Upgrading from an original Pro Staff

Discussion in 'Racquets' started by Bobby Jr, Jul 22, 2010.

  1. Bobby Jr

    Bobby Jr Legend

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    I've finally come to the time when I feel the need to upgrade from my original Pro Staffs and wondered if anyone could offer some experience-based advice.

    I'm down to 2 well-used Pro Staffs (both St Vincent models which I never even knew about till reading here and checking the code on them) and I can't be bothered finding new gommets etc (I live down-under). I've used them since about 1993 but stopped playing for a decade until last year. I have lead tape on them at 3/9 o'clock, strung at about 61-2lbs and almost any other racquet I pick up feels too light and also tinny when I hit the ball - until I tried a friend's K-Factor a while back which actually felt OK.

    Has anyone here moved from the original PS to the BLX Six.One 95 or BLX Six.One Tour and can offer any advice?

    Is the Tour a better option for me because it's closer to the orig or would the 95 be similar-enough feel also? I've been to a couple of tennis clubs but the people in the pro shops but not really getting knowledgeable from people I speak to ha ha.

    (I'm 35 yrs, biggish s/w forehand, one-handed backhand, all-courter and played tournaments for years if that makes any difference)
     
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  2. roundiesee

    roundiesee Hall of Fame

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    AFAIK the KPS 88 appears to be the closest to the PS 85, but since you were using the St Vincent's, the feel may be very difficult to duplicate as none of the modern iterations of the Pro Staff remotely come close to the unique St Vincent's feel. If you are able to demo, that would be the best option. Otherwise you may perhaps seek some advice from some Wilson experts on these boards (eg Jolly Roger, Bounce Hit, Drakulie, Breakpoint, etc)
     
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  3. stevewcosta

    stevewcosta Professional

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    Nothing is like the 6.0 85s. Maybe try the new Donnays. PS88 is the other end of the spectrum - terrible feel and 10X harder to swing.
     
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  4. gbc08

    gbc08 New User

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    Loved my Prostaff 6.0 85's. Never able to really find a racquet that could replace it. Just finally made the transition to a Pro Kennex Redondo 93. Actually like it better than the Prostaff.
     
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  5. geese_com

    geese_com Semi-Pro

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    I enjoy a leaded up AG100. Close enough to a PS85 for me.
     
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  6. rrova

    rrova New User

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    I grew up on the PS85 and there really is nothing like it, as the other posters already mentioned. Even the current 90 sq in racquets from Wilson, although great racquets in their own right, are not all that similar to the PS85.

    Like gbc08 I've decided to simply move on from the PS85, and I've settled on the Prestige MP. Although while I trying out a multitude of racquets, the racquet that in my opinion came closest to the 85 was the KBlade Tour. Be sure to give this one a try if you want something similar to the 85.
     
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  7. smack_myster

    smack_myster New User

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    i feel your pain...i played with ps85 for over 15 years before making the jump and it wasn't easy. NOTHING feels like that racket. i spent a couple years demoing probably close to 50 rackets until i found the answer.

    for over 2 years now i have been playing with a Volkl DNX9 and i can't say enough about it. it is a worthy successor to my beloved ps85. stiff feel, nice balance and just has that great feel which not many rackets have...it "feels" like a ps85.

    sure maybe the specs are not the same...how can they be...the dnx9 is a 98 incher...nevertheless, i'm telling you the racket is awesome and i recommend you give it a try. in fact...i've hit with it's successor, the PB9 and it felt great too...hard to compare to dnx9 since it was a demo with stringing very unlike what i do with my dnx9 but it did have a good feel and gets fantastic reviews.

    oh....and the dnx9 has been much easier on the arm than the ps85...nuff said!!

    good luck

    by the way...i sold my 3 old ps85 rackets on **** and got almost $600...and they were not st. vincents...you should do quite well on resale!!
     
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  8. sargeinaz

    sargeinaz Hall of Fame

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    My friend moved from a PS85 to the Yonex RDS001 mid. I know others on the board have done the same. Check it out, its on sale now too on TW.
     
