Mission Somewhat Impossible: my best possible main frame

RF_PRO_STAFF

Professional
So I'm a regular in the Diary of a Racketaholic thread and I have no plans changing that. I don't really demo frames from shops/retailers but just buy them new or used and sell them on if I don't like them enough to keep them. I'm a somewhat advanced club player with a well rounded, attacking game style. I'm in my mid twenties, have a semi-western fh grip and a ohbh, solid technique on all shots, serve could be a bit better compared to my level. I hit with a tighter spin naturally and sometimes adjust it to the surface and opponent. I like taking balls early, dictating the play, hitting droppers every now and then and getting to the net when I get the chance. Over the last year I've been improving my footwork intensity and serve. Years ago, I started suffering from a shoulder injury which was very bad at the time. I'm doing quite well nowadays though and can usually play 3 or 4 times a week. My elbow can be quite sensitive to certain frames/strings but it hasn't really bothered me over the past year.
In my three years of holicing (and trying out 60+ different frames), I've always had a very clear main frame for matchplay (leagues, tournaments) and that's still what I want to have. However, recently I've been running into the problem of not really knowing anymore what should be my main frame. I'd like to get some opinions/views on what frame(s) you think make(s) the most sense
To give some clarity, my main frames over the past years have been: 2018 VCORE 95 > 2021 Prestige MP-L > Pure Strike VS > 2023 VCORE 95 > 2023 Prestige MP-L. They've all been right around the same spec (will get to that a bit later).

2018 VC95: I've used this one the longest. It has been perfect (as far as that exists) in every way and I feel like my game these days has been tailored around this stick. A VC95 fits my game most naturally. I did need to put in quite a bit of work to make the most of this one, it doesn't have a lot of power, which I liked, but on days where I was feeling stiff/rusty, the '18 VC95 can be somewhat challenging. Most used string setup: Hawk Touch 1.20 / Hawk 1.20 @ 46/44 lbs.

2021 Prestige MP-L: I was just demoing this one at the time and it impressed me so much in many ways that I eventually switched to it. It didn't feel too far of the '18 VC95 but it was a bit more forgiving, thanks to the bigger head and a stiffer beam. I mostly played with this frame during summer on European red clay, so it was complementing spinny forehands and ohbhs that pulled my opponents off the court. It definitely wasn't my favorite serving stick but it was acceptable. Eventually I switched away from it because of two reasons. One was the stiffness which started bothering my shoulder long term. The other was a slight lack of control as I'm usually playing quite close to the lines. It was only a very slight lack of control but in match situations it got to my head though. Most used string setup: Hawk Touch 1.25 / Hawk 1.25 @ 47 lbs.

Pure Strike VS: This was also just a demo without too many expectations but it impressed me right out the box. Very fast, very controlled, great spin capabilities, very pleasant impact feel, great feel of depth. I played some crazy good matches with this stick and it didn't have any weaknesses to me, although serving also wasn't this frames' strength. This one also reminds me a lot of the VC95, it swings quite similarly which is why I felt immediately at home with it. Slightly more accessibility to power than the '18 VC95 to me. Most used string setup: Hawk Touch 1.20 @ 46/44 lbs.

2023 VC95: A natural pre-order for me when it got announced. This one proved itself right away and I switched to it pretty quickly in January this year as I also wasn't involved in any leagues or tournaments at the time. I felt it was (obviously) super close to the 2018 VC95 but more modern. It has a bit more pop, a bit more spin due to the more open pattern and probably slightly less control because of that. For me, it's pretty much perfect in every way, however: I started getting bored of it. Maybe because I know this frame through and through, and it's another VC95, it's started getting a bit boring. Logically, there wasn't any need or reason to switch away from it. Most used string setup: Hawk Touch 1.20 @ 46/44 lbs.

2023 Prestige MP-L: When I heard that the 2023 version of this would be softer than the 2021, I had to try it. In my experience it's definitely a bit softer, but I also used leather on the 2021, Head Ultimate grip on this one. So it's not a 100% fair comparison. However, I really enjoyed it and switched to it after a few weeks of trying it. I'm constantly cracking returns with it, just superb. Not much to say about this frame, it's just really good at my specs. I'm also not really experiencing the lack of control I felt on the 2021 (my game has evolved a bit too in the meantime) + it's more comfy, but eventually it does start bothering my shoulder a bit. It just takes a longer time than with the 2021 version. Also the 99 head can feel a bit unnatural to me on some shots. Most used string setup: Hawk Touch 1.25 @ 47 lbs.

