Prince 03 Tour Mid (95sq): Looking for input from those who use or have used it

Discussion in 'Racquets' started by AndrewD, Mar 9, 2008.

  1. AndrewD

    AndrewD Legend

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    I just wanted to get a bit of feedback from those people who have actually spent a decent amount of time with the 03 Tour Mid (not those who have hit with it once) and are currently using it or have given it up for another frame. Mostly interested in what you see as being its strong points and weaknesses and, for those who no-longer play with it, why you moved to another racquet. I know chris_from_japan was a former 03 mid user so hopefully he and others with that level of experience of the racquet will be able to contribute.



    *** Yes, I have looked through the archives (for all but newcomers we should be able to assume that) but most of the info comes from people who are still in the honeymoon stage whereas I find the benefit of perspective provides for a fuller estimation of any racquet. **
     
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  2. VikingSamurai

    VikingSamurai Banned

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    In all honesty. Sometimes I ask myself why I gave it up.. It would have been the one and only frame that I used strait out of the box that played the way I like a frame to feel.. I found the balance perfect with a plushness and soft feeling that I actually quite enjoyed. (I also string low at 45lbs, so that might be a reason). But the frame itself was actually quite flexy in its feel, and gave a very old school response.. No harsh off center hits..

    I actually sold my original o3 Tour 95's, only to buy another set again, because while I was in my 2 year racket demoing walkabout, I always went back to them. Even now I am kinda wishing I didn't give them up and kept a set.. Great frames, and by the looks of it the last of the 95inch Prince frames to be produced. Unless you count the Hybrid..

    The only thing I didn't like about them was the bridge.. The asthetics looked kinda like a metal frame and the bridge was always the area that cracked first..
     
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  3. nickb

    nickb Banned

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    Hi Andrew,

    I got 2 of these frames last week and have given them over 10 hours court time.

    I won't be switching (because I have 8 fischers)...if I could get them over in the UK or they had a different grip shape then I would be all over them.

    For me they are the best prince frames I have ever used (that includes the POG, all other O3s and the speedports). I liked the MP but found it unstable and too soft. The Mid plays similar but with more pop, similar spin, great stability and it just feels more solid. Its a great all court racket. Like the other O3's it really is a spin monster...ive never hit more spin than with the MP and Mid O3 tours.

    It swings pretty light because of the O Ports and headlight balance but I wouldnt say it swings really really easy. The beam feels nice and thin. The string pattern is pretty even across the frame which makes for a nice predictable stringbed.

    I found it best on groundstrokes and serves (because of the spin potential)..on volleys my fischers are better...the prince just does not have that old school feel (its still a really good volley frame). Another thing I enjoyed was how quick the racket feels on returns.

    Overall a solid, spinny frame that does everything well. I had the hard grommets in both which took away the muted feel which I hated with past O3's. I got gripsize L4 but I use L5 on my fischers...I added a heat sleeve but this pushed the SW past my normal range...I would like to get hold of some 5's one day and give them another go.

    Btw mine are strung with SPPP 1.23 and VS/OG Micro..

    Hope that helps..

    I you want pics let me know..

    Nick
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2008
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  4. cadfael_tex

    cadfael_tex Professional

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    I had the MP but the comments I have with it should be applicable. I really liked the frame at first. Felt the most comfortable with it - weight, balance, spin, and power were all just about the right level to me as someone coming from much older frames.

    Why did I move on:
    1. couldn't get used to the grip shape (but if it hadn't been for the next two things I might have tried harder).

    2. Lack of feel - blame it on the speed ports but just couldn't gauge the response of the string bed consistently (don't know how much of this is user error but didn't have this problem with other frames I've hit with)

    3. Paint - how superficial of me I know but it just seemed that every time I went down for a low ball (or the one time I fell trying to get a drop shot) the paint just flaked off (this ended up being the death of this racquet for me - seeing a racquet I spent so much on new look like junk because of the paint when I didn't abuse it).

    Hope that helps.
     
