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

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

  1. morandi

    morandi Rookie

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    I hit with the a demo today with 4g in it and really enjoyed this racquet. I think its just a solid clean feeling racquet. I didn't notice a dramatic difference in spin production between it and my 2013 APD plus, but my strokes were really clean with it, and I felt like I had excellent control over the ball. No sour points with the racquet at all. Its definitely a smoother feeling racquet compared to the APD, which has a battering ram quality about it.
    On serve I was exceptionally consistent. And spin, and racquet head speed is really easy to access. I hit some kick serves in practice that had my draw drop. If I could make them a repeatable affair in match play with this racquet I would switch in a heart beat.
    Again, the thing that impressed me the most with this racquet was how clean my overall game was with it. I would love to try different strings in this racquet and maybe a little lead at 3 and 9.
     
  2. treo

    treo Rookie

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    I demoed the 99s with fresh 4G and did not notice much more spin than usual except for my backhand slice which had more bite and backspin. My friend who also demoed it didn't notice any more spin in my shots. My forehand already has lots of topspin while his is flatter. He said he felt more spin with it and I noticed a bit more on his shots. After an hour and a half of us hitting with it, the strings snapped and were badly notched.

    I highly doubt any Pro will play with the 99s but I can see benefits for the average player.
     
  3. fibonacci888

    fibonacci888 Rookie

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    Any updates on string choices?

    Tomorrow i'll put in the Tour Bite and YPTP. Any ideas on tension? I'm thinking: 52-50?
     
  4. Ross K

    Ross K Legend

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    Personally I rather liked TB @ 53 lbs in 99s.

    I know you tried Cylone in the Steam. What were your ultimate thoughts on how it suits the frame?
     
  5. fibonacci888

    fibonacci888 Rookie

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    In the mains Cyclone and crosses Razorcode

    It was no good because:

    - tension loss too much
    - limited to no snapback
    - Controle loss. Especially on depth

    pro's

    - easy access to power
    - first hour was easy spin
    - bh slice was very, very mean

    I played about three hours and the string is gone. Will not try again.
     
  6. Ross K

    Ross K Legend

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    I see. Thanks. Just rather a fan of Cylone in the Blade, but maybe not best match up for 99s.
     
  7. Fed Kennedy

    Fed Kennedy Hall of Fame

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    Has anyone tried the 4G S super thick string in the 99 S?
     
  8. Nostradamus

    Nostradamus G.O.A.T.

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    Do you guys know if I can take off the Head guard on the Spin 99 or Spin 105 racket but leave the grommets in place ?
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2013
  9. fibonacci888

    fibonacci888 Rookie

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    I don't string myself, but from what i've seen. NO
     
  10. Fed Kennedy

    Fed Kennedy Hall of Fame

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    Just bumping to see if anyone played with the 4Gs poly that I think was designed for the racquet? I ordered a set, should be up and running next week.

    Also...anyone modding the frame? I put a leather grip...I think I would like a tad more weight...
     
  11. fibonacci888

    fibonacci888 Rookie

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    I played with the 4G 1.25. Horrible string! No feel, stiff, underpowered.
     
  12. morandi

    morandi Rookie

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    What has been the general consensus for stringing tension on the 99S? Do you want to go a bit higher, like mid to high 50's? I am a convert after demoing. I have been stringing my APDs between 48-52 with 17g RPM.
    The demo with 16g 4G feels pretty good to me. I'm not sure of the tension.
    Other than the 4G any other poly work well in the 99s?
     
  13. doctor dennis

    doctor dennis Rookie

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    I've settled on 56lbs as my tension and focus hex is my string.
    Lots of polys work well but for me:
    Xcite
    RPM Blast
    ALU rough
    Have been the stand out ones that I've tried. The Wilson Enduro Pro that it came with wasn't terrible either. The tension maintenance was horrendous on it though.
    Lots of others have used or tried hybrids but for me its a no go as they would break too quickly for me.
    I'm sure others will chime in with their experiences.

