Donnay's new Pentacore line of rackets

pfrischmann

Professional
More time with the sticks, The Pro-one reminds me of a lighter more comfortable PS-97. It's doesn't go through the ball as easily and feels softer overall, not as dangerous but it's also .5 ounces lighter with a swing weight of 310 instead of the 320 of the Pro-Staff. It tends to hit a little flatter than the Pro-staff as well. I spent some more time with the Formula Penta core. It's 11.4 ounces strung with a 310 SW as well but feels more head light than the Pro-0ne in my hands. This guy has serious pop. It's actually pretty controllable except on volleys. It does not have the deft touch of the pro-staff or the Pro-one. Volleys kind of go...BOING!! Serves were a blast with this guy. I have no idea what string they use or what tension.
 

mark b.

Rookie
I am currently in possession of a Pro One Penta 102 DEMO. First off, the build quality seems really impressive and the paint job is nearly flawless. I was thinking (hoping) that is was more of a box beam configuration than it is. This racquet has a 55 RA and I can attest to that being spot on as I play with a 57RA and the Donnay felt softer and really ate any and all vibration when I was hitting with it. My biggest complaint is how the grip feels. It's an OK shape, but there is no flair to the butt cap. It just kind of leaves your hand without a base. That would require some some "aftermarket" work by me.

The racquet is too light for me in stock form. More "aftermarket" lead tape work needed to get it to around 11.6 ounces. The frame came with some black poly that looks like 17 or 18 gauge. I'd probably string it with a poly/gut hybrid above the recommended 45lbs. I've never had a frame strung below 50, so going to 45 seems foreign.

An interesting/gimmicky feature is the see-through butt cap which allows you to see the foam in the handle.

It hits fine. Muted response which I love. A little unstable outside the sweetspot but lead at 3 and 9 could solve that.

My final analysis is that this frame costs too much to have to put so much "aftermarket" thought to get the spec where I want it. The issue is finding a high quality 102" frame with such a soft RA. The only frames like that are second hand HEAD Prestige Classic's. Anybody know another?

Does anyone know if the previous Donnay (102) versions were more BOX BEAM build?

Oh, and for all you Donnay "service" haters, I got my DEMO from New York in three days.
 

schenkelini

Semi-Pro
I have a Pro One Penta 102. I like it a lot. I was using a XP-Dual lite prior to this which appears to be the same mold. I had to lead the XP-Dual at 3 and 9 o'clock with 3 grams and a Donnay 10 gm butt cap to suit it to me. The Penta feels just right as is. I find the Penta has better control than the XP. I originally switched to Donnay due to shoulder problems. I am very happy with both frames. My shoulder still hurts at times, but with proper stretching it is not bad. My shoulder issues are much better than before the switch to Donnay.
 

schenkelini

Semi-Pro
I got an email a few days ago from Donnay saying that they now have lower prices and new management. The website has been completely redesigned and the prices are all lower. I never had a problem with Donnay shipping, in fact I originally ordered an out of production dual core that the website said was in stock. I got an email a day later saying that they had made an error and I could get any frame they had at the same price as the racquet I had ordered. That is how I ended up with the Pentacore.
 

haqq777

Legend
I got an email a few days ago from Donnay saying that they now have lower prices and new management. The website has been completely redesigned and the prices are all lower. I never had a problem with Donnay shipping, in fact I originally ordered an out of production dual core that the website said was in stock. I got an email a day later saying that they had made an error and I could get any frame they had at the same price as the racquet I had ordered. That is how I ended up with the Pentacore.
Great info. I ordered a Donnay Pro One just this morning. Have not received any email confirmation etc but I can see that my card has been charged. Do you happen to have a contact number for them? Also, how long did it take for shipping for you after you purchased it? I bought the racquet online. Thanks.
 

schenkelini

Semi-Pro
It took a couple of days to ship. I did my last transaction all by email. In the past I have called them. It is hard to get someone on the phone, but once you do they can look in the computer and give you pretty accurate status.
 

haqq777

Legend
It took a couple of days to ship. I did my last transaction all by email. In the past I have called them. It is hard to get someone on the phone, but once you do they can look in the computer and give you pretty accurate status.
Thanks.
 
