G-Speed Pro Review (in Progress)

Discussion in 'Racquets' started by dr325i, Jan 24, 2013.

  1. dr325i

    dr325i Legend

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    Head Graphene Speed Pro Review (in Progress)

    OK, based on many positive reviews, I pulled the trigger and got me one from TW.

    First things I noticed:
    - It came at 325g strung, which tells me that unstrung weight was about 310g. I am glad it came on the lighter side (see "customization")
    - The gommets are "interesting" and a nightmare for a stringer -- the gommet strips are multiple pieces that click together. However, I would think they are hard to keep in place when stringing and one of "connections" on my strung (TW) racket snapped off and is sticking out. Still playable, however, looks like it may affect the string life, not sure.
    - The Head is definitely elongated, more oval, however, I think it is different from Prestige shape.
    - The string pattern (18x20) is very tight in the middle, and when overlayed with the IG Speed MP 315, mains 1 and 18 are about 1/4 inch closer to the center.
    - The frame is visibly thicker beam than the previous generation and the overal frame shape (inside the hoop and other) is different
    - I really like the new PJ, too -- clean

    Customization:
    In order to match my other rackets (Pro Stock of the IG/YT Speed MP with Silicone and Lead), I have added the overgrip and about 10g of silicone in the handle and about 12g of lead from 4 to 8. This made the racket 350g and 32cm balance.

    I spent about 1.5 hours today hitting with this racket, serving and some net play.

    Initial Review:

    First serves are powerful and accurate. A good thing is that the racket has a lot of power and you can serve with 70% effort and still get a nice pop. It took absolutely no time/effort to get my serve going.
    I had a lot of trouble with the second serve -- just could not get the spin and kick I get with my IG Speed. I believe the tight string pattern is contributing to it. Therefore, I had a lot of double faults. I switched for 30 minutes back to my IG Speed and the 2nd serve was no problem (for me, it was for the returner :) ).
    The second serve was actually the main draw back for me so far, along with the volleys.

    It was effortless to make the shots with this racket -- FH and 2HBH. I noticed that there is some spin but definitely less than with the IG version. I use Western FH, so, this was a hard part to adjust, and will take a few more sessions to feel comfortable with. The racket is powerful, my customization added more to it, so...
    The racket is very stable and offers a nice sweet spot as other testers have mentioned. This definitely helps with the off-center shots.

    2HBH did not change much for me as my shots are more flat than I would like them to be. G-Speed feels about the same on the BH side.
    Slices felt nice, deep and low.

    Altough G-Speed is spec'd at higher flex rating (stiffer), I (and my arm/shoulder) did not feel negative about it, with full poly setup. In fact, the racket feels very much like the IG Speed rather than the YT Speed MP that was stiffer than the IG. I would say the racket feels very comforable on arm. I was expecting some pain as my elbow and shoulder are sensitive, however, no issues so far.

    I did some net practice today, but not enough to be conclusive. It felt like the ball was flying too long, and I did not have a good depth control like with my IG Speeds. I will do more net practice over the weekend.

    OK, so, I will update after the weekend practice when I should put in additional 5 hours with the racket. If I can figure out my second serve (my serve is my biggest weapon as I age), there is a good chance I will be looking for a few more of the lighter G-Speed Pros, otherwise, sticking with the IG/YT's...

    January 27th Update:

    I spent additional 3.5 hours with the racket this weekend. I do everything well with this stick, I just do it better with my regular rackets. So, this racket is going to the For Sale Section.

    To Sumarize:- Head has done a great job with Graphene Speed Pro!
    - Vibrations are minimal (no dampener used), however, it is not completely muted and there is a nice feedback
    - I am surprised with the RA Rating of the stick because it does not feel too stiff and did not give me any problems after about 6 hours (and I do have very sensitive Tennis Elbow and shoulder)
    - The power is great with the racket, very easy to block the shots and effortless shot making
    - The string pattern is very tight in the middle (oval head shape) and the access to spin is not as good as on the IG/YT Speed MP 18x20. This was the main drawback for me as I rely on my spin FH and second kick serve. However, there is more spin access than, for example Prestige MP...
    - The sweet spot is nice, large. Very stable with the off the center shots.
    - Excellent control!
    - Serves are powerful and easy directional control
    - My second serves got better last two days, but still, I was not as confident as with my current stick. Could be in my head...
    - Volleys are actually very nice once I tuned them in
    - FH is easy and deep. It would be a total monster for the flat hitters! 2HBH (fairly flat for me) was great! Slices are beautiful.

