Discussion in 'Classic Racquet Talk' started by VGP, Jan 20, 2009.
And here are a couple more to add to the "index":
St. Vincent and the Virgin Islands (USA) are two entirely different places.
Yes, they are . . . which begs the obvious question: did Wilson produce the PS85 in the Virgin Islands?
Even more curious, do you think there are counterfeit/fake SVs or PS85s for that matter?
With these strange variations in "made in" stickers, it certainly crossed my mind about this subject?
Anyone here come across a fake SV or PS85?
my first thought was that they were fakes, but since I'm no expert, I thought I'd leave it to others to determine that.
Never seen a fake ps85 before and i'm not saying this one above is but on this particular pic you can notice that the "Midsize" sticker is longer than on any other St Vincent, usually it stops right after the letters, like here:
I think that's just clear adhesive tape. Maybe to keep the sticker from coming off or so that you don't feel it when you hold the throat.
There's tape over the "Wilson" SN# sticker on the frame in the background too.
Frankly I thought my last run of Chinese models played best. The St. Vincent I had felt slightly 'harsher'.
But... back to my question: GJY? Anyone know where this is from?
Enough of this butt cap code thing. Those things can be swapped.
I'd go by other criteria. Especially on the body of the frame.
Another find -- I guess these stickers also appeared on the SV UltraIIs.
Sorry to slightly derail...
Is the only difference in grommets the throat piece?
I'm keeping the throat grommets in my Taiwan but need ones for the sides and bumper. Can I use any set for this or does it have to be specific to Taiwan models? I never see Taiwan sets for sale.
The drill pattern for the Chicago/SV/Taiwan made frames is the same. Therefore, the plastic parts for these (if you can find them) fit these models
For the Chinese models, there are slight but significant shifts in the drill pattern compared to the previous iterations.
Some people are able to cram them on. Some people make strategic cuts in a set of plastic parts made for a Chinese model for C/SV/T made frames.
I guess I was in a bit of a mood. When I posted this, I recently saw an e-bay auction where the seller claims to have a PSM made in Belgium (#220673048389) because the butt cap code is "HOB" and it has no rights-reserved logo. There's no mention as to the position of the butt cap code.
It could be a replacement. On my current favorites, the Wilson Graphite Force frames that are Taiwanese made as far as I know, the butt cap codes are located above the Wilson logo with no rights-reserved circle-R.
AFAIK, Wilson Pro Staff frames weren't made in Belgium.....
Last Saturday, this older guy playing on the court next to me was using a ps85 that had a longer handle, approx. 2 inches longer than mine...mine is a late model Chinese with black butt cap...his was a white butt cap with no "6.0" on the frame. I didn't know they made ps85 with longer handle. Just sharing what I saw.
You can just make out the code on the buttcap which reads JTB, im pretty sure this is one of the ealy SV's as everything fits.
I picked up this really nice kramer staff SV as well, which is a dream to play with
nice racquets tjfederer16 haha
haha thanks pete
Few days ago, I broke all my strings on my 3 kps88 so I had to dig out my old st. vincents to play in the weekend.. I have not played with these for probably 3-4 years.. I expected the string are dead but oh well.. I need the rackets for weekend match.. To my surprise, I played incredibly well with these old rackets.. it's like one of the things that you just pick up and hit and can't miss.. I customized my rackets kps88 and st. vincent around 390g so the balance pretty much the same... I must say the KPS88 gave a little more power but may be due to the string but the St. Vincent for sure swing much faster.. I will drop these old 3 st vincent to get a fresh hybrid string with low tension and play with them again this week..
Cool. Let us know how it goes.
I wonder if Wilson will ever re-release these frames?
I really hope so. I'm getting rid of all my BLX frames in favor of the 85. Besides the fact that it's simply more fun to play with, I also play better with it.
I agree. Still... nothing in the past 2 years have outclassed it, maybe if they made the 88 with the same swingweight as the 85...
After 5 days playing with my old St. Vincents, strung it with VSGut main at 44lb, Luxilon ALU power rough cross at 40 lb with some string savers here are some of my observation.. The St. Vincents is less forgiven like the kps88.. The sweet spot is smaller and the spin potential is lesser than the kps88 but the trade off is the serves, volleys, backhand and touch is much much better than the kps88.. I have a semi western forehand and notice the KPS88 gives more power and spin than the St. Vincent..
