Fischer gurus - VT98 Pro?

Discussion in 'Classic Racquet Talk' started by Ross K, May 6, 2009.

  1. Ross K

    Ross K Legend

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    Just want a bit of info please...

    The VT98 Pro - I think I might have this frame (albeit with the old Pro No 1 pj - silver, black, red cosmetics... if I'm not mistaken the VT98 Pro just preceded the silver, black and red Pro No 1 - though I could be wrong?...)

    So please excuse any vagueness and the poverty of my descriptive powers but I don't have it at hand tonight... anyhow, it has a tapered beam (and I repeat it is definitely tapered beam)... it's 98" in head size... weighs in around 12.06 strung... 16x20 string pattern... plays a tad heavy and stiff but is also very solid, plush and smooth w/nice controllable zippy power... booms out the serves... very nice b-liner rod but is probably also fine for more all court...

    Sound like the VT98 Pro?:confused:

    If it does, I'd love to hear a bit more about the VT98... ppls views on it... just how good/bad/indifferent it is... etc.

    But if it actually sounds like a different Fischer frame, then which one could it be? What's an older Fischer w/ a 98 head size, 16x20 pattern, w/ a tapered beam, etc.

    Many thanks ladies and gents!

    R.

    BTW, I might be able to post up pics of it later this week.
     
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  2. Ronaldo

    Ronaldo G.O.A.T.

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    #2
  3. Ross K

    Ross K Legend

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    Many thanks ^^^... hmmm... to compare properly with pic I'd need the frame with me to tell 100 per cent, however, that does kind of tally with my memory of it (w/ a diff pj)...

    So what's the rep of this frame then? Anyone care to verify how it performs?

    R.
     
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  4. retrowagen

    retrowagen Hall of Fame

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    Ross, it could be the pre-silver/red "Kafelnikov" Pro No. 1 Vacuum Technic Pro 98 (actually they are essentially identical beneath the paint and graphics)... But is it thicker in beam width at the top of the head or the throat?

    Because in this era (and just a bit before), Fischer hade another mold that was also 16x20, 98 sq-in midplus, with a tapered beam (25mm at the top of the grip down to about 20mm at the top of the head). The VT98 Pro and early Pro No. 1's were a sort of reverse of this with 20mm at the top of the grip, and 24mm at the top of the head.

    I have examples of either sort, and I really like them all. In fact, I use these old Fischers as my main frames; have now for quite a while.
     
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  5. Ronaldo

    Ronaldo G.O.A.T.

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    http://web.archive.org/web/20010208140851/www2.tennis-warehouse.com/Reviews/FP1/FP1Review.html
     
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  6. jayserinos99

    jayserinos99 Hall of Fame

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  7. Ross K

    Ross K Legend

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    Great info guys ^^^ - cheers!

    Well, I had a quick look/hit with it today and it is indeed - according to some admittedly slightly rudimentary methods of measuring - in line with 20 mm top grip, 24mm top head... meaning, according to the quote, it's either a VT 98 Pro or an actual silver/red Pro No 1 (which is the cosmetics)... though it says 'Vaccuum technik' on side of throat...?

    Anyway, it's all a bit confusing to say the least!... shall try to photograph in the next few days.

    R.

    BTW, Was surprised it hit a little more lower-powered than I remembered... Plus... and this could be important re it's true id... the frame weighs (and its a lot more than the links above ^) 367 strung (I repeat: 367 strung!), and is I think about 7-9 pts h/light...

    BTW2, I don't think I mentioned this is an ex-Brit no. 1's pro's frame, which means it's possibly customized to some degree (custom handle and/or lead under the hoop, etc)... annnyway...
     
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  8. Ronaldo

    Ronaldo G.O.A.T.

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    The actual weight and swingweight should be stitched to the racquet cover. Owned the VT98 10 yrs ago. Awesome red PJ.
     