    This concludes my review.
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2013
    #1
  2. El Diablo

    El Diablo Hall of Fame

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    You've added nealy an ounce to the racquet and still call it "G-Speed Pro Review"??
     
    #2
  3. dr325i

    dr325i Legend

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    That is why I mainly focused on the spin/string spacing and comparison to the same weighted IG, and feel in general
     
    #3
  4. Tennisguy3000

    Tennisguy3000 Semi-Pro

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    I just bought the Speed MP today, a little lighter with an open pattern. I preferred it over the Speed Pro version.
    Here is the comparison chart of this years speed lineup:

    [​IMG][/IMG]
     
    #4
  5. dr325i

    dr325i Legend

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    Thanks!
    Those are STUNG weights, correct?
    I am just not the 16x19 guy -- tried many times before from the Radical to TF to Prestige to Speed lines and I am sticking to the 18x20 :)
     
    #5
  6. Power Player

    Power Player Talk Tennis Guru

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    How is the feel compared to your pro stocks?
     
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  7. Bartelby

    Bartelby G.O.A.T.

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    Yes, it would be nice if people spent some time with a racquet before they modified it. It would seem to make sense to get to know the racquet as is before modifying it.



     
    #7
  8. dr325i

    dr325i Legend

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    How would I benefit from an ounce lighter frame than what I used for past 3 years??? Obviously, I would "not like it"
     
    #8
  9. dr325i

    dr325i Legend

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    I like the feel very much. It is solid, stable and does not feel stiff as the numbers say. I would say it feels very close to the TGK263.5, IG Speed MP 315 (my TGK263.2, YT Speed MP, definitely feels stiffer).
    Someone has mentioned it feels hollow, I completely disagree, feels very solid IMO.
     
    #9
  10. Bartelby

    Bartelby G.O.A.T.

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    You may perhaps have an overly rigid formula for modifying a racquet that doesn't pay enough attention to the base material you're working with?



     
    #10
  11. seb23

    seb23 Rookie

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    What does everyone think of the Graphene Speed REV, looks like it could be a good racket for people that like to customise. It has a low static weight and swingweight so would give plenty of room to add silicon and led tape. Also its not as stiff as the other speeds for people that want additional comfort
     
    #11
  12. dr325i

    dr325i Legend

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    Could be...
    I have been playing tennis since 1979, and playing with the racket modification since 2006. I believe I have found a sweet spot for my rackets at 350g, 32 cm balance. Of course, the same setup does not apply to every stick, however, the G-Speed Pro felt just right with the timing. Obviously, other racket characteristics may require some adjustments, but DEFINITELY not at 325g static weight...
     
    #12
  13. dr325i

    dr325i Legend

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    SOunds interesting, however, TOO light. I bet you it feels very hollow. I would need to add about 3.5 oz to it and it would just make it feel weird... Anything under 10.7 or 11 oz is too light even for customization.
    And I believe those are strung weights...
     
    #13
  14. seb23

    seb23 Rookie

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    Was just a thought, can't say I'm an expert on customising rackets but I know pro stock rackets come very light and are then customised to the desired weight and balance so looking at how light it is I thought maybe it could give someone a good platform to work with
     
    #14
  15. dr325i

    dr325i Legend

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    The pro stock usually comes about 20-25g lighter than the retail. That is less than an oz.
     
    #15
  16. cork_screw

    cork_screw Hall of Fame

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    Very good point.
     
    #16
  17. cork_screw

    cork_screw Hall of Fame

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    Damn, nother really good point.
     
    #17
  18. cork_screw

    cork_screw Hall of Fame

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    Keep us updated. For me the speed ig is near perfection. There's been a lot of hype about this stick and tempted to try. Unfortunately this is one of the coldest winter spells in the east coast, so ill have to keep my ears and eyes peeled for your generous feedback. Wanna know whether to transition or stock up on ig's.

    Very disappointed to hear there's less spin. The ig was a spin monster.
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2013
    #18
  19. rlau

    rlau Professional

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    If you had used the word "graphene" in the thread title, it would have helped people who are using the search feature....

    Anyway, thanks for the review. This frame interests me.
     
    #19
  20. movdqa

    movdqa Legend

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    I'm with dr325, it has to weigh at least 12.5 oz for me to play with or else I need to change my strokes. If it's stiff, the light stuff will probably bother my arm. So I look for the heavier stuff, preferably already modified but I'll modify it if I need to.

