Head Elite Pro (CAP)

Discussion in 'Classic Racquet Talk' started by Dino Lagaffe, Jan 24, 2010.

  1. Dino Lagaffe

    Dino Lagaffe Professional

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    I decided to post a picture of my CAPped Elite Pro. Very nice racquet, both to look at and to play with...

    Head Elite Pro (CAP)
    Weight: 352/12.42
    Flex: 52
    SW: 324


    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2010
    #1
  2. khw72004

    khw72004 Semi-Pro

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    One of the best playing rackets, IMO
     
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  3. Tennis Man

    Tennis Man Hall of Fame

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    I played with it this morning. This is one of my favorite racquets ever.

    How was the CAPping experience? Did you have adjust the grommets to CAP it? I didn't but retrowagon recommends it. I still wonder how it works? :)
     
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  4. Dino Lagaffe

    Dino Lagaffe Professional

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    Tennis Man, I agree, it's a terrific racquet. According to my stringer the CAPping process went smoothly, so the answer is no adjustments.
     
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  5. MichaelChang

    MichaelChang Hall of Fame

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    For HEAD rackets made in the same era, the Elite Pro seems to be the rarest racket to acquire one these days.
     
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  6. Dino Lagaffe

    Dino Lagaffe Professional

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    Yeah, I love the PT600, PC600 and PT630s, but this is one sweet stick. I guess availability today reflects sales back in the day. How was it positioned price wise compared to other racquets at the time?
     
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  7. Bud

    Bud Bionic Poster

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    That's a funky background :)
     
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  8. Ross K

    Ross K Legend

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    How does it compare to the great sticks you've mentioned performance-wise?
     
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  9. Dino Lagaffe

    Dino Lagaffe Professional

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    To me the Elite Pro feels like a nice combination of the PT630 and the PC600. It has the more muted/less crisp feel of the former and is as maneuverable and scalpel-like as the latter.

    I ought to bring them all to the court at the same time to compare them properly. This is from memory only.
     
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  10. Dino Lagaffe

    Dino Lagaffe Professional

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    It is, isn't it? :wink: I had promised Jimbo to put some pictures up of the Rossignols and just did it as quickly as possible. I'd probably pick a lighter background and add some more angles for the next photo shoot.
     
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  11. retrowagen

    retrowagen Hall of Fame

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    I think this is a good assessment. The 1988 Elite Pro is my everyday racquet - I still play my four remaining examples weekly, and still play tournaments with them. I began using these in 1988, so I've been with them for a while.

    They compare favorably, I think, with the Head Graphite Pro of the same vintage in terms of stiffness, feel, comfort, and stability, but are more manoeuverable and do cut through the air more quickly. On the serve, they feel slightly more sword-like and a good player can use that extra degree of deftness to more easily make minute adjustments on the serve while in motion. The 1988 EP is less stiff and slightly more head-light than the concurrent Prestige Pro or the later PC600 (before HEAD lightened that frame up). It does have a softer feel overall than the Prestige mids (with the same 18x20 pattern) of various years. I played the PT600 for a little while, hoping that that model might replicate the feel of the 1988 EP, but by comparison that model felt sluggish and mushy. I later tried the PC600 for a couple years, but by comparison, it felt harsher and had far less ball feel.

    HEAD (Austria) only made this model for one year, 1988. In 1989, it was replaced by a model of the same name, but vastly different "widebody" mold. Wilson had caught HEAD unaware with their marketing of the Kuebler-designed "Profile" frames the year prior, which sparked the Widebody craze and effectively killed traditional high-performance racquets (at least in the lucrative US market). Hence, the green/black Elite Pro "thinbeam" is extremely rare today.

    The original white grommets and half-CAP bumper also were prone to brittleness and disintegration within two or three years of new. I retrofitted black full-CAPS (the TK52a from the iPrestige Mid, in my case, although any full-CAP TK52 variant can fit) in two different formats: trimmed (to match the original half-CAP dimensions of the original configuration of the frame), and full-length. There is a "notch" on the frame's mould where the half-CAP would end (at roughly 10 and 2 o'clock positions), and the beam beneath was bulked up slightly to make the frame smoother looking. The original Prestige Pro and subsequent Prestige Mids - all fitted with full-length CAPS - did not have the "notch." The only other HEAD frame to have the half-CAP and the "notch" was the 1988 Elektra Pro (the more flexible sister to the Elite Pro). I discovered when stringing up a full-length CAP on the Elite Pro that the CAP puckers in to the deeper groove in areas below the 10 and 2 o'clock positions, making it extremely tough to pull string. It also looks a bit odd. Since I like the original weight and balance of the stock EP, I trim my new full CAPS down to half-CAP size when retrofitting them.

