Fischer Elliptics

Discussion in 'Classic Racquet Talk' started by retrowagen, Dec 10, 2011.

  1. retrowagen

    retrowagen Hall of Fame

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    My favorite midsize frame is the 1988 Head Elite Pro, and my favorite midplus tennis racquets are the various Fischer Elliptic models.

    A few Elliptic Comps:
    [​IMG]

    The pretty Vacuum Elliptic from 1991:
    [​IMG]

    The ultra-rare Vacuum Elliptic Pro of 1990:
    [​IMG]



    And I also enjoy my Twin Tec and Twin Tec Pro from 1991:
    [​IMG]
     
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  2. Love50

    Love50 Rookie

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    I have a black Vacuum Elliptic (outside) with 100% Boron Graphite on the inside of the throat. Any information on this one?
     
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  3. retrowagen

    retrowagen Hall of Fame

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    I believe that's a later (Chinese production) model, circa 1995-ish, and is from a different mold. Does it have eight mains going through its bridge, or six? Fischer had a bad habit of naming its models in a very confusing and redundant fashion in the 1990's.
     
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  4. Love50

    Love50 Rookie

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    It has eight mains. Is the Fischer Austria on the side sort of the same as Donnay Belgium vs Made in Belgium?
     
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  5. retrowagen

    retrowagen Hall of Fame

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    Yes, exactly. The company was (and still is, as far as I know, though they are out of tennis production) Austrian-headquartered and owned, but from sometime circa 1992 or 1993, stopped making tennis racquets in Austria.

    The mold with eight mains through the bridge is totally different in character from the one with six. It is either constant-beamed, or tapers in the opposite fasion, where it's thinnest right above the grip, and fattest at the top of the head. That version's variable-beam mold is almost, but not quite identical to the Vacuum Pro Midplus / Vacuum Technic 98 Pro / Pro Number 1 (first three versions). They're nice playing racquets with exquisite feel and good power, but not quite as crisp as the six-main tapered-beam mold, IMHO. One highlight of this "other" Elliptic mold is this beauty, which has the most exquisite paint I've ever seen on a tennis racquet:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2011
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  6. courtking

    courtking Semi-Pro

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    this is one of the best of Fischer series.. very very rare one .. I believe it is the original one made with Fischer Vacuum Pro 90 in the 1990.. I have one in mint condition..
     
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  7. treblings

    treblings Hall of Fame

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    Hi Retro, nice collection:) what about the elliptic ceramics? Made in Austria.
    do you own one of these?
     
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  8. retrowagen

    retrowagen Hall of Fame

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    Hallo Treblings! Thank you for the nice complement. No, I don't have one of the Elliptic Ceramics in my collection, actually.

    And I have to be honest: the 1990 Vacuum Elliptic Pro pictured above is not mine; rather, a photo to show the top model in the range.
     
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  9. treblings

    treblings Hall of Fame

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    well, the ceramics is the racket i have in my attic that i promised to send you a long time ago:oops: unfortunately it´s in not too good condition, but it´s ready to travel in your direction if you´re still interested.

    i play with a vacuum classic 280 for fun doubles. how do you get grommets for your fischers?
     
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  10. Captain Haddock

    Captain Haddock Rookie

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    These are all beautiful frames, and they will all be mine one day. Muahahahaha!
    The tapered beam design is a feature that racquet manufacturers should bring back. How about a relaunched FPK from Wilson and a new series of Elliptics from Pacific? That design is far superior to the Pure Drive's, which everyone now copies. It offers great feel and good, controllable power, in an arm friendly package. What more could anybody want?
     
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  11. retrowagen

    retrowagen Hall of Fame

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    Ah yes, Treblings, I'd love to have it. Can we work something out? --> retrowagen <at> yahoo <dot> com ...

    Grommets for Fischers can be hard to find now. Your best hope is to check with small independently-owned sports shops who once sold the Fischer brand, or, if you use the older Pro No. 1, look for a Tecnifibre TFlash 315 VO2 grommet kit. Now that Pacific Tennis is using some of the old Fischer molds for its new line of racquets, there could also be a source for those who love the old Vacuum Pro Classic 90 and newer Pro No. 1.

