List of Wilson buttcap codes please.

tennis005

Hall of Fame
I here a lot on these boards about the codes on the butt caps of Wilson rackets like the Prostaffs. Can someone make a list of codes and were it means the racket was manufactured?
 

VGP

Legend
That chart is informative, but not exact. I've even seen it manipulated by sellers on e-bay to sell SV PS85s. People tend to think that a code means more than it does.

AFAIK, the only "codes" that have the most relevance to racket value are the ones that typify Chicago and St. Vincent Wilson Pro Staff Midsize. Like the chart shows, a Chicago PS85 ends in "I" and a SV PS85 ends in "Q" but I've seen SVs that end in "A" as one that I have has the code QTA - the chart has been manipulated by some for late SVs to have a code "QXX." The Largehead was made in Chicago and SV, the 125 in SV.

What's more important is the location of the code on PS85s BELOW the "W" logo. Taiwanese frames have the code above it. But to those that have the frames, the butt caps from Taiwan are different in the molding than those from Chicago and St. Vincent.

All that being said, the rest for the most part is frame specific. You'll have to do a little digging or ask to find out. Wilson Jack Kramer Staffs were all made in St. Vincent, BLACK butt cap PS85s were all made in China. Wilson Ultra IIs were made in the US or St. Vincent (with perhaps a recent Japanese remake), but all are of relative interest.

Take this example:



Even though it came with a classic white butt cap, it's made in China. The butt cap code itself is irrelevant.

Since the PS85 was made in several global locations and due to collectibility, the ones of interest are the Chicago and St. Vincent Pro Staffs which are visually very stimilar. Add in the Taiwanese PS85s for a little confusion, but to those familiar, they can easily spot the difference.......
 

jimbo333

Hall of Fame
^^^^^^Does anyone know for sure whether the above photo is a made in China or Taiwan?

I thought this font of "Prostaff" were made in Taiwan!
 

jimbo333

Hall of Fame
^^^^^^Does anyone know for sure whether the above photo is a made in China or Taiwan?

I thought this font of "Prostaff" were made in Taiwan!
Right, I've checked myself and this is indeed an early China version, sorry!

Has anyone got a photo of a Taiwan version please?
 

VGP

Legend
The early Taiwanese frames look very much like the late St. Vincent frames.

The difference is the lack of red primer and the paint has a "glossier" look to it. Plus the grip size decal is the small circular one like the ones still used. Also, there's a holographic Wilson sticker with the serial number. Then there's the butt cap where there should be a sticker that says TAIWAN below the Wilson logo and the butt cap code is located above the logo.

Here's a bit (albeit not that detailed) of a couple of my early Taiwanese frames (on the left):



The later ones have a darker tone to the pinstripes and there's a recommendation to use Wilson Syn Gut inside the throat......
 

jimbo333

Hall of Fame
The early Taiwanese frames look very much like the late St. Vincent frames.

The difference is the lack of red primer and the paint has a "glossier" look to it. Plus the grip size decal is the small circular one like the ones still used. Also, there's a holographic Wilson sticker with the serial number. Then there's the butt cap where there should be a sticker that says TAIWAN below the Wilson logo and the butt cap code is located above the logo.

Here's a bit (albeit not that detailed) of a couple of my early Taiwanese frames (on the left):



The later ones have a darker tone to the pinstripes and there's a recommendation to use Wilson Syn Gut inside the throat......
Thanks:)

And do all the Taiwanese versions have "Prostaff" in the same font as the St.Vincents?
 

VGP

Legend
AFAIK, yes.

I don't know what it is about the early Chinese frames with the blockish italic Pro Staff that I don't like. I remember seeing them on the shelves and thinking that Wilson were making them have a similar look to the rest of the Pro Staff line at the time. They even say "85 sq. in." inside the head, like the other rackets. It just looked out of place. Similar labeling, but it didn't fit with the old pinstriping.

Personally I like that as the years passed, the PS85 became more a frame by itself.....(or a relic of the past, depending on how you look at it).....I even like the ones after....like the "Federer" model. All that's different is the font and the 6.0 and the simple small label of "midsize" in the head, even the black buttcap with the red square. As for the early Chinese ones, I don't care for that particular one. It's a bit of a hybrid.

Superficial? Yeah.
 

jimbo333

Hall of Fame
^^^^Thanks again for the info:)

What I think is sad is that there will never be a racquet made again with a "history". The PS85 is a bit of an exception admittedly as it was made for over 20 years, but now racquets seem to get made for up to 3 or 4 years and then get changed completely!