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  9. Bobby Jr

    Bobby Jr Legend

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    Thanks kindly for the reply (everyone else too). I figured it'd not be as easy as picking up the next model.

    I wonder if the KPS 88 could be weighted to bring it in line with the original PS. Can you still buy them easily (I'm in Aussie also mind you)? Would a BLX Six.One Tour be somewhere nearby in the list of likely candidates?

    I am actually not averse to trying a 95 size head but, like others here, grew up with the PS and would prefer to be able to play roughly the same. I'm getting older but have never needed any help getting power or with head-speed (hell, mine already weigh 385g with the lead tape I added) but racquets I pick up almost always feel like toys compared :shock:. That is the biggest issue for me.
     
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  10. karophiteblu

    karophiteblu Semi-Pro

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    I would move on to the K90. it is the closest racket there is to the original PS85. At least that is what I read from other threads.
     
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  11. pyrokid

    pyrokid Hall of Fame

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    I've actually heard the K90 was closer to the OG prostaff than the KPS.
     
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  12. Kemitak

    Kemitak Semi-Pro

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    You should definitely try the Pro Staff 88, especially if you add lead to the head of you 85, because the balance will be more similar. I had a tough time switching to the 88 because it's heavier than the 85 in the head. I ended up putting alot of lead on the handle, so the balance is good now, but it weighs about 14 oz.

    I can also recommend the Pro Kennex Redondo Mid. It swings (weight and balance) very much like the PS85, but the vibrations are very different. Actually, I think the Redondo feels better than the Pro Staff when it strikes the ball. I've been playing with it for about a year now, and I've had some success with the switch, but because of the dense string pattern, I haven't been able to generate the same spin I used to get from the PS85, (trouble serving slice out wide, net clearance, etc.) Still, I think the Redondo is one of the best I've ever hit with.

    Now I'm trying the Yonex RDS 001 Mid, and I'm very very happy. I think it plays the most like the PS85. Though it is a little less powerful, it does everything you'd expect from the 85, it even cuts through the air quicker than most, plus it has a bigger sweet spot (I'm now a big believer in the 'square head').

    So as long as you're not afraid to use lead, for $89 a pop, you really ought to try the RDS 001.
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2010
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  13. Ripper014

    Ripper014 Hall of Fame

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    I was a very long time user of the PS85 fully leaded... and there is nothing currently on the market that I have played with that is even close to it.

    I am from the 70's and have a very classic game... with strokes to match... an all-courter like yourself. I currently use a PS Tour 90... and I am happy with it... though it does not have as much feel as the PS85 it is not a bad racket... though it is much more muted. If I was to choose one racket that would best suit my game it would probably be the KPS88, the biggest issue would be the weight for most people, but with my classic strokes... coming from a well weighted PS85, the KPS88 was very comfortable to play with. It is a very clean hitting frame with lots of plow, I only hit with it for a short time... but all my shots were very predictable. Every good shot was rewarded...

    I have also played with both the K90 and BLX90... and find the frames quite muted... I would definitely go with the KPS88... though I hate the paint job.
     
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  14. Bobby Jr

    Bobby Jr Legend

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    Thanks for the insight and experiences guys. I appreciate it.

    @ Ripper014/Kemitak/roundiesee etc - I might give the KPS88 a shot if I can find one here... then the K90 if I'm not feeling the love from the first one.

    One thing. I also worked in a pro shop for over a decade (mainly as the stringer) so find it a little disheartening to go into a pro shops and immediately vibe that 99% of racquets nowdays are not even worth picking up - they look so cheap.

    So.. kudos to the good advice right here!
     
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  15. bad_call

    bad_call Legend

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    suggest trying a few in the Head Prestige line. also used the 85 for a few years, 1HBH, all courter, tourney player but a handful (or more) of years older. :mrgreen:
     
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  16. stevewcosta

    stevewcosta Professional

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    Welcome to the Road to Frustration. I've been searching for a decent racquet for 15 years (trying to replace 6.0 85). In order to prevent my racquet disorder, I recommend you FORGET the 6.0 feel and feedback that great frame provides. Otherwise, you'll be disappointed indefinitely. The newest iterations are not good, esp. the BLX. That thing is like hitting with a pillow. Only racquet I've been excited about is the new Donnay line. We'll see if it's worth the hype. I'll let you know - you have to hear it from a fellow 6.0'er rather than someone coming from junk.
     
