Reasons for New HEAD Speed Mold

Discussion in 'Racquets' started by gino, Mar 31, 2013.

  1. gino

    gino Hall of Fame

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    Hey guys I posted this earlier but wanted to create a separate conversation.


    " I guess I'm just confused as to why HEAD keeps changing the Speed mold. It seems that HEAD doesn't like to change their molds unless a racket does poorly on the market (I.e. the HEAD Instinct). However, with the rise of djokovic and his endorsement of the speed line, I don't see any reason to change the mold they had last year.

    Maybe I'm just thinking about this too much, do you all have any knowledge about the new mold?"



    Have any thoughts????
     
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  2. srvnvly

    srvnvly Professional

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    The new mold is an improvement over the prior versions; I don't understand why they made the 16x19 version so much lighter. I've added lead to the hoop, and am experimenting with lead in the throat/ handle. Volleys are the best aspect of the Speed MP; serving the worst.

    I'm curious if the Prestige/ Radical/ Extreme lines will have Graphene next year.
     
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  3. gino

    gino Hall of Fame

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    What exactly is the improvement though? I felt the new speed (mp) has less feel and severs much worse, so I don't see the rational for change from HEAD.
     
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  4. Swan Song

    Swan Song Professional

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    It is inevitable.
     
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  5. srvnvly

    srvnvly Professional

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    To me, the feel is much better in terms of frame stability and shot 'crispness.' The serving part is could be a little user error, plus me getting used to the frame. If nothing else, the shape of the racquet head itself is a big improvement, getting rid of the lollipop shape.
     
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  6. Broly4

    Broly4 Rookie

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    To me the previous shape was way better, at least for modern strokes.
     
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  7. Bartelby

    Bartelby G.O.A.T.

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    My only thought was that the very round shaped beam works better with a wide tapered beam than the very thin beam of the former speed. People might have bought it because of Djoko but maybe the feedback from customers was poor.
     
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  8. vsbabolat

    vsbabolat Legend

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    The Graphene Speed does not have a round head shape. It now has the classic HEAD oval head shape. The beam is not what I would consider tapered. The tapered beam racquets are like the old Prince CTS line of racquets or Fisher Pro No.1.
     
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  9. gino

    gino Hall of Fame

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    I think you're correct that the wide tapered beam would be more stable then a thin modern box beam. To me the old speed resembled a balloon and now it appears to take more of a aero pro shape.
     
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  10. Bartelby

    Bartelby G.O.A.T.

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    Yes, I did not like the shape of the old speed but was particularly dissuaded from using it by the TW reviews of it as very low in power.

    I did however play with the extreme pro and loved the power on serve but less so in general play, but I did not give it enough time.
     
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  11. gino

    gino Hall of Fame

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    Does anyone have experience with the Speed Rev?

    Seems like a great platform racket
     
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  12. MAXXply

    MAXXply Hall of Fame

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    Maybe I'm overly cynical but I just think HEAD's regular mold changes are done so merely to accommodate their ever-increasing logos and branding on their frames. Beam widths seem to increase with every iteration, which in turn feature ever-more prominent branding. Maybe their white upper hoop cosmetics in recent years is done solely to enhance logo visibility.
     
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  13. Alex78

    Alex78 Semi-Pro

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    You could have a valid point here. At least until somebody shows how these ever so slight increases in beam width actually improve the rackets. I mean, to me it would seem that with a beam increase you improve certain characteristics (mainly power) but neglect others (mainly control), to put it rather simply.
    Could it be that they feel under pressure to make their rackets more easily recognizable by the average rec player, and especially with the younger generation(s)?
    Compared to Babolat, about the only way is to have larger branding logos, as Head's paint jobs are still (a little, going to zero for some models...) less loud and more classy, and of course Babolat has that "advantage" that the frame design of their top two racket lines is so much different than anything else on the market.
    I have to admit, I shudder to the bone when I see an APD, always think this is the fugliest thing I've ever seen on court - has nothing to do with its playability, of course (to which I can't say anythin...)!
    But as long has Head doesn't do it to all their racket lines (leave the Prestige the way it is!), all is good with me :)
     
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  14. gino

    gino Hall of Fame

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    I mean I would like to think that a thicker beam is the result of the increasing interest in the modern baseline game. It makes sense to make the beam thicker for more stability on off balance strokes or off-center ball contacts.

