Wilson PS85 discussion thread...

Discussion in 'Classic Racquet Talk' started by VGP, Jan 20, 2009.

  1. jimbo333

    jimbo333 Hall of Fame

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    Stop boasting about the 7.0 85:)

    (Just put photo of it up here please)
     
  2. rony67

    rony67 New User

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    Like father like son...

    Being a fan of the PS85, I recently bought two of these beauties for my seven-year-old kid. His first REAL racquet. He think its cool that we use the same racquet when we practise together...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  3. VGP

    VGP Legend

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    Way Cool Jr.
     
  4. projoe

    projoe New User

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    that is a nice junior racket. I know wilson did the classic pro staff in the jnr version but havent seen that before.
     
  5. Keifers

    Keifers Legend

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    That's very nifty... I've never seen a junior PS85 before.

    Thanks for posting the pic and telling us about hitting with your son. :):cool:
     
  6. nyc

    nyc Hall of Fame

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    ...........................
     
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2009
  7. audioaffliction

    audioaffliction Semi-Pro

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    Man, I just love this racquet. I pretty much learned how to play tennis on a ProStaff back in the '80s. I'm trying to switch to the K90, but it's just not the same. I still have 4 of them: One SV and 3 that were later "Chiao Ta" examples. Does anyone know if the Chiao Ta models were China or Taiwan?
     
  8. FedererClone

    FedererClone Semi-Pro

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    can you discuss your experiences with the other frames compared to the st vincent? I have had a few 6.0s but never managed to nab a st v...
     
  9. audioaffliction

    audioaffliction Semi-Pro

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    I'm not as picky when it comes to the differences between the various incarnations of these frames. That said, the SVs (I've had a few since the '80s) do feel more solid and substantial. The swing weight also feels a tad bit higher in the SVs. There's a bit more flex in my two Chiao Tas. Don't know about the third Chiao Ta as it's still wrapped in plastic.

    The funny thing is, ALL of the ProStaffs I've encountered have had the same weaknesses, with cracks showing up in the same places at 7 and 5 o'clock along the grommets. The very first ProStaff I had, from 1987, also had this issue and eventually caved in. This despite the fact that I've never really gone over 60 lbs. in tension.
     
  10. psp2

    psp2 Banned

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    Chiao Ta models are China.
     
  11. audioaffliction

    audioaffliction Semi-Pro

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    Thought so. Thanks for the confirmation!
     
  12. FedererClone

    FedererClone Semi-Pro

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    Interesting... anyone else have this issue?
     
  13. audioaffliction

    audioaffliction Semi-Pro

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    I just scored another ProStaff to add to my stockpile. I don't expect it to be an SV and is probably one of the Taiwan models. We'll see when it shows up next week.
     
  14. ac3111

    ac3111 Professional

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    Mates, I found a few used PS 85 to buy. The thing is that one is St Vincent's and way too expensive but the other one made in China (Chinese butt code GKO) and a lot more affordable.
    I had the impression that the PS 85 were not manufactured in China. The chinese one is yellow beneath the grip -it is sold gripless actually- so I think it is genuine.
    What I'd like to ask is whether there are differences between St Vincent's and Chinese models in ways of play or in other aspects...
    The difference in price is about 200 us dollars.
     
  15. stevewcosta

    stevewcosta Professional

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    When are we going to lobby TW to help bring this back into production?Obviously, Wilson won't listen to a consumer request. I will buy 4 or 5 immediately.
     
  16. audioaffliction

    audioaffliction Semi-Pro

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    This has been discussed quite a bit--including in this thread. Opinions vary about how different the Chinese models are from the SVs. There are also different vintages of the Chinese/Taiwanese models. My opinion is that while the SVs are nice, the price difference is completely crazy because of collectors. I personally feel the SVs feel a little bit more solid and tend to swing just a tad heavier from the later Chinese models.
     
  17. ac3111

    ac3111 Professional

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    Thanks a lot...
     
  18. ac3111

    ac3111 Professional

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    I would like also to ask how can you tell a PS 85 is ST Vincent's or chinese model. Is it from the butt code?
     
