Graphene Speed Pro -> New frame

Discussion in 'Racquets' started by EasternRocks, Jul 27, 2014.

  1. EasternRocks

    EasternRocks Hall of Fame

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    Hey all,
    I currently use the GSP, and it is a great racquet. However, after using it for more than a year and a half, I am looking for a new one. There aren't a whole ton of dislikes for my racquet, otherwise I definitely wouldn't have used it for this long of a time.

    I am hoping to switch to another Head frame, but I will let people comment if they really believe that there is another frame I should give a try. I might not listen, but you can definitely drop the name of a racquet that you think is somewhat similar.

    This previous week, I hit the Radical Pro and thought it was a great fit. A Head frame, check. A stiffer frame, check. I actually purchased a pair of these frames and played a tournament with them. My results were quite disappointing and did not reflect my initial feelings with the frame. At first, I was enjoying the extra pop the frame gave and in practice sessions, was able to rein in the power more often than not. As a user of tight string patterns all my life and a player who hits very linear and flat directional balls, it seems like the 16/19 string pattern just does not allow me to keep as many balls as I would like in the court and it just caused me to be a bit more erratic. My overall take away with the Radical Pro, is that I would have to change my swing path to achieve the level of control I am accustomed to.

    I hit with the Prestige MP today and it was strung up with something that must have been in the low 40s because I couldn't keep the ball in the court and that's not the response the Prestige line has. I know the Prestige has changed with the new model, but I used to use the Flexpoint Prestige and it was my trusty racquet of choice for multiple years. I am not ruling out this frame. I will be testing it more this week.

    Some other Head frames I have tried but aren't so high on are the Speed MP, the Extreme Pro, and the Prestige Pro (not a fan at all of leather grips)

    Again, still looking for that new Head frame to switch to, but I will entertain the idea of a different brand if it is similar enough to Speed Pro.
     
    #1
  2. mawashi

    mawashi Hall of Fame

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    Why the need to change if the stick plays so good?

    I too have found out that I play best with an 18x20 pattern and it started when I first hit with a Head PT630 however, it has been a real pain to find the perfect 18x20 stick and after tons of 16x19 "experiments" I finally realized that I'm really a 18x20 guy... :???:

    Anyway, Head seems to have messed up the prestige lineage so off to other brands we go.

    Why not consider the Blade 93, Strike Tour or even the prince tour pro 98 too?
     
    #2
  3. Team10

    Team10 Hall of Fame

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    Really interested in this thread. I'm in the same boat as you, I've been using the GSP for around 7 or 8 months now and while I love the racquet, I'm just interested in trying out some other frames.

    I recently demoed the Babolat Pure Strike 16x19, Strike Tour, Pure Control Tour, and Yonex Vcore Tour G 310 and actually liked the Yonex the best by far. Hated the Strikes, they really didn't feel good at all which was very disappointing considering I've tried a friend's Strike Tour before and loved it. Not sure why the demos felt so bad, but oh well.

    Next up I'm trying the Head Graphene Extreme Pro and the Yonex Vcore Tour G 330. How'd you like the Extreme Pro vs. the Speed Pro?
     
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  4. mawashi

    mawashi Hall of Fame

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    Team10,

    Pls keep us posted on your feedback on those sticks.

    See if you can have a go with the B93 too.
     
    #4
  5. SpinToWin

    SpinToWin G.O.A.T.

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    Well… The Speed Pro is pretty unique in the Head line-up so you can stop looking there…

    You seem to like relatively stiff mid plus racquets with a dense string pattern. Knowing that, here are a few other options you should consider:

    Donnay Pro One 97 18x20
    Prince Response 97
    Yonex VCore Tour 97 (the non-G as it is slightly stiffer)
    Wilson Six.One 95 18x20
    Volkl Organix 9 Super G
     
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  6. EasternRocks

    EasternRocks Hall of Fame

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    Thanks for the responses. Here are some comments to each poster.

    It does play well for me, and I am extremely comfortable using it. However, there are still certain things I am starting to find about the racquet that aren't helping my game. For instance, I feel as if the stiffness of the frame isn't giving me enough dwell time on my shots, so I am unable to get enough ball pocketing. This is most apparent with my 2HBH where I am unable to gain any feel while hitting it. This is resulting in a much more difficult time directing shots and feeling that "connected" feel with my racquet. My serve/forehand are always dialed in with the frame, so that's why I've stuck with it for this long.

