Gamma Tour 320X initial review

Discussion in 'Racquets' started by sstchur, Apr 1, 2011.

  1. sstchur

    sstchur Hall of Fame

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    Normal setup:
    Fischer Pro One 98
    M:54,X:51 (lock-out) with any soft multi

    Typical playing style:
    3.5 - 4.0 baseline basher who loves to go for too much and hit the amazing sharp angle winner. Hard flat first serve. Descent kick-serve.

    Reason for demoing Tour 320X:
    1. Had success in the past with Gamma frames (especially T-7, as it was on the lighter side but has plenty of flex and a fairly thin beam)
    2. Wanting to try something a little lighter than the Fischer to see if it might take some stress of my shoulder.

    Never had elbow problems, but been having fairly sharp shoulder pain for about a year, which I've kept manageable by simply spacing out how often I play.

    The Gamma Tour 320X looks pretty sweet in specs:
    98 sq in (check)
    Pure graphite (check)
    16x19 (check)
    Flex: TW says 67, Gamma's website says "firm" (nervous about this aspect)
    ~11.4oz strung (normally I'd call this light, but that's one of things I wanted to test out, so check)

    I was hopeful that a slightly lighter frame might have less stress on my shoulder, but at the same time I was worried about the stiffness rating (if it is accurate, which I'm not sure it is).

    I strung up the Gamma Tour 320X with Mantis Comfort 16 at M: 54, X: 51. It definitely did feel soft and even in the "stiff" 320X offered the nice muted feel that I liked.

    The first thing I did when I got on court w/ the racquet was hit a serve. I must have hit the sweet spot dead on on my first swing because it sure felt SOLID. But one swing is no way to judge a racquet, obviously.

    Spent the rest of the time mostly doing drills involving volleys and overheads with 3 other guys. Also a bit of an offense/defense drill where I spent some time at the baseline trying to hit passes.

    I was impressed over an over again with the solid feel of the 320X. I felt like I was able to find the sweetspot more often than with my Fischer. I also felt that balls that came at me with heavy topspin I was able to answer with equal power and topspin (something I often struggled to do with the Fischer).

    The maneuverability of the 320X was also nice. It's almost a full ounce lighter than my Fischers and I noticed.

    As for my shoulder, well it hurt last night after I was done playing, perhaps more than it ever has, which is sad.

    However, this was mostly a drills session and it did involve a lot of overheads. And overheads/serve are generally the biggest contributors to my shoulder discomfort, so there is a reasonably good chance that I'd have had equal pain had I used the Fischer (but I'm not certain about that).

    It's too early to know if I'll make the switch, but the Gamma has a lot of things going for it.

    1. A bit lighter makes it a little easier to swing.
    2. Sweetspot was easier to find
    3. Access to spin was a bit better than w/ the Fischer
    4. Really like the 20mm straight beam
    5. These racquets (all the Gamma tour racquets actually) can be gotten pretty cheaply, which is nice, b/c a switch doesn't mean breaking the bank.

    All that said, if, after several more outings my shoulder pain seems worse, I may have to reconsider.

    Comments, questions welcome.
    -Stchur
     
    #1
  2. eman resu

    eman resu Semi-Pro

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    Nice review. If you get to play some more days with it, let me know how the shoulder pain evolved!
     
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  3. sstchur

    sstchur Hall of Fame

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    I'll be playing again Monday morning and possibly Tuesday evening. I will report back.
     
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  4. Canadian Kid

    Canadian Kid Banned

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    Ive been using it for years. Great stick.....almost the same specs as the dunlop Mcenroe....but a bit lighter so you can play around with it.

    great paintjob as well. One of the best sticks I have ever played with .
     
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  5. sstchur

    sstchur Hall of Fame

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    Oh, good to find another person who has been using this. Can you let us know your setup? Strings/tension? Any lead? Where have you places it? What is your total racquet weight after customization?

    What type of game do you play? Have you ever had any arm discomfort with this frame?
     
    #5
  6. Canadian Kid

    Canadian Kid Banned

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    Well I used to play with the dunlop Mcenroe and when it became discontinued I wanted a racquet that was similar.

    Im not a big tech person so I dont know exactly where to describe where the lead is......its not the tip but I would say it starts at the 10:00 & 2:00 positions.

    It plays like the Mcenroe just swings faster......but I just switched racquets after playing with the 320 for years......

    The Gamma played like the Mcenroe just faster and better.....well the Donnay plays like the Gamma just faster and better.

    The Gamma was thinner than the Mcenrroe but the Donnay is thinner than all racquets at 15 mm!!! Its the same weight as the gamma & mcenroe but swings faster than both!!!!

    So now I have a new problem....I bought like three of the white Donnays and guess what??? They just came out with a new freaking line of racquets!!!! Its literally been only a few weeks!!! I am so freaking pissed.....but thats it...Im done!!!!! Im not switching and playetesting again!