    DD
     
  14. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

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    I just put the 1.30 in one frame and liked it very much, better than any poly set up so far. I strung it at 49/46. As a test, i put Beast 15 in the other frame at 51/49 and didn't care for it.


    See above, I strung mine on a CP electronic machine at 49/46. I may go down a couple of pounds as well.
     
  15. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

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    you cannot
     
  16. MCN

    MCN Rookie

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    I'm demoing a 99S at the moment. The first one I tried had a multi/poly set up and was obviously well used with the strings not snapping back. It was a bit of a rocket launcher and difficult to control shots as the strings were so loose. I asked for a new one with full poly setup - Wilson Spin Cycle at about 50lbs (I had bad TE and daren't go too high tension-wise). The racquet plays much softer than it's stiffness rating and has a large sweetspot. Some slight elbow twinges after a few sets but nothing too drastic that's putting me off at the moment. Spin is definitely more pronounced and you do need to take a good cut at the ball to get it deep otherwise it can sit up a bit mid court. The swingweight is bearable and it feels quite good and not too sluggish. I quite enjoy doubles with this stick and can whip through the ball quickly and get good angles and topspin. Less so singles as it's just lacking that extra bit of mass for those long heavy penetrating shots that my current Volkl PB10 Mid gives me. It's actually quite stable for volleys which is also good for dubs. I'm considering buying this as I get tired with the PB10 Mid, but will play a few more times before I make up my mind.
     
  17. Ross K

    Ross K Legend

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    Do you mind saying bit more re how Xcite and Hex compare and contrast performance-wise? How long are they lasting you respectively before the next string job? Thanks DD.
     
  18. Jaeger

    Jaeger New User

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    Steam 99S gave me the first arm problems of my life, and I broke (more like "sawed through") strings faster than ever. Yes, I had some nice crazy spin on my groundstrokes, but it was not worth it at all. You'd need to have your own stringing machine and an iron elbow to use the 99S regularly. Wilson should have tried 16 x 17 rather than 15.
     
  19. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

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    I hit for two hours yesterday morning and played doubles for two hours yesterday afternoon. The 99S is a great frame for me. While others seem to like it strung according to Wilson's range, I find it is really nice in the high 40s. I do string my own.

    One other thing to note. If you string your own, undoubtedly you've noticed you're throwing away about 6' of string with every 40' pack. This racquet is built for reels! You can probably cut quite a bit off the cost of stringing by finding a string you like that comes in reels. While Luxilon claims they designed 4GS for the 99S, you notice they didn't put it on a reel!
     
  20. Boricua

    Boricua Hall of Fame

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    I suppose this has been asked, but today March 18th, how do you rank the Steam with the APD 2013? I got harsh vibartions on my elbow that hurt pretty much with the APD. Could I experience them with the 99S if I string with 4g at 47? Also, I dont string myself, so could this racket and string tension loss and constant stringing get real expensive?

    I could stick with the APD with a soft setup (which I dont like alot) or go for a arm friendly racket like the Pro Kennex Q5 295. So, why should I get the Steam if its so "problematic" in terms of severe tension loss in strings?

    And , like Ive said a million times, I cant demo.
     
  21. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

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    :) No problem. I will tell you that a guy I string for came from the APD to the 99S. He continually complained about his arm hurting with the APD, yet he insisted on full poly. Since moving to the 99S, he says his arm no longer hurts and now he complains about the constant stringing.

    I am working with him to find a solution. We're going to back down his tension (from 58) and see if we can't get him more durability than 4 sets. I think we can.

    I own the 99S and quite frankly, I love it. I don't seem to notice the "drastic" drop in tension others refer to. Hopefully, I'll break strings in 4 - 6 hours which is probably about right for a fully poly stringbed.

    Hope this helps.
     
  22. Boricua

    Boricua Hall of Fame

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    If you dont break the 4g, how many playing hours would you get (or got)?
     
  23. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

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    I'd say 10 which is/has been pretty much standard with me, but we'll have to see.
     