    The frames themselves are a bit on the fragile side. One good throw down on the top of the hoop is enough for a fatal cracking - unfortunately as a hot-headed player back when these were readily available, I killed roughly half a dozen of them in this fashion, regretted now... Also, as with other "thinbeam" HEAD models, care must be taken when stringing, as the shape of the head can deform if strung hybrid or with varying tension between mains and crosses. Really, this is the kind of a frame that begs for a full multi or natural gut bed, and rewards the user.

    A special frame!

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2012
    #11
  12. Colpo

    Colpo Professional

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    In the USA, Head positioned the Elite in-between the Prestige and the Elektra Pro, figure about a $20 spread between each model. The 1988 Prestige Pro listed for $200-220, so figure $180-200 for the Elite, and so on. Head didn't stick with this series for very long, introducing its double-wedged Elites and Elektras with the '89 model year.

    (Quick Prestige/Elite memory: Recall hitting up a Raleigh-Durham area Sports Unlimited store during summer '90 where they had literally RACKS of unsold Prestiges and Elites for $99/each. I mean RACKS! People were sleeping on these models because you had to follow the pro game avidly to know that every male Head pro was using the PP 600 then. Bought 2 US-made PP there - just a bananas, rubber-core-like feel! Later saw similar deals that same summer in a couple places in CA. No doubt, summer '90 was THE TIME to stock up on those models, as Head's adverting for them a year or two before didn't match up with the amount of product it put out to stores hence vast unsold backlogs.)
     
    #12
  13. retrowagen

    retrowagen Hall of Fame

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    ^ Good post. In 1988, it seemed like absolutely nobody (at least in the USA) was interested in what HEAD was selling, so popular were the original Wilson Profile widebodies. All the HEAD touring pros were either using the Graphite Pro (notably Dave Wheaton), or the Prestige Pro (i.e., the Sanchez bros. and many other Euro professionals). Tim Mayotte was the odd man out with the Graphite Master he was using. The only HEAD pro I recall using the 1988 Elite Pro was Conchita Martinez.

    I do recall seeing racks of 1988 Elite and Elektra Pros for sale in Northern Calfornia Copeland's Sports chain stores, circa 1990-1991. I also found a small horde of dusty 1988 Elektra Pros at a small mom & pop sporting goods store (mostly ski stuff) in Turlock, CA circa 1998! I checked back there last year, but alas, they were gone.
     
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  14. Tennis Man

    Tennis Man Hall of Fame

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    You must be kidding. It can't be that bad. It's a Prestige Pro. :confused:

    Unfortunately, I can't confirm. I have just one of them in near mint condition and I haven't strung it yet.
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2010
    #14
  15. tandayu

    tandayu Professional

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    Copeland's Sports, thank you, I tried to recall this name for long time. Jan 1987,
    I bought grap master and saw white txp with black cap, many of it unsold , must be too small head size, look at Prince, only couple frames left
     
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  16. Dino Lagaffe

    Dino Lagaffe Professional

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    Thank you, all the posters in this thread! Very interesting stuff. This is these boards at its best; nice and knowledgeable people sharing info and comments about a common interest. Great! :)

    (I felt a need to share this with you as there is so much negativity, locked threads and trolling around...)
     
    #16
  17. vsbabolat

    vsbabolat Legend

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    Here is one of my Elite Pro:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    #17
  18. tandayu

    tandayu Professional

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    very nice still has original grommet, leather grip . I have to ask, what qc ( quality control) 5 meaning? Was it like Hanes of Fruit of the Loom sticker?
     
    #18
  19. retrowagen

    retrowagen Hall of Fame

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    Yes, those say "QC Kontrolleur #" which in German means Quality Control Inspector <number>. Just like the underwear inspector's sticker!
     
