Discussion in 'Racquets' started by TennisMaverick, Jan 7, 2011.
Thank you. Sad news. Volkl is a great company making great products.
Volkl Marker of Switzerland which owns the brand and controls the product development can always relaunch the brand if and when they find a new partner and that I know nothing of.
But they'd need to do it by the beginning of the new year.
Does this also impact their ski line?
just snapped another of these with babolat tonic string job all for under $100.00. Got 3 of these in total now and should be all set for a while... really loving this frame.
How is the Volkl hybrid working for you?
Good. I have 3 hours on it, the first was way too stiff, but by the second hour the poly loosened up a bit and now it plays a little more comfortably. Still like full gut better, but this set up is good. next time around I think i will go 61#/56#. I don't need the poly quite so tight. I lose a little of the ball pocketing at the tight tension. Played a good 4.5 today and he thought my shots with the hybrid set up were coming off my frame like cannon balls. heavy and fast. I could get used to it. the Volkl gut is showing minimal fraying and holding up pretty good so far.
Is there anyone here with a glass elbow able to testify where the Melbourne lies on the arm-friendliness spectrum? An average RA 64 is normally several points higher than I would consider, but there have been Volkl frames in the past that were much easier on the arm than their stiffness would suggest.
I can't confirm for an elbow but I can confirm for a shoulder. I transitioned to the Melboure from the Boris Becker 11MP and my shoulder is back to 100%. For about 18 months prior, it was a guaranty that I wouldn't be sleeping through the night post match due to shoulder issues. A little correction in form and a more arm-friendly racquet and I've been a happy camper.
It makes for a nice, cushy ride. Very comfortable.
I have a tender shoulder as well and this is the only frame over a RA 62 stiffness index rating that has not bothered my shoulder one bit. I have used a few set ups over the last 2 months and obviously full gut and full multi are the most comfortable and are good choices for this frame. Tried a poly/multi hybrid and cut it out fairly immediately. Didn't bother my arm so much, but just didn't play that well. Now have a gut/poly on one of my frames as I mention above and is very comfortable. This is also the only frame I have ever used that requires a dampener on the string bed, otherwise it can be very pingy.
I bought one, Never used a BB before...great way to try @ $59.
What can I expect? Anyone use this comparing to a Yonex(rdis100 rds 001)? I usually use a 93, so hope its a small 98.
I just broke(smashed) a Yonex of mine
Awesome deal on these...
The only thing I don't like about it is the swingweight - too low compared to what I normally use.
Does anybody know by how much would the swingweight change with, say, 6-7g of lead at the tip of the racquet?
Question for you Melbourne users. I’m looking for comparison feedback from anyone who has used or tried the AG 4D 200 Tour. I know Basil has, but I got an out of office reply and with the sticks being $59, I’m hoping someone can provide a quick insight. I like the 200T plow and spin, but I’m finding the 350ish SW to be a bit tiring over the course of a match and I just can’t dial in serves. Considering the older Head MG Prestige MP or current AG 4D 200 (I demoed bio…didn’t like it), but want to keep the mass while making a little easier swing. I’m also partial to 18x20, so this looks pretty promising. I’m a 4.0, 50, all-courter, some doubs play, and have a history of TE. Full swings, and I like to hit hard. I can use a full bed of poly if the racquet has enough mass, but normal setup is Klip Legend in mains and a softer poly in crosses.
Thanks for any insights you can provide.
I have hit with the 200 Tour and just picked up a couple Melbournes. I also had an issue with the high swingweight of the 200 Tour. It felt nice for the first 30 minutes, then it was just too demanding to swing for me.
I have only served and hit a few groundstrokes with the Melbourne. My initial impression is I really like it. Even though the static weight is 12 oz, it is much easier to swing. Compared with the 200 Tour, it may even feel too easy to swing. I suppose if that is an issue, you could tweak with lead.
