Playtesters: New PK frame feedback?

Discussion in 'TW Questions/Comments' started by JGads, Sep 17, 2012.

  1. JGads

    JGads Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2010
    Messages:
    4,343
    Hey guys, I realize you likely won't be doing much in the way of official reviews and such on these sticks, but the descriptions of some of the new Pro Kennex offerings indicate you guys might have had a swing or two with them ("Our playtesters found that the frame offered..."). Just curious if any of you have any initial thoughts on some interesting looking new frames, particularly the Pro Kennex Black Ace Mid 2012 version (lighter swingweight, slightly added stiffness and thickness?) and the Q5 offerings, which by spec appear to be slightly stiffer, maybe more powerful offerings of the 5G/7G/Ki5 series?

    Just wondering if any of you have any thoughts on these frames, particularly how they might compare to their predecessors (the Ace Mid to the previous Ace Mid; the Q5 light and heavy versions feel and ball action compared to 5G/7G/Ki5)... Or maybe they're more comparable to other sticks in a different line?

    The Black Ace Mid and PK 7G are two of my all time favorite sticks, so I'm wondering about these PK newbies since they aren't up for demoing quite yet.

    Cheers..
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2012
    #1
  2. ced

    ced Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2007
    Messages:
    747
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    A lot of us would also be interested in your opinion as to how the Q5 compares to the Qtour you just finished reviewing.
     
    #2
  3. TW Staff

    TW Staff Administrator

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2004
    Messages:
    24,548
    Location:
    Tennis-Warehouse.com
    I will try and hit the Q5 with the QTour this week side by side. However, I might not be able to get out with them until Thursday.
    Chris, TW
     
    #3
  4. ced

    ced Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2007
    Messages:
    747
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    Great ... will be anxiously awaiting your opinion.
     
    #4
  5. JGads

    JGads Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2010
    Messages:
    4,343
    Chris, as a lover of Mids you should have a hit with the updated 2012 Black Ace Mid if you're able. Stellar frame.
     
    #5
  6. athleticstennis

    athleticstennis Rookie

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2011
    Messages:
    144
    I am also will be eagerly awaiting for your opinion as a lover of PK frames.
     
    #6
  7. TW Staff

    TW Staff Administrator

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2004
    Messages:
    24,548
    Location:
    Tennis-Warehouse.com
    I hit the Q5 315 today side by side with the QTour.

    I'll start with the 315. I really like that racquet. It comes around very quickly, yet feel pretty solid. I was getting a lot of spin with it and it felt better and better the faster I swung. I liked the comfort, too. On the feel front, it felt pretty modern. I could feel the frame breathe more than with a traditional box beam racquet. I wouldn't say it was overly hollow as the kinetic provided a dampened feel, but it is definitely more modern in its feel.

    Out of the two, I preferred the QTour. I like the classic feel. The response is smooth and the feel is plush. I find great directional control with it and it is just closer to the racquets I'm enjoying right now such as the Prestige MP and C10 Pro.

    Chris, TW
     
    #7
  8. JGads

    JGads Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2010
    Messages:
    4,343
    So I'm guessing what you mean by the frame 'breathing' more than a box beam is that it's not as full... and modern meaning a tad more hollow than older offerings? I think that's what you mean. Cheers, Chris, for taking a spin and giving some feedback on a PK frame. I'll suggest one last time that you take one of the new PK Black Ace Mids out for a try -- I have a C10 as well (the Mac Pro Stock), and I was digging the IG Prestige MP you like as well, but this Ace trumps them for me right now -- more full feel/less wobble than the C10 and Prestige, and more plow than the IG MP though not quite the forgiveness of the extra square inches but it's a minimal difference. Really awesome frame.
     
    #8
  9. danix

    danix Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2004
    Messages:
    515
    Location:
    SF Bay Area
    I appreciate the ability to get feedback more quickly than waiting for a full review.

    I bought the QTour on faith, and loved the classic feel and power I was getting. But, in addition to bothering my elbow, it started bothering my shoulder, something that hasn't been an issue for several years. Its promise of a player's stick that didn't hurt was unfulfilled, for me (note that other feedback indicates people love it and it doesn't hurt them).

    I switched back to the Ki5 and although I hate playing with it due to lack of feel and power, it doesn't hurt me, which is now my top priority.

    The biggest question is not how the Q5 compares to the Tour, it's how it improves on the Ki5, if in fact it does. The biggest difference is the polarized Kinetic system (with the beads in 4 small pockets at 10/2 and 5/7 roughly). In terms of both lab and real world experience, how do the two compare?

    I have a feeling I'm going to have to cough up another $180 to find out...
     
    #9
  10. TW Staff

    TW Staff Administrator

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2004
    Messages:
    24,548
    Location:
    Tennis-Warehouse.com
    Sorry to hear you had arm issues with the racquet. The arm issues you mentioned could be simply due to the change in weight and balance, and that change aggravated your arm. The QTour is flexible and has plenty of mass to absorb shock, plus we had four very different players hit it, and all raved about the comfort -- consider we hit it with poly strings, too.

