Black Racquet Shootout

#3
There's been a lot of hype surrounding Angell racquets recently. I was interested in the brand back when they were Vantage. Got my hands on the Angell TC 100 and I can see why players are raving about these racquets. The specs on the TC 100 I bought are 310 grams, 9 pts HL, 70ra, standard length, B grip shape & leather grip. Racquet came exactly on spec as ordered. This alone would win over plenty of people tired of getting a racquet from other brands that can be way off listed specs. Strung it up with Tourbite 17 mains (52lbs), Pro's Pro multi crosses (56lbs). Swing weight feels substantial. Somewhere between 325-330 range. Right off the bat from first hit the feel of this racquet is something unique. It's 100", 70ra and all I can think to describe the feel of the racquet is plush. The sweet spot felt huge. Power was much greater than expected. It's taken longer than I thought to get used to the power actually. It's more powerful than my Graphene Speed MP. Not as powerful as a Pure Aero or Pure Drive. I haven't been able to get the control completely where I like it yet. Very forgiving, getting great spin on my forehands & serves. I don't need to tweak it with lead. I'm going to put an over grip on it and keep working with it.
 
#7
Its very interesting that many people in this forum are trying the less popular brands and telling all of us that they are as good as the "big brands".
Here in South America, nobody can even think beyond Head, Wilson, Babolat, Prince and Yonex.
Before coming to Talk Tennis, I have to admit that I laughed when I saw someone with a Fischer or Tecnifibre, thinking that were garbarge.

One point for you guys, THank you for the reviews!
 
#8
I played with the first version of the Pro One 97 from Donnay USA. It's best attributes for me are its power and its arm friendly. I don't like that it's slightly sluggish stock. I add weight to the buttcap to make it more maneuverable. The 2016 Pro One is listed as 5 grams lighter (305 grams vs 310) with a 315mm stock balance. The demo 2016 Pro One I received is 307 grams. The swing weight feels closer to 320 than 330 but not under 320. It feels a lot more maneuverable in stock form. The power is still great. Control is good. Still very arm friendly. It's strung with the Donnay Hybrid string and it plays well. The 97" head seems closer to 95". When I put it up next to a Graphene Prestige MP they seem to be the same size or the Donnay slightly smaller. The racquet does everything I ask of it. a comparison between the this and the TC 100 is not apples to apples. I think this would be better to compare to a TC95 or TC97. But since I don't have those..... I think the power level is close call with the edge to the TC100. Depth was coming easier with the Angell. I thumped a new high 109mph serve with the Angell while I landed a few at 106mph with the Pro One. The TC 100 is more forgiving. The smaller head size of the Donnay being the main factor. It has a good size sweet spot but there's just more room for error with the TC 100. Control goes to the Pro One. Maybe the smaller head size gives it the edge but I hit my spots better with it. I found I got a little more spin with the TC 100. Both these racquets do damage for me. The Pro One feels slightly more maneuverable than the TC 100 and that gives it a slight edge for me. I'm going to order two of the Donnays while I continue to play with the Angell. The feel of the Angell is much more plush than what I'm used to so it may take a month or more to adjust and feel completely comfortable swinging out and going for tighter targets. One thing I'm sure about is that I'm most likely done with the Head Graphene Speed Mp.
 
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#10
I'm definitely interested in your feedback & comparisons between the TC100 & the Donnay.
I am really close to pulling the trigger on either an Angell, the Donnay pro one GT, or a volkl super G V1 pro. Just got the volkl demo today & will give it a go tomorrow.
That Donnay looks sweet.
 

TinTin 1

Professional
#11
I'm definitely interested in your feedback & comparisons between the TC100 & the Donnay.
I am really close to pulling the trigger on either an Angell, the Donnay pro one GT, or a volkl super G V1 pro. Just got the volkl demo today & will give it a go tomorrow.
That Donnay looks sweet.
You can't go wrong with either. I am loving my new Donnay frames.
 
#12
Its very interesting that many people in this forum are trying the less popular brands and telling all of us that they are as good as the "big brands".
Here in South America, nobody can even think beyond Head, Wilson, Babolat, Prince and Yonex.
Before coming to Talk Tennis, I have to admit that I laughed when I saw someone with a Fischer or Tecnifibre, thinking that were garbarge.

