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

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

  1. racertempo

    racertempo Semi-Pro

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    Yes, quite noticeably larger in the middle.
     
  2. Ross K

    Ross K Legend

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    Okaaay... I can't say I understand that comment, nope. :confused:
     
  3. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    Me neither Ross. The 99s is a stiff thick beamed powerful racquet. Every review mentions the ample power. This is the one and only person in hundreds of threads that calls the 99s "incredibly low powered". Just makes me scratch my head.???
     
  4. quest01

    quest01 Hall of Fame

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    I've been using the 99S with both 4Gs at the moment, the 16 and 15 gauges. I changed my swing a little bit where I'm hitting more behind the ball, similar to Tsonga's motion and I think this motion has extended my string life a little. Usually at this point, when I used my Nadal like motion, the 16g would snap quickly but with the flatter motion, its lasting much longer. The power I can generate with the 99S is phenomenal, comparing this to my old racquet the apgt, I have to say the 99S is super powerful. I can hit the ball so hard with this racquet and the ball still stays in the court, the 4G string is some of the best poly ever.
     
  5. Boricua

    Boricua Hall of Fame

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    How does the 99s compare to the apd in terms of comfort and arm friendliness? Does it feel as stiff as the apd? And, have you used pacific xcite steing in rhe 99s?
     
  6. PhilStar!

    PhilStar! Rookie

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    I have the Steam 99s and enjoy it very much. The only problem I have with it is that the swing weight doesn't seem to be around 333 grams, as stated by Tennis-Warehouse. It feels much lighter.

    Maybe I'm so use to heavier racquets ( 11.9 ounces and higher ) or maybe it's the Basalt material but this racquet feels really light, holding it as well as swinging it. I've tried other racquets that are around 11.5 ounces but the Steam 99s still feels lighter than them.

    It just doesn't have the plow-through I was hoping for.

    Otherwise, everything else is spot on by other reviewers (the higher trajectory, the frame stiffness, the extra spin, etc.).

    Does anyone have the same problem with the lack of plow-through?
     
  7. racertempo

    racertempo Semi-Pro

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    Okay, well I own the 99s and find no power with it.....and I have 2 other guys I play with regularly who own the 99s and both will not use it regularly due to its lack of power compared to what the normally play. I even have my 99s strung at 50# and just cannot get any power with it. After talking with the 4.5 guy today about his 105s choice he has the 105 at 62# and said the 99 did not feel nearly as good to him and had a lack of power that he needed.

    So that is 3 out of 3 for people I know who say the 99s has lower power......strung identically compared to a Babolat APD/Head Radical (for the 4.5), and Babolat Pure Drive (for my 4.0 partner). These guys both swing for the fences for most shots and their miss-hits are often high to the fence. Heavy spin and hitter with lots of winners with old frames, both mentioned they cannot hit driving winners with the 99s. For my defensive backboard style I noticed a big lack as well.

    The 4.5 said that the 105s is the best frame he has every used.....and I agree completely.
     
  8. racertempo

    racertempo Semi-Pro

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    Yes, noted by me and both guys I mentioned above who liked the 99s except for the plow-thru. I used that term asking them both today that was the issue, both said they could not put their finger on it.....but I need that plow for my swing and the 99s does seem lower there.
     
  9. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

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    I just got back from playing an out of state tournament. Honestly, I don't have a single issue with the 99S. Serves are great, service returns are off the chart, ground strokes feel like I have a big margin of error, and net play is great. I don't see the extreme loss of tension, but I'm stringing fairly loose already. I think the racquet has more than adequate stability and plow and feels more solid at net than many racquets with an ounce of weight more on them; i.e. the C10.

    Since I've been playing with it and picking up my swing speed, I have noticed that I don't get quite the sting life out of a set. But, playing all poly in this racquet, that is probably a good thing. When I used poly in my C10, I probably played too long with it.

    The more I play with it, the more I like it.
     
  10. quest01

    quest01 Hall of Fame

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    In terms of stiffness and comfort I didn't really notice a difference. I never used that string before.
     
