Just got a Wilson Ultra!!

Discussion in 'Classic Racquet Talk' started by tennis005, Mar 17, 2010.

  1. tennis005

    tennis005 Professional

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    #1
  2. pshulam

    pshulam Hall of Fame

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    great find!!!
     
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  3. tennis005

    tennis005 Professional

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    I was looking on 80's tennis and saw some pictures of the Ultra. Is there any difference between the ones that say Ultra/PWS and Ultra/Graphite also the metal bar says PWS instead of Wilson???
     
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  4. Colpo

    Colpo Professional

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    Just minor cosmetic and naming variances that occurred over the life of the frame. No one's playing this frame nowadays, but if you wanted to cop 2 or 3 that are "the same," it might could be somewhat annoying to note these little differences after the fact. THE state of the art 1st generation graphite frame, introduced by Wilson for the 1978 model year. Cannot emphasize enough how this frame, and the Prince Graphite, rewrote racquet tech for that time. Crazy stiffness and response at a time when pros were still picking their teeth with Kramer Staffs and Dunny Forts.
     
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  5. jimbo333

    jimbo333 Hall of Fame

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    I recently got an Ultra II standard, which apart from the paintjob looks just like the Ultra. Is there an difference?

    Great looking racquet by the way, will put a photo up here at some point:)
     
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  6. tennis005

    tennis005 Professional

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    How many naming variances were there over the life of the frame?
     
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  7. tennis005

    tennis005 Professional

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    I think it was mainly cosmetic differences but not sure.
     
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  8. Colpo

    Colpo Professional

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    The Ultra 2 version has boron reinforcements at certain stress areas. Incrementally stiffer than the base Ultra as a result. Not to take anything away from the Standard or the "Largehead" of the Ultra 2 series, but Wilson's real R & D was invested in the Midsize flagship, which originally was the only "one-piece" of the three (no separate throat piece).
     
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  9. Colpo

    Colpo Professional

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    The ones you've cited, with respect to the formal branded frame name and the branding on the tungsten weights, are all of them.
     
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  10. struggle

    struggle Hall of Fame

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    As i recall, the ultra II was also made of "braided" graphite. I don't claim to know what that means, but it may differ from the original ultra in that respect as well...

    cool racket, a friend of mine played those and a few of them played the
    ultra II Mid later on (early-mid 80's).
     
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  11. tennis005

    tennis005 Professional

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    Thanks for the info. Any paricular year the versions were made?
     
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  12. Colpo

    Colpo Professional

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    The original Ultra was also made of braided graphite.
     
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  13. Colpo

    Colpo Professional

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    Tough one without doing some research. You'd have to go back to the first review of the frame in the late 70s by the tennis media, see what the branding was then, and conclude that anything different had to have come later. if I had to guess, I'd say the Ultra/PWS branding was first, with "Wilson" printed on the weights. The weights in later years were marked PWS even after they were built into the frame, so I'm assuming that marking "Wilson" on the weights was the first generation.
     
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  14. jimbo333

    jimbo333 Hall of Fame

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    Excellent info thanks:)

    Will get a photo of it on here at the weekend!
     
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  15. Don't Let It Bounce

    Don't Let It Bounce Hall of Fame

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    And was the first braided racquet I ever heard of. Does anyone know of an earlier braided frame?

    As has been pointed out elsewhere, times have changed. In the late 70's/early 80's, playing with the Ultra or the POG meant not merely that you were into tennis, as it could mean today, but also that you were financially well-off. I knew a kid who played with the Ultra. (He even let me hit with it once.) And I knew a wealthy old guy who played with the POG. (I was afraid to ask to hit with it.)

    In 1982, after hitting with that Ultra and after a year of playing with and loving the Prince Pro, I reasoned that the ultimate racquet must surely be a cross between the two and spent my summer earnings on a new Wilson Galaxy (basically, an oversize Ultra and the predecessor of the Ultra II Largehead). It was a cruel lesson for my 18-yr-old reasoning ability: I couldn't play with that beast at all and had to go back to my aluminum PP's.
     
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  16. tennis005

    tennis005 Professional

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    Thanks, checked out some ad pics for the Ultra at 80 tennis. All except one had the Ultra/PWS.
     
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  17. coachrick

    coachrick Hall of Fame

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    We had the Girl's Nat'l 14s at our place in Atlanta back then...probably half of those girls used either the Ultra or Prince Graphite. MANY of them also were on the free-list for nat gut. One young lady brought me 6 brand new Pr. Graphites with 6 sets of Victor Imperial Gut, asked the maximum tension of my stringing machine and left all 6 with me saying "String 'em as tight as you can." Ah, the good old days!
     