  19. VGP

    VGP Legend

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    True.

    It's now one of those graphite rackets (if not the racket) that has all the elements for legendary status.

    Combining my criteria (from the linked thread):

    - longevity in availability (more than 2 years)
    - pro association (several pros with varied styles)
    - establishment or confirmation of technological benchmark
    - acceptance in the amateur ranks

    The St. Vincent isn't a rare racket. Tons were made for the decade or so it was around. Probably the Taiwanese and early Chinese have fewer available. It's not rarity that's driving up the prices, it's the hype.

    The 'hype' surrounding the St. Vincent isn't total poppycock. It is really a good racket. It's just not (for me) worth paying more for them....

    ...I probably say that because I've got a few that I acquired without paying through the nose. But mine aren't pristine examples.

    Someone asked this question in the "Ask TW" forum and the reply was that Wilson's invested a lot in the kPS88. So much so that there's no intention to make more PS85s at this time......

    Curious to see which one you'll get....
     
  20. dlesser13

    dlesser13 Rookie

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    Just scored a near mint kramer pro staff today for about 15 bucks. It's still got the original grip and all the stickers and the frame and bumper guards are almost immaculate. Quite a find for 15 bucks.
     
  21. VGP

    VGP Legend

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    ^^^^ mind sharing some pics?
     
  22. dlesser13

    dlesser13 Rookie

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    I would have, but my camera is currently at my college place and I'm home for the weekend, but I'll see what I can do. By the way. not the first kramer steal that I have come across. A few months back I happened to find a pretty good kramer for 10 bucks on craigslist.
     
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2009
  23. audioaffliction

    audioaffliction Semi-Pro

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    I'm curious to know where in the country you guys are finding deals on ProStaffs. To date, I've only ever stumbled across one "on the street" so to speak, and that was a largehead 110. I do check Goodwill and Salvation Army stores but have never come across any.
     
  24. pshulam

    pshulam Hall of Fame

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    My sentiment is the same - so many posters claim that they have found PS85, PC600, Dunlop MAX 200G, and other famous classics from thrift stores for a friction of the cost, i.e, $2 to $20. I look at Craiglist at least three times a week. I visit Goodwill and other thrift stores on a weekly basis. I stop by sport stores that sell used equipment. Well, so far --- no luck!!!!

    I must be living in the wrong area. May be I should move to the West Coast or East Coast.
     
  25. ac3111

    ac3111 Professional

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    I feel that 300 us dollars for a St Vincent's PS 85 may be too much.
    But in any case I would like to ask a few things about the PS 85.
    First of all if I am not wrong the PS 85 comes from the age and time of S&V -midsize head, thin neck. I am wondering though why is not 18 x 20 the string pattern. I mean the 18 x 20 would not provide more feel and control for S&V? Or the 16 x 18 is it to compensate the loss of power due to the small headsize and the thin neck?

    Another question is that if you don't dictate your opponent's game with S&V can someone with such racquet defend against counterpunchers, pushers and baseliners?

    And a last one if you had it strung with natural gut what tension would you go? I have Tonic ball feel (16g) at 57 lbs in my K 6.1 95 18 x20 and 54 on my Pro Staff Rok 93.
     
  26. VGP

    VGP Legend

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    A fellow poster here drakulie says that he's been able to pickup PS85s at garage sales for $1. He lives in south Florida. Another poster gsquicksilver says that he's picked up a few cheap. He lives in SoCal.

    Well, I don't live on the east or west coast. But I've picked up a couple for $5 and $10......other than the ones I bought new (when available). Keep looking you might get lucky. I'm still on the lookout for a Dunlop Max200g. I still don't want to pay collector's prices.


    I find your suggestion interesting because it's totally a hindsight point of view. The PS85 was advertised as being light and powerful. The head size was big at the time.

    The design (with the input of Jimmy Connors) took off, if I had to guess is because of the more open string pattern allowing players to impart more spin. This is compared to wooden rackets. As for control for S&V, I assume you're focusing on the V, but I think the spin you can generate with the PS85 works perfectly for the S to set up a great V....... (i.e. Edberg and Sampras as key examples.)
     
