Discussion in 'Racquets' started by TennisMaverick, Jan 7, 2011.
Melbourne is the world's most liveable tennis racquet, according to the Economist.
Jeez. I thought you've been playing with it for a week already.
hehe. i probably broke a rule when i proclaimed to join the club based solely on placing an order. i got my melbourne from tw yesterday but will not get a chance to hit with it until tomorrow night when i will give it a 90 min play test.
have you tried the Legend?
If you have, let me know how it compares. I appreciate TM's remarks, but I also like to hear from as many sources as possible. The guy I played the other day who used a melbourne, also felt that the legend was less stable and not as nimble as his Melbourne, so I am intrigued. One thing for sure, every BB I have tried has been extremely arm friendly, and I find that they play lighter than their listed weights. Okay,Ii am off to the courts.
That is a very good way to put it. We used an extra 15 grams on the Legend to achieve what the Melbourne does, but the Melbourne is still more responsive.
Volkl almost always gets the second iteration close to perfect; T10 Gen II, PB 10 Mid, London Tour, Melbourne, Sportster, PB 8 315. Unfortunately, sales get hurt because people think of the first iteration.
I was going to send you an email--which I will--about Todd. I was curious if he was running a dual business, or putting his tennis business in the back room.
We put a total of 1.75 grams on the bridge. Whenever play-testing, we do so with or without the dampener, which is 3.3 grams. With the Melbourne, the ball quality was heavier with the dampener, but it was off-balance, so we basically went half the dampener weight, and then, replayed, interchanging an Agassi dampener, which had no affect on swing feel, but affected contact. One guy prefers it, the other, doesn't.
Makes it sound as if the first iterations can't stand on their own merit. I hear almost unanimous praise of the Tour 10 Gen I. Can't say the same for Gen II.
I know what preceded the other racquets you mention, but what is the London Tour an upgrade of?
Yeah...I strongly feel that way, and have for more than a decade. As tennis has moved to more and more spin, and EU play-tests are done on clay, strung with poly, and more polarized sticks are produced, yet, most Volkl consumers in the USA, the company's largest market by far, are older, and play a lot on hard court, where we drive the ball more, and full poly is too tough on over-35s arms, and polarized frames don't work on hardcourt. Every second iteration changes the lay-up slightly, to add a little mass to the throat, as little as .2 oz, taken from the head, making the stick much more nimble. Think Sportster--which is the best V1 IMPO but doesn't sell, even though its predecessor, the BB V1, killed, and the Melbourne. Both are awesome sticks. I share your feedback on the Gen I, but there were many who preferred the Gen II. Either way, they are both 2nd iterations of the C10 Pro. Taino and Kim used the Gen I with different PJs over the years, and Eric's were extended. He still uses them today.
The London Tour is the T10 Tour Mid, which was crazy popular BITD. I found it to be too powerful and stiff with the titanium, and I had to string them up around 65+ lbs with a multi or gut, and leaded to 385-390 grams. So my rotator cuff didn't like it, and I still missed my mark with all of the power. They dumped the "Millennium popular" titanium and used DC at 3/9, as you well know, and the stick is tons softer and also more stable. I don't play with mine stock, but at 365 grams--lighter than even my old wood Snawaert Boronites, which I played some of my first matches with--it is far lighter than my T10 Mids, and my arm, loves it.
Hopefully the replacement for the organix 10 will play more like the Gen 1 then cause I'm dying to try a Gen 1. Still also gotta try the organix 10 though so I don't have an opinion on either.
The X10 is a totally new tennis racquet. They are not going back. Some of the upcoming X-frames will be using the concepts of the X10. If I were younger and competitive, I would be playing with it.
On another note, the post 2008 C10 Pros have a stiffer upper hoop, so it may get as close to your Gen I, unless you load a London 10-15 grams and use it instead. Another option is to use the Melbourne, and skip the LR 8th mains. Otherwise, your outta luck. I just had a long time Volkl VIP ask me to help him track down a Gen II, and haven't been of much help.
my first date with the melbourne was great and i am swooning.
solid, precise, and comfortable is how i describe this frame. the ball pocketing is great and gives some power but it is controllable with the 18x20 string bed. i played the frame stock with no dampener but will add some lead as tm outlines above when i play tomorrow. i may end up switching to the melbourne.
