Graphene Revs: Platform sticks for those in-the-knows?

Discussion in 'Racquets' started by dje31, Feb 5, 2013.

  1. dje31

    dje31 Semi-Pro

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    The wife and I have been in the market for new sticks, having used Volkl C10 Pro (her) in the 12+ range, and Volkl Tour 10 Mid (me) in the 13oz range, for the past several years, very happily, I might add. We still like joint-friendly, flexy, heavy (by today's standards), lower powered traditional racquets, but wouldn't mind lighter player sticks as we age.

    She tried---and liked--the IG Instinct MP, despite it having a pretty high stiffness rating, which they hide or damp out nicely. I tried and liked the IG Prestige S, but we both wanted to try the Graphene stuff before committing.

    Got some demos from TW, including the Speed Rev and Instinct Rev, as the MPs and Pros weren't available. Looking at the specs for the Revs, they have a lot of the hallmarks of being platforms: super light (~9 oz), even to slightly HH balance, and lower flex rating than the MP and Pro models.

    In the case of the Instinct Rev, its RA is 59, vs. 70 for the MP, and 72 for the S. Was sure it had to be a typo, but calling TW, they tested three samples, and sure enough, they were 59 or so.

    The Speed Rev has an RA of 63, vs 66-68 for the Pro, MP, and S.

    The wife liked the Instinct Rev, and I liked the Speed Rev (though not crazy about the PJ...I know, it's a petty concern), but neither of us could use them in stock form. We'd have to add at least 2 oz, and make them much more headlight, via silicone and some lead.

    I'm leaning toward the IG Prestige S, with leather and a bit of lead...certainly less than the Speed Rev would require. I clicked better with that than anything else I've tried. The Speed Rev comes close, and is a bit more forgiving.

    Any issues adding that much weight and tweaking the balance? Seems that's how most of the pro-stocks start out (not that we're pros, but solid 4.5s).
     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2013
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  2. Fuji

    Fuji Legend

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    Adding that much weight shouldn't be an issue. On the other hand the Rev series have extremely thick beams though don't they? That creates a ton of extra pop alone, and adding that much weight might turn it into a total launcher.

    Just speculating however...

    -Fuji

    EDIT: I lied, I was thinking of the PWR series.
     
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  3. dje31

    dje31 Semi-Pro

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    All of the non-PWR Speeds pretty much have the same beam, which seems to increase with each iteration. Still pretty reasonable at ~22mm, + / -.

    The IG and Graphene Instincts both have pretty thick beams as well. Much better PJ this time around, IMHO.
     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2013
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  4. dje31

    dje31 Semi-Pro

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    Is 3 oz too much to add without making things go wonky? Or a shift from 2 pts HH to 5-7pts HL (strung in both cases)?
     
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  5. BigM

    BigM Rookie

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    Have you guys looked at the Radical Pro's? I have just had some injury issues with my shoulder and have just finished the search for a comfortable racket that offers some power and control. I considered the new Graphene Speed MP's as a platform however I found some QC problems spec wise and it was going to be a massive issue to match 3. On the off chance my friend told me to try the Radical Pro as he thought it was to soft. I tested it on the RDC and its flex was 58 which is perfect for me. Hitting with this frame is so comfy. It has a pretty high Swing weight however I get some surprising power and control from this frame. The Swing weight maybe an issue but I would give it a demo.

    Really close to a players frame or Pro stock.

    BigM
     
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  6. dje31

    dje31 Semi-Pro

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    Tried the Rad Pro, but neither of us clicked with it. I think the SW played a part of that.

    She ended up picking the Graphene Instinct Rev. Got it strung up this a.m., but have to add some lead and silicone now. Will report back how it works when modded up.
     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2013
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  7. dje31

    dje31 Semi-Pro

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    Small update: Added two wraps of lead tape at the top of the handle, under the electrical tape to hide it and keep it in place.

    Put ~20g of Blue Tack in the hairpin, thinned out and wrapped in cling wrap---that was a pain, since I didn't remove the butt cap and the staples were in the way---plus three pre-1981 US pennies in the butt cap, secured by small blobs of Blue Tack.

