Wilson Prostaff 85 - old vs new

Discussion in 'Classic Racquet Talk' started by Bobby Jr, Nov 15, 2012.

  1. Bobby Jr

    Bobby Jr Legend

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    I took the plunge and bought a couple of the new PS85 frames (at $129 at TW they were too cheap to ignore).

    I modified them to make them the same basic weight and balance as my existing frames and then had 3 strung at the same time* - one St Vincent, one late Taiwanese frame (bought in 1993) and the 2012 version.

    Now, it's impossible to factor out that the older frames have been used for basically 20-25 years and will have gotten more flexible but thought I'd share some of the first observations on them.

    The older frames plays way, way more similar to each other in terms of the sound they make on impact. They make a deeper, deader sound on impact than the new frame which makes a more metallic ping.

    So far as power goes the newer frame has the edge for sure - most likely because it's stiffer since it's new, but doesn't feel any more harsh on the arm in terms of shock as you'd expect a stiffer frame too. That was the nice surprise.

    Feel is where they feel completely different - in addition to the metallic sound on impact the newer frames feel less solid/dense through the middle section. Balls hit in the lower part the string bed or off-centre are noticeably worse than on the older frames - both in feel and power.

    They're still lovely frames to play with but - as I've have long suspected - the build technique and materials used has not stayed the same, resulting in them being more different to the older versions than you'd hope.

    I'd happily use them, and will from now on, but they're not the same by any means. If a percentage scale was made based on the St Vincent I'd put the Taiwanese frames at about 95%, the older (mid-late 90s) Chinese frames at about 85% and these about the same. I usually use two Taiwanese frames and, fwiw, they're the best balance of characteristics amongst all made - even if the St Vincents have the legend status.

    Has anyone else ever done a side by side comparison of older and new iterations? I'd love to see a flex test done on a new and old version to see how much they differ.

    (*strung with Weiss Cannon Silverstring 17/OG Sheep Micro 16 @ 48/52, with Tourna vibration damper, weighted to 370gms and approx 6-7pts head light)
     
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  2. giokkk67

    giokkk67 New User

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    I've compared 2 SV vs Ps 6.0 China vs KPS88.
    They were all in stock form:

    - PS SV bumperless(65-70lbs),12.31 oz ,9HL unstrung
    - PS SV bumper version (55-65lbs),12.27oz,9HL unstrung
    - PS 6.0 China,12,06,12HL unstrung
    - KPS88 China,12.38oz,9HL unstrung

    All the racquet were strung with technifibre Xone biphase 1.24 50/48 lbs.

    The 2 SV 18mm thick,the PS 6.0 and KPS88 17mm measured.

    I did a test on the Babolat for the stiffness once strung:

    SV bumperless:64RA
    SV bumper:62RA
    PS 6.0:65RA
    KPS: 67RA

    The PS 6.0 compared to the SV and the KPS,apart from the different specs,seems to have less mass in the throat, sounds "empty" on the upper hoop.

    The SV compared to the KPS seems to have more mass in the mid section,or a "different kind" of mass.

    I agree with you about the different feel,with the KPS closer to the SV than the PS 6.0.
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2012
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  3. mad dog1

    mad dog1 Hall of Fame

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    bobby jr, thanks for sharing...my experiences mirror most of yours as well. i have 1 taiwan, 1 early china and 1 latest reissued PS85. the early china and taiwan sticks play and feel more similar than the latest reissued one. although they feel more solid and stiffer, my reissued stick plays alot better for me. the sweet spot on the taiwan and early china sticks are much smaller. any balls hit outside of the sweet spot don't have much pace whereas the sweet spot on my reissued stick is much bigger. i find that due to the increased flex, it's plays more forgiving and pockets the ball better. even though the balance of all 3 sticks is the same, the reissue swings easier so while it doesn't feel quite the same, i actually prefer and enjoy hitting w/ the reissued stick alot more. i think it's due to the way the weight is distributed around the hoop. the taiwan and early china sticks seem to have more mass in the bridge.
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2012
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  4. giokkk67

    giokkk67 New User

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    Thank you mad dog1! :)

    Have you a chance to measure the real stiffness of your reissued edition on a Babolat RDC?
     