Like I said before, many other frames have been tested, some for only 30 minutes, some for hours and hours and hours. Other frames that I have really liked and of which some could have ended up as main frames too (but for specific reasons haven't) are:
Angell TC95 V3 | VCORE SV95 | VCORE Pro 97 | Percept 97 | Duel G 97 | Ultra Pro 16x19 V3/V4 | Blade 100 V8 | 2023 Prestige Tour | TGT345.2
You can see that almost all frames (including my main frames) fall into a pretty similar category, with the exception of the Blade 100. They're all control frames with a 16x19 or 16x20 string pattern. Most are 95 or 97 square inch with the exception of the Prestige MP-L, the Blade 100 and the TGT345.2 (98 or 99 square inch).

While testing out these frames and all of the others, my preferred strung, all dressed up spec of W/B/SW has become really clear:
Weight: between 335g and 338g
Balance: between 31.5 cm and 31.8 cm
Swingweight: between 322 and 327 SW

I only have one favorite string: Head Hawk Touch. The 1.20mm version whenever I can use it, 1.25mm whenever the string pattern gets too open for 1.20mm. No other string comes close to it for me. I do like trying out different strings but always come back to this one. As you can see regular Hawk crosses are also something that I like. I have phases where I really enjoy VS Touch mains and Hawk Touch or Hawk crosses.
It's still a very controlled string, but it has a slight softness to it. I absolutely love the pocketing effect of Hawk Touch which is what gives me the feeling of being able to control the ball best as it gives the impression of the ball staying on the strings longer.

Frames that I've been contemplating as my main frame now:
2018 VC95: A switch back to these has been on my mind. I still have three of them and have tried one again in a competitive doubles match. It's really, really good but I don't think it's 'better' than the 2023 VC95, if you also include my current game. I could use the slight bit of extra power and forgiveness some other frames give me as I'm also playing a lot of players these days that are at a higher level.

2023 VC95: It's super obvious that the 2023 VC95 would be the most logical choice. It works in all aspects. Some frames are better in certain departments, none are as complete as this one for my game I think. I just find myself not really wanting to play with it that much as it gets boring eventually. It's quite stupid but it is what it is.

Pure Strike VS: I think a revisit would be sensible as I've enjoyed it so much in 2022. I would need to buy one again as I've sold off all of the ones I had.

Angell TC95: This is one of the frames that has been in my collection for the longest and I don't think I'll ever get rid of it. I've contemplated switching to it before and I've been using it a bit again these last two weeks. Again, it's really impressive but there's just something that's not completely right. With the way it flexes, it can feel a bit wobbly on some shots while it feels ultra stable on all other shots. While in theory it shouldn't, the TC95 can also feel a bit brassy/jarring to me. The very open 16x19 string pattern is challenging to control, but definitely possible. The more I think about it though, the less logical the choice of switching to this one seems.

VCORE SV95: Bonus one. I think I played some of my best tennis with this one. It's an almost perfect frame for me. It can do everything the '18 and '23 VC95 can do but it also has the tight 16x20 pattern and a bit of extra pop flexible frames just don't have. The dang stiffness of it though... It's okay for a session but I can't play with this one several times in a row. It will just hurt my shoulder. The '18 and '23 VC95 also have the pocketing advantage over the SV95 however.

Percept 97: I've tried it for a few weeks and liked it. I had a lot of frames at the time though and wanted to clear out a good bunch. On paper, it could be a great fit however and I might need to revisit this one.

- My plan is to use 3 frames alongside each other for a few weeks (hitting + point/matchplay) and just make a choice after that. What 3 frame(s) do you think I should choose for this? If there is any other frame you can think of, please include it.
 
Dunlop cx200 tour 16 x19 with lead at 12. Is my favourite racket.Or wait for new dunlop cx200 tour out in january. Hopefully it lives up to hype.. I disliked the new 2923 yonex vcore 95 . I felt it was worst racket i tried this year. I also really like radical mp auxetic.
 

Hulger

Semi-Pro
Oh man, you have gotten deep into playing with very ”special” frames, which I guess you have adopted from internet reviewers and other marketing ravers or victims of them, who are probably way below your level as far as I know based on your earlier posts here.