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  17. Bobby Jr

    Bobby Jr Legend

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    Well.. some progress. I demo-ed the BLX Six.One 95 and BLX Six.One Tour today and the first one played like a steaming turd.. the second was definitely better but still doesn't feel so solid or have the plow of my PS85. Maybe some weight and a damper might iron that out enough to be acceptable.

    Next up: trying a Yonex RDS001 mid and will try to find a KPS88 as well.
     
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  18. VGP

    VGP Legend

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    Thanks for the update.

    I haven't posted yet, but I've been reading your thread. I love to see people go through this "process" of trying to replace their PS85s.

    I've read many a thread about this over the last five years. A lot of contenders come through the mix.

    Dunlop HM200g or AG100, Head Prestige MP series, Yonex RDS001, Wilson Tour 90 series, Wilson kPS88.....etc. All have been tossed around.

    I too am curious about the new Donnay line like stewcosta said.

    Interestingly, all the frames that are the main contenders fall in the same area of the RSI Racquet Selection Map. Which makes sense.

    This is one of the cases where it really does come down to feel. Both in weight, balance and response. I might also add it depends on what "type" of PS85 that has become your reference frame.

    As we know, the specs of frames (Wilson seems to be the favorite TTW punching bag) vary. If you've got a head light PS85 with medium flex then the Yonex RDS001 or PK Black Ace might be where you'll end up. If you have one that's a little firmer and was more head heavy then you might prefer the kPS88. And, for those who like the whippier ones like the latest Chinese PS85s, the Wilson Tour 90 series is where they end up.....

    Bobby Jr.....I'm interested to see where you fall on the spectrum.

    As for me, I've gone old-school again with the Wilson Graphite Force Midsize.

    I still have my PS85s - of various models - but I found the Graphite Force at a local used sporting goods shop last year for $10 and I liked it right away.

    What started out as a curiosity turned into actual interest in the frame. I'm still in the same boat as far as plastic replacement parts. It's IMPOSSIBLE to find them for the G-Force and I've resorted to cutting up strips of current frames - the individual ones cut from the Dunlop Aerogel 500 fit.

    Maintenance can be a bear, but when you can still get a frame for less than $50 it's not too bad. Not true for the PS85.
     
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  19. meowmix

    meowmix Hall of Fame

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    I see that your biggest problem is of grommets, and not of any need to actually replace the frame. My solution is to use individual grommets (eg. fittex), to replace the grommets and then to slap on some head protector tape instead of the bumper (if there is one). You may have to remove a bit of head to get the specs the same, but this seems to me to be the easiest solution.
     
    #19
  20. Playtimefun

    Playtimefun New User

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    Good luck in the search

    Good luck in the search Bobby. I have been trying to find a replacement for my PS85s for a while now.

    I have not tried the BLX90 yet, but I own Tour 90s, N90s and K90s and while they all have some of the same characteristics of the pro staff lineage... they just dont measure up. I am now playing with a KPS88 but I have cut the bumper guard off and added a little weight to the handle to make it the same balance as an unweighted PS85 and so far it seems to be about the closest that I have found to a PS85. A little more power, but at least it has that "if I do my part - put it on a dime anywhere in the court" feel.

    There are very few racquets that have the touch and feel of the beloved PS85 so you are going to have to settle for a similar racquet. I have not tried one yet, but Vantage (which makes custom tennis racquets) apparently has a racquet that is very similar in feel depending up on the flex that you like. Something that you may consider.
     
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  21. Kevo

    Kevo Hall of Fame

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    I hadn't played with a PS85 in years until I borrowed one from an old high school buddy a couple years ago. It did have great feel, but it was flexy and low powered on the heavy side. The control in that frame was out of this world. I felt like I couldn't hit a ball outside the lines.