Last edited:

jdawg02

Rookie
Just test drove the Pro One 97 (16x19) Black Edition with Prince XR 17 at 48lbs mains 45lbs crosses and it is the best feeling racquet I have ever hit with to date. Keep in my mind I have switched racquets at least 35 times in 20 years. Please ignore my FS post in the message boards for these racquets. I am holding on to these bad boys lol.
 

leejayh

Rookie
Could you post a picture of the new Simplified Black paint? The pictures on their new and improved website are terrible

Sent from my LG-H860 using Tapatalk
 

NkdRnr

New User
I have a Quadcore 16x19 and the new Pentacore 16x19. They play very similar but the Penta definitely feels more muted and comfortable on the arm. The stability and power of the Penta is really pretty amazing. Easy spin, easy control, easy power. I know this a pretty simple minded review but it's late and I'm tired. [emoji42]


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
 

Crocodile

Legend
I've just been reading all the posts here and there is quite a mixed response in terms of how arm friendly the frames are and also how good their customer service is.
The only frames that I have used were the X Dual Gold and Platinum 99's and they were comfortable and flexible. I did hit with the Pro One but it felt quite stiff in comparison.
It was after the X Dual model that the brand disappeared from many retailors and went online on their own and it is at this stage I lost contact with the brand.
Now after a few iterations they are up to the pentacore range and I am wondering how they have evolved from the X Dual range and maybe you guys can comment.
In this time many of the other brands such as Yonex have improved their comfort attributes so interested in knowing how Donnay rates now.
 

The Hawk

New User
Donnay is used by so few and they are so unimportant and non-competitive players that "comparisons" are a waste of time. There are people out there who like to think that using an obscure brand of racket makes them better and/or special. Donnay and other similar brands fill this need. Donnay's reputation for service, consistency, etc. all speak for themselves--most people have real problems with them. Donnay has changed its products and web site over and over and over in just the last year or two and they are still having problems. The web site itself is a visual and functional disaster and yet it changes constantly. Draw your own conclusions and make you own choices.
 

Bisty

New User
^ Damn, well I guess I'm lucky I bought all of mine used lol. I bought two Pro One NOS (new old stock), and an XP Dual in great condition off of the Bay. Sounds like some people have had less than great experiences with them in placing orders...
I bought my (2) Pro One Mid + back when they had a sale offering racquets for $99 each and a free 6-racquet bag. My package arrived early, but the free bag was no where to be found... I contacted them and they never responded. They only reply when its of interest to them (money). If it wasn't for the free bag offer I would have just bought some reasonably priced, quality racquets from TW.
 
I bought my (2) Pro One Mid + back when they had a sale offering racquets for $99 each and a free 6-racquet bag. My package arrived early, but the free bag was no where to be found... I contacted them and they never responded. They only reply when its of interest to them (money). If it wasn't for the free bag offer I would have just bought some reasonably priced, quality racquets from TW.
That's crazy and I wouldn't have been happy about that either. $99 for those racquets is great though, and a steal to begin with, but for them to offer something, and not include it isn't right. I'm sure it was an honest mistake, but then you can't get a hold of them? Ouch.

In other news, I wanted to share something a little sketchy I experienced with Donnay just very recently. I wrote a full length, honest review about the very racquet you and I both have, the Pro One Mid+. I noticed in 2 weeks time, the review was not posted to the website. When I contacted Donnay though the site to inquire about why it wasn't posted, I actually received an email in my person in-box from a Donnay rep, who mentioned it wasn't seen. He said he liked the review, but then proceeded to critique it and ask me to exclude a couple of things and answer some other questions. Call me crazy, but I thought the whole point of a review was to get an honest opinion from the owner of the product, not a rehearsed and edited copy of something that sounds brand positive enough to be on a commercial. And just for the record, the review is 90% positive to begin with. I actually cooperated a bit, but did not edit my review as far as actual content. I did answer some of the questions they asked, and made a couple minor improvements. When I resubmitted it, no response, and it is not posted on the site whatsoever. I thought that was a bit shady, and it seems like Donnay doesn't want 100% honest reviews on their website, and only wants to post them if someone is a cheerleader for the product who will rewrite it the way they want. I was surprised by that...
 