    (my gamma set up was Gamma Zo True 18 guage.....most incredible string i ever played with but now discontinued.....switched to plain babolat hurricane 18 guage in white).
     
    #6
  7. sstchur

    sstchur Hall of Fame

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    Are you gonna be selling your 320Xs? What's your grip size?
     
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  8. Canadian Kid

    Canadian Kid Banned

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    hmmmmm.....no because I still like them a LOT. Ya never know I may go back. Incredible racquet....best kept secret in tennis.
     
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  9. crazyups

    crazyups Semi-Pro

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    I've also been using the 320x about 2 years and it's happening. I'm about 4.0. I have lead at 3 and 9, using poly and overgrip. Weight is 12 ounces and 7 points head light. This stick feels more like 96 or 97 headsize which I like. I was also using the maxply mcenroe. This is better. Sweetspot is a bit high so if I get careless it goes in the net but I agree that this racquet is one of the best kept secrets.
     
    #9
  10. sstchur

    sstchur Hall of Fame

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    Hey crazyups, thanks for the info.

    Did you counter balance in the handle to keep it 7pts head light? If I am not mistaken, it is 7pt HL stock, right? So if you add lead to 3 and 9, was it only about 6g or so (roughly what an overgrip weights, so that, I suppose, could be the counter balance).

    It's too bad more people don't give Gamma frames a try. They don't have a big name in racquets, but they make good quality, no-nonsense, no-gimmicks, pure-graphite sticks.
     
    #10
  11. crazyups

    crazyups Semi-Pro

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    Yes, I put a leather grip on and overgrip.
     
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  12. crazyups

    crazyups Semi-Pro

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    By the way, these racquets are incredibly strong because even though I play best with them, I have thrown them hard on numerous occasions and they have not broken yet. People ask me what they are made of.
     
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  13. sstchur

    sstchur Hall of Fame

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    Ok, I see. I was considering putting some lead tape under the grip and then partly countering it at 3 and 9.

    I like how leather grips allow you to feel the bevels, but they are brutal on my hands, so I usually stick with the Gamma Hi-Tech.
     
    #13
  14. sstchur

    sstchur Hall of Fame

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    Interesting. As far as I know, they are just pure graphite.

    Do you know of any others that play with Gamma frames? I'm the only one I've ever seen with one at my local club.
     
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  15. crazyups

    crazyups Semi-Pro

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    I haven't seen anyone with a gamma, except maybe some old guys with big bubba or something that looks like it. Gamma is not available in most stores it seems. I picked mine because there were no racquets with the specs of the 320x. A firm midplus, 16 mains, not to heavy so that it is customizable, thin beam and a hoop that is not too wide like most midplus sticks.
     
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  16. sstchur

    sstchur Hall of Fame

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    Agreed. The specs really appealed to me as well. I had the opportunity for one new at a great price, so I figured it was worth grabbing to demo it for a few weeks.
     
    #16
  17. Canadian Kid

    Canadian Kid Banned

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    Thats one thing that sucks. the price is pretty high....although I was able to get mine for 99 bucks. I searched the internet and TW was forced to try and beat the price.

    They never gave me that deal again though and Ive been waiting for years for the price to drop!!
     
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  18. sstchur

    sstchur Hall of Fame

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    I actually have a source if you are interested. Email me: sstchur@yahoo.com
     
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  19. sstchur

    sstchur Hall of Fame

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    I've added about 8g of lead to the handle, so that, plus the overgip brings the total additional weight in the handle to about 13 or 14g. By my calculation, this should make the racquet right about 9 or 10pts head light.

    I haven't added any weight in the hoop yet. I'm going to give this a try and see how it feels.

    Back when I used the T-7, I had success with this exact setup: 8g of lead in the handle, none in the hoop.

    Will report back next time I am able to get some court time with it, which will be either Sunday afternoon or Monday morning.
     
    #19
  20. Canadian Kid

    Canadian Kid Banned

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    Than but I'm stocked up with 4 already and I just switched to Donnay anyway.
     
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  21. sstchur

    sstchur Hall of Fame

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    No worries. Which Donnay did you switch to? Some of those sticks really look sweet! I just wish they weren't so darn expensive. I won't even demo one b/c I know I'm not willing to pay their prices.
     
    #21
  22. Canadian Kid

    Canadian Kid Banned

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    I got the Donnay white. The thing about Donnay is that is can have the same exact measurements of any racquet but its just thinner and therefore you can swing faster. Basically it takes whatever racquet youare using and makes it better.

    The donnay are a staggering 15 milimetrs thin......but they are as stable as any thick racquet because its the only racquet thats not hollow.

    My Donnay is exactly the same weight and balance as my Gamma but its way thinner. It took no time for me to adjust. Its faster and more maneuverable than the Gamma.

