Prince Original Graphite ( POG ) Mid and OS versions

Discussion in 'Classic Racquet Talk' started by scottatuofm, Apr 24, 2010.

  1. djNEiGht

    djNEiGht Hall of Fame

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    I've heard some players using ESP racquets are having success with smooth poly. Give that a shot as it might tame down some of the spin in an open pattern stick. I don't hit with extreme top spin so the textured poly helps me just enough.
     
  2. dmcb101

    dmcb101 Semi-Pro

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    Anyone use Tour Bite in the OS? I have been using PSGO with only 2 hours worth of hitting before snap time. I am thinking a thin poly might play well in the OS. Any thoughts?
     
  3. djNEiGht

    djNEiGht Hall of Fame

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    In the OS I enjoy 17g. In the Mid I like 16 or 17g. I would try the same gauge in what you are playing your PSGO and string 55 to start. I find that I need to tame the power with the mains being so long.
     
  4. shamaho

    shamaho Semi-Pro

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    Had a very interesting playing experience today.

    Played with the POG Mid on a red clay court on a sunny day, not too hot.
    POG Mid strung with full bed one of Pro's Pro poly at low tension.

    The balls were not new and seemed somewhat dead...

    I felt that the POG Mid was making me work very hard for each and every shot, meaning I really had to prepare super early, be on my toes and be super focused, never could even think of making a sort of "creative" play, just play simple and swing the hell out of the POG...

    Result ? 6-1 for me against a battle hardened player.

    For the second Set and since I felt I was being forced to work extra hard, I decided to make an experiment and switch to the re-issue of the Prince Response 97, strung also with a full bed of Poly at low tensions as well.

    Yes the racket helped a lot with spin, pace well just about everything... and I made a couple of sweet winners, except, because I was being helped... I automatically let down my intensity level.... and started spraying shots wide and long... then started to hold on the shots instead if swinging out freely...

    result ? 0-3 in a flash....

    I switched back to the POG Mid but the damage had been done, and my timing had already been decalibrated.... only found my range again it was already 1-5... then we had to exit the court.

    So, it seems that for me to play at my best I need to play at a high intensity level and have to be forced to working hard... and playing with modern rackets, it seems be too much power available forcing me to focus too much on controlling the shot, or on the other hand... making me loose the intensity, thus increasing the unforced error count...

    it's weird...

    Oh BTW, using a full bed of poly on the POG Mid it feels really yucky ! complete lack of feel and feedback on touch shots.

    This gem of a racket needs the classic feel and so at very least a hybrid setup with a multi or Gut - it deserves this respect ;-)
     
  5. shamaho

    shamaho Semi-Pro

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    Exactly what I was alluding to in my last post! I mentioned multi... but those to break very quickly, a hybrid with a good Synth Gut is probably the best compromise. I've had Hybrids with Synth Gut last quite a bit longer than that, so its a question of finding the right match for the synth gut.
     
  6. World Class Forehand

    World Class Forehand Rookie

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    Can someone tell me approximately what year the Prince Tour Graphite also known as POG 6 was introduced?

    Thanks.
     
  7. tc76

    tc76 New User

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    This is my first post on the forum—I just wanted to share an interesting discovery. I recently picked up a 4-stripe POG OS (gold hologram) in very good shape (I'd say it's a solid 7.5+, some wear no chips or major scratches and the bumper is still alright) for $2 at a local Goodwill. When I got home, I started cleaning it up as I do every time I pick up a used frame and I removed the string tension sticker, I found another sticker that said "Spadea 70". In addition, there was an unusual sticker under the throat bridge that said "9915" (or perhaps "99/5"). I know that Vince Spadea played with a POG until around 2002 and used regular-stock racquets—could I have stumbled on one his old frames? I wonder if there would be any other identifier to confirm this.

    In any case, a POG OS in good condition for $2 remains an excellent find!

    Here are photos of the frame and the stickers.

    [​IMG]IMG_9478 by thierry.cote, on Flickr

    [​IMG]IMG_9481 by thierry.cote, on Flickr

    [​IMG]IMG_9480 by thierry.cote, on Flickr
     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2015
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  8. djNEiGht

    djNEiGht Hall of Fame

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    That is wonderful

    Get some grommets for it as I found my POGs to be brittle with age. Nice to have back up
     
  9. dak95_00

    dak95_00 Hall of Fame

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    Could be Spadea's. Crazier things have happened. With a little luck and some creative searching you'll be able to find out.