Last edited:
^ Yes it was! Do you know or have you had dealings with him? He seemed very nice and professional, but the whole thing about the "rehearsed review" did not sit well with me at all.
 
Last edited:

schenkelini

Semi-Pro
I dealt with him a couple of years ago when I bought my first Donnay. He seemed like a decent guy. He used to write for one of the tennis magazines. He was hired to handle PR stuff.

Sent from my SM-G935V using Tapatalk
 

leejayh

Rookie
Well, I have to say that I very much like the Pentacore and Tricore rackets. I know that they do not run a tight ship on service, but the rackets are very good. They actually owe me a reel of string from their recent promotion and I am sure I will never see it unless I hound them, which is not worth my time. Too bad they can't get their business in gear. The marketing really needs work.

Sent from my F5321 using Tapatalk
 

schenkelini

Semi-Pro
I restrung my Pentacore racket last night. I had it strung too loose with a new poly and had just left it in the bag because I kept hitting everything out. I went back to my normal setup and Wow I forgot how good this racket is! Great control and so plush. It is by far my favorite Donnay.
 

counterpuncher

Hall of Fame
The only frames that I have used were the X Dual Gold and Platinum 99's and they were comfortable and flexible. I did hit with the Pro One but it felt quite stiff in comparison.
....

Now after a few iterations they are up to the pentacore range and I am wondering how they have evolved from the X Dual range and maybe you guys can comment.
I had the XBlue 99 a few years back and that flex was in the 50s on my LTS'S machine. While comfortable the stability wasn't the best probably because of the ultra thin beam.

My Pro One which I kept was definitely stiffer and depending on the choice of poly gave a little discomfort. I just purchased a Pro One quad core and it is definitely more flexible with increased comfort, so a noticeable improvement for me.
 
I had the XBlue 99 a few years back and that flex was in the 50s on my LTS'S machine. While comfortable the stability wasn't the best probably because of the ultra thin beam.

My Pro One which I kept was definitely stiffer and depending on the choice of poly gave a little discomfort. I just purchased a Pro One quad core and it is definitely more flexible with increased comfort, so a noticeable improvement for me.
It's interesting to hear a couple in this thread mention the Pro One as being stiffer, because my pro ones feel softer and flexy to me. Then again, mine is the 2014 Mid+ model, and you guys may be primarily referencing newer versions of the Pro One. Donnay has mine spec'd at 62 flex, and that feels about right. I also have a 2012 XP-Dual that has a lower RA, but feels more stiff. Go figure. They are different molds though...
 
Last edited:

NkdRnr

New User
I'm playing with the new Pro One Pentacore and have really been impressed. This thing is rock solid, zero flutter even while hitting against heavy pace and spin! Nice flex and surprisingly easy power while feeling fairly soft on my arm. I mainly went looking for something to help my arm (which I certainly found) but came away with more than I expected. This racquet is quality at its best. I'm extremely happy with them! And I've bought three frames from them with no problems with service at all.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
 

counterpuncher

Hall of Fame
It's interesting to hear a couple in this thread mention the Pro One as being stiffer, because my pro ones feel softer and flexy to me. Then again, mine is the 2014 Mid+ model, and you guys may be primarily referencing newer versions of the Pro One. Donnay has mine spec'd at 62 flex, and that feels about right. I also have a 2012 XP-Dual that has a lower RA, but feels more stiff. Go figure.
Mine is Pro One 97 1st Gen black version with flaking silver lettering (maybe 2013 from memory). While I haven't measured the RA of either, I hit it back to back with Quad core version last week and it was noticeably stiffer. If I had to guess it felt like high 60s vs low 60s.
 

big ted

Hall of Fame
did anyone notice on their website theyre making a xenecore pro one os agassi tribute racquet in october? it said if you bought a pentacore racquet during wimbledon
theyll send you the special frame in october for free, but hearing the customer feedback problems here it doesnt sound like that sure of a deal considering
the racquet probably isnt even manufactured yet....?
 