    #19
  20. Colpo

    Colpo Professional

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    Sorry for any confusion, but "bananas" and "rubber core feel" are intended as maxxed-out praise!
     
    #20
  21. Dino Lagaffe

    Dino Lagaffe Professional

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    I need to add those terms to my vocabulary... :wink:

    Thanks for the posts, everybody! Do you feel there are more unsung heroes out there, shadowed by more famouse siblings? Even though I understand why the PS 6.0 is a legend, I always thought that it "stole" some of the PS 6.6's thunder. So the PS 6.6 would be my example.
     
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  22. vsbabolat

    vsbabolat Legend

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    Don't forget about the Elektra Pro. For the Wilson Pro Staff Mid. The Jack Kramer Staff Mid and the Staff Mid got overshadowed by the Pro Staff.

    For Prince the Graphite Pro 90 got overshadowed by the Graphite 90.
     
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  23. Dino Lagaffe

    Dino Lagaffe Professional

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    Do you happen to have the specs on the Elektra Pro?
     
    #23
  24. Pioneer

    Pioneer Professional

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    Sorry for the noob question, but what is CAP?
     
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  25. Dino Lagaffe

    Dino Lagaffe Professional

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    On some of their racquets Head has used CAP bumper and grommets. I've forgotten but I think it stands for Computer Assisted Protection. They add more protection, and some weight, to the racquet.

    Please check my pictures of the CAPped racquet and vsbabolat's of the original grommet one.

    Since Head has used the same head size and drill pattern for various racquets over the years, it is possible to use CAP grommets on models that didn't originally come with them. For further info you can check this link:


    http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=233780&highlight=CAP+grommets
     
    #25
  26. vsbabolat

    vsbabolat Legend

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    The specs UNSTRUNG:
    Weight: 11.9oz
    Balance: 32cm
    swingweight: 293
    Stiffness: 50RA
     
    #26
  27. Dino Lagaffe

    Dino Lagaffe Professional

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    Thanks! ...
     
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  28. Colpo

    Colpo Professional

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    All 3 1988 Head Pro models from this series (Prestige, Elite, and Elektra) came factory-stocked with CAP grommets. Only the Prestige's was full CAP (all the way to the throat). The Elite had a white colored half CAP, the Elektra a dark greenish half CAP. The 1992 Prestige 600 was the first and only Prestige model to not have a CAP setup stock, although full neon green CAPs were available from Head and used by Muster on tour.
     
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  29. Dino Lagaffe

    Dino Lagaffe Professional

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    Thanks for clarifying that. :)
     
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  30. vsbabolat

    vsbabolat Legend

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    Elektra Pro:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    #30
  31. Dino Lagaffe

    Dino Lagaffe Professional

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    I need to get myself one of those... Nice pictures!
     
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  32. pshulam

    pshulam Hall of Fame

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    me too! .... ... pretty racquet.
     
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  33. Dino Lagaffe

    Dino Lagaffe Professional

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    So I got all three racquets now:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    #33
  34. Dino Lagaffe

    Dino Lagaffe Professional

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    Strung specs on mine:

    Head Elektra Pro
    Weight: 350 g / 12.35 oz
    Flex: 45
    SW: 319
    Balance: 32 cm
     
    #34
  35. MarrratSafin

    MarrratSafin Hall of Fame

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    Nice frame. It feels really flexy, too much for my liking actually. I inserted iPrestige CAPs on it but an overgrip balanced it out. The lighter weight is something different and a plus, on some days it does a better job for me than the Prestige Pro, which is still my firm favourite.
     
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  36. Dino Lagaffe

    Dino Lagaffe Professional

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    The grommets on mine are gone, so I'll probably CAP it too. I'm really eager to try it out.
     
    #36
  37. sarged

    sarged New User

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    Hi All, first time poster from UK here.
    This whole thread has amused me greatly. You all have no idea how long I have been searching for an Elite Pro! I used to play with them back "in the day" and they were fine rackets. Thanks a million for the photo's - I love the colour and cosmetics on it too! Unfortunately, its just a tease for me as I have been searching for so long!!! Dude with the 4 Elites - thanks for the photos - its just too cruel that you have 4 and I have none. That said, if I had any, I would never sell them.
    Thanks a million and I look forward to many more facinating posts in the future - thee forums rock!
     