    After reading some of the comments on this board about the PS85 I figure there must have been at least 4 distinct versions of this frame with their own feel.

    Anyway, very difficult to match I think, but a lot of the frames that have been mentioned are good recommendations that definitely have attributes of the PS85.

    The K90 is a good one to try, the KPS88, the Prestige, the KBlade Tour are all good ones that I've tried. I like them for different reasons. No one so far has mentioned the Pure Storm Limited though. That's what I ended up with, and I like it more and more all the time. Nothing else I've hit with had the same control and feel to it. I also hit with a 1HBH btw.

    It's definitely a lighter weight frame, but it's control oriented and it makes a nice frame for customizing. I have tried it various ways with differing lead setups, but in the end I just added some silicone to the handle and have removed all lead from the hoop. So it's definitely open for customizing if you want to go that route. I'm going to guess you could get very close if not match the weight and balance of the PSL to your current frame, but I didn't do the math, so don't take my word for it, but it's probably an option.
     
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  22. xFullCourtTenniSx

    xFullCourtTenniSx Hall of Fame

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    There's no such thing as upgrading from a ProStaff 6.0 85... EVERYTHING is a significant downgrade.
     
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  23. KenC

    KenC Professional

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    I think your problem is in the feel of today's polarized racquets. The PS85 is less polarized compared to the BLX90 or the KPS88. Because of polarization they have a higher swingweight and a good bit more power than the PS85 has.

    As others have said, there is nothing available today that plays like the PS85. I think all PS85 users should start seriously pestering Wilson to offer a reissue built to the same specs as the SV ProStaff. Technically the PS85 doesn't fit in very well with today's baseline centric power game and the 2HBH but for the more advanced all-courters there is no better racquet. I would abandon my PSLGTs in a NY second and fill a 12 racquet Wilson bag with them if they ever did do a proper reissue.
     
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  24. Bobby Jr

    Bobby Jr Legend

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    Yeah, I could go that way but actually realised I'm not getting any younger (mid 30s) and maybe a larger sweet-spot would make for more enjoyment overall in the future. I don't have any trouble getting the power I want but that wont always be the case. (BTW, I am already back stringing them at 62 with quite thin strings too - 6 months back playing after a 10 year break)

    Ha ha, yes. No doubt. Maybe I'll end up being more adaptable to different frames but at this stage most feel pretty poor to me. They really feel like kids toys almost. The sound etc..

    Maybe a BLX 6.1 Tour with tons of lead tape on it and string dampener will be the path ha ha.
     
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  25. KenC

    KenC Professional

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    All my favorite hitting buddies play with various ProStaffs but I ended up choosing the PSLGT. It is lower powered and very manueverable like the PS85 but is noticeably more arm friendly. It doesn't have the same pop as the PS85 and doesn't hit a heavy ball like the PS85 or the KPS88, but I can hold my own.

    The PSLGT has its own kind of magic. It has all the control (and maybe even more) of the PS85 but can generate much more spin for some reason, maybe because it is noticeably lighter. It is more forgiving than the PS85 and it's a lot less fatiguing in long matches.
     
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  26. Macro80

    Macro80 Rookie

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    This may just be true.
     
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  27. Kevo

    Kevo Hall of Fame

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    Yep, I love the control. I'm using the original PSL btw. I have noticed that it's not quite as easy to get the power that you can with a K90 for instance, but I get more spin and more variety out it. I'm a bit prone to spraying the ball with something like the K90 or KPS88. The power is still available with the PSL I just try to save it for when I am in position to hit it. And when I am, it always goes in, and against most people it will be a winner.
     
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  28. KenC

    KenC Professional

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    It's funny how if one of my hitting buddies takes one of my racquets in the beginning of a session they say it feels light and underpowered, but after an hour if they pick one up they say how nice it is to swing and how much easier it is to play with.

    But then if I pick up a PS85 in the beginning of a session its hard to pry it from my hand since I like them so much. After an hour its much easier to pry it from my hand since the weight starts to take its toll, so I understand where they are coming from.