  24. doctor dennis

    doctor dennis Rookie

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    Well I think they both lasted up to 8 hours I think. I didn't find a whole bunch of difference between them. I can't remember which I used in a singles match and which I used in doubles though.
    Performance wise the Xcite had slightly more spin and pop but not much more. Comfort wise it was focus hex definitely but neither bother my arm. Focus hex felt softer but not mushy.
    For me Xcite is the better string but when you look at what you pay for both I can't justify the price increase. Focus hex is a good cheap poly that feels premium to me. Xcite is worth the price but not in comparison to focus hex. I'd say that focus hex held tension longer from what I remember. I didn't have to move the strings back as much.
    Sorry I can't provide more detail on them. I cant remeber what i did yesterday. Lol. I'm using 4G now then it'll be back to my reel of focus hex.
    The 4g is nice. I cant really say too much as I've only put 2 hours in. It will be interesting to see how long it lasts and how long its playable.

    DD
     
  25. JGads

    JGads Hall of Fame

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    Has anyone tested and found an ultimate verdict between the steam 99s and the non-S Steam 99? Every time I pick a 99S demo up (yesterday it was a friend's), I play great with it in set play, everything comes easy, but the string situation is a nightmare with the movement and early breakage. Is the 99 really the same frame with less spin and more durability? (Ie feel and ease of swing the same), or does it feel and play drastically different?
     
  26. Ross K

    Ross K Legend

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    Thanks DD.

    Despite opting for the Blade when I was checking both out a while back, I can't quite rule out the 99s (swings very sweetly for me, serves superbly, all court/solidness/feel-wise it pretty much ticks these boxes too). I did have issue with ball sitting up a bit for opponent. Plus, let's call it some general groundstroke erraticness - but I think this could maybe be sorted with more use. However, I was dismayed by the tension loss with TB (I'm accustomed to this string holding tension pretty well), and the general strings aggravation. If it wasn't for the already bountiful amount of TT threads on the subject I'd create my own... "Steam 99s and The Mythical Quest To Find The Golden Strings!":)

    Anyhow, interesting to hear a bit re Hex (which I actually have some sets of) and Xcite.
     
  27. fibonacci888

    fibonacci888 Rookie

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    Update:
    Best so far:

    1. Pacific Xcite 1.25 at 59,5 lbs
    2. Wilson Enduro 1.30 at 59 lbs
    3. Solinco Tour bite 1.25 at 53lbs
    4. Volkl Cyclone 1.25 at 59 lbs and TF razorcode 1.25 at 56 lbs
    5. Yonex pro poly 1.25 at 55lbs
    6. Luxillon 4G 1.25 at 56 lbs

    Playtest is over. I'm buying a reel of Xcite.
     
  28. JGads

    JGads Hall of Fame

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    How many hours, and why is Xcite the victor?
     
  29. Dedans Penthouse

    Dedans Penthouse Hall of Fame

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    Rabbit, since polys give me the heebie-jeebies, in your opinion could this frame be used with a hi-grade synthetic such as NXT or even a more all-around one like Prince Syn Gut (with Duraflex) or is the string pattern too open for syns? Also, the flex index looks kinda *gulp* high. Does this frame have Pure Drive type gremlins in it (i.e. wrist/shoulder)? thx
     
  30. doctor dennis

    doctor dennis Rookie

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    Lol. To be honest there is no golden string for this racket. Nothing seems to last long enough. Lol. The bonus if you can call it that is no poly has gone really dead on me yet.
     
  31. fibonacci888

    fibonacci888 Rookie

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    Xcite kept the best tension for me combined with feel.

    Short conclusion about all others were either too much tension loss or too stiff/ underpowered.

    Longest i played with Xcite was 10 hours and still pretty good.
     
  32. JGads

    JGads Hall of Fame

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    10 hours is doable.. Great frame, just lost demo string in three hours. (4G). Did you ever compare the 99s to the regular 99 by chance?

    Also, how does XCite compare in feel/playability to Tour Bite?
     
  33. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

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    Your dudeness!

    Yeah it would do fine with any string. The open string pattern plays softer than the RDA. It has a little more zip than the C10, but that is welcome.

