John McEnroe customization

Discussion in 'Pros' Racquets and Gear' started by BallBuster, Jun 25, 2007.

  1. BallBuster

    BallBuster Guest

    What I would like to know is the exact weight customization, string type, and tensions that the real John McEnroe does to make his racquet work. I have tried and tried and tried to use his latest Dunlop Maxply McEnroe with a whole lot of frustration mostly due to sporadic errors that just keep creeping in and I have trouble preventing. I am not saying that I have the proper talent, skills, or physical capability but I want to try. If I can customize it the way McEnroe does then perhaps it will help. He does it to help him and he does it for good reasons otherwise he wouldn't do it. So please let me in on the secret so that I can finally quench the burning curiosity that is in my mind.
     
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  2. DNShade

    DNShade Professional

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    I responded to your other post as well.

    I don't think he does much to it - pretty much just stock since John was involved in the design etc...I play with it and love it. Best stick I've had in my hand for a long time. But it does require a specific type of game and swing. Just my thoughts as someone who has played for many years with all kinds of sticks and has been around and with many top pros for a long time. This whole obsession with the "real" rackets and setups is a bit silly. It's the guy not the gear. I still love going out there and beating the pants of some kid who has the newest "hot" racket just using an old woodie for the hell of it. No amount of lead or "secret" mold is going to make you a better player. Sorry. That's just the way it is no matter what some people say out here.

    I feel the racket plays best with a bit lower tension - Someone posted John strung around 55/51 at the French a year or two ago and that sounds about right. John used to used natural gut (VS I think) so I'd asume he stays with that. About what I string at as well and it works for me. I'll try to find out when he's out here in a few weeks.
     
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  3. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    Sorry to have to say this but if you used McEnroe's exact set-up, more likely than not, you will probably play worse, not better.

    For one thing, McEnroe's racquet is over 13 oz. For another thing, he has won 7 Grand Slams and is considered one of the best players of all time. I dont' know what your level of tennis is but I'm guessing that it's probably safe to assume that you've never won even a single Grand Slam? Is that correct? So what McEnroe needs in his racquet is not likely the same as what you need in your racquet.

    BTW, I've hit with the Maxply McEnroe, and my belief is that he doesn't use one at all. I'd bet in addition to his racquet being a lot heavier, I'd bet it's a lot flexier as well.
     
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  4. BallBuster

    BallBuster Guest

    ok

    Well that helps. I was stringing it tighter and tighter which seemed to help. I never thought to try anything that low in tension. I will try.
     
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  5. AJK1

    AJK1 Hall of Fame

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    I love it too, very solid feeling and not too heavy, not too light, just right!
    I use multi-filament string at 60lbs, by the time it beds in it's probably about 55 which is great. I love the response i get "back to my hand/arm" feel i get when using this racquet. A very good, but underrated stick in my opinion.
    To the OP, i'd say McEnroe has the same balance as stock, but probably plays at around 340g, but not much else.
     
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  6. BallBuster

    BallBuster Guest

    Well are you talking as someone who really knows or as a speculator? I am obviously getting contradictory information from the previous responder.
     
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  7. AJK1

    AJK1 Hall of Fame

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    The reason i say McEnroe has his about 340g is because when he used the Volkl C10, it weighed around 340g, so i'd say his new McEnroe model would weigh similar. But they made the stock model lighter so it would appeal to us mere mortals.
     
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  8. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    McEnroe said on the air during the French Open (and he's also mentioned it many times before, too) that his own racquet is 370g, which is about 13.1oz. He made the comment saying that his racquet used to be one of the lightest, since guys like Sampras was over 390g, and some others were over 400g, so he couldn't believe that Nadal is able to use a racquet that's only around the 350g range.

    He also used the Max 200G for a long, long time, and then the Volkl C10 Pro for quite a while and both of those are very, very flexy sticks (noodles by today's standards), so I highly, highly doubt he could suddenly switch to something so significantly stiffer like the Maxply McEnroe is. Even the HM 200G he used for a year is a flexy racquet. I've also seen him play live from courtside with the Maxply McEnroe and I can tell from the way he hits the ball and the response off of the stringbed that I doubt his racquet is as stiff as a stock Maxply McEnroe, which is a rocket launcher in my book.
     
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  9. DNShade

    DNShade Professional

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    Well as I said - I'll try to find out here soon. I played with the 200g for years - loved it - and I feel that the Maxply has a very similar feel actually. Much closer to the 200g than the C10 I think. It doesn't play like a light stick to me at all. But I'll see what I can find out.
     
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  10. AJK1

    AJK1 Hall of Fame

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    Breakpoint, i'm jealous you've seen Mac live, it must have been a thrill, how does he hit the ball so well using continental grip on everything?
     
