Head Graphene Prestige MP... Beast or Bust?

Kal-El 34

Hall of Fame
So I have been play testing the new Head Graphene Prestige MP for a few weeks now and thought I would post my review as there doesn't seem to be a whole lot of discussion about it yet - which kind of surprises me.

The listed specs on the frame are:
320g, 11.3oz
21mm beam width
310mm balance, 1 and 1/3" HL
it is now one of only two 18x20 models offered by Head

Cosmetics:
I think the black and the red paint scheme on this prestige is beautiful. However, I am not a big fan of the red caps. I am also not a huge fan with how cheaply made the last 2 versions of CAP grommets have seemed. These were swapped out almost immediately for black Microgel CAP system. Some have complained of the cosmetics with the shiny paint and the matte red. I have had no issues with this, and everyone I hit with has loved the look of the frame. Below is a picture of both set ups




Groundstrokes:
I haven't done one of these for awhile, so I will remind you I hit with a western forehand and a 2 handed, flatter backhand. Is this the plush, buttery prestige of old? NO. However, the frame has been modernized for today's game a bit. Where you lose a touch a feel, you gain a bit more mass in the head and free access to power. This comes in handy with the pace and spin of today's game.
Forehands: I had a really nice access to topspin for this being a prestige racket. I felt I was able to generate considerable spin and power without a ton of effort. This is probably attributed to the fact there is more weight in the head. I was able to put the ball deep in the court, or snap short angles pretty easily. When I really wanted to rip into one though, I felt I was getting a bit out in front of the shot too often... this is probably just me adjusting to the weight from the 350g prestige mid I have been playing.
Backhands: The most pleasant surprise with this frame was on my 2 handed backhand. Nice access to both power and spin. Shots I normally hit short seem to be finding the baseline or close to it with relative ease.

My only knock on the frame from the ground is the sweet spot seems a bit small. Actually, in stock form, it feels smaller than the sweet spot on my prestige mid. If you find the center of the strings consistently, this will be a great stick... If you use a lot of the string bed I would maybe look elsewhere.

Volleys:
Volleying with the new G Prestige MP is nice. Different than with previousl prestige versions, but still nice. With earlier versions, the touch and feel around the net is unmatched. The newer model feels a bit lively at the net. It took a bit of adjustment, but once I got the hang of it I really enjoy playing at the net with the GPMP. I really like sticking powerful, deep volleys with the racket. I actually feel like I am playing much more aggressively with the same punch that I normally have. The touch on drop volleys and angles is not as nice as older models, but it isnt bad. Overall - still solid at the net and much better than most of the other sticks that are out now.

Serves:
Serves are great with the new prestige. Excellent plow through the ball and I was bombing flat ones all over the place. Still light enough to really snap through slice and I was getting massive spin on my kick serves. Very steady if struck in the sweet spot.

All in all if you find the slightly smaller sweet spot of this frame consistently, it plays really well. In stock form it is nice, with a little more weight in the head, for my game, was even better. I am actually considering a move to these rackets, but want to give it a little more time. I do notice that off center hits outside of the sweet spot land a lot shorter than I get with my previous prestige versions. This was frustrating, but once I got a feel for the frame, I didn't notice I was hitting off center very often, so all good there.

I also hit with the Babolat Pure Strike 18x20 tonight and I would take the Graphene Prestige over that garbage ALL day, EVERY day.
 

dl125

Rookie
ahhh, yeah, thank you. I think I found them on the bay

Racquet model(s): Youtek IG Prestige MP
Head Size: 98 square inches / 632 sq. cm
String Pattern: 18 Mains x 20 Crosses

...and to Kal-El 34, I demoed the Prestige MP and actually liked it, but was scared of the weight so bought the Prestige S, but that just seemed hollow to me after a while.

I went ahead and bought the MP and just waiting to try it out this weekend. Thanks for the review; I keep reading it over and over.
 

stronzzi70

Professional
So I have been play testing the new Head Graphene Prestige MP for a few weeks now and thought I would post my review as there doesn't seem to be a whole lot of discussion about it yet - which kind of surprises me.