    I found a Gabriela Sabatini racquet for under $1 this year and was able to prove it was hers.
     
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  10. PSC85

    PSC85 Semi-Pro

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    I thought Spadea used midsize POG?
     
  11. tc76

    tc76 New User

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    No, he used the POG OS: http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/index.php?threads/spadeas-stick.1074/

    To be honest, it would be cool if what I found were his stick (especially if it's from 1999, a year when he beat Agassi, Kafelnikov twice, a very young Federer, Philippoussis, Krajicek, Kuerten, Sampras and an aging Courier to reach the Top 20), but I'm just always happy to find a POG in good shape at a very reasonable price!
     
  12. Backhanded Compliment

    Backhanded Compliment Legend

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    Ive got a 4 green stripe from 1987 (I believe) with the full suede case (says GRAPHITE 110 just above the diagonal stripe on case).

    Racquet itself reads GRAPHITE 110 on one side, "prince" "prince" at the sides of the throat, GRAPHITE on crossbar, and 110 at top of the hoop. It also says it is made in Taiwan, recommended string tension is 55-70lbs. Hits pretty sweet with a massive foam filled "thunk"sound and in very good condition.

    Am I correct that this is 1987? Version 4 according to OP? Was this version used/preferred by any of the big name pro players like Agassi? Is this Taiwan version all that rare? Do grommets still fit it?
     
  13. dak95_00

    dak95_00 Hall of Fame

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    Not rare. Grommets still fit. Too much is made of the different versions. Agassi has been seen recently using the previous Tour version but did use the version you have there when he first came onto the tour (it was current then).

    Note: The versions prior to this one had smaller length grips and prior to G3 didn't have bumper guards.

    $2 is a nice find!

    I've yet to hit with the current Classic Graphite 107 but I expect it to be more of the same.
     
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  14. HollywoodTennis

    HollywoodTennis New User

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    Hope someone can help identify this one. Even after reading all this I am still a bit confused.

    Is this a POG 1: 1 green stripe, no grommets, teardrop head???, no bumper; no printing on top or side or racket (possibly a sticker) except for "Prince" and "graphite" at throat, cork-filled - dates after copyrights are 1979 and 1977 ?

    Not sure if its Over size? or were they all OS? Or if not TearDrop, then was this a 90? I need to go look at it again, because I forget if the image is just bad and it really is tear drop.

    Thanks!
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  15. dak95_00

    dak95_00 Hall of Fame

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    Looks to be an original tear drop head to me.
     
  16. Don't Let It Bounce

    Don't Let It Bounce Hall of Fame

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    Yep, that's the first Prince Graphite, and they were all OS.

    Super OS and "Mid-plus" (we'd call them mids now, but at the time mids were the 85 sq in frames whose head sizes were just under the lower bound of the Prince patent) Prince rackets did not appear until 1984.

    (I think it was 1984; I could be off by a year.)
     
  17. ihaveaquestion

    ihaveaquestion New User

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    Not sure if these are all POG1. Doesn't have the teardrop head shape.
     
  18. Seth

    Seth Hall of Fame

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    Can anyone speak to the grip shape of the 1st Gen POG? I've got one with a 4 3/8 grip, but the buttcap is blank and black with numbers scratched in it.

    The grip shape feels identical to older HEAD pallets. I'll post pics tonight.
     
  19. Sanglier

    Sanglier Rookie

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    I've personally come across as many as 9 sub-variants among the so-called 1st Gen grommetless POGs, which was made between 1978 and 1983 by three California contractors, one of whom even tried to unload some frames that Prince had rejected (according to one reliable source). Your serial-numbered frame with the shallow and blunt (simulated) grip collar (looking very much like that of the Head and PDP racquets of the period) is the earliest version, produced by Fansteel. The overwhelming majority of the frames I've come across have serial numbers that begin with "119", followed by a letter, then another multi-digit number.

    When Fansteel shut down, the equipment was shipped off to Grafalloy, which picked up where Fansteel left off. The only significant change made at Grafalloy was the grip, which was molded using a different foam formulation and finished with a collarless taper at the top. The last of the Grafalloy POGs were made in parallel with Kunnan Lo's earliest bumpered frames!

