The Joy of collecting old frames

Discussion in 'Racquets' started by netman, Nov 26, 2006.

  1. netman

    netman Hall of Fame

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    Finally got around to stringing my latest orphan acqusition - the Rossignol Vectris 6.000 G.K. With a name that long, you've just got to give it a try. Its a graphite/kevlar frame that was one on the last racquets Rossignol sold in the U.S. 27 in. long, 16 x 19 pattern, 11.6 oz, even balance featuring the Rossi inverted bridge and a tapered, triangle frame.

    Strung it at 50 lbs using Gosen SM 16. Didn't expect much, figuring it was probably way too flexible and low powered for me. Boy, was I surprised! Pinpoint control on groundies and serves, phenomenal slice and wonderful touch at the net. Very comfortable. Best part was it didn't need tons of topspin to keep the ball in play. You have to take a big cut at the ball to get depth, but it was almost impossible to hit the ball long. Flat shots were a breeze to hit with depth and accuracy. All in all a very enjoyable hitting experience. Next it is time for the acid test - use it in a match.

    Every old frame I buy offers up some interesting surprises - some good, some bad. But at $2-3 a pop and an hour to restring them, its a cheap and fun way to add some variety to life and get a better understanding of the evolution of tennis racquet design. If you find yourself bored with all of today's frames designed for the massive topspin style of play, head down to your local thrift store or cruise some yard sales once in awhile and grab an orphan frame. You might be surprised at what you find.

    -k-
     
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  2. ohplease

    ohplease Professional

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    Nice post. I totally agree. There's still lots and lots of good tennis to be played in vintage rackets.

    The biggest issue I have with vintage is that the grommets are typically bad, and it's hard to find replacements.
     
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  3. Captain Haddock

    Captain Haddock Rookie

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    That's not just any old frame, that is a true gem you have found! The beam is quite similar to the Yonex Super RD Tour, and it produces a very muted feel. It's a real pleasure to hit groundstrokes with that frame. These racquets were designed so well! Of course, those shared grommets tend to crack and are hard to replace, the racquets are shorter than 27 inches (measure them, they are like Fischers at 26.75 in), the round buttcaps are kinda weird, and the Vectris are quite heavy by today's standards. My favorite of the Vectris line was the 9.000 DP (green), which felt more headlight than the others. Congrats on such a rare find!
     
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  4. Tour 90

    Tour 90 Semi-Pro

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    More like reverse evolution, I feel that most older frames tend to feel better than most newer frames, with the exception of a few, ncode 90, PS tour 90, and Dunlop Mfil 200 original.

    I am happy that you enjoy your old racquets as much as I do, I wish I hadn't sold most of my older frames ;) (kept my Fischer Matchmaker and Davis Classic though!)
     
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  5. joe sch

    joe sch Hall of Fame

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    Netman,

    I have done much of the same, getting and trying a many of the old wood and early graphite frames as possible and trying them out. I could not afford them growing up so its even sweeter now to have owned most of them. I prefer the older more flexible rackets over the new rackets and almost never play rackets from the last decade.

    Joe
     
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  6. anirut

    anirut Legend

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    Same here.
     
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  7. Steve Huff

    Steve Huff Legend

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    Joe has had the pleasure of living a retro dream, getting to play a wood tournament, on grass, with everyone in white (Jack Purcell's optional). The only thing better would have been standing across the net from Sampras and hitting a clean winner off his first serve down the middle, Pete with his Kramer, me with my brand new Boronite II. I think I dreamt that once.

    Actually, I used an old PK Golden Ace one day in my regular foursome. They were kidding me about it not having any power. My first 3 serves were aces or service winners. And you couldn't believe the kick those old flexible things produced. If only I could hit that little sweetspot everytime.
     
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  8. thejerk

    thejerk Semi-Pro

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    I have a closet full of old frames. The other day I went out a hit with a prince tri-comp. What a sweet frame. I also have some polarises and other head power wedge designs that my wife uses. They are 660 and the power wedge seems to actually work, them frames are pretty nice.

    Yea, I hit every garage sale and thrift store I come accross.
     
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  9. Deuce

    Deuce Banned

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    I like it when people try old frames and are pleasantly surprised - or even shocked - not only at how nice the racquets feel, but also at how well they play with them.

    Every time a post like that appears, it totally disproves the 'theory' of some posters here who consistently claim that the older frames are useless, and the newer, bigger, racquets are much better.
     
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  10. _skunk_

    _skunk_ Rookie

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    Totally agree with you, my main is always my beloved Rossignol F200, and some young guys are really well surprised how it plays when I give my rackets to them for a try.
    Just bought other 2 F200, brand new never used :), restrunged with natural gut, and ready to go :).
     
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  11. theace21

    theace21 Hall of Fame

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    They were awesome rackets. Nice find - 2 never used!
     
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  12. joe sch

    joe sch Hall of Fame

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    Aside from the max 200g, the Rossi Fseriers, like the F200, are my favorite vintage graphite rackets to play. With natural, they are a dream. Looking for a dubs partner :)
     
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  13. jace112

    jace112 Semi-Pro

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    I learned tennis with Rossignols! F200, F280 (with the micro pattern) and the red Vectris. I don't remember the exact name. Can you make some pics, please?
     