    I remember when I started testing racquets, my arm went numb after a month due to the constant change in weight/balance. I just increased my stretching/training and used ice until my body got used to the constant change.

    Chris, TW
     
    #10
  11. JGads

    JGads Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2010
    Messages:
    4,343
    Danix, have you tried the 7G? It's softer feeling than the Ki5, so the arm should be fine, but has more power as well, which you're looking for. You may have a small adjustment to the extra length but it sounds like it could be what you and your arm are looking for.
     
    #11
  12. danix

    danix Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2004
    Messages:
    515
    Location:
    SF Bay Area
    Never been a fan of extended lengths other than my beloved Volkl CX9.
    Might be worth a demo, thanks. About to try the Q5 tomorrow.
     
    #12
  13. ced

    ced Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2007
    Messages:
    747
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    Thanks, Chris, I was expecting this and it backs up my feelings to the point I just ordered my third Qtour !!
     
    #13
  14. csabam1975

    csabam1975 New User

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2013
    Messages:
    9
    Hi Chris!
    Just found this thread where you share your thoughts regarding Q5 315 gr. I am a 4.0-4.5 baseline player who sometimes mix in some serve and volley as well (1hbh, eastern forehand grip, with the PRestige sometimes still use a continental grip when hit flat). Had a Microgel Prestige MP which I loved (especially to crush down a flat forehand winner or hit a backhand drop-shot, but at that time played only once a week and a biceps tendonities occured. Switched to a Volkl PB8 which forced me to change my game, more spin, longer rallies but just not enough heft to finish the point when I want. Currently considering changing to a new racquet and the list I am taking into consideration is: PK Q5 315, Dunlop F 3.0, Head Extreme Pro 2.0 (MIcrogel version MP i hated though). Based on the comments and reviews, the Dunlop is the closest choice. Could you give your comments on this/give other suggestion?
    Thanks in advance and keep up the good work!
     
    #14
  15. TW Staff

    TW Staff Administrator

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2004
    Messages:
    24,548
    Location:
    Tennis-Warehouse.com
    The Q5 315 is more forgiving compared to the F 3.0 Tour. I really liked the Dunlop, but some complained of the racquet being unforgiving off center. I have not heard any such complaints about the PK.

    The Extreme Pro 2.0 is the most powerful and forgiving. It offers a surprisingly plush feel considering its specs. Very easy power and spin. Kind of like a more comfort oriented AeroPro Drive.

    The Volkl V1 Pro would be another solid option. Very controlled level of power, great comfort and feel.

    I would suggest demoing them all to see which option best works for your game. Even if one doesn't work out, it gives you an even more defined direction to proceed.

    Happy hitting!
    Chris, TW
     
    #15
  16. csabam1975

    csabam1975 New User

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2013
    Messages:
    9
    Thanks for taking your time to reply! Really appreciate what you at TW do, very professional and enthusiastic attitude towards tennis from all of you.

    The best of course would be to playtest all, but unfortunately I am from Serbia and the max I can do here is to check racquets at the local club or when playing the seniors league (I am 38 otherwise).
    You have awaken some doubts in me regarding the F3.0 which was the first choice to invest in, but if it is really not OK off-center (which unfortunately happens to me quite often) than not the right choice. Or just need to improve my stroke...
    Developed a slight form of TE with the Volkl PB8 so look for something more comfortable, on the other side like to ˝hit where I am aiming˝ (that is why I addressed my message to you at the first place since your style of play is the most similar to what I currently do on court). In case of the Extreme, I am afraid of it lacking control and as mentioned Microgel Extreme MP feel I hated... Is this one so much different? Prince EXO Tour 18x20 I tried, too muted for me, Blade 2013 too head heavy, but for some reason I was thinking about a 18x20 pattern. 16x18 or an extreme string pattern out of question for now (can provide enough spin for my play). The Yonex V Tour G I am interested in but still not available. I play a lot of doubles recently so maybe you are right and the PK would be the best choice. Again, I feel the Extreme Pro is somehow foreign to me (maybe the round head shape or the thick beam).
    I thought otherwise you will suggest me the C10 Pro and not the V1 :)

    Have a nice day!
     
    #16
  17. Stroke

    Stroke Rookie

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2004
    Messages:
    220
    Chris, have you ever hit with the Ki5 PSE. I would really like your thoughts on this racquet. I remember you once said in your review of POG OS that it may be the most powerful racquet you have tested.
     
    #17
  18. TW Staff

    TW Staff Administrator

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2004
    Messages:
    24,548
    Location:
    Tennis-Warehouse.com
    @csabam1975,
    The C10 Pro is quite a bit heavier and a little out of spec compared to the others, which is why I suggested the V1 Pro. Don't get me wrong, though. I'm very found of the C10 Pro. I use it a lot for string testing and it is still a go to when I am playing practice sets.

    I like the feel of the Head Extreme Pro 2.0. It is much more solid feeling than the MP. Also, the Pro has always been standard length and so I've always felt more connected to it than the previous version of the MP which were slightly longer.

    From how you have described your game, I think the V1 Pro would be a great choice. The Extreme Pro is going to offer more power, but not the comfort of the V1 Pro.

