Alright guys - I've been meaning to do this for the last couple weeks. I haven't posted a racquet review in a long time, so you will have to forgive me if I am a bit rusty...
I have been doing some serious playtesting of the entire Donnay line, and will be doing some work with the company moving forward. I was absolutely in love with my Youtek Prestige MP's, but after about 10 minutes with these frames I knew I was hooked. My only problem with these frames so far is deciding which one I like the best. It seems that whichever one I am hitting with I feel is the best
I get going with one and think it's the best, pop the strings, try another one and then think it is the best and so on. After a few weeks with the frames i am still back and forth between a couple models.
Before i get into each specific racquet, let me first talk about the line in general. I'm sure you guys know that these racquets are THIN... and I mean THIN. They are not hollow frames, as the xenecore material goes all the way through the racquets. This is what gives them their solid, control oriented feel. I have always played with pretty thin beamed frames, but these take it to a new level. I really like how easy these frames move through the air - almost knifelike. The top end sticks are pretty heavy, but since they are so thin they didn't feel as heavy as listed.
The cosmetics on the whole line are amazing. I really like the shiny smoke color that is on every frame, with the matte looking color that defines each frame. The whole line is really classy looking. I have had a ton of people come over to me to talk about the racquet I am using while i have been doing my playtesting... I have found that to be pretty cool
The customization kits are a really intriguing idea. It is nice to see a company taking some initiative to change things up a little bit. The interchangeable butt-caps are really easy to change, and come in 0, 5, and 10 gram weights. There is a key that comes with the kit that allows for the cap to be popped out with ease. i have tinkered around with the strips as well. I find them to be pretty accurate. Installing them is very easy. The one thing i did notice is after extensive play on clay court, the strips were at times difficult to get out if clay got stuck between the strips and the racquet guard. i also found it fun to take the strips from other color racquets, and put them in other frames to customize the colors even more.
Each frame sold retail comes with the customization kit - including key, standard, 5g, and 10g buttcap, and 1g strips. Heavier strips can be purchased through Donnay. They come with a set of Donnay poly, which i found to play pretty nicely, as well as 3 white overgrips. Not too shabby
I really think Donnay has put out a very quality product here. They are a little more expensive than a standard stick, but upon holding one they feel like they should be more expensive. Anyone that has hit with one may know what i'm talking about. Add in the string, kit, and grips and they really aren't that much more. top level players should take a liking to these immediately. Solid junior players should like the yellow, orange, white, or red 99. I've even had a few senior players and women switch from their power series racquets to the white 99. They offer a little somethin somethin for everyone
So with that being said, I will start writing my reviews of each frame, and start answering anyones questions as they may come up. NOTE***I am not a fan of leather grips, so all of mine have synthetics on them *** I am a Kirschbaum player, so have been testing all of the frames out with pro line II - my favorite of all polys. I have generally strung my racquets in the upper 50's / lower 60's. However, I have found most of these to play better when strung at lower tensions. On most I am somewhere around the 50-54 lbs. range. I have now hit with every frame, except the standard x-red 94. The red 94 i have been testing is the red 94 +, which is 330g. stock weight.
UPDATE: if you are here just for the reviews, i have posted some links to them so they are easier to get to. However, read the whole thread it is very good
Donnay X-Blue 94 Review
Donnay X-Blue 99 Review
Donnay X-Black 94 Review
Donnay X-Black 99 Review
Donnay X-Dark Red 94 Review
Donnay X-Red 99 Review
Donnay X-Red 94 + Review
Donnay X-Orange 99 Review
Donnay X-White 99 Review
Donnay X-Yellow Review