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  14. VGP

    VGP Legend

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    I think this thread needs pics.....

    I know that there are threads of people's gear, but how about using this thread to show off the old ones.
     
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  15. netman

    netman Hall of Fame

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    Glad to see there are many others who enjoy the old frames.

    I've got an F200 as well. Thats what lead me to buy the Vectris since it looked like a modern interpretation of the F200. Agree the F200 is a blast to hit with as long as you bring the power.

    I'm ashamed to admit I now have over 90 old racquets hanging around the house. With the exception of about 5 of them, all were bought for a couple of dollars each at the thrifts or yard sales. Many of my wood frames look like they never even left the house. Same for many of my 80's frames. However every one has seen court time on my watch. No slackers allowed in Netman's Home for Orphaned and Abandoned Tennis Racquets! Got to earn your room and board.

    I'd post some pics, but not sure how to do it inside a message.

    -k-
     
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  16. joe sch

    joe sch Hall of Fame

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  17. hadoken

    hadoken Rookie

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    I'm sure a lot of guys here still use old frames like myself. Those of us who grew up right around the pre-widebody/ 1st gen widebody frames era saw some nice frames on the market...no need to upgrade if you ask me.
     
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  18. psp2

    psp2 Banned

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    I strung up a PK Black Ace recently with Titan gut 17g/SPPP 18g at 46/48lbs and was amazed how similar this racquet feels like the PS85. It's the one with "G 98" on the side of the throat.

    Specs:

    Strung (no lead): 13.0 oz. (369 g) and 3pts. HL, with a leather grip and 1 layer of Tourna. The head size/shape is almost identical to the PS85, too.

    Composition: 100% Graphite Fibers

    Groundies: good for flat ball hitters. TS is quite easy to generate, just slightly more difficult than the PS85. My 1hbh felt awesome with the racquet. I could really drive the ball dtl with power since I hit these shots fairly flat. My bh chip returns in doubles felt great. The balls skimmed low over the net and had good penetrations.

    Volleys: nice and crisp. The heft of the frame really helps to punch through the ball.

    Serves: Most difficult aspect of this racquet. I need more time to get used to this racquet on serve. I wasn't hitting my kickers as well as I could with the PS85.

    Best of all, I think I paid ~$15 for the racquet!
     
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  19. anirut

    anirut Legend

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    Yes, the Black Ace ...

    I still play with mine at 60, full synthetic. Is yours the Made in Japan. My BlackAce also has 98, but not G98.

    We seem to have 2 similar rackets, eh? The BlackAce and the Edge.
     
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  20. psp2

    psp2 Banned

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    Mine doesn't have a "Made in ____ " info. The buttcap says "Kennex Sports Co. LTD. USA." I'm assuming it's made in the US.

    I have bunch of the old Head "Edge" series here. TXE, Composite Edge, etc. They are great frames from the old days!!

    Do you have a Black Ace II? That one has a really small head.... something like 65 sq. in. The head size is a fraction of the Black Ace. It has "94" on the side of the throat.
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2006
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  21. Deuce

    Deuce Banned

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    The Black Ace and Graphite Edge are really not that similar. The Edge has a purely heavenly feel to it that the Black Ace lacks.
    The Black Ace has much more feel to it than any of today's racquets, though.
     
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  22. psp2

    psp2 Banned

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    I think what he was trying to say is that we BOTH have a Black Ace and a TXE Edge.
     
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  23. _skunk_

    _skunk_ Rookie

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    Yes I've been lucky, I found a dealer, he's selling the last model the F200 blu color, I presume he still has quite a number of them, never used, i've already given his contact to some friends of mine as well interested in the old rossignol.
     
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  24. _skunk_

    _skunk_ Rookie

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    Absolutely a dream, as well the Max200, which i have it as well, but i still prefere the Rossignol, I've also 2 old Ivan Lendl rackets (GT adidas), but i've never been able to hit with them, they are too much demanding for my level.
     
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  25. jace112

    jace112 Semi-Pro

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    The GTX played like wood with a composite paint :p
     
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  26. anirut

    anirut Legend

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    Yes, that's what I meant. And, no, I don't have the BlackAce II.

    And, how about the Golden Ace? And the the Red Head ...

    Man, we should really put up pics ...
     
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  27. coachrick

    coachrick Hall of Fame

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    Oh, I thought we were talking about OLD rackets...just kidding. I've got quite a few from the early 1900s---not hitable for the most. We can go a touch older in this discussion with 'boom years' rackets like the original Graphite Edge, original POG(POG is pre-grommets), Head Arthur Ashe Comp(just hit with one Sunday) and the gold and green aluminum Yonex sticks. Also just picked up a T2000 and T3000 to test my stringing memory.
     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2006
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  28. joe sch

    joe sch Hall of Fame

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    Here is one of the most demanding and pleasurable small head old school graphite rackets ever produced:

    http://www.woodtennis.com/head/headxrc1.jpg

    I consider the head vilas woodie about the same for the wood racket category.
     
