Head factory in Austria - Racquets made by hand says Ernests Gulbis

Discussion in 'Pros' Racquets and Gear' started by dincuss, Mar 26, 2010.

  1. dincuss

    dincuss Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2009
    Messages:
    1,639
    Location:
    World
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2010
    #1
  2. DavidGarcia

    DavidGarcia Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2007
    Messages:
    1,742
    They do the same in China and I guess any other country which produce tennis rackets.
     
    #2
  3. jazzyfunkybluesy

    jazzyfunkybluesy Banned

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2009
    Messages:
    1,707
    This is why I hate Head as a company. The pros can get the high quality racquets made in Austria but the everyday rec player can only get the sheet made in China.

    And with Wilson the pros can get the sheet made in China as well as a rec player.:)
     
    #3
  4. El Diablo

    El Diablo Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2004
    Messages:
    3,536
    What makes you think "made by hand" is better? Machines seem more dependable than most of the people I know.
     
    #4
  5. OliverSimon

    OliverSimon Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2009
    Messages:
    2,174
    Head is from Austria?
     
    #5
  6. mikro112

    mikro112 Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2008
    Messages:
    557
    Sure. What did you think?
     
    #6
  7. rovex

    rovex Legend

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2010
    Messages:
    5,230
    60 frames a year get broke? Surprising, considering he rarely makes it past the 2nd round in tournaments. :)
     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2010
    #7
  8. DavidGarcia

    DavidGarcia Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2007
    Messages:
    1,742
    He breaks them during practice then! :twisted:
     
    #8
  9. Kick Serve 14

    Kick Serve 14 Professional

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2009
    Messages:
    1,021
    That's probably why...
     
    #9
  10. vsbabolat

    vsbabolat Legend

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2005
    Messages:
    8,797
    I have posted before photos of the Head factory in Austria. If there is interest I will post them again.
     
    #10
  11. mdqm

    mdqm Rookie

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2006
    Messages:
    110
    please!!!:)
     
    #11
  12. vsbabolat

    vsbabolat Legend

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2005
    Messages:
    8,797
    Compare this to that Prince video in China..........
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    #12
  13. OliverSimon

    OliverSimon Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2009
    Messages:
    2,174
    Wow! Really awesome stuff there!
     
    #13
  14. mdqm

    mdqm Rookie

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2006
    Messages:
    110
    thank you very much vsbabolat,really very interesting
     
    #14
  15. raging

    raging Professional

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2009
    Messages:
    1,371
    great photos VS Babolat!

    :cool: loved the photos...I worked for Head 1989-96, Had my own sports agency In Oz. Always wanted to visit the factory in Kennelbach. Interested to know vs did you manage to get a tour there? Or are the photos from another site?
    Thanks.
     
    #15
  16. Rorsach

    Rorsach Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2008
    Messages:
    1,571
    Location:
    Netherlands
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2010
    #16
  17. GameSetMatch

    GameSetMatch Banned

    Joined:
    May 11, 2010
    Messages:
    741
    Anyone got the link to the video of the prince factory when it posted a few months back?
     
    #17
  18. Cooper_Tecnifibre4

    Cooper_Tecnifibre4 Professional

    Joined:
    May 29, 2010
    Messages:
    1,246
    Location:
    Wherever Your Serve Goes
    :lol:

    +10 Characters
     
    #18
  19. TennisAddict121

    TennisAddict121 Banned

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2010
    Messages:
    468
    Location:
    New Jersey
    Why hate head because of that? Why waste more money on people who are the targets of the market as opposed to people who are advertising the product. Also it takes so much time do you know how much money they would lose? Besides a handful of the people on the board, no one really is good enough to need complete matched and high grade racquets.
     
    #19
  20. duusoo

    duusoo Rookie

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2009
    Messages:
    292
    Location:
    Kenosha,WI
    When they had the microgel line, if you bought the Instinct, about 1/2 of them were still made in Austria. I don't believe any other model was. I'm a dealer, and it just seemed that some came from China and some from Austria. Anyone else aware of this?
     
    #20
  21. roger nadal

    roger nadal Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2008
    Messages:
    713
    i really wish china could make quality products
     
    #21
  22. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2004
    Messages:
    43,298
    ALL tennis racquets are made mostly by hand no matter where in the world they are made, be it in China or Austria or anywhere else. That's one major reason why it's so much cheaper for companies to make them in China because the manufacturing process is so labor intensive and labor is cheap in China.
     