    If you we're going to use a synthetic, think 15L or even 15. Drakulie says his favorite setup is 15L natural gut with a poly cross. You could try that and substitute Wilson NXT in the cross.

    EDIT:
    Or just do Wilson NXT all the way around.
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2013
  34. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    To me and most other rec players, 10 hours isn't acceptable for string life. That would mean you would be restringing every week or every 2 weeks at most. Most rec players I know don't even restring every 2 months.
     
  35. gameboy

    gameboy Hall of Fame

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    I have been trying Gosen Sidewinder and I really like it. I am getting similar longevity as 4G (~5 to 6 hours), but far softer and lively feel with plenty of spin.

    And at around $8 a pop, it is plenty economical for me.

    Also, the orange color on this string looks killer on the racquet.
     
  36. fibonacci888

    fibonacci888 Rookie

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    For me TB was too underpowered. Durabillity and tension maintanance were good.
     
  37. tennismonkey

    tennismonkey Semi-Pro

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    may want to try tour bite soft. i am a longtime tour bite user and i find the soft has slightly more pop at the cost of slightly less spin. nice tradeoff.
     
  38. doctor dennis

    doctor dennis Rookie

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    Its a great racket but the constant restringing is a bitter pill to swallow. I'm glad my string of choice is cheap.
     
  39. Bmr

    Bmr Rookie

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    Gameboy - i'm no stranger to Gosen strings. Have you ever played with Polylon SP or Polyquest? I'm trying to base a comparison on them.
     
  40. Bmr

    Bmr Rookie

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    I'm going to demo the racquet this weekend. If it's a game changer, i'm okay with re-stringing it more often. I've been a full poly user for a number of years now. I know it's inconvenient for some. I got a real good deal on a Wilson Baiardo, so it's always fun to string with that.
     
  41. Bmr

    Bmr Rookie

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    The first time I used Tour Bite it felt stiff as hell. A few told me that you need to drop tension a few pounds. I'm used to stringing my poly at low 60s on my SPB/Juice racquets.
     
  42. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

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    problem is, poly's life is about 10 hours, past that and you run the risk of arm problems IMO & IME

    string is like wine isn't it? the fun is in finding a cheap one you like
     
  43. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    True, But...with the 99s everything is magnified once the poly loses tension.
    For me, it just started getting very erratic and an overall loss of control. With normal 16x19 patterns and a poly/syngut hybrid, I usually can get 4 weeks at least before noticing a drastic drop in playability. Since you must use full poly in the 99s, that also causes the playability window to be smaller. So everything that applies to jusy general usage guidelines for poly string, goes double for the 99s.

    Bottom line....if you aren't willing to restring every 10 hours, it doesn't make a lot of sense to own this racquet.
     
  44. doctor dennis

    doctor dennis Rookie

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    focus hex is my Lambrini.
     
  45. JGads

    JGads Hall of Fame

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    This frame is the Vapor 9 of racquets. Must be willing to accept smaller window of life, but for the right player it'll shine brightly while it lasts.
     
  46. Ross K

    Ross K Legend

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    QFT


    For me the real contenders to investigate are your Hex and Xcite recs, specially if you're getting 8 hours or more. Am waiting on Fed K to feedback with his 4GS experiences. Also thinking about Black Magic which drak likes.
     
  47. gameboy

    gameboy Hall of Fame

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    Sorry, this is the first Gosen I have tried...
     
  48. gameboy

    gameboy Hall of Fame

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    If you are not breaking your strings well before 10 hours, this racquet is probably not for you.
     
  49. Fed Kennedy

    Fed Kennedy Hall of Fame

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    Ross, The 4GS is great in the frame so far. I have played 4 hours. String seems to be holding up...more importantly, I am playing better with it. 10 hours is great string life for any poly...
     
  50. doctor dennis

    doctor dennis Rookie

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    I just finished my play test with the 4g

    It was pretty good for the 3 hours it lasted. Normally I can tell when the strings are about to go. I just didn't see this coming. An absolute joke in terms of durability. It may have been 17g I can't be 100% sure but that's still very poor.
     

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