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  5. mad dog1

    mad dog1 Hall of Fame

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    ^^ i haven't yet. interesting that your re-issue measures out stiffer than the SVs.
     
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  6. giokkk67

    giokkk67 New User

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    I own the previous version, the PS 6.0 85 late China,the one with the black but cap,not the reissued PS.

    The Svs are quite old ,they've lost some stiffness (3-4 point from the original 67RA) as natural.

    The PS late China is almost new,just 2 string jobs,I've found on the Babolat the same stiffness stated from Wilson,65 RA.

    Would be interesting to measure the real stiffness of the reissue,should be really lower compared to the late China.
     
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  7. Bobby Jr

    Bobby Jr Legend

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    Interesting... Yeah, I agree - the Taiwan and early Chinese ones do seem more solid through the mid-section. I'm so used to this that it feels right. The newest iteration feel good but I think it's just a case of adjusting slightly.

    The noise when hitting is the thing which seems the most different. I wonder how much this is related to them being brand new as opposed to any significant differences in composition or fabrication methods???
     
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  8. mad dog1

    mad dog1 Hall of Fame

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    ah. that makes perfect sense.
     
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  9. mad dog1

    mad dog1 Hall of Fame

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    agreed. the sound the ball makes off the string bed of the new ones is more of a THWACK! sound whereas the sound the ball makes off the string bed of the Taiwan and early China ones is more of a THUD! sound
     
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  10. giokkk67

    giokkk67 New User

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    Great, you managed to perfectly describe the difference!! :) :) :)
     
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  11. Bobby Jr

    Bobby Jr Legend

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    One thing I just noticed today on picking up a newly strung frame is that on the new production run the drilling pattern is noticeably different on the crosses where the PWS is. I'd be surprised if the new grommets will fit these new frames.

    Will post pics later.
     
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  12. anirut

    anirut Legend

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    From your comparisons, would you feel, then, that the current PS85 (let's call it the 85-2012 for now) is slightly tuned for the "modern game" where players tend to hang around the baseline a lot more and tend to hit more topspins than flats?

    Just curious.
     
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  13. Say Chi Sin Lo

    Say Chi Sin Lo Legend

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    Like the PS Tour 90/N90 where the center is denser and perimeter being more open?

    Or like the K90/BLX90/PSBLX90 where it's universally open?
     
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  14. Bobby Jr

    Bobby Jr Legend

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    Well, I wouldn't have drawn an inference quite that detailed from the changes, nor that any changes were made to cater to any change in eras. I imagine it's more likely that, after a break in production - with a possible change in machinery, staff and supply chain - the end product is simply different from other production versions over the years (as they were from each other as well).

    And that's not even considering that they may have sped up, fine-tuned or cut corners during the fabrication process. I'd not be at all surprised to discover any of these things given how in-exact racquet manufacturing is.

    I played for two hours tonight with the new frame and the thing that strikes me as being different is they feel less dense through the mid-section - despite being new and, in theory, stiffer than my (close to) 20 year old frames.
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2012
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  15. anirut

    anirut Legend

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    Thanks, Bobby.
     
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  16. giokkk67

    giokkk67 New User

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    Thank you very much for your depht analisys Bobby! :)
    It will be very interesting to see on pictures the differences between the two PWS.


    It's the same feeling I've had swapping from PS Saint Vincent's to PS 6.0 China's,an "empty" mid-section sensation.

    From your impressions Bobby, seems like PS 6.0 2012 could play like a Ps 6.0 China with a softer stiff rate?
     
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  17. Bobby Jr

    Bobby Jr Legend

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    Seems more they've shifted a couple down the frame - the spacing seems not to have changed to any specific plan - they sync back up. The holes for the main strings match.