Tom, can you compare the Melbourne to the X10 325 or PB10 mid? Thanks for your thoughts!
Tom, can you compare the Melbourne to the X10 or PB10 mid? Thanks for your thoughts!
I am sorry but I cannot. I do have an x8 300 and I like the feel of the becker over the organix. The new handle in the x series is very good at shock absorbtion but I think that with the sensor handle on the becker you feel more connected to the ball while still getting a comfortable hit. Also, you really can feel the ball pocketing on the Melbourne. I could see some people calling this a hot spot but with the denser string bed I found good control with this frame. I could see this frame feeling different than the x10 but I am sorry that I cannot give you a play test comparison. Also have not hit the the pb10 mid but I suspect that the Melbourne is closer to that than the x10.
Hey tom, can you als0 let us know string set ups and tensions? I am on the fence on whether I should just bite the bullet and get a melbourne, or continue to try to make the legend work. It is my current stick and I have been playing well with it, but it lacks the solid feel I would expect to get from the melbourne. Thanks in advance.
BTW, I was looking at new Kniessel skis for the upcoming winter today and they are looking SWEET! Outstanding quality.
TMav, now I do recall you mentioning that the London Tour was a T10mid upgrade.
Looks like Volkl is doing whatever it can NOT to replace the Tour 10mp - unless the London midplus is supposed to be close. I suppose it is, as it's the closest in playing feel to the T10mp, but it lacks the plow (thus, potential power), heft and consistency of the T10mp. The Melbourne is so dang close (from appearances) besides the additional .3oz and 18x20, that I may have to demo. I think I'll miss a good deal of spin due to those differences and from being spoiled with the spin from the X10-295, but if I do get around to demoing, I'll post here with a comparison to the T10mp.
Bolded in agreement. The S(T)H had no flaws, as far as I'm concerned. The new X-handle is a horizontal move, at best. (I suppose it's possible that the STH was not getting the job done on the new X frames to the satisfaction of Volkl R&D, so they needed to do something different.)
I am used to playing with Isospeed and put in Professional 17 at 56/53. That is how I string my Red Stars and it works well with the Melbourne. I could feel the strings cup the ball but still had good control. I would think that any good multi would play nice in this frame. I am just partial to Isospeed. NXT is more powerful. I do not think that I would string much lower than what I currently have. I might even go up +2. The balance on this stick is great! I have not hit with the legend but the claim that the balance on this frame makes it a great volley frame is true. It is easy to swing but very stable.
I have a pair of Kneissl Black Star XC's and they always turn heads when I am on the slopes. The workmanship and quality is excellent. My dad developed polyurethane systems for this company back in the 80's. I was always getting free gear and even though I have to buy my Kneissl stuff now, I still love the brand.
btw: I have a T10 gen II with less than 10 hours on it that I will be putting up for sale as well as a C10 bumblebee with less than 10 hours. That, and 4 Tour 10 MP V-engines. I have to get everything together so this is just an fyi to keep a lookout.
If you ever have opportunity to hit a London in the future, do the following: Find the "Maverick mods" for the London in the London thread. Use 1/4" tape cut in half to 1/8" and follow those guidelines, adding or subtracting a little to suit your needs. I would add that I cover the entire bumper with either 1 layer of 1" head tape or 2 layers of 1" athletic tape. If you like it 6-7pts. head light, go with a leather grip; if you like the stock balance, go with a heavier sythetic, like the Gamma Hi-Tech (my preference), which adds, I would guess 7-10 grams over the stock synthetic. And if you like an even balance, go with the stock synthetic.
This will remedy the "weaknesses" of the London that you mentioned above, at least as it compares to your T-10's, and most likely give you a softer ride.
Nothing in the line compares to the X10.
Due to dwell time of the PB 10 Mid, the transition to the Melbourne, besides the difference in torsional feel due to the larger size, is seamless.