After playing with St. Vincent and back with kps88, you can notice the difference in bigger sweetspot and spin.. I would give a 9.5/10 in volleys, 9/10 slice, 8/10 baseline for the st. vincents and kps88 would be 9/10 baseline, 8.5/10 volleys and 9/10 slice.. In the end I am happy to have both but the St. Vincent gives an invincible feeling every time I use it..
Ahh. I like to hear these types of stories. Especially these days.
Thanks for sharing, courtking.
The but cap should be white.
Just some PS85 soft-p#rn.. I just got these back from the stringer today. I balanced them properly (one was always a little head-light compared to the other frames I have - not anymore) re-wrapped the leather grips and put on new overgrips.
There is a rumor about PS85 in Japan.
Needles to say, PS85 is famous for its user Pete Sampras.
We all knew he used them were made in St. Vincent.
But really he used them were made in Chicago not St.Vincent.
This Chicago means Wilson's special laboratory in Chicago.
This story was famous among person concerned.
Come to think of it, now top pro's racket is separated from normal one. I hear of Head's pro rackets are not made in China.
I think this story may be true ?
Anyone hear above rumor outside Japan ?
Here's a pic from the Wimbledon museum showing Sampras' gear from his last couple of Wimbledons:
....the PS85 is not a Chicago frame.
As for PS85s in Japan, if you read through the thread some posters that live/work there say they've been gone for some time now.
oops, pic not showing up.
Here's a pic from P1's website showing some of the surplus gear:
...also not a Chicago frame. You can see the decal in the throat describing the PWS system. Not a feature on the Chicago frames.
Another pic of some of his gear: the throat decal is the other side describing the recommended tensions. Again, not used on Chicago frames.
If someone wants to believe they're modded Chicago frames......
Everybody believes this rumor knows his rackets are different from first Chicago version.
It means his rackets are special order rackets and made in a special laboratory of Wilson in Chicago.
Now top pro didn't use general goods, these are special order goods.
Not even Federer's frames are made in Chicago. They are Mede in China. Sampras' Pro Staff Midsize were made in St. Vincent.
The St. Vincent Story
This ex-Wilson factory would likely be a footnote in the history of racquet production were it not for Pete Sampras. It has become common knowledge among Sampras fans and ProStaff officianados that Pete only plays with racquets that were made in St.Vincent, a Carribean island in the Grenadines.
The island of St. Vincent was originally chosen as a manufacturing site by a group of Wilson VPs who were touring the Carribean region, searching for a suitable factory site. Why the Carribean? If you've spent a winter in Wilson's hometown of Chicago, you wouldn't need to ask. Ken Sherman, ex-Wilson engineer explains more seriously, "the Caribbean region was attractive as a manufacturing location due to its tax-free status. No taxes were paid on materials going in and no taxes paid on finished products coming out. At the time, St. Vincent was already manufacturing clothing, gloves, etc. There was a factory shell that had been originally built to produce Maidenform bras but Wilson ended up buying it in 1982 to finish and assemble raw frames produced in our Chicago factory. In 1983, Wilson changed it into a manufacturing house and it produced a variety of models, including the ProStaff Original. When we started, there were 50-60 workers finishing and assembling racquets. When the factory closed in mid-1991, there were over 450 direct laborers manufacturing, finishing and assembling Wilson racquets."
What made St. Vincent ProStaffs so special? Ken responds, "it was a combination of factors. One difference was that the workers had no previous experience and thus had no bad habits. We trained them how we wanted racquets made and they followed our instructions to a tee. They were loyal, hard workers and competed against each other for the lowest number of rejected racquets, keeping work areas neat, etc. As a result, our reject rate was close to zero. Also, each frame was bar-coded and tracked from start to finish through the manufacturing process. Consequently, if a racquet was too heavy, we could determine where the error originated. This resulted in very high quality control." David Price, former Engineering Manager at the St. Vincent factory from 1989-1991 continues, "the key to our quality and consistency was the sophisticated tracking system. We had huge amounts of statistical data from measuring raw materials and racquets up to 20 times during the manufacturing process. Our quality control was second to none in the industry at that time." Rich Janes, a former colleague of Sherman and ex-Wilson engineer adds, "there was also the molds. Over time, they became worn and a little loose and they wouldn't close completely. As a result the ProStaff Original came out at 18mm, instead of 17mm." Nobody at Wilson can confirm this but it adds to the St. Vincent factory's mystique. Whatever the real reasons, a few top players just prefer the feel of ProStaffs manufactured in St. Vincent. Who's gonna argue with Pete Sampras
I have a PS85 St.V in 4-3/8 with Fairway leather grip coming next week.