    And yes, I share the same experience. I have tried numerous open string patterns 16x19 and even 16x20, but I always find myself going back to the 18/20.

    With regards to the Prestige, I actually used to use the FXP version which was the most stiff version of the Prestige. Other than the FXP, I felt the others played actually too dampened and wasn't stiff enough. The Microgel and especially the Youtek wasn't able to give me any juice whatsoever, and I feel that was attributed to the lack of stiffness. Where the GSP is feeling a bit too stiff now, all of the other Prestiges other than the FXP felt too "soft". With all of that being said, I am actually excited about the Graphene version because it seems like it has a bit more power than the previous iterations and I have heard that if there's any iteration the new Prestige resembles, its the FXP.

    The Blade 93 is a no go because I am not a mid-sized player. The Strike Tour seems like a decent option, however, I flirted with Babolat before, but never was able to get accustomed to their grip shape, so I am going to stay away from the company. Also, the Strike Tour actually might be a bit too beefy for me with the combination of the higher static weight and swing weight. The Prince was a frame I actually got to hit around, but I felt the racquet wasn't solid enough.. I felt that the frame wasn't stiff enough like the older Prestiges and the softer/plush feel didn't feel great for me.

    Yes, I am looking to move onto a different frame after almost 2 years with the GSP. My top option now is the Prestige MP, only because it is the only racquet that seems similar to the SP in terms of specs and being control-oriented it seems like it won't be that tough of a transition. Coupled with the fact that I've had a long history with the Prestige (FXP), I am hoping for positive results.

    I too don't like the Strike, although I tried the 18/20. Never tried the Tour version. Yonex's are usually not on my demo list only because I am a bit doubtful using a brand with a different head shape. Regarding your inquiry b/w the EP and the SP, the EP is clearly much more powerful. I find that any racquet that has more power than control is too much for me and I am unable to rein in the power. For example, I just recently made a switch to the Radical Pro, only to switch back to my SP because of the lack of control I felt from the racquet. For some, the RP has enough control, however, for me it just didn't have enough.

    I'm actually trying the Prestige MP and hope to make it my new frame of choice. I do want to stay with Team Head, as I am a College Player that is partially sponsored. All of those racquets are great suggestions, and you are right that I like a mid level stiff, midplus frame, although the GSP is actually just a tiny bit too stiff, but I don't think I'll be giving any of those a shot. The Wilson Six.One would probably be the only one I would give a chance to, but that racquet seems like it would be too demanding for me in terms of the combined SW and Static Weight, similar to the Strike Tour.
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2014
    #6
  7. Oz_Rocket

    Oz_Rocket Semi-Pro

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    I'm another 18x20 fan. Have tried a few 16x19 over the years but always come back to an 18x20.

    I demoed a Wilson Blade 98 18x20 when I bought my GSP 18 months ago and it wasn't too bad. It's been that long that I can't remember the differences to the GSP but it might be worth a try?
     
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  8. EasternRocks

    EasternRocks Hall of Fame

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    Agree with your experiences with string patterns. It just seems like I am more accustomed to the 18/20 when it comes to controlling the ball. My swing path is very linear and my balls are very flat and linear as well, so any open patterned racquet has me a little doubtful on certain shots and whether or not I can control them.

    I have thought about the Blade, however, again I am not too sure I am sold on leaving Head. I feel that if you've been using a company for so long, it's not a simple switch when potentially leaving it for a different company. I think switching companies is a huge move and it would take an even longer transition period to get accustomed to the new frame. From what I understand, the Blade handles are flared and that's something I personally do not like at all. The racquet seems like it would be definitely worth the demo, but I feel more skeptical than anything.

    I'm not knocking and completely disregarding the Blade. If the Prestige MP really doesn't feel comfortable enough to play with in match play, then it might be the next racquet on my list to try. Wilson is probably my 2nd preferred company after Head.
     
    #8
  9. mawashi

    mawashi Hall of Fame

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    I'm not sure if you are over analysing everything cos the speed pallet is the same shape as a Wilson and close to a bab. The pres mp is actually a 95 n the blade 93 is almost as wide. You don't sound like a spin player so the differences between a 93-98 for oval head sticks are very minimal.