    Anyway, I would never suggest the PSL as a replacement for the PS85, but I would say its worth a long demo for those who come from the PS85 but are seeking something less hefty, more arm friendly, and more forgiving. I say long demo because it takes a lot of time to adapt to a racquet like the PSL.
     
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  29. Edberg

    Edberg Banned

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    I ordered the PS 85 (China) from TW a few years ago and wasn't impressed at all. Strung with NXT the racquet was very difficult to play with, was unforgiving, imparted way too much vibration.

    I played the K90 and now the BOLLOX and it is an excellent upgrade. A little more flexible, more spin, more control or less power however you perceive that also a bigger sweet spot. No cons for me at least.

    I can't believe people shell out the cash they do for a 20+ year old Prostaff on **** or wherever. The new Bollox rules. Thanks Wilson.
     
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  30. VGP

    VGP Legend

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    Glad to hear that you enjoy your k90 and BLX90.

    What you say "unforgiving" and "imparted way too much vibration" for the PS85 I would call control-oriented and feel-responsive.

    I hated the BLX90. It was polarized and muted. The feedback was weird. Just my take.

    But we are entitled to our opinions, right?

    I do agree with you on the prices of old PS85s. The good ones are collector's pieces now.
     
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  31. Kemitak

    Kemitak Semi-Pro

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    Funny, because when I'm playing for fun (and not for points or pride), lately I've been using a Wilson Graphite Matrix I bought for about $30 (nearly new). It's so similar to the PS85. The throat is a little narrower and it's a touch more flexy, but it's so close, I have to laugh at people buying and selling PS85s for over $200. There are so many great Wilson racquets from the mid 80's that fly under the radar.
     
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  32. Virtua Tennis

    Virtua Tennis Semi-Pro

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    I played with the prostaff orig all my junior to college years and now being in my 40's I bought the k protour and have not looked back since.

    The 96 in head made my serves and returns a weapon. While the slightly thicker and lighter body gave me more power on my groundstrokes with less effort. At my age and with the slight upgrade to the k protour I'm playing tennis like I did when I was 16.
     
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  33. stevewcosta

    stevewcosta Professional

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    I couldn't agree with you more!!!! BLX 90 is one of the worst frames ever. I have 4 6.0s - I think I have a St. V. with a bumper - it's rock solid with red primer. Didn't Chicagos at one point have red primer (or was they grey or both?). Problem is, the butt cap was swapped out...how else do I confirm?
     
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  34. Macro80

    Macro80 Rookie

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    I really dont think the China model is as bad as you are suggesting, I bought one off **** for a laugh and love hitting with it now and then. The feel is incredible.
     
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  35. VGP

    VGP Legend

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    ^^^^ nice.
     
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  36. goran_ace

    goran_ace Hall of Fame

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    when you decide on a new racket let me know if you want to sell one of your worn out PS85's. I'm not looking for anything in playing condition, I just need an SV to add to my collection and hang on the wall.
     
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  37. plus

    plus Guest

    The kfactor kblade tour comes close concerning feel and crispness, but lacks the stability or plough through. The K90 is the best alternative, only a bit more muted. Tour 90 too clumsy, K88 too and too powerful, and I agree the BLX 90 is not even close, way too 'indirect' feel, couldn't get used to it..

    So K90 with a crisp string!
     
    #37
  38. mutantducky

    mutantducky Semi-Pro

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    it is different but I'm also a ps85 user and I really enjoyed hitting with the Yonex Rdis 100 Mid more so than the Dunlop 100 and K88.
     
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  39. Bobby Jr

    Bobby Jr Legend

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    A small update. I had a lengthy hit with a friend's K90 today which he's got leaded up a little at 3 and 9 o'clock. It wasn't strung tight enough for my liking but even then was a very big improvement over the Six.One Tour for me and, by far, the best I've tried so far. I felt I could play with it and not be conscious of how different it is to a PS85 all the time. That alone is a good sign.

    Maybe a K90 with a bit more lead and strung tighter will be the ticket.

    Re: the KPS88 - I haven't found anywhere that can lend me a demo one yet so will plug along until I get a chance to hit with one.