    There was actually a butt cap sticker on these early frames, also resembling that of the Head/PDP racquets, but the glue they used was not particularly strong, and most of the stickers have fallen off over the decades.

    What is the serial number of your example?
     
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  20. Seth

    Seth Hall of Fame

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    Thanks for the explanation! Very informative. Here are some pics. I'd love to hear your thoughts:

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  21. coachrick

    coachrick Hall of Fame

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    The 'teardrop' shape was somewhat "fluid", given the amount the frame would 'breathe' while being strung and the different shapes the hoop would take during abusive play. I've seen POGs that were darned near flat at the top of the hoop.
     
  22. coachrick

    coachrick Hall of Fame

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    A 3/8 would feel more like a Head grip than the larger sizes would. A 1/4 would feel even flatter on the sides. Most of the composite frames had less square handles in the smaller sizes, becoming more symmetrical (square-r) in the larger sizes.
     
  23. Sanglier

    Sanglier Rookie

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    What you have shown is a Grafalloy-made POG, circa 1980-1981. It came with a black butt cap sticker embossed with a gold "P", which followed an earlier variant with a green-and-white butt cap sticker and no patent number box on the shaft (the patent numbers are instead listed on the butt cap sticker, like on period Head and PDP frames). The serial numbers on Grafalloy POGs vary greatly (I've not been able to make any sense of them so far, despite my best efforts). They are purely numerical, rather than alphanumerical. Your photo is too dark for me to make out the number; can you describe it?

    When you said "old Head pallets", I assumed you meant that the grip resembled the kind seen on old aluminum Head frames made by Maark Corporation, including the original aluminum Prince (Classic). In the picture below, you can see the blunt profile of the pseudo grip collar characterizing the Fansteel POG, vs the tapered collarless profile of the Grafalloy model. Fansteel also used a black foam to mold their grips; whereas all the Grafalloy POGs I've seen have yellow foamed-on grips.

    [​IMG]

    The vast majority of the grommetless POGs still floating around today are Grafalloy variants. The Fansteel-made examples surface every now and then, but are surprisingly scarce, even though they were made in substantial numbers during the last two years of Fansteel's operation as a racquet manufacturer.
     
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  24. ihaveaquestion

    ihaveaquestion New User

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    Last edited: Aug 30, 2016
  25. mrw

    mrw Semi-Pro

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  26. mrw

    mrw Semi-Pro

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    He is on FB and will be at the US Open. Shoot him the pics and ask him if it was his
     
  27. coachrick

    coachrick Hall of Fame

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  28. ihaveaquestion

    ihaveaquestion New User

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  29. krisdrum

    krisdrum Rookie

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    Hi all. New to me POG OS owner. This thread has been incredibly valuable to me. Spent most of my "career" with a Head Ventoris 660 (original black & silver and the 2nd gen brown/red). Picked up a POG#2 (single grommets, no bumper, tear drop head) on auction. Hoping to hit with it today after work to give it a try. Came strung with PSG. Feels pretty darn tightly strung. We'll see how it goes.
     
  30. chrisb

    chrisb Rookie

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    Yes the original prince aluminum frames came out in 76. I saw them at 76 open guys used them for doubs
     
  31. Pablo92

    Pablo92 New User

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    Hey Guys,

    I have an old Prince Graphite Oversize 4 stripes, with "oversize" (in gold) on the top, gold prince at the side, graphite in gold on the cross bar... made in thailand... and i think it s from 1987
    i really love this raquet with TGV 26 kg... really good power and good control... good stability...
    i 'd like to ask you the following questions:

    1) some specs: i measured it and the total weight with tgv is about 357 g, but i'd like to know (if anyone know) the swing weight and the balance (i think it's about 32-33) and maybe the ra
    2) what can i use for the cleaning of that raquet? i will not use that too much cause i really love it and i won't damage it... maybe only for special match ahahah but at the same time i haven't found yet a raquet with this feeling!!
    3) the differences between mine (made in thailand) and the similar made in Taiwan (in 1990)? which one is better? i read that taiwan is better
    4) what kind of raquets are now on the market with a similar level of feeling... considering a 95-100 head?


