Played a set with the T3000

Discussion in 'Classic Racquet Talk' started by michael_1265, May 8, 2011.

  1. michael_1265

    michael_1265 Professional

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    I found a decent user T3000 at the Goodwill, and I decided to give it a try.

    Me: Lower-end 3.5, all-court game. My "regular" stick is the Microgel Extreme Pro.

    Opponent: Middle of the road 3.0 baseliner.

    For the record, it's typically 6-0, 6-1 with us.

    The racquet: Feels heavy. It has a leather grip that is two sizes too small for me, so that is a factor. Strings may be old, but they're not terrible.

    The serve: Can't hit it really spinny, but it is easy to drop a nice flat one in. Very controllable, but not quite the "pop" that I am used to.

    Volleys: Very nice, with pinpoint control and less penetration than I am accustomed to

    Groundstrokes: A mixed bag. When I commit and step in, it is as good or better than my regular racquet. My 2HBH is fantastic with this stick! When I am on the run or can't set up, though, the T3000 falls flat. You have to commit to generating power with this thing, or you get nothing, unlike my Microgel, which does not penalize laziness.

    Result: I lost 6-4. With a correct size grip, new strings, and a bit more time to get acclimated, I think my performance would be a lot better.

    An experience like this makes me realize that the bulk of technology improvements in the last 40 years have provided benefit to those who don't hit the ball firmly. For me, at 6'4" and 240, it is less of an issue, and sometimes even a benefit.

    Oh, and my arm hurts now.
     
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  2. max

    max Hall of Fame

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    I think your comment about skill is right: if you've played the game long enough, you can hit the ball at the sweetspot.
     
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  3. coachrick

    coachrick Hall of Fame

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    The arm pain is likely 50% grip size/50% racket :) .
    The game is so different when using a small, heavy, less stable racket like the T3 as compared to the lightweight rocket launchers of the past 20 years. I don't think 'newer' players(regardless of age) can grasp this unless they do what you did....take an oldie out for a run. The game required so much more just to propel the ball the length of the court; now, as my brother used to say..."If you can touch the ball, you should be able to get it back". This certainly was NOT the case with wood or practically any 'conventional'-sized racket. If you don't hit darned near the center of a T3000(for example), the racket will twist, the elbow will suffer and the ball will flutter like a wounded bird. It really is/was a different game with the equipment available prior to the late '70s.
     
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  4. michael_1265

    michael_1265 Professional

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    Given the more limited nature of the doubles game, I think I could play a set of doubles with less of a racquet disparity than singles. I may give it a try this week.
     
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  5. mctennis

    mctennis Hall of Fame

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    I hated this racquet even when it was new. It never appealed to me and I thought there were a lot better racquet choices even back then. I hope your arm is better.
     
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  6. magnut

    magnut Hall of Fame

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    I always played pretty well with the T2000 type frames. The only thing I really found anoying was the creecking handles. Other than that they played all right. You really need to let the hips and racket do the work with the T series racquets.
     
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  7. Mick

    Mick Legend

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    a few years back i got two brand new t3000 from the auction site. i brought them to the tennis shop and nobody there knew how to string them. they had to find some old timer to do the job :)

    I took one of them to the tennis courts and a woman there asked me why i was using a badminton racquet to play tennis :)
     
    Last edited: May 10, 2011
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  8. michael_1265

    michael_1265 Professional

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    Yeah, my arm got better quickly. I kind of like the T series now. In their heyday, I thought they were ugly. Now they're kind of ugly industrial retro.
     
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  9. michael_1265

    michael_1265 Professional

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    Somebody said that to me also. The 60-something sq inch head is just miniscule.
     
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  10. jimanuel12

    jimanuel12 Semi-Pro

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    you are not going to believe this:
    i took my niece out a few weeks ago to hit some balls around.
    the weather was finally decent and warm and we had a good time.
    she is 16 now and getting better all the time - i know it is just a matter of time before she beats me - but not yet.
    anyway - we were at the park and there are 6 courts there - they keep them in good shape.
    i looked over at the court behind us and my niece asked me "are they using badminton rackets?".
    i looked and sure enough - they were using badminton rackets - not the wilson T-2000 but real badminton rackets.
    blew me away. but i guess they did not know any better.
     
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  11. jimanuel12

    jimanuel12 Semi-Pro

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    you and me both. i had 3 of those things and i could not hit a bull in the butt with them. the sweet spot is so small but when you hit it right - man they were powerful for their day.
     
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  12. magnut

    magnut Hall of Fame

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    My elbow started hurting just from reading this.

    Ouch.
     
