Head Speed 2013 Playtest

Discussion in 'Racquets' started by samoah24, Nov 23, 2012.

  1. samoah24

    samoah24 New User

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    Hey guys, i am from Germany and got the opportunity to demo the new Head Speed 2013 on December 2. I would like to share my impressions with you. If it's possible to take pictures i will do it. Thats all for now.
     
    #1
  2. jchl97

    jchl97 Rookie

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    Congratulations, looking forward for your thoughts and pics of it! Just want to know, is the playtest sponsored by Head where you have to register it on their site, or is it personal?
     
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  3. samoah24

    samoah24 New User

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    It's Sponsored by a big Tennis Shop called 'Tennis-Point' but in the end it's coming from Head i think. Got the Newsletter today and there were 20 places for the playtest and i got the last one :)
     
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  4. dr325i

    dr325i Legend

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    And you posted this in the Pro Gear because you are a Pro, or...?
     
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  5. TennisJC

    TennisJC New User

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    I think Head's trying to keep the new models a "secret" (PR?) if you look at the TV commercials so far...

    Also heard that the preview demo models are blacked out...anyone else getting the same for cosmetic reasons? Instinct and Speed
     
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  6. samoah24

    samoah24 New User

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    See many blacked out models in late summer at my Tennis Shop, was not able to try them out (wrist injury). I think the new speed will sell well with novak on number one on the rankings and the paintjob looks awesome. Head did a good job.
     
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  7. dimeaxe

    dimeaxe Semi-Pro

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    #7
  8. samoah24

    samoah24 New User

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    #8
  9. dje31

    dje31 Semi-Pro

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    So, leaked spy shots earlier showed a variation on the current Speed PJ...now they're showing them blacked-out, like skunk werks / prototypes. I'd personally prefer the latter, if anyone is asking.

    Anyone seen the 2013 Head dealer book yet to confirm either way?

    Also, the blacked-out teaser on the link above is 16x19, with eight shared holes.
     
    #9
  10. Crisp

    Crisp Semi-Pro

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    I went to a test day yesterday. Have not been a head user in the past. Speed mp and instinct are great racquets for the type of player aimed at. Power on the instinct was unbelievable.
     
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  11. samoah24

    samoah24 New User

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    Nice, can't wait to test the new sticks
     
    #11
  12. srvnvly

    srvnvly Professional

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    Crisp - is the power on the Instinct the same as the current version? Any change in static or swing weight?
     
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  13. baseline_monster

    baseline_monster Professional

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    Got a feeling they will be the same, just mainly black?
     
    #13
  14. Ross K

    Ross K Legend

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    What was it like re harshness/stiffness?
     
    #14
  15. samoah24

    samoah24 New User

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    Test it!

    Today i have tested the new Instinct MP and the new Speed MP 18x20 (4h match play).

    At first i had played with the Speed MP 18x20, the Pro version was not there.
    For me the Speed MP was very comfortably, very arm friendly. Was solid on the forehand and slice. At the backhand i miss some power, massive spin but low powered racquet. Not my playstyle but a good racquet for people who have a short fast swing with a lot of spin.

    Then the men from Head gave me the Instinct MP. Thought it were not the racquet for me (I'm a prestige guy) but i was impressed :shock: I had so mouch power without doing so much with my body. Plays very solid and digs into the ball which gives a good topspin. Played it 2h and i think this is my new racquet, love it. I don't take pictures cause the models where all black with stickers not the final paintjob so nothing special.

    So, I hope it helps you guys
     
    #15
  16. axel89

    axel89 Banned

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    where the colors blacked out or what color is it?
     
    #16
  17. samoah24

    samoah24 New User

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    Yes there were blacked out with a few stickers, was not the final paintjob. I had a talk with the guy from HEAD and he say's they come like the prevous version with black and white and a few new details
     
    #17
  18. Broly4

    Broly4 Rookie

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    Actually, the pro is 18x20. The mp you tested is 16x19.
     