    #22
  23. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2004
    Messages:
    12,545
    Location:
    at the bottom of every hill I come to
    ^^^^^^^^^
    yep, there's a video floating around of a Chinese factory where they're building Prince frames. I was really amazed at how much manual labor goes into a frame from beginning to putting on grips to the guy who sits there all day and puts the dot in the 12 o'clock between the first two mains.
     
    #23
  24. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2004
    Messages:
    43,298
    There's also a Wilson "infomercial" that they show during commercial breaks on Tennis Channel that talks about how Wilson develops new frames from the initial engineering to the prototype testing to the manufacturing and they mention that most people think that tennis racquets are made by machines when in fact they are mostly made by hand.
     
    #24
  25. Bhagi Katbamna

    Bhagi Katbamna Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2004
    Messages:
    3,061
    I guarantee that what is wrong with our games wouldn't magically get better with a racket made in Austria.
     
    #25
  26. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2004
    Messages:
    12,545
    Location:
    at the bottom of every hill I come to
    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
    Correctomundo!

    make it into a Pepsi challenge....we wouldn't know the difference
     
    #26
  27. vsbabolat

    vsbabolat Legend

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2005
    Messages:
    8,797
    #27
  28. jura

    jura Professional

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2005
    Messages:
    1,478
    These pics can be found on the Head media database if you have an access.
     
    #28
  29. jura

    jura Professional

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2005
    Messages:
    1,478
    I can agree to this. I played Head stock frames and I have TGK sticks now. There are only two differences: First you can get rackets that are not sold as a YT Prestige MID in 695mm length (as I have and what is the reason that I don't use stock frames). And second at Kennelbach they don't put (that much) lead inside the handle before baking the racket. They fill silicone into the grip which gives the racket a different touch.
     
    #29
  30. jmverdugo

    jmverdugo Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2006
    Messages:
    2,971
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    They do, for instance I am pretty sure you are writting from a computer made in China.
     
    #30
  31. TheRed

    TheRed Professional

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2004
    Messages:
    1,181
    Fischer racquets had amazing quality control - they were made in China. Head racquets, the ones previously made in Austria, had terrible quality control. Don't listen to amateurs talk here about chinese and austrian racquets. They don't know racquets, they don't know the manufacturing process and they don't know what quality control means.

    To be honest, I prefer the old racquets because I love the graphite/twaron feel. That has nothing to do with China or quality control. The decision to make "poor quality" racquets lies with the racquet company, not the country.
     
    #31
  32. rovex

    rovex Legend

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2010
    Messages:
    5,230
    Where anything is made has no bearing on the quality.
     
    #32
  33. big bang

    big bang Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2009
    Messages:
    1,885
    Location:
    behind your curtain
    LOL oh really??:)
     
    #33
  34. TheRed

    TheRed Professional

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2004
    Messages:
    1,181
    yes, really. What is your insight?
     
    #34
  35. rufusbgood

    rufusbgood Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2009
    Messages:
    700
    I am inclined to agree. The Austrian made racquets were prone to losing their shape. They were also prone to collapse between string holes. I've always thought of that as a design flaw, but since moving their manufacturing to China, Head's racquets have been worlds better in this regard.
     
    #35
  36. vsbabolat

    vsbabolat Legend

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2005
    Messages:
    8,797
    Well, I have had many many years of experience with Austrian made racquets. In that time I only had one frame that cracked due to it being defective. While 3 out of the 4 Microgel Prestige I had crack in the same spot at the shaft just above the grip. On the Youtek Prestige Mid I have 1 that is cracking in the same spot as the Microgel Prestige.

    The China made frames still go round if mounted incorrectly on a 6 point mounting system and or strung from throat to head which was the same situation with the Austrian made frames. I don't think quality improved or got worse.

    Never, Never have I had a Austrian Made frame collapse between string holes.

    I guess I have very different experiences than you guys........
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2010
    #36
  37. rufusbgood

    rufusbgood Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2009
    Messages:
    700
    You've never noticed something like this?

