TECHMANN rackets: Thin beam, midsize 12+oz heaven (PICS)

Discussion in 'Classic Racquet Talk' started by MAXXply, Mar 2, 2013.

  1. MAXXply

    MAXXply Hall of Fame

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    ...No not really heaven but still, a highly playable combination of heavy and headlight balance in braided graphite, boron and kevlar flavours (or so they claimed).

    TECHMANN was a very short-lived Aussie brand of the late 80s whose brand presence was built on a bunch of local coaching pros who endorsed the rackets and fronted their marketing campaign. Heck, with the money they saved on using an ATP pro they still spent big - I recall them running local 30-second TV ads ad-nauseum during Wimbledon '89.

    I'm guessing the rackets were Taiwanese-made sticks but they don't have the hallmarks or DNA of Kennex-made rackets so I think they came out of a different OEM manufacturer. I have also not seen the frames rebadged under any of the other more established brands. Perhaps you may have seen them under obscure European sports/retail brands? Inter Sports? Ascot? Marathon? etc.

    All are conventional specs from the era: 90-95 sq.in, 12+oz. weight, 16-18mm thin box beams with straight edges. Leather grips standard. Comfortable flex 60-63RA. "WPS" - "Well Portioned Weight System" (seriously). Very solid, filled-handle feel. Plastic grip collars.

    Aussie TT'ers with long memories may wish to chime in if they recognise anyone in the print ad or have any anecdotes they wish to share about the brand.

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  2. coachrick

    coachrick Hall of Fame

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    Very interesting...guess those didn't make it to Atlanta, Georgia, USA.

    Wasn't another racket manufacturer who made different SMU models called "TopKey" or some similar name?

    Maybe the Wilson lawyers got hold of the Techmann soon after the introduction ;) .
     
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  3. MAXXply

    MAXXply Hall of Fame

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    Plain matte cosmetics. A very buttery feel with sufficient plow-through and mass on each of the pictured models. 345-355gms strung. Thin beamed sillhouettes just knife through the air. Design-wise they pre-date the widebody craze despite being around at the same time.
     
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  4. Hannah19

    Hannah19 Professional

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    Comfortable flex 60-63RA. "WPS" - "Well Portioned Weight System" (seriously)

    This same system was used by rackets of the Japanese Mall (Maruman) company and the CS4400 and Graphite 4200 do look very similar to Mall's EX-11 and 731 models.
     
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  5. MAXXply

    MAXXply Hall of Fame

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    I would not be surprised if the molds were used on generic Japanese brands and Japanese SMUs. I can see the frames emblazoned with all the typical "Japlish" performance decals - Super Terrific Maruman Velocity Zone, Ultra Power Zen System, Mugen Weight Vector etc :)
     
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  6. galain

    galain Hall of Fame

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    Cosmetically they remind me of some of the older Snauwaert models.
     
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  7. rodracquet

    rodracquet Rookie

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    Hi MAXXPLY please send me the photos you kindly put up so I can include on www.tennishistory.com.au Thanks rod@tacticalresponse dotttt net dottt au
     
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  8. Sanglier

    Sanglier Rookie

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    I tend to pick up only pre-1985 US-made frames these days, but I remembered this thread when I came across this Techmann "Imperial" at a GW yesterday, and decided to bring it home for a closer look. I think it is clear evidence that this company stuck around long enough to have marketed at least one wide-body racquet before going belly-up.

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    Online sources show that Techmann was first trademarked in South Korea (1987), then in the US (1989-1996), but I couldn't find any mention of these racquets being imported into the US in substantial numbers (this thread was the only discussion I had come across that mentioned this brand), so perhaps this one came to California inside the luggage of an immigrant or traveler from Australia? Or perhaps even more likely, in the luggage of a Korean traveler, since Bando Sports (the website of which is now dead) was a Korean company based in Seoul? If Techmann had been a Korean brand all along, I wonder what motivated the Bando executives to adopt this weird Anglo-Germanic hybrid-spelling for the brand...

    Gone from this example is the PWS-infringing "WPS" that the thin-beamed frames shown above had; in its place we now have "GPS", which puts some extra mass at the top of the hoop, shifting the vibration node in that direction, and making the frame feel very solid when the ball is struck in the upper quadrant of the string bed, even though the overall balance is 5 pt head light. I must admit It is a much more "old school"-feeling frame than I was expecting, minus the vibration, perhaps due to the 352g weight and 357 measured swing weight.

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    Last edited: May 5, 2016
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