Wilson Hits Homerun with Wilson Steam 99S (mini review)

Discussion in 'Racquets' started by drakulie, Oct 16, 2012.

  1. atatu

    atatu Hall of Fame

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    Hey Rabbit. what moron sold you a mint Slazenger ? He should have kept that frame in his collection....
     
  2. g4driver

    g4driver Hall of Fame

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  3. doctor dennis

    doctor dennis Rookie

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    Ditto.

    I've seen them in the Pro Direct catalogue but I dunno where to get a demo from.

    Could you also PM me to please RossK if its not a problem.

    Kind Regards

    DD
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2013
  4. Federerkblade

    Federerkblade Professional

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    mate demos r hard to get in Uk as the main suppliers dont really do em

    your best bet is a local shop. where you based ?

    They are only just hitting the shops
     
  5. drak

    drak Professional

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    mine just arrived, funny it came strung (some Prince syn) and I did not request stringing.

    It weighted 317 grams (11.2 oz) with no vibe dampener and is 3.5 pts HL. I got a hit planned tomorrow at 11:45, I'll report back afer that. I will likely restring before tomorrow with a guy/poly hybrid.

    Measured the grip, it was just a tad bigger than 4 3/8, so pretty much right on specs.
     
  6. doctor dennis

    doctor dennis Rookie

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    Brum.

    I've got my name down at a local shop but they told me back in December they weren't getting them till in February unfortunately.
     
  7. Federerkblade

    Federerkblade Professional

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    wow.. that is late....
     
  8. Federerkblade

    Federerkblade Professional

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    who do you buy off in brum
     
  9. doctor dennis

    doctor dennis Rookie

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    Maurice Robinson's.

    Maybe because when I asked it was December.

    Hopefully they get them sooner than they expect. They got the new APD's over a week early so you never know.
     
  10. Federerkblade

    Federerkblade Professional

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    funny they are i asked them abt speeds and they said they not getting them

    do they give good service
     
  11. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    Pretty much what I found/find with this frame. The SW does not feel as high as it is, nor does the flex feel as high as it is. Frame is comfortable (even with full poly), and swings easy. Very nice balance and enough weight to give it some plow. Maneuvarability is great.

    Honestly, people get so hung up on numbers, it has reached retardo levels already. Just go out and hit the fricking ball. Demo it, and stop whining about weight this, or balance that, and yada, yada, yada.

    The frame is obviously not going to be for everyone because of whatever factors. That said, everyone will get more spin. Period. Regardless of specs.

    and YES, you could flatten out shots if you know how to hit flat shots.

    Drak, make sure to provide your feeback.

    Thanks!
     
  12. Ross K

    Ross K Legend

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    Yes... that all just about sums it up for me... not much more needs to be said.:)
     
  13. Ross K

    Ross K Legend

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    Your profile doesn't enable sending PMs... clue-time... 10S... salted pea.... ? :)
     
  14. doctor dennis

    doctor dennis Rookie

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    Yeah its a good family owned business.

    The website isn't that great though. They have some rackets in the shop that aren't on the site.

    I'm suprised about the speeds. They have the older versions.

    Strange?
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2013
  15. Federerkblade

    Federerkblade Professional

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    They said the graphene pro at 330 grams wasnt something they would stock which surprised me. Anyhow. the steam 99s is pretty cheap in the UK. able to pick one up for £104 pounds
     
  16. doctor dennis

    doctor dennis Rookie

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    I think the heavier rackets don't sell that well there so it is a business decision to not get the more player type rackets in. They do have some player type rackets however.

    I'm guessing RossK has probably PM'd you and I've also seen one of the major shops in the UK that also demo too so I can't wait to get hold of one.

    I'm seriously debating selling both my APD GT's and taking a punt on the 99s.

    Looking at the specs it seems like the same thing with a different string pattern.

    DD
     
  17. doctor dennis

    doctor dennis Rookie

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    Cheers Ross K

    I got it. Lol

    DD
     
  18. Federerkblade

    Federerkblade Professional

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    the only thing that worries me is it a match raquet.

    A drilling fun racquet is really different from a singles confidence inspring racquet but im going to buy one
     
  19. doctor dennis

    doctor dennis Rookie

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    It might be different from what your used to as you use a heavily modified racket.