  11. Ross K

    Ross K Legend

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    Anyone else gone down the Pacific Xcite route of late? Am getting it strung with this tomorrow. May go my usual TB/99s tension of 55 lbs. People still really liking this string in the Steam then?


    That's what I call a ringing endorsement! Nice one, Rabbit.
     
  12. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    how long are u getting out of one stringjob? Rabbit...you seem to be one of the few that has stuck with the 99s. Most others seem to have tried it and moved on for whatever reasons. Good for you that it seems to be a good fit for you. Any chance you could take some video of yourself using it? I am very curious what style you play and why it seems to work so good for you and not most others?
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2013
  13. fibonacci888

    fibonacci888 Rookie

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    Yes me, i'm still playing with great satisfaction with my Steam and yes with Pacific Xcite in a full bed.

    This weekend i played competition with my old teammate. He hadn't seen me for about 6 months and was very impressed. quote: "your forehand is sick of spin and puts so much pressure on your opponent."

    So this setup i my first play of choice. i've tested with lead tape at 12 and it made the ball heavier but my response to pressure balls a bit late. Next test will be silicone in the handle.
     
  14. Ross K

    Ross K Legend

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    Well, I do know one or two other, er, 'racketaholics of distinction' who can't quite leave it be as they just play so good with it. :)

    fibonacci - Good to hear. Let us know how the silicone handle experiment goes. Hopefully will finally be checking out Xcite/99s on Friday.
     
  15. fibonacci888

    fibonacci888 Rookie

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    I've tried most premium poly in this racket and Xcite was my best. I'd love a poly like the Xcite with a bit more tension maintenance. I can play about 10 hours with a full bed.
     
  16. auzzieizm

    auzzieizm Semi-Pro

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    Just wanted to chime in on the 99s... I have routinely switched racquets almost weekly for the last 7 years. It really was a running joke how often I switch frames. I'd demo a frame, love it, then hate it or find a fault with it after a couple weeks. I felt so silly (and unprepared) going into matches with new frames each time. It is hard to compete when you don't trust the frames you have. So as a result, I'd always bring around 4 different models of frames in the bag to suit whatever mood I was in on court.

    Anyway, decided to demo the 99s. Got feedback from friends who told me that it was not a good frame for high level hitting, and got comments that the frame was only meant for like 3.0 players. For perspective, before I left the US, I was USTA 4.5. I digress, my Steam demo session was amazing! I could hit so instinctively right off the bat! Bought a couple 99s's that day (a month and a half ago) and cannot fault it. Best racquet I have ever played with, and it seems to keep getting better the more accustomed I get to the frame. The extra spin just lends itself to really consistent and confident hitting. I have had many racquets that do one thing amazingly, and then falls off in another aspect of the game. The Steam 99s seems to be amazing from everywhere! Serving big, returning confidently, can hit groundies all day for days- feels hard to miss, great touch at net. The frame is superb from everywhere. Typically when I switch to a new frame, I go through honeymoon periods, then periods where I haven't gotten used to it in match situations, then periods where it is working well, but not quite doing everything I want. This one had a euphoric honeymoon, followed by being completely natural under pressure ( I always know how it will respond), and just won't stop giving me great days on court. This is the first time in my life, I've had a frame that I can't find a fault with! It over-performs in every aspect! Before this frame, I always gravitated towards the old school, heavy, and flexible frames. My favorites are the Donnay Pro One OS yellow/blue, the POGLB, Yonex RD 7, Yonex Pro RD 70 95, and frames similar to those. Recently I've been playing with alot of Prince Exo3 frames because of the soft feel that a lot of Exo3/O3 frames. I even got a couple Davydenko O3 prostocks and John Isner O3 prostocks. The Steam 99s has just blown everything else out of the water! And I feel like slapping myself for even typing that, almost feels like I am lying.

