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-   -   Obscure makers that Kuebler missed? (http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=457358)

Sanglier 03-11-2013 11:01 PM

Obscure makers that Kuebler missed?
 
I am well aware that Kuebler is not mistake free, but he seems to have done a pretty thorough job of cataloguing (or at least mentioning) every racquet maker of significance that had been in business at one time or another through the early 1990s, many of which I would not expect to ever encounter during my casual perusal of thrift store treasure bins and fleabay listings. However, I have now run into two brands that are not in the '95 German edition of Kuebler, but which look like they ought to have been.

This first example is a local PIAS find from some years back:



It desperately wants you to think that it's Japanese (but most likely isn't), and looks vaguely like a cross between a Yonex and a ProKennex. The build quality is good, and it plays pretty much how it looks - bland and unremarkable. I have never been able to find any information on this Savlina brand name, nor have I ever encountered another racquet from this maker (perhaps it's some sort of OEM boutique brand made for a very limited market?).


The second find was freshly fished off of fleabay only a few days ago (there is a whole school of these floundering through the venue at the moment):



Again, very typical 1980s Taiwanese manufacture, nice satin finish, with a throat area design that appears to be partially inspired by some of the Kneissls of that era (or else it was meant to look like the outline of an actual shark tooth), and plays about the same as the Savlina.

After I finished stringing the example above (by guessing at the pattern), I noticed that the second and third crosses from the bottom are rather too close to one another to be correct, so I very likely flipped the mains and crosses at those four holes; which means that the two outer-most mains are supposed to be slanted, like the ones on the Völkls and Puma Boris Becker.

According to trademark records, the Agga brand was first created in 1978, and was registered in 1986 by White King Industrial, Inc. The registration expired in 1992 and was not renewed. Even though White King had a US business address, I get the feeling that the principals involved were Taiwanese nationals, who were trying to replicate Kunnan Lo's success by emphasizing the "American-ness" of their brand. Presumably those efforts were for naught, as neither Agga nor White King received a mention in the '95 Kuebler.

A recent thread by MAXXply focused on the Australian Techmann brand, which is also absent from my '95 Kuebler. So there must have been more than a few of these lesser known makes out there that flew under Kuebler's radar. Or did he rectify this oversight by including them in his 2000 revision and later updates?

Of course, we are only looking at brands that were made and/or marketed in the West here. Kuebler made an effort to survey all the known Eastern European makers in one of his later updates, but I am sure he could have written a whole other tome if he had included south Asia and the rest of the world in his survey.

jimbo333 03-12-2013 11:30 AM

^^^Interesting to see these!

The Kuebler book is an absolutely amazing bit of work, truly remarkable and ambitious. There are lots of mistakes in there, but that is completely to be expected, with such a large project as trying to list every tennis racket ever made!

retrowagen 03-12-2013 11:43 AM

I still need to buy a copy of Kuebler's book. Anyone have an extra to sell? German language is fine; I'm fluent. :)

Sanglier 03-12-2013 12:53 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by retrowagen (Post 7268273)
I still need to buy a copy of Kuebler's book. Anyone have an extra to sell? German language is fine; I'm fluent. :)

A vendor named "bookmamas_books" has had a copy of the 2000 English language edition listed on Amazon for months, but she(?) wants 495 USD for it; which is probably why it's still available after all these months. For that kind of dough, I would rather buy two used Equijets! :)

retrowagen 03-12-2013 01:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sanglier (Post 7268462)
A vendor named "bookmamas_books" has had a copy of the 2000 English language edition listed on Amazon for months, but she(?) wants 495 USD for it; which is probably why it's still available after all these months. For that kind of dough, I would rather buy two used Equijets! :)

Indeed! I might try to contact Herr Kuebler through an intermediary we both know; see if he has a copy holding up a corner of his sofa, or something like that. :)

And thank you, Sanglier, for another interesting and well-documented post, by the way.