    p.s really like the community i hope you will understand my english cause i am from italy and i don't know a "dictionary" for tennis terms
    i have played tennis when i was young (15 years) ... then i stopped and i restarted it two years ago and this year i found this raquet in my uncle house


    [​IMG]

    (old strings)
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2017
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  32. chrisb

    chrisb Rookie

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  33. chrisb

    chrisb Rookie

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    I have 2 pogs one has no gromets and the second has one green stripe. They are great frames. I use them to teach and play doubs. They are a combo of great control and power. One weighs 13.2 oz stung overgrip and rubber band the other with grommets is 12.9. As for sting they play well with anything. One is strung with prince duraflee at 57, and the other is strung with gosen polygon 17 @52 mains and gosen sheep 17 at 55 lbs. They play well with any string good luck with it
     
  34. BlueB

    BlueB Hall of Fame

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    Hey, welcome!
    The 4-stripe OS is the best version, in my opinion! I like the lighter specimens. The lightest swing weight I've found was in low 320s, the lightest static weight about 340g with overgrip, but I dropped the leather for light synthetic grip.

    The most similar would be the Prince Classic Graphite 100 or 107 (the 2nd one is just the new version of what you've got. You still can find them new, online.
     
  35. Pablo92

    Pablo92 New User

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    Thank you for the answers!

    Do you know the quality differences between 4 stripes in Thailand and in Taiwan? I read Taiwan gives more feelings
    I agree with your specs... I think the sw with strings can be about 330 and it s normal considering the weight
    I saw the "new" graphite but I think it s not the same... different quality... but still anyway a good raquet
     
  36. BlueB

    BlueB Hall of Fame

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    The "quality" is a very loose term and often used to describe wrong things... I did a long writeup on that topic in another thread, so won't repeat it here. It might come up with search.

    Sent from my SM-G930W8 using Tapatalk
     
  37. Preach1

    Preach1 New User

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    Hi - first post here, but I've been a long time reader of this thread.

    I have a question for you POG-aficionado.

    I have a POG 4 mid that I bought in the early 1990s. Loved it but for several reasons I decided to move to other racquet. That is, until recently, when I took it again out and realized how amazing this stick really is. Anyway, I stopped by my tennis store today and was surprised to learn that the dealer still had several new POG 4s and 1 POG 5 (straight shaft). I would like to purchase a second and/or third one that would ideally be as close as possible to my old POG 4. I use a 4 5/8 handle. However, the POG 4s that he still has in stock are all 4 1/4 handles while the POG 5 is a 4 5/8.

    Here is my question: do you think I would be better off with a second POG 5 with the right handle size or should I do as recommended by the dealer and get the POG 4 with 2 leather grips, which would bring it close to a 4 5/8 (in his view this is actually a better solution than the typical heat sleeve)? For you folks that have both a POG 4 and a POG 5, do they play reasonably similar?

    Thank you for your views.
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2017
  38. BlueB

    BlueB Hall of Fame

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    They feel similar enough.

    With 2nd leather grip you'll end up with extra 25g or so grams at the handle and racquet won't play the same any more. It still might not be 4-5/8, though...

    Sent from my SM-G930W8 using Tapatalk
     
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  39. dak95_00

    dak95_00 Hall of Fame

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    I also agree the feel is similar enough. How much are these New Old Stock racquets?
     
  40. shamaho

    shamaho Semi-Pro

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    Whatever you do, DON'T go for the two leather grips solution, it will make the racket way heavier than what you expect defeating the purpose of having another similar racket - because it will swing completely different.

    If you have access to balsa wood you might be able to enlarge the smaller grip to acceptable size without much weight gain. any other method just add too much weight.

    I would go for the POG 5
     
  41. Preach1

    Preach1 New User

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    He is asking 160$ or so for the new old stock.
     
  42. dak95_00

    dak95_00 Hall of Fame

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    Too much! They can be found in really good condition for a quarter or less of that price on the big auction site; especially, in 4 5/8.
     
  43. jxs653

    jxs653 Rookie

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    Thanks for the informative post. Could you comment on the playability of these two versions, Fansteel and Grafalloy? I wonder if the grip collar might affect feel of the racquet.
     