    If you use a tweener, particularly an APD I don't think it will be a whole bunch different.

    This is how I'm convincing myself to get one. Lol

    Let us know how you get on with it when you get one.

    DD
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2013
  20. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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  21. srvnvly

    srvnvly Professional

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  22. drak

    drak Professional

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    Okay, got her strung, 58X55, Pacific Classic 16 gut and 4G crosses, I'll report back this afternoon
     
  23. jaydubbs15

    jaydubbs15 New User

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    Reminds me of my 80's era Prince graphite oversize, but without the arm-crushing heft. I look forward to a demo. Thanks for the review.

    Jay
     
  24. Federerkblade

    Federerkblade Professional

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    fantastic and great set up

    if you have pics even better
     
  25. Buford T Justice

    Buford T Justice Semi-Pro

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    I have to agree all the previous reports on this racquet. It is a wicked spin machine. Mine is strung with Lux 4g 16 at 59.

    I will admit when I first picked it up and hit a few balls, my first impression was "this thing feels like a toy" as I was used to swinging a heavy old Wilson Ceramic 95 (from the 1980's), but which I really like. (Except that after 30 minutes of swinging it.....arm fitness becomes a problem).

    In any case.....

    Granted, I dont have access to all the fancy doppler machines checking ball rpm, exit velocity, etcto verify Wilson performace claims.....but I can say for sure that after hitting with it today for about 90 minutes (few hundred balls with my hitting partner), I hit a grand total of 5 balls long (3 BH and 2 FH)! Ridiculous! The ball flight is notably different and balls can clear the net by what seems like 4-5 feet and still land in. Full big ripping cuts no matter how hard and they still seem to magically stay in. Its fantastic. I honestly starting feeling like I was a better player than I really am after about 15 minutes with it :)

    I do wonder though if one isnt careful with thing, they could cough up alot of short balls......

    The achilles heel (at least for me) was volleying. Compared to my old heavy Wilson (which you can pretty much just stick in the general vicinity of the ball to volley and it will plow through), this racquet seems to require a much stiffer wrist and cleaner strike. But, otherwise, this racquet rocks. I am definitely going to order another one from TW. Its just too much fun to ball strike with this thing.
     
  26. shogun90

    shogun90 Rookie

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    It's interesting that according to the TWU Tennis Shot Trajectory, the net clearance isn't very different from the regular Steam 99 or 100 and the Pure Drive.
     
  27. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    I tried it, and you are right.

    I suspect the calculation model does not take this open string pattern into account, yet.

    Let me ask TWU prof
     
  28. drak

    drak Professional

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    90-minute hit review

    surprisingly soft feeling with the gut/poly hybrid. Excellent spin, the more I relaxed and did not muscle the forehand the better results I had. Interesting compared to what I expected - my one-handed backhand was the easier and more improved stroke to hit. I could just go thru and over very easily and produce way more top than usual. FH got better as I learned not to overswing and just relax, I tend to tighten up and muscle it, with this frame the more relaxed and smooth a swing I used the better the result.

    Sweetspot seemed huge and no hotspots, very consistent hit and lots of control, and it's noteworthy to realize I play at 3700ft, indoors and dry air. Off center hits were not jarring.

    I have the exact same stringing setup in my Becker NYC and that racket felt harsh compared to the 99S. Note that there is not a lot of feedback, so some may not like that from this frame. The feel is weird/different, not in a bad way though. It's not harsh nor is it pillowly, just sorta "there"and I do like the way the balls come off the strings.

    My hitting partner did notice the more spin and higher trajectory.

    Volleys were fine, no adjustment there, I did not hit serves.

    Funny I did not have the problem initially where the balls were going into the net or really short, maybe I knew this might happen and subconciously adjusted.

    I had no issues with hitting flatter balls, they ripped. Racket was stable.


    All in all I liked it, definitely want a bunch more hits with it. Biggest surprise again was OHBH, if felt great. FH was at least on par with my normal FH and when I relaxed and smoothed it out the results were very good.

    I am a 4.5 player,, 57 yrs young no extreme grips, SW FH and normal knuckle on top OHBH.