Hannah19 03-13-2013 03:48 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by retrowagen (Post 7268479)
Indeed! I might try to contact Herr Kuebler through an intermediary we both know; see if he has a copy holding up a corner of his sofa, or something like that. :)

And thank you, Sanglier, for another interesting and well-documented post, by the way.

Don't get your hopes up to high.
A friend contacted him about 2 months ago and he is totally out of stock and has doubts that there will be another print.
There is a small update that can be downloaded but that's it.

Clintspin 03-13-2013 05:40 PM

email me Retro

clintspin2 at yahoo dot com

joe sch 03-13-2013 09:15 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Clintspin (Post 7271557)
email me Retro

clintspin2 at yahoo dot com

Retro, If you dont get a book from Clint, send me an email and I will do my best to get you one at my cost.

RE: Obscure makers that Kuebler missed?

Sanglier did an outstanding job picturing and analyzing those two obscure rackets. I think Keubler covered as many significant models as possible and there are many more of these obcure models, I know I have some in my stock.

retrowagen 03-13-2013 09:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by joe sch (Post 7272697)
Retro, If you dont get a book from Clint, send me an email and I will do my best to get you one at my cost.

RE: Obscure makers that Kuebler missed?

Sanglier did an outstanding job picturing and analyzing those two obscure rackets. I think Keubler covered as many significant models as possible and there are many more of these obcure models, I know I have some in my stock.

Thanks, Joe; I've emailed Clint and we'll see what he can do. If he can't help, I'll send you a message. Thanks much to you both!

And yes, I visit this forum almost daily, and really enjoy the sharing of information and good humor and overall atmosphere brought by yourself, "Sanglier" and so many others. By comparison to what I read in other sections of the TW forum, it's a friendly and open place. Glad we have it to share and enjoy our hobby together, in good spirits. :)

Sanglier 03-14-2013 12:35 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by retrowagen (Post 7272792)
By comparison to what I read in other sections of the TW forum, it's a friendly and open place. Glad we have it to share and enjoy our hobby together, in good spirits. :)

Could it be because the average ag...life experience tends to be slightly more advanced here than in the other sections, even if we discounted Coachrick's contribution? :)

Many of us probably see some reflection of ourselves in the racquets we love - a bit softer than the newer stuff, thicker walled, more swing weight, occasionally with a dense core, sweet and mellow most of the time, but can still pack a punch when everything is lined up just right; all of that wrapped in a relatively understated package that may exhibit some scars but is structurally sound, for the most part, which has been around just long enough to be labeled "vintage" without being bothered by it.

And we behave accordingly, for the most part.

From the archives, I get the sense that earlier conversations in this corner of the forum weren't always so congenial. I am pretty sure that if I had discovered this place back then, I would still have become an addict and visited here every day (and night), but strictly as a spectator. Being a born wimp, I find that watching a UFC match is an infinitely more appealing proposition than taking part in one, in that it would supply all the testosterone surge I could handle through resonant inductive coupling, without the unpleasant side effects of experiencing the real deal.

Joe Sch: Love your site. I've actually ordered a couple of the books on your recommendation list, which I would not have known about otherwise. The best part of being a relative newbie to this hobby is that there is always so much to learn and discover at every turn!

joe sch 03-14-2013 03:38 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sanglier (Post 7273185)
Could it be because the average ag...life experience tends to be slightly more advanced here than in the other sections, even if we discounted Coachrick's contribution? :)

Many of us probably see some reflection of ourselves in the racquets we love - a bit softer than the newer stuff, thicker walled, more swing weight, occasionally with a dense core, sweet and mellow most of the time, but can still pack a punch when everything is lined up just right; all of that wrapped in a relatively understated package that may exhibit some scars but is structurally sound, for the most part, which has been around just long enough to be labeled "vintage" without being bothered by it.

And we behave accordingly, for the most part.

