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Old 01-24-2013, 05:22 PM   #1
dr325i
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Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: TX
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Default Head Graphene Speed Pro Review (in Progress)

OK, based on many positive reviews, I pulled the trigger and got me one from TW.

First things I noticed:
- It came at 325g strung, which tells me that unstrung weight was about 310g. I am glad it came on the lighter side (see "customization")
- The gommets are "interesting" and a nightmare for a stringer -- the gommet strips are multiple pieces that click together. However, I would think they are hard to keep in place when stringing and one of "connections" on my strung (TW) racket snapped off and is sticking out. Still playable, however, looks like it may affect the string life, not sure.
- The Head is definitely elongated, more oval, however, I think it is different from Prestige shape.
- The string pattern (18x20) is very tight in the middle, and when overlayed with the IG Speed MP 315, mains 1 and 18 are about 1/4 inch closer to the center.
- The frame is visibly thicker beam than the previous generation and the overal frame shape (inside the hoop and other) is different
- I really like the new PJ, too -- clean

Customization:
In order to match my other rackets (Pro Stock of the IG/YT Speed MP with Silicone and Lead), I have added the overgrip and about 10g of silicone in the handle and about 12g of lead from 4 to 8. This made the racket 350g and 32cm balance.

I spent about 1.5 hours today hitting with this racket, serving and some net play.

Initial Review:

First serves are powerful and accurate. A good thing is that the racket has a lot of power and you can serve with 70% effort and still get a nice pop. It took absolutely no time/effort to get my serve going.
I had a lot of trouble with the second serve -- just could not get the spin and kick I get with my IG Speed. I believe the tight string pattern is contributing to it. Therefore, I had a lot of double faults. I switched for 30 minutes back to my IG Speed and the 2nd serve was no problem (for me, it was for the returner ).
The second serve was actually the main draw back for me so far, along with the volleys.

It was effortless to make the shots with this racket -- FH and 2HBH. I noticed that there is some spin but definitely less than with the IG version. I use Western FH, so, this was a hard part to adjust, and will take a few more sessions to feel comfortable with. The racket is powerful, my customization added more to it, so...
The racket is very stable and offers a nice sweet spot as other testers have mentioned. This definitely helps with the off-center shots.

2HBH did not change much for me as my shots are more flat than I would like them to be. G-Speed feels about the same on the BH side.
Slices felt nice, deep and low.

Altough G-Speed is spec'd at higher flex rating (stiffer), I (and my arm/shoulder) did not feel negative about it, with full poly setup. In fact, the racket feels very much like the IG Speed rather than the YT Speed MP that was stiffer than the IG. I would say the racket feels very comforable on arm. I was expecting some pain as my elbow and shoulder are sensitive, however, no issues so far.

I did some net practice today, but not enough to be conclusive. It felt like the ball was flying too long, and I did not have a good depth control like with my IG Speeds. I will do more net practice over the weekend.

OK, so, I will update after the weekend practice when I should put in additional 5 hours with the racket. If I can figure out my second serve (my serve is my biggest weapon as I age), there is a good chance I will be looking for a few more of the lighter G-Speed Pros, otherwise, sticking with the IG/YT's...

January 27th Update:

I spent additional 3.5 hours with the racket this weekend. I do everything well with this stick, I just do it better with my regular rackets. So, this racket is going to the For Sale Section.

To Sumarize:- Head has done a great job with Graphene Speed Pro!
- Vibrations are minimal (no dampener used), however, it is not completely muted and there is a nice feedback
- I am surprised with the RA Rating of the stick because it does not feel too stiff and did not give me any problems after about 6 hours (and I do have very sensitive Tennis Elbow and shoulder)
- The power is great with the racket, very easy to block the shots and effortless shot making
- The string pattern is very tight in the middle (oval head shape) and the access to spin is not as good as on the IG/YT Speed MP 18x20. This was the main drawback for me as I rely on my spin FH and second kick serve. However, there is more spin access than, for example Prestige MP...
- The sweet spot is nice, large. Very stable with the off the center shots.
- Excellent control!
- Serves are powerful and easy directional control
- My second serves got better last two days, but still, I was not as confident as with my current stick. Could be in my head...
- Volleys are actually very nice once I tuned them in
- FH is easy and deep. It would be a total monster for the flat hitters! 2HBH (fairly flat for me) was great! Slices are beautiful.

This concludes my review.

Last edited by dr325i : 01-27-2013 at 11:58 AM.
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