    The racquets are worth it because you basically never have to switch racquets again. for example I wante to see what the Donnay Orange was like. so I simply added the butt caps and slide in weights that come with the racquet and presto changeo......I turned my Donnay white into the Donnay orange.
     
    #22
  23. Shift

    Shift New User

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    Also exactly the way I felt. I picked one of the Donnays based only on Specs, TW Reviews, Customer reviews, and the awesome feedback fron TT forum members. I went with the X-Red 99, which is a big switch from my APDGT. The customization is also a great idea. Overall, a racquet that greatly improved my game.
     
    #23
  24. sstchur

    sstchur Hall of Fame

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    Played with the 320X again this morning.

    This time I had about 8g of lead under the grip + the overgrip, bringing the total to about 13 or 14g of additional weight (over stock form) in the handle.

    Groundstrokes felt nice. My backhand felt great with this racquet. I don't know what it is, but my backhand is definitely very solid with this racquet.

    I did feel that I lacked a little stability though, so I'm considering adding a little more weight.

    I'm considering 10 and 2, but I'm also considering adding weight to the throat as well, just to bring the static weight up a bit and get more plow through.

    As for my shoulder. It hurts about as much as it ever has. But the jury is still out on whether or not that is the racquet's fault.

    It's been a long time since my shoulder has hurt this much, but there have been occasions when it hurt like this playing with my Fischers too. So I'm not quite ready to blame in on the racquet.

    Bummer though, b/c it's difficult to demo the thing when I have so much shoulder pain hindering my serve and forehand.
     
    #24
  25. crazyups

    crazyups Semi-Pro

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    You need to wait for the pain to go away or subside before you test again. I used to use the m-pro #1 but it was not powerful enough and I don't like the thick beam. Now I use it when I hit with my 11 year old daughter or for feeding balls. Adding weight at 9 and 3 will give plow through and won't raise the sweet zone which I think is a bit high already. Not adding weight to the throat is better for spin as it will be more polarized that way.
     
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  26. sstchur

    sstchur Hall of Fame

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    Chronic shoulder pain has been an ongoing issue for me that I don't think is ever going to go away. I've taken time off before -- enough time that I had no pain at all. But as soon as I go back to tennis, the pain comes back.

    PT has never really helped either. It seems that all I can do is try to space out how often I play and choose equipment that is more forgiving.

    I can't help but notice though, that while shoulder pain is not surprising for me (regardless of racquet), it feels particularly painful after 2 outings with the 320X. It hasn't felt this bad in quite a long time (and I had been playing roughly 2 times a week w/ the Fischers before this).

    I may give some lead at 10/2 a try.
     
    #26
  27. sstchur

    sstchur Hall of Fame

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    Played with the 320X again tonight. I also had a demo of the Prince Exo3 Tour which I compared it too.

    I liked the Gamma better this outing, but that may be in part b/c the grip size on the Prince was too small for me and it bothered me. Also the Prince was strung with some poly, and I hate polys.

    The Gamma still impresses me in a lot of ways. I wish I had I still had a T-7 to compare the 320X to. I keep remembering a certain feel that the T-7 had, but maybe I'm remembering something that never was (that happens sometimes) :-/

    I'm tempted to pick up a T-7 again just so I can compare it to the 320X.

    Every time I do a racquet search with the TW racquet finder, the T-7 keeps coming up again and again and again based on my search criteria:

    Max head size: 100
    Max stiffness: 60
    Max beam width: 20

    In reality, I think I would like less stiffness than 60, but I usually put that in just to get a few more results returned.

    I would actually like something a touch thinner than 20 as well, but again, not much comes up if I go below 20.

    I'm cheap too and don't want to take out a small loan to buy a new racquet.

    I nearly bought a couple of the TW Donnay Pro One Int'ls a year ago when TW still had them. I demo'd it and really really like it. Had an awesome thud/thwack feel on every hit. But I didn't buy any b/c I heard the grommets on these were notorious for breaking and that TW was going to be discontinuing them soon. :-(

    I think I'm too cheap for the new Donnays.

    Maybe I will put some lead at 3 and 9 on the Gamma and see if I get more "thud" out of it. I need more thud. MORE THUD!
     
    #27
  28. crazyups

    crazyups Semi-Pro

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    You might want to try dunlop bio 200 lite. TW says 21 mm beam but most sources say 20 mm including dunlop. I've been looking at what people say about the lite and may test it.
     
    #28
  29. sstchur

    sstchur Hall of Fame

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    Funny you should say that. I had, from a local shop, a Dunlop Bio 200 in my bag, but completely forgot about it and never tested it. I had to return it today :-(
     
    #29
  30. sstchur

    sstchur Hall of Fame

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    Back to Fischer

    Well the Gamma Tour 320X experiment was fun, but it is officially over.