    A merged pic. The white lines are the 1993 frame, the red are the 2012 frame. On the 2012 frames the cross strings are symmetrically placed and centred perfectly on the PWS section - on the older frames they're placed off-centre towards the top of the PWS section.
    [​IMG]

    The individual pics:
    1993 PS - Taiwan > http://i.imgur.com/DkM0m.jpg
    2012 PS - China > http://i.imgur.com/29KJS.jpg
    Note: the holes near the right side of the pic - which is the head end fyi - appear not to line up either. They do, it's just a result of the camera distortion towards the edge of the pic)
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2012
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  18. akind

    akind Banned

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    Thanks to ruup2it for leading me to here.

    I'm having a second thought of buying the new PS 85 now... the bad feel of the off centre hit slightly turns me off... though i'd rather like the sound of more power but that doesn't worry me because the lead tape and power pads do wonders.

    Perhaps the St. Vincent factory workers were more dedicated to their job and did a more thorough job.
     
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  19. Bobby Jr

    Bobby Jr Legend

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    I wouldn't worry about that sort of thing Akind - having used these for a couple of weeks now I'd say the difference is negligible.

    Most people who says things like frames are noticeably worse in off-centre hits are probably imagining or overthinking things - nothing a little weight on/near the PWS can't solve. Other than that > fantastic frames in-general... assuming you like this kind of frame that is.

    They're not St Vincents but, from experience, 9 out of 10 people who talk about St Vincents being the "only PS85" worth hitting with couldn't tell the difference if their life depended on it. They want to be able to.
     
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  20. mad dog1

    mad dog1 Hall of Fame

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    since the sweet spot on my re-issued PS85 is larger than my PS85 taiwan, i actually get less bad feel on off center hits with the new stick.
     
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  21. mad dog1

    mad dog1 Hall of Fame

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    also wanted to share, i've been messing around w/ my PS85 BLX and PS85 early china. i've been hitting w/ the early china which has a full poly string job that is 6 months old so it's lost quite a bit of tension. interestingly, this stick now plays alot more like my BLX version so i believe by lowering the tension in the early china and taiwan PS85s, i can get them to feel very similar.

    i string my PS85 reissued with full poly @ 46/46# on a CP machine. i'm going to try restringing the taiwan and early china at 41#s to test my theory.
     
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  22. Say Chi Sin Lo

    Say Chi Sin Lo Legend

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    About PWS:

    Any idea as to why the PS85 (any version) has a slightly shorter but more protruding PWS?

    Whereas the Tour 90 (any version) has a slightly longer but flatter PWS?
     
    #22
  23. WilsonPlyr

    WilsonPlyr New User

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    PS85 comments

    Speculation from a former tour player I had string my brand new PS85 is that these are not new racquets...they are old racquets...that is why they have new grips with different color butt caps on them (the original grips installed would need to be replaced they sat on a shelf so long)....suspicion on where it says 'Use Sensation String' inside as well since far more advanced strings are available now....the 88 I have does not say this either. They weighed the racquet and checked the balance point...everything checks out. Why does everyone think it's so crazy that Wilson could make a racquet like this again? I feel that different factories would be held to the same standards as well..as far as paying $500 for a 'St. Vincent' goes....I agree with many on here that most could never tell the difference if their life depended on it...it's like anything else...tour players don't use any of these anyway...they have custom racquets that are painted to make you feel like you have the same thing you bought at the nearest Sports Authority....
     
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  24. fortun8son

    fortun8son Hall of Fame

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    Interesting point. Wilson moved from the Sensation recommendation to NXT quite some time ago.
     
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  25. Tennis Man

    Tennis Man Hall of Fame

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    I really like your comparison and the fact that you confirm once again that St Vincent frames can't be replicated in China. :)

    I regularly play with St Vincent and sometimes Taiwan and notice a huge difference even between these two in terms of feel and touch.

    On your scale I would rate them as follows:

    Taiwanese frames at about 80%,
    earlier Chinese frames at about 75%
    recent Chinese (TW) frames at about 70%
     
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  26. hrstrat57

    hrstrat57 Hall of Fame

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    Any one who says a St.Vincent PS 85 doesn't feel different hasn't hit with one......
     
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  27. vsbabolat

    vsbabolat Legend

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    It's the new Carbon fibre. Unless they stop using Braided Graphite and Kevlar. The early Taiwanese frames were unidirectional Graphite and Kevlar.
     
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