The listed specs on the frame are:
320g, 11.3oz
21mm beam width
310mm balance, 1 and 1/3" HL
it is now one of only two 18x20 models offered by Head

Cosmetics:
I think the black and the red paint scheme on this prestige is beautiful. However, I am not a big fan of the red caps. I am also not a huge fan with how cheaply made the last 2 versions of CAP grommets have seemed. These were swapped out almost immediately for black Microgel CAP system. Some have complained of the cosmetics with the shiny paint and the matte red. I have had no issues with this, and everyone I hit with has loved the look of the frame. Below is a picture of both set ups




Groundstrokes:
I haven't done one of these for awhile, so I will remind you I hit with a western forehand and a 2 handed, flatter backhand. Is this the plush, buttery prestige of old? NO. However, the frame has been modernized for today's game a bit. Where you lose a touch a feel, you gain a bit more mass in the head and free access to power. This comes in handy with the pace and spin of today's game.
Forehands: I had a really nice access to topspin for this being a prestige racket. I felt I was able to generate considerable spin and power without a ton of effort. This is probably attributed to the fact there is more weight in the head. I was able to put the ball deep in the court, or snap short angles pretty easily. When I really wanted to rip into one though, I felt I was getting a bit out in front of the shot too often... this is probably just me adjusting to the weight from the 350g prestige mid I have been playing.
Backhands: The most pleasant surprise with this frame was on my 2 handed backhand. Nice access to both power and spin. Shots I normally hit short seem to be finding the baseline or close to it with relative ease.

My only knock on the frame from the ground is the sweet spot seems a bit small. Actually, in stock form, it feels smaller than the sweet spot on my prestige mid. If you find the center of the strings consistently, this will be a great stick... If you use a lot of the string bed I would maybe look elsewhere.

Volleys:
Volleying with the new G Prestige MP is nice. Different than with previousl prestige versions, but still nice. With earlier versions, the touch and feel around the net is unmatched. The newer model feels a bit lively at the net. It took a bit of adjustment, but once I got the hang of it I really enjoy playing at the net with the GPMP. I really like sticking powerful, deep volleys with the racket. I actually feel like I am playing much more aggressively with the same punch that I normally have. The touch on drop volleys and angles is not as nice as older models, but it isnt bad. Overall - still solid at the net and much better than most of the other sticks that are out now.

Serves:
Serves are great with the new prestige. Excellent plow through the ball and I was bombing flat ones all over the place. Still light enough to really snap through slice and I was getting massive spin on my kick serves. Very steady if struck in the sweet spot.

All in all if you find the slightly smaller sweet spot of this frame consistently, it plays really well. In stock form it is nice, with a little more weight in the head, for my game, was even better. I am actually considering a move to these rackets, but want to give it a little more time. I do notice that off center hits outside of the sweet spot land a lot shorter than I get with my previous prestige versions. This was frustrating, but once I got a feel for the frame, I didn't notice I was hitting off center very often, so all good there.

I also hit with the Babolat Pure Strike 18x20 tonight and I would take the Graphene Prestige over that garbage ALL day, EVERY day.

Agreed about pure strike 18x20 piece of garage, i felt that frame like wall mart racquet ...
 

Kal-El 34

Hall of Fame
You can justify anything (a new racquet just because it's new) if you want to bad enough. Bust

Thanks for contributing to the discussion not at all

You can justify buying anything new because it's new in the same way you can say everything new stinks because it isn't the old one like a big grump.

I didn't say it was a racket everyone should go out And buy... But I do think it's well worth a demo and much better than the other newer model frames I have tried as of late.

I happen to like the update. I think it will sell very well to prestige users looking for some extra power or to former radical users as the new one I think will turn people off of it. I'd say the new prestige maybe lies in between classic prestige and radical.... It's a good blend. And like I said if you can handle a bit more weight in the head the stability is rock solid
 

Kal-El 34

Hall of Fame
Agreed about pure strike 18x20 piece of garage, i felt that frame like wall mart racquet ...

The lighter pure strike played slightly better I thought

The new pure control wasn't horrible. I always feel there is just something missing when I hit babolat frames
 

Kal-El 34

Hall of Fame
send me one and i will test it ;)

from my brief hit it felt stiffer than the older models.