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  11. DNShade

    DNShade Professional

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    I've seen John play MANY times live - courtside. Seen him play Connors, Lendl, Sampras, Becker, Agassi and many others all live. And I can tell you he is an artist at work. Very fun to watch live.
     
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  12. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    He's absolutely AMAZING! I saw EVERY SINGLE ONE of his doubles matches with Bjorkman last year at the SAP Open from courtside. That pic in my avatar is from last year's SAP Open. At the ripe, old age of 47, McEnroe and Bjorkman won the tournament, giving Mac his 78th ATP doubles title. In every single round, out of the 4 guys on the court, Mac was clearly still the best player out there in every match. His quick hands are still just as good as they've ever been. He serves even bigger now than he did when he was on the ATP Tour. So many times he made his much younger opponents look like fools with his artistry and shot placement. I literally had tears in my eyes when he first walked out on the court and when he hit his first winner and the crowd went nuts! It just brought back all the memories of seeing him both live and on TV when I was younger.
     
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  13. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    I also used to go see McEnroe live at the US Open in the late-70's - early 80's. Then later on the seniors tour. I saw him play Borg live in '98 on clay in Weschester, NY and then again against Borg in '00 at Stanford on hardcourt. Mac won both. That was also the last time Borg ever played a seniors match in the U.S.

    Mac can just do things with the ball that it seems no one else can do.
     
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  14. DNShade

    DNShade Professional

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    Exactly how I feel when I see him play. I saw him back in his prime number 1 days and have seen him in the last few years as well and in between. He is amazing. And the crowd loves watching him. You can just tell that he is doing something a bit different than the other guys out there. And he is - and probably will always be - the best doubles player ever. I look forward to seeing him next month.
     
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  15. AJK1

    AJK1 Hall of Fame

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    Breakpoint and DNShade, i am sitting here drooling and nearly in tears myself just reading the way you describe him playing. :D
    I would love to have the opportunity to watch him play, and if he ever comes to OZ and plays i will definitely buy a ticket. Thanks for the info guys :p
     
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  16. Colpo

    Colpo Professional

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    Oh yeah, big Mac fan from back in the day here. Hearing here about all the unique things he brings to the game, I'm reminded of all the great photos of him during his pro days when he'd be shown volleying with only his fingers, not his palm, holding onto his racquet's grip. Uh, not easy... .
     
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  17. Azzurri

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  18. Jack & Coke

    Jack & Coke Professional

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    Just wondering.. why do you think this is?

    Better racquet (i.e. more power, less demanding, etc.)?

    Better strings?

    Better technique?

    Better conditioning?
     
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  19. Colpo

    Colpo Professional

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    His technique is the same. He's no fitter now than as a young man in his athletic prime - he would've been stronger then too. If it's true his serve's bigger now, which I have to doubt, it's the racquet, plain and simple.

    When Mac was in his prime, he'd pretty much have a good match day if he kept his first serve at 60% or above - Roddick, who serves much, much harder, shoots for 70%+, extraordinary at his speeds. That's just how the gear has changed the game.
     
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  20. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    Bigger, more powerful racquet mostly.
     
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  21. Jack & Coke

    Jack & Coke Professional

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    I think it'd be great to see Mac play a match with one of his old woodies (JK PS or Maxply).

    I wonder how different his game would look live if he used wood.
     
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  22. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    So player's racquets are not suitable for recreational players?
     
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  23. jackcrawford

    jackcrawford Professional

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    Doesn't this contradict your frequent recommendation that it's a good idea for recreational players to use Federer's racquet:confused:
     
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  24. Hessam

    Hessam Rookie

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    Mac said recently during one of the matches he was announcing for tennis channel during the french open that his racket weighs around 375 oz.

    that is significantly higher than the strung weight of the dunlop mcenro maxply... so I would assume that he prob has some added lead in the hoop, and prob added silicone in the grip. I think it was during the federer/robredo match that he said his rackets weigh that much. He said that he had just picked up roger's racket in the locker room, and it felt so light to him (even though it around 355 oz.).....

    I think it's safe to assume that almost all pro's add some weight to their frame....
     
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  25. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    No. I've been saying that there's nothing wrong with high level recreational players preferring to use a 90 sq. in. racquet. How well they play with them is up to their own ability. Enjoying playing with a racquet is not necessarily the same as winning with that racquet. It just depends on what is more important to you.

    I have no idea what the weight of Federer's racquet is customized to, but the stock K90 weighs only 354g and is very headlight so it swings pretty easily. Weight has nothing to do with the headsize.

    BTW, I'm assuming that anyone who would buy and use a stock Maxply McEnroe is likely not playing at a very high level. I've played with it and it's a game improvement racquet in my book with lots of power.
     