One point for you guys, THank you for the reviews!
I here you. I didn't think beyond one or two brands before I started reading these boards. Now my eyes are open to all the possibilities. These other brands make quality (in some cases better quality) racquets but don't get the exposure. Most people i play with use a Babolat, Wilson or Prince. The guys that usually beat me still do. If I had to play with a Head or Prince or Wilson racquet I would do so and happily. No racquet adds or takes away from my enjoyment of playing tennis. The Mantis Pro 310 I ordered from the UK. It was less than $100usd with shipping. Donnay was having a sale on the 2016 Pro One's. I wanted to demo first. Hopefully I can get the sale pricing or I'll wait until they're on sale again. The Angell is a bit pricey but almost the same as a Pure Aero and less than a Burn 99S!
 
#14
I'm definitely interested in your feedback & comparisons between the TC100 & the Donnay.
I am really close to pulling the trigger on either an Angell, the Donnay pro one GT, or a volkl super G V1 pro. Just got the volkl demo today & will give it a go tomorrow.
That Donnay looks sweet.
I demo'd the Super G V1 Pro. If you've got any specific questions let me know. What are the things you want in a racquet and in what order? If you want scalpel like control the Super G V1 Pro may be the best bet. If you want power, very forgiving and pillow plushness the Angell is the ticket. The Pro One is the in between racquet of the 3. More power than the Volkl, a little less than the Angell. Better control than the Angell, slightly less than the Volkl. Less forgiving than the Angell about the same as the Volkl. Both the Angell & the Donnay have a more solid feel and are more powerful than the Volkl. I think if you add a little weight to the hoop of the Super G V1 Pro you could get the same stability. You can demo the Donnay. You gotta take the plunge on the Angell. I'd bet $$ you wouldn't be disappointed with the Angell though.
 
#16
Great stuff Roll as always :) You are always one of my fav posters cause I tend to like what you like.

I also have a TC100 (going to try it tonite) and always liked the Pro One 97. So the newest one is less head heavy and sluggish then they used to be? My issue with Donnay was always the horrible QC.
I think I tried maybe 5 or 6 Pro Ones about 5 years ago they were ALL wildly over spec. So I gave up on Donnay hoping they would someday get their act together. Is this the newest one you are demoing?

My TC100 came in at 332 swingweight, even though it was 300 grams with no weight added. I also have the 70 RA. Mine is near even balance now that it's strung. Should get to finally hit with it tonite.

Interested in more of your thoughts on these racquets. Carry On! :)
 
#17
Couple things on the paint jobs...

On the Angell, I thought the only one that had that paint job was the tc97? Is Paul painting all the racquets with that color scheme?


On the Donnay, Yours says Xenecore everywhere. I thought they said Donnay, everywhere were yours says Xenecore?
 
#20
I believe on one side of the shaft and the bridge you get Donnay spelled out, but it's not dominant.
From the photo Xenecore is on the bridge on one side and the other side of the bridge has Donnay. and XC logo is above the grip instead of D for Donnay. I wonder if they are transitioning to Xenecore finally?
 

rlau

Professional
#23
Couple things on the paint jobs...
On the Angell, I thought the only one that had that paint job was the tc97? Is Paul painting all the racquets with that color scheme?
On the Angell website, only TC97 and TC105 have that new cosmetic. It looks like Paul will be giving the other models a makeover as well? Do you know anything about this RollTrackTake?
 
#24
@RollTrackTake interesting that you felt the Donnay was initially sluggish stock but after adding 5gm to the buttcap you think it's now more maneuverable than the TC100. Can you speak to this?

I'm also interested in langdon's question regarding the pj. I thought you mistyped since that is the new pj for the TC97, but if the other Angell's are now receiving that pj I might need to get another.
 