The Hawk

New User
I saw it, but it's not there now. Donnay is like dealing with a small time pushcart. A different deal every few days, sometimes they keep their word, sometimes they don't as the writers on this thread attest. You never know what is going to happen. And, the specs and details of the rackets vary all over the lot. When you have some of the specs tested professionally, Donnay is often way off--their flex measurements in particular vary and aren't always anything like what they claim. This is a very unusual situation--one that is not "professional", but is suited only for those who want something very, very different, are willing to pay for it, don't care about consistancy or service and are willing to put up with that for the sake of having something you just don't see anywhere else. It's for amateurs who don't care about anything other than looking different and believe they actually play better with this product. It's all in the mind....
 

atatu

Legend
I saw it, but it's not there now. Donnay is like dealing with a small time pushcart. A different deal every few days, sometimes they keep their word, sometimes they don't as the writers on this thread attest. You never know what is going to happen. And, the specs and details of the rackets vary all over the lot. When you have some of the specs tested professionally, Donnay is often way off--their flex measurements in particular vary and aren't always anything like what they claim. This is a very unusual situation--one that is not "professional", but is suited only for those who want something very, very different, are willing to pay for it, don't care about consistancy or service and are willing to put up with that for the sake of having something you just don't see anywhere else. It's for amateurs who don't care about anything other than looking different and believe they actually play better with this product. It's all in the mind....
Not my experience at all, and most of the people on this forum are "amateurs" by the way, very few professionals here.
 

The Hawk

New User
Not my experience at all, and most of the people on this forum are "amateurs" by the way, very few professionals here.
By amateur I mean those with minimal knowledge and experience--not "professional" in the sense that they play professionally.
 

NkdRnr

New User
I saw it, but it's not there now. Donnay is like dealing with a small time pushcart. A different deal every few days, sometimes they keep their word, sometimes they don't as the writers on this thread attest. You never know what is going to happen. And, the specs and details of the rackets vary all over the lot. When you have some of the specs tested professionally, Donnay is often way off--their flex measurements in particular vary and aren't always anything like what they claim. This is a very unusual situation--one that is not "professional", but is suited only for those who want something very, very different, are willing to pay for it, don't care about consistancy or service and are willing to put up with that for the sake of having something you just don't see anywhere else. It's for amateurs who don't care about anything other than looking different and believe they actually play better with this product. It's all in the mind....
I disagree. Firstly, we're most likely ALL amateurs on this forum. Secondly, I've had nothing but excellent service from Donnay and I've bought several racquets from them. I'm a 4.5 and I've been playing for 35 years or more so I don't think that how a racquet plays is "in my mind". I really enjoy the frames from Donnay and think that they're extremely comfortable and the specs, for me at least, have been accurate as far as I can tell.
Obviously you don't care for the company or their product so why are you on here reading about them anyway?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

skeeter

Professional
I'm playing with the new Pro One Pentacore and have really been impressed. This thing is rock solid, zero flutter even while hitting against heavy pace and spin! Nice flex and surprisingly easy power while feeling fairly soft on my arm. I mainly went looking for something to help my arm (which I certainly found) but came away with more than I expected. This racquet is quality at its best. I'm extremely happy with them! And I've bought three frames from them with no problems with service at all.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
What frame size are you referring to; the 97? Anyone tried the 97 18x20? Thoughts on this and the 102 appreciated.
 

NkdRnr

New User
What frame size are you referring to; the 97? Anyone tried the 97 18x20? Thoughts on this and the 102 appreciated.
I'm playing with the Pentacore Pro One 97 16x19. I demoed the 18x20 as well and enjoyed it but ultimately I wanted the little bit of extra spin that I got from the 16x19. I hit with the 102 as well but thought it was a little too light for my tastes and not enough power. Hope that helps.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

The Hawk

New User
Here to save more people from being treated so poorly, from getting terrible service, etc. Just read all the negatives--no other racket company gets terrible write ups like this! They are the worst--obviously!
 