It is. I find a few lbs less tension counter the feel though. I tested the G prestige at 54 compared to my brothers IG mid plus at 58 and didn't notice too much difference to be honest
 
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stronzzi70

Professional
The lighter pure strike played slightly better I thought

The new pure control wasn't horrible. I always feel there is just something missing when I hit babolat frames

Same sensation here , i don t feel any babolat frames , playing right now with PB 10 Mid 2013 pj , did you try ??
 

raging

Professional
The lighter pure strike played slightly better I thought

The new pure control wasn't horrible. I always feel there is just something missing when I hit babolat frames

yes..they are not Head frames...obviously totally different feel.
(I played with the Prestige Classic 1990-2000 strung with VS gut)

There is no comparison, I loved my Prestiges but I was younger then and the Pure Drive gave me back a bit of power that I lost...once swing speed goes you
need some help.:)
 

GlenK

Professional
Very good write up and I agree. Been a prestige guy for years and I like the way the new graphene version plays.
Unfortunately my arm does not.

I tried the Speed Pro first and then the Prestige and both bothered my arm within 24 hours. Tried lower tension on the prestige and it helped but discomfort was still there.

Also agree about the sweet spot. It definitely is smaller than the older versions and that plush Prestige feel is just not there. However, I probably would play with it if not for the arm issue, even though imo the youtek's are still the better racquet overall.
 

Matt H.

Professional
I too demo'd this racquet today.

My initial thoughts were the red caps HAVE to be swapped out for the black, and that the racket felt like I was playing a babolat pure control/pure storm from back in 2004. Maybe a tad softer since babolats are extremely stiff, but it had pretty much that sound and impact crispness.

It also needs about 10g of weight added. Stick is too light for one handed backhand returns. Low powered off the ground, but still somewhat predictable. I struggled to generate depth and top spin. It felt like I was picking one or the other.

Only problem with demos is the string is usually not the same. I'd be interested in trying it again with my normal gut hybrid. That might fix the spin issue compared to the head syn gut in the frame.

For reference, I've been a prestige user since the microgel and have played all versions. Trying to switch away from the pt57a.
 

Kal-El 34

Hall of Fame
I too demo'd this racquet today.

My initial thoughts were the red caps HAVE to be swapped out for the black, and that the racket felt like I was playing a babolat pure control/pure storm from back in 2004. Maybe a tad softer since babolats are extremely stiff, but it had pretty much that sound and impact crispness.

It also needs about 10g of weight added. Stick is too light for one handed backhand returns. Low powered off the ground, but still somewhat predictable. I struggled to generate depth and top spin. It felt like I was picking one or the other.

Only problem with demos is the string is usually not the same. I'd be interested in trying it again with my normal gut hybrid. That might fix the spin issue compared to the head syn gut in the frame.

For reference, I've been a prestige user since the microgel and have played all versions. Trying to switch away from the pt57a.

wasn't a fan of the pt57a to be honest. you are absolutely right about the 10g. I added approx 12 to the hoop at 11 and 1 and its much more solid
 

ProRadTour

Semi-Pro
I have given this frame another go over the last week or so and have had some really good results on court.

One change I made was I strung the frame using the JET method at 22kg as the reference tension. It seems to open up the sweet spot and add some pocketing, fairly new to this stringing method but I may string all my frames this way from here on in.

I have now swapped out the regular grommets for the TK57 LM Prestige Grommets and added 5 grams at 3 & 9. That has added 9 grams additional weight overall to the hoop. Frame is now at 361 grams with a leather grip, over grip and dampener. Might remove the lead if I find it to cumbersome and just have the additional 4 grams of weight the TK57s add.
 

SpinToWin

Talk Tennis Guru
I hate it!:(

couldn't agree more! Power and spin of a racquet can easily be customized with lead and string choice, however the feel cannot be changed. Downgrading the feel of the Prestiges (after a good IG update) was a terrible move by Head.
 

vsbabolat

G.O.A.T.
couldn't agree more! Power and spin of a racquet can easily be customized with lead and string choice, however the feel cannot be changed. Downgrading the feel of the Prestiges (after a good IG update) was a terrible move by Head.

The only thing HEAD is doing now is trading on the well deserved reputation of the Prestige Pro 600/Prestige Classic 600.
d8ab7d9c-8489-46e1-b3c5-d0c90570b968_zpse18aa56c.jpg

HEAD_PC600_1_zps9f0ec19e.jpg


In the real world the people I know want the Prestige to feel like the Prestige Pro 600. HEAD is a company that is lost. They remind me of GM. Trying to make the cheapest product possible and charging a premium for it because of the great reputation they once had.
 