  44. Sanglier

    Sanglier Rookie

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    I call this a pseudo grip collar, as it's an integral extension of the molded-in-place grip, not a separate piece that can squeak or work itself loose. The blunt grip is only marginally shorter than the later tapered version (until the frame geometry was changed from the neck down just before the appearance of the 4-stripe version, when the grip was significantly lengthened); it might have made a difference to those with a two-handed backhand, but this style of grip was common back then, and Gene Mayer did just fine with it, obviously.

    As the POG was not offered in multiple weight choices, any variance in weight and balance can only be attributed to manufacturing differences.

    Fansteel POGs can vary in strung weight from the low 350s to high 370s, while their balance ranged from 4 to 8 pt HL, resulting in swing weights as low as 325 and as high as 375. This is from just the half-dozen examples I've measured myself! Based on serial numbers, I believe there was a trend towards lighter weight and more head light balance as the production went on, but my sample size is too small to confirm this with any kind of confidence.

    Grafalloy POGs have more or less the same physical specs as the late-production Fansteel units, and seem to have stayed true to them till the end.

    As far as playability is concerned, all the examples I tried out had different strings in them, so my personal impressions are of limited utility. For what it's worth, they all felt similarly smooth and stable to me, with the same heft. If you matched a Fansteel unit with a Grafalloy unit in grip size, weight and balance, and strung them the same way, I doubt that you will be able to detect any meaningful difference between them during actual play, so long as you ignored the collar region.
     
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  45. jxs653

    jxs653 Rookie

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    Sanglier, thank you for the elucidation. I appreciate it!
     
  46. Don't Let It Bounce

    Don't Let It Bounce Hall of Fame

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    I have a Taiwan 4-stripe and a Thailand one. (1987 would be the beginning of the Taiwan production of 4-stripes. Thailand happened later, but I do not know what year they moved production there.) I don't feel a real difference between them; they both have the Prince Graphite magic. I would expect the difference between a Taiwan frame and a Thailand frame to be no more than the normal variation between any two frames from the same factory.

    But I have even better news, the news I actually logged on to post tonight...

    A TT member was selling his Classic Graphite 107 frames for a really good price, and I bought a few. I've always read that 21st-century Graphites were less head-light, stiffer, and hollow, but I wanted to feel them for myself. What I have found is that some weight has been taken out of the handle, but the stiffness is about the same as the 80s models (allowing for 30 years of UV light working on a frame and, again, for the normal ±RA 3 variance between individual frames), and they are not hollow. Years ago TT staff reported that the Graphite Tour (ostensibly the same stick as the Classic Graphite) is hollow, but I peeked under the CG107's bumper and saw foam. It is a black or dark gray foam, versus the off-white foam of the old Graphites, but it is certainly foam.

    These too feel interchangeable to me. I actually thought at first the new ones felt more pleasantly cushioned than my 4-stripes, but that was only because I was still trying to get my 4-stripes to work with co-poly string while the new one I was testing had the previous owner's Babolat Origin in it. I don't know why I can't seem to enjoy full poly in my 80s Prince sticks, but I can't, and the new Classic Graphites also feel and work better for me with gut/poly. The new ones are a very faithful reproduction, and I like 'em.
     
  47. alter mann

    alter mann New User

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    In the recent month i tested a lot of modern multi material in my Tour POGs and 4Stripers.Always in comparison to Völkl Cyclone 17G and MSV Focus Hex 1.23.
    .... at the end of any hitting session i had a poly-strung POG in my hand. Better control, touch and spin.
     
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  48. shamaho

    shamaho Semi-Pro

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    Nah! :) at the end of the session, you were already warmed up and better tuned to the shots, court, conditions, etc ;-)

    poly having better touch than anyhing else is almost "inconceivable" :) control ? yes, spin ? yes but... touch ? not at all.
     
  49. alter mann

    alter mann New User

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    Yes.
    But the multis were fresh in the frames @DT 40 and the polys had some hours before.
     
  50. djNEiGht

    djNEiGht Hall of Fame

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    I have had a POG OS with a synthetic / multi always ready to go. But when I'm really playing well I like it with a poly. I really enjoy this racquet and don't know why I don't play with it more and hit with my MP 18x20.

    However I was bored recently and strung up a couple of Mid racquets. Mizuno Turbo Pro 16x18 with Angell synthetic and the POG Mid with Volkl vTorque/Diadem synthetic. I forget how stiff the POG Mid plays for a thin beamed racquet...
     
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