    No rush...
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2010
    #39
  40. Bobby Jr

    Bobby Jr Legend

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    Update #2: I've given up trying for now and just ordered some new grommets from TW. They'll fit my two Taiwanese frames which I use most often but the St Vincents will need to be custom jobs I think. Maybe the best ticket will be to get some China/Taiwan grommets and make them fit.
     
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  41. morten

    morten Hall of Fame

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    Again we agree.. BLX sucks. :) i enjoy the 4D100 leaded in the handle only, at the moment, time will show if it replaces the ps85..
     
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  42. Bobby Jr

    Bobby Jr Legend

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    Update#??

    I am about 90% ready to take a punt and buy a some KPS88s.

    For anyone who's done the same: will I regret it?

    I never guessed I'd get this precious about a new frame until I demoed what was available and realised nothing plays remotely close (stock at least) to the PS85. I was even talked into trying a couple of Babolat and Head frames and none were doing it for me. Not in the least, they look like toys ha ha. (doesn't seem to bother Nadal tho)
     
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  43. Fed Kennedy

    Fed Kennedy Hall of Fame

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    the 88 is not like the 85 at all. it is a great racquet on its own but most 85 users would probably say it feels like a heavy POS. the fed stick will handle more like the 85.
     
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  44. ATP100

    ATP100 Professional

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    Are your 85's heavily modified or just a little lead tape? I have been using 85's since they came out, kramer woods before than, I just received 2 88's about six weeks ago and after some heavy modifying, they are real real close, if not the same.
     
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  45. Fed Kennedy

    Fed Kennedy Hall of Fame

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    thats sounds pretty awesome atp, how did you mod your 88s?
     
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  46. atomicbluecivic

    atomicbluecivic New User

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    Being a user of a Chicago, St. Vincent Prostaff, Taiwan Prostaff, and China Prostaff, I would say the KPS 88 is most similar to the St. Vincent Prostaff.

    The SV Prostaff had a 'curvy' font. Taiwan used an italicized font. China Prostaffs used a "Times Roman" font. That said, in terms of dimensions, the KPS88 was most similar to the SV Prostaff.

    The China and Taiwan models were thinner and smaller than the SV model. The SVs were actually bigger than the chinese 6.0 85s. The SV was about 19mm thick with a head size of 87-89 sq in. Also, the beam profile from the front/back was more akin to the KPS88, with a thicker appearance.

    After playing with all FOUR interations. I would say the KPS88 played the closest to the SV Prostaff. Of course, the Chicago and SV models are identical (less bumper). The China and Taiwan versions actually feel like whips (very, very HL) compared to the SV model.
     
    #46
  47. Bobby Jr

    Bobby Jr Legend

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2010
    Messages:
    7,335
    Thanks for the comments atomicbluecivic.

    I think there is one small factor in the Taiwanese version - the early ones were very good and very similar to the American made ones. Only the later ones were notably different. I have two early ones (bought in 1993) and they have identical frame thickness as both of my St Vincent frames. They're also basically the same stiffness. The Chinese frame I bought however feels like a completely different racquet no matter how I try to adjust the balance/weight. You're right there - they're more whippy.

    I feel some KPS88s coming up...

    Yes, I've got 3 layers at 3/9 on each frame which spans about 8 strings. Total weight 370gm, 7-8pts head-light.
     
    #47
  48. movdqa

    movdqa Legend

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2006
    Messages:
    8,088
    > I feel some KPS88s coming up...

    You'd best hurry, they're becoming scarce.
     
    #48
  49. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2010
    Messages:
    9,277
    Have you tried the Babolat Pure Storm Ltd. GT? It might be too flexible for some, but, I thought it had as sweet a feel and touch as any graphite frame I've tried. It's the closest thing to a wood frame with a 95sq in head. Just a thought. Here are the specs: http://www.tennis-warehouse.com/Babolat_Pure_Storm_Ltd_GT/descpageRCBAB-BPSLGT.html
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2010
    #49
  50. t135

    t135 Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2009
    Messages:
    780
    Isn't that what Sampras switched to?
     
    #50

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