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  13. jimanuel12

    jimanuel12 Semi-Pro

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    i know - i could not believe they did not break their badminton rackets. they must have had the tough ones.
    they were not exactly 4.0 players either.
    :)
     
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  14. Mick

    Mick Legend

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    here is the picture of the t-3000s that i got. when i got them, they came in a box with dust from the 1970s. it appeared no one had touched them since then (look at the grip handles) :)

    [​IMG]
     
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  15. MAX PLY

    MAX PLY Hall of Fame

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    ^THAT is a nice find. Thanks for sharing.
     
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  16. Frankc

    Frankc Semi-Pro

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    Coachrick,
    Excellent post - well captured. The game has changed so much (better or worse, anyone's opinion is valid) with the rocket launchers of recent years... no doubt...
     
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  17. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Thought 3000 series had a bridge.
    2000 didn't, was softer.
    They hit great with short direct slower precise strokes.
    For anything else, it's mishit city.
    I thought they were too soft to serve fast...2000's. 3's came out the following year.
     
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  18. Mick

    Mick Legend

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    i took the t-3000 to the courts today and got destroyed 1-6 :(
    Honestly, that guy was a level better than me and would have beaten me regardless of whatever racquet i play with.
     
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  19. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Do you have precise short flat strokes?
    Did you mishit a million second serves?
    Did you forehands fly long constantly?
     
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  20. Mick

    Mick Legend

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    i played like john mcenroe trying to imitate chris evert :)
    so very flat strokes. i lost because the other guy would hit deep balls to my backhand and then came in to knock off the volleys. i don't have a solution for that. he's a far better player than i am.
     
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  21. Steve Huff

    Steve Huff Legend

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    CoachRick--wasn't the t2000/3000 considered "rocket launchers" back when they 1st came out? Come on Rick--think back......way back.
     
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  22. fridrix

    fridrix Rookie

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    T3000

    I've enjoyed hitting with the T3000. Did you know its predecessor the T2000 was actually designed by Lacoste?! The real problem with the stick is stringing it---crazy square stringing pattern. I've strung dozens of racquets myself and decided this one was just too odd to risk messing up.
     
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  23. gavna

    gavna Hall of Fame

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    Yes and that was the reason the T3000 and then the T5000 had the bridges on the throat to stiffen them up. Didnt help much as the things were just so powerful - in Europe/Africa the T2000, 3000 and 5000 were sold under the Lacoste brand and in fact the T5000 (and the Lacoste versions) also had the rubber anti vibration damper that was also used in the Equijet series 10 yrs later.
     
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  24. gavna

    gavna Hall of Fame

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    Actually ALL of the T series (2000, 3000 and the 5000) were Rene Lacoste designs.....Wilson made an agreement with Lacoste to sell the frame in the Americas and Asia under the Wilson name.
     
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  25. coachrick

    coachrick Hall of Fame

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    All of the T-series, 2000-5000 were considered very powerful; but we have to consider what they were compared to...conventional wood, horrible extruded aluminum, other 'chromed' steel sticks like the Tensor and Garcia X-15(an actual rocket, I reckon :) ).

    There was a rumor that Wilson stiffened ONE tube in some T2000s to beef up the racket a bit. The throat bridges helped make the 3,4,5000s a little more resistant to twisting, but they were still very springy.

    As mentioned, hitting flat and dead center makes this a formidable weapon; but if you hit(as I did) 2-3 mains off-center with spin, the T-series would feel like it was going to wrap around your elbow.

    The main 'power-boost' was apparent at lower swing speeds, thus the attraction to those who didn't supply their own raw power. Put a 3000 in the hands of a wood racket 'pusher' and suddenly they are blasting the ball(comparatively speaking). Don't forget how aerodynamic these frames are compared to wood. They weren't all that light, but would cut through the air like butta ;) . They would also cut through the knees and shins of folks trying to serve with a western grip while facing square to the net...LOTS of torn up lower legs back then!
     
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  26. coachrick

    coachrick Hall of Fame

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    By the bye, I have a couple of Spalding Smashers...the extruded 'U'-beam aluminum counterpart to the Wilson series. I chose the Smasher as my first 'real' racket, partly to be different, but mostly because I preferred the stiffness of the aluminum vs the steel Wilsons. When they switched to the 'S' shaped throat support and foam injected handle, the Smasher was actually a pretty decent stick for the day...much better than the Chemold rattle-traps that many pros 'endorsed' briefly.

    I'd choose my Smasher against my collection of Wilsons if I had to play a match today, that's for sure.

    Instead of, or in addition to, the wood tournaments we all talk about; I'd like to see a 1960s METAL tourny---what a hoot that would be!
     