I’m a solid 4.0 player who plays with tons of spin from both sides and a heavy kick serve.
I've switched from a PDR+ to the Melbourne due to arm problems. The first time I played with the racquet it was pure heaven. Normally with the PDR+ my arm would start to ache half way through the first set, with the Melbourne I played two long sets with no pain. I have the Melbourne strung with multi at 53lbs, after the strings have settled in I’m getting a trampoline effect causing me to hit more balls long than usual.
I normally have my PDR+ racquets strung with poly at 55lbs. My question is what tension would you recommend stringing the Melbourne with multi or nylon to get a similar feel to my old PDR+?
the melbourne is very arm friendly and has a bit of pop from the center of the stringbed. i have mine strung with a multi at 56/53 and i get good control yet i can feel the ball pocketing.
i also hit with my volkl tour 10ve mp and have it strung the same way as my melbourne. to me it is as if the melbourne is a more solid and more precise version of my old volkl. feel is very similar, even the way that the racquet flexes when you hit the ball.
That's a pretty big change; a stick designed for heavy spin, to a precision stick that can hit with a lot of spin but tailored to an all-courter who likes to volley. With that being said, your ease of transition will be easily attended to if you eliminate string creep. Although the Melbourne should have a cross string tension drop in comparison to the mains, apparently, yours are far too loose, or, the whole string bed is(JIC this gets stalked, I apologize in advance for the long response which sets some off). The 18 mains in the Melbourne are far tighter than the 16 on the PDR+, so the friction as the crosses are tensioned, is much greater. Pre-Stretching or over-tensioning and then backing off to the set tension may help. Pulling the string that is being tensioned, gently, perpendicular to its length as it is being tensioned, helps as well. If you use a drop weight, letting the weight pull tension for 30 seconds helps as well. I found the Melbourne to string tight. We strung the tightest stick at 62M/59C, and there was too much loss of ball cupping. We dropped five pounds and that worked much better. Be mindful that that was for a 185 lb 6.0-6.5 player/coach, strung by a professional stringer.
Thanks for the speedy response.
I know it's a big change in racquets but the PDR+ was killing my arm and starting to affect my shoulder. When I first got the racquet from my stringer, I honestly was generating as much spin with the Melbourne as I was with the PDR+. I could really feel the ball stick to the string bed, but unlike the PDR+ when the strings started to notch on the mains I really started to get less spin and more trampoline.
I will try 57M/54C like you suggested. Do you have a recommendation for string?
I've successfully used Gexco Fibercore, Volkl Gripper, Volkl PowerFiber II, Tecnifibre E-Matrix, and NRG2 in this stick. All are full multis without a solid core. The Volkl string doesn't need much to overcome string creep. The others do.
Hello out there in Melbourne land.I am about to order a couple of these and I am trying to get get an idea of whether some of my string reels would be ok to try in the Melbourne.I have Gosen micro 16 and 17,Mantis power synthetic but the rest of my reels are all poly (MSV hex, SPP speed spin,WC Scorpion).Rather than get any more reels,will any of these be suitable?
I love the crazy scifi/tech look of the new BB website! Hopefully, they'll fix the glitches real soon.
The Melbourne plays best with string that accentuates its cupping action. So the more flexible the string, the better. Otherwise, string stiffer stuff, like poly, around 40M/37C.
Thanks mate.I'll try some of the solid core synthetics and see how they go.
I think that the TW review of this frame reflects what I found to be true. It plays great with a multifilament string. I really like it with Isospeed Professional.
The greatest attributes of this frame are it's comfort and in volleying. You get great feel and control, and a bit of power within the sweetspot due to those power grommets. Groundstrokes are deep and comfortable with great spin and control. The frame has a heavier static weight but it doesnt feel heavy during play. The only area where my play really dropped off is on serve. That is where I could not generate my usual swing speed and it affected my shot. I also get some free power from my current frame. All in all I play just a little better with my Red Star and I serve much better. So for now I am sticking with my current frame. If I had elbow issues I would definitely look at the Melbourne. It really is a great frame and has that traditional Volkl feel but with the added benefit of the DC material. The paint job really is fine. yes, the stick is white but the graphics are not flashy and I think that frame looks rather elegant and clean in its design.
