Pro Staff 85 Question

egonabc

New User
I was wondering if anyone knows the difference between the playability of the older versions of the Pro Staff 85 and the newer versions of the Pro Staff 85? For example, I know the St. Vincent and Chicago versions have a slightly different throat and head shape compared to the Taiwanese or Chinese models, but is there any difference in feel?
 

Bobby Jr

G.O.A.T.
People will say there is significant difference between the St Vincent and the other versions but in reality, having owned multiple frames from each manufacturing location, the differences are not that great generally - in a similar range to normal manufacturing variations in most other frames of the same model. In the least they are still way more similar to each other than any other frame.

The exception here is the Chinese version. I have a couple (the version with the black handle cap) and they just don't feel right somehow... like the flex is different through the throat-section - they don't feel the same even though I have weighted/balanced them basically the same. In theory they should be close but they just feel different - a slightly 'cheap' feel like they've used different materials or changed some part of the fabrication process. Having said that, they still feel better than most other frames on the market by my preferences.

The Chicago, St Vincent and Taiwanese frames play pretty close overall - with similar stiffness through the mid-section, feel etc. I play with 3 frames (2 Taiwanese, 1 St Vincent) all the time and they play very close - even thought the St Vincent is 5+ years older and was made half a world away.

Regarding Sampras' preference for the St Vincent-made frames: His racquet guy Nate Ferguson said he chose them for consistency sake, not because they were necessarily any better than other ones - he was just really particular about consistency.
 
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lodeen

New User
I only own one SV (early one with rec. stringing at 65-70 lbs) and 5 late Chinese ones with the black handle cap. I've never played with the other frames so I don't know how they feel. The SV feels better! The SV feels slightly heavier, more stable, it seems like there is more weight in the handle than the Chinese ones.

I prefer the SV than the late Chinese ones but since finding a SV in good condition at a reasonable price is unlikely, plus finding grommets for the SV are even more unlikely, I have to make do with the black cap Chinese ones. :)

I think if you like the feel of one of the ps85 and can play with it, then you'll like the others too, they're not that different after all.
 

rudester

Professional
agree, have played with every model of PS85, while my favorites are st vincents. All are great racquets. (best ever made IMHO) As mentioned grommets are the limiting factor with st Vincent model, although there are many threads on making newer ps 85 grommets fit, if you are willing to do the work
 

Roadway

Rookie
Have not played SV . But play both early and late chinese version. I can feel the difference. The late chinese feels somewhat hollow.
 

mhkeuns

Hall of Fame
I just tried the Taiwan model. I currently have two Chicago bumperless, one St. Vincent Bumperless, one St. Vincent with bumper and now, the Taiwanese model. It has glossier finish compared to the Chicago and St. Vincent's matte black finish. Though I was not able to differenciate the feel between the Chicago and St. Vincent models, the Taiwan model felt different. Not sure if I am describing correctly, but the Taiwan version felt less dampened with a bit more raw feel. Kind of felt more hollow. I do prefer more dampened feel of the Pro Staff's from Chicago and St. Vincent. In comparison, at least to me, the Chicago & St. Vincent ones felt more solid.
 
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dnguyen

Hall of Fame
Wilson should re-open the St Vincent factory to reproduce PS85 and PS90 when RF's era is over that will end the Pro Staff line. The Pro Staff legacy must live through St Vincent!

Wilson, stop spending on the professional players and making cheap chinese racquets!
 

morten

Hall of Fame
My 10 ps85s swingweight ranges from 315 to 334. I love the 315 so i modded the others to that, cut half or the whole bumper guard depending. Then x one strings low tension, 43lbs, took me to a top ranking in the national 45+ group. Amazing racket. The best ever. Adidas gtx pro mid second.
 

teachingprotx

Hall of Fame
Man I loved my lightest pro staff at 296 .. it was one that I cut off the whole bumper gaurd . Back in high school actually.. funny too cause I’ve come full circle again ( kinda ) I’m now using a pro staff again without a bumper gaurd .
 

NeilonNeil

New User
Hi !
I have 2 Wilson Staff midsize rackets that I think are what you describe in this post. The butt cap on one has HMS and the other Taiwan. I think they are 85s.
I actively play with both of these (at 4.0 level) and would love to know if there is anywhere I could find the grommet strips and bumper guards.
Or if they are worth a million dollars that would be good too.
 

slipgrip93

Semi-Pro
I got my only ps85 from TW, the reissue in 2014 (before the RF85) and it has that "gold" W on a black cap. I can also attest it does kind of feel "hollower" compared to my kps 88 (a preserved 2009 issue off of the bay) which I switched to a year ago. The ps85 feels "zippier" and quicker of course, and is more headlight. The paintjob is atrociously weak, and chips off very easily on any slight impact on a rough or abrasive surface or edge. Otherwise the kps88 seems to have more of the real "plowthrough" I suspect a SV ps85 would have. The used ncode 90 (probably 2006-7 retail issue) I got off of the bay is about as heavy but also has more of the plow feel as well.
 
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Avezan

New User
I just picked up a mint condition later model ps85. But is has the red dot on the top inside of the hoop. I thought this was a trademark of the St. Vincent made racquets. This one says ProStaff 6.0 and has a black/red buttcap, code GDU "China". Fairway grip. Silver hologram sticker. Is the red dot on all of the ps85s?
 

teachingprotx

Hall of Fame
The sv pro staff and the models after were damn near indestructible. Seriously,
I used to beat the hell out of my 85 p staffs on the net posts , back fence on the hard courts , I even served one about as hArd as I could , flew out of my hands hit the hard court and boooom! Nuthin .. I have no idea what paint that was but it was the most durable racket paint finish I’ve ever come in contact with, that and the OG dunny m pro 200g.
 

georgeyew

Rookie
I just picked up a mint condition later model ps85. But is has the red dot on the top inside of the hoop. I thought this was a trademark of the St. Vincent made racquets. This one says ProStaff 6.0 and has a black/red buttcap, code GDU "China". Fairway grip. Silver hologram sticker. Is the red dot on all of the ps85s?
The red dot might be there to indicate the center for stringing. I think the red you are thinking about is the red primer under the paint. You won't see that unless the paint is worn through.
 
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