Keep it straightforward and trust the tried-and-true options. They remain consistently popular and are used across all skill levels.
Here’s the menu for easing your pain and healing you from the illness:
- Some Pro Staff 97 (if OHBH)
- Some Blade 98
- Some Pure Aero 98/100
- Some Pure Drive
Choose one based on your practical best immediate results with the frame.

You would need a pro stock layout if you want the same quality from Head, and you get lost with their current restless marketing strategy and continously expanding lineup. Yonex also frequently alters their lines, making general recommendations challenging. And neither Dunlop or Tecnifibre will help you on your way to recovery, while they have sporadically produced some great frames.

P.S. Remember, your game results hinge less on a specific racquet model and more on your familiarity with it (and other aspects of the game.)
 

naturalexponent

Hall of Fame
Add a tally in the "stick to the VC95 2023" column. I feel a lot of what you're saying here, as a fellow fan of all of the sticks you mention, minus the Angell which I've never hit with. I think you're quite a bit of a better player than I am. The VC95 2023 would still be my choice if I could return better against higher level players. I totally get the 'boring' thing too. Part of the benefit of writing out all that you did (apart from the external feedback) is that you undertake the thought exercise, where you acknowledged that this is the logical choice! Have fun with the others, but from all that I've read, I think you shouldn't waver from the 2023 VC95 as your primary racquet. MP-L is close too but no racquet is worth injury.
 
Oh man, you have gotten deep into playing with very ”special” frames, which I guess you have adopted from internet reviewers and other marketing ravers or victims of them, who are probably way below your level as far as I know based on your earlier posts here.

Keep it straightforward and trust the tried-and-true options. They remain consistently popular and are used across all skill levels.
Here’s the menu for easing your pain and healing you from the illness:
- Some Pro Staff 97 (if OHBH)
- Some Blade 98
- Some Pure Aero 98/100
- Some Pure Drive
Choose one based on your practical best immediate results with the frame.

You would need a pro stock layout if you want the same quality from Head, and you get lost with their current restless marketing strategy and continously expanding lineup. Yonex also frequently alters their lines, making general recommendations challenging. And neither Dunlop or Tecnifibre will help you on your way to recovery, while they have sporadically produced some great frames.

P.S. Remember, your game results hinge less on a specific racquet model and more on your familiarity with it (and other aspects of the game.)
Why wont dunloo cx200 tour help him. It's better than pure aero 98 & pro staff Pure aero 98 is good though. Pro staff is bad ,blade is o.k . Not tried pure drive. But i'd go dunlop cx200 tour. It's cinsidered the gold standard of control retail rackets on this forum.
 
Add a tally in the "stick to the VC95 2023" column. I feel a lot of what you're saying here, as a fellow fan of all of the sticks you mention, minus the Angell which I've never hit with. I think you're quite a bit of a better player than I am. The VC95 2023 would still be my choice if I could return better against higher level players. I totally get the 'boring' thing too. Part of the benefit of writing out all that you did (apart from the external feedback) is that you undertake the thought exercise, where you acknowledged that this is the logical choice! Have fun with the others, but from all that I've read, I think you shouldn't waver from the 2023 VC95 as your primary racquet. MP-L is close too but no racquet is worth injury.
I'd waver from vcore 95 2023 as i didn't like it at all.
 

SinneGOAT

Hall of Fame
I say VC95. Yes it’s boring but we must learn to give up that excitement of trying new frames to stick with one. That’s why I use the extreme tour, it’s boring but I play good with it and I’ve learned to stop being excited for racquet releases so I don’t swap.
 

AmericanTwist

Professional
You could carry the 2018 and the 2023 VCP 95 in your bag. When you are having a weak day you can play with the 2023 and if you need more control the 2018 version.

What is it that you are unsatisfied with for both these frames? Remember every frame is a compromise of some sort...like tires. No frame is the "best" at everything.

Other sticks to try: Prince 93p 18x20 or 14x18, Dunlop cx 200 tour 18x20 or 16x19, Wilson blade 18x20 or 16x19, Wilson ultra pro 16x19 or 18x20, Yonex percept 97D, Head prestige pro, tour, or tour on clearance, Prince 100x 18x20, Prince phantom pro 18x20, PK black ace pro, q+ tour pro 325 (unwieldy name!), and other brands I am less familiar with.
 