    #37
  38. Dino Lagaffe

    Dino Lagaffe Professional

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    Hi sarged, and welcome to this forum! Glad you like the thread. The Elite Pro is indeed a very nice racquet. What other racquets have you played with?
     
    #38
  39. retrowagen

    retrowagen Hall of Fame

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    No, mate; what's cruel is that HEAD won't make this frame or layup anymore, instead giving us harsh-feeling, overly-lightweight, garish-looking models with questionable "technological" enhancements instead (and repackaging them annually or every two years to get us excited that we are getting something new and improved).

    Mine are well-used and used well. Hope you can find one too!
     
    #39
  40. retrowagen

    retrowagen Hall of Fame

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    [​IMG]
    They've been multiplying in my racquet bag!
     
    #40
  41. vsbabolat

    vsbabolat Legend

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    Nice!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:)
     
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  42. audioaffliction

    audioaffliction Semi-Pro

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    OMG. I'm so jealous. I played the TXP back in 1988/89 while my doubles partner played the Elite. Always wanted one of these.
     
    #42
  43. Frankc

    Frankc Semi-Pro

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    Info please

    Great thread - not to sidetrack it, but the Electra Pro was mentioned as flexy. How does the dark gray Composite Professional (graphite/glass) match up Flex wise with the Elite and Electra?
    I've always liked the look and feel of the frame and the idea of an engineered medium flex from Head, but I cannot seem to find the right strings and tension? Again, great thread, and would appreciate the info - thanks
     
    #43
  44. retrowagen

    retrowagen Hall of Fame

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    I don't have any lab numbers to quantify this, but the flex and feel of the Elektra Pro and Composite Pro were pretty close to one another. The Elektra swung a bit faster though, by dint of its better aerrodynamics, and felt a wee bit more manoeuverable. Conversely, I found the Comp Pro to feel a bit more stable.

    I too always found these two models hard to dial in the stringing on; thus abandoned them for stiffer models. I would recommend stringing up a nice 16 gauge string at 60 pounds. Within a couple outings, it should be down to 57 or so and you can tell if things are moving in the right direction.
     
    #44
  45. Frankc

    Frankc Semi-Pro

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    Retrowagen,

    Thanks - much appreciated - it is flexy and I did just try a tighter tension (58) with natural gut hybrid. We'll see..
    Interesting that the specs on the side of the frame call for 55-70 pounds.
    The frames are very pleasant to play with - good touch, you can swing out, great slices, and good feedback when hitting.
    Thanks again...
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2010
    #45
  46. alfa164164

    alfa164164 Professional

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    Serial #s?

    Recently picked up an almost new one of these that was sitting in my sister's closet for years. Just got it capped, gripped, and strung up (I need to post some pics). Anyways, on the side of the throat, just above the white collar, there is "17" imprinted on the side of the frame - is this the actual Serial #? The white butt cap has the mostly silver "Made in Austria" sticker on it. TIA
     
    #46
  47. Bud

    Bud Bionic Poster

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    I sure hoped you saved the original grommets :)
     
    #47
  48. Colpo

    Colpo Professional

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    I might find an old pair of Rainbow sandals in my sister's closet. An Elite Pro? -- not much!
     
    #48
  49. retrowagen

    retrowagen Hall of Fame

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    Yes, he probably did... in a little urn on his mantle!

    The white plastic used by Head for their grommets in the late 1980's probably utilised eggshells and recycled flourescent light tube glass in the chemical composition for the white colour and that trademark crispy feel! (The lighter-coloured Rossignol plastics from the late 1980's-early 1990's were similarly brittle, in my experience.)
     
    #49
  50. alfa164164

    alfa164164 Professional

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    Yes, I have the original grommets nicely saved in a ziploc bag, all 89 original pieces.
    Finally got a chance to get this on a RDC machine - Flex measures 55 and SW 330. 12.4 ounces strung, but I don't have a balance board.
    BTW Volkl also had white grommets on some of their models around the same time frame that were equally crappy.
     
    #50

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