#25
There's been a lot of hype surrounding Angell racquets recently. I was interested in the brand back when they were Vantage. Got my hands on the Angell TC 100 and I can see why players are raving about these racquets. The specs on the TC 100 I bought are 310 grams, 9 pts HL, 70ra, standard length, B grip shape & leather grip. Racquet came exactly on spec as ordered. This alone would win over plenty of people tired of getting a racquet from other brands that can be way off listed specs. Strung it up with Tourbite 17 mains (52lbs), Pro's Pro multi crosses (56lbs). Swing weight feels substantial. Somewhere between 325-330 range. Right off the bat from first hit the feel of this racquet is something unique. It's 100", 70ra and all I can think to describe the feel of the racquet is plush. The sweet spot felt huge. Power was much greater than expected. It's taken longer than I thought to get used to the power actually. It's more powerful than my Graphene Speed MP. Not as powerful as a Pure Aero or Pure Drive. I haven't been able to get the control completely where I like it yet. Very forgiving, getting great spin on my forehands & serves. I don't need to tweak it with lead. I'm going to put an over grip on it and keep working with it.
Good day- Do you know the material used in construction of the Angell racquets, graphite etc? I picked up a few Srixion racquets, and one Kevin Anderson uses, there all great frames made of graphite. Thanks....
 
#26
Great stuff Roll as always :) You are always one of my fav posters cause I tend to like what you like.

I also have a TC100 (going to try it tonite) and always liked the Pro One 97. So the newest one is less head heavy and sluggish then they used to be? My issue with Donnay was always the horrible QC.
I think I tried maybe 5 or 6 Pro Ones about 5 years ago they were ALL wildly over spec. So I gave up on Donnay hoping they would someday get their act together. Is this the newest one you are demoing?

My TC100 came in at 332 swingweight, even though it was 300 grams with no weight added. I also have the 70 RA. Mine is near even balance now that it's strung. Should get to finally hit with it tonite.

Interested in more of your thoughts on these racquets. Carry On! :)
I don't think too much has changed regarding Donnay's QC. You can specify when you order from their website what you want in terms of weight & balance and they'll try to get as close as possible. When I ordered a pro one 2 years back I requested a weight & balance and they got within 3 grams.... The demo Pro One I had does swing lighter than my older pro ones.
 
#27
Couple things on the paint jobs...

On the Angell, I thought the only one that had that paint job was the tc97? Is Paul painting all the racquets with that color scheme?


On the Donnay, Yours says Xenecore everywhere. I thought they said Donnay, everywhere were yours says Xenecore?
The TC 100 has the same paint job as the TC97 now. Regarding the the Pro One, on one side of the racquet Xenecore is the branding. On the other side Donnay.
 
#31
@RollTrackTake interesting that you felt the Donnay was initially sluggish stock but after adding 5gm to the buttcap you think it's now more maneuverable than the TC100. Can you speak to this?

I'm also interested in langdon's question regarding the pj. I thought you mistyped since that is the new pj for the TC97, but if the other Angell's are now receiving that pj I might need to get another.
Let me clarify, the older, all black Pro One circa 2012 or so needed the 5 or 10 gram buttcap to aid in maneuverability for me. The 2016 Pro One demo I tried is more maneuverable.
 

TinTin 1

Professional
#34
From the photo Xenecore is on the bridge on one side and the other side of the bridge has Donnay. and XC logo is above the grip instead of D for Donnay. I wonder if they are transitioning to Xenecore finally?
The frames say Xenecore and Donnay . On one side is Donnay the other side says Xenecore. The butt caps are see through so you can see technology. When you spin racket there is a D on one side above the handle and an XC on the other side.
On the side of the frame one side says Donnay , the other Xenexore.
It looks very cool.
 
#35
The Mantis Pro 310. A few years back I got a second hand Mantis Pro 295. After trying different lead tape fixes I sold it but I liked the feel. After reading the posts from some other TT'ers I discovered the Pro 310 & 295 were on sale for 59 British pounds through the auction site. I still dig the paint job on these and I was hoping the additional weight would solve some of the issues I had with the 295. First, the leather grip seems fake. It may actually be like the Prince faux leather grips. It feels very synthetic. I'm tempted to put on a TW leather in place. The racquet came strung with Mantis power synthetic at what feels to be 55lbs or so. The extra weight does make it more stable than the Pro 295. I did find that when compared to the TC 100 and the Pro One the Mantis was the least powerful. I also felt it had the most drop off in terms of power outside the sweet spot. Oh, and the sweet spot is no where near as large the other two racquets. The Mantis also felt to be erratic in that some of my shots would fly when I seemingly hit them the same as a shot that didn't. All that being said there is a lot to like about this racquet. I think a little lead tape at 12 will help raise the sweet spot and that would work well for me. I also want to put a string setup I prefer in. It reminds me a little of a Graphene Radical with more weight. The other quality I like is the feel. Not overly muted, not harsh. I get a good clean feel on contact. New strings & some lead are in order at some point. I'll leave it as is for the next few outings for further evaluation.
 