I have never used a Becker racquet before, but the price of $59 was too tempting.
Sorry I can't give a more in depth comparison, but I just wanted to let you know what I have experienced so far.
Melbourne is a great frame if you can't handle the SW of the 200T. I loved that frame, but you need to be in excellent shape and IMO be playing at a high level very regularly. last summer I got in in very good shape and had no issues using it. This summer I am in good shape, but not great and I found the frame was just too much. When I was using the 200T I uised to hit with Mike( kot bigemot) quite a bit and I would marvel and how big he would hit with his melbounre. Full gut, weighted up a bit, but not a ton. He lent me his to try and I found it to be an extremely well rounded frame. Compared to the 200T:
BB swings lighter, but with a better HL balance.
BB is just as stable, power levels are close with a slight edge to the Melbourne.
Spin ironically is better with the Melbourne IMO,for me, especially on serves and biting slices and control is also slightly better,
But, the 200T flat out hits a very heavy ball that is unmatched with any other frame I have used. At the net, I give the nod to the 200T as well.
If I was 30 and in fantastic shape with a healthy shoulder I'd still be with the 200T. It played well with a variety of string set ups and was always arm friendly. It just wore me out in long matches and I lost juice on my serves as matches went on.
The Melbourne leaves me wanting for nothing more from this frame. Great control, power level and comfort. Plays best with gut or mulit mains, a bonus for someone who has arm issues and is heavy enough to play against big hitters, yet light enough not to fatigiue me in the slightest.
Hope this helps.
Thanks to both Brian14190 and Basil_J for taking the time to respond. Really appreciate it. I went ahead and ordered two Melbournes, and I'm excited to see how they work out. Interestingly enough, I just sold one of my three 200Ts (new/unused) to a 30 year-old. Sounds like he has a big game, so I'm guessing it will work well for him. The only other player I personally know who hits the 200T is my son's former high school doubles partner, now a sophomore in college. That probably should have been my clue that as much as I wanted to like the racquet, using it effectively over the course of a match is part of the reality of my mid-life crisis! I'll report back once I've had a hitting session or two.
Played a solid 4.0-.45 Redondo MP user last night. Went 3 sets but the lights went off at 3-3 in the 3rd. My opponent is someone I turned onto the Redondo MP 4 years ago. He was surpised that I was using a racquet that is already going out of production. He let me know that he never felt under pressure so constantly in a match against me as he did last night. he said my shots were heavy driving topspin drives and he Thought I was relentless in driving the ball corner to corner all night. Even though my game plan was quite obvious, he felt like he was on defense all night and his chnage in spins and pace had no effect what so ever on my ability to keep him on the run. he is now going to try to demo the Melbourne because he was so impressed with my ability to stay on course all night. I, on the other hand felt like as long as I kept the gas down around 75% all match and stayed within myself, that i would eventually wear down my opponent that was 16 years my junior. Gut/poly is a great set up on this stick.
Sounds like you are having fun Bill. Yeah, those lights went out on me couple times. And it becomes dark instantly....SUCKS!
Are you telling me that gut/cyclone combo is still alive? Nice. Hope you like it.
It is still alive and a very nice set up. It is only 3 weeks old, so it better still be alive!. I am good at rotating my frames when I play but i will need to restring the full gut set ups pretty soon. The poly cross adds some weight and added bite to the ball I don't get with full gut, but of course the full gut is most comfortable of all set ups I have tried so far.
Ok, I'm in. Got two last week and will string up/hit one first to see how it goes. I've seen several references in this thread regarding string setups. What is the recommendation for the first one out of the chute to give me the best understanding of racquet performance/capabilities? I don't want to misjudge because I have the wrong setup. I'm used to either full poly or Klip Legend 17 in mains and Solinco Outlast 17 in crosses. Recent setup on my 200 Tour was around 55 in the mains 52 in the crosses. Thanks, and thanks for sharing all the great thoughts and info in this thread.
