here's a pic of Fed using the stock PST90:

    [​IMG]


    In comparison, here is Fed using his custom, long pallet PST90:

    [​IMG]
     
    #5
  6. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    You guys are using the term "pallet" incorrectly. The "pallet" is what the handle is built from, so a "long pallet" would be a long handle.

    BTW, yes, it appeared that Federer tried the stock PS Tour 90 for a couple of weeks but then went back to his K90 (under the PST90 paintjob).
     
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  7. stangaele

    stangaele Rookie

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    in fact we are not using the term "pallet" correctly...however roger used the retail PS90 during roland garros 2003..during the same tournament he used full luxilon setup...
     
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  8. faultfoot

    faultfoot Rookie

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    Ah, yes. I see what we did there. Yes, should've stated Federer used a "longer" pallet, retail version during part of the 03 clay season.

    I find it interesting that Federer moved from the retail PS 6.0 85, then to a custom 90 frame, then decided to try a stock PST90, then ultimately back to the custom 90 which he apparently currently uses to this day.

    Looks like he was trying to find that "right" stick for his game and wasn't afraid to tinker early on his career.
     
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  9. Netspirit

    Netspirit Hall of Fame

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    There are people on these boards who claim to possess some rackets presumably used by Federer himself.

    Have you seen any evidence, or claim, that those rackets have the BLX ("muted", "dampened") or K ("raw", "aluminium") feel?

    I have asked this question 2 or 3 times in various "authentic Fed frame" threads, but they are all ignored in favor of endless balance/weight discussions.
     
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  10. Bobby Jr

    Bobby Jr Legend

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    The person who is the GOAT Federer racquet owner does not play with them.

    For all we know his K90 (now painted like a BLX) could be somewhat different in it's construction - maybe more like a PS85, and also have different flex. The mould however seems to still be the same as the stock K90 (even then with perhaps subtle differences in drilling placement).
     
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  11. Cup8489

    Cup8489 Legend

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    I've never heard of federer using full lux....do you have evidence?
     
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  12. faultfoot

    faultfoot Rookie

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    Hmm, didn't pick up this statement re full lux the first time I read the post. Interesting. I wanted to see if I could find pics of this. The best I could find of Fed at the 03 FO using the retail PST90 was this pic:

    [​IMG]


    Though, with my lousy vision, I don't think I can definitively say what type of strings are being used.

    Anyone care to chime in?
     
    #12
  13. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    Federer lost in the 1st round of the 2003 French Open to 88th ranked Luis Horna in straight sets, which is probably when he decided that the retail PS Tour 90 wasn't going to work for him. :)
     
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  14. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    Federer himself has stated that he's used the same racquet since 2002, and that 2002 was the last time he's switched racquets. Thus, he obviously never switched to the BLX version.

    Besides, pros are always looking for more feel, not less feel, like the BLX version offers. That's why Nadal doesn't use the Cortex version of the APD but the raw, harsher original version instead. Heck, Federer doesn't even use a vibration dampener because he prefers the raw, harsher feel and not the muted feel. For a guy that prefers not to use vibration dampeners and has never used one, why in the world would he ever use a muted frame like the BLX 90 or the nCode 90?
     
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  15. faultfoot

    faultfoot Rookie

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    Yeah, I guess crashing out in R1 would make even the most reasonable pro tennis player to reevaluate things, including possibly changing one's tennis gear.

    Though, I'd like to note that the retail PST90 served Fed relatively well during the clay season that year. Using the retail PST90, Fed won it all in Munich, as well as made the finals of the Rome Masters.

    And, might I also add, before the clay season that year, Fed had uneven showings during the spring hardcourt tourneys while using his custom 90. He was bounced in the early rounds at IW and MIA.

    Thus, it's interesting to me (re Fed's thought process) how Fed seemingly went back and forth, choosing between the custom 90 and the retail PST90. He enjoyed success (as well as defeat) with both frames.

    But ultimately, only Fed himself knows what's best for his game. And hey, it sure looks like he made the right choice between the 2 frames in the end, right? :)
     
    #15
  16. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    Are you sure that Federer used the retail PST90 for that long? I thought he only used it for a very short time. Do you have any proof of him using it at Munich and Rome in 2003?
     
    Last edited: May 29, 2011
    #16
  17. faultfoot

    faultfoot Rookie

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    This is what I could find:

    Munich 03:

    [​IMG]

    Rome 03:

    [​IMG]


    Lastly, here's one of Fed using the retail version in Hamburg 03 (he looks pissed; I'd be too if I lost to Phillippoussis, on clay, in teh 3d round, after just having reached the final of the Rome masters!)