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  26. jackcrawford

    jackcrawford Professional

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    If I remember right from the Tennis article circa 2000 on JMacs racquet, Volkl took a C10 and weighted it up to 12.9 oz. with a leather grip, and some lead tape under the bumper so it came out about 5 pts headlight - that frame is, as you say, a very different one (much flexier) from the Maxply; no customizing would take the stiffness out of the Dunlop.
     
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  27. DNShade

    DNShade Professional

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    I would have to disagree with that...Well let's put it this way - I played with the 200G for years - played with the C10 and never really liked it all that much - have played with all kinds of sticks and I really like the Maxply McEnroe. And I play at quite a high level. To each their own. And John seems to do just fine with it (and no...it's not a PJ). I'll try to hit with him when he's out here soon and try to find out all the info if there is any.
     
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  28. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    Exactly! That's why I said in my very first post that I don't believe McEnroe uses a Maxply McEnroe at all. I know you read it because you quoted my post in your previous post.

    Here it is again:

     
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  29. DNShade

    DNShade Professional

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    Wow. You gotta love the net. Everyone with their ideas of "secret molds" and frames only top players get - and everyone is using paint jobs. It's really goofy. Yeah...and the NBA uses secret basketballs that you can't buy...The NFL has a "special" football...Fine...Just keep thinking whatever you guys want...the rest of us will be out on the court actually playing.

    p.s. I'll find out all the info on Mac's sticks and report back
     
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  30. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    If McEnroe's actual racquet is really 375g like he said it is on the air, and it's really as stiff as a retail Maxply McEnroe as you claim it is, it would be the most powerful racquet ever made. More powerful than any Pure Drive. Combine that with the ultra low string tensions and the natural gut that he prefers to string his racquets with and his flattish strokes with minimal topspin, and not only would he be hitting the back fence on every shot, but he would likely be hitting shots out of Arthur Ashe Stadium! ;) LOL
     
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  31. DNShade

    DNShade Professional

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    55g is going to make one hit the ball out of Arthur Ashe Stadium? And gut strung at 55/51 on a 98 head? I must be missing something.
     
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  32. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    Yes, a 13.2 oz. racquet as stiff and powerful as the Maxply McEnroe is, and then strung in the high-40's with natural gut, with a big 98 sq. in. head should be a rocket launcher. It would probably make the original Wilson Profile seem underpowered. :-o
     
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  33. DNShade

    DNShade Professional

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    Well my Maxplys strung with VS gut - 54/51 - with some added weight - don't have my postal scale around but it's 12 maybe even 13 ounces easy - and it's a control stick. Plays nothing like the Profile and loves to eat up heavy hitters and has nice touch. Granted if you don't know how to play with it - you'll be hitting long - but the same was true of the good ole 200G at low tension. And John strings around the same I've heard 54-55/ 50-51
     
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  34. officerdibble

    officerdibble Semi-Pro

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    I was told by Dunlop's ex-racket designer that McEnroe had his rackets weighted the same as he always did, i.e. nothing like the one you can buy in the shops.
     
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  35. max

    max Hall of Fame

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    DN Shade: what you say about your racquet history makes me want to give the Maxply McEnroe a swing. I used the Dunlop Max 200 G for about nine years, went to a Volkl, and it's fine, but not the same. . . of course, if you know anything about the topic, you know the uniqueness of the classic 200G. . . so what you're saying is pretty newsbreaking and intriguing to me.
     
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  36. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

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    McEnroe no longer strings in the 40s. Last I heard, he was getting his frames done at 59.
     
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  37. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    That may or may not be true. But if it is true, I don't see how he could get the same touch that he's always had with something so much stiffer, bigger, and strung so much tighter than his Max 200G.
     
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  38. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

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    Maybe because his game and likes and dislikes is/are dynamic and has changed over the years. Maybe it's because you could put a frying pan in his hand and he could still hit a drop volley better than anyone else. I really think our perception of a world class professional's game has little to do with reality. Now, I don't know anything about his Dunlop. I do know from a pretty knowledgeable source that he was stringing in the high 50s. He very well may have gone down to the mid 50s by now. Pros are people too and probably change things from time to time.
     
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  39. prostaff18

    prostaff18 Semi-Pro

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    I may have been seeing things but when Mac played the legends doubles at the French I thought that I saw a "W" on the butt cap of his racquet. Maybe I was just seeing things, but I swear that it was a Wilson cap on his racquet.
     
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  40. DNShade

    DNShade Professional

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    Yes...you were seeing things.
    [​IMG]
     
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  41. BallBuster

    BallBuster Guest

    So did anyone ask McEnroe

    Well, I didn't see the definitive answer from someone that actually asked McEnroe. Someone said they were going to ask him directly. So where's the beef?
     