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  27. gavna

    gavna Hall of Fame

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    We do that here - its more 70's as we use PDP opens, Dunlop Volleys, Head Pro's and Masters, Rawlings, Prince Orig and the Pro and of course someone always seems to show up with a Chemhold (YUCK!!! biggest piece of crap ever) and even a freaking Weed. Once we had a guy show up with a Red Head with a spaghetti string job -
     
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  28. retrowagen

    retrowagen Hall of Fame

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    I just picked up a T-4000 ... it has some sort of vibration-dampening gizmo under a domed buttcap end. Otherwise, looks like a T-3000 with its throat bridge.

    Anyone know anything about this shiny banjo of a racquet?
     
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  29. Harl Goodman

    Harl Goodman New User

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    I got steal on the auction site a couple years ago.
    PDP Open for $0.99
    It was a generic listing for a badminton racket :)
     
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  30. Harl Goodman

    Harl Goodman New User

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    Hopefully that's just from the extra weight. It must be 13oz, if not 13.5.
    That will make you sore, just like increasing the weight on your bench press.
     
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  31. coachrick

    coachrick Hall of Fame

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    If your 'tuning stub' is intact, take care of that rare thing! Most broke off pretty early in their lifetimes.

    Your racket is essentially a T3000 with the added damper. MANY of us dangled a pinkie and a good chunk of the heel of our hand off the bottom of the handle, especially when serving. That 'dome' on the 4 and 5 series was distracting to many folks(who then removed it or just left it off when it inevitably fell off during play). When the damper was exposed, it broke off rather easily.

    The black/chrome cosmetics of the 4 and 5 series looked quite a bit more 'sophisticated' than the cream, red, gold of the earlier T-series. I'd say the 4000 enjoyed a good year or so, but the subsequent models were never a factor in 'my' part of the world.
     
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  32. coachrick

    coachrick Hall of Fame

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    Your idea works much better than limiting to the '60s. Plenty of folks who remember the 'boom' years likely played with the frames you mentioned(Red Head for me, thank you...Yonex original OPS also).

    Hey, we've got 40mph winds here in Austin today...how's the weather over there?
     
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  33. coachrick

    coachrick Hall of Fame

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    Stevie, I've got one of those 'zero' birthdays next year...I've been thinking WAY back a lot lately! :)
     
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  34. gavna

    gavna Hall of Fame

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    Today partly sunny and 72.........we live north of the big airport very little wind. I forgot about the Yonex OPS frames.
     
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  35. retrowagen

    retrowagen Hall of Fame

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    Thanks for the useful info. On this particular specimen, it's in great shape, and the "radar dome" is intact. However, there is a rattle inside, like the proverbial jelly bean in the plastic Easter egg... I'm guessing this is not how the dampener works? :lol: It appears that the "dome" should unscrew from the bottom of the butt cap, but it only spins in place with some resistance, and no evidence of it wanting to unthread. Does it snap off? I don't want to damage it.

    The frame has its original stickers still, including the one stating that it is only sold in Pro Shops! One wouldn't have found this on "Blue Light Special" at K-Mart! :cool:

    Also, the previous owner of this frame (I found it in a thrift shop, of course) must have been a connoisseur of the finer things in life: it was strung in natural gut, with string tubing at every wire loop where the string touched it! Double super bonus points to whoever strung it; a T-series looks difficult enough to string up without tubing at every point of frame contact!
     
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  36. coachrick

    coachrick Hall of Fame

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    Wow, that IS quite a find! I'm almost certain the dome just pops off(more easily when you DON'T want it to, of course)...might even have a little indent to take a small screwdriver or similar to wedge it off. I'm afraid the rattle you hear is likely the end of the tuning stub, broken at the insert through the metal spacer at the bottom of the hairpin. Sorry :( I think it would be a rare animal indeed to have survived all this time(unless simply stored and never used/strung). You might be able to re-attach it with ShoeGoo or similar non-brittle adhesive.

    Those came with a pretty nice perforated calfskin grip(black) if I recall correctly. The grip tended to overlap the 'equator' of the dome, sometimes even sliding off.
     
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  37. coachrick

    coachrick Hall of Fame

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    Now that I think about it...maybe you have one of the new-fangled 'wireless' models! :)
     
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  38. Steve Huff

    Steve Huff Legend

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    Don't feel bad. I'm getting more and more advertisements from AARP lately. It's a conspiracy.
     
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  39. frinton

    frinton Semi-Pro

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    Took my Lacoste "T-2000" out for a spin

    http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showpost.php?p=7078261&postcount=63
     
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