    [​IMG]
     
    #17
  18. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    Yeah, looks like he's pretty fed up with his racquet right there and is chucking it away. :)
     
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  19. faultfoot

    faultfoot Rookie

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    Tsk, tsk. A master craftsman blaming his tools. What's Fed gonna do next...contemplate switching to a larger head frame? :)
     
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  20. The Djoker

    The Djoker Semi-Pro

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    but, Fed uses power pads. Doesn't that act similar to a dampener?
     
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  21. gpt

    gpt Professional

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    Phillippoussis was a pretty good clay court player. eg. defeated Grosjean and Pioline dropping only one set in the 99 Davis cup final.
    Just sayin' :)
     
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  22. faultfoot

    faultfoot Rookie

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    Yeah, that was a nice couple of matches he put together in 99.

    But that Federer guy ain't too shabby on the dirt either! :)
     
    #22
  23. faultfoot

    faultfoot Rookie

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    Meanwhile, since we're on the topic of Fed using retail frames, check out this neat pic:

    [​IMG]

    I'm sure many have seen this before of Fed having a bit of fun, perhaps reminiscing, about the good 'ol Original PS85. Though, in actuality, Fed used the retail, mid-production 6.0 Chinese version, it's cool (to me at least) that Fed continued the legacy of the timeless original 85.
     
    #23
  24. Rorsach

    Rorsach Hall of Fame

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    Wait a minute. Is that spaghetti stringing in that N-stick?
     
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  25. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    No, they don't. He uses power pads to help prevent his natural gut mains from premature breakage where they bend sharply at the string holes. Back in the days of wood racquets and when almost everyone used gut, every stringjob included power pads.
     
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  26. faultfoot

    faultfoot Rookie

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    Spaghetti. And on a 95. I bet Fed was putting some crazy movement on the ball that day!
     
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  27. DownTheLine

    DownTheLine Hall of Fame

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    Federer said he has only switched racquets once in his pro career an that was in 2002 switching from a 85 to a 90 so your K90 belief is wrong.
     
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  28. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    Huh? That proves that my belief is correct! If he had said he's switched many times, then my belief would be wrong.

    Federer went from the PS 6.0 85 directly to the K90, and has used the K90 ever since under various paintjobs. First, the HPS 6.0 95 Tour paintjob, then the PS Tour 90 paintjob, then the nCode 90 paintjob, then the retail K90 paintjob, and now the BLX 90 paintjob. But it was the K90 underneath all those paintjobs all along!

    Just because Wilson didn't release the K90 for sale to the public until 2007 doesn't mean that Federer wasn't already using it from 2002. Lots of pros use racquets that are not sold to the public.
     
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  29. DownTheLine

    DownTheLine Hall of Fame

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    Highly unlikely.
     
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  30. Bartelby

    Bartelby G.O.A.T.

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    It's definite that while selling the ncode Federer was using something that would look later on exactly like the K90.

    Everyone noted at the time that the n90 looked nothing like Fed's racquet and everything like the k90.

    It has to do mainly with the grommet holes on the PWS.
     
    #30
  31. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    You mean highly likely.

    The string pattern and handle length on all of Federer's Tour 90's have matched that of the K90 since 2002. And the K90 is the ONLY version of all the Tour 90's that Wilson has EVER stated was the EXACT SAME ONE Federer used on tour as the one sold in retail stores. Wilson has NEVER made that claim about any of the other Tour 90's sold to the public.
     
    #31
  32. faultfoot

    faultfoot Rookie

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    Apologies, but I'm going to throw another wrench into the conversation.

    Federer actually used BOTH the HPS 6.1 and 6.0 paintjobs. He first used the HPS 6.1 on his 85, then the 6.0 on his custom 90.

    Here's Fed with the HPS 6.1 paintjob: (you can clearly see the 6.1 on the frame and the distinctive silver logo.)

    [​IMG]


    Here's one with teh HPS 6.0 paintjob (the Wilson logo is now yellow and the 6.0 replaces the 6.1).

    [​IMG]


    It's quite impressive how Federer was/is Wilson's marketing machine. Just think how many Wilson products are endorsed by the man, let alone the numerous paintjob variations the man has used on his frames. Wilson sure hit the sponsorship jackpot with Fed. :)
     
    #32
  33. Chopin

    Chopin Hall of Fame

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    Breakpoint is actually right here. Wilson made the K90 available to the public after Federer was already using it.
     