    Lastly, added a UF Gator vibrastop, though with the shared holes, it doesn't seem like it needs one. Still, trying to get the stock weight up a bit---which was 9.5 oz, strung w/Cyclone 17 in the mains, and OGSM 16 in the crosses---and make it more headlight. Yeah, the vibrastop is undoing a bit of the balance mods. I don't have a postal scale to see where it's at now, but checked it at the shop when I picked it up, pre-mods.

    Haven't had a chance to try it yet. My wife noticed the feel / heft / swing in the family room last night, compared to the stock demo from TW. I didn't let on that I'd made any mods yet, chalking it up to MFR'ing tolerances...plus I want them to be easy to undo, in case she's not happy with the current setup.

    And as any married man will tell you: if the wife ain't happy, ain't nobody happy.

    Stay tuned.
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2013
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  8. zapvor

    zapvor Legend

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    strung 3 of these up this week. waiting for feedback from the player
     
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  9. dgoldman

    dgoldman New User

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    id like to know how mod able these are too. The specs are similar to pro stocks, no?
     
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  10. dje31

    dje31 Semi-Pro

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    Update: Tried the Graphene Instinct Rev this evening with the wife, modded to 10.4 oz (stock strung is 9.1). Very nice. Not as HH, though I haven't measured where balance is. Quick swinging, solid feeling, joint-friendly.

    Really glad we both tried this, as long term, that 59 RA stiffness rating will be much better on her, physically. I know when we were demoing it and the Graphene Speed Rev in stock form, both hit well, but felt some elbow tenderness (which I've never felt with our Volkls), due to its light weight and HH balance. Didn't feel any of that since the mods.

    May try a bit more weight, but will probably let her acclimate to it for a while. When she settles on a weight she's comfortable with, I'll probably replace the Blue Stick and pennies with silicone.

    Cyclone 17 mains @ 53, OGSM 16 crosses @ 48 is a good starting point.

    It's 2.1 oz lighter than her C10 Pros that I'm now hitting with. I haven't weighed my T10 Mids, but they're definitely heavier than her C10 Pro, and are feeling more club-like than I'm comfortable with.

    I tried her GIR for a while, and it's understandable why folks are swayed toward lighter sticks.

    I still intend to move to the IG Prestige S, but for now, her C10s will work for me.

    Will report more, in case this is just a honeymoon period.
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2013
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  11. dje31

    dje31 Semi-Pro

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    Update: follow-up sessions have continued to be positive, though inconclusive as to a final weight. Modded Graphene Instinct Rev is 2.1 oz less than her previous C10 Pros, and she's appreciating the lighter weight, with no joint issues so far.

    If she ends up hating it, my son would be more than happy with the hand-me-down. Heck, I could work with it, though I'm not crazy about the beam width. Hasn't been an issue while hitting with it, more just the purist in me.

    As an aside, the Graphene Speed Rev would be worthy of a similar experiment. I liked the lower flex compared to the other Speeds, and didn't feel any flutter or instability issues during my demo time.

    Just not sure I could live with the PJ. "Hey, you've got Novak's stick!" Silly, trite, meaningless, I know.
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2013
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  12. Fuji

    Fuji Legend

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    The same thing happened to me when I was using the Aerostorm line from Babolat. Darn near same PJ as the APD, but I got the Nadal remark every single time I played someone new LOL!

    -Fuji
     
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  13. dje31

    dje31 Semi-Pro

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    In an unscientific observation, it looks like half of folks at the the club where we play use the APD, or one of its variants with the same PJ. From wee-tots to blue hairs, and all skill levels.

    I guess that says something for marketing, and perhaps that it works for a lot of folks.

    I've just never been a "joiner."

    And the fact that that type of racquet just doesn't work for me or my game / style. The only Babolat I've used successfully was the swirly Pure Control...and even that was short-lived, as it made my elbow hurt. Huge serves, though.
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2013
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  14. user92626

    user92626 Legend

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    I got my apd's and speed precisely because of Nadal and Djokovic, and lately acquired a youtek Radical cuz I always dig how Andy looks with it!!

    Rackets are the same when you customize them to your desired weight and balance. Give me same result. But gettting stuffs associated with pros fuels motivation and fun. If you watch atp matches lots of stuffs (usually positive) and imagination go to your head, and after all this is recreation. Good to have models.
     
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  15. dje31

    dje31 Semi-Pro

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    Personally, I haven't made equipment choices---in any of my sports---based on pros' gear, hero worship, looking cool, or other starstruck issues since my early 20s...that was half a life ago. At my age, that would just be dopey.