I just think this is a bit sad!

(which in itself may be considered sad, that I think this:))
 

Antónis

Professional
Hi everyone,
I would like a bit of help.
Is this racket a St Vincent?

You should look at three things:
first, the three letter buttcap code, if it ends with "Q" you're closer to confirm it's a St. V. made PS.
But the buttcap could have been replaced somewhere, so it's not a definitive clue
The second thing is the font type where "Pro Staff" is written in the throat. I believe the early Taiwanese PS Mids have a similar font to St. Vincents, but don't take my word. Yours look legit.
The definitive clue is the prime colour. St. Vincents have a red prime, so you should look if your racquet has scrape somewhere, and look for red prime. If it doesn't have a scrape, consider yourself a lucky owner, and leave it like that

I'm adding a couple pics of my St. Vincents just because I like a bit of racquet porn
<a data-flickr-embed="true" href=" https://flic.kr/p/23kUsfc " title="DSC_0063"><img src="https://live.staticflickr.com/4753/39606653615_8194b7515c_k.jpg" width="2048" height="1152" alt="DSC_0063"></a><script async src="//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

KXQ buttcap, check
<a data-flickr-embed="true" href=" https://flic.kr/p/23kUrWM " title="DSC_0064"><img src="https://live.staticflickr.com/4759/39606652605_1dcdfc0008_k.jpg" width="2048" height="1152" alt="DSC_0064"></a><script async src="//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

Right Pro Staff font, check (and Pete Sampras's "O" dampener, just for good measure...)

https://flic.kr/p/23kUrGt
A bit of visible red prime, check

https://flic.kr/p/23kUswV
Finally, some old school Wilson stickers
 
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Antónis

Professional
Same racquet from the same guy, Benjamin Rio.
Hard to tell without seeing the other signs
But still no red prime, that's a red flag
 

Antónis

Professional
Ok
But without seeing the other clues, it's hard to make an informed opinion.
I believe there was batch of st. vincents that were finished in Taiwan, back when they were transitioning factories. Those racquets were St. Vincents build pro staffs, but painted in Taiwan. I'm not sure about the Taiwanese prime colour since I never had any of those.
I don't know if this is a fake PS or some hybrid resulting from this transitioning process, and I'm not an expert by all means, so this is all I can say
 

hartruclayer

New User
Ok
But without seeing the other clues, it's hard to make an informed opinion.
I believe there was batch of st. vincents that were finished in Taiwan, back when they were transitioning factories. Those racquets were St. Vincents build pro staffs, but painted in Taiwan. I'm not sure about the Taiwanese prime colour since I never had any of those.
I don't know if this is a fake PS or some hybrid resulting from this transitioning process, and I'm not an expert by all means, so this is all I can say
I thought mine was from Taiwan as the lable says but now you have me thinking whether I have an SV hybrid, China or...
~I have a midplus 95. The sticker says: Braided Construction Exclusively Manufactured by CHIAO TA
~butt cap code is QJX stamped above the "W"
~primer appears to be light gray or white at the scuff marks
ANY THOUGHTS?
 

Sanglier

Semi-Pro
I thought mine was from Taiwan as the lable says but now you have me thinking whether I have an SV hybrid, China or...
~I have a midplus 95. The sticker says: Braided Construction Exclusively Manufactured by CHIAO TA
~butt cap code is QJX stamped above the "W"
~primer appears to be light gray or white at the scuff marks
ANY THOUGHTS?
Are you sure it's a "Q" and not a "G" or a "C"? Can you post a picture?

Regardless, that "J" in the middle identifies your frame as having been made in 1996, six whole years after Wilson terminated their St Vincent operation. From day one, all PS95 were made entirely by Chiao-Ta, a Taiwanese contractor that also ran (and still runs) a factory on the mainland. All but one of the Chiao-Ta products I've come across so far are identified by the letter code "G". The lone exception is a 100% unambiguous "C", which I suspect was the result of worker error. This frame, also a "J" dated PS95, happens to belong to my brother, who got it new in 1996 from an established store, so there is no doubt as to its authenticity. If yours has a genuine "Q" in place of the "G", then Chiao-Ta was deviating significantly from Wilson's established code system that year, or they had put some legally blind guy in charge of stamping butt caps. :)
 
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