Wilson Blade 98s 18x16

Discussion in 'Racquets' started by Totoro, Jul 10, 2013.

  1. robdotcom

    robdotcom New User

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    I'd say it swung lighter, and maybe with less power. But I'm going to swing the same speed no matter what the weight is (within reason), so lighter racquets never feel as powerful to me.
     
    #51
  2. barry

    barry Hall of Fame

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    Did the Rep mention any release dates? Hopefully before the end of the year. Sounds like the perfect stick.
     
    #52
  3. bertrevert

    bertrevert Hall of Fame

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    That you immediately aim to use this new frame means it must offer you noticeably new and plainly useful characteristics.

    On serve was it better than your 16x19?

    On groundstrokes did it have enough plow-thru and not leave sitters, er, sitting up?

    Since it's low static weight you have indeed room to play around with adding lead, what will you try out...?


    Glad to hear the swingweight is lower than the Steam and the thinner beam is adding good ol' fashioned feel right back in.
     
    #53
  4. robdotcom

    robdotcom New User

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    Sometime in September. I believe the 15th was mentioned.


    It felt a lot like my current Blade, but with more spin. I really didn't hit that many serves with it though - we were just rallying, and swapping each fram back and forth to figure out which strings we liked best.

    I would have liked more. I never get bothered by a frame being too light though - I can fix that easily.


    Every racquet I have played with over the last 10 years (there have only been 3) has identical specs after I modify it: weight=354gm, balance=320mm, swingweight=325 kg/cm^2. I know someone will say 325 swingweight is impossible, since the Blade is listed on TW as having a swingweight of around 330 - I found four almost identical frames from our first batch that were 322-323 gm and 318-319 kg/cm^2. Those four became my frames.


    I didn't check with my micrometer (I will next time they're in my hands), but I believe the 98S has the same beam as the current 98's. It looked a little thinner to me, but I believe it was the matte finish playing tricks on my eyes.
     
    #54
  5. zaskar1

    zaskar1 New User

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    blade 98s

    this open string pattern racquet sounds interesting, but personally i need more control instead of more power.

    still trying to get use to the blx blade 98 18x20 that i switched to last month
    after being a 25yr prince guy.

    probably at our club, these will be showing up soon, so, i will give them a demo.

    if i could naturally hit more spin, i think i would

    z
     
    #55
  6. bertrevert

    bertrevert Hall of Fame

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    Good signs therefore - they've added the drill pattern FX but it hasn't distorted what the DNA of the racq underneath. If you want more spin then you get this one but it ain't going to diverge too much from what you might expect from a normal, albeit lighter, Blade.


    I thought the blx Blade was a very heavy piece of hardware indeed and I've seen more of the recent Blade than those. This spin one is 10.4 and represents a good platform for adding lead.



    Ugh to go thinner on the beams with all this additional spin seems counter-intuitive - I mean, if so, why do it - the Blades already are thinnish on that score. They'd want this frame not to be de-powered with all that additional spin.

    So, btw, this big generous open spinny weave gave no additional power?

    (Or strung @ 60 it was hard to tell?)
     
    #56
  7. bigdaddy

    bigdaddy Rookie

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    Love my blx blades. Not sure a lighter blade is the answer. Didn't like the new blx blades with amplifeel.
     
    #57
  8. robdotcom

    robdotcom New User

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    Being strung at 60 plus being lighter - more than one factor reducing the power.
     
    #58
  9. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

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    Cool stuff. What is the ball trajectory like? I notice using my Tec 315 that I hit more low to high now. With my old Blades it was more through the ball or else the ball would hit the net.
     
    #59
  10. SmilinBob

    SmilinBob Rookie

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    I say this nicely but selfishly...Son of a b$#%@.

    Just when I was starting to get tuned in w/ the Graphene Speed MP and the V98 Team...
     
    #60
  11. bigdaddy

    bigdaddy Rookie

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    I would like to buy some more of the blx blades before they sell them all but I may wait to see how this new one hits. How does it compare to the blx blade without amplifeel.
     
    #61
  12. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    Any idea on the swingweight? I would love something around 320.
     
    #62
  13. morandi

    morandi Rookie

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    Gosh another freakin' racquet I have to try out! I hate being a gearhead sometimes!
    Just when I am fully grooving with the Blade 18/20s too. Winning with them and playing really well. Curses! :)
     
    #63
  14. zaskar1

    zaskar1 New User

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    too many options

    bd

    i am with you
    i have 3 blx blade 98 18x20s, trying to get use to them
    guess i will have to demo this one to see

    z
     
    #64
  15. robdotcom

    robdotcom New User

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    I should be have one in my hands again this week - possibly for quite a few days. I promise to make every possible measurement.:)

    I don't have the feel to guess on a number. I just know it was less than my current 98 16x19. If I did have to guess, I'd say around 315.
     