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  5. themitchmann

    themitchmann Hall of Fame

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    I played with the O3 Tour Mid from January 2007 to September 2007 before switching to the SP Tour. I liked the O3, but felt that it lacked the feel I was looking for. I liked the way it feel in swing, but contact was little metallic for my taste. They felt best on groundies, serving was pretty good, but volleys were only so-so. As mainly a doubles player/all court singles player, I really missed the feel on transition shots/touch shots/volleys of a more old school racquet. Though the SP Tour is definitely not old school, I felt the level of touch at the net was far superior.

    I am a teaching pro, so I need a racquet that I can do everything with. If I stayed at the baseline all day and hit groundstrokes, I might not have changed sticks.

    My set up was full string job of ALU Power @ 61lbs, with a total of 4 grams of lead at 9 and 3 (6 pt HL balance).
     
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  6. 1012007

    1012007 Hall of Fame

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    Whats the SP tour like compared with the 03 tour?
     
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  7. themitchmann

    themitchmann Hall of Fame

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    Far more of a traditional feel...less metallic than the O3. Better at net and transition/approach shots. Still needs a little extra weight for stability, in my opinion, but it didn't take very long for me to zero it in.
     
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  8. 1012007

    1012007 Hall of Fame

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    Whats the power difference like? Also whats better with serving?
     
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  9. nickb

    nickb Banned

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    Its your last chance to get one of these frames for a low price...they are going on **** in 10 mins!

    Nick
     
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  10. emerckx53

    emerckx53 Semi-Pro

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    I used it for a short time. It is a very nice stick. It is very muted and comfy. It has above average pop...actually PLENTY of pop for a mid. Great spinster as well. I can see where people say it is lacking feel because of the muted feel but it wasn't enough to bother me. The Prince port deal does work...I thought it was flexy enough, had enough pop, control wise is did launch balls a bit but I am sure a string adjustment will cure that. The only reason I didn't adopt it was the C-10 which was all of the above with more control and a quicker swingweight. Overall a great stick IMO.

    Mj
     
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  11. AndrewD

    AndrewD Legend

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    Thanks to everyone who was able to provide input regarding their experience of the 03 Tour Mid.
     
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  12. themitchmann

    themitchmann Hall of Fame

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    The SP is more powerful at first, but I was using the O3 with full poly at 61lbs and leaded up to help with too much trampoline effect from the ports. When I first got the SP, I installed the string hole inserts and strung with full poly at 62lbs...it was a mistake, as the stringbed was significantly stiffer than my old O3 at 61lbs. I know use a hybrid string job with Babolat PHT 17 at 60lbs and Prince SynGut Multi 17 at 62lbs. I love the feel from everywhere on court, I've got plenty of pop, and there's a little pocketing (reminiscent of the O3 ports) without losing control. Oh, and I've also added 6 grams of lead to the hoop at 3 and 9.

    At first, I preferred to O3 on serves, but now with the SP zeroed in, I prefer it...just more versatile.
     
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  13. hoosierbr

    hoosierbr Hall of Fame

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    No feel, spotty control. Great specs though.
     
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  14. tennisp13

    tennisp13 Rookie

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    I play the Prince O3 Tour 95 Mid for 1/2 season, 1 1/2 year ago. Like it very much, very flexy and soft feeling (some may not like that) but the frames was lost when my car was stolen, that another story and Vantage having a sale so I went with it (before the Prince 95 Mid, I play with Prostaff 6.0 95 want to recreate that with the Vantage). Anyhow, I did re buy those frame if one day I would like back to them.

    Overall, the Prince O3 Tour are good for my baseline game, create lot of spin and less vibration with off center hit. I hit a better BH with the O3 Tour 95.

