PS 85 St Vincent: is there anything that can replicate it.

Tennis Man

Hall of Fame
I've been playing with Pro Staff 85 St Vincent for a very long time now or so it seems. I've tried tons of different racquets and while had great results, nothing gives me as much confidence as my "Holy Grail".

Recently I seriously strated customization of my other classic frames to try to match the balance of my Pro Staffs. I like KPS 88, PS 90, K90, PS95, K 6.1 95 and Ultra FPK 95. Anyone tried to customize any of these to make them like PS 85?
 
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Power Player

Talk Tennis Guru
KPS88 is closest man. At some point you either spend a lot of cash for old school rare sticks or embrace the new stuff.

I think racquet makers like Donnay relate to the people who miss classic sticks, and hopefully the selection for old school players who need new racquets will broaden.

I am interested in seeing what babolat makes for Sampras.
 

Kemitak

Professional
I am interested in seeing what babolat makes for Sampras.
I'm not. It'll be big, heavy, and cumbersome.
Having played only with the china Pro Staff, which is probably the closest to a St. Vincent, I think the 88 is the closest (to the china Pro Staff). So the 88 is the next closest, I guess.
 

Keifers

Legend
I've been playing with Pro Staff 85 St Vincent for a very long time now or so it seems. I've tried tons of different racquets and while had great results, nothing gives me as much confidence as my "Holy Grail".

Recently I seriously strated customization of my other classic frames to try to match the balance of my Pro Staffs. I like KPS 88, PS 90, K90, PS95, K 6.1 95 and Ultra FPK 95. Anyone tried to customize any of these to make them like PS 85?
Hate to be negative, but the SV 85 is almost impossible to replicate, even by heavily modifying the later Pro Staffs. Many of us wanted the KPS88 to be a 90" version of the SV, but Wilson didn't do it.

The SV is like the Green Destiny sword in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon -- it's both super quick (rapier-like) and it can cut through anything it comes across (like a broad sword). Nothing I've played with is as maneuverable and as powerful with great touch and feel.

Sorry to not be more encouraging.
 

Tennis Man

Hall of Fame
Hate to be negative, but the SV 85 is almost impossible to replicate, even by heavily modifying the later Pro Staffs. Many of us wanted the KPS88 to be a 90" version of the SV, but Wilson didn't do it.

The SV is like the Green Destiny sword in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon -- it's both super quick (rapier-like) and it can cut through anything it comes across (like a broad sword). Nothing I've played with is as maneuverable and as powerful with great touch and feel.

Sorry to not be more encouraging.
I made myself misunderstood again, sorry. I don't want to replace my fleet of PS 85 SV. I have enough to last me the lifetime. It was more of a hypothetical question.

Obviously nothing can imitate the crisp feel and touch of PS 85 SV. What I was trying to do is to "make" my 90-95 sq inch (bigger heads) to give me a similar balance and head speed as PS 85. Does it makes sense? :confused:
 
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Keifers

Legend
I made myself misunderstood again, sorry. I don't want to replace my fleet of PS 85 SV. I have enough to last me the lifetime. It was more of a hypothetical question.

Obviously nothing can imitate the crisp feel and touch of PS 85 SV. What I was trying to do is to "make" my 90-95 sq inch (bigger heads) to give a similar balance and head speed as PS 85. Does it makes sense? :confused:
Makes perfect sense.

I would say yes re similar balance, but similar head speed will take a lot of trial and error fiddling with weight distribution.

Would love to hear your results.
 

drakulie

Talk Tennis Guru
closest frame to the st. vincent is the chicago version. I would say the 88 is the next closest, but who knows what they were thinking when they didn't make the balance the same as the original.
 

roundiesee

Hall of Fame
Weight and balance can be modified to resemble the SV's, but one just cannot replicate the "feel", and therein lies the problem :( I agree that the KPS88 is the closest so far
 

Tennis Man

Hall of Fame
I agree about Chicago as being close to SV and even some Taiwan frames feel similar with exact set up (though much more muted feel).

I can't agree that KPS88 is any similar. I played a match last night with it and the PS-like control and head speed is not there. My BH approach shots and volleys were way off, the forehand and BH is much slower in general. On my favorite BH approach shots I couldn't feel the ball well of the string bed and it went wide most of the time. Couldn't generate the same head speed in general. What is good about it, it's more solid at the baseline and as a defensive frame (I was able to return tough corner shot with more consistency and accuracy). Serving is about the same though PS SV allows more variety and tweaking of imperfect ball tosses.

I'ma ctually trying to customize the earlier PS 6.0 95 to "resemble" PS 85 SV but I'm still way off.

I left last night like giving up on all but a few frames and stick with PS 85 and original Prestige. :)
 

VGP

Legend
Tennis Man (or anyone else) - just out of curiosity, have you tried the Wilson Graphite Force Midsize? That's become my main playing frame these days. I know it's a downgrade compared to the SV or Prestige, but I like the classic feel of it.
 

Tennis Man

Hall of Fame
Tennis Man (or anyone else) - just out of curiosity, have you tried the Wilson Graphite Force Midsize? That's become my main playing frame these days. I know it's a downgrade compared to the SV or Prestige, but I like the classic feel of it.
I haven't tried it it. There are too many racqquet out there and so little time and resourses. :)
 

corners

Legend
closest frame to the st. vincent is the chicago version. I would say the 88 is the next closest, but who knows what they were thinking when they didn't make the balance the same as the original.
What is the balance of Chicago vs. St. Vincent?
 