  27. dlesser13

    dlesser13 Rookie

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    Got some pics of the new kramer staff i scored. Bear with me on the quality, taken with my old camera. Amazing how technology evolves in such little time.
    http://img41.imageshack.us/i/picture432v.jpg/
    http://img40.imageshack.us/i/picture431c.jpg/
    http://img36.imageshack.us/i/picture425.jpg/
    http://img195.imageshack.us/i/picture426h.jpg/
    http://img36.imageshack.us/i/picture427n.jpg/
    http://img269.imageshack.us/i/picture420a.jpg/

    I feel kinda like that golden corral guy.
    "I would like a mint jack kramer staff, case, and all the stickers please"
    "No problem" says the waiter
    "All for around 10 bucks"
    "PROBLEM!"

    Why don't my pictures ever show up?!?!?
     
  28. BigServer1

    BigServer1 Legend

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    I've got a few PS 85s, some that are pretty interesting. I have a bumperless PS85 with a Classic 6.1 PJ and a small "J. Courier" sticker on the side. I also have another bumperless original "Midsize" with the initials A.K on a sticker on the buttcap.

    VGP, I've got a couple in particular that I'd be interested in getting your thoughts on...They are both just molded palletes with no buttcaps, but one in particular looks like it fits the bill of a Chicago prostaff (4-5/8 L5 - String at 65-70 sticker, matte finish PJ, no BG, just grommets, etc.), but I would like your input. I'll try and post some pictures when I get home.
     
  29. VGP

    VGP Legend

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    BigServer1 - sounds like you've got some interesting frames.

    If the first two you describe were prepared for pros, could it be that the first one was for Jim Courier around 1992 where they were trying to push the Classic 6.1 not just to Edberg? And could the A.K. be for Aaron Krickstein?

    The others could be some sort of handle customization on a Chicago or early SV - and any other info on the other? Buttcaps can be an identifier, but when there's not one it's harder to call........
     
  30. BigServer1

    BigServer1 Legend

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    Yes...The 6.1 PJ was a Courier frame, when Sampras had the marketing taken care of for the 6.0 85, so they switched Courier to the Classic PJ. The A.K frame was a Krickstein, though I cannot say with authority whether these frames were actually used, or if they were just extras that never got played with.

    I also have what has been described to me as a "Sampras reference frame". Sampras experimented with some different setups, and when he found one that was perfect for him, they set aside that frame and matched every other frame to it. I have one (another 6.1 classic PJ, strangely enough) that has VS 17 with the Red "W" stencil and a black Babolat stencil (it's cut out, but still in the frame, so you can see the remnants of the stencil), a black cable grommet dampener, all the lead at 3&9, tournagrip and the fairway grip wrapped low around the buttcap to round it out. I can take a picture of that one as well..

    Btw, one of the random PS85s in question has a tiny little paint chip with red primer showing through. The other one doesn't have any distinct markings, but they were both custom molds with no buttcaps...I'll post some pictures tonight.
     
  31. VGP

    VGP Legend

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    Well, I must say that you've got a much more interesting PS85 collection than I'll ever have.

    Can't wait to see some pics.
     
  32. quest01

    quest01 Hall of Fame

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    The PS85 is a good racquet but its too demanding for me.(I'm only a 4.0 while this racquet is for 5.0's or higher.) Control serving was the best part about this demanding stick but hitting a 2 handed backhand was a nightmare. The PS85 is a great racquet if its in the hands of the right player, at least someone 5.0 or higher are the only people who could handle its full effects. You need to have fighter pilot hand eye coordination to use the PS85 effectively, its not for the faint of heart.
     
  33. BigServer1

    BigServer1 Legend

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    Alright...Here are some pictures of my collection. I'll start with the interesting stuff.

    Sampras frame: You can see the stencils, though they're light. Sampras wanted the red W to be very light, go figure. Notice the 6.1 classic PJ, lead work and grip.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  34. BigServer1

    BigServer1 Legend

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    Here is the Courier frame:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  35. BigServer1

    BigServer1 Legend

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    Aaron Krickstein:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    Here is a picture of all 7 of the frames that I have, VGP, I'm going to take some pictures of the two specific PS85s (the ones without grips/buttcaps in the this photo), to see if you have any ideas what they might be.