    One little weak point was on the serve since it did not generate more pop from the same serve motion as the PS 6.0 95
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2008
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  15. Greg Raven

    Greg Raven Semi-Pro

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    I think the Prince O3 Tour MS has a lot going for it, including the flexibility, the small (but not too small) headsize, the 16x20 string pattern, pallet shape, the ease of stringing, and the general playability of the racquet. With other racquets, getting just the right string can be maddening, but for me, with the O3 Tour MS just about any string is fine. I've got one that I've left stock, and I play fine with that, but for my others, I increased the mass to 370 grams and the swingweight to 340 kgxcm2. The balance is 29 point something. With Luxilon Big Banger Original 16 at 58, it's an awe-inspiring stick -- great groundstrokes and volleys, and the serve is close to that of my Head Flexpoint Prestige MS (set up the same, but with Wilson Reaction 16).

    It seems to me to be a forgiving and competent stick.
     
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  16. bobbyjonesrocks

    bobbyjonesrocks Rookie

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    Can anyone tell me what **** is? And why don't we just say the name of the store? (I am sorry for these questions, but I am new here)
     
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  17. CollegeBound

    CollegeBound Rookie

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    You need to read the forum rules (they're listed when you sign up).
    http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=3, although I would have thought it was really obvious why Tennis Warehouse doesn't want you listing the names of their competitors.

    Any other queries are best answered in the 'Odds and Ends' section, not a thread someone has specifically created to answer their own question, not yours.
     
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  18. bobbyjonesrocks

    bobbyjonesrocks Rookie

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    Thanks for your answer [and I'll try not to ask any more stupid questions :)]
     
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  19. AndrewD

    AndrewD Legend

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    Wondering now why more don't play the 03 Tour Mid.

    Again, thanks for all of the relevant posts, they've certainly helped to reinforce certain things I felt about the 03 Mid while also giving me a few other issues to ponder. Not that any of it has turned me away from the racquet. I will be buying the Mid and seeing if it becomes a closer fit for the two racquets I've been trying to replace since I started on this message board - the Prince Precision Mono and the Prince Graphite Comp- than the closest matches I've found so far - Diablo MP and POG mid. I'm fortunate enough to know I could play well with either of those two but am hoping the 03 Tour Mid bridges the gap between them by giving me a bit more flex and head size than the POG mid while having less head size than the Diablo MP and being of a standard length.

    That aside, I am now wondering why the 03 Tour Mid wasn't more popular. I realise that not everyone can prefer a racquet and that some did have issue with the feel. However, very popular racquets like the n90, nSix-One 95, kSix-One 95, Babolat Pure Storm, 03 White and even the 03 Tour MP provide quite 'dull' feedback yet they seem omnipresent on the courts and on the message board - moreso the Wilson. Based on the specs people on this message board are always calling out for - smallish head size, flex, lots of spin, mobile- I would have thought the 03 Tour Mid to be an excellent fit. Why has it been so thoroughly overlooked?
     
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  20. 1012007

    1012007 Hall of Fame

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    Havnt all prince frames?
     
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  21. Doc Hollidae

    Doc Hollidae Hall of Fame

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    It's the holes. Most players that have been playing a for a while are skeptical of playing with a racket with holes in it. Just looking at a Prince O3 racket instantly raises the question of stability. I admit I swore them off, but when I started demoing rackets I figured what the hell and gave one a try. I was immediately suprised and ended up buying a Ozone Pro Tour later on. However the feel is very unique and muted, which aren't the most desirable characteristics to some.
     
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  22. VikingSamurai

    VikingSamurai Banned

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    Agreed. Having Davydenko use it probably hasn't done it any justice for it also.. But it truelly is a great stick, and even after reading your OP have started to think about getting another myself to hit around with.. It really is a great racquet..
     
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  23. AndrewD

    AndrewD Legend

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    Unfortunately, apart from the POG, true.

    Chris,

    Thankfully they're still available on-line as they aren't being carried in shops around here any longer and didn't see them when I was in Melbourne.
     
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  24. VikingSamurai

    VikingSamurai Banned

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    In all honesty, I really don't know where Prince is going with their racquets these days. I can understand the Speedports serving the needs of the every day social player. But they seem to have left the real deal player frames behind. I will for one say that the O3 Tour is the last decent players frame that they produced..
     