    As far as my setup, I have a little lead at 12, and that's it (I am usually going through reels of lead at this point trying to find a winning combo with other frames). At this point, I have only ever used full poly setups in the frame, and went through about 3 weeks where I was constantly tweaking just to find something a little better than the last session. It felt like I was searching for a new spin high with each stringjob! I have settled on using a full setup of Pro Supex Blue Gear 1.28. The balls just drop each time. And I'm getting a full 2 weeks out of the stringbed. Tons of spin, and good maintenance of characteristics through the string life. Other setups I've tried include:
    Volkl Cyclone neon yellow 17g
    Solinco TB 17g
    MSV Hex 1.18 black
    Lux BBO 15L 1.38
    Blue Gear 16g/ Polylon 16g black
    Gosen Polylon Black 16g
    Dunlop Explosive 16g
    Genesis Heptonic 1.14/ Prince Beast
    Wilson Enduro Pro 17g
    I think that's it, but there may be others I can't remember at this time. As far as gauge is concerned, the thinner the gauges worked well for me, but I find the 16g stringbed just seems to do everything I want and doesn't drop off as quickly. I did find that full 15L BBO just didn't offer quite as much touch and control as I was getting from the 16 gauge string jobs. I played a club tournament with BBO 15L, and won it, but still felt the string job didn't have as clean of a response as I'm getting with Blue Gear at 16g.


    I'm not set on tension yet, but all the tensions I have tried so far have worked. I've ranged from 50 lbs all the way up to 68 lbs. Haven't tried low, low tensions yet, but will probably be testing that soon. So far, I have had best results around 60 lbs. I did just restring a frame last night @ 52 lbs with full Blue Gear- looking forward to it. And depending on how it feels, I may drop down into the 40s. Don't really have a reason other than I am still trying to increase my spin highs :). No matter the tension, I am having no arm issues or stiffness issues.

    So, in the month and a half that I have had the racquet, I have been playing better than I ever have. Everyday keeps getting better and better with this frame! I feel cured of my racquet-a-holic tendencies. Such a relief!

    p.s. I guess I can change my signature now...
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2013
  17. JGads

    JGads Hall of Fame

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    You never tried 4GS in the steam did you? That's the one string I want to compare XCite with... XCite has just been super consistent and has barely moved in six hours. Hats off to you as you're partly the reason I gave it a shot in the first place and I've been very pleased.
     
  18. lostinamerica

    lostinamerica Semi-Pro

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    I have been experimenting with it. I really like the racket. My only issue is the short string life. My first time, I tried Poly Star in an 18 gauge. Last less than 10 minutes.

    I have tried Solinco Tour Bite in 18, it was the same result. I tried 17 gauge and I got through almost an entire match.

    I have not tried Luxilon 4GS. I may try it but I have never been a Luxilon fan. Since the racket recommends it,I probably will try it.

    I have since changed to Ashaway Crossfire in 18 Gauge. It lasts 3 or 4 matches. The 17 gauge does not really do any better so I like the thinner gauge a bit better.

    The spin is unreal. The racket has improved my groundstrokes a great deal. I already had a formidable kick serve and it is jumping an extra foot. I am not real tall so I am forced into a more spinny serve than the ability to flatten it out. I haven't had great success with the flat serve; it tends to fly... over the baseline when I flatten it out.
     
  19. Ross K

    Ross K Legend

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    What a stand out post. Congratulations are probably called for... wow...:)
     
  20. fibonacci888

    fibonacci888 Rookie

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    Not the 4GS no, but 4G in 1.25. I'm not a string breaker somehow and don't need the bigger gauge.

    Actually i found the 4G 1.25 one of the worst strings in this frame. It was underpowered and horrible feel. Cut it out after an hour.
     
  21. doctor dennis

    doctor dennis Rookie

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    I wouldn't say most have moved on. I've looked on the bay and the classifieds and I've only seen one for sale in the last three weeks.
    If people aren't using them they are still keeping them.
     
  22. auzzieizm

    auzzieizm Semi-Pro

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    Thanks, Ross! Just absolutely love the frame (if you couldn't tell).
     
  23. rnrd001

    rnrd001 New User

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    totally agree with you regarding the feeling with BBO and that I think that 16 gauge play best on this 99S

    would you be able to advise us the durability you experienced on those set ups?
     