    [​IMG]
     
    #37
  38. coyfish

    coyfish Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2009
    Messages:
    1,621
    I had 3 austrian made radicals and let me tell you they were the worst QC ever. All 3 played basically like different racquets. Swingweight was different, impact felt different, weight was different . . . I have 2 youteks and both play identically.
     
    #38
  39. Bhagi Katbamna

    Bhagi Katbamna Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2004
    Messages:
    3,061
    The improvement may have to do with more advanced machines that the rackets are made on rather than where they are actually made.
     
    #39
  40. Fedace

    Fedace Banned

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2006
    Messages:
    23,292
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    Which Youtek does he use ?? and do they make his racket specially for him on the side ?
     
    #40
  41. Pioneer

    Pioneer Professional

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2010
    Messages:
    1,271
    It's not about how "good" you are it's about what is advertised and what is sold. When you get a 4pts head heavy K6.1 95 or a 370g strung Prestige MP you don't need to be that good to be pissed off that the specs say "320g unstrung" and you get this crap. It's also unfair when they say someone plays with a Radical for example but his radical is hand-made with top quality control whereas the radical you buy has been made in a Chinese sweatshop factory, and the pro using a Radical would rather use a racquet from a less well known European-based company if he wasn't paid to lie.



     
    #41
  42. Pioneer

    Pioneer Professional

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2010
    Messages:
    1,271
    Still, your game will be more likely to improve with a quality frame that suits you and that you've customized for yourself

     
    #42
  43. rufusbgood

    rufusbgood Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2009
    Messages:
    700
    Agree. Even on the tour. I strung for a top 100 player who was using the APD. Six racquets varying in weight from 322 to 329 gms and varying in swingweight from 306 to 322.
     
    #43
  44. adidasman

    adidasman Professional

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2008
    Messages:
    1,459
    Location:
    Frederick, MD
    I'm so glad to see holes being blown into the whole myth of the "customized" racquet making such a huge difference. It's like the guys killing themselves to put the Head Prestige grommets on their Wilson frame or whatever. You can spend your time tinkering all day long with your sticks, guys, but the truth is that even the most discerning player at the highest level probably can't tell the difference between a frame that weighs 320 grams and one that weighs 310. If you think you can, it's probably all in your head. Again, it's fine if you want to have fun customizing your frames, but don't try to convince the rest of us that it really makes a world of difference. Because it doesn't.
     
    #44
  45. DavaiMarat

    DavaiMarat Professional

    Joined:
    May 16, 2006
    Messages:
    1,181
    #45
  46. retrowagen

    retrowagen Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2006
    Messages:
    1,904
    I agree; Fischers from Austria or their Chinese subcontracting OEM were both excellent in terms of fit, finish, and consistency of spec.

    Having had (and played at a fairly high level) literally dozens of Austrian-made Heads from 1986 through present, I disagree.
     
    #46
  47. ART ART

    ART ART Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2004
    Messages:
    644
    This is a valid post here.

    But are those rackets customised ?
    If yes, by who?

    In this case, those values are far away... to much difference bettwen them.

    But you are right, most ATP players have different specs in theyr rackets, close ones but still different.

    I once spoke to Nalbandian at RG, and he told me that he was getting some trouble with some rackets, because they feel somehow different from eachother. At that time he was using just 3 rackets, and other 5 rackets ware not used...

    But again, pro's rackets only differ in quality control, and specific points for flex. That is why they feel different.
    All materials used are the same.

    But someone sell them at higher prices... a fool and his money...

    :twisted:
     
    #47
  48. 15_ounce

    15_ounce Professional

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2008
    Messages:
    1,235
    Location:
    I'll never buy from TW until I get unbanned. Tenni
    My Bosworth Rossignol is made in China. It is very solid and tough and almost every ball that I hit with it just feel very solid. It feels as if it's been really carefully designed with attention to details.
     
    #48
  49. vsbabolat

    vsbabolat Legend

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2005
    Messages:
    8,797
    Which Rossignol is it?
     
    #49
  50. TheRed

    TheRed Professional

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2004
    Messages:
    1,181
    I agree somewhat with you. I've used the PT 280, Original Radical, I radical, iprestige, fxp prestige, prestige classic 660 and the youtek prestige. fxp and on were china racquets. I found their tolerances to be quite good. The PT 280 was ok, but I series were better in QC. the original radical was terrible. the racquet I got was significantly head heavier than specs.
     
    #50

Share This Page