    If you go with the F3.0 Tour, you can open up the sweetspot by stringing it low and/or by dropping the tension of the cross strings a couple of pounds. Softer, livelier strings also work great in that racquet.

    Hope that helps,
    Chris, TW
     
    #18
  19. TW Staff

    TW Staff Administrator

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2004
    Messages:
    24,548
    Location:
    Tennis-Warehouse.com
    @Stroke,
    On a full, fast swing, the PK Ki5 PSE offers lots of plow through power (the Ki15 PSE also allows one to hit a heavy ball). I have always found good power from the 5G through Ki 5s and the PSE versions just up that power a notch thanks to all the plow through (as long as you can retain the tip speed).

    The POG OS offers similar plow through power, but adds an oversize head and open string pattern for even more pop.

    With the Ki5 PSE, the feel is a tad muted. Both the weight and the Kinetic system dampen impact shock nicely, but also nullify the feel a tad -- an inevitable result of the combined dampening qualities.

    To add control and get some firmness/crispness back to the response I like to string both with a stiff poly string (Kirschbaum Super Smash honey, Big Banger Original, Gosen Polylon or Polylon Pro, Isospeed Black Fire etc) and keep the tension up. Even then I find I can still hit a very heavy ball, but I have more control and confidence to stay on the gas even when moving inside the baseline.

    Cheers,
    Chris, TW
     
    #19
  20. csabam1975

    csabam1975 New User

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2013
    Messages:
    9
    Hello Chris!

    Based on the info you provided, I am left with 2 stick to choose from: PK Q5 315 and V1 Pro. Somehow I do not feel comfortable with hitting with a racquet at lower tensions, do not feel connected to the ball.

    What string and tension you suggest for the 2 I indicated? For the PB8, Solinco Outlast was the best choice for me (at 57/55 lb). Do you think Cyclone is a good choice for V1 Pro especially?

    Hope my questions are not too much a nuicence for you!

    Have a great day!

    Csaba
     
    #20
  21. coolblue123

    coolblue123 Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2006
    Messages:
    1,795
    Location:
    Rockville, MD
    ^^^ At one point I was hitting with both sticks during the same time frame and trying to decide between the two.

    IMO, The main difference between the two sticks is feel, and power.

    The V1Pro has better feel and better control. I thought this racquet has better response at the net. But the disclaimer is I've been using BB's racquets for the past couple of years (London and NYC), I really dig the more oval head shape. For some reason I felt I got more pop from serving with this stick compared to the Q5. Something that is different about this stick is that it felt like there is slightly more weight towards the top of the racquet. (but then it seems like some of the new racquets are going this route (namely Head Rad Pro's) ) In all it's a combo of blend of power/control more towards the control side.

    The Q5 315 is alittle more muted racquet. Alittle more pop and the feel is alittle more bounce than the V1Pro. It seems like this racquet's sweetspot is alittle bigger (wider and more towards the 10/2 positions) It's a more neutral racquet. it's much more similar to a PD type stick. It does everything well. This racquet feels much more manageable than the spec weight of 11.9oz. To me, it feels around a lighter 11 oz stick.

    Both are excellent sticks.
     
    #21
  22. csabam1975

    csabam1975 New User

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2013
    Messages:
    9
    Hi! Which string setup do you use for the V1 Pro? Use the stick stock or added some weight? According to your impression, which of the 2 had more spin?
     
    #22
  23. kramer75

    kramer75 New User

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2014
    Messages:
    3
    Hello,

    I am currently playing with a pure drive roddick which is perfect, but I need to drop it because of elbow problems. I'm a serve and volley player, from conversion ranking tables between the countries, my level is between 6?0 and 6.5.

    I need to change my PDR and playtested Volkl V1 pro, SUper G8 and prokennex Q5. Because of my arm, I can't test them properly serving and at the net. Here are my thoughts about those frames:

    Confort: V1>Q5>G8>PDR
    power: PDR>>G8>>Q5>V1
    Arm friendly: Q5>V1>>G8>>PDR
    Spin: PDR>G8>V1>>Q5
    Feeling: V1>G8>>Q5>>PDR
    Control: G8>V1>PDR>Q5
    Look: V1>PDR>Q5>>G8

    Do you think the G8 is good enough for a sore arm? Which frame would be the best to serve.
     
    #23
  24. coolblue123

    coolblue123 Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2006
    Messages:
    1,795
    Location:
    Rockville, MD
    sorry just saw your post.

    for the v1p. i had snakebite/durameld (17g) @ 50lb. on the second one, I have hexy fiber/ rip control (17g) @ 55lb.

    hexy setup is more forgiving, power, and had more feel. but I got more variety off of the snakebite setup.

    snakebite had more spin. but the v1p is more string sensitive than the q5 315.

    I had 3 overwraps and a couple of grams of lead at 12/6 to increase plow and made it more HL.

    but in terms of spin. if I had to choose, it will be the q5 315 had more spin.

    lt really depends on the type of player u are. if u looking for a stick with that classic feel with some modern updates, go fir the v1p. if u r the bab pd/ aero type, definitely the q5 315.

    let us know what u ended with. both are really nice sticks.
     
    #24

Share This Page