Let's talk about the Prince NXG Midplus 100

WYK

Hall of Fame
Designed for nearly two years from 2002 to 2003, and released in 2004. You either hated it, or you loved it.
I joined TW back in 2004, almost exactly when the NXG arrived on scene. My take on it was mixed. I went with the Diablo instead at the time. Which was really a mistake. I'll explain in a bit.
Here's the review at the time: https://web.archive.org/web/2004021...nnis-warehouse.com/Reviews/NXG/NXGReview.html

It had a strange bridge of old and new.
A very crisp, very stiff hoop, especially for 19mm. A flexible throat. Parallel drilling on all but 6 of the 20 crosses.
Extended to 27 1/4" and a hefty 'players' frame weight of 345 strung and 7pts head light(which is sort of clubby since it is extended).
This managed to give it an RA of 63(strung), average power for the time, and most of all - crazy spin. It was mostly designed for clay courters, it seems.
It definitely was not a racquet for everyone.

Here's one of my examples I recently purchased from Michael Valek:



It had many unique features for the time:

A pallete-less system they marketed as 'AIR HANDLE', which the current Wilson Clash sort of uses:





Not only did it have parallel drilling, it also had the beginnings of the EX0-style grommetless ports.



Here's the top hoop:



As you can imagine, this allows a lot of string movement. But it is not quite as trampolin-y or plush as the EXO sticks tend to be.

Speaking of grommets, look at this crazy shared grommet:



Because they designed it with that shared grommet, the outside string actually splays ever so slightly away from the stringbed - towards the outer hoop, as it traces up through the crosses - giving it a wider spread the further up the hoop you go. At first, I thought I may have strung it wrong!

But how did they make it so stiff in the head with only a 19mm hoop besides a heavy lay-up? Simple - they added two ridges to it. You will see this design on most anything meant to be light and stiff - like metal roofing, car panels, shed panels, metal fencing etc.
Also note the typical stabilizer is slitted to make it less stiff in the throat.





These ridges envelope the entire hoop, and they likely make it the stiffest 19mm hoop ever made

Why was it a mistake for me to abandon this racquet back in 2005? Well, I was beginning to test poly's at the time - mostly Lux stuff like Big Banger, TiMO, and ALU.
When I tested the NXG with multi, it felt very dead and lacked feedback. It had no more spin than the Diablo did, and was harder to swing. I never tested it with poly!
The crazy thing is I eventually ended up adding lead to that Diablo, giving it the same swingweight and balance nearly of an NXG. Mostly for stability, as it didn't increase the spin much.
The feedback and feel is great. But with poly, I never really gelled with the Diablo, and moved on.

Today, I have all my NXG's strung with HyperG in the mains, usually crossed with a stiff, slippery string. The power is still low, and it isn't the easiest stick to swing(more on that in a bit here).
But the spin out of it with poly is insane. More than my APD's, more than my Clash, more than my 97S, and more than even my POG Mid(which I used in college, so am very familiar with).
All of this with as much, or better accuracy from it's 16X20 stringbed. So, yeah, once you string this thing with poly, it comes in to it's own - assuming you can swing it.

The only issue is I am not as young as I was back in 2004. In the 3rd set, I can flag a bit. So I modified one of my NXG's to use in that third set:

The paint on an NXG is super thick and hard. There is a reason very little of it has scraped off of those frames since 2005. I managed to remove 15 grams of it on one example. It plays very similarly to the heavier version:



Ladies and Gentlemen, there lies a 327 gram Prince NXG(at nearly 9 pts head light strung, to boot).
You can also see with the paint removed that it is not a typical Prince square beam. It is much more rounded, with an indent in the throat; enough so the paint won't come off with a flat sander.

Remember that crazy shared grommet before? Check this out - the visual splash of 'graphite-like finish line flag look' is actually part of the lay-up and not a decal. It wouldn't grind off.



So that's my take. Thanks for your time.

Cheers,

Wes
 
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dak95_00

Hall of Fame
A number of years ago I picked up 3 for $40 total. I didn’t even give them a try. My brother was looking for a racquet and starting to play competitively again so I gave them to him. He’s been using them for a few years.
 
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Ronaldo

Bionic Poster
Still have an NXG mid. Always seemed too stiff as does the More Control. May need to try other strings
 
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WYK

Hall of Fame
Still have an NXG mid. Always seemed too stiff as does the More Control. May need to try other strings
I think a hybrid may be a good idea. The lightened one I have is actually too stiff for me to use much ;(
 

georgeyew

Rookie
I have a NXG OS on loan to a friend. I have never used it. But this thread is making me want to get it back and try it out. From TW review, the OS is supposed to be the most comfortable of the 3. I hope the spin potential is still there.
 

BumElbow

Rookie
I have a pair of Prince More Performance 100 frames from that era. I liked the mostly grommetless design but the frame was too light and lacked stability as well as feel. Also, I own a pair of Triple Threat Bandit oversize frames. They play better than the More Performance frames and are comfortable but are not very powerful. I think that the Triple Threat design was not effective and may be the biggest reason why Prince lost market share. The Triple Threat design lacked the stability it claimed to have.
 