#37
I demo'd the Super G V1 Pro. If you've got any specific questions let me know. What are the things you want in a racquet and in what order? If you want scalpel like control the Super G V1 Pro may be the best bet. If you want power, very forgiving and pillow plushness the Angell is the ticket. The Pro One is the in between racquet of the 3. More power than the Volkl, a little less than the Angell. Better control than the Angell, slightly less than the Volkl. Less forgiving than the Angell about the same as the Volkl. Both the Angell & the Donnay have a more solid feel and are more powerful than the Volkl. I think if you add a little weight to the hoop of the Super G V1 Pro you could get the same stability. You can demo the Donnay. You gotta take the plunge on the Angell. I'd bet $$ you wouldn't be disappointed with the Angell though.
Thanks RTT, the feedback is very much appreciated - very insightful. There' not alot of feedback on the Volkl so this info helps tremendously - especially with the comparisons among all 3 rackets that I'm considering.
I was leaning towards the Angell already even before your feedback but it's giving the Angell even more support. I'll have an even better idea after hitting with the Volkl tonight.

I'm looking for more power with a thin beam racket that has a good blend of touch & control. I'm moving on from my lm radical mp & my blx blade 98. I don't get out to play much anymore & have lost quite a bit of fitness & need a racket that gives me a lil more zip.

The pure drive team plus that i'm using doesn't zap all my energy & can hang with the guys who play multiple times per week without getting gassed after 40 min of hitting but I'm missing the touch, control, & feel of a player's racket - I have to aim for zones instead of spots now. Also, defensive slice backhands which are easy with any thinner players rackets are now sitting floaters or shanks off the frame with the babolat - I have not been able to adjust.

I'm also closely following Jack's experience on the TC100 before buying the new frame soon.
 
#38
If you want scalpel like control the Super G V1 Pro may be the best bet. If you want power, very forgiving and pillow plushness the Angell is the ticket. The Pro One is the in between racquet of the 3. More power than the Volkl, a little less than the Angell. Better control than the Angell, slightly less than the Volkl. Less forgiving than the Angell about the same as the Volkl. Both the Angell & the Donnay have a more solid feel and are more powerful than the Volkl. I think if you add a little weight to the hoop of the Super G V1 Pro you could get the same stability.
Hi RTT,
Got a good 3.5 hr session with the Volkl demo. My experience with it seems in line with your feedback. Racket feels good right out of the gate. Coming from my older head radical, this racket felt like home but with all the upgrades.

More power, spin, same feel & control, better pace on serves. It wasn't as powerful as my pure drive plus as expected but once I adjusted, I found myself working less & letting the racket do more. It doesn't crush the serve but it's got decent pop & good placement. Like you said, a lil weight in the hoop would prob give it better punch on volleys & serve. I struggled for a while trying to dial in the forehand for but 2 hrs in it just clicked to me to switch my grip to more eastern & went straight arm forehand & finally felt it click into place - relaxed, smooth swing letting the racket punch through the forehand.

I really like the flex of the Volkl which gave good dwell time & pocketing & hope the Donnay & Angell are similar or better. Can you compare the 3 in this regard? I'm leaning towards the 70 RA Angell & am curious about it's flex/feel because it gave me the confidence to hit my 2HBH better than I've hit with any racket since my radical - short cross court angle dippers that pulls the other guy off the court, change of direction, driving down the line shots, deep rolling backhands into the other guy's backhand corner. With this kind of flex & dwell time, I feel I can hit any shot I want with my backhand as long as i'm not off balance. The flex, feel, & thin beam even let me pick up low backhands near my ankles & let me roll them deep in the corner or down the line without it flying long on me which is usually the case with stiffer rackets.