I am going to hold off until the x9 comes out and I am hoping that an 18x19 or 18x20 version is available.
Yes, what are those power grommets really doing and what are they comparable to in other brands?
some people are going to say that this frame has hot spots. you can really feel the pocketing and you get some extra power in the center of the racquet. This is one of those frames that has a big sweet zone with a central sweet spot. I hope that makes sense.
The frame has great control with spin so it is not an issue. A flat ball striker may have a different opinion than me and call this a hot spot.
Did you just pick up a demo to try then?
They sound like they function like mini oports according to the BB homepage.
Sweetspot is 14 sq inches bigger compare to 54 for the Prince.
I bought one from TW and will keep it to hit with from time to time.
that makes sense. i dont know about the sweetspot size comparison but I agree that they fucntion like oports.
If you ever decide you want to unload it, let me know.
In the meantime, when ever you do take it out to hit with, you'll have to keep us up to date as your thoughts progress with it. It's always appreciated to get some additional insight.
My stringer is saying that the racquet I ordered from TW was strung incorrectly. He is saying that the Melbourne should be strung with one piece instead of two. I know the specs on the site says two piece but the bottom knot is pushing the last cross up a little bit.
Cross strings are supposed to be started at the top, so unless you use the box method, the Melbourne has to be strung with two pieces. That is the correct place for the tie-off knot. Depending on craftsmanship, the size of the tie-off knot will vary, and if too big, it will hit the lower cross string.
email me with an offer and you can have it. it has less than 10 hours on it and is strung with Isospeed Professional at 56/53.
i've decided to switch to the x10-295 club and give that a whirl.
Sorry TM, I figure it is in here somewhere but all I could find in "ctrl f" was sizes etc.Just went to order my Melbournes and there is only 3/8 sizes where I normally use 1/2.Rather than wait another week,any other suggestions?Not big on doing too many mods,and find the shrink wrap thing to be hit and miss (bevels seem to smooth out too much and lose the grip position).
If you use a BB or Volkl leather grip, they're thicker than most, and may make up the difference, the BB being the thicker of the two.
Check out the pic of my Melbourne strung by TW.
I know the pic is blurry but you can still see how the knot is pushing up on the bottom cross.
You can also see how the grommet is completely crushed.
TM, do you have any pics of how you tie off that knot?
Hi Tennis Maverick,
First, let me apologize if I missed the answer to the question that I am going to ask. I reviewed all 189 posts yesterday but may have missed it.
How would you compare the Melbourne to the PB10 Mid Plus?
I was playing with the London, slightly weighted up and liked it. I bought the PB10 MP on a sale. I think I hit better ground strokes with the PB as the London is so easy to play with I get too wristy and don't hit though the ball as much as I seem to with the PB.
So if I like the PB 10 MP would it be likely that I would also like the Melbourne?
The good news is we can see your carpet texture and drawer hardware in sharp detail. Nice pic.
What part of " I know the pic is blurry" did you not understand? Your useless input is not wanted.
Whereas, like his new sig, I found the post entertaining. He was just giving you a little crap dude.
You sound like a lot of fun. We should hang out sometime. I can show you how to use the macro feature on your digicam.
That is a standard double-hitch knot. They do tend to be thick; hitting an adjacent cross string is not uncommon, but it has no affect on playability, although, sometimes you will hear a buzz.. There is now a more popular knot, which I do not use. It locks the string in better than the double-hitch, but it is just as ugly. I've used a surgical knot for more than 40 years, taught to me a long time ago by an ancient master when I way a pre-teen, which I've never seen on another stick. Hominator photographed it somewhere on the PB 10 Mid thread from my stealth PB 10 Mid.
Grommets getting crushed due to tie-off knots are common, but can be avoided to a degree. The trick is to maintain its shape as you deform it from the tension of the knot.
So is that the stock standard grip or do I need a replacement to up the size?TIA,Greg.
Aftermarket...but TW typically stocks both.
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