    Maybe some of our classic racquet lover friends in Germany can work with Pacific management to gain access to more old Fischer moulds and grommets? As my friend 'Captain Haddock' said above, the Elliptic models are quite relevant to today's style of tennis and are a perfect tool - far better in some regards, in our opinion - than much of the high-end equipment available today in your local pro shop (or online retailer).
     
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  12. Kevin T

    Kevin T Professional

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    Loved the Twin Tec Pro!! One of the best paintjobs of all time. I remember Stich using this paintjob when the model was released (I'm sure his Vac Pro 90 was underneath that paint). As mentioned by Cap Haddock, the taper was similar to the FPK, another fantastic stick. Thanks for the pics, Retro.
     
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  13. retrowagen

    retrowagen Hall of Fame

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    Kev, the 1991 vintage Vac Pro 90 (as used famously be Michael Stich) came stock with the same pretty smoky paintjob as the Vacuum Twin Tec Pro, which was itself used by Karl-Uwe ("Charly") Steeb (my VTTP has a Charly Steeb autograph sticker applied to the inside of the throat!)...

    Most (if not all, but I can't remember to be certain) of the 1991 Fischer line-up had the elegant smoky/metallic paintjobs with futuristic Fischer typefont graphics (courtesy of designer Nicole Dürr).
     
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  14. treblings

    treblings Hall of Fame

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    There´s not a lot to work out, i just send it to you. you sent me the elite pro grommets, remember? btw, i got a second one:)elite pro, that is
    a friend of mine knows the owner of Pacific quite well, they played tennis together. don´t know if they stayed in contact
     
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  15. retrowagen

    retrowagen Hall of Fame

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    Thank you, that's very friendly of you! (my address has changed since the last time we sent packages to each other, please contact me for the new one)


    Hmm... perhaps this will give some good results?
     
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  16. Kevin T

    Kevin T Professional

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    Very interesting. I just assumed it was a paint job. Fischer and Volkl were pretty exotic brands back then. I used to love watching the eastern European and Soviet/Russian players just to check out the racquets. :) Steeb was one of the first Fischer players I remember from my pre-teen/teen tennis days.
     
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  17. retrowagen

    retrowagen Hall of Fame

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    Yeah, there weren't too many big-name Fischer-sponsored pros out there prior to Steeb und Stich. Just Stan the Man Smith, Anders Jarryd, Jonas B. Svensson, and Jan Gunnarsson on the ATP side, and Jo Durie on the WTA side, all using the striped monoshaft Superform Mid. There were also a host of journey(wo)man pros sponsored by Fischer, mainly from German-speaking lands.

    Völkl would have seemed like a particularly exotic racquet brand to most in the USA in the 80's, what with their top team pros such as Sylvia Hanika and Andrei Chesnokov! In fact, if I'm not mistaken, they sponsored (racquets, clothing, shoes) the entire USSR national team in the mid-80's, prior to the fall of the Wall.
     
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  18. rony67

    rony67 New User

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    Sorry, I know this is an Elliptic-thread. But I just wanted to share to you Fischer-interested TT-members this photo of my Vac Pro 90, directly from a Pro stated above. I usually play my classic racquets, but I just cannot make myself unwrap this plastic handle, I don't know why... It's a hefty thing, lead under grommets, lead under handle.

    [​IMG]
     
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  19. Colpo

    Colpo Professional

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    Man, those were the days! Charly Steeb with an autograph frame! Hoo-rah! Different times! Would you now go buy a J.I. Chela autograph? Steeb had a nifty ranking and did some special things at the Davis Cup level, but auto frames back then were akin to playoff-advancement guarantees from Patrick Ewing...let's call it commonplace.