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  19. sixone90

    sixone90 Professional

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    Does anyone know if the 18x20 has shared holes?
     
    #19
  20. Bartelby

    Bartelby G.O.A.T.

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    Pardon my ignorance, but what is the significance of shared holes when it comes to strings? Any advantages or all disadvantage or neutral?
     
    #20
  21. dje31

    dje31 Semi-Pro

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    Background info:

    Well, in the days of wood racquets, holes were shared all the time, out of necessity given the lack of surface area to work with. But they also didn't have grommet strips that wear out over time. Folks also didn't re-string as often back then, when their non-existent poly would go dead after an hour or two.

    Potential positives:

    From a MFR'ing and engineering perspective, I'd guess that the fewer holes you drill in a racquet, the fewer stress risers you introduce, so using shared holes could make the racquet ever so slightly stronger. The shared holes are probably a bit larger to accommodate two strings, but probably less an impact than additional holes. Not a huge amount, but probably measurable.

    It might also be easier on the strings themselves with shared holes, at least in the stringing process. On my 18x20 93 Tour 10 Mids with none shared, there are adjacent holes in the corners where there's mere millimeters between one cross and its nearest main...so a sloppy stringer may inadvertently pull too hard or too fast and compromise, cut, or notch strings at the edge of the frame.

    Potential negatives:

    From a stringing perspective, it might be a bit harder to do, esp. with some stiff, kinky, or otherwise difficult string types, putting two in the same hole.

    Since they've generally fallen out of favor, some (especially younger or less experienced) stringers might not have seen or worked on many, and potentially screw things up...esp. if they're unsure of the pattern, don't have their stringing manual handy, or it isn't otherwise obvious. The newer Heads I've seen with shared holes have visible indicators on the frame for the shared holes, besides a larger grommet hole.

    Wear and tear wise, if you re-string a lot, I suppose over time the shared holes may wear out quicker, forcing the user to replace grommet strips more often. But that's also true without shared holes if you re-string often.

    Neutral:

    From an aesthetic standpoint, some folks may bristle at them. Snobs may think it's a granny or Wal-Mart stick, not that there aren't a ton of granny sticks out there now already without shared holes.

    I'm sure someone from USRSA or the Stringers Forum can add more insight and practical experience.
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2012
    #21
  22. Bartelby

    Bartelby G.O.A.T.

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    Thanks for that as it was very informative. I wonder what Head's thinking on this matter is? I don't see too many advantages.
     
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  23. dje31

    dje31 Semi-Pro

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    FYI: I edited the original post to more clearly delineate potential positives, negatives, and neutral issues, and some minor embellishment and / or clarification.
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2012
    #23
  24. vetinari

    vetinari New User

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    Biased information, but in talking with the head rep the reason for the shared grommets is to decrease the amount of vibration from the racquet. While I'm not totally satisfied with this answer, the new racquets do have less vibration than previous speeds. It's the first racquet that I've played with where it didn't bother me to play without a vibration dampener. The rep also said the new racquets would not come with vibration dampener as previous models have. So it is something they will be touting/marketing.
     
    #24
  25. themitchmann

    themitchmann Hall of Fame

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    ^^^ Probably only to cut costs.
     
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  26. vetinari

    vetinari New User

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    I'm all for being cynical, but how much cost would it really save? A couple of drill holes likely only take a couple seconds and I would doubt that the negligible cost saving would be worth it if there were any performance degradation that would influence sales.
     
    #26
  27. cork_screw

    cork_screw Hall of Fame

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    Hey JC, where's your review of the speed 2013? Also, can you post some vids of you in match play? I wanna see how a #1 USTA 4.0 plays. If so, please pick a good opponent, the guy that you hit with when you were demoing the 99s sucked (no offense to that guy).
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2012
    #27
  28. themitchmann

    themitchmann Hall of Fame

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    Sorry, I was referring to the lack of a vibration dampener.
     
    #28
  29. MikeHitsHard93

    MikeHitsHard93 Hall of Fame

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    Looks like he got banned...
     