    Drak
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2013
  29. Federerkblade

    Federerkblade Professional

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    great review what gauge was the 4g crosses
     
  30. drak

    drak Professional

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    I used 16 gauge (1.30) in the pacific gut classic mains and 4G crosses. I'm probably an average string wearer, I noticed almost no wear from today's hit, I really like this combo.
     
  31. g4driver

    g4driver Hall of Fame

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    Jack, it was the store demo strung by a new stringer who is a also new player.

    It wasn't Excel, but NRG2, but it was still a multi and a bad choice. I had to play 20 mins after picking up the frame and knew I would restring it before I hit with it. I called the store owner and told him it was horrible and that I had already restrung it. I string frames in his store when they are short staffed and told him this frame could only be strung full poly as a demo. (They aren't stringing a demo with gut/poly for obvious reasons.)

    My arm can't take full poly, and this frame is stiffer than my Pro Opens, so my 99S frames have Tonic and Yonex Poly Pro Tour.

    I want the softest polys I can find, so will be experimenting with 15L Tonic and various polys.
     
  32. atatu

    atatu Hall of Fame

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  33. nickarnold2000

    nickarnold2000 Hall of Fame

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  34. tlm

    tlm Legend

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    I had my first hit with the 99s tonight, I was not that impressed with it. It has a nice feel seems comfy, swings easy and some good spin but did not think it was a spin monster.

    The control was so so not that great, when i hit approach shots it was not bad. But it was easy to go long when just rallying. But when I came in and ripped a short ball it did pretty well. The slice was good, but again it could float long pretty easily.

    The serve seemed the best thing for me with this stick, very good spin and power on the serve. But as far as ground strokes I can get just as much spin out of my prince rebel. I play with western grip and use a lot of top spin, but I did not see this incredible spin that some reported.

    But this demo came with junk TNT in it which I would never use, so the string did not compliment the racket. I used a vortex a few years back and that racket gave much more spin than the steam does.
     
  35. Ross K

    Ross K Legend

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    Really interesting reading as I've earmarked Pacific Gut/4G to check out for myself. How long are you expecting it to last before it's restring time?
     
  36. drak

    drak Professional

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    good question, note that I play 8-9 months of the yr indoors so strings always last a lot longer vs outdoors. I'm guessing I'll get at least 10 hrs and maybe quite a bit more, I'll keep a record, but I won't be playing that much the next few weeks. If the gut looks good I may restring the 4G crosses after 10-12 hrs. I have never used 4G before so the playabiliy factor will be interesting to judge.

    I have some Tonic 15L to try as well, may do that the next stringing and then I can compare the longevity.
     
  37. wmilas

    wmilas Rookie

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    So here is my review.

    I'm a 40 yo. 4.0 player that took the game up 3 years ago after not playing for 15 years. I switched from a semi eastern to a western grip when I took the game back up. I'm lucky enough to be able to hit with a 5.5 teaching pro twice a week. I did this last night for an hour of hard rallies.

    Old sticks are Yonex RDiS 100 midplus (98 inch head)

    Old and new were both strung W/ Strung Pacific NG/MSV CoFocus (54/48) on an electronic machine.

    Feel: I'll start here because feel maters to me. I was taught in an era were there was more full court game and you needed to have some feel. I don't like dampeners at all as I really like the feedback from every vibration I can get. The 99s was a bit more "damp" than the Yonex but much more lively than say a ProK racquet. It felt solid but did not impart as much feel as I like. Overall it was still acceptable to me.

    Forehand: Not what I expected. At all. I have a fairly fast swing speed. You need it with this racquet. You also need very good footwork. You can not cheat with this stick AT ALL. When I'm pressed back or late I have a tendency to exaggerate the brush up the back to give myself a loopier ball and more time to recover. Every time I tried it with this racquet I put the ball into the back tarp. Every time. The ball must be driven forward off your front foot with fast trunk rotation. If you do so THEN the ball naturally rotates off and penetrates deep and kicks up. Every time I tried to "help" it it was an utter disaster. I had thought it would help me exaggerate my spin semi-lob type stroke. It does not. At all. Key is good footwork so you can be in the right place to drive through.

    Because of this I did not notice ANY more clearance height than my "normal" strokes. In fact I'd guess I averaged less. There was still plenty of clearance, its just that I could not "add" any more if I tried.

