Originally Posted by ProRadTour
The old school Head 18 x 20's are definitely the best. I would rate the Head frames in this order IMO:
1. Head Radical Tour (Twin Tube) (Candycane paint job is probably best option to go for if you are looking for a second hard frame as it has a lighter swing weight than the Zebra paint job. The Zebra is a beast of a racquet to handle).
2. Head i.Prestige MP
3. Head Pro Tour
Splitting hairs with the list above and just my personal opinion.
With the Head Frames, they have a feel and a dwell time that is very unique and that has not been replicated really in other frames I have tried. The i.Prestige is probably the best all round choice as it is stiffer more powerful but still provides that classic Head Flex and Feel.
Of the modern frames I have tried, IMHO the Technifiber 315 Ltd 18M is the best. It super solid with basically zero vibration. The fact that it is light enough to modify is also a massive positive. You can also change the pallets on the handle so you can use the Head Shaped pallets that the frame comes with or change it to the Wilson Style shape with the Head S pallets.
I also have used the IG Prestige MP, very good frame but not as good the 315 ltd. Just missing the overall solidness compared to the 315 ltd, really has to be modified. Even then there is still something missing with the frame.
The latest Blade 98 18M, is a very good offering however I found too stiff for my liking. Easy access to power and super easy frame to play with. The stiffness really helps with serving bombs. If you like a stiffer feel in 18 x 20 hard to beat. A personal peeve of mine with Wilson is the poor quality control. Also feel the build quality of their frames is not as good and Head, Tecnifiber and Dunlop with the exception of Wilson's Pro Staff series.
Play tested the Six One 95 18M, in comparison to the Blade not as solid IMO. Good frame, however it is stiff. Again a good offering you like the stiffer feel.
Have played the Bio 200, again good frame, very solid just didn't gel with me. Even though it has a low stiffness rating, to me it played stiffer than the reported rating.
I have played with the IG Radical PRO and it comes close to providing the flexy head classic feel. Unfortunately, I haven’t played the IG Radical MP so maybe that frame should be on your list. But you probably would have to modify it, as the static weight is quite low.
So, if you want a great frame 18 x 20 that is readily available you can’t go past the 315 Ltd. It is closest thing to acquiring a pro stock frame for regular consumers. If you don’t want to modify yourself and you know the specs that you like you can have TW modify the frame for you when you purchase. Otherwise I would try hunt down some second hand Head frames. No point paying an arm and a leg for PT57A/E unless you have the money to blow.
I am personally now playing with the 315 ltd, so I may be a little biased. To me it’s like a modern updated release of the old classic head frames. It plays stiffer, has a little more power but it is still has a soft feel and very solid vibration free response. Hard pressed to find anything better.
Another option to consider is the Angell/Vantage (63RA) Frames. I have yet to try them, from the posts I have read they produce a great quality frame that plays stiffer than the Head Classic Frames but still have comfortable solid feel. With Angell you can configure your frame on order with the custom specs for weight, balance and swing weight. So you don't have to worry about modifying the frame yourself.
Sigh, so frustrating the way head's frames have declined. The top three you mentioned everyone loves and yet you can't get a hold of, at least not new, unless you're willing to pay anywhere from $300-600 per frame.
I've tried the rad pro, feels wierd, not sure if it's the balance, but there is some hollowness there which I'm not a fan of. If I'm honest if I could get my usual serve with the bio200 I probably would just use that.
Wilsons have always given me arm problems on the serve, though I always liked the results on court, but in the interest of longevity they're not really an option.
Had a Vantage 95 frame, solid, but plays really stiff (no pain, just stiff response) and worst of all the feel was way too muted for my liking, but my tastes have changed so who knows.
I've pretty much narrowed it down to either the tec 18m or the redondo MP. I asked TW which frame would be best if you were after comfort, control, plowthrough in that order, and Andy recommended the redondo. I might see if I can find a couple used classic head sticks but i think it would be easier to just get either the tec or redondo and support and encourage companies that are still producing quality frames instead of wasting time and effort hunting the past glories of HEAD.