    Re: the USSR and Volkl, I might have been initially under the impression that Volkl was a Soviet brand. I recall they'd equip the Soviets from "tip to grip" -- shoes, clothes, racquets of course. When Chesnokov came out of nowhere to knock off Wilander at the '86 French, I craved his game, with his racquet a close second; some odd-looking, deep-red and white midplus with a plastic throatpiece and a virtual monoshaft. Exotic! Not readily available! And to think that years earlier, the American southerner Mark Dickson played Volkl -- just did not compute.
     
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  20. retrowagen

    retrowagen Hall of Fame

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    Oh yeah, Mark Dickson with the Völkl. It was weird; presumably almost as though some guy in a trenchcoat, hat, and Wayfarers met him an alley somewhere, saying in a mysterious foreign accent, "Heer, Buddy: take zees tenees racquets!" :) I wonder what the real backstory on that sponsorship was (although, IIRC, Völkl Tennis USA was HQ'ed in North Carolina in the mid-80's...)
     
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  21. Colpo

    Colpo Professional

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    Well then, that just might explain alot. And the Servo Soft's buttery feel and slingin' shot response may have also played a role in Dickson's preference. It does confound, though. Dickson, if I recall, was an off-brand maven, the #3 man on Jockey's tenniswear totem pole, and the only Saucony sponsoree that the company outfitted with a white-on-white shoe (do the math, yuk-yuk-yuk). I guess one advantage of the web is that you could probably locate Dickson today and just ask him via an e-mail. And while we're at it, one could ask him about his extraordinarily drawn-out pre-serve ball-bouncing routine. Will supplement as work allows, Dicksonophiles... .
     
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  22. NicoMK

    NicoMK Rookie

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    Waow !! What a beauty… ! Lucky guy to own this one ;-)
    Thanks for sharing… !
     
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  23. treblings

    treblings Hall of Fame

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    yeah...thanks for sharing...i´m envious:) would that be jan gunnarson?
    could you put the frame on a scale to weigh it?
     
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  24. retrowagen

    retrowagen Hall of Fame

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    Wow, well Jan Gunnarson's Vacuum Pro 90 isn't an Elliptic ... but it's really really lovely. Thanks for sharing, Rony; you have made all of us jealous! :)
     
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  25. Kevin T

    Kevin T Professional

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    I thought the same thing, RE Volkl being Eastern European/Soviet. :) Too funny. Red racquets for the red army. :) I believe Chesnokov was the first pro I saw with a Volkl (was just getting into pro tennis at that time).

    Charlie Steeb/Stich v Agassi/Courier Davis Cup '91 is a fond high school tennis memory.
     
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  26. Captain Haddock

    Captain Haddock Rookie

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    All the Elliptics I have tried feel virtually the same, I assume because of that tapered design. The grey/lavender Elliptic Comp (Kevlar/Graphite) has a very slightly softer flex that the version with SIC ceramics, maybe. Even the Elliptic Fun, which was a cheaper model, feels very close to the rest of the bunch.

    Colpo, wasn't Chesnokov's frame an actual monoshaft? I recall that he only had 2 frames for the tournament and had to beg for a few more as he advanced into the draw. He switched to a Prestige 600 later in his career (at least for the Davis Cup match where Sampras cramped after match point).

    I bought a few Twin Tecs from Colpo several years ago, but found them much stiffer than the Elliptics, which remain my favorite frames ever produced by Fischer.
     
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  27. retrowagen

    retrowagen Hall of Fame

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    My assessment too. The Elliptic Comps with ceramic fiber (Silicon Carbide or SiC in Fischer-speak) in the layup seem not to dampen higher-frequency vibration as well as the Kevlar-enhanced models (yet still dampen quite well, so well in fact that I never feel the need to use auxiliary string-bed dampeners), hence feel minutely stiffer. The Vacuum Elliptic Pro (Graphite/Kevlar with the unique molded-in Vestoran bumper guard, like the concurrent Vacuum Twin Tec models' bumpers, but not a core material as used in the Twin Tecs) was reported to be quite a bit stiffer than the other Elliptics. The Elliptic Fun has perhaps one of the oddest model names in history for a tennis racquet (and how can you not love it with such a funky name?!), but I really like how it plays... crisp but also very "warm," and quite arm-friendly for a racquet of its nature.