    [​IMG]
     
  36. audioaffliction

    audioaffliction Semi-Pro

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    No disrespect intended, but I have to disagree. I essentially learned how to play tennis on a ProStaff, back when I was about 13. I can assure you that I'm not especially gifted in the fighter pilot skills department! Now, it's true that the PS85 is more demanding compared to a lot of today's modern frames. My take on it is that the modern frames allow you to get away with a less than perfect technique--but I think this simply reinforces bad habits because you can be lazy with your technique and still hit a pretty good looking shot. Every time I try to switch a more modern frame, I find my game gradually deteriorates.

    Bottom line: Demanding? Yes, but I don't think you need to be a 5.0 or any specific rating to use the PS85.
     
  37. Bud

    Bud Bionic Poster

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    The PS on the far left appears to have a smaller headsize than the rest of the 85's pictured. Is that my imagination?

    The second from the left has an extended/customized pallet for a 2HBH player who wanted to maintain the standard 27" length... as it's molded further up the throat. If it was a hairpin, it would appear as normal except for added length at the butt cap. Who was this racquet created for... a woman player like Chris Evert?
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2009
  38. BigServer1

    BigServer1 Legend

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    In regards to the first question, I just think that's the angle of the photo...I'm pretty sure that the headsize is identical to the others...

    The other ungripped frame does indeed have a customized pallet, but I'm not entirely sure if it was created specifically for someone, or if it was simply a customization mistake.
     
  39. VGP

    VGP Legend

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    Thanks for the photos BigServer1.

    Very interesting frames. Your Sampras frame is done up just like what Greg Raven (fellow TTW poster and MRT) has posted on his website. The lead work and rounded buttcap are very very similar.

    Wilson seemed to be pushing the PSC6.1 pretty hard around 1991-1992. I remember attending a legends event in Cincinnati and Ken Rosewall was sporting the frames too. I can see why they would try and get the pjs out to Courier, Sampras and Edberg. Funny that Edberg only used it around 1991, but by '92 he had gone back to the original cosmetics.

    The AK is interesting too. I was watching the broadcast of the Connors-Krickstein USO 1991 match and Krickstein was using blacked out PS85s (supposedly obtained from Sampras), but he's got black color on thte buttcap. Much like the one you show in your photos.

    Interesting to see an extended-length pallet on an original PS85.....kinda like how Courier seems to be using a retail-setup N90 these days..........
     
  40. BigServer1

    BigServer1 Legend

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    Yeah, the Sampras frame is pretty cool...I wish that the strings were in tact, because the stencil is definitely discernible, but not as much as if the strings were still fully in. The most amazing thing about that frame is the sheer weight of it...It's flipping heavy, and I can't imagine playing with it for 30 minutes, let alone 4 hours.

    Yeah I think Courier stuck with that PJ the longest, being their main endorser after Edberg went back to the original cosmetics. It's interesting because I never liked the looks of the 6.1 Classic 95, but I am quite fond of the matte finish PJ that is on the Courier frame.

    I know that Krickstein used a blacked out PS85 for a while, but I'm not entirely certain if he ever played with PS85s with the actual cosmetic. This frame has been strung once but quite possibly never played with or only played with once or twice. It could have been a playtest frame or something else, I just know that A.K sticker on the bottom is interesting, and definitely served it's purpose to cover up the W on the buttcap.

    It's amazing...The Courier and Krickstein frames are in absolutely stunning condition, even though they're both 15+ years old.

    The extended length pallet frame is an interesting one...It's a 27" frame, but the pallet is so long that it covers up the "graphite/kevlar" mark on the base of the throat. It's also blacked out in the throat, with no stickers or anything. The one with the shorter pallet has the L5 65-70 pound sticker, bigger (taller) grommets in the throat and a tiny little paint chip with red primer showing through...It makes me think that it could be a Chicago PS85, which would be pretty incredible...I was thinking it was a St. Vincent, so obviously I'd be happy either way.
     