  24. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    auzzie......why did u never try the recommended string for the 99S...Lux 4GS? just curious why that one was omitted?

    also.....what style of game do you like to play? Do you hit with an extreme grip and use lots of loopy spin?
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2013
  25. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    there were LOTS and LOTS of them there about 2-4 weeks ago. I guess there were a lot of people that got them when they first came out and resold them if they didn't work out. It appears that all that reselling has settled down now.
     
  26. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    This racquet really requires a 16 guage at a minimum. It's no wonder you are getting no string life out of 18 and 17 guages.
     
  27. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

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    Thanks! I do have XCite on my list to try. Unfortunately for my list, I had decided to use up the 4G I had first so I could get a good feel for what my string would be with this frame. Right now, I'm considering:
    • Luxilon 4G 1.30 or 1.25
    • Pacific XCite
    • Solinco Tour Bite Soft 1.25 or 1.30
    • Yonex Poly Tour 1.25
    • Pacific ATP Poly Power Pro 16L
    • Volkl Cyclone
    • or something else out of my inventory, most notably Volkl V-Rex 16L

    So far, I'm getting about 10 hours. I used to use Luxilon Timo or Pacific XTreme in my C10s and cut the string out after 10 hours. So durability is about the same for me except my arm feels better, the stringbed feels better and the racquet is super easy to use. There were a few guys down there playing with 99S's BTW. They are on TW's Best Seller list as well.
     
  28. The Dark Knight

    The Dark Knight Legend

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    Still have not hit with it because I have not had the time....but I've been playing with Vortex for years with a similar string pattern and I always use a 15 gauge....

    I even use multi filament in the mains and I don't have breakage problems . I suspect the same would be true for Wilson.

    I suspect that using the Vortex strings in the Wilson would be amazing . They make multi and mono just for this pattern for years.
     
  29. auzzieizm

    auzzieizm Semi-Pro

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    Sure, rnrd001!
    Volkl Cyclone neon yellow 17g- 6-7 hours, and felt great for the full time until the strings broke. Cyclone 16 would def be considered in the future.
    Solinco TB 17g- One of my frames came strung with this, so didn't get much out of it. Had one hit in the rain, and then the second day it was already really mushy. So not the most accurate assessment of string longevity
    MSV Hex 1.18 black- only kept this in my frames for 2 hitting sessions because i was still searching for my next spin high. could have kept it in for another 1-2 sessions, i'd say.
    Lux BBO 15L 1.38- played 8-10 hours with this one, and it could have stayed in longer, but decided to cut it out to try to get more bite from a thinner gauge.
    Blue Gear 16g/ Polylon 16g black- hit for two hitting sessions with this, and the playability held up. so around 4 hours with this. this however, was the first setup I tried after getting the frames, and was too excited to try other setups. hence the reason this one only stayed in for 4 hours.
    Gosen Polylon Black 16g this was my first setup post Lux BBO 1.38, i was looking for more bite and control than the Lux had. It definitely felt great for about 45 minutes, then the playability dropped off (as it does with this string). i only used this for the one day after the tension dropped. also could have been slight user error for the reason this didn't play well. the hit that I used it in was a 6am hit that I scheduled the morning after a weekend tournament. so legs were not feeling quite so fresh.
    Dunlop Explosive 16g- chose to only keep this setup in for one day. i prefer textured strings, and this was just a quick experiment. so since i got better results from my other frame that had textured strings in it, i just cut this one out.
    Genesis Heptonic 1.14/ Prince Beast- this one felt good at the start, but definitely dropped off quickly. such a thin gauge in the main strings just meant really short string life. felt bad cutting this one out after 3 hours, because the Beast could have lasted longer.
    Wilson Enduro Pro 17g- this was the string in the demo model, when i first tried it and fell in love with it. the first hit, it seemed almost fresh off the stringer. then demoed again the following morning after loving it, and still got great playability from the setup. but the strings started having gaping holes where the mains would move so much. so all in all i got 3.5 hours in with the demo, but the last hour and a half, the strings still played well, but i was constantly adjusting for the huge amount of movement.
    Pro Supex Blue Gear definitely favourite setup so far. i've always loved this string for the spin. and it lasts too- very little loss of playability or tension. had both my frames strung with full Blue Gear, and it lasts me 10+ hours. i'd say around the 1.5 to 2 week mark, my one string job broke. the other one is still kicking. i have no problems playing with this string until it breaks.