I'm looking forward to demoing the Donnay because judging from your feedback it seems like it can only get better from here. Just wish I could demo the Angell but just gonna see how the Donnay goes 1st.
 

zalive

Hall of Fame
#39
The Mantis Pro 310. A few years back I got a second hand Mantis Pro 295. After trying different lead tape fixes I sold it but I liked the feel. After reading the posts from some other TT'ers I discovered the Pro 310 & 295 were on sale for 59 British pounds through the auction site. I still dig the paint job on these and I was hoping the additional weight would solve some of the issues I had with the 295. First, the leather grip seems fake. It may actually be like the Prince faux leather grips. It feels very synthetic. I'm tempted to put on a TW leather in place. The racquet came strung with Mantis power synthetic at what feels to be 55lbs or so. The extra weight does make it more stable than the Pro 295. I did find that when compared to the TC 100 and the Pro One the Mantis was the least powerful. I also felt it had the most drop off in terms of power outside the sweet spot. Oh, and the sweet spot is no where near as large the other two racquets. The Mantis also felt to be erratic in that some of my shots would fly when I seemingly hit them the same as a shot that didn't. All that being said there is a lot to like about this racquet. I think a little lead tape at 12 will help raise the sweet spot and that would work well for me. I also want to put a string setup I prefer in. It reminds me a little of a Graphene Radical with more weight. The other quality I like is the feel. Not overly muted, not harsh. I get a good clean feel on contact. New strings & some lead are in order at some point. I'll leave it as is for the next few outings for further evaluation.
Funny, but Mantis 260 customized to a heavy range that I currently use has some similarities. Yesterday I was having a relative bad day hitting many balls off center, but even the one I hit well, I could feel that I couldn't get it vertically precise as much as I wanted because of some smaller racquet twists. Specific 260 design seems just to be flawed. As much as you can correct it by making some small customization wonders, you also cannot escape the feeling you can get much better with some other designs.
 
#40
Hi RTT,
Got a good 3.5 hr session with the Volkl demo. My experience with it seems in line with your feedback. Racket feels good right out of the gate. Coming from my older head radical, this racket felt like home but with all the upgrades.

More power, spin, same feel & control, better pace on serves. It wasn't as powerful as my pure drive plus as expected but once I adjusted, I found myself working less & letting the racket do more. It doesn't crush the serve but it's got decent pop & good placement. Like you said, a lil weight in the hoop would prob give it better punch on volleys & serve. I struggled for a while trying to dial in the forehand for but 2 hrs in it just clicked to me to switch my grip to more eastern & went straight arm forehand & finally felt it click into place - relaxed, smooth swing letting the racket punch through the forehand.

I really like the flex of the Volkl which gave good dwell time & pocketing & hope the Donnay & Angell are similar or better. Can you compare the 3 in this regard? I'm leaning towards the 70 RA Angell & am curious about it's flex/feel because it gave me the confidence to hit my 2HBH better than I've hit with any racket since my radical - short cross court angle dippers that pulls the other guy off the court, change of direction, driving down the line shots, deep rolling backhands into the other guy's backhand corner. With this kind of flex & dwell time, I feel I can hit any shot I want with my backhand as long as i'm not off balance. The flex, feel, & thin beam even let me pick up low backhands near my ankles & let me roll them deep in the corner or down the line without it flying long on me which is usually the case with stiffer rackets.

I'm looking forward to demoing the Donnay because judging from your feedback it seems like it can only get better from here. Just wish I could demo the Angell but just gonna see how the Donnay goes 1st.
I'm not overly attuned to dwell time but IME the Volk may be the best of the 3 in that regard. The Angell feels like it has good dwell time but that may just be the overall plush feel of the racquet that fools me. The Pro One doesn't feel like it has a ton of dwell.
 
#41
The Mantic 310 comes with a synth grip, but in a tan colour that looks like leather. At first glance on the internet it does look like leather, but it's not and isn't supposed to be, so it's not a case of being a low quality, squishy leather. It's the same sort of visual image created by the tan synth grip on the PS97 and the PCG100.

The SW on the Mantis 310 is 315, so it is going to feel a bit lighter than the other two that are bordering the 320-330 mark.

Hopefully getting it strung with your choice of strings and tension will improve the feel for you and I look forward to reading further updates.
 

TinTin 1

Professional
#43
I'm not overly attuned to dwell time but IME the Volk may be the best of the 3 in that regard. The Angell feels like it has good dwell time but that may just be the overall plush feel of the racquet that fools me. The Pro One doesn't feel like it has a ton of dwell.
The Donnay Pro one GT is quad core and is built that way for ball speed . The Pro one tri core is built for more plush feel longer dwell time. Independent study shows the quad core to come off 6% faster .
 