skeeter

Professional
I'm playing with the Pentacore Pro One 97 16x19. I demoed the 18x20 as well and enjoyed it but ultimately I wanted the little bit of extra spin that I got from the 16x19. I hit with the 102 as well but thought it was a little too light for my tastes and not enough power. Hope that helps.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Yes, thanks.
 

skeeter

Professional
I'm currently demoing the Penta Pro One 97 18x20 and the 102 (which has a 16x19 pattern). Customer service issues aside (they sent me the wrong grip size on one demo...), I'm finding that the 102 is very soft and flexible while the 97 feels decidedly more crisp and a bit more stiff, despite identical posted RA's (55). I'm sure the string pattern and head size differences have something to do with it, and the demo strings on the 102 are definitely more loose than the 97. While the 102 feels more comfortable, it seems to have more power and I struggled a bit to keep groundies from launching at times. The 97 18x20 is a control machine; felt like I could place it on a dime. I'm a strong 4.0 singles and doubles player (tend to bit more of a flattish ball), but not getting any younger (59) and was hoping the 102 would be more to my liking since I'm thinking I could use the extra square inches and potential forgiveness of the larger frame. More testing to come.
 
Last edited:

NkdRnr

New User
I'm currently demoing the Penta Pro One 97 18x20 and the 102 (which has a 16x19 pattern). Customer service issues aside (they sent me the wrong grip size on one demo...), I'm finding that the 102 is very soft and flexible while the 97 feels decidedly more crisp and a bit more stiff, despite identical posted RA's (55). I'm sure the string pattern and head size differences have something to do with it, and the demo strings on the 102 are definitely more loose than the 97. While the 102 feels more comfortable, it seems to have more power and I struggled a bit to keep groundies from launching at times. The 97 18x20 is a control machine; felt like I could place it on a dime. I'm a strong 4.0 singles and doubles player (tend to bit more of a flattish ball), but not getting any younger (59) and was hoping the 102 would be more to my liking since I'm thinking I could use the extra square inches and potential forgiveness of the larger frame. More testing to come.
At your level, the slightly heavier weight should fit your game a little bit better I would think and the 18 x 20 string pattern should fit your flatter game a little bit more as well. Plus, at the 4.0 level, some of the faster serves that you might see would be more easily returned with the heavier swing weight. I liked the 102, but it seemed to be a little too light to my taste. I completely agree with you about the amount of control you can get from the Penta 18 x 20. It was pretty amazing. It really was a toss up between the 18 x 20 and the 16 x 19 for me.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
 
I'm currently demoing the Penta Pro One 97 18x20 and the 102 (which has a 16x19 pattern). Customer service issues aside (they sent me the wrong grip size on one demo...), I'm finding that the 102 is very soft and flexible while the 97 feels decidedly more crisp and a bit more stiff, despite identical posted RA's (55). I'm sure the string pattern and head size differences have something to do with it, and the demo strings on the 102 are definitely more loose than the 97. While the 102 feels more comfortable, it seems to have more power and I struggled a bit to keep groundies from launching at times. The 97 18x20 is a control machine; felt like I could place it on a dime. I'm a strong 4.0 singles and doubles player (tend to bit more of a flattish ball), but not getting any younger (59) and was hoping the 102 would be more to my liking since I'm thinking I could use the extra square inches and potential forgiveness of the larger frame. More testing to come.
You probably already considered this, but keep in mind the loose strings on the 102 are also contributing to your power in sending shots long. If you got a fresh stringing at a higher tension, I'm sure it would clean that up a fair amount. I'm not sure if you can (or would want to) restring a demo though. Personally, I don't think I get an accurate demo of a stick while using strings far different than I'm used to! Although I could be overthinking that, idk.
 
Last edited:

Overheadsmash

Professional
I picked up a Pentacore 102 and the weight kit on sale last year. If you subscribe to their email alerts sometimes they will have sales. It shipped to me just fine. Nice frame I play some doubles with it. The weight kit is great. I added the heaviest weight to the handle and one of the weight strips to the tip. Very comfortable frame and easy on my aging arm. Feels old school.