    So why are you giving this a try if you're reasonably happy with your Pro Stocks? Just playing around? I find that it is so much work to find something that I like that once I like it, I try to stick with it for a while.
     
    #20
  21. Power Player

    Power Player Talk Tennis Guru

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    I have no issue with OP leading his stick. In fact I am a bit jealous that he has found his ideal specs because that is a wonderful thing to have - consistency. If he had played the stick stock, it most likely would have been a short review.

    Currently been using the same sticks and strings for months now and I finally am able to experiment with some lead again.
     
    #21
  22. movdqa

    movdqa Legend

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    Yeah, I absolutely hate the process of finding what I like the best. It means putting some one, playing a match or two, making adjustments, doing that for a while and then when you're done, trying to duplicate that in your other frames. I have two frames at the same specs (static, balance) but they play differently and I could never get the two to line up as I wanted.

    Knowing what to get the racquets to is nice. Maybe dr325 has access to an RDC machine too. He's one of those kid-in-a-candy-store people on SF that gets to try out a lot of exotic stuff.
     
    #22
  23. dr325i

    dr325i Legend

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    Yeah, man, just playing around -- the habit/desease I cannot get over :)
    Also, making sure I have enough of the TGK263's to last me some time...
     
    #23
  24. dr325i

    dr325i Legend

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    Unfortunately, since I moved back to the USA, I don't get to play with the exotics any more...
    Latest I tried is one of Cilic's frames, last week in Shanghai...
     
    #24
  25. rlau

    rlau Professional

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    It might have been a different review, but not necessarily a short review, I'd say....?
     
    #25
  26. AYone

    AYone Rookie

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    dr325. What string set ups and tension do you have for both speeds?
     
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  27. dr325i

    dr325i Legend

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    Solinco Tour Bite 17g 54/52 lbs.
     
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  28. parasailing

    parasailing Hall of Fame

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    I demoed the Graphene Speed Pro and found it to be one of the best 18x20 string pattern but in the end, I still preferred a 16x19 or 16x20 string bed pattern.

    This racquet is very solid and got a good amount of oomph but didn't like how polarized it felt.
     
    #28
  29. Bartelby

    Bartelby G.O.A.T.

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    There is no point in calling it a review if it's modified. It should be called 'Graphene Speed Pro Modification (in progress)'.
     
    #29
  30. movdqa

    movdqa Legend

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    > There is no point in calling it a review if it's modified. It should be
    > called 'Graphene Speed Pro Modification (in progress)'.

    vsbabolat started the huge IG Prestige Mid and MP thread but he mods his frames similar to many of us. Still there are a lot of people interested in his views and it generated a huge amount of discussion.
     
    #30
  31. Bartelby

    Bartelby G.O.A.T.

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    Modification simply alerts people to the true nature of the review.

    Its like putting 'graphene' in the title so it can be found more easily.

    It's no big deal but it gives makes people more accurate information.
     
    #31
  32. dr325i

    dr325i Legend

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    OK, done with the review. I have updated a few things...

    Whoever is interested in the stick, check out the FS section
     
    #32
  33. cork_screw

    cork_screw Hall of Fame

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    I gotta say, I think I might go back to the IG too. I was really disappointed in the mold change. They took the speed and revamped the mold to where it now feels like a IG Rad Pro or a IG Instinct. It has all those pointed traced angular edges and the head beam has a flat wide edge like the pure drive or the aero pro. They did away with the nice simple rounded off bevel beam of the IG and made it a little awkward to hold. I can't seem to get a comfortable grip with all the protrusions and it also doesn't help that it's thicker as well.

    The thickness of the 99s is is something that I also didn't like. I can't wrap my hand around it with my off hand (something I like to do). Other than that, the spin is less pronunced. And with the new graphene the overall head shape is less oval and tear drop. They trimmed the head shape and made it more elongated similar to the prestige mp than the rounder traditional Speed. I think that's where the spin drop off comes apparent because the strings got tighter when it is squished in and the former rounder head allowed more string spacing, thus allowing more spin.

    Not a fan of this model. Actually feels cheapish in production compared to the older IG. Didn't like the hexagonal protrusions of the Graphene illustrations as well. I am probably going to stock up on IG's before they get discontinued.
     