    The final n most probable is to get head to make u some pro stock sticks.

    Personally I'll at least go hit with some of the sticks first before I decide.
     
    #9
  10. KYHacker

    KYHacker Semi-Pro

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    Do what I did. Pick a light frame that has the hoop shape, flex, and string pattern that you like and have TW customize it to what you want. Best equipment decision I have ever made. Absolutely no desire to look for another frame other than an attraction to new, shiny objects.
     
    #10
  11. SpinToWin

    SpinToWin G.O.A.T.

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    You overestimate how much the characteristics of a frame depend on a company. A Wilson Pro Staff feels noting like a Blade or Steam (not to mention Juice), just like a Head Extreme feels noting like a Speed or Prestige. I recommended those frames because they are within your preferred specs, which is much more important than the racquet brand.
     
    #11
  12. EasternRocks

    EasternRocks Hall of Fame

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    I just got finished playing with the Prestige and it just didn't do it for me. Just way too underpowered. I thought that with the similar level of control, it would be comfortable and it was. I wasn't missing or overhitting but I just wouldn't be able to get that easy pop I need.

    I am seriously considering looking at other brands now, although I do have a preference in which brands to consider. Babolat, Wilson, and maybe Prince will be the only ones I'll consider.

    The first frame that pops to mind is the Wilson Blade 18x20. Can anyone comment on it and how it compares to the GSP? Again, what I really need in a new racquet is a racquet that is a tiny bit more forgiving than the GSP in terms of stiffness, yet doesn't cross into that mushy/soft feel. The racquet still needs to have a similar level of power/control as the Head. I need a racquet that gives me a bit more dwell time on the string bed so I can get a bit more feel. The GSP is fantastic for me but I feel as if I am a little disconnected with the ball.

    Mawashi, why do you recommend the 93 over the 98? After playing with the KBT a while ago for a little bit, I swore to never return to Mids. I don't think I'll be changing my mind here.
     
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  13. Fuji

    Fuji Legend

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    IME I served way better with the Blade 98 compared to the GSP. It just hits such a bigger ball for my strokes.

    -Fuji
     
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  14. mawashi

    mawashi Hall of Fame

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    Like you I really hated the KBT but it wasn't due to the lack of power but rather it had a very unusual sweet spot shape. When I hit it well the ball went exactly where I wanted it to but just a few cm off to either direction and suddenly the ball would either sail or be a puff ball.

    I am not a mid user mind you but I felt the 93 has some potential if you can hit clean. I'm not a fan of the K98 either and I have yet to hit with the B98 however, I did play around a bit with the new speed pro and I really liked it a lot.

    The issues I have always had with the B98 was the balance and and the lack of lateral stability so I really can't recommend it till I hit with it.

    Honestly, you might as well stick with the Speed pro but make a few mods.
    1. Get a stiff control poly but lower the tension by 4-8lbs.
    2. Put 3-4" of lead (either single or double layer) where you need more stability or you could do like the LM series and put 2" of double layer of lead at the 4 corners (1:30, 4:30, 7:30 & 10:30).
    3. For the price you are willing to pay for a new stick you could get some professional help to make the frame more comfortable like injecting silicon in certain areas.

    If you really decide that messing about is too much and you can handle the high swing weight, the strike tour is the next best choice but you need to do a bit to make it slightly more head light.

    The PST is one of if not the most stable frame I have ever used but it feels like it weights a ton. I'm still awaiting for Daniel to reply on the differences between the PST and regular PS deciding if I would attempt to mod up a std ps but not make it that heavy.

    Good luck.
     
    #14
  15. parasailing

    parasailing Hall of Fame

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    Just stick with the GSP. I have tried all the Head Graphene series including the Prestige and Radical lineup, the Wilson Blade, Steam, and Pro Staff lineup, Babolat Pure Strike/Pure Control series and the Yonex Tour G and AI 98 and a few other racquets and nothing offers the blend of power, control, and feel.

    It's an exceptional racquet when it comes to serving and return of serve is top notch. The harder you swing, the more you get rewarded. Simply one of the best racquets out there especially when you add a bit of silicone in the handle which dampens and takes a bit of the stiffness out of the racquet.