    At first I thought there was no more speed on the FH side till about 20 minutes in when I realized my partner was framing more than normal and throwing up a lot of defensive type wrist flicks back to my baseline. I stopped and talked to him and he said the ball was penetrating much more deeply than normal for me and the rotations were up. He also said the ball was moving faster. My ball normally has a tendency to kick up and sit if I get lazy. This ball did not kick up and sit. It kicked up and OUT. I found if I concentrated and tried for the outside a bit I could actually kick it sideways. I normally only can do that on a mishit or if I get really lucky with my timing.

    I think the speed increase was because I was forced to drive through the ball to keep it in court.

    The higher swingweight was noticeable after 60 minutes due to exertion (or maybe cause I was not cheating at all) but did not seem to effect my timing. I did not feel late from it at all.

    I'm not sure I'm good enough to use this stick correctly forehand side. If I stick with it I'll have to work hard to utilize it.

    Back Hand. I have a western one handed backhand. Amazingly this is where the stick shined. I did not expect this at all. The added swing weight was very noticeable here in a good way and the stiff frame kept the head very stable. I take my BH's as early (out in front of me) as I can. This allowed me to put some crazy spin on it. My BH's never get as loopy as my FH's. I think because of that this stick shined as I immediately started plowing through the backhands imparting nasty spin. Most noticeable were low balls that normally I struggle to lift and roll back. This thing felt like a slingshot letting me almost effortlessly grab and spin a low ball back. Best 1h BH stick I've ever hit with. 1 Handed slices were deep and biting. I did notice that if I did not complete the push out or if I chopped down the ball became erratic. Still the slices were good.

    Volley: The solid firm frame made volleys enjoyable. Very little head rotation. I did notice you needed to really push through and not get lazy other wise the ball would dive down. As I said in the feel section I would like a little more, but the solidness of the head really makes up for that. I can't say I like my RDiS any more than the 99s. I'd put the edge slightly to the 99s. I did not notice any more backspin than usual on the volleys. Was just solid over all.

    Dropshots: Mine suck. Period. I'll skip this section cause I have the touch of an elephant when it comes to drop shots. I did try a few and they spun out of control. I'm sure its me though :)

    Lobs: Backspin lobs tended to carry if pushed with the arm instead of the shoulder. I did notice more ball rotation with the 99s. I did not try a lot of them but I would have to re-dial in my lobs. Top spin lobs were a disaster. As stated in the FH section I'll have to re-learn to hit them if I use this stick. I'm sure its my exaggerated swing path. I'll have to change the motion and/or the speed.

    Serves: I'm not the best reviewer for this section. My serves are currently the reason I'm not progressing in my game as much as I'd like. I can hit a flat, slice, and kick. My accuracy on all three is not what I would like it to be.

    That being said I did notice more pop on my flat serve. I did not notice any more spin on my slice. I did notice more jump on my kick but as I'm still working hard on firming that serve up I could not get the extra "kick" every time. I will say the extra swing weight and solid feel made for a pleasing contact. The extra weight was a detriment to the snap of the pronation as I felt that took more effort. I'd give the edge to neither stick but I'm sure that has mostly to do with my skill level and not the stick itself.

    So in summary the stick is great on the 1H BH side. Its nice on the others assuming your form is up to snuff.

    Will I be switching? No idea. I need another 10 hours on the stick at least before I can decide that. I have not ruled it out though. The back hands were just SO GOOD.
     
  38. drak

    drak Professional

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    Interesting that we had the same very good experience on the OHBH, I agree with everyting you stated on it. I likely have a flatter FH than you as I use a SW and it's more easten oriented than western. It wasn't a huge adjustment and when I relaxed as opposed to tryin to muscle it I did much better, so the FH for "might" actually be a positive adjustment - time will tell.
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2013
  39. wmilas

    wmilas Rookie

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    One thing i forgot to mention. The sweetspot on the 99s is slightly smaller than the Yonex but that makes sense because of the yonex's frame. It still was a fairly large sweetspot compared to the Bab's I've demoed.
     
  40. doctor dennis

    doctor dennis Rookie

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    Hi

    What's babolats did you try?

    Could you give a brief comparison if possible?