I'd say, get something soft, like X-1 or similar string. A good quality multi. String at around 57-58. I normally suggest stringing at 60 but since you are used to 55.....try going 58.
i played the 200T at around 56# with poly mains and 60#with full gut mains, The melbourne swings easier than the 200T so the increased racquet head speed might send some balls long you would normally keep in with the 200T, so I would suggest a full multi around 58# and start developing a basline for how it performs from there and adjust accordingly. No issue with spin generation with this bad boy what soever so you should have good control out of the gate, but there is more pop off the ground with this frame than the 200T IMO..
Kot and Basil…before I string up with multi at 58 I have one other opinion question. I noted in earlier posts to this forum that it was strongly recommended that only 5.0 and up use the Melbourne. I’m a 4.0, so if that is truly the case I’d rather know that now while I can still return new. I play a lot of doubs and am trying to change my game to get to the net more (I’m not a hard-core baseliner) and the Melbourne seems to get high marks for volleying. Also, if serving with this feels/acts the same as the 200T, I’ll be in trouble. I’m double-faulting all over the place with that one.
Sorry to be a bit of a pest here.
I am sorry but, that is such a BS...I have no other comments.
So, if you are a 4.0, you can not use Babolat Aeropro drive? Of Wilson siz one tour?
You use what you like and what you play with best.
5.0? Bah. Some rackets will fit you, some won't regardless of level.
I play at a solid 4.0 level and have never had an issue with most players frames. IMO, This is a fairly easy frame to use and would not get hung up on player levels defined by TW.
I demoed the Melbourne a little over a year ago and remember the comments about needing to be at least a 5.0 to fully utilize this racquet. The only reason I can see someone making this statement, and this is a stretch, is that the sweet spot does seem to be smaller on this frame as compared to other 98" racquets.
Exactly how that translates into a "being a 5.0 or better frame", I'm not sure. You can hit the sweet spot every time & still be a 3.5 or 4.0.
I'm a solid 4.5 and loved the demo time I had with it. In fact, I ordered it a 2nd time during my final evaluations and would have gone with it had I not liked the X Force Pro slightly better.
I must say that, at $59 a frame, it does look tempting...
Serving with the melbourne is easier than the the 200T, once you get dialed into it. Good loose mechanics work the best, as with all strokes I might add. The grip is more rectangular than most, which may take some adjustment, but I have found that If I stick to a solid continental or slight BH grip while serving, it places my palm right behind the largest pallet (3rd pallet) and makes the wrist snap and drive up to the ball more natural and solid. A bonus if you rush the net as well because the same continenal grip is for the volley as well.
Don't fear. Give the frame 2-3 hours of solid play and you be all set.
Just strung one up this morning with multi at 58/55 and hitting the courts in a few hours for some singles. Should be the 2-3 hours recommended. I'll report back...here we go!
Go get it!
Kot and basil, where do you guys play that's under the lights? MIT? I know they have their lights on pretty late. Also, maybe I missed it in this thread somewhere, but how would you compare the Melbourne to the London? I know they're different weights and string patterns, but anything else you can offer would be appreciated.
I play at Reading HS, also they have lights at Lexington HS, North Reading MS, Brandeis has lights, TUFTS. Many places around have lights.
I play North of the City, know nothing about MIT courts. However, we play at MIT and Harvard during winter.
As for London. For some reason i really disliked that frame. Tried it twice and both times could not wait to throw it in the bag.
I'm right there with you on the London. My wife ended up liking it but I was not remotely interested in keeping it on the court any longer than I needed to give it a fair shot.
I can't say what it was definitively, but I was not a fan.