Cool, my statement was for @RF_PRO_STAFF so please do not get anywhere near a vc95 if you didn't like it at all
Vc95 2023 is one of those frames where sweerspot is round top of head, like most yonex. It's too narrow lower on frame , so anytime u hit lower on bed , ball comes off bad & causes a few miss hits. This is prob reason he wants to change. Unpredictable Sweetspot is in centre on cx200 tour or radical mp . So i can hit centre, near centre or lower on it & ball comes off fine. Sweetspot should b central, not rount top of frame really.
 

Trip

Hall of Fame
@RF_PRO_STAFF - Beyond what you've already shared here, I've gathered you're a Dutch 25-26 year old, 4.5-5.0 NTRP-equivalent level, with a history of preferring certain 95", mostly 97-98" and very select 99-100" player/pleener sticks, usually 300-310g unstrung stock weight, 60-ish to 64-ish RA. You've also tried, and sold or sidelined, several sticks not mentioned here, including the Head Auxetic Radical MP, current Gravity Pro, Blade 98 v8 16x19, TGT293.1 (98" Prestige mold with a 16x19) and several others. Beyond the specifics, though, you seem to prefer a certain level of precision, maneuverability and dwell/pocketing, with enough help on serve, but also in a package that doesn't hurt your arm. All worth keeping in mind as we move forward.

First off, I would eliminate anything has given you any pain whatsoever, because I would think that for any frame to be a true "home base", you'd want it to be a true reprieve, which includes being comfortable, if not outright healing to you. And why fight anything that's even on the fringe, when you have at least one or more options that you've proven are pretty much 100% comfortable. So, that likely means ruling out both Prestige MP-L's, even the 2023, despite possibly being able to find a string combo that could minimize/eliminate the pain. Why spend the time/effort, again, if you have options that make it unnecessary? And, if there are any other frames in that realm, I'd sideline them, too.

With that said, that leaves both VC95's, TC95, PSVS and P97. From all of those, we probably should sideline anything with any abnormal playability concerns, for which the TC95, for all its strengths, sounds like a candidate. So now we're down to the '18 and '23 VC95's, PSVS and P97. From the sounds of it, the '23 VCore 95 is likely the best combo of something you simply enjoy, with something you also play well with, the ironic key indicator being that it feels "boring", which is a tell-tale sign of it likely being a true fit for you and something you don't even have to think twice about. That said, if you feel like the VC95 is coming up short in forgiveness or consistency, then you might want to entertain a 3-way playoff with the PSVS and Percept 97, but otherwise, I think you've got your "home base" stick pretty well centered in the '23 VC95 for the time being.

So that would be how I would approach this. Any questions, feel free.
 
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@RF_PRO_STAFF - Beyond what you've already shared here, I've gathered you're a Dutch 25-26 year old, 4.5-5.0 NTRP-equivalent level, with a history of preferring certain 95", mostly 97-98" and very select 99-100" player/pleener sticks, usually 300-310g unstrung stock weight, 60-ish to 64-ish RA. You've also tried, and sold or sidelined, several sticks not mentioned here, including the Head Auxetic Radical MP, current Gravity Pro, Blade 98 v8 16x19, TGT293.1 (98" Prestige mold with a 16x19) and several others. Beyond the specifics, though, you seem to prefer a certain level of precision, maneuverability and dwell/pocketing, with enough help on serve, but also in a package that doesn't hurt your arm. All worth keeping in mind as we move forward.

First off, I would eliminate anything has given you any pain whatsoever, because I would think that for any frame to be a true "home base", you'd want it to be a true reprieve, which includes being comfortable, if not outright healing to you. And why fight anything that's even on the fringe, when you have at least one or more options that you've proven are pretty much 100% comfortable. So, that likely means ruling out both Prestige MP-L's, even the 2023, despite possibly being able to find a string combo that could minimize/eliminate the pain. Why spend the time/effort, again, if you have options that make it unnecessary? And, if there are any other frames in that realm, I'd sideline them, too.