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  34. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    The retail HPS 6.1 95 actually came in both silver and then later yellow logo paintjobs. I think Federer's PS 6.0 85 got the silver logo paintjob because that's what the HPS 6.1 originally had and because the retail HPS 6.0 95 Tour had not yet been introduced to the market at the time.

    BTW, the reason I didn't mention the HPS paintjob on his PS 6.0 85 was because I was referring only to the various paintjobs Federer has had on his K90. :)
     
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  35. decades

    decades Guest

    And he bought them at Wal-Mart.
     
    #35
  36. FedXpress

    FedXpress New User

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    hey guys, heres my first post on the forum.

    What makes all of you so sure he used 1 racket with many paint jobs. a lot of Wilson frames look very similar. so how can you tell hes using older models. not disagreeing with anyone. i just need better proof than pictures.
     
    #36
  37. faultfoot

    faultfoot Rookie

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    I think Walmart would have supplied the frames to Federer for free! :)
     
    #37
  38. faultfoot

    faultfoot Rookie

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    That's absolutely correct. The HPS 6.1 did have both the silver and yellow logos. I remember Miryni and Bjorkman (and possibily Canas) sporting these paintjobs as well as Federer.

    I assumed you probably knew Federer had the silver HPS 6.1 paintjob at one point.

    It's just an overlooked fact by some who usually point out that Fed only sported the HPS 6.0 with yellow paintjob. Though, I could see why, as Fed had the silver 6.1 paintjob on his 85 only briefly before moving to the 90.

    But, it is quite funny how the advertisers think -- the marketing gurus at Wilson must have had some brainstormin' session to figure out whether Fed should've marketed the 6.1 or 6.0. I guess they felt that exercise was pointless and decided to come out with a completely new "line" in the PST90 (paintjob, that is) for Fed.
     
    #38
  39. sixone90

    sixone90 Professional

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    I wonder why they didn't release the K90 earlier and went with the N90
     
    #39
  40. Timbo's hopeless slice

    Timbo's hopeless slice Hall of Fame

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    you'll be sorry you ever came here with a question like that!!

    wait 'til one of these clowns tries to tell you Fed has been playing with a pj of a Jack Kramer all these years. (BreakPoint secretly believes this to be true but won't admit it for fear of the ridicule from all the TW Experts who know its really a T-2000)

    welcome to la la land!
     
    #40
  41. SFrazeur

    SFrazeur Legend

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    No one here knows for certain. Some have educated guesses while others have delusions.

    -SF
     
    #41
  42. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    Well, for one thing, Federer himself admitted as such. He stated that the last time he switched racquets was back in 2002. That was when he switched from the PS 6.0 85 to his current racquet.
     
    #42
  43. 2Hare

    2Hare Semi-Pro

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    So what you guys are saying is either that K factor technology exists way before ncode technology Or there's no karophite black in K90? Why would Wilson go through all the trouble for this? doesn't make any sense to me.

    And the playtest of N90 that was done by Mr. Raven here: http://www.hdtennis.com/grs/federer_playtest.html
    showed that retail version of N90 felt very similar to Federer's N90, just the string patterns and pallet, which could be quite easily customized, were different. And I believe and respect Mr. Raven's opinions more so than anyone here.

    With K90 they just use Federer's configuration since almost no one's using tour 90s on tour anymore, might as well just use Fed's configuration to sell more rackets.

    As for BLX90, I believe it makes the rackets cheaper to produce and giving it some nice but not muddy dampening properties. I dunno if Federer's using it, but I think his 1 handed backhand had improved since switching to it last year, so I dunno, could be the racket I guess.

    I think all the tour 90s feel similar enough for anyone to adapt to it. like the reviewers of tenniswarehouse said, minor differences can be accommodated by change in string tensions. So there's really no point to argue about this as all tour 90s are similar enough.
     
    #43
  44. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    Yes, but only on his PS 6.0 85. But since my posts were about the various paintjobs he's had on his Tour 90's, I only mentioned the HPS 6.0 95 Tour paintjob.

    I think once the retail HPS 6.0 95 Tour was introduced to the market, it made much more sense for Wilson to give Federer the HPS 6.0 95 Tour paintjob instead of the HPS 6.1 95 paintjob since even a novice should be able to tell that the Tour 90 (K90) Federer was really using under the paint had a box-beam like the retail HPS 6.0 95 Tour and not like the wider oval beam of the HPS 6.1 95.
     