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  29. psp2

    psp2 Banned

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    I do have a Golden Ace. Wicked kick serves!!!! I don't have a Red Head. Isn't that one an alu frame?
     
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  30. coachrick

    coachrick Hall of Fame

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    The grommets from the XRC will fit the orig. Graphite Edge, BTW.
     
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  31. netman

    netman Hall of Fame

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    That list brings back memories. I remember the Yonex aluminums were considered very cool back in the day. But they paled in comparison to the Ashe Comp. The Ashe Comp was the Exclaibur all us little tennis rats longed to wield but could never hope to afford on grass cutting money. :)

    -k-
     
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  32. Pushmaster

    Pushmaster Hall of Fame

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    Joe S, looks like the throat of that XRC is cracked, or is it just the pic?
     
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  33. vitasGremembered

    vitasGremembered New User

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    #33
  34. psp2

    psp2 Banned

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    It's the tie for the racquet tag.
     
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  35. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

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    I have an XRC as well. It's a fairly sweet hit.
     
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  36. anirut

    anirut Legend

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    Yes, it's aluminum. The Red Head is officially called Head Professional. Too bad I don't have the accompanying round-headed blue head that came out around the same time.

    I also have a mint Wilson Ultra Graphite. The first one that "Sister Andrea" used in her teen days. This one came out around the same time as the Head XRC.


    I think we should start putting up pictures ... and turn this thread into "The Racket Collectors' Club"


    ....
     
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  37. joe sch

    joe sch Hall of Fame

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    Ok Anirut, here are a few pics of those popular head aluminums with hang tags showing the official names.
    I like the red, blue & brown descriptions :

    http://www.woodtennis.com/head/headmasterproedge1.jpg

    I actually like the original ultra pws and head xrc better than the ultra II since the 2nd version is too powerful for my strokes. Would probably be nice with some poly, if your arm holds up ;)
     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2006
    #37
  38. anirut

    anirut Legend

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    Joe, Thanks for the pics.

    Right, the Head Master and the Alu Edge.

    Am I gettin' old? Enjoying the sights of rackets of my younger days?
     
    #38
  39. tandayu

    tandayu Professional

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    NIce...very nice,

    Please continue post more pictures. I will also post some of my old model frames.
     
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  40. Deuce

    Deuce Banned

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    Only because they're individual grommets....

    The headsize on the Graphite Edge is 81 sq. in., whereas the headsize on the XRC is likely below 70 sq. in.
     
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  41. galain

    galain Hall of Fame

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    Most people know of my Rossignol illness so I've been sitting back and revisiting this thread with a smile on my face each morning. I enclose a couple of pics from my collection (minus the multiples, my F290 and F300 and Prince Mag 90).

    I don't know how I'd survive without some of these.

    http://i17.tinypic.com/2myufwl.jpg

    http://i14.tinypic.com/2mdowmw.jpg
     
    #41
  42. anirut

    anirut Legend

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    Galain ... what a beautiful collection!
     
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  43. _skunk_

    _skunk_ Rookie

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    I'm jealous of your collection, I love Rossignol frames, F200 is still my main.
    F230 i've played a lot as well, would be really nice to hit together with another Rossignol fan.
     
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  44. AAAA

    AAAA Hall of Fame

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    So far I have 4 Fischer frames from the 90s.
     
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  45. netman

    netman Hall of Fame

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    Okay. Since my post on the Vectris 6.000 started this whole thing. here are pictures of it along side my F200.

    [​IMG]

    and a closeup

    [​IMG]

    -k-
     
    #45
  46. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

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    Damn, man, that's a good looking Vilas you got there. Stencilled and everything!

    I am also coveting that Edgewood right now....
     
    #46
  47. coachrick

    coachrick Hall of Fame

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    Indeedy, my reference was to the heavy duty INDIVIDUAL grommets used for both frames--much stronger than most current grommets in use. BTW, Yoneyama(Yonex) had some pretty beefy grommets in the 70s--green or tannish to match the color of the frames.
     
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  48. coachrick

    coachrick Hall of Fame

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    gal, unless you live in Burlington, VT, I can't imagine how you held on to a solid R-40 all these years...most of those delaminated 25 years ago! Quite a collection!!!
     
    #48
  49. galain

    galain Hall of Fame

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    Ha! There's plenty more Rick - they just wouldn't fit on the camera. Vermont is a long way from Melbourne, last time I looked, but supposedly a beautiful part of the world.

    Brere Rabbit! Indeedy - that Vilas has pride of place my friend. When I'm feeling enthused enough to show off to friends, the Vilas is the one I pull out and wave in front of them. How are things mate? Surviving now that Vegemite has been outlawed over there?
     
    #49
  50. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

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    Vegemite outlawed (you're not serious?)? Damn Bush. Oh well, the Promite is still kicking!

    Doing good. I haven't forgotten that I owe you some grits. :) How're things Down Under?
     
    #50

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