Some of you will really enjoy one of the original adds showing Jimbo endorsing the ps85:
Got my PS85 St.V today! Beautiful.
Pics or it didn't happen!
Mine are in the closet. Too cheap to pay $100 for grommuts! I miss hitting with the 85 lately actually.
I'll get pics up tonight if I can. $100 for grommets is CRAZY.
I want it for a playable Sampras facsimile show piece. I'd like to get very close to the weight, balance and swingweight of Classic Serve and Volley Sampras.
I played 3 sets with my lightest 88 last night. Other than using one of my STV that is the closest I get to a STV. As I watched the VS Team start to fray I smiled and thought of Veronica Vaughn.
There's nothing like tight gut in a STV.
Finally found the camera. Will post pictures tonight. Weighs in at 354g/12.4oz.
According to the guy I bought two of my PS85s from, Sampras always removed the original leather grip and replaced it with (I think he said) two overgrips. So, if this is true, you'll have to do the same. I'll double check about how many overgrips he used. My stringer knows the answer to that one.
That's not true. Sampras had a leather grip under his tournagrips while using the Pro Staff Midsize.
You can see the leather grip peeking through where tournagrip was not wrapped high enough.
That's a new one to me. However, I would appreciate any any formnation you can get.
Later in Sampras' pro career he switched to a synthetic grip.....as did Safin.
Becker and Kuerten were guys that used only overgrips.
.....from Wimbledon 2001.
The guy stringing my racquets recently tried to tell me Federer still used a PS85 paint-job. When I told him it was a K90 paint-job he then said he wouldn't be using them because Wilson wouldn't make them for him and he must then be using a BLX.
Moral? Don't listen to pro-shop stringers. Stringers rarely know squat - including about strings. People who read this forum do however - especially if you read the interview with Sampras' racquet guy Nate Ferguson right here on this site. Print this out for your guy.
Anyway.. even better - at the 1994 French Open.
Can anybody help me identify with version of my PS 85 is?
Thank you very much.
It could be a Chicago or early SV given the recommended string tension sticker.
The grommets have been replaced as it's got a bumperguard and the lower profile throat grommets.
The buttcap is pretty dirty/beat up. Maybe you could clean it up a little to see a code? It looks to be an earlier one since it doesn't have the rights reserved circle-R logo.
Hi, VGP, thank you very much.
I am afraid that the tension recommendation sticker is a modified one. Because there is only that one without the balance sticker.
The butt cap is not the same as usual wilson white butt cap. It something like black primer with white paints. when I was trying to clean it, some white paints went off, exposed the black primer color.
And yes it doesn't have the registered trademark
.....but let's back up a bit. You tried to clean the butt cap and then white paint came off? That is really weird. The butt caps were made of white plastic and the logo painted red.
There were black butt caps used on Wilson frames back then, like on the Sting and more pertinently on the Wilson Ultra 2 that was also made in SV.
Seeing that the bumperguard and grommets were replaced (as they should be if they're worn out or if previous owners wanted a bumperguard put on), maybe the butt cap was replaced as well and painted to look like what should come on the PS85.
I saw that JoelDali commented in your other thread about there not being any red primer showing. He does have a point. Often you can see it at chips, but you can also see it on wear points around the PWS (from shanks) or at the drill holes for the grommets.
You brought up the possibility that sticker might be a replacement. Maybe.....as it looks like it's a paper sticker. The ones I'm familiar with were more of a vinyl or plastic type of sticker. Maybe it's just really worn.
Although the grommet channel ends are squared. That's totally a Chicago/SV feature.
I'll add your pics from the other thread here. Maybe even more pics would help.....
Hi, I just checked.
It has has 22D 1615 grommets and with Rectangular grommet channel and there is a red spot in between the two mains at the top of the racquet, just like the K90
Taiwan 4 5/8...just a couple scuffs on the fairway grip...otherwise ...sweet
wish I could play with them...guess Ill see what I can trade it for
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