With that said, that leaves both VC95's, TC95, PSVS and P97. From all of those, we probably should sideline anything with any abnormal playability concerns, for which the TC95, for all its strengths, sounds like a candidate. So now we're down to the '18 and '23 VC95's, PSVS and P97. From the sounds of it, the '23 VCore 95 is likely the best combo of something you simply enjoy, with something you also play well with, the ironic key indicator being that it feels "boring", which is a tell-tale sign of it likely being a true fit for you and something you don't even have to think twice about. That said, if you feel like the VC95 is coming up short in forgiveness or consistency, then you might want to entertain a 3-way playoff with the PSVS and Percept 97, but otherwise, I think you've got your "home base" stick pretty well centered in the '23 VC95 for the time being.

So that would be how I would approach this. Any questions, feel free.
He's clearly not happy with vcore 95.He feels it's boring. If I watch films that r boring . I don't want 2 watch them again. Same with racket. He doesn't t want to play with it anymore.New cx200 tours mayb cure him . I'm definately gonna buy the new cx200 tour 16 x19.The hype surrounded it seems genuine. New one is a totally different mould 2 last one & 3 rackets u say he should choose from r honestly nowhere near last gen cx200 tour 16 x19 with lead at 12, 2 me Anyway here's review i found today 4 new cx200's out jan . One of them prob is answer he's looking for. It as 2 b worth a try. I'm not sure you realize how good that cx200 tour racket reallt is.
 
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Since you're into 95s, I'd highly recommend the Prince Tour 95 (2015). I've also played the Angell TC95 V3 16*19. I'd say both have a semi-open 16-19. The Angell I had was 340- grams strung with overgrip and dampener and very head-light. The Prince is much lighter and can take up customization to your needs. One year ago, the following sentence would make not sense to me, but today it does: head-light, 95 sq inch are not unforgiving. Both these 2 rackets played bigger than what I thought a 95 would feel and I'm not an advanced player by any means. They are whippy, so I can generate topspin easier than with a 100 sq inch, they serve better, they're more maneuverable and personally, I don't find them underpowered, but this has to do with what pace I'm dealing with from what hitting partner I'm facing.

Stick to 95sq inhes, like a Dunlop CX200 Tour 16*19, a Prince Tour 95 or Angell/React of that headsize. I can't wait to return to tennis again and re-hit with the Prince. It could be a brief honeymoon of 1.5 hours, but nothing felt as good as these 1.5 hours for a loooong time and it has inceptioned my mind of fully switching to it, which means grabbing a couple more.

prince95t.jpg
 

RF_PRO_STAFF

Professional
Lots of thanks for all the (some usefully elaborate) responses. A ton of the racket suggestions I've already tried but I also see some interesting other suggestions that I'll try in future but more with in a racketaholic sense.

In short, this is the route I'm going to take as that is what was already on my mind:
a 3-way playoff with the 2023 VC95, PSVS and Percept 97
I might even be throwing in the 2018 VC95 as I still have them (and will keep them forever) and one of my regular hitting partners thinks I was playing at my highest level with that specific racket.

Time to go hunting for a PSVS and a Percept 97 because I don't have those in my collection anymore. I think I'll even get a new PSVS as they're super cheap right now. With these four going against each other it will definitely be an elite racket showdown.

I'll string them all the same to keep it simple (Hawk Touch 1.20 @ 46/44 lbs).
 

Trip

Hall of Fame
@RF_PRO_STAFF - Love the 3-way (potentially 4-way) playoff idea. IMHO, for at least the PSVS, I'd pay an extra $20 and call the order in to TW's MRT department, and have them find you an on-spec frame(s), as Bab's QC on those (and all their frames, really) is bordering on hilarious (super embarrassing.. common guys... it's 2023... really?). That way, if the PSVS does win out and you ever want more, it should be easier (theoretically, anyways) to find more frames who unstrung specs are the same, or at least very close, as opposed to just blind ordering and getting an outlier (either way under or way over spec, and trust me, both exist). At least that's what I would do. With the Yonex, you shouldn't have to go to MRT land (at least if their reputation is anything to go by), plus the baseline spec of the P97 has a lower average swing weight, so even if it's a little off, you have more fudge room to work with (again, in theory anyways). Hope that helps.
 