  41. VGP

    VGP Legend

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    Since the strings are still in it, you could still get weight and balance measurements. Grip size too. Curious to see how well they match up to Greg Raven's Sampras frame.

    I doubt that an all gut job would have survived this long. Especially if it were done up for Sampras at his tension. I saw a photo of one of Sampras' rackets in the Wimbledon museum and it had a couple of mains broken.

    I saw one of Edberg's PS85s at the International Tennis Hall of Fame and its strings had broken too......

    Yeah, Krickstein I think was contracted with Yonex for a lot of his career.....

    I really like your examples of paintjobs. Or any for that matter. I just find the attempts of deception in advertising really interesting. Good to see yours are in such great shape.

    Well, without the buttcap it's hard to be definitive. Unless there's something hidden under the pallet that's covered up during manufacturing. It's definitely a Chicago or an early St. Vincent.

    I'm sure the purist collectors might not find them as desireable because they don't have grips or buttcaps. Or the one with the long pallet is "messed up" because it extends more up the throat.

    I for one find your collection very interesting. Not your run of the mill off the store rack kind of stuff.

    Thanks for sharing!
     
  42. BigServer1

    BigServer1 Legend

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    It was definitely done at his tension, you know it was tight because some of the black babolat stencil is 2/3rds of the way up the string bed...When those strings broke, they were so tight that the broken strings moved a lot...The grip size is the same as the Raven frame I'm sure...It feels like a 5/8 with an overgrip, not super huge big, but not small by any means.


    Yeah I think it's interesting...I also love the PJs and the deception...It's nice to know that it's been going on for decades...Luckily I'm not looking to sell any of these frames, so I'm just happy to have a cool, random collection of them. Thanks for the feedback and input.
     
  43. audioaffliction

    audioaffliction Semi-Pro

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    I do believe that Krickstein played with the original cosmetic PS85 without the blacked out frame. He used one against Jimmy Connors at the '91 U.S. Open but without a Wilson stencil.
     
  44. audioaffliction

    audioaffliction Semi-Pro

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    Hmm... interesting PS85 on the flea bay. I've never seen these cosmetics before. Is this a Japan-only cosmetic variant?

    http://tiny.cc/kwbPA

    I'm not affiliated in any way with the seller.
     
  45. VGP

    VGP Legend

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    I think you're right in it being a PS85 for Japanese release.....
     
  46. audioaffliction

    audioaffliction Semi-Pro

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    Someone should add it to the PS85 Wiki page.

    As for the PS85 that I picked up this week, it appears to be a Taiwan model. It's got the grey primer I think--hard to tell because the racquet's actually not very banged up at all. And it's got the "Syn Guy" recommendation. Also came with a BP, white buttcap, and original Fairway grip. The case is vented in the grip area. Looking forward to hitting with it to see how it compares to my SV and Chinese models.
     
  47. VGP

    VGP Legend

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    I actually prefer the Taiwanese over the SV and Chinese models.

    The ones I have are heavy and harsh. Just the way I like it.

    There are a few "models" missing from the wiki page. The Tour DB, the 2000 edition, the blue and green 6.0 "dual taper" paintjob Pete Sampras Taiwanese frame.....
     
  48. psp2

    psp2 Banned

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    Majority of the Taiwanese PS85 I've had and/or have seen have buttcap codes that begin with an "S" (SEX, SDO, SEO, etc.)
     
  49. VGP

    VGP Legend

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    Apart from the different letter and location of the buttcap codes of the Taiwanese model, audioaffliction's "syn gut" recommendation in the throat is definitely a Taiwanese characteristic. If you compare the tone of the pinstripes of his frame with a SV or with an early Taiwan, you'd probably see that they are darker in hue.

    The earlier Taiwanese PS85s looks very similar to the SV. But no red primer and the use of the "Wilson Quality" hologram sticker with the serial number.....and a glossier finish... The decals are the same as a late SV.
     
  50. raygo

    raygo Semi-Pro

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    It is, but recently discontinued (within the last year). I'll add info to the wiki page.
     

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