    But hey, whatever works for folks, I won't whiz in your Cheerios over it.
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2013
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  16. dje31

    dje31 Semi-Pro

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    ^^^ That may have come across as a d'bag comment, so allow me to clarify:

    Back in the '70s, I picked up a Wilson T-2000. I was probably 13 or 14 at the time. This was before graphite and larger head sizes became the norm. Other than the original Prince Classic and Pro, most everything was ~65 sq. in., probably wood, with a handful of metal and composites here and there. The composites and graphites were pretty pricey at the time.

    For reasons unknown, I adopted a Connors-type of style, 2HBH, which wasn't my game at the time. It was particularly weird, because I wasn't much of a Connors fan. Didn't like his style, his attitude on-court, but it was also my first metal racquet.

    My results suffered, played like crap, and worked way harder than was necessary, with lousy matches. Club ranking dropped as well.

    Changed racquets, got my old game back, got back to more Ws than Ls, regained proper spot on club team.

    Probably should have gone to the old Head Professional (aka Red-Head) instead of the T-2000 for a first metal racquet.

    Sidebar: after the T-2000, I picked up an odd-duck wood racquet that I'd never seen or heard of before, or since. The brand was Cordozova. Played some of the best tennis of that part of my life with it. My heart broke when it did, as I never found one to replace it. Like the T-2000 that preceded it in my racquet history, my mom got it for me at a Luria's / Service Merchandise type of store.

    Would love to find another Cordozova, if only for the nostalgia, and to add to my collection.
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2013
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  17. dgoldman

    dgoldman New User

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    I bought one of each to try and mod them up although I have no experience modding. The Graphene Speed Rev is 2 or 3 pts HH. I'f I just counterbalance via lead at 7in or silicone in the handle to make it 6pts Head Light will it still have the same power? I know it depends on my swing but if swing speed remains the same power should go up due to the mass increase?
     
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  18. dje31

    dje31 Semi-Pro

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    You might want to peruse this thread:

    http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=309803

    It's pretty extensive, even on the first couple of pages.

    Someone who's done more modding than me can likely bring more info. I'm working on the premise that, with it being more head light, it's easier to generate racquet head speed, as well as being more joint friendly, and easier to swing over a long match or hitting session. So all things being equal, I think the power should remain more or less constant, compared to a lighter, HH, stock racquet. If you lose some power, add a bit of lead tape either at 3 / 9, 10 / 2, or 12.

    If you're unsure if you're going to like the mods you're about to do, I'd choose one that's easily undone. I used DAP Blue Stick in the handle, rolled into long thin strips, and wrapped them in cling wrap. That way, I can easily remove them, or add to them, as needed. Silicone can be removed, but it's a bit more of a pain...but I'll likely replace the Blue Stick with silicone on the wife's racquet when she knows she's set on the mods.

    Also note, a big part of the whole Graphene thing, per the marketing propaganda, is that it makes the racquets more polarized, taking weight out of the middle. My wife and I tend to like more depolarized racquets, generally speaking, so adding a bunch of weight to the handle un-does its design intent. That being said, the Graphene Instinct Rev felt pretty good in stock form...but it feels even better now, with the extra weight and more HL, at least to us.

    As always, YMMV.
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2013
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  19. Power Player

    Power Player Talk Tennis Guru

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    Real interesting post. A 59 RA stick that can easily be modded is always intriguing.

    My mod-find courtesy of JGads is the Pure Storm Team version. Just an awesome stick with an extra 14-15 grams of weight.
     
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  20. dje31

    dje31 Semi-Pro

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    I'm still just flummoxed that Head made the Instinct Rev so much lower flex than the other G Instincts. Like I said earlier, I was sure it had to have been a typo or misprint. Still, glad they did.
     
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  21. dgoldman

    dgoldman New User

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    Comparing the Instinct MP to the Instinct Rev. TW lists the MP as low-medium power and the Rev as Medium however the Rev weighs 2 oz lighter AND is flexier by a lot yet the beam widths are about equal. What makes the Rev more powerful?
     
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  22. dje31

    dje31 Semi-Pro

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    Maybe the lower static weight and HH balance gives it more power?
     