    #65
  16. bigdaddy

    bigdaddy Rookie

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    I'm hoping for 325 to 330 for some power.
     
    #66
  17. robdotcom

    robdotcom New User

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    I got my hands on one for this week, and I took a few measurements:

    Beam thickness is a very consistent 21mm throughout.
    Overall weight = 311g. Balance = 342mm. Swingweight = 318 kg/cm^2
     
    #67
  18. srvnvly

    srvnvly Professional

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    How is the power compared to the current Blades, and the Black/Gold Blade, if known?
     
    #68
  19. robdotcom

    robdotcom New User

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    I'll need some more court time to answer that. Right now, I have customized it to my specs (weight, balance, swingweight), but it is still strung tighter than I would have liked. I'm not restringing it though until I hit some more with extra weight I've added. The grip is also not my size, and I can't go shaving down a racquet that doesn't belong to me.
     
    #69
  20. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    The 18/16 feels *really* comfortable. Just very nice comfortable feeling frame. Anyone who has hit the the steam 99s and enjoys the spin it offers, but wants more of a classic feel, and frame where the strings last longer will surely want to check out this frame.
     
    #70
  21. Ramon

    Ramon Hall of Fame

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    I'm excited about this one (the Blade 98S). The specs are just right. Any word on when it will be available?
     
    #71
  22. robdotcom

    robdotcom New User

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    Agreed. I'm really expecting this to be the number one racquet of the year. I played my first match with it tonight, and felt completely comfortable with it from every place on the court. It has an incredible combination of power, control, and spin, all with the feel of a classic players frame. It really feels like the next generation of player's sticks.

    September 15th.
     
    #72
  23. robdotcom

    robdotcom New User

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    Just to give an idea of the density of the string pattern:

    The 12 center mains are in almost exactly the same location as on the 16x19 model, so it doesn't really start to get more dense until the 14th main. The last main is also further from the center on the 18x16. So even though the 98S has 18 mains, I'd say the density of the mains is more comparable to the 16x19 model.

    The top and bottom crosses on the 18x16 are closer to the frame than on the 16x19, so the crosses are spread out over a larger area - even it had the same number of crosses, it would still be less dense.

    When I restring this, I'm going to treat it more like the 16x19 with 3 fewer crosses, instead of the 18x20 with 4 fewer crosses.
     
    #73
  24. Devilito

    Devilito Hall of Fame

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    wonder why they even bothered making it 18x16 instead of 16x16
     
    #74
  25. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    could you possibly post a picture of the center drill pattern of both racquets?
    It's sounds like the spacing in the center of both the 16x19 and the 18x16 and very similar, which doesn't make a lot of sense? They basically just took a few of the crosses and switched them to the mains.
     
    #75
  26. robdotcom

    robdotcom New User

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    Perception, I guess. The 16x15 Steam didn't exactly appeal to the traditionalists, and that seems to be who they're trying to win over with this one.

    As far as a picture, I'll work on it. Like I said though, the 12 center mains are in almost exactly the same location as on the 16x19 - I say "almost exactly" because it could be off by a fraction of a mm, but they look exactly the same to me. The 13th/14th mains are a little closer to the center, and the same for the 15th/16th. The 17th/18th are midway between the frame and the 15th/16th.
     
    #76
  27. Devilito

    Devilito Hall of Fame

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    #77
  28. bigdaddy

    bigdaddy Rookie

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    Well lighter swing weight. There goes the power
     
    #78
  29. hersito

    hersito Rookie

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    Its too light in stock for me just like the 16/19, mhhh but would love to try both, playing with a 18x20 now and would love a tad more spin but with the same or more plow through.
     
    #79
  30. Ramon

    Ramon Hall of Fame

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    It does seem a bit light. Maybe I should be looking at the Prince Rebel ESP?
     
    #80
  31. jonestim

    jonestim Professional

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    According to the specs on the throat they knocked the SW down on that as well. Listed unstrung as 285. A shop in Italy RDCd it and it came back as an actual 295, which is about what the old one was. Not sure if 295 is more accurate or just bad QC.
     