    I just thought HEAD was going for a specific mold when they first designed the speed that actually produced decent results. With the new mold, I just hope it gains more traction and people can serve well with the new stick.
     
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  15. Automatix

    Automatix Hall of Fame

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    Why are you trying to connect the results made by Djokovic with the mold change in terms of endorsement and sales?

    1. For people who don't know about paintjobs it doesn't matter because they'll believe he is playing with the new one.
    2. For people who know about paintjobs it doesn't matter because they know Djokovic plays with a completely different racquet and he won't change.
    3. If Djokovic endorses a new paintjob and won't win of course some people from the first of the aforementioned group will think: "Ohhh, that new racquet doesn't work for him."
    But then again even if the mold wouldn't change and the real changes would only be some mumbo jumbo technology they'd think the same.

    What I'm trying to say is:
    a) People who buy a frame because of Djokovic will still buy it regardless of the changes made, including the mold.
    b) People who buy a frame because they like it, need to do just that... like it! And the old Speeds, at least in my parts, were not popular.

    I had the chance to test the old IG Speed 300 which IMHO is the real predecessor of the current G Speed MP. And I've found the Graphene version to be superior in terms of feel, stability and power.

    I really think that the change in beam width is to create a somewhat more versatile offer, as I wrote in an other thread the old Speed line was IMHO to similar in basic specs (weight, balance etc.) to the Radical line.

    With the change in the Speeds, Heads offer more or less is like this:
    Prestige: thin beam, flexible, control oriented, heavy
    Radical: thin beam*, flexible, control oriented, light
    Speed: semi thick beam, semi stiff, light, tweener with emphasis on control
    Instinct: thick beam, stiff, light, tweener with balanced control/power
    Extreme: thick beam, stiff, light**, tweener with emphasis on power

    The above is based mostly on the "core" Midplus models.
    If you click here and choose "Sort by beam width" you'll get a good picture of what I'm talking about.

    There are 2 flaws in this:
    * - bringing back the thinner beam on the Radical, the current thicker beamed Radicals don't fit the scheme;
    ** - this intrigues me, the Extreme MP is a Pure Drive/Aeropro Drive alternative yet it's quite a bit heavier than the PD/APD.

    But going back on track. As I said, the similarities between the new thicker Radicals and the older thinner Speeds were really screwing up the old good order. The Radical has a strong and reputable history. It is an easy seller to the older/classic players who are looking for something like the Prestige but lighter. The Speeds are much better of as a transition frame between control oriented frames and typical tweeners.

    That about wraps it up.

    Please keep in mind that the above is only my opinion on the subject given.
     
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  16. Alex78

    Alex78 Semi-Pro

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    Thank you, Automatix!
    That's just an excellent analysis, as always comes from you.
    Makes me hope your preditions will come true 100% :)
     
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  17. Oz_Rocket

    Oz_Rocket Semi-Pro

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    Having owned the previous IG Speed MP and Extreme Pro trying to find out which type of modern frame suits me after a long absence from the game, I see the new Speed Pro as the love child of these two.

    The slightly thicker frame gives it a bit more inherent power and stability on off centre shots (which was the thing I hated most about the old Speed). And the tighter 18x20 pattern still provides plenty of control.

    But it isn't a stiff rocket launcher like the old Extreme. All things being equal it doesn't generate the same spin as the Extreme but it produces enough for my game.
     
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  18. High street sw19

    High street sw19 Rookie

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    The real reason is that the Sales reps need something "New" to flog to the punters....you.
     
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