    A good string to match with this racquet would be Head Hawk which compliments this racquet really well.
     
    #15
  16. yangster007

    yangster007 Professional

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    GSP is so string sensitive, my friend tried Tour Bite 17, Alu Power, RPM Blast, Multifeel, NRG2, hate them all in that racquet lol.
     
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  17. mawashi

    mawashi Hall of Fame

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    I'll add one kink into the mix. You might be pleasantly surprised by the Dunlop F3.0 Tour.

    Some lead might even make it from good to great.
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2014
    #17
  18. Team10

    Team10 Hall of Fame

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    Just ordered the Head Graphene Extreme Pro, Yonex Vcore Tour G 330, Blade 98 18x20, and Graphene Prestige MP for demo. Will post my thoughts here when I get them either this week or next week.
     
    #18
  19. EasternRocks

    EasternRocks Hall of Fame

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    Let me know what you think about the Blade. I am very high on this racquet and it might be my next stick.
     
    #19
  20. mawashi

    mawashi Hall of Fame

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    Shucks you didn't get the F3.0 tour lol!
     
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  21. Team10

    Team10 Hall of Fame

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    I've already tried it a while ago when it first came out and actually really liked it except for the almost even-feeling balance. Some lead tape on the handle fixed that and wow it played pretty sweetly from what I remember. Only reason I didn't but it was because the GSP for me was even better. I'm demoing it again as I haven't used it in a while so I wanna see if the dark magic is still there :)

    Actually tried that one too already haha. A friend of mine used to play with this stick so I tried it out a couple of times and while it did everything OK, there was just nothing special about, you know what I mean? Kind of bland.
     
    #21
  22. Team10

    Team10 Hall of Fame

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    I'm demoing the Graphene Prestige MP too, hopefully it plays well, love how it looks.

    I see what you mean. I'm into more control oriented racquets as well now even though I used to use the pure drive for around 3 years or so. With the EP already being a very powerful racquet and with the new graphene iteration, might have too much power to control but we'll see.
     
    #22
  23. mawashi

    mawashi Hall of Fame

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    The GPMP plays very different then any PMP I've tried the closest is the Flexpoint. It no longer plays like a S&V but more like a baseline's stick.

    I feel the GSP is the best from Head so far. If only it was a bit less stiff, 62ra would be perfect.
     
    #23
  24. EasternRocks

    EasternRocks Hall of Fame

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    Yeah I tried it as well when I was demoing frames. It came down to the Blade and the GSP and the latter won the initial battle. Looking forward to playing with the stick and I am already mentally ready to make the switch. Let me know what your feelings toward it are when you get your hands on the demo.

    Agree with all your comments there. The GPMP does play differently and it does resemble the FXP that I used to use. However, the only problem with it is the mere fact that it is just way too underpowered. When I was younger I was able to get away with the lack of easy pop, but now as I have gotten older, its troubling when my balls are not getting past the service line after a full swing.

    The GSP is definitely the best Head frame and I also concur that I wouldn't be switching away from it if the RA was just a tad lower.
     
    #24
  25. mawashi

    mawashi Hall of Fame

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    Well, you have a couple of options:
    1. Mod up your GSP till it's super stable like a strike tour so any miss hits won't really matter, or get
    2. Get TW or some good racquet technician to add silicon into the handle and even the head to minimize bad vibs.
    3. Get a pro stock head frame.

    Btw, have you even tried the strike tour yet cos everyone who has tried my sticks love them.
     
    #25
  26. EasternRocks

    EasternRocks Hall of Fame

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    I actually did do option #1 and I felt that my efforts to make it more stable was the only reason why I made it this far with the frame. I added lead at 3/9 and it definitely made the frame a bit better with the torsional stability making the frame not hurt my wrist as bad on off center shots. The mods however still wasn't able to give me any more feel or dwell time. The response with the GSP after the mods was much better than stock, but I still feel like there is a better option out there with a different racquet.

    I am going to be playing with the Blade 18/20 for at least the next 3 weeks so I will definitely report back in this thread after my quasi-trial period.
     
    #26
  27. mawashi

    mawashi Hall of Fame

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    From what you described a great softish poly like Proline II 1.20 at <45lbs, some silicon under the handle or around the throat to absorb shock and instead of lead at 3&9 you could also try it at 2,4,8 & 10.