    #81
  32. cork_screw

    cork_screw Hall of Fame

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    That's not true. Fewer crosses cause less friction. The number of mains is less crucial in terms of contact friction than the number of crosses. I reckon you would get more spin from this than a 16x19, even though that string pattern is considered an open pattern.
     
    #82
  33. cork_screw

    cork_screw Hall of Fame

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    It's not a successor, it's part experiment, part different option. Wilson isn't bound to 16x15 experimentations.
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2013
    #83
  34. Ramon

    Ramon Hall of Fame

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    That sucks. I guess that means I'll need to get out the heavy grips and lead tape. I would have liked something with weight and balance closer to the Six-One 95 or the Rebel 95.
     
    #84
  35. Devilito

    Devilito Hall of Fame

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    why? it's perfect. Add a leather grip and some weight where you want it. It's perfect. Way easier to add weight than it is to take it away. Especially if you have a sluggish swingweight
     
    #85
  36. robdotcom

    robdotcom New User

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    I'll never rule out a frame due to lack of weight - in fact, I look for frames that are slightly lighter than I actually want, so I can make it exactly what I want.
     
    #86
  37. Devilito

    Devilito Hall of Fame

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    had Six One Tours off by more than 1/2oz before. Wilsons quality control is legendarily poor. When I buy Wilsons I usually take a scale to the store. Looks stupid but it's just that bad
     
    #87
  38. bigdaddy

    bigdaddy Rookie

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    Hard for me to a heavy serve with a light racquet. But if I can the ball moving more off the ground maybe i will get more miss hits. Want to buy some blx blades but guess I can wait until sept.
     
    #88
  39. bigdaddy

    bigdaddy Rookie

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    Any updates on how this racquet is playing?
     
    #89
  40. robdotcom

    robdotcom New User

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    I'm still loving the one I'm using - it's going to be very hard to give it back next week.

    I ended up stringing it about 3 pounds tighter than I would with the 16x19, and also not dropping the tension on the poly crosses (I use gut mains).

    I still feel the same as I did when I first tried it - it has the control and feel of a player's frame, with the added spin of the other "Spin Effect" frames.
     
    #90
  41. DANMAN

    DANMAN Professional

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    This is the comparison I'm looking for. How do the blade s and the 16x19 compare in terms of power and spin. The string bed of the steam s feels really soft. I would imagine the Blade S with a few more strings isn't quite as soft feeling as the steam but the frame itself I less stiff. I had just decided on the 16x19 blade and then heard about the S.
     
    #91
  42. robdotcom

    robdotcom New User

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    I'd say it's pretty much as you described: the string bed is not as soft as the Steam, and the frame is not as stiff.

    Compared to the 16x19:

    It seems to have more power and definitely more spin (I have my sample weighted identically, so the only difference is the string bed and any stiffness difference).
    I still feel like maybe I should go slightly tighter on the strings - it only has 1 less string than the 16x19, but it is quite a bit less dense, particularly in the center.
    It's hard to tell, for me at least, if the frame is the same stiffness.

    I'm also not liking the frame as much as I would if it were mine - the grip is a 3/8 (I use a 1/4), and I do not like the large Blade butt-caps (normally I would use my own butt-cap, but this isn't my racquet and I'm not going to tear it apart). I'm very picky about my racquet handles - to the point that I have customized butt-caps that I use on all my frames - so considering how much I dislike the handle on this racquet, I'm loving it nonetheless.
     
    #92
  43. bigdaddy

    bigdaddy Rookie

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    I'm glad to hear the 98s has more power than the 16/19 and more spin. Looking forward to giving it a try.
     
    #93
  44. zaskar1

    zaskar1 New User

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    blade 98s

     
    #94
  45. bigdaddy

    bigdaddy Rookie

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    Just seems a bit light. More spin but power might be less.
     
    #95
  46. jonestim

    jonestim Professional

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    Specs on the throat (285) are unstrung. 295 was also unstrung. 318 would be strung
     
    #96
  47. bigdaddy

    bigdaddy Rookie

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    Any more updates.
     
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  48. robdotcom

    robdotcom New User

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    I had to give the racquet back after about a week - thanks to an awesome sales rep who let me hold on to it for so long.

    I never stopped loving the frame, and everyone who hit with it during the time I had it loved it as well. It's just such a good combination of power, feel, control, and spin.
     
    #98
  49. finnster

    finnster New User

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    Could you please provide a picture of the racket strung?
     
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  50. bigdaddy

    bigdaddy Rookie

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    Can't wait to getting hands on one. What was the swing weight approximately?
     

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