Kal-El 34

Hall of Fame
VSB will you be demoing a yonex tour g anytime soon?

ive got it coming for demo on monday. from what i am hearing about it i am excited to see how it plays


update: after playing the new prestige for about a week I have developed pretty bad tennis elbow out of nowhere. I've never had it before, and it's not like my game all of a sudden changed. Pretty upset with this
 

vsbabolat

G.O.A.T.
ive got it coming for demo on monday. from what i am hearing about it i am excited to see how it plays


update: after playing the new prestige for about a week I have developed pretty bad tennis elbow out of nowhere. I've never had it before, and it's not like my game all of a sudden changed. Pretty upset with this

My shoulder was sore.
 

Bartelby

Bionic Poster
As Proust wrote, or at least his translator, the only true Paradises are the ones that we have lost.
 

stronzzi70

Professional
The only thing HEAD is doing now is trading on the well deserved reputation of the Prestige Pro 600/Prestige Classic 600.
d8ab7d9c-8489-46e1-b3c5-d0c90570b968_zpse18aa56c.jpg

HEAD_PC600_1_zps9f0ec19e.jpg


In the real world the people I know want the Prestige to feel like the Prestige Pro 600. HEAD is a company that is lost. They remind me of GM. Trying to make the cheapest product possible and charging a premium for it because of the great reputation they once had.

Vs babolat ,
What is the difference between prestige pro and graphite pro , very similar pj but i dont How similar ????
 

Power Player

Bionic Poster
Kal El I should have mine by then as well. Should be a really fun stick to mess with. Im currently using the ai98 at 12 ounces and it's fantastic. Really looking for a more classic feel at this point, can't complain about anything else.
 

snr

Semi-Pro
vsbabolat - I've been posting recently about the Prestige's and whether the new ones were worthy. Had a MG Prestige Pro, liked it, but wanted an 18x20 so moved onto the Youtek Prestige MP. I didn't go to the IG because I ended up with 2 YouTek's instead. I have them leaded up and with a leather to around 350g now and I love them.

While I do play a powerful baseline game, I enjoy the net too and have heard (like this thread) that the new lines don't really follow suit? I will demo but there's a lot of "honeymooning" with racquets so it'll be hard to tell.

Though I am happy with the Youtek Prestige's, I'm taking a look at this road because I'm wondering if/when my Youtek's need a replacement whether I will kick myself for not trying to stock up on IG's while I can. Will the new Graphene line be a good platform to go back up to the 350g weight that I like?
 

vsbabolat

G.O.A.T.
I know your pósted that, my question is how similar is the prestige pro 600 with graphite pro , very similar pj .

I dont think the paint jobs are similar. The Graphite Pro is either Black with silver and red (EU) or black with gold and red then changed to Turquoise paint job for 1987 to 1988(USA). The molds are very different too. The headsize is the same. I found the Graphite Pro to be softer in the hoop. But incredibly solid with a very plush feel.
 
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vsbabolat

G.O.A.T.
vsbabolat - I've been posting recently about the Prestige's and whether the new ones were worthy. Had a MG Prestige Pro, liked it, but wanted an 18x20 so moved onto the Youtek Prestige MP. I didn't go to the IG because I ended up with 2 YouTek's instead. I have them leaded up and with a leather to around 350g now and I love them.

While I do play a powerful baseline game, I enjoy the net too and have heard (like this thread) that the new lines don't really follow suit? I will demo but there's a lot of "honeymooning" with racquets so it'll be hard to tell.

Though I am happy with the Youtek Prestige's, I'm taking a look at this road because I'm wondering if/when my Youtek's need a replacement whether I will kick myself for not trying to stock up on IG's while I can. Will the new Graphene line be a good platform to go back up to the 350g weight that I like?

Yes, you can weight them up. I would suggest it, as I found they swing very fast in stock form. If you are looking for a new racquet I suggest you demo the Tecnifibre 315 LTD 18x20. You can weight it up easily and will have the feel you like.
 
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Power Player

Bionic Poster
vsbabolat - I've been posting recently about the Prestige's and whether the new ones were worthy. Had a MG Prestige Pro, liked it, but wanted an 18x20 so moved onto the Youtek Prestige MP. I didn't go to the IG because I ended up with 2 YouTek's instead. I have them leaded up and with a leather to around 350g now and I love them.

While I do play a powerful baseline game, I enjoy the net too and have heard (like this thread) that the new lines don't really follow suit? I will demo but there's a lot of "honeymooning" with racquets so it'll be hard to tell.