    Hope that helps! What setups have you tried so far?

    Hey JackB1, There really hasn't been any reason why I haven't tried 4GS. I have so much string at the moment that I haven't felt inclined to get a set of it yet. On a side note, when I tried 4g, I immediately felt it was kind of like BBO 2.0. I got very similar results to what I get with BBO albeit with a more comfortable response. So since I have a reel of BBO 1.38 15L, I just figured playability would be similar.

    As far as my style of play, I do hit alot of spin from the back especially when rallying. I typically like to mix up the play with spins, ball speed, angles, and net approaches. I also mix my grips up, and vary my grip based on what shot I plan to hit. But this frame definitely rewards extreme grips and fast swing speeds, so it is hard not to keep the grip extreme the whole time.
     
  30. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    thanks. That definitely helps explain why it has been so succesful for you.
    Good luck with it!
     
  31. racertempo

    racertempo Semi-Pro

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    Awesome to hear, I still have the vast majority of a reel of PSBG 17g, it will be my next setup even though I am currently loving the Wilson Spin Cycle.
     
  32. Ross K

    Ross K Legend

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    Nice one, auzzie. Good info there, and how interesting to hear about Blue Gear. Haven't played that in a number of years. I certainly do recall the amazing spin and good pop it displayed when I investigated it in a C10 Pro. That it's lasting you that long is noteworthy. My initial thought though was does the 99s actually need a string that's going to give it a major spin boost LOL?! :) Anyhow, yes, Blue Gear... hmm, maybe I'll revisit this one of these days soon.
     
  33. auzzieizm

    auzzieizm Semi-Pro

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    Thanks! Couldn't be happier.
    Yeah give it a shot! I have to admit, I always preferred the 16 gauge of BG as I feel the ridges are more pronounced.
    The frame (and string pattern) DEFINITELY does not need extra spin. And of course you can use almost any string (at least all the ones that I have tried), and still get massive spin. I think for me it boils down to a comfort level. I know the string. I know it lasts, and that through the life of the string, I get the same super spinny response and great tension maintenance. There's no way around it, the 99s goes through strings ALOT quicker than most other frames (even compared to my Pro RD 70s which are 16x17 patterns). So for me it is nice to know that every time I pull the frame out of the bag, the setup is going to perform consistently.
     
  34. rnrd001

    rnrd001 New User

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    very interesing stuff, thanks for posting this.
    So far, I have only tested BBO 1.38 and Luxilon Savage 1.27.

    I got 9 hours out of the BBO 1.38 so, pretty much same durabilty as you experienced. The savage was already strung on the demo version of the 99s I tried so I want to test it again because I really liked the feeling.

    My two next set ups will be Savage 1.27 at 24 kg and RPM Team 1.30 both at 24kg.

    What gauge is your Pro Super Blue Gear?
     
  35. auzzieizm

    auzzieizm Semi-Pro

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    Blue Gear 1.28

    What tension did you string the BBO 1.38 at?
     
  36. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

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    Just an FYI, I grew up playing with wood and consider an Eastern FH/BH grip extreme. I've been told I hit with a ton of spin (but don't think so when I play a youngster who uses the Hawaiian grip). I am getting a ton more spin on my forehand and backhand. I also find that this frame really encourages a faster swing by rewarding same with results. The frame is also super comfortable with a full poly bed. All these things in combination lead to more power and consistency off the ground for me.

    I think the gauge again is dependent on the user. I began looking at thicker gauges after reading on here and stringing for a 5.0 friend of mine. He was going through string, 16L (1.27) every two sets. I worked a deal with him since I have a plethora of the string he loves. He doesn't tell me how to string and I'll take care of him for a set fee/month.

    What this meant was he didn't need to keep any notions about tension. I had talked to Drakulie and he advised me to drop his tension. My friend and I went out to hit and I asked him to try one of my 99S's. Unbeknownst to him, it was strung at 47/44. I asked him if he felt any difference and he replied "No". His normal tension was 58.