Well, after four sets yesterday I still was not getting the accustomed to this stick. Probably my lack of hand-eye, but any shots towards the top or bottom of the stringbed felt like miss hits, and it was tough for me to stay in the sweetspot. Power seemed to drop off as well in those areas, so I never knew how my shot was going to go. I’m not used to a full bed of multi, but it definitely was too powerful at times. While I had an occasional great shot, slices were often floating long and forehands were sporadic. Just didn’t like not knowing if the shot was going to feel solid or not, or how much power I was going to garner. Serves were much better than the 200T, and volleys and overheads were decent, but groundstrokes were frustrating. I’m guessing poly won’t do me much good as far as the sweetspot goes, but I need to see if I can tame some of the power so I’m going to do a full bed of poly at 50 to see what transpires. Not sure if this is just a matter of dialing in the right string/tension, or if the racquet is going to be a problem for me regardless. Yesterday there was just too much variation in how it felt.
Personally I felt that certain strings accentuated the loss of power in the upper hoop much more than others. Although I do tend to hit in the same spot on the racquet the majority of the time (based on wear patterns).
I also felt that with a full multi in this stick, the key for me is to keep my swing speed up and aggressive. When I slowed down and tried to guide or control the shot, I felt the response to be much more inconsistent.
Which multi did you load it up with?
Thanks for the feedback. I typically like to take very aggressive swings, and the dilemma was: hit aggressively and there was too much power..ball long; take something off to not over hit and guide the ball as you mention, and then I dumped it in the net, or lost power on the return, or mis-hit it.
I used a new multi from a company called Tier One Sports. http://www.tieronesports.com/triumph/ It is a 16 ga., and I almost always use 17 ga. regardless of string type, so a couple of extra variables going on here. That's why I need to give it a fair shake by stringing up with something I'm more familiar with. I just found myself wondering on each stroke whether or not it was going to be solid, long, short, and kept wishing that the sweetspot was larger. It was all making me do too much thinking.
^That's always the biggest issue in my game
I found that if you have a softer multi, the cupping really adds to the control with full swings. I just adjusted my aim a bit (which I should have done with any racket in the past).
Here's my thought, commit to your normally aggressive play, muscle memory tends do to good things in adjusting the range when one loosens up.
Either the racquet just won't fit your game or you're having the opposite of the honeymoon effect ;-)
Full bed of poly at 50# won't resolve your issue. This is a fairly hot stringbed for a players frame and I found anything under 58# produced a lot of shots going long. Also make sure you use a dampener. For some reason I find this frame behaves much better with one one on. With a tight string, you can learn the nuances of the string bed and loosen tension accordingly. I have gut mains on all three of my frames and 60-62# works the best. When I used a full bed of 16g multi, 60# gave me plenty of control, power & spin. Also make sure that you are closing the racquet face in a deliberate fashion until you get grooved with the rectangular grip shape. i struggled with control on depth with every becker I have used until i Made a deliberate effort to close the face on my backswing. Now I don't even think about it. I'm on auto pilot and when I miss, it's because of me, not the frame. Give it a little bit longer. If you like the 200T, you will eventually love the melbourne.
Switched strings to a full bed of 17 ga. Tier One Sports Duraflux @ 58/56, which is essentially Lux ALU BB. A very low-powered string.
The good news: It played much more predictably, with less variation in feel on the stringbed, very good spin, good control. I wasn't painting the lines, but could definitely hit into the zone I wanted. Volleyed well, served consistently, 1hbh was good, and if I prepped well my forehand stayed out of the net.
Neutral thoughts: I was surprised with that stringbed, at that tension, how much power the racquet was still generating. Controllable, but took an effort to be sure I was applying enough spin to keep it inside the baseline. The racquet also felt a lot stiffer.
The bad news: Even with a brace on, my elbow is sore today. And what's worse, it's not only sore in the normal TE location, it's also sore on the inside...which I've never had. In addition, mid-way in the first set my hand started hurting on the inside of my thumb down closer to the palm. I could feel it taking the impact every time I served. Not sure how much of that was the increased stiffness vs. the handle shape, but all I could do was try to loosen my grip to compensate.