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  9. Ross K

    Ross K Legend

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    To clarify:

    A few years ago some of us Brit TT members got hold of these frames, rackets that were once played with by Sam Smith (ex-English no. 1 ranked pro from quite a few years back.) 'SSM 13' has actually been scratched or etched directly on to the inside throat area.

    The cosmetics are red, silver and black... the Pro No 1... as seen here from one of the links posted earlier: [​IMG] [​IMG]

    However, all along there was a tiny bit of doubt as to its true id, what with it being en ex-pro's, its 367 weight, and its stiffer feel...

    I was told it was very, very probably a Vacuum Pro 98 with Pro No 1 cosmetics/pj... (BTW, it says "330+6 g unstrung" as well as "308+-5 g unstrung" on inside throat area... not exactly sure what that's all about???)

    Then again, it might also be an actual Pro No 1 (though it plays NOTHING like the later 320 and 330 red and black Pro No 1's of which I have both versions)?...

    Anyway, just to repeat its got a wider top of the head measurement (about 24 mm) than its more narrow top of handle area about 20 mm)... which apparently means it's either a VT Pro 98 or an actual Pro No 1, right?!...


    R.
     
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  10. retrowagen

    retrowagen Hall of Fame

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    Well, the Vacuum Pro 98, the VT Pro 98, and the earlier Pro No. 1's are all from the same mould; it might be a bit hard to draw any conclusions about the cosmetics of the example in question.

    The "consumer" versions of these seemed to have gotten progressively lighter.

    I play the VT Pro 98, circa 1999 vintage. It's the 330g (unstrung) version. It plays like a heavier racquet. I don't have any specs on its balance or overall weight, sorry. However, it seems to me to be a really nice frame which does everything quite well. However, there are some limitations to it: the operator must be fairly strong and fit. It likes a good, strong, long swing; preferably not leading to heavy topspin or slice - the wide hoop can lead to mishits as the racquet goes oblique. To anyone used to a very thin beamed frame, this racquet will feel clumbsy at first. Response over the face of the frame is unusually even, probably courtesy of the very regular string pattern (most grids are of the same size and shape). It has a nice, forgiving feel when strung with a soft multi (or natural gut) within the (very narrow) recommended tension range. I string mine at the top of that range. It's effective for serving and all-court play and has quite admirable control for a hitting area of this size. The 16x20 pattern seems to lend a good compromise between density for control for flat hitting and openness for a bit more topspin bite.

    Overall, I think it's a fine racquet for an intermediate or advanced singles player, playing wither a baseline or allcourt game. For doubles, I like the Fischer Vacuum Elliptic better, by dint of its more head-light balance.
     
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  11. Deuce

    Deuce Banned

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    A not so parallel universe...
    Didn't this frame come in a yellow version at one point, as well?
    Fischer is rather infamous for producing several different cosmetic versions of the same model.
    ^ You're going to bring them to Bosworth to have them change the butt caps (and probably pay $50 for it), rather than simply put new butt caps on yourself?!!?
     
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  12. schu47

    schu47 Rookie

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    Retro, glad you're on hand to pass along all your Fischer knowledge. I've always been a little confused by their various models.

    I have one called a Pro Classic 98. Not sure how this one fits in with the others. It's silver with red and blue graphics and a long bumper guard that goes all the way to the throat on both sides. It's light -- 11.3 oz. unstrung, and made in China, not Austria. Is this one of the "consumer" versions that came later?

    Here are a couple photos:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
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  13. retrowagen

    retrowagen Hall of Fame

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    Hi Steven,

    That's the Pro Classic 98 "Retro". It's indeed a consumer model, current circa 2004 (IIRC), but from the old Pro Classic Midplus mold dating back from the early 90's. As a matter of fact, there have been a few different models based on this mold (which was essentially a larger-headed version of the more famous 90 sq-in. mid Michael Stich used to win Wimby), some with extended length and/or stiffening gussets within the throat (see the bright yellow Revolution model of the late 90's).