    Kind regards

    DD
     
  41. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

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    Well, two of the 5.0 group I sub in dropped by this afternoon. They asked if I could turn their new frames around today. I said, "Why, of course".

    They gave me 4 new Wilson 99S racquets to string. One of them told me it was the best racquet he'd ever hit with and he didn't want me to hit with it. The other, a former D1 player, smiled and began to tell me that it was the only frame he'd ever seen where full poly moved and stayed that way.

    He went on to say that it plays very solid and soft. He said the spin was marginally better than he's used to, but...he doesn't miss with it.

    Both went on to say that the first ball you hit goes long and then you mysteriously, unconsciously dial it in. He told me I could hit with his frame tomorrow.

    I called the pro shop. They have already sold out of 2's. I told my buddy up there to get me two <sigh>. Looks like my stay with the Warrior was about 3 months <ugh> (please nobody tell my wife>.

    I strung the four up, all poly for both and both at 58.5/55.5. The first guy opted for ALU and the second MSV Focus Hex 17L. I get to hit with the MSV frame. I should note that both wanted 4G but I only have one set and i'm kinda saving it for me.
     
  42. klementine

    klementine Hall of Fame

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    Well, then that does it.

    I usually like 18x20 patterns, soft flex and higher static weight but I gotta get a demo of this.
     
  43. couch

    couch Hall of Fame

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    Hit with mine three times this week. One singles match (6-0, 6-2), one doubles match (6-1, 6-3), and a 1 1/2 hour hitting session today.

    Really starting to get dialed in with this racquet. Getting to a point where I can hit out and trust what the racquet is going to do. Groundstrokes with this thing are just a breeze. I hit a bending passing shot down the line in my singles match and you could see the ball kick to the outside there was so much spin on it. Never seen anything like it. Still getting adjusted to the higher swing weight but I think over time it will be a good thing because this thing hits deep, heavy balls compared to my old stick.

    I have three of them now and am going to experiment with strings. My favorite so far is 4G in 16 gauge at 58lbs. I have one strung with 4G 15g mains and 16g crosses at 58lbs and didn't like it as much. I am going to stick with the 16g for now and see what kind of durability I get. The first time I hit with the 16g I only got like 3-4 hours so that made me very nervous since I only had one racquet. The current set of 16g has lasted me these three sessions but is getting close to breaking so maybe it will last a little longer than I think.

    I'm going to try 15L Black Code next and see how that turns out. Has anyone found a nice 16g poly that seems durable and holds tension well enough for this racquet other than 4G? 4G seems to hold tension really well for a poly but seems a little low-powered at the same time.
     
  44. klementine

    klementine Hall of Fame

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    ^Yonex Poly Tour HS 16g is a great choice.

    While I haven't tried the 99s, I'll vouch for this one. A bit more power than 4g (still under powered), doesn't hold tension as good (but is more than decent) and is one heck of a string.

    The regular Poly Tour Pro is great too. Softer and settles in nicely.
     
  45. drak

    drak Professional

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    I got mine Thursday and had only one hit, I strung it with pacific Classic at 58 and 4G coosses at 55, both 1.30 gauge, I thought it played great with excellent spin.
     
  46. klementine

    klementine Hall of Fame

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    Yonex Poly Tour HS and Poly Tour Pro

    I actually had some guy, that I sold a racquet to, send me an email to ask me what kind of poly I had in the racquet.

    He absolutely loved it and that string bed had more than 8 hours of play when I shipped it out, for the Poly Tour Pro.

    So I know it's not just me. ;)
     
  47. drak

    drak Professional

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    LOL Rabbit, we often have gravitated to the same rackets at times over the past decade. I think you will like this frame, the gut hybrid plays great, curious how U will like it (I loved it) for a OHBH which I believe you use.
     
  48. PED

    PED Legend

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    16g Tour bite has excellent durability and great spin.
     
  49. couch

    couch Hall of Fame

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    I've tried Poly Tour Pro but not the Tour HS. The Tour Pro felt almost too springy and/or powerful. Sounds like the HS is a little less powerful and more crisp. I'll have to give it a try. Thanks.
     
  50. couch

    couch Hall of Fame

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    I really worry about the durability of gut mains. I will probably try it at some point but the price point and fear of durability scares me a bit.
     

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