    #33
  34. Anton

    Anton Hall of Fame

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    I bought Dr325s racket and will take on the review process form here :)
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2013
    #34
  35. Maroon_Tenniskid

    Maroon_Tenniskid Semi-Pro

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    At first I kind of agreed with this, but the spacing on the new MP is actually farther apart than the old 16x19, and I also remember the IG's feeling cheap at first, but after a week of hitting I loved it, and after a week of hitting the graphene, I love it too! I'm happy there was a change because it is a little more stable and has more pop.
     
    #35
  36. dr325i

    dr325i Legend

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    The Graphene Speed Pro definitely did NOT feel cheap! A solid, stable racket. Great job by Head. I just did not see the benefits of it over my current sticks...
     
    #36
  37. ka1m1ng

    ka1m1ng New User

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    I tried playing the graphene speed pro in stock. the frame is powerful for a 18x20 but as spinny compared to my ig radical pro. can easily rip flat forehand winners with the speed. it feels heavier than my current stick and sometimes i get trouble maneuvering it when out of position. although thicker beam and stiffer, i didn't get any elbow problem after 2 hours and its really quite plush and comfortable to rip the ball.

    overall good racket. i need a bit of transition time. maybe i'll need to add weight to the handle.
     
    #37
  38. Anton

    Anton Hall of Fame

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    I'm a little confused on the "power" feedback, some people are saying it is low power, others say it's powerful like APD?

    Stiffness would indicate a lot of power...I guess I'll see for myself in a few days.
     
    #38
  39. NetNinja68

    NetNinja68 Rookie

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    I have found it (the MP) to be both powerful and spinny but not heavy enough in stock form, so I leaded both the head and handle.
     
    #39
  40. Federerkblade

    Federerkblade Professional

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    Anton

    Looking forward to hearing your set up and thoughts
     
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  41. rlau

    rlau Professional

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    Same here -- keep us posted
     
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  42. dr325i

    dr325i Legend

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    Don't know about the APD, however, it is definitely more powerful than the Prestige and more powerful than the IG Speed MP 315.
     
    #42
  43. Anton

    Anton Hall of Fame

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    #43
  44. anhuynh16

    anhuynh16 Hall of Fame

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    I know that the BLX 95 16/18 isn't really a racket you can compare the speeds to- but (if you'd tried them) how do they stack up against the 95s?
     
    #44
  45. Federerkblade

    Federerkblade Professional

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    Great tw review for the pro
     
    #45
  46. dr325i

    dr325i Legend

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    Sorry, did not try BLX95.
    However, the Graphene Speed Pro is a great stick
     
    #46
  47. Anton

    Anton Hall of Fame

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    So I got the racket today (Thank you dr325i !)

    Looks pretty nice - looks slimmer and slicker in person than in the pictures.

    Swung it once...a bit sluggish, not impressed...took off 2 grams at 12...swings fast now, but a bit too light...put 1 gram back on - WOW PERFECT.

    Didn't get to actually hit the balls yet, but so far I'm impressed. This thing is uber polarized, much like my Mantis Pro 295 customization that I was looking to replicate (minus the loose string bed).

    Got solid weight in hand but once in motion it is crazy swift and I could get big head speeds with very smooth load up.

    Stability is solid throughout the strigbed. Top of the loop is rock solid. Just the slightest flutter around 8 and 4 of the stringbed, which is again, from polarized weight distribution.

    I just hope the tight pattern will be able to make up for all that head speed and stiffness to keep the ball trajectory down and in the lines.
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2013
    #47
  48. ka1m1ng

    ka1m1ng New User

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    just asking, did you lead up 1g at 12 only?
     
    #48
  49. Anton

    Anton Hall of Fame

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    No, dr325's racket was already customized.

    Now there is basically lead running all the way around the loop from 8 to 4(11g) and 10g of silicone in the handle.
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2013
    #49
  50. Anton

    Anton Hall of Fame

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    So hit briefly today.

    It was about 35-40 outside and this racket is string with full bed of shapped poly at what feels like mid-high tension, so even with the silicone in the handle the feel of the racket is a bit buzzy. I think NRG2 mains with a smooth poly will work much better.

    This stick plays like a heavier, tighter stingbed IG Instinct, both rackets have that thick but narrow beam and are of high stiffness. That's not a bad thing, as that racket did have a lot of good qualities and the Pro's tighter stringbed should take care of control issues.

    Speaking of which, my main concern about there being too much power is put to rest, the tight pattern really did keep the ball trajectory down and I could really swing out with confidence.

    I'm flying out to Mexico on wednesday so we'll see how it plays with softer stringbed, I'll probably record some hitting.
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2013
    #50

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