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  42. ssjadway

    ssjadway New User

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    I used the old Max 200G's for a few years then switched to the C-10 Pro, and now the Maxply Mcenroe's...... the Maxply's can be made to feel close to the 200G although it will never have as good a feel, by adding weight especially at the 3 and 9 oclock positions and more importantly to the handle. The 200 TG was a headlight racket, the Maxply is even so by adding more weight to the handle than the sides of the head, bringing the weight to at least 12 or even better, 12.5 oz, and using either gut or a good multifilament like Technifibre x-one biphase, you can get fantastic results. O course the key to Mcenroe's game is soft hands and the ability to middle the ball for placement, not the super=powered hitting that is popular today...
     
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  43. etienne47

    etienne47 New User

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    Get a grip! I have seen MacPoint play many times as well and particularly enjoyed his matches at the Newport Casino, but my word, the man is quite mortal and his amazing skills have already been eclipsed by superior players.
     
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  44. rpyankees

    rpyankees New User

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    I hate to burst everyone's bubble but most of the time it has NOTHING to do with frames, strings, stiffness, or anything else! LOL. It all comes down to personal preference and that's it. Players are better players because they have better GAMES, not better racquets. It's the beauty of marketing and we (myself included) fall for it hook, line, and sinker every year. I have seen pros play with stock racquets (Agassi for example) in "practice" and guess what -- they still play like pros. lol. They just don't like them as much. Again, personal preference. If I am a better player than you, I should beat you with a LM Radical, a KBlade, or a 2X4!!! They are all the same, just different strokes for different folks. Something funny recently -- a local 5.0 player was actually having this same discussion at a tournament, talking setups, hybrids, etc with junior players and said the same thing, "if you are better you are better." To prove it he decided to play the rest of the tournament with a different racquet (His is a FXP Prestige MP all NXT Tour). Guess what? He still won the tournament, beating the 2nd seed in the final 3 and 4. His racquet??? A Hybrid Hornet -- quite a bit different. He might have been miserable, but he was still the better tennis player regardless of the frame or string. Just find what works for you and stick with it.
     
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  45. certifiedjatt

    certifiedjatt Banned

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    good post. the problem is that you're talking to a bunch of experts and analysts here who are convinced--based on nothing but myths passed from generation to generation by people who confuse correlation with causation--that string material, different tensions under different weather conditions, string patterns, hybrids and all the other crap actually make a difference. it's the same group of people who say things like "bend your knees" and "keep your eyes on the ball" and other crap. they look at a top player in a youtube video and see that his/her foot is pointing a certain way. a month later, everyone is pointing his/her foot that way thinking it's going to generate more topspin.
     
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  46. christo

    christo Hall of Fame

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    Breakpoint, nothing personal but you always speak like you are some kind of unassailable expert on all things racquet related, it gets a little annoying after a while. Have you even hit with the stock maxply McEnroe racket? It really is a very good racket for customizing, maybe a little stiff but with some lead tape it is one of the best frames out there. So please stop pontificating as if your opinion is the be all and end all on racquet mods. Nuff said
     
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  47. ilian

    ilian Semi-Pro

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    Breakpoint knows what he is talking about. And no, I don't know him, but I have read a significant amount of his posts and that was enough. I have played for over 20 years and that is on all levels... I am not saying that to brag, but only to let you know that I have some idea about this topic.
     
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  48. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    Yes, I have hit with a stock Maxply McEnroe, BOTH the original wood version AND the recent graphite version. In fact, I still own the wood version and played with it exclusively for an entire month a yearand a half ago. The graphite version is based on the M-Fil 300 and is a pretty stiff racquet that almost feels head heavy to me. It has way too much power for me. I prefer much lower powered racquets with generally smaller heads as they have more precision for me. And I played with it stock at 11.3 oz. and strung at 62 lbs. with synthetic gut and still found it way too powerful. Weigh this thing up to 13.2 oz. and string it in the 40's or even the low-50's with natural gut and this thing would be one of the most powerful racquets on the planet. Don't forget that McEnroe grew up using wood racquets, then went to a Max 200G and then a Volkl C-10 Pro. ALL of those are very flexible, very low-powered, and VERY different from the graphite Maxply McEnroe.
     
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  49. jazar

    jazar Professional

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    i cant be bothered to read through this thread to see if anyone else has posted mac's string and tension. but he tends to use BDE natural gut at around 52lbs
     
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  50. Uncle Emmitt

    Uncle Emmitt Rookie

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    Maxply mcenroe guys ??????????

    Ever hit with a PDR. I want to compare them with each other.

    I love dunlop grips as i sometimes hit w/ a 200 m-fil and hit very well w/ it but maybe looking at the maxply mcenroe to replace.

    i've put this ? on other posts and no response.please get back w/ me
     
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