    I used the Retro as my primary racket for much of 2007. I thought it played very much like a midplus-sized Prestige Classic 600, if you can imagine that. However, just like the PC600, the operator has to be willing to take a pretty big cut at the ball for anything good to happen. I was especially impressed on its out-of-the-box volleying capability and overall ball control and feel. A great allaround racket in my opinion. Some have openly disagreed with me, alleging that the sweetspot is small (which is true), the workable string tension range is very narrow (also true; seems to work best between 55 and 58 lbs.; anything beyond that and it plays really terribly), that poly stringing ruins the feel of the frame (also true in my experience; with natural gut or a quality Multi it really sweetened the overall experience), and that the paint finish chips much too easily (also true).

    Good racket. Very similar overall to the legendary Head Pro Tour 280/630 in size and performance attributes, but for a fraction of the price. However, as a tennis tool, it's not for everyone.
     
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  14. Ross K

    Ross K Legend

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    Well, just to recap:

    My frame is almost certainly a VT98 Pro or early Pro No. 1 - it doesn't matter which one exactly as they are the same mold and virtually the same racket beneath the different pj's.

    My next step is to see how it fares against a big hitter - this way I'll really get to understand it a bit better - before we get to the secondary reason for me actually making this thread... selecting a new string and tension set up.

    R.

    And thanks again everyone for advice.
     
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  15. schu47

    schu47 Rookie

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    Thanks for filling me in. You truly are a guru on these pages. I appreciate finding all these things out.

    I guess the "classic" denotes a reissue of a sort. I think I've also seen this model in a nice iridescent blue color.

    I haven't played the originals, but I do like the way this one plays very much.
     
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  16. retrowagen

    retrowagen Hall of Fame

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    Ross,

    If your footwork is pretty sharp (meaning you can set up well enough to track incoming balls and get a decent early racquet preparation on your groundies), the frame should be quite an effective tool.

    I'd recommend stringing with Wilson NXT 17ga, right at 57 pounds. It'll ease up a bit after a few outings and set in nicely. The multi is comfy and 17 ga. lends a little extra bite.

    I happen to like mine set up with NXT 16 @ 60 pounds. After a few outings it's perfect for me: I have no trouble generating enough top or power; the control is good, and it's not harsh feeling at all. Of course, everyone's different; this sort of thing is as personal as choosing a mate, automobile, favourite shirt, wine, or anything else...
     
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  17. retrowagen

    retrowagen Hall of Fame

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    Aw shucks. Thanks

    Yes, the iridescent blue version is of the same mold (and supposedly same layup, although admittedly perhaps not the same weight or balance).
     
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  18. jayserinos99

    jayserinos99 Hall of Fame

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    I tried to put on new buttcaps and when I took off the original ones, there's an indent in the handle which makes the original buttcap fit flush. The whole story is that I wanted Bosworth to do more than just install a new buttcap but to also extend it to 27" and to reshape the handle to a L3 Wilson shape.
     
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  19. retrowagen

    retrowagen Hall of Fame

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    My "consumer" VT Pro 98's weigh in at 363g, 7pts. HL, strung, for reference. I haven't added any weight.
    The graphic on the inside of the throat denotes unstrung weight (330 +-5g) and unstrung balance point (308+-5mm).

    Yes, what you have there is probably a 1st-gen. Pro No. 1 - which beneath its paint and graphics is a VT Pro 98. Enjoy!
     
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  20. plasma

    plasma Banned

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    [​IMG]
    that picture that schu47 posted is NUTZ! coroborates an excellent point Deuce made about Fischer graphics. That pro classic looks like a vacuum pro and a stan smith superform had a "lovechild". Ususally inbreeding causes deformities but I guess the strong Austrian genetics of the 98 were immune...that's one adorable austrian baby!!!
    [​IMG]
     
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