    I do believe Chesnokov was using the "Competition Ace" at the time (left racquet on this page from 80s-tennis.com):
    [​IMG]

    They are quite a bit stiffer (and heavier too, in stock form) than the Elliptics. Also seem to cut through the air a little slower. IMHO, the Vacuum Twin Tec and Twin Tec Pro seemed like Fischer's answer to the Yamaha Secret 10 and Secret 04, respectively.
     
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2011
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  28. Snaab

    Snaab Rookie

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    Not to derail this thread, but the picture of the white Volkl Servo-Soft S on the bottom brings back lots of good memories. My first of many Volkls, and one of my favorites. Not many places sold Volkl rackets in the mid 80s, but I was fortunate enough to run across a shop in Milwaukee that sold Volkl skis that also carried a few of their rackets as well. An extremely flexible heavy club by today's standards.
     
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  29. made_in_austria

    made_in_austria New User

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    #29
  30. classic tennis

    classic tennis Semi-Pro

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  31. retrowagen

    retrowagen Hall of Fame

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    ...And a different mould than my favourite, tapered beam Elliptic models.
     
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  32. classic tennis

    classic tennis Semi-Pro

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    No VT either ;-)
     
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  33. Goly

    Goly New User

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    My friend plays with black Fischer Vacuum Elliptic Mid Plus(mentioned by Love50). It's 100% boron graphite and has got eight mains going through its bridge. It has got unique grip(butt cap), I haven't seen anything like that earlier. It's 21mm constant beam.

    I took some pictures yesterday:
    #1
    [​IMG]

    #2
    [​IMG]

    #3
    [​IMG]

    #4
    [​IMG]
     
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  34. Goly

    Goly New User

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    #5
    [​IMG]

    #6
    [​IMG]
     
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  35. classic tennis

    classic tennis Semi-Pro

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    The above is a made in China racquet and not the same animal in any way as the made in Reid frames, the construction, shape and playing dynamics are polar opposites.
     
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  36. retrowagen

    retrowagen Hall of Fame

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    Yes, it's easy to spot the Elliptics made in Ried im Innkreis (Austria): they have three pairs of mains going through the bridge, not four (the later Chinese-made), and the Austrian ones are tapered beam frames (21mm at top, 25mm at grip). All are 98 square inch (630 cm2) heads, with 16x20 pattern.

    The Austrian Elliptic mold was unique. Sort of a reverse concept of the similarly sized, similarly drilled, but reverse tapered beam (thicker at the top, thinner above the grip) mold of the Vacuum Pro / Vacuum Technic Pro 98 / original Pro No. 1.
     
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  37. retrowagen

    retrowagen Hall of Fame

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    Mr. 'classic tennis,' would you mind contacting me sometime? I have a couple of questions for you, if you have the time. Thank you! retrowagen <at> yahoo <dot> com
     
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  38. classic tennis

    classic tennis Semi-Pro

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    done........
     
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  39. retrowagen

    retrowagen Hall of Fame

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    Oh dear, I think I may have deleted that email, didn't recognize it at the time... :(
     
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  40. latershow

    latershow New User

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    Are you sure the early Elliptics were Austrian-made? I have three as mentioned above (graphite, kevlar, and ceramic) and all mine say "Designed in Austria" on the side of the throat. All have three pairs of mains through the bridge. The grommet on all my Elliptics is a flouro green colour (only in the bridge).

    Do you know who Nicole Durr is, by any chance? Did she work for the Fischer Ski division mainly? Her name pops up on all my Elliptics, "Nicole Durr design".
     
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  41. retrowagen

    retrowagen Hall of Fame

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    Hmm. Good observation, and I don't have any definitive answer. One of my Elliptic Comps with the 1990 graphic also says "Designed in Austria" and shows a grip size sticker consistent with something made in Taiwan at the time. Then again, I have others from the same model, year, and graphic which state, "Made in Austria." ??????