From the archives, I get the sense that earlier conversations in this corner of the forum weren't always so congenial. I am pretty sure that if I had discovered this place back then, I would still have become an addict and visited here every day (and night), but strictly as a spectator. Being a born wimp, I find that watching a UFC match is an infinitely more appealing proposition than taking part in one, in that it would supply all the testosterone surge I could handle through resonant inductive coupling, without the unpleasant side effects of experiencing the real deal.

Joe Sch: Love your site. I've actually ordered a couple of the books on your recommendation list, which I would not have known about otherwise. The best part of being a relative newbie to this hobby is that there is always so much to learn and discover at every turn!

Thanks Sanglier
Your posts are very thoughtful and I am pleased to have been able to help you and others find the treasures from our "old school" days :)
Cheers Joe

joe sch 03-14-2013 03:42 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by retrowagen (Post 7272792)
Thanks, Joe; I've emailed Clint and we'll see what he can do. If he can't help, I'll send you a message. Thanks much to you both!

And yes, I visit this forum almost daily, and really enjoy the sharing of information and good humor and overall atmosphere brought by yourself, "Sanglier" and so many others. By comparison to what I read in other sections of the TW forum, it's a friendly and open place. Glad we have it to share and enjoy our hobby together, in good spirits. :)

I feel the same, sorta like we are family and have some very respectful discussions. Im looking forward to actually meeting many of you all, especially my brother the coach who lives a little south of me now. Really miss my racket collecting and tournament playing road trips in CA.

jimbo333 03-14-2013 04:45 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sanglier (Post 7273185)
Could it be because the average ag...life experience tends to be slightly more advanced here than in the other sections, even if we discounted Coachrick's contribution? :)

Many of us probably see some reflection of ourselves in the racquets we love - a bit softer than the newer stuff, thicker walled, more swing weight, occasionally with a dense core, sweet and mellow most of the time, but can still pack a punch when everything is lined up just right; all of that wrapped in a relatively understated package that may exhibit some scars but is structurally sound, for the most part, which has been around just long enough to be labeled "vintage" without being bothered by it.

And we behave accordingly, for the most part.

From the archives, I get the sense that earlier conversations in this corner of the forum weren't always so congenial. I am pretty sure that if I had discovered this place back then, I would still have become an addict and visited here every day (and night), but strictly as a spectator. Being a born wimp, I find that watching a UFC match is an infinitely more appealing proposition than taking part in one, in that it would supply all the testosterone surge I could handle through resonant inductive coupling, without the unpleasant side effects of experiencing the real deal.

Joe Sch: Love your site. I've actually ordered a couple of the books on your recommendation list, which I would not have known about otherwise. The best part of being a relative newbie to this hobby is that there is always so much to learn and discover at every turn!

Hey, as someone that was here at the very start, I've got to say that it's always been very friendly here:)

There has been the odd person that caused some trouble in the past, but even they were very knowledgable, and it has mainly just been banter. One of the reasons I'm posting here again is that it seems more lively here lately, with lots of people posting which is great news.

I've met some great friends from here. 3 years ago I went out to meet Virginia in New Zealand while on holiday amazingly, and Hans in Holland as well; it was brilliant to meet them and see their superb classic racket collections:)

Hannah19 03-14-2013 11:27 AM

Anytime Jon (Jimbo).......

Sanglier 09-08-2013 02:48 PM

Among the racquets I just picked up from the fellow forum member are two brands that I have never heard of before.

First the "Tennis Rancher". It is evidently the house brand of John Gardiner's Tennis Ranch - once upon a time a premier tennis destination for the well-heeled leisure class: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vau...4164/index.htm



This is obviously a white-label product, but can anyone recognize what it is under the (rather pretty) skin?


Then there is this interesting "Graphmax" frame, whose cosmetics literally mirror those of a Gauthier racquet I have. Even the stylized "G" in the logo can be viewed as a derivative of Gauthier's trademark "G".