I ordered over the phone, and they also threw in a X-Dual Gold 99 that was a demo but in beautiful shape for some really low price (I can't remember exactly but it was under $100). Also a fun stick to play doubles with. I'll keep them both. Become somewhat of a collector as of late and these are neat sticks. I use that Pentacore sometimes for old-man doubles. The aging guys at my club can't hit with power anymore and aren't very quick but are really, really, crafty. Played tennis longer than I have been alive and several of them played in college. I play singles mostly and can still hit really hard, but with the old guys I just work on my tennis artistry and shotmaking because it's no fun for these guys if I'm teeing off on shots. The Donnay is great for that - carving little cross-court shots, hitting low slices through a gap, etc. It actually helps you become a more complete tennis player. Now, would my eighteen-year old son who just finished four years of high school tennis play with it? No way. He uses a Babolat Pure Aero.

I know The Hawk was complaining up-thread about the company and I am sorry you had a bad experience. Right now, the best sticks are probably made by Yonex. They are a vertically integrated company, which means they make everything that goes into their products themselves, right down to the carbon fiber in their frames. They pay strict attention to quality control and supposedly if you buy, say, three DR98s they will all be weighted and balanced the exact same. I've never tested this though but have heard it several times including once from a guy in corporate sales from them. So, if you are looking for very high quality and consistency, probably worth it to check them out.
 

skeeter

Professional
You probably already considered this, but keep in mind the loose strings on the 102 are also contributing to your power in sending shots long. If you got a fresh stringing at a higher tension, I'm sure it would clean that up a fair amount. I'm not sure if you can (or would want to) restring a demo though. Personally, I don't think I get an accurate demo of a stick while using strings far different than I'm used to! Although I could be overthinking that, idk.
Yeh, I figured that the loose strings played a large part of the reason for the high launch angles; it also seems like a fairly open pattern as well. I suppose I could order one and string it up to my liking (much tighter to rein in the control), but it's a shame that they don't do a better job with monitoring/replacing their demo strings as lousy strings obviously make it very difficult for the user to assess the pros and cons of the racquet. Suppose that's part of the demo process...
 

asifallasleep

Hall of Fame
Just test drove the Pro One 97 (16x19) Black Edition with Prince XR 17 at 48lbs mains 45lbs crosses and it is the best feeling racquet I have ever hit with to date. Keep in my mind I have switched racquets at least 35 times in 20 years. Please ignore my FS post in the message boards for these racquets. I am holding on to these bad boys lol.
I made the comment that I liked the Donnay over Angell and got slammed. Good to see there are others who really love the frames.

Some of the customer service woes sound horrible. I got lucky perhaps or maybe the new management someone mentioned has improved things.
 

markiev37

Rookie
I made the comment that I liked the Donnay over Angell and got slammed. Good to see there are others who really love the frames.

Some of the customer service woes sound horrible. I got lucky perhaps or maybe the new management someone mentioned has improved things.
I've been hitting with my tricore pro one 16x19 and must say i'm impressed! solid stick for it's weight and swingweight. No issues with customer servive
 

big ted

Hall of Fame
during Wimbledon they advertised about a limited edition Donnay pro one OS with the original specs and colorway (orange/grey), but pentacore version that would be available in October, and if you bought a pentacore frame at the time they would send you a free pro one OS in October. I haven't seen anything about those racquets on the website since, so I'm glad I didn't try to go after that "deal"..
 

leejayh

Rookie
I actually bought a racket during their free reel of string or bag, and never received the bag I was due.

They have no business sense, but the rackets are good.
 

ThirdEye

Semi-Pro
Heard the P1 97 Black Edition is a bit stiffer and has a higher SW than the regular one. Can anybody confirm?
 

haqq777

Legend
Heard the P1 97 Black Edition is a bit stiffer and has a higher SW than the regular one. Can anybody confirm?
Negative. Both Black Edition and regular chrome version Pro One Pentacores have exact same specs on paper. Only difference is cosmetics. Black one is labeled as "simplified cosmetics" and the other one is "full chrome cosmetics". Any variations in specs are due to subpar QC.
 
Top