    I believe Nicole Dürr was a graphic designer who did some contract work for Fischer in the early 90's... like 1990-1992? On both tennis and ski, and I think she continued working on the ski industry as a graphic designer.

    Hopefully someone with better information can offer some correction or substantiation... :)

    P.S. How do you like your Elliptics? I'd love to hear your impression of them.
     
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  42. Goly

    Goly New User

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    Could you post specs(especially weight & balance) of your "Gunnarsson"? I have got Vacuum Pro made for Jan, too, and I would like to comapre them.
     
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  43. latershow

    latershow New User

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    Yes I'll post my impressions on them soon, and I'll take some pics of all my Fischers, present and past, including the Elliptics I have.

    Retrowagen, in your first post in this thread, there is a pic of a white "Elliptic SL", a light blue "Elliptic Pro" and a smoky purple "Vacuum Elliptic". Can you tell me more information about them, compositions/head sizes etc? I assume the Vacuum Elliptic is the "made in Austria" example you have.

    Wonderful thread!
     
    #43
  44. latershow

    latershow New User

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    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2012
    #44
  45. latershow

    latershow New User

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    Fischer Vacuum 90
    [​IMG]

    Fischer Mid Plus Pro, VT98, Pro One
    [​IMG]

    Fischer Open Pro
    [​IMG]

    Fischer Vacuum TwinTec
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2012
    #45
  46. latershow

    latershow New User

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    Retrowagen, I see from another thread that you are stringing your Elliptics with Vacuum 16 string. Recently I bought several reels of Vacuum 16 string from the big auction site in Germany, and it has quickly become my favourite string (apart from natural gut, of course!). So soft and yet so powerful for a multi. I simply cannot believe how powerful it is. To think I paid on average 10 Euros for each reel. The only problem is you have to tie the knots very firmly otherwise it can come undone rather easily. How do you find it?
     
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  47. retrowagen

    retrowagen Hall of Fame

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    I think Vacuum 16 is a pretty good string. I like Wilson NXT better, and I like Tecnifibre TGV 1,30 best so far. It's a pity Vacuum 16 isn't available anymore; it was a quality string with great characteristics, and (even back at full retail price) good value. That you were able to get multiple reels for 10 Euros is quite a good stroke of luck! I wouldn't mind having a reel or two of it around, I kind of miss it. :)

    You have a nice collection of Fischer frames there. I like the stack of Vacuum Pro Mid Plus through Pro #1, it's a nice example of the lineage of the famous Pro #1.

    I don't have much information on the exact composition of the layups of my various Elliptics. Most of them indicate "Graphite Kevlar", some are "SiC Ceramics Graphite," and my Elliptic merely "Graphite." The Elliptic SL seems to be a lighter version of the Elliptic Comp (Graphite + Kevlar). Apart from the weight differential of the SL (I like a racquet that weighs around 350g, strung), these all play roughly the same. Those with ceramics in the layup feel a little bit stiffer than the others, but I haven't tested them on an RDC machine to see what the actual numbers are. It may just be that the silicon carbide fibers don't damp vibration quite as well as the Kevlar does in the other layups, so it may seem stiffer by feel, where it actually is not.
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2012
    #47
  48. latershow

    latershow New User

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    Interestingly, the butt cap on the Kevlar/Graphite Elliptic (top) is different to the other two. I only noticed this now.

    [​IMG]
     
    #48
  49. MichaelChang

    MichaelChang Hall of Fame

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    Since they are "Designed in Austria", are they really made in Austria or China? Just look at the throat bridge whether it is 6 mains or 8 mains? Do they play differently (austria vs china)?

    How much do these worth nowadays?

    thanks.
     
    #49
  50. latershow

    latershow New User

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    The Elliptics are all designed in Austria and AFAIK, none were actually made in Austria. All my Elliptics have 6 mains through the bridge and are from the original mold. Later molds had 8 mains through the bridge and played completely differently. All mine say designed in Austria.
     
    #50

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