Summary: The stringbed played much more solid with the all-poly, but even at 58/56 (which is tight for a poly for me) there was borderline too much power on groundstrokes. I could try incorporating a multi cross to soften the bed, but again, the power issue is a concern. Even moreso, I apparently can't handle the resulting stiffness of a tighter bed with this racquet, and the Volkl handle did not dampen it enough based upon how my arm feels today. I liked it a ton better with this setup, but it cost me. I haven't been this sore or had the same hand issue since the one time I hit with a Pure Drive.
I noticed on the TW site that the specs list this as a racquet with a Stroke rating of "compact" vs. "full" as found on other player's racquets. Hadn't noticed that before, but found it curious. Implies to me the inherent power in this stick. After last night I'd LIKE to keep playing with this for a while, just not sure I can afford to.
Do yourself a favor and try a full multi set up at 60#. You can always change the pallets to an attiva grip which is more traditional if you find the comfort. Ultimately this frame may not be for you. Don't inflame your arm for the sake of a racquet. My shoulder throbbed with poly mains on this stick and it is an option I will probably not consider again. Soft poly cross with gut mains has been working well for me and the few other guys I know who also use this frame do not use poly in it. I think Boris used full gut when he played. maybe it was designed around his game and string preferences?
I agree with you. I tried different set ups and none seems to work. I will give it one more try with a full Multi at mid tension before they go to the boards FS/T.
Ouch, a full bed of poly at that tension makes my shoulder ache just thinking about it. I'm with Basil on the full multi but I'd suggest a counterintuitive approach on tension. I'd go lower, closer to a 50/48 or even 48/46 string bed.
Here's why: When I was doing a lot of tension testing with this racquet I found that going above a string bed of 55 would significantly reduce the cupping action that leads to control for me. I ran into control issues with a full multi strung anywhere from 55-64 lbs. Essentially low enough to offset the higher power threshold of lower tensions. I love those tensions for groundies but needed a little more pop on my serve which got me to a 54/51 sweet spot for me.
I have a very full stroke but when this racquet is strung low enough with a soft string, it's a control stick, pure and simple and it'd be the only way I'd suggest it based on your results and your protesting elbow.
sphinx780, is that tension (54/51) using a drop weight machine and which multi are you using? Thanks.
I'm assuming you're asking me instead of 10sdad ;-)
Currently using Volkl Gripper 16g on a drop weight. Although, I'd venture up that if you want a little less lively string bed and don't need a super spinny multi, then discho microfibre 16g is also an excellent choice.
Indeed I was.
For now, I only have Fiber II 17g and MCS so I will give it a try and string one today with the Fiber II at the tensions you suggested. I play with the pb10 mid and even though it is tension sensitive, it is no near the Melbourne in that department! Thanks for the quick response.
The Melly is the most tension sensitive racquet I've ever played with but after screwing around with tensions from low 40s to mid 60s, I find it to be a pretty customizable hit. From low powered to high powered, soft to stiff string beds.
Let us know how you fare!
How would one compare the Melbourne to the pb10 mp? The chatter in the pb10 thread is gear mostly towards the "mid". I demo'd a Melbourne but then got a screaming deal on a MP about a year ago. Maybe with the sale price I'll pick one up...but for now I am looking for a thread to piggy back on.
I'd love to hear how this trial goes for you, so please post back when you have a chance after running through the paces.
The only multi I have at the moment to try is NXT 17 ga. That's a pretty soft string as it is, so with the lower tension I don't know what is going to happen.
Thanks to everyone for the feedback. I want to give the stick a fair chance, but have never had to change things up this much before.
Out of curiosity, has anyone tail-waited their Melbourne? Since the buttcap appears non-removable and I believe there is already silicone in the handle, a leather grip or lead under the grip are about the only methods.
Hey Sphinx, what is a good set up for low power with this frame? Since you've experimented a lot, you probably have some good advice. Thanks.
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