Q Tour/6.1 16x18/Rebel 95/Dual Gold99 mini reviews
Just did another round of demos, this time in the stock ~345g or so range, ever so slightly heavier than the 11oz leaded up to ~340 that I'm used to. Thought I'd share my exp as some of these are newish... (I'm a typical modern 4.5, attack with topspin FH, solid 2hbh, lots of aggressive shots on the run, kick 2nd serve, bad at net, etc.)
2012 Wilson 6.1 95 16x18-
This hammer weighed 354g with no overgrip and a TW damper, strung with NXT in the high 50s.
Groundies- Mass, mass, mass. This thing crushed the ball like a pea. When I had time and all my energy I could go heavy and deep to the corners with an easy, compact swing and the 16x18 seemed to bring the ball down at the baseline on its own, without needing any exaggerated wrist action to impart spin. Felt super solid on both sides and easy to be aggressive without fear of launching, in fact, the more aggressive I hit, the safer it felt. Didn't swing as heavy as I would have thought although my tweaky wrist did start to hurt after a few days, due to the extra weight (my problem not the frame's). On defense, if I was seeing the ball well I was still able to get the racket around and hit well but against a ball with a lot of jump/movement I struggled a bit to find my timing and make clean contact do to the weight/head size and that's when I did get some flyers.
Serve- Easy to get good heavy pace and placement just using the weight of the frame with a short motion. I found myself tossing lower and more out front and just cranking down on the ball, rather than my usual "up and through" motion which felt a little difficult to pull off with the weight of this frame. I think I could serve very well with this frame but would need to change my motion to do it.
Slice: Super solid on contact as expected although this is strangely where the frame did feel sluggish to me. Definitely required more set of a set-up to execute, chopping back a high floater required a bit of arm strength!
Volleys: Didn't volley much, with the firepower from the baseline most of the points ended there. Very solid and stable but that's all I can say.
Feel: Cushioned and uber-solid but not detached. Pretty much just how I like.
Overall: If you can handle the weight and like to be aggressive this thing is a comfy beast. I played great with it for a few days but the weight was too much for my wrist and I did wonder if I found myself on defense in a matchup, if I would start reaching for a lighter stick.
347g with no overgrip and W damper, strung with NRG 1.24, high 50s.
I added an overgrip making this one 354g also but this felt lighter than the wilson, closer to what I'm used to (but still a bit heavier).
I couldn't help but think of the Black Ace 98 right away with this one. Like the BA it has a strangely tinny feel even though the impact of the ball is very very solid. Less tinny than the Ace, but still a little disappointing for this kind of stick - the way it plows through the ball you expect that sweet "thud" feeling and it just isn't there. I'd say it has a better feel than the Ace, especially at net, a tad more maneuverable, but quite a bit less power. You feel a bit of flex in the hoop with the Q whereas the Ace plows through the ball more. I enjoyed the control and solidity and all around perfomance of the the QTour but found myself wishing it had the plow power of the Ace.
Overall: The Q Tour feels solid and very pinpoint on every shot in the book. Low slices are a treat, flat groundies are precise with a generous sweetspot, I seemed to always hit the sweetspot with the Q. The only cons to me are the somewhat low power/spin level and the "wish it felt better" feel. If you don't need any extra power or spin from the frame it is a high performance old school stick for sure.
2012 Rebel 95
Also 347g with damper and no overgrip. Strung low (mid 40s?) with a black textured poly.
During the first rally I hoped I would end up with this one as the cushiony, solid feel and sweeet sweetspot was heavenly. Unfortunately, I found this version a little slower than the previous green Rebel 95 and found it hard to do anything but hit flat. Granted the low tension poly was a big shift from the other demos (it was supposed to be a multi) but I felt like I couldn't get the racket speed to brush over the ball and just had to hit everything flat. It has some good pop, especially on the serve but it was just too sluggish for me to really evaluate. Bummer, I liked the feel of this one the best!
Donnay X-Dual Gold 99
This was a bit tricky since it is so different than the other 3, more of a cushiony, spinny tweener. I don't know if I had enough to time to really adjust to this one but here's what I thought:
Very soft, flexy, big sweetspot in the vein of the Exo3 Tour 100 but much easier swinging. Loads of easy spin and a ton of feedback and touch, you feel like you're throwing the ball with your hand almost. I found it a wee bit low powered and/or lacking in heft against pace and the 4 3/8 grip was very small with almost no butt at the end with was annoying my hand but i think with the right string setup this could be an amazing spinny tweener for 4.0 and below- easy to use, touch, comfort, feel, easy serving, stable. I didn't quite gel with it (maybe just the tiny, shapeless grip) but I bet quite a few people will adore this one.
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