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  18. tennis005

    tennis005 Professional

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    Six brand new Prince Graphites must have cost a fortune back then!!!
     
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  19. coachrick

    coachrick Hall of Fame

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    The majority of those girls were on free-lists. Chris Evert's little sister was in that group...I imagine she got whatever she wanted from Wilson :) .

    The young lady with the Prince Graphites and gut got all of that equipment free. Had to pay ME to string, however!

    An interesting story...one player not in the original draw(2nd alternate, I believe) was called as a fill-in. She, mom and dad AND little brother flew from Hawaii to Atlanta...she got double bagel'd, IIRC and they flew back the next day. THAT expense would buy quite a few rackets!
     
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  20. jimbo333

    jimbo333 Hall of Fame

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    Nice story again:)

    It's worth coming to this section of the forums at the moment just to read your great storys, great stuff!
     
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  21. Colpo

    Colpo Professional

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    Well said. I too saved and scrimped for a Galaxy circa 1982. Possibly the dullest flagship frame of the modern era! Stiff and lacking any subtlety whatsoever. Plus, I was sheepish later about actually busting out such an expensive showpiece around my teammates, who were still playing with standard woods, Prince Pros, and maybe a Prince Comp or so. So it just sat there.
     
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  22. Colpo

    Colpo Professional

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    coachrick, you must be good for at least a couple Al Parker stories, no? The place and era are a match. He started out with the Advantage, I believe, before graduating to the Ultra. Possibly the most mentally acute and dominant 12-year-old in the history of the world!
     
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  23. Colpo

    Colpo Professional

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    Oh yeah! 80 lbs. or bust!
     
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  24. coachrick

    coachrick Hall of Fame

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    No kidding! This was on the less-than-current Ektelon model of the day...Model D possibly? Two point mount & hope for the best! :)

    Re: Al Parker...never actually saw him play. He was already doing the national scene and probably didn't come to Atlanta all that much. As I recall, he won the greatest number of USTA junior titles ever(at least, until that time). Seems like he was in finance/investing and returned to GA a number of years ago. Could have used him on our ALTA team! :)

    I think we sold one single Galaxy(it may have been the demo) and I might have strung it once or twice. Just never caught the interest of our customers.
     
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  25. tennis005

    tennis005 Professional

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    So, the Ultra/Graphite basically a renamed version of the Ultra/PWS? Is it harder to find then the more common version?
     
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  26. jimbo333

    jimbo333 Hall of Fame

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    Yep the harder to find version is more difficult to find than the more common version:)

    (I've got the Ultra/Graphite version by the way, if that helps you find out which is rarer)
     
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  27. coachrick

    coachrick Hall of Fame

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    :) :) :)

    Reminding me that "Television is a medium where anything well-done is rare!" .
     
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  28. jimbo333

    jimbo333 Hall of Fame

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    Here it is:)

    [​IMG]
     
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  29. ChocoLab

    ChocoLab New User

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    I was a sectionally ranked junior in the late 80s, and the Ultra and Ultra II Standard are IMO the greatest rackets of all time.

    I actually hit with one of my old Ultra II Standards last week, and it still rocks even with a little crack in it. :)

    It's funny how I see Ultra IIs on fleabay selling for a ton, while you still see Ultras for reasonable prices. (I'm jealous of getting one for $16, OP!)

    Someone asked the difference between the Ultra and the II, and to most of us there was virtually no difference. Some people thought the II had maybe a tiny bit less harshness (for lack of a better term) because of the boron, but you could switch back and forth with no adjustment whatsoever. I think Wilson really just changed the name and the paint job so they could streamline the marketing of the whole line of standard, midsize, and oversize (formerly the Galaxy) once they introduced the midsize.

    BTW, the midsize is one of the greatest rackets of all time as well. I like it *much* more than the Sampras Prostaff, which to me is vastly overrated. I just preferred the smaller head of the Standard.
     
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  30. pshulam

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    There was one sold at $50 about 2 weeks ago.
     
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  31. Don't Let It Bounce

    Don't Let It Bounce Hall of Fame

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    Do you mean you were using a standard-size racquet in the late 80's and still got a sectional ranking with it?
     
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  32. bhathiya9999

    bhathiya9999 New User

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    Good racket play hard with it
     
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  33. ChocoLab

    ChocoLab New User

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    Yes, although now that I think about it I guess it was more like mid-80s when I was ranked. I always think in terms of when I graduated high school, but this was a couple of years before that.

    Not that I was some great player... These things aren't *that* hard to play with. :)
     
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