    I've got him down to 53 now and asked him about durability. He hadn't thought about it until I asked. He said he was getting another set out of it. My plan now is to lower his tension, 2-3 pounds a time, until he says something.

    Moral is, if you're not getting the durability you're looking for, go up in gauge and/or lower your tension.
     
  37. The Dark Knight

    The Dark Knight Legend

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    Blue gear is indestructible !

    Especially in 15 guage....lack of feel though.
     
  38. auzzieizm

    auzzieizm Semi-Pro

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    Great feedback, Rabbit! Today is my first day with lowering tension in the frame (down to 52 lbs). Really looking forward to hitting with it, and then possibly going down into the 40s as well.

    Didn't even realize there was a 15 gauge Blue Gear.
     
  39. Fuji

    Fuji Legend

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    For all you spinheads out there, have you checked out Golden Set's "Snake Bite"? Truly one of the spinniest strings I've used. It's a bit on the softer side for a poly, but I could see some awesome useage in the 99s.

    Cheers!

    -Fuji
     
  40. The Dark Knight

    The Dark Knight Legend

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    Amazingly this stick has just come on the market and it's already a best seller!

    I had it strung up today and will compare it to my Vortex tours.
     
  41. rnrd001

    rnrd001 New User

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    I think it would play better at 23 or 24 though.

    But my feelings with it have more to do with the sensation I had on the impact rather than tension I believe. BBO is a bit too smooth for me. I rather tend to prefer crispier sensations.
     
  42. Ross K

    Ross K Legend

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    99s V J100... anyone have thoughts/experiences of how these two compare?

    Personally speaking, having just revisited the J100, I'm beginning to see similarities in these two, especially in the easy swinging, in the particular feel, in the serve, and in the power. Like them both. Juice seems more leaning towards APD/PD, whereas for me 99s leans a tad more upwards into player's stick terrain.

    Anyone else hit with both care to share their thoughts?
     
  43. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    Ross, you know I hit with both like you. I also found them VERY similar...especially when spome weight is added to the hoop of the Juice...otherwise the Juice's sw is much lower than the 99s. I thought
    the 99s had a more solid impact feel. I don't think the 99s is more of a "players" stick though. I would put them both in exactly the same category. Did you keep your Juice?
     
  44. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    It's actually been out for 4 month's now. I don't know how many unit's qualifies it as a TW 'best seller"?
     
  45. Ross K

    Ross K Legend

    Joined:
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    8,232
    Yes - in part inspired by your diary post yesterday - played a set today with the J100, and with some success (see diary.)

    For sure, SW is lower (I had 3 grams @ 3 and 9), 99s is a bit more solid. Nonetheless, interesting I thought, for those who like 99s. Anyhow, as ever, I need to play more with all these frames (Blades, 99s, J100), but after today it's back in the bag. :wink:
     
  46. The Dark Knight

    The Dark Knight Legend

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    Do you think 4 months is a long time? I personally do not.

    I don't know what qualify a it as a best seller to tennis warehouse but the fact is that is exactly what it's labeled as.

    Maybe they are flying off the shelves?

    I had my first hit with it today and I must say that I was very impressed.
     
  47. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    I was too. The biggest issue is what kind of string life will you get and are you willing to restring as often as will be required?
     
  48. The Dark Knight

    The Dark Knight Legend

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    If I win then I wil restring every day if need be. :)

    But I play with Vortez for years , I use their strings with a very similar string pattern and I've had no issues.

    I tried the vortex strings in the steam and loved them.
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2013
  49. fibonacci888

    fibonacci888 Rookie

    Joined:
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    too bad, no way to buy it in Europe.

    My reel of Xcite still has enough on it. Perhaps i'm gonna try it in some lower tensions.
     
  50. The Dark Knight

    The Dark Knight Legend

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    Really? You can't get blue gear ? It's not a great string anyway.....I can't feel the ball .

    I highly recommend the vortex string as they have been using an open pattern for many years and have a wide variety to choose from .

    I actually am playing with a vortex multi on the 99s with no string breakage. But you should use 15 guage definitely .
     

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