WYK

Hall of Fame
That is definitely a perspective I have heard before - Prince simply not keeping up with the times. But bear in mind that they were doing OK through most of the triple threat stuff with several pros still using their sticks; unfortunately no real stars like Rafa, though. But we do agree - I think it was a perfect storm of suddenly losing touch with the new powerful and spinny tweener culture developing, impingement into their dominance by Babolat(which is basically the new Prince), Roger bolstering Wilson back to the fore, Andy Roddick securing the US market with his insane serving with a Babo, and their introduction of the EXO-3 system, and Nick and Stan(and later, loads of other new stars) suddenly catapulting Yonex back on the stage after a long hiatus with Hingis and Kournikova missing from the scene. It's all about the zeitgeist.
I think the EXo3 system is actually quite a nice stick to play with, and many pros loved it. The problem is it was prone to failures on some models(cracks, wear both on the frame and the grommets), and most importantly - stringers didn't want to string it(learning curve, time intensive, and the aforementioned wear issues). Most of the time in the racquet industry, your salesman is also the stringer. Are you going to sell racquets you do not want to string? With recreational strokes, the EXo system doesn't provide much feedback and confidence. So, your main market isn't really hot on the product.
Aside from the EX03 thing - much of that can be said for Dunlop as well. There's more to it to be sure, but I got to go eat sunday roast shortly here...

It must be said, I rarely see a Prince racquet here in Ireland. I own 4 of them, so that's prolly half of the ones on this rock that are in my bag. ;) The last POG mid left over from college hangs on my wall now. I played with it as recently as last summer. I now use a heavily modified Head Extreme Lite.

This is a great vid on the subject I mostly agree with(though he would be more familiar about the stringing side of things than I am since I never do a one piece):

 

Ronaldo

Bionic Poster
I have a NXG OS on loan to a friend. I have never used it. But this thread is making me want to get it back and try it out. From TW review, the OS is supposed to be the most comfortable of the 3. I hope the spin potential is still there.
Strung a pair for an ex-teammate. Certainly has plenty of power
 
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ext2hander

Rookie
I realize there's an alternate forum to list sales, but I still have a very lightly used, perfect condition NXG Tour Graphite 4 1/2 for an NXG lover. Check the photos. I moved onto 4 3/8 and 4 1/4 long ago. No scratches of head guard wear. Plays very solid, without shock.

I also play with vintage Head Prestige Tour 660 / Trisys 300 Midplus, and Head i.Prestige Tour Midplus. I like the NXG and Trisys 300 best, with the Trisys more flexy at 56 RA vs NXG's 62 RA. My NXG with strings and head protection tape weighs in at 12.5 oz, which gives solid slice backhands and FH/BH volleyw with its more stable upper hoop. I use Gamma Live Wire XP 17.




 
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WYK

Hall of Fame
So, removing the cross bar actually saves you 5 more grams. How about that. Also makes it slightly more flexible, but the stability is still good.



Removing that and the paint puts the NXG at 323ish strung. 328 with over grip.

Here it is before and after without grip or strings:



 

vsbabolat

G.O.A.T.
That is definitely a perspective I have heard before - Prince simply not keeping up with the times. But bear in mind that they were doing OK through most of the triple threat stuff with several pros still using their sticks; unfortunately no real stars like Rafa, though. But we do agree - I think it was a perfect storm of suddenly losing touch with the new powerful and spinny tweener culture developing, impingement into their dominance by Babolat(which is basically the new Prince), Roger bolstering Wilson back to the fore, Andy Roddick securing the US market with his insane serving with a Babo, and their introduction of the EXO-3 system, and Nick and Stan(and later, loads of other new stars) suddenly catapulting Yonex back on the stage after a long hiatus with Hingis and Kournikova missing from the scene. It's all about the zeitgeist.
I think the EXo3 system is actually quite a nice stick to play with, and many pros loved it. The problem is it was prone to failures on some models(cracks, wear both on the frame and the grommets), and most importantly - stringers didn't want to string it(learning curve, time intensive, and the aforementioned wear issues). Most of the time in the racquet industry, your salesman is also the stringer. Are you going to sell racquets you do not want to string? With recreational strokes, the EXo system doesn't provide much feedback and confidence. So, your main market isn't really hot on the product.
Aside from the EX03 thing - much of that can be said for Dunlop as well. There's more to it to be sure, but I got to go eat sunday roast shortly here...

It must be said, I rarely see a Prince racquet here in Ireland. I own 4 of them, so that's prolly half of the ones on this rock that are in my bag. ;) The last POG mid left over from college hangs on my wall now. I played with it as recently as last summer. I now use a heavily modified Head Extreme Lite.

This is a great vid on the subject I mostly agree with(though he would be more familiar about the stringing side of things than I am since I never do a one piece):

Lots of bad info in That video. Pam Shriver got to the finals of the US Open in 1978 and she used the Prince Classic to do it. The Prince Boron did not come in 135 it only came in Oversize (110) and was $500 MSRP. The biggest headsize Prince had starting in 1984 was 125 series. Lots of other bad and misleading information as well. Like the 03 white that Sharapova used, incorrect photo of the racquet. He’s a pretty bad source of information
 
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retrowagen

Hall of Fame
I had never seen that video before today, and am appalled by the misinformation given by that guy. He simply made a bunch of stuff up about the early years of Prince and Howard Head.
 

JW10S

Hall of Fame
My thoughts of the NXG when it came out was that Prince was starting to get desperate and tried to cram as many 'hi-tech' features into one racquet as possible. The one feature I did find interesting , however, was the 'Air Handle'. It was a thin slit in the handle that reminded me of one of my favorite wood racquets--the Snauwaert Caravelle. It felt better in the Snauwaert...
 

Ronaldo

Bionic Poster
My thoughts of the NXG when it came out was that Prince was starting to get desperate and tried to cram as many 'hi-tech' features into one racquet as possible. The one feature I did find interesting , however, was the 'Air Handle'. It was a thin slit in the handle that reminded me of one of my favorite wood racquets--the Snauwaert Caravelle. It felt better in the Snauwaert...
More series was full of these Hi-Tech ideas and those wonderful grommets........................................
 
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