Though I am happy with the Youtek Prestige's, I'm taking a look at this road because I'm wondering if/when my Youtek's need a replacement whether I will kick myself for not trying to stock up on IG's while I can. Will the new Graphene line be a good platform to go back up to the 350g weight that I like?

I am sure VSB can expound, but the feel of the Graphene racquets is just not the same Prestige feel you are used to.

For that volley friendly balance, I am not sure you will be as happy. The Prestige is now balanced more head heavy.

I have my tecnifibre 315 ltd set up like that - SW is 330, weight is 345 and balance is more like 3-4 pts hl. It is a lot tougher to volley with in my experience.
 

vsbabolat

G.O.A.T.
I am sure VSB can expound, but the feel of the Graphene racquets is just not the same Prestige feel you are used to.

For that volley friendly balance, I am not sure you will be as happy. The Prestige is now balanced more head heavy.

I have my tecnifibre 315 ltd set up like that - SW is 330, weight is 345 and balance is more like 3-4 pts hl. It is a lot tougher to volley with in my experience.

I dont want to go into the feel because it seems to be very upsetting to certain people.
 

Power Player

Bionic Poster
I dont want to go into the feel because it seems to be very upsetting to certain people.

Yes but those people are forum trolls so who cares what they think. I personally think having a forum member who can accurately describe feel to everyone is a huge benefit. It has saved me a lot of cash in the past, and also helped me discover the tec 315, which is one of my all time favorite racquets.

Most of us know if you give a thumbs to a stick in the feel department, that it is a must demo. So I would say the majority of posters find this information highly valuable and the few antagonists have their own personal issues and are not worth acknowledging or worrying about.
 

snr

Semi-Pro
Thank to you both Power Player and VSBabolat.

I will have a demo with it just to rule it out then. I'm not a "classic player" by any stretch. if you saw my game you'd probably lump me into the Babolat group (not that there's anything wrong with that, I'm just playing the stereotypes) but that I'm not scared of the net.

I typically just like the "control, I can swing all out, precision" with a plowing cushion feel of the Prestige. Mind you I"m using the YouTek which I know is a crisper feeling than most already; especially compared to my MG.

Thanks for the suggestion on the T315. I will keep that in mind; I'm NOT looking for a new stick by any means, these posts are mainly for "should I stock up my sticks I like" type of thing.
 

vsbabolat

G.O.A.T.
Thank to you both Power Player and VSBabolat.

I will have a demo with it just to rule it out then. I'm not a "classic player" by any stretch. if you saw my game you'd probably lump me into the Babolat group (not that there's anything wrong with that, I'm just playing the stereotypes) but that I'm not scared of the net.

I typically just like the "control, I can swing all out, precision" with a plowing cushion feel of the Prestige. Mind you I"m using the YouTek which I know is a crisper feeling than most already; especially compared to my MG.

Thanks for the suggestion on the T315. I will keep that in mind; I'm NOT looking for a new stick by any means, these posts are mainly for "should I stock up my sticks I like" type of thing.

How worn are you sticks? Do you re-string very often? I like the cushion feel as well.
 

stronzzi70

Professional
I dont think the paint jobs are similar. The Graphite Pro is either Black with silver and red (EU) or black with gold and red then change to Turquoise (USA). The molds are very different too. The headsize is the same. I found the Graphite Pro to be softer in the hoop. But incredibly solid with a very plush feel.

Many thanks vs !!!
 

snr

Semi-Pro
How worn are you sticks? Do you re-string very often? I like the cushion feel as well.

They're not TOO bad yet. Could be paranoia if anything :).

Funny though with regards to the cushion feel that I happen to be on the Youtek's. If I'm not mistaken, they're the second most "crisp" feeling Prestige next to the now Graphenes!
 
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Kal-El 34

Hall of Fame
They're not TOO bad yet. Could be paranoia if anything :).

Funny though with regards to the cushion feel that I happen to be on the Youtek's. If I'm not mistaken, they're the second most "crisp" feeling Prestige next to the now Graphenes!

i dunno if i would classify the new prestige as crisp. im trying to come up with an accurate word for it
 

Power Player

Bionic Poster
Are you of drinking age yet? If so, try this. Muster the courage to talk to a girl and take her out. It may help relieve some of this annoying energy you display on these boards so consistently.
 
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