    #29
  30. anhuynh16

    anhuynh16 Hall of Fame

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    Woww- I know a person who won.. SMH he shouldn't of won lol
     
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  31. Federerkblade

    Federerkblade Professional

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    Why did he get banned
     
    #31
  32. dje31

    dje31 Semi-Pro

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    I suppose it's possible that the shared holes quiet down some of the string ping / buzz that dampers and rubber bands eliminate. Four of the eight shared holes involve the bottom two crosses.

    The IG Prestige S I tried has shared and didn't have or need a damper. When we tried the IG Instinct MP, it had a damper, and didn't try it without, but also has shared holes.
     
    #32
  33. vetinari

    vetinari New User

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    Ah. Then I agree with you. Definitely cost cutting there :)
     
    #33
  34. vetinari

    vetinari New User

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    I think it's plausible too. A lot of string dampeners just dampen 2 mains and a single cross. So if making 2-3 strings vibrate against a small piece of rubber works, then making more strings (8?) vibrate against other strings might work too.
     
    #34
  35. paulorenzo

    paulorenzo Hall of Fame

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    [​IMG]
     
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  36. TennisJC

    TennisJC New User

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    Who got banned?

    LOL I've been really busy lately on my site; So I got a few more hours of video to edit but I can upload what I got to https://www.youtube.com/user/JCTennisPro

    Because I wasn't getting many new subscribers and only a few likes (also a few dislikes, when I hit against the wall with 2013 APD)...so I wasn't sure if I should do more unwrappings (Speed Pro 18x20) or more match plays like with the Steam 99S??

    1) Match play against a USTA 4.0 that got bumped to 4.5 - big hitter who used the 2013 APD against me; he typically hits with Babolat Storms so he mentioned putting more lead on but he definite hits serves 100+ mph;

    I think this year he won a 9.5 mixed tourney too; excellent doubles player with all court game and excellent volleys.

    We played some pretty good points but on the court right next to us (edge of the frames) there's a group of girls watching us and chatting away so I don't know if I should include all the audio or just some music in the background. Let me know!
     
    #36
  37. Bartelby

    Bartelby G.O.A.T.

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    Well, you were temporarily labelled as 'banned'.
     
    #37
  38. TennisJC

    TennisJC New User

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    2013 Head/Babolat Play-test Video (HD) 4.0 vs 4.5 (Speed vs APD)

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dif_xO9usjs

    Please LIKE and/or subscribe if you want me to make more...

    There are 2 more videos I recorded (with audio) - I will plan to put up average of one video a week.

    ...Sorry, it takes me Hours to edit and encode, then upload each video! I'm building a new PC soon but last night left old one on all night just to get these highlight reels processed.

    Hope you enjoy!! :) Happy Holidays*
     
    #38
  39. Bartelby

    Bartelby G.O.A.T.

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    Tennis.com (light version):


    —Hitting groundstrokes, I was surprised by how powerful the racquet is for a beam width in the low 20mms; my first few shots sailed far beyond the baseline. This is, at least in part, a function of the racquet’s (distribution of) weight. It felt like it was in the low 11-ounce range—a little on the light side for my tastes—and balanced only a few points head light. So there’s a good bit of weight up in the hoop, which causes the sweet spot to play pretty high (above the six and nine positions). This characteristic should be well received by all manner of baseliners.

    —At the net, the Speed Prototype was capable enough, but by no means inspired. The frame’s extra power manifested itself most noticeably on those difficult low and half volleys; I remember hitting a few pretty poorly, but found, to my pleasure, that the ball sailed a lot deeper than I expected.

    —But for my strokes—a semi-Western forehand, which I hit pretty flat, and an Eastern one-handed backhand—the Prototype just had too much juice. As a result, I found myself trying to hit with much more spin than normal in order to keep the ball in the court. And there was plenty to be had, what with the racquet’s open string pattern and poly set-up. That might not be a bad thing; perhaps I should hit with more spin. Doubtless, it’s where the game’s headed.