#44
Funny, but Mantis 260 customized to a heavy range that I currently use has some similarities. Yesterday I was having a relative bad day hitting many balls off center, but even the one I hit well, I could feel that I couldn't get it vertically precise as much as I wanted because of some smaller racquet twists. Specific 260 design seems just to be flawed. As much as you can correct it by making some small customization wonders, you also cannot escape the feeling you can get much better with some other designs.
Mantis 260 is pretty different from 295/310
 
#45
I'm not overly attuned to dwell time but IME the Volk may be the best of the 3 in that regard. The Angell feels like it has good dwell time but that may just be the overall plush feel of the racquet that fools me. The Pro One doesn't feel like it has a ton of dwell.
I agree with this. V1 Pro has most dwell time, but all 3 have more than most. The TC100 has a plush feel with some dwell time and the Pro One has less and a more immediate release.
 
#46
The Mantic 310 comes with a synth grip, but in a tan colour that looks like leather. At first glance on the internet it does look like leather, but it's not and isn't supposed to be, so it's not a case of being a low quality, squishy leather. It's the same sort of visual image created by the tan synth grip on the PS97 and the PCG100.

The SW on the Mantis 310 is 315, so it is going to feel a bit lighter than the other two that are bordering the 320-330 mark.

Hopefully getting it strung with your choice of strings and tension will improve the feel for you and I look forward to reading further updates.
good to know about the grip. I'll put a real leather grip on it and I'm done with the strings it came with. By next week I'll have it tweaked and give it some more run.
 
#47
BTW...I have a demo coming from Donnay for the new Pro One. So I will also be able to compare to the TC100.
The V1 Pro I tried a while back was the black one and not the SuperG and I liked it but it was a little too muted
for me. I think a like a crisper more direct feedback.
 
#48
I've put a a few grams in the handle of the TC 100 and it still feels too evenly balanced for some reason plus it's almost 12oz. I'm going to have to do a complete tear down. I'll take the weight(s) out of the handle and put as much weight as I can around the absolute bottom of the handle. I'm guessing the weight is in the lowest spot in the handle already. So crossing my fingers shifting weight even further will do the trick. One thing I wonder is why Angell doesn't put the unstrung swing weight of each racquet on that little card attached.
 
#49
I've put a a few grams in the handle of the TC 100 and it still feels too evenly balanced for some reason plus it's almost 12oz. I'm going to have to do a complete tear down. I'll take the weight(s) out of the handle and put as much weight as I can around the absolute bottom of the handle. I'm guessing the weight is in the lowest spot in the handle already. So crossing my fingers shifting weight even further will do the trick. One thing I wonder is why Angell doesn't put the unstrung swing weight of each racquet on that little card attached.
Mine was the same way. I added about 13 grams to mine on the butt end and it's now 4.5 pts headlite. Get all your added weight near the butt end for maximum impact on balance.
Also if you are using a heavy dampener, take that out and replace it with either a rubber band or a lite one, like the Sampras O.
 
#50
So I completed a makeover on my Angell TC 100. It started out weighing 11.7 oz all strung up with leather grip, OG & damp. It felt sluggish but great power, muted, comfy, plush feel. Balance felt like it was 2-3 pts HL. Now, I removed the two .5 oz weights (1oz total) from the bottom holes of the handle. I added a .5oz of blue tack like putty back in the holes plus added .1oz under the trap door. Then wrapped .3oz of lead tape around the bottom of the buttcap. New weight with leather grip, OG & damp = 11.4oz. Swinging the racquet it feels and is extremely polarized. Not sure how this will feel when playing. Tonight I'll give it a test run in a club match. I'll also play it the next few weeks. I played with the 2016 Pro One a lot this past week & I'm liking it more & more. One edge I give the pro one over the Angell is that it's not as muted. I get more feedback on contact and I like that. It's not quite as powerful but the TC 100 has more power than I need at this point in my life. 10-15 years from now I'll probably be looking for the extra oomph it provides. Trials continue. Haven't done much with the Mantis 310 lately. I'll have to start modding that one next week
 
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