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  23. dgoldman

    dgoldman New User

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    ok got the sticks tonight, here are my starting measurements:

    Instinct rev: 36cm balance(5HH), weight: 263g, SW: 304 (TW specs 3HH, 258g, SW: 295) (Can get from my spec to theirs by adding 5g at 21.7in)
    Speed rev: 36.2cm balance(5HH), weight: 274g, SW: 321 (TW specs 2HH, 261g, SW: 300) (13g @20.1in)
    Steam 99s: 33cm balance (4HL), weight: 312g, SW: 310 (TW specs 3HL, 323g, SW: 333)

    EDIT: Post Speed mod 33.4cm (3HL), 305g, 323SW added 31g putty to handle.

    These numbers seem so far off what TW lists. I am using a very accurate food scale, a balance board purchased from TW, and the Ipad swing app that determines swing weight via its camera. Those measurements were taken on strung rackets with black code 17 - nothing else. Why would these numbers be so far off...even the balance is off which should be the easiest to confirm. Are rackets this far out of spec between themselves?
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2013
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  24. dje31

    dje31 Semi-Pro

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    I suppose you could ask TW if that's normal. Their customer service is usually quite good.

    Anxious to hear how it turns out with them, or if your mod'ing does what you're after, and the results of those efforts.
     
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  25. dje31

    dje31 Semi-Pro

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    Any news or updates? From TW? On your mods?
     
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  26. dgoldman

    dgoldman New User

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    Put 31g puddy in the handle and it ended up 3HL with 323SW went out and the racket was twisting like crazy in my hands so that didn't work.

    I then re-did the putty up to 324g in the handle and put 4g at 9&3. Now the balance is 4HL(33cm) @ 328g and 333 SW. Hitting balls is much more stable now. I need a bit more power though so maybe a bit more lead at 9&3. I was surprised how much 4g helped with stability.
     
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  27. Power Player

    Power Player Talk Tennis Guru

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    Yep, id add some lead at 3 and 9. Actually id suggest 6 inch strips there for 6 grams total and getting the balance a little more even if you want to play at 325 grams. I have my team setup like that and it plays incredibly well. Very stable too.

    325 gram setups are honestly amazing and can work for almost anybody. The key is to keep the balance 1-2 pts hl.
     
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  28. dje31

    dje31 Semi-Pro

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    Which of the three are you working on now? Instinct, Speed, or the Steam? Or are you setting them all up the same way?
     
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  29. dgoldman

    dgoldman New User

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    Just working on the Speed.

    The steam is actually perfect once I dial in the trajectory but a full bed of poly dies after a few hours (it just doesn't go back into place or breaks). So I decided to try these others hoping to lower the amount of re-stringing.

    I will try 4x6 inch strips at 9 & 3. I was thinking of putting 1 or 2 grams at 12, you think those 2 grams at 3/9 is better?
     
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  30. parasailing

    parasailing Hall of Fame

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    Let us know how the Speed works out for you. For me, I think it's of the easiest to swing racquets but needs work on stability and plow through.
     
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  31. dgoldman

    dgoldman New User

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    Had the exact same issue but making the mods so far has helped tremendously. I had basically written the racket off after trying it out after my first mod but the second mod made it close to perfect even though I didn't do much. I am still testing it out though.
     
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  32. dgoldman

    dgoldman New User

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    I ordered a technifibre tflight 315 lim 18x20 today to add that into the mix. Always loved my technifibres so a pre-siliconed handle sounds like a good place to start as well.
     
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  33. dje31

    dje31 Semi-Pro

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    Is there a way to add more to the handle if you need to? Or is it already filled to capacity?
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2013
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  34. dgoldman

    dgoldman New User

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    Ok got the Tflight 315 today, and the specs are pretty much just as listed on twarehouse.
    My recorded specs: 32.3 (6hl) balance, 336g, 316 SW.
     
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  35. dgoldman

    dgoldman New User

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    Oh and I don't see a trap door. Will have to wait to re-grip and then ill check.
     
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  36. dje31

    dje31 Semi-Pro

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    It's been several weeks now since your last post, dgoldman. Any updates we should know about?
     
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  37. sundaypunch

    sundaypunch Hall of Fame

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    No trap door in the buttcap. I ended up removing the buttcap to swap out the pallet. The handle has two chambers with a divider running down the middle. It appears that they only put silicone in one and then a piece of foam stuck in the end. There is plenty of room in the other chamber if you wanted to add more silicone.
     
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