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  25. AndrewD

    AndrewD Legend

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    Chris,

    The Speedport Tour has taken the place of the 03 Mid and it's a very nice racquet that I could happily use. The Ozone Tour has taken the place of the 03 Tour MP. Other than that, I believe Prince did have another 'players spec' frame in the works but it was cancelled when Blake decided to go back to his Dunlop.

    As for me, I'll be playing the 03 Tour Mid against the Diablo MP and see which I prefer. Nice to have a couple of options.
     
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  26. themitchmann

    themitchmann Hall of Fame

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    I believe the SP Tour was the racquet for Blake. They original designed the Hybrid Tour for him, but his coach said it changed his strokes too much. They released the racquet, but went back to the drawing board for Blake. I think he was a major reason for the interchangeable grommets (Speedport Tuning System), as he could still has more traditional feel with the string holes, while still using the O3 technology. Also, the Hybrid Tour and the SP Tour have a unique hoop shape that is not very common with Prince racquets, but is similar to Blake's blacked out experimental (the racquet he's always used). Prince's hoop shape is typical more circular.
     
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  27. Cup8489

    Cup8489 Legend

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    i can understand your logic, but i don't think that blake was going to play with the sp tour, except for a heavily customised variation, matching his dunlop specs (because he doesnt like change)

    but yeah, the Hybrid and Speedport are the only o3 racquets without the traditional teardrop shape of prince's frames.


    i wish they would make a 95 or smaller version of the Ozone or Speedport tour, i really don't want to switch frames....but i wont use Midplus. it doesnt feel the same. The only alternativ would be the MG Prestige... but im not thrilled about the idea of switching...
     
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  28. themitchmann

    themitchmann Hall of Fame

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    Some of it's logic, some of it is hearsay, as I am on the Prince National Team as a teaching pro, and word of mouth travels within the group. Of course, I think Blake's racquet would have been heavily customized regardless of which company he went with. The Dunlop he uses now is the same racquet he's been using, just painted to match an AG200...lots of speculation on which frame it actually is. And actually, he customizes that racquet as well: typically a couple of stacks of lead tape at 3 and 9.
     
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  29. AndrewD

    AndrewD Legend

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    They did and it was called the 03 Tour Mid (95sq). Still available so why not buy that or, if it's what you're currently using, enough so you don't need to switch for a long time?
     
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  30. AndrewD

    AndrewD Legend

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    Chris,

    I spoke too soon (although not by much). They're having a run-out sale at one of the large retailers so the 03 Tour Mid is still available, for the time being. The price is good but it's only around $30 cheaper than TW so, after a quick re-think, I'll continue playing the 03 Mid against the Diablo MP - using a few different string combinations- and then make my decision. Something tells me that, although I'd like to make a quick choice, it will be a line ball as I do know I could play very happily (and well) with either. Perhaps a decent set of strings (rather than my PSGD and Stamina) will make one shine just a little bit brighter than the other.
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2008
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  31. VikingSamurai

    VikingSamurai Banned

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    Or you could do what I did and fall in love with the Head Microgel Prestige mid+ ;)
     
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  32. AndrewD

    AndrewD Legend

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    LOL, nice racquet but not my cup of tea. Never really felt comfortable with any of the Prestige MP frames (although I do enjoy the Prestige Mids) and always seem to gravitate back to the Prince range. POG mid, POG OS, Diablo MP and 03 Tour Mid are the best, most well-rounded frames I've used since coming back to the game 3 years ago (not counting my old Precision Mono and Graphite Comp). Think there's only been a few racquets (one each from Wilson, Babolat, Head and Slazenger) that I've found equally good in all aspects of the game.
     
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  33. VikingSamurai

    VikingSamurai Banned

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    Andrew, I found a place online that has a clearance on the o3 Tour mid for $99. Email me at iizukaenglish@hotmail.com , and I will give you the link..
     
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