ClownCar96

Semi-Pro
So I'm a regular in the Diary of a Racketaholic thread and I have no plans changing that. I don't really demo frames from shops/retailers but just buy them new or used and sell them on if I don't like them enough to keep them. I'm a somewhat advanced club player with a well rounded, attacking game style. I'm in my mid twenties, have a semi-western fh grip and a ohbh, solid technique on all shots, serve could be a bit better compared to my level. I hit with a tighter spin naturally and sometimes adjust it to the surface and opponent. I like taking balls early, dictating the play, hitting droppers every now and then and getting to the net when I get the chance. Over the last year I've been improving my footwork intensity and serve. Years ago, I started suffering from a shoulder injury which was very bad at the time. I'm doing quite well nowadays though and can usually play 3 or 4 times a week. My elbow can be quite sensitive to certain frames/strings but it hasn't really bothered me over the past year.
In my three years of holicing (and trying out 60+ different frames), I've always had a very clear main frame for matchplay (leagues, tournaments) and that's still what I want to have. However, recently I've been running into the problem of not really knowing anymore what should be my main frame. I'd like to get some opinions/views on what frame(s) you think make(s) the most sense
To give some clarity, my main frames over the past years have been: 2018 VCORE 95 > 2021 Prestige MP-L > Pure Strike VS > 2023 VCORE 95 > 2023 Prestige MP-L. They've all been right around the same spec (will get to that a bit later).

2018 VC95: I've used this one the longest. It has been perfect (as far as that exists) in every way and I feel like my game these days has been tailored around this stick. A VC95 fits my game most naturally. I did need to put in quite a bit of work to make the most of this one, it doesn't have a lot of power, which I liked, but on days where I was feeling stiff/rusty, the '18 VC95 can be somewhat challenging. Most used string setup: Hawk Touch 1.20 / Hawk 1.20 @ 46/44 lbs.

2021 Prestige MP-L: I was just demoing this one at the time and it impressed me so much in many ways that I eventually switched to it. It didn't feel too far of the '18 VC95 but it was a bit more forgiving, thanks to the bigger head and a stiffer beam. I mostly played with this frame during summer on European red clay, so it was complementing spinny forehands and ohbhs that pulled my opponents off the court. It definitely wasn't my favorite serving stick but it was acceptable. Eventually I switched away from it because of two reasons. One was the stiffness which started bothering my shoulder long term. The other was a slight lack of control as I'm usually playing quite close to the lines. It was only a very slight lack of control but in match situations it got to my head though. Most used string setup: Hawk Touch 1.25 / Hawk 1.25 @ 47 lbs.

Pure Strike VS: This was also just a demo without too many expectations but it impressed me right out the box. Very fast, very controlled, great spin capabilities, very pleasant impact feel, great feel of depth. I played some crazy good matches with this stick and it didn't have any weaknesses to me, although serving also wasn't this frames' strength. This one also reminds me a lot of the VC95, it swings quite similarly which is why I felt immediately at home with it. Slightly more accessibility to power than the '18 VC95 to me. Most used string setup: Hawk Touch 1.20 @ 46/44 lbs.

2023 VC95: A natural pre-order for me when it got announced. This one proved itself right away and I switched to it pretty quickly in January this year as I also wasn't involved in any leagues or tournaments at the time. I felt it was (obviously) super close to the 2018 VC95 but more modern. It has a bit more pop, a bit more spin due to the more open pattern and probably slightly less control because of that. For me, it's pretty much perfect in every way, however: I started getting bored of it. Maybe because I know this frame through and through, and it's another VC95, it's started getting a bit boring. Logically, there wasn't any need or reason to switch away from it. Most used string setup: Hawk Touch 1.20 @ 46/44 lbs.

2023 Prestige MP-L: When I heard that the 2023 version of this would be softer than the 2021, I had to try it. In my experience it's definitely a bit softer, but I also used leather on the 2021, Head Ultimate grip on this one. So it's not a 100% fair comparison. However, I really enjoyed it and switched to it after a few weeks of trying it. I'm constantly cracking returns with it, just superb. Not much to say about this frame, it's just really good at my specs. I'm also not really experiencing the lack of control I felt on the 2021 (my game has evolved a bit too in the meantime) + it's more comfy, but eventually it does start bothering my shoulder a bit. It just takes a longer time than with the 2021 version. Also the 99 head can feel a bit unnatural to me on some shots. Most used string setup: Hawk Touch 1.25 @ 47 lbs.

