pro staff midsize 85s 6.0s etc

racquetfreak

Semi-Pro
here is alittle something that may prove to useful or at least generate some discussion:

Racquetfreak's sort-of-simplified complete abridged Guide to Pro Staff Original midsize/85 models/versions.

These rackets are undoubtedly THE most popular non-wood players frames ever. The Pro Staff 85 has been used by some of all-time great tennis pros including Chris Evert, Steffi Graf, Stefan Edberg, Jim Courier and Pete Sampras. Sampras used this racket throughout his professional career refusing all efforts by Wilson to get him to use newer models or at least make his racket look like a newer model through use of a paintjob on it. Federer used this racket as well but it was disguised (paintjob) as a newer model. Somewags think he is still using one that has been transmogrified to a Pro Staff 6.0 90si
These rackets were originally manufactured at Wilson's River Grove plant near Chicago. In an effort to cut down on production costs, Wilson moved production to a new facility on St. Vincent Island in the West Indies. Rackets made at this facility have been assigned mystical qualities by many players mainly because these were the only rackets that Sampras would use. It is unlikely that there is much difference in quality between the Chicago and St. Vincent versions other than the addition of bumper guards to the later St Vincent rackets. In the early 90s, Wilson again moved production; this time to China, again undoubtedly to cut costs. The early China versions had problems with quality control. Later versions are of higher quality but purists are not convinced that they measure up to the Chicago or Saint Vincent rackets.

Below is a list,in order of production date (assuming evolution or devolution occurred in small steps), showing, to the best of my knowledge, the different versions of the Pro Staff Midsize rackets and their distinguishing characteristics. table):

1. Chicago.River Gorge, red primer, white buttcap with three letter code (xxI) below the W, MIDSIZE on both outer edges of throat, PRO STAFF written on face of throat and recommended tension 65-70, matte finish and no bumper guard.
2. Saint Vincent same as #1 except code is xxQ
3. Saint Vincent same as #2 except recommended tension 55-65
4. Saint Vincent same as #3 but bumper guard has been added
5. Saint Vincent same as #4 except recommended tension 50-60
6 Saint Vincent same as #5 except MIDSIZE only appears only on one outer throat surface
7. Taiwan no red primer, white buttcap with three letter code above the W, glossy finish, otherwise same as #6
8. China same as #7 except MIDSIZE 85 written of outer throat surface
9. China same as #8 except finish is matte and Pro Staff 6.0 is written on face of the throat
10. China same as #9 except buttcap is black.

If you have anything to add or criticize, please contact me, Bob Quackenbush, at rquackenbush1@nc.rr.com.
 

drakulie

Talk Tennis Guru
Great idea. To add:

The Chicago's and earlier Vincents also had three raised throat grommets as opposed to the later Vincents which did not. Later the 85 had a one piece throat grommet.

Also, the later Vincents had the (R) next to the "W" on the buttcap.
 

racquetfreak

Semi-Pro
i have them all but playtest comparison is not possible be cause thecondition of the rackets are not uniform and they should also be strung exactly the same plus each play-test should be performed under the exact same planetary alignment conditions. at any rate the testing conditions should be well controlled. in the end the testers' conclusion will most likely be subjective as are most of the opinions expressed about pro staffs.
 
You'll need quite a number of machines to test the stiffness, vibrations, speed, and several of each stick... different strings... trying to find the holy grail.

Or simply hope they move their factories to a better location.

We don't want cheap racquets!!!!! It's like shopping at the dollar store for food.
 
i first saw one in the hands of my coach, and i was thinking what is this ugly POS he's using?

i've had 5 st vincents, 1 taiwan, 1 china. one is 50-60, one is 55-65, the others have blank throats. i think i might have helped jumpstart the craze about 6 years ago when i paid something like $650 for two st vincent prostaffs.

the newer racquet is shinier and a little less stiff in terms of feel, i'm talking miniscule, and looks very commercial with its 6.0 branding.
if you can play better or worse with either one, you must be pete sampras.

honestly though, these racquets are 20 years old, unless you find one that hasn't been used, its probably got lots of cracked tiny fibers inside so its not perfect and is no better than a newer chinese 85.

i'm currently demoing the k90 trying to decide if i should switch, or if i dont like it, just get more of the new 85s. one thing is for sure, i'm not going to pay 200+ for a racquet anymore.
 
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vkartikv

Hall of Fame
Thanks for posting this. Almost every week someone comes up asking what version of the 85 he's got and asks how it compares with the rest. This should help
 

IncrivelHit

New User
I have not played the SV yet. I do have an Early Chinese white butt that is pretty nice. Now, I'd be able to tell it's difference to the newer ones or to the SVs, I can't answer that. Haven't compared.

BUT, I do have two POGs OS. One is a first gen 1979 grommetless and bumperless. The other one is a 1983 single stripe with grommets and bumper. I am not a top player and I can indeed feel a world of difference between them. It does NOT mean I can play better and win matches with the older one and cannot with the newer one. It just feels more solid (not more stiff), just nicer. Although, the less nice one, is still a marvel.

Sorry for posting POGs here. I meant to talk about comparing frame generations. I am trying to say that, sometimes, a world of difference may not mean you will play better. Is it worth it ? I guess it is a personal opinion of FEEL.

healthy tennis !
 

VGP

Legend
FWIW - I've got a couple of frames that have later Taiwanese cosmetics, darker hued red and yellow stripes, as opposed to the brighter ones that flake off (like late SV) that have the "CHINA" country sticker on the butt cap.

I assume these might have been Taiwanese overstock that were finished in China. Some have said that late SVs were finished in Taiwan.....(drakulie?)

I haven't used them much because those two frames seem to be polar opposites in the weight and balance range.....still look almost brand new though.

Plus, some early Taiwanese frames have a "SEX" butt cap code......just an interesting novelty.
 
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