VGP

Legend
I haven't tried it it. There are too many racqquet out there and so little time and resourses. :)
If you can, I'd love to hear your opinion on the Wilson Graphite Force. I serendipitously came across this frame a year and a half ago and I really like it. At the current prices of $20-$40 a frame I consider it a great deal in a classic frame. It was only available from 1984 to mid-1985 as a "budget" frame to the Sting and Pro Staff.

What is the balance of Chicago vs. St. Vincent?
The stickers on the Belgian, Chicago, and early SV had the balance listed as 1.0-1.5 in headlight unstrung........
 

Roadway

Rookie
Tennis Man (or anyone else) - just out of curiosity, have you tried the Wilson Graphite Force Midsize? That's become my main playing frame these days. I know it's a downgrade compared to the SV or Prestige, but I like the classic feel of it.
My Wilson Force (not Graphitr Force) arrived today. It looks like Graphite Force with the same headsize (85 SQ.IN.) and same beam thickness (20mm). But the percentage of graphite is differernt.
 

Tennis Man

Hall of Fame
If you can, I'd love to hear your opinion on the Wilson Graphite Force. I serendipitously came across this frame a year and a half ago and I really like it. At the current prices of $20-$40 a frame I consider it a great deal in a classic frame. It was only available from 1984 to mid-1985 as a "budget" frame to the Sting and Pro Staff.
I never had it and may never will
Unless it's picked up at a local Goodwill
(TM)

Seriously, why would one buy a budget frame for $20 and then spent more money on a premium string job. The budget frames I have are the Taiwan/China PS 85 and JK Staff, all purchased in $50-70 range, Wilson Sting Mid for $20, well worth the money. :)
 
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VGP

Legend
I meant "budget" frame strictly by the pricing hierarchy of the frames back in the mid-80s. IIRC, in 1984 the PS85 was offered at around $180, the Sting at $100, and the Graphite Force at $85.

I'm not sure if you ever checked out my thread on my experience with the Wilson Graphite Force. I first picked up the frame as a kind of "Goodwill" purchase at a local used sporting goods store for $10.

From the first hit I was hooked. Believe me, I tried hard not to like it. I thought I was a 'dyed in the wool' PS85 fan and was lamenting dealing with the used market and prices of classic PS85s. I've compared the Graphite Force to the PS85, the Sting Mid, the BLX90, the kPS88.....every time I still go back to the Graphite Force.

Tennis Man, I know you say that there are so many classic frames and so little time and I agree with you. If you do happen to see one at Goodwill try and pick one up. I consider posters like you (along with drakulie and others) well versed in all things PS85.

I really find the Graphite Force a sturdier version of the Sting Mid, but with more pop and spin because of the "non-condensed" stringing pattern, a thicker (20mm) cross section, and a slightly less headlight balance. Comfort is enhanced with the Graphite Force being a graphite/fiberglass composite.

Even though the Graphite Force is a 16 x 19, it's evenly spaced and not condensed at the center of the stringbed. The PS85 was advertised as having this "feature" to offer more control to prevent the trampolining effect of an evenly spaced string pattern.

From the first hit I was addicted and I couldn't believe it. Even my hitting partners, who've only known me as using the PS85 commented on how much better I hit with the Graphite Force.

The way I look at it, the mid-80s were a real experimental time for all racket companies. You see a lot of proliferation of product lines with different head sizes or the usages of the same/similar molds with frame layups using different materials. As for quality control, I've bought several Graphite Force frames and they are very close in weight and balance.

Although the Graphite Force didn't have any pro player associations (like the PS85 or the Sting) that I know of, I think it's a quality frame - far from what a "budget" frame is these days.

The way I feel about the Graphite Force is the way you feel about the Sting Midsize. You say that frame is worth the money ($20) and you'd still spend money on a "premium string job" for that frame, right?

I think, if I find that I enjoy a $20 frame as much or more than a $150 frame, why spend more on the "more expensive" one. Personally that's why I think the Graphite Force disappeared so quickly......back in 1985, consumers might have thought, why spend double for a PS85 when you can get a Graphite Force?

BTW, I alleviate the biting feeling of a string job costing more than what I spend on a frame by stringing my own frames. Also, I might think.....instead of spending money on more string, I might just pick up another Graphite Force if available.
 

struggle

Legend
check out the original graphite aggressor ("aggressor") from the same era.

i'd say it's in between the PS and the Force (has pws).
it was a good frame with some classic heft. I much prefered it to the PS. but to each his own...
 

struggle

Legend
check out the original graphite aggressor ("aggressor") from the same era.

i'd say it's in between the PS and the Force (has pws).
it was a good frame with some classic heft. I much prefered it to the PS. but to each his own...
 

Tennis Man

Hall of Fame
VGP, I don't disagree with you. I've had "honey moon" times with many frames but always came back to PS85SV. It doesn't mean it's the best racquet and it's not for everyone. I simply like heavy, demanding, balanced and controll-oriented frames.

If you like Graphite Force enjoy it while you can. If I see one around I will let you know.

P.S. I put 3 racquets in my bag last night to play against my regular 4.0 hitting partner, PS85SV, Classic 6.1 95 and KPS88 with similar set up. Won the first set with PSC6.1, such a solid and well balanced racquet even in the stock form. Then I switched to KPS88 and really struggled. The feel and touch is not there. Feels very muted, "slow" and too head heavy. I switched to PS85SV and felt a huge difference right away. Everything worked great, there is nothing better for my game.
 
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check out the original graphite aggressor ("aggressor") from the same era.

i'd say it's in between the PS and the Force (has pws).
it was a good frame with some classic heft. I much prefered it to the PS. but to each his own...
I have one of these. Same mold as the PS85, but it has Graphite/Fiberglass composition (same mix 80%/20%). Its more flexy than the PS85, but still feels like a weapon in your hand.

It is available if anybody is interested.
 
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