    I don't know if it's just that I'm used to the Fischers and have better timing, or what, but it's undeniable that I just play better -- much better -- with them than with the Gamma.

    Back to the Fischers for me. Look for a cheap Gamma Tour 320X in the FS section fairly soon.
     
    #30
  31. ChadW

    ChadW Rookie

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    I know this is an old review, so I'm resurrecting it here.

    This racquet is on closeout now, and I can't help but think it's well worth the $70/stick. Are there better technologies in the newer Gammas that are worth paying for?

    I'm currently hitting with a Head Youtek Speed MP 16x19, and think this would be an improvement in the control/feel category.

    The Tour 330X is also out there, is it better?

    Gamma heads, what do you think?
     
    #31
  32. ced

    ced Semi-Pro

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    The 330X is the better racquet ...... I've just ordered one and picked up several T7's a week or so ago .....These two Gamma offerings are as good as anything on the market, if you've got decent strokes...... I've been away from Gamma for three or so years, but IMO, except for the Kneissl Black Star they beat anything else I've used in that period.
     
    #32
  33. sstchur

    sstchur Hall of Fame

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    And I'm back to (and have been for a while) the Gamma T-7. Love this stick. Great feel, very controlled. As good as any other racquet I've tried.

    Actually very very similar to the ProKennex 5G (which I also own and hit very well with).

    I think Gamma produces very good stuff. QC is great too.
     
    #33
  34. cknobman

    cknobman Legend

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    Sorry for reviving an old thread but I just purchased 2 of these from H 0 labird for $60.

    I have to say I love these things!

    Right of the bat I was very impressed with initial quality. Both racquets weighed exactly 11.4 oz strung with a dampner. Both racquets had the same head light balance and very nice paint jobs. I purchased them strung with Wilson Sensation Duo (poly mains, sensation crosses).

    Grip: I cant say I am huge fan of the grip as it is not very tacky. This is not an issue for me because I always remove and/or apply overgrip on my racquets.

    Play: Overall this racquet has a lot of power and offers very ample spin due to its open string pattern. Due to the head size and shape it seems like this string pattern is even more open than my equivalent string patterned Dunlop 300.

    Forehands: I really like this shot more than any other for this racquet. I use a semi western grip and felt right at home taking huge cuts and loading the ball up with spin. Control is good for such an open pattern but I do have to stay diligent keeping my swing speed fast because if I take a stroke off the ball will fly on me. I have found it easy to really spin a ball and get a nice kick off the ground for my opponent to deal with.

    Backhands: Let me preface this with I have a one handed backhand. This shot is a little more difficult for me with this racquet. It seems that its hard for me to keep my shot stable when the opponent hits a hard serve/groundstroke. It due to the lighter weight of the racquet and the inherently weaker backhand side. I am used to racquets that weigh ~12oz so I need some more adjustment time or I will end up adding weight to the frame. I have found that its easy for me to hit controlled crosscourt shots with my backhand and due to the extra spin I dont sail as many long as usual.

    Serve: Spin, spin, and POWER. I have actually had some struggles adjusting to just how much power I can get from this racquet on serve. My first two matches with this frame I actually double faulted a lot due to hitting long. Now I have dialed in a little better I can hit some very hard serves with decent spin on them. I still have not dialed in my flat serve but I feel like I can hit my kick/slice serves so hard with this thing I may not need my flat serve anymore.

    Volleys: Not much to report here other than the frame is extremely maneuverable at the net. I have never been a great net player so this frame has not made a drastic difference in how I play at the net. I can say the feel is very nice and I get plenty of feedback.

    Overall: 8.5/10 is my early rating for this racquet. I am very happy with my purchase and even considering going back to buy 2 more. I have a tournament coming up the 20th and will get plenty of play time with this frame. After that I will come back with an update on my review.
     
    #34
  35. ced

    ced Semi-Pro

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    Now you just need to try the 330X .... you got a real bargain on two fine racquets !
     
    #35
  36. jonestim

    jonestim Professional

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    Which is $10 more each than at another retailer that is showing up on the first page of Google for me. Only 1/2 and 5/8 though. They have 330x for the same price in the same grip sizes. 340x are only $45. Had me quite tempted....
     
    #36
  37. cknobman

    cknobman Legend

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    Yes I saw those on sale after I bought the 320. The 330 are for the same price. Really thinking about getting two of the 330 since they are closer to 12oz.
     
    #37
  38. cknobman

    cknobman Legend

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    Wierd my google search shows the cheapest as $59.99.
     
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  39. ced

    ced Semi-Pro

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    They are both good racquets ...you wont be sorry with either. I just preferred the 330X or the T7 in the Gamma line. Of course my all time favorite was the G325, but you wont find those any more. The G325 was a really great stick.
     
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