Is this a Gauthier rip-off? Why would anyone bother ripping off an already obscure (outside of France) marque? Or was this a Gauthier-sanctioned effort to broaden their appeal beyond the francophone market? After all, for those who don't speak French, 'Graphmax' is a lot easier to pronounce correctly than 'Gauthier'. :)

Curiously. while the Graphmax is bumperless, hinting at an early-mid '80s release, it is made with variable beam geometry, which didn't become common until much later, when bumpers were already de rigueur, making this frame oddly anachronistic in some ways, or maybe just appropriately Gallic? :-?

---

MAXXply 09-09-2013 07:34 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sanglier (Post 7738752)
Among the racquets I just picked up from the fellow forum member are two brands that I have never heard of before.

First the "Tennis Rancher". It is evidently the house brand of John Gardiner's Tennis Ranch - once upon a time a premier tennis destination for the well-heeled leisure class: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vau...4164/index.htm



This is obviously a white-label product, but can anyone recognize what it is under the (rather pretty) skin?

---

Well, in my neck of the woods we had this:



Thin/flat crossbar. Good heft.
The typeface on the Rancher headcover lettering (below the zipper) is highly redolent of Kennex's other models, so maybe it was another one of Mr Lo's nice little earners?

Sanglier 09-09-2013 12:30 PM

Thanks for your input, MAXXply! Yes, a "Kunnan-Lo Special" would be a very safe bet in this case :) That "Panther JC" certainly appears to be a close match with the Tennis Rancher. Too bad the angle of that photo is not ideal for side by side comparison, but the specs are definitely very similar between the two (though I am not sure about the '100-102' head size as claimed by the seller; it really doesn't look that big in the picture. As for the Tennis Rancher, its head size is 90 tops).




One difference I can already see is that the "Panther JC" has no shared holes, while the "Tennis Rancher" has 4 of these per side. Also, there are 18 crosses on the Panther, and 19 on the TR. Of course, it is entirely possible that Kunnan Lo used the exact same frame and just drilled it differently for different clients.

I guess no contract was too big or too small for Mr. Prolific :)

retrowagen 09-09-2013 02:35 PM

I'm a little late to this week's party, but I have to opine that the Rancher (what a name for a racquet! Probably has lots of plow-through :) ) looks like an Antelop model I very vaguely remember from circa 1984-5-ish, also made by Kunnan Lo. Super Mars? Kingleap?? I can't remember which model...

The "MID-SIZE GRAPHITE" by-line on the cover (not to mention the cover's shape and zipper location) look like a carbon copy of the Black Ace ("98")'s, circa 1984. However, cover manufacture might have been sub'ed out to another OEM.

Might it be apropos to revise the thread title to "Obscure BRANDS...," rather than makers? Because there are/were actually very few makers (and even fewer now) of tennis racquets than brands of tennis racquets. Just sayin'.

Sanglier 09-09-2013 03:59 PM

Are you thinking of this one, Retro?

http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=455735

This "TC828" is definitely a fraternal twin of the "Rancher", and likely an identical twin of the "Panther JC" (18 crosses, no shared holes).

So that's it then; this particular Kunnan frame wore at least three different dresses to the showroom back in the day, one of which was explicitly 'repulsive', just like some of the automobile offerings of that era. :) It wouldn't surprise me at all if we discovered still more obscure clones of the same!

I'd edit the name of this thread if I knew how!

retrowagen 09-09-2013 09:41 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sanglier (Post 7743321)
Are you thinking of this one, Retro?

http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=455735

This "TC828" is definitely a fraternal twin of the "Rancher", and likely an identical twin of the "Panther JC" (18 crosses, no shared holes).

So that's it then; this particular Kunnan frame wore at least three different dresses to the showroom back in the day, one of which was explicitly 'repulsive', just like some of the automobile offerings of that era. :) It wouldn't surprise me at all if we discovered still more obscure clones of the same!

I'd edit the name of this thread if I knew how!

Wow, nice use of the ****C machine, Mister Peabody! :)


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