    #44
  45. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    Wilson assumed that most customers would prefer the more muted and comfortable feel of the nCode 90 over the harsher, more raw feel of the K90. In fact, they still think that, which is why they eventually ditched the K90 and brought out the more muted and comfortable BLX90.

    Wilson also originally thought customers would want the extra control of the denser string pattern of the nCode 90 and the longer handle since so many advanced players use two-handed backhands these days.

    I guess they originally underestimated how much customers wanted Federer's '"actual" racquet or that enough customers would be able to tell that Federer's nCode90 was actually a paintjob.
     
    #45
  46. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    There is no such thing as "K-Factor technology" nor "Karophite Back". These are nothing but made up marketing labels created to sell more racquets that people don't need. Manufacturers have to make up new technology names in order to entice people to buy new racquets every two years. If they didn't, they'd go out of business for lack of sales.

    FYI, the first couple of month's of shipments on K90's in early 2007 had the marketing label of "Karbon Black" on them. Wilson hadn't yet thought up of the marketing name of "Karophite Black". Once Wilson got sued, all of a sudden all the new shipments of K90's had the "Karbon Black" label removed and replaced with a new "Karophite Black" label. Nothing at all about the racquet actually changed. If you look for used K90's, you may still find one with a "Karbon Black" label on it.
     
    #46
  47. faultfoot

    faultfoot Rookie

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    Yes, that is absolutely accurate and confirms what I have been stating. Only the 85 featured the silver HPS 6.1 paintjob (though, might I also add, it had matte finish). The custom 90 had the HPS 6.0.

    Not absolutely certain an average buyer or "novice" would be able to: a) discern the difference; and/or b) care about any difference. But we can just agree to disagree on that. Perhaps, only racket/gear heads, present company included, and message board warriors are cognizant about such details of a frame. :)

    So, after all that has been stated, to summarize, it is conclusive that Wilson featured the paintjobs of the silver HPS 6.1 (on the 85), then used the yellow HPS 6.0 (on the 90), then went to the PST90, n90, K90, and currently, the BLX 90 paintjobs.

    Lastly, and back to the original intent of my inquiry, it is also conclusive that Federer used the retail version of the 6.0 85, as well as the retail version of PST90 during his professional career.

    Thanks for all the responses everyone. As usual, my questions have been answered. :)

    (Re the K90, I'm not going to jump into that discussion, as I'm more than content with the information I have received from everyone. I'm afraid this thread may have gone down a dark road. Yikes!)
     
    #47
  48. Chopin

    Chopin Hall of Fame

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    I don't understand why some of you get so worked up over the racquet Federer uses. Who cares? It's a racquet with a small head, it's heavy, it's medium-flex--what more do you need to know? Does it matter if it's 90 or 93? Whether it's stiffness is 66 or 67? Whether the weight is 12.5 or 12.8? (FYI, Federer uses racquets of different weight via lead tape--it was in the Q & A on his website). Who cares though?
     
    #48
  49. 2Hare

    2Hare Semi-Pro

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    Seems like it's just a trademark issue, have nothing to do with the chemical composition of k factor. Just as if Head's liquid metal name was taken already, Head would probably come up with names like flowing metal or something.

    that doesn't change the fact that K90's carbon fibers structures are different from the old wilson rackets. so thus K90 didn't exist. because the material didn't exist. Karophite black sounds like nothing special really, just the same old ncoded carbon probably baked at a different temperature or some catalysts were adding when the materials were forming adding more chemical bonds to silicon oxide, probably making the material stiffer. But if federer was indeed using retail K90, that meant he had changed his rackets' chemical composition, just like he did with N90, and perhaps BLX90.

    I'm not stupid, don't try to deflect me questions with confusion lol
     
    Last edited: May 30, 2011
    #49
  50. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    Graphite didn't exist?

    Repeat after me: Karophite Black = Graphite

    Wilson can't sell a new racquet by saying that it's made of "plain old graphite" because graphite racquets have been around for over 35 years. Thus, they had to think of a new name to call plain old graphite. They first thought of the name "Karbon Black". Then when they got sued, they immediately changed the name to "Karophite Black". How can "Karophite Black" exist when one day the K90 didn't contain it and then the next day all of a sudden it did?

    Have you actually done a chemical composition analysis to prove that the K90 contains "Karophite Black"? I thought not.

    People in the industry readily admit that no new significant materials have been used in tennis racquets since the introduction of graphite over 35 years ago. Oh, and those Head racquets do not contain any "Liquid Metal", either. It's just another marketing name for graphite.
     
    #50

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