    —What impressed me most about the Speed was how much it “gave” on impact. It has a soft feeling for a player’s frame—not as much as the Prince Exo3 Rebel 95 I’ve been playing with, but in the same neighborhood. What I mean by this: It feels as if the hoop is cradling the ball. This is pleasant to me. (Others who like stiffer frames have told me that this feels “mushy” to them.) Again, it all comes down to personal preferences. I love open grommet systems, flexible to firm constructions, and low tensions—in short, cradlers. And you?


    .
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2012
    #39
  40. JGads

    JGads Hall of Fame

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    Is it just me, or were you hitting the ball much, much better with the Speed than with the Steam 99s? Did it feel that way?
     
    #40
  41. cork_screw

    cork_screw Hall of Fame

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    Do you like the older IG Speed version more so than the prototype graphene you playtested? Are they drastically different? Which one do you like more?
     
    #41
  42. Automatix

    Automatix Hall of Fame

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    I thought testers only get either the new Speed MP or the Rev Speed.
    Everything is strange since the contest to test the new Speed Graphenes are for the Speed MP or the Rev and not the Speed Pro which Djokovic will be promoting in 2013.

    Ohh well.
     
    #42
  43. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    Hey JC, could you compare the new Speed 16x19 to the prev model?
    power? Sweetspot? Stiffness? Do you think it friendlier for 3.5-4.0 level or is it purely a "players stick" for advanced only (4.5 and above).
     
    #43
  44. 3fees

    3fees Hall of Fame

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    Note- Hitting with new sticks is like meeting a new fox that moved in down the street and you got first dibs, at the end of the day though when the newness has wore off, your better with what you had before and richer as well, didn't break the piggy bank open. lol, I have seen this more times with players than what I can count. When you buy on the cutting edge dont get cut.

    :)
     
    #44
  45. vetinari

    vetinari New User

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    Jack

    I've hit with the new stick for 4-6 hours and have used the IG version (18x20) for about 18 months.

    Graphene speed is stiffer than the previous versions, but more comfortable. There are less vibrations and better torsional stability which give it a nice solid feel. I thought the response was crisp. Sweet spot is bigger and a different shape (matching the different head shape).

    Overall I think it's a great update/upgrade. There isn't anything I really prefer in the old version and found the new version easy to adjust to. Some other people at my club though didn't like it as much as the older version.
     
    #45
  46. vetinari

    vetinari New User

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    As far as level, I think it is more forgiving and easier to swing than the IG version and would be a fine choice for 3.5+
     
    #46
  47. TennisJC

    TennisJC New User

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    Hey Jack,

    First off, Head Reps contacted me and asked me to take down my videos/pics/preview posts :( Sorry I guess they don't want me to spoil the Jan 11th surprise party at the Aussie Open?

    I'm still going to demo/playtest the Speed Pro this week but can't publish it until Head Austria is cool with it*

    Speed MP 16x19 vs older IG...

    I think the volleying/returning is easier (has similar feel to the Babolat woofer system where it seems like I get longer dwell time). No kidding, I felt like deflecting hard volleys and returns I could steer the ball better...so maybe not bigger sweetspot but sweeter sweetspot? =)

    I think for 4.0's all-court players and counter punchers this is a great stick. If they let me keep this all black demo stick as souvenir I would use it in my own matches. I'm between 4.0-4.5 (need more tourney victories to move up in 2013)... :)

    Out of my 2013 demos, I would rate them for my own play style:
    Speed MP > Wilson 99S = Babolat AeroPro > Instinct > Blade 18x20
     
    #47
  48. thecrusher956

    thecrusher956 Rookie

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    Wait, nole's back to a pro?
     
    #48
  49. parasailing

    parasailing Hall of Fame

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    Have you tried hitting with the Pure Storm Tour GT and how would you rank it against the 2013 demos you have tried so far?
     
    #49
  50. Deschain

    Deschain New User

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    Mine arrived today, quite excited to try it out. Hopefully this England weather will give me a break so I can try it out soon :)
     
    #50

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