Like I said before, many other frames have been tested, some for only 30 minutes, some for hours and hours and hours. Other frames that I have really liked and of which some could have ended up as main frames too (but for specific reasons haven't) are:
Angell TC95 V3 | VCORE SV95 | VCORE Pro 97 | Percept 97 | Duel G 97 | Ultra Pro 16x19 V3/V4 | Blade 100 V8 | 2023 Prestige Tour | TGT345.2
You can see that almost all frames (including my main frames) fall into a pretty similar category, with the exception of the Blade 100. They're all control frames with a 16x19 or 16x20 string pattern. Most are 95 or 97 square inch with the exception of the Prestige MP-L, the Blade 100 and the TGT345.2 (98 or 99 square inch).

While testing out these frames and all of the others, my preferred strung, all dressed up spec of W/B/SW has become really clear:
Weight: between 335g and 338g
Balance: between 31.5 cm and 31.8 cm
Swingweight: between 322 and 327 SW

I only have one favorite string: Head Hawk Touch. The 1.20mm version whenever I can use it, 1.25mm whenever the string pattern gets too open for 1.20mm. No other string comes close to it for me. I do like trying out different strings but always come back to this one. As you can see regular Hawk crosses are also something that I like. I have phases where I really enjoy VS Touch mains and Hawk Touch or Hawk crosses.
It's still a very controlled string, but it has a slight softness to it. I absolutely love the pocketing effect of Hawk Touch which is what gives me the feeling of being able to control the ball best as it gives the impression of the ball staying on the strings longer.

Frames that I've been contemplating as my main frame now:
2018 VC95: A switch back to these has been on my mind. I still have three of them and have tried one again in a competitive doubles match. It's really, really good but I don't think it's 'better' than the 2023 VC95, if you also include my current game. I could use the slight bit of extra power and forgiveness some other frames give me as I'm also playing a lot of players these days that are at a higher level.

2023 VC95: It's super obvious that the 2023 VC95 would be the most logical choice. It works in all aspects. Some frames are better in certain departments, none are as complete as this one for my game I think. I just find myself not really wanting to play with it that much as it gets boring eventually. It's quite stupid but it is what it is.

Pure Strike VS: I think a revisit would be sensible as I've enjoyed it so much in 2022. I would need to buy one again as I've sold off all of the ones I had.

Angell TC95: This is one of the frames that has been in my collection for the longest and I don't think I'll ever get rid of it. I've contemplated switching to it before and I've been using it a bit again these last two weeks. Again, it's really impressive but there's just something that's not completely right. With the way it flexes, it can feel a bit wobbly on some shots while it feels ultra stable on all other shots. While in theory it shouldn't, the TC95 can also feel a bit brassy/jarring to me. The very open 16x19 string pattern is challenging to control, but definitely possible. The more I think about it though, the less logical the choice of switching to this one seems.

VCORE SV95: Bonus one. I think I played some of my best tennis with this one. It's an almost perfect frame for me. It can do everything the '18 and '23 VC95 can do but it also has the tight 16x20 pattern and a bit of extra pop flexible frames just don't have. The dang stiffness of it though... It's okay for a session but I can't play with this one several times in a row. It will just hurt my shoulder. The '18 and '23 VC95 also have the pocketing advantage over the SV95 however.

Percept 97: I've tried it for a few weeks and liked it. I had a lot of frames at the time though and wanted to clear out a good bunch. On paper, it could be a great fit however and I might need to revisit this one.

- My plan is to use 3 frames alongside each other for a few weeks (hitting + point/matchplay) and just make a choice after that. What 3 frame(s) do you think I should choose for this? If there is any other frame you can think of, please include it.
I've never tried Hawk Touch in a full bed, only as a cross. I need to check it out. I've been grooving with Lynx Tour 1.2 lately. Love the pocketing feel. Maybe touch has even more.
 
Where? On TW (USA) they’re still $240. I’m praying they become cheap because I really want to try one out.
On their European counterpart's website haha. TWE. Why can't you just demo? Btw they're selling at a massive discount right now, almost half price compared to the US price. (Not really, and definitely not unless you have a card that gives a direct international exchange rate) They must have really overstocked or misread demand. Was going to suggest it to OP too.

(Lol :laughing: )
 

landcookie

Semi-Pro
Try tc100 with HHT 1.25 with no tension differential between mains and cross and string it a tad higher than you normally would.

You will tame the power and launch angle and also will not have the brassiness of tc95 ( I know exactly what you mean). It will remain a hot frame with plenty of boom boom potential with the string set-up giving you enough to take the ball earlier if you wish to. I personally string my tc100 with 1.30 gauge at 53 or 55 lbs.
 
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