    You could also add the wilson shock grip.

    Good luck with the blades but seriously, the GSP is IMO much better but not PST great lol!

    The PST is softer, more stable, more powerful and better for ME lol!
     
    #27
  28. EasternRocks

    EasternRocks Hall of Fame

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    Not much of a poly guy. I already use some Natty Gut in the mains and Poly crosses so that's a soft set up. I changed from Poly mains/Gut crosses because of the stiffness and it definitely has helped the wrist and arm.

    I have tried multiple lead setups, 8/10 and in the buttcap to make it more headlight but everything has still lead me to believe that a change in sticks is the best move.

    Thanks, I hope it turns out well. I anticipate there will be a little adjustment period, but I think it'll be okay. From what I felt back a while ago, the play of the Blade is a little different but has similar attributes to the GSP. Control and a little pop, but a bit more emphasis on the control. Barring something that prevents me from being comfortable using it in match play, it will be my next stick of choice.

    I used to use the PSTGT but it became too hefty and the combination of a high static weight and SW caused my serve to become a struggle and attacking mid court balls was no longer an easy task. My transition game suffered greatly with that frame. For me the PSTGT was a tad too plush and I actually would have liked something a bit stiffer. Something in b/w the PSTGT and the GSP stiffness is perfect for me.. hope the Blade is the answer!
     
    #28
  29. mawashi

    mawashi Hall of Fame

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    Wait the PSTGT is the pure storm tour gt right? That was a junk stick to me, mushy, too low power and no feel, felt like I was hitting with a damp rag.

    The pure strike tour is a totally different animal. Yes it has a high sw but it's like a heavier, more solid version of the GSP.

    Anyway, good luck with the blades, at least it has a higher comfort rating then the GSP..
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2014
    #29
  30. EasternRocks

    EasternRocks Hall of Fame

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    Yes I am sorry. I meant the PSTGT. I have yet to try the PST but I just felt the inclination to go to a racquet that is a little easier to swing. My GSP even with the lead is lighter than the Strike Tour by a bit.
    I also have a slight preference for Wilson over Babolat :)
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2014
    #30
  31. mawashi

    mawashi Hall of Fame

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    Me too initially and trust me I'm not a big guy, 180cm, noodle arms, tiny wrist and 70kg.

    A lot of high sw player sticks are very low power and swinging 330g for a few hours and not being to generate real pace can be a pain. That was what I felt when I used the storm tour.

    The difference with the PST is with power rated at 88, you don't need huge swings to generate power and pace. The stability also allows me to swing freely as I hated how my swing is disrupted especially when jarring occurs due to the frame being too stiff and unstable.

    Honestly I would be very surprised if you didn't love it from the first hit.
     
    #31
  32. EasternRocks

    EasternRocks Hall of Fame

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    Hey all,
    Thought I had "the one" with the Blade 98 18/20 but I am having reservations. It is surprisingly demanding and dare I say... sluggish. I am shanking more with this frame than my Speed and am often catching my forehand late. I do love the plow and solid feel I get when I do time it right but I think I need a bit more forgiveness.

    My Speed Pro again was great, but I am looking for alternatives. If all goes wrong, I'll just stick with it... but I want to see what's out there.

    Spintowin has mentioned the Prince Response 97 and the Wilson Six One... are these frames I should look into? I am a bit hesitant because these both are 12 ounce frames and instead of getting a racquet with a bit more maneuverability, I might be trying racquets that are worse than the Blade.

    Has anyone tried the Prince 100 18/20? Troy from TW says its a softer GSP so maybe that might be an option?
     
    #32
  33. mawashi

    mawashi Hall of Fame

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    That's exactly my problem when I first got the KB98, the awful balance of just 3 points, it wasn't tt heavy but man was it sluggish, I vowed never to use any stick with a balance less then 5 pts.

    If you are going to try the 61 95 you might as well try the strike tour, the 61 95 is even heavier then the PST the only thing is the PST really demands a leather grip for some reason.

    The PrinceTour 100 (18x20) is a really good stick too but it needs the string ports IMO, leather and lead cus it is very low powered.

    Personally, just give the PST (must add leather) and the Control 95 plus a try both are very impressive sticks.
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2014
    #33

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