Question for Karly: re Wilson nTour
There's a few of us who play at the same club and have been using the nTour since it came out and are at the point were an upgrade is very much needed. As someone who also uses the nTour and has had the chance to try all the different versions, we were wondering what it is that has stopped you switching to one of the newer versions? Do you think there's something missing in the newer models that the nTour had , in the feel or response? Also, did you ever try the BLX Tour Limited and if you did, what did you think?
We'd also all like to say thanks to you and Tiffani for doing such a great job with the reviews and repping all us ladies around the 4.0 bracket. Every time there's a new review we always check to see if you two are included.
Thank you so much for the compliments. It really means a lot to us!
And what a great question. Overall, I'd have to say the main reason I haven't switched racquets yet is because of the amount of control I get from the nTour. I prefer control over power and it's usually harder for me to find the same level of control from racquets with similar weights; generally heavier racquets are more control-oriented. With the nTour, it's light enough to where I can get good depth and power, but also a ton of control.
With that being said, I really enjoyed playing with the newer versions since they were so similar to the nTour, but for me they just lacked some of the control the nTour provides. However I did think the newer versions were more comfortable, had better feel and were much softer on my arm, which was great.
Unfortunately, I have not had the chance to try the BLX Tour Limited racquet (I wish we had some in-stock to demo so I could give you my opinion), though after taking a look at the specifications I think this racquet will be a good compromise between the newer and older Tour racquets in terms of control and power. The Limited has a similar power level to the newer versions (most of them being medium), but is also slightly heavier than the newer Tour racquets which should help with control.
I hope this helps. If you have anymore questions, or if there's anything else you'd like to discuss, be sure to let me know. I'd be more than happy to help!
Thanks very much for the wonderfully helpful reply. We were wondering which of the last two 'Tour' racquets, the blxTour or the blxTour 2012 you preferred.
Also, because you're doing so much testing of different strings now, have you found any strings or hybrids that you think work really well in the Tour (blx, ncode or 2012) racquets?
Carolyn (and team)
Carolyn and Team,
I apologize for the delayed response.
I'd have to say I prefer the older BLX Tour version more, and it basically comes down its higher swingweight (the amount of energy it takes to swing the racquet). I like racquets with heavier swingweights, as that extra heft tends to help me get better depth control and plowthrough with my stroke. The lower swingweight of the 2012 BLX Tour could help explain why I didn't find that level of control I liked with the nTour. However, I did like the comfort and feel of the 2012 racquet the best; it seemed to feel the softest on my arm. Too bad we couldn't just take the control of the nTour, the slight extra power from the older BLX, and the comfort of the 2012 frame - now, that would be my racquet of choice!
Overall, I think they're all great frames and it just comes down to personal preference. What I love about the Wilson Tour racquets is the combination of weight and swingweight. Their weights categorize them as being somewhat lighter, intermediate racquets. Yet they also have similar swingweights as some of the heavier, more advanced frames. This is probably the main reason why I haven't switched racquets after all these years; it's uncommon now to find lighter racquets with higher swingweights.
As for the string, I personally like the feel of softer strings so I usually stick with multifilaments. Wilson NXT 16 has been my go-to choice for years; it's soft, powerful, and in my opinion has great playability. Since NXT is also one of the more powerful strings, I like to string it around 58lbs to make up for the lack of control (higher tensions offer more control, lower tensions offer more power). In general when stringing racquets at a higher tension, you loose feel and comfort since the strings are tighter, but with NXT I still find it comfortable with a good combination of power and control.
I have yet to find a hybrid or a full-bed of polyester that I like as much as NXT, though one string that stands out is Kirschbaum Pro Line Evolution 17. It's a type of polyester string so it's going to be stiffer and more control-oriented, but I find it to be one of the livelier polyesters; my shots felt crisper and I got great feel compared to other stiffer strings. When using Evolution in a full setup, I like stringing it at 47lbs to get more power out of the control-oriented string. Or if I decide to use Evolution in a hybrid, I like to put it in the crosses and NXT in the mains, both strung at 53lbs. Whatever string is used in the mains is what you should feel the most, so I like to go with the comfort of NXT rather than the stiffer Evolution.
Again, be sure to let me know if there's anything else I can help you out with!
Wishing the best of luck to you and your team,
Thanks very much again for your reply and no need at all to apologise - in between playtesting and doing your regular work we all are just grateful that you, Tiffani, Chris and all the TW folk can find time to answer a few questions. It's all appreciated.
We tried the new 2012 Tour and the older BLX and the results were pretty mixed. I loved the old BLX (the orange, blue and white one) and would switch in a second if I could find them. No-one really liked the 2012 and it was probably due to the lower swingweight. Personally, I felt that with the 2012 I wasn't getting the ball as deep and that I didn't have as much directional control as I liked or as I get with my nTour or the older BLX. More comfortable but not as effective.
Thanks for the string suggestions, we'll give the NXT and Kirshbaum a try to see what happens. I've usually avoided multis because I never felt that while they were soft and powerful I never felt that they really gripped the ball as well as a synthetic. Do you know of any multis that have a bit of grip to them or is the NXT that sort of string?
Other than that, I can't think of anything else to ask, unless you've 1,2 or 3 of the older Tour BLX new or used sitting around in a back room somewhere lol. Just my luck to like the one that they don't make any longer. Fingers crossed the next one they make will go back to the higher swing weight.
Thanks again for the suggestions and advice.
You can imagine once the older BLX Tour racquet was discounted due to the release of the newer version, those older Tours didn't stay in-stock long at all!
In regards to the string, unfortunately that's the nature of multifilaments; they don't offer much bite or grab on the ball (if any at all). Hybriding multifilaments with synthetics or polyesters will add a little extra grip on the ball, but if gripping the ball is something you're looking for, I'd recommend sticking with a full set of synthetic or polyester.
Hope you find a new racquet you like playing with soon!
Thanks for the reply, but I was really just joking about TW having some racquets laying around. Not to worry though, my very thoughtful (surprisingly so; it's not even close to my birthday) fiance read my post and tracked down two of the blx tours in my grip size. So I'm all ready to roll :)
I'll stick with the synthetics I think. Fortunately, I've always found the Tour racquets perform well with a basic synthetic (another major plus in using them) and have got my eye on the Volkl V-Wrap and Klip Scorcher. With what you've suggested, I might also give the Volkl V-Maxx hybrid a whirl. The others have fallen for your suggestion of NXT and are using it as their go-to string.
Thanks again for all your help, from me and everyone in the team.
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