Replacing the RF97A with the Yonex SV98+

Sardines

Professional
For the last 1.5 months, I've been transitioning from the RF97A to the Yonex SV98+, primarily because I want the same swing weight with less overall weight. It's not my first foray into extended racquets. I'd played with PS85 with a custom extended grip by 0.5", which I loved until I had a serious shoulder injury, after which I'd switched to a PS90 frame to get more power.

Anyhow, the SV98+ has proven to be a viable alternative to the "mass"ive plow of the RF97A on many fronts.
Customization: I've strung the SV98+ with Cyclone 19/18Lg @ 49/46 and also VS Touch 16g/Cyclone 19g 56/52. Added 4 g at 10/2 for increased twist weight and 5g under the grip and in the buttcap, to balance.
I practiced with it for about 2 weeks/10 hrs then spent 6 hrs on a Playsight court to evaluate the results.
Groundstrokes: This is where the difference in weight felt the most different. I would say both have similar power off the ground, but the SV98+ is inherently less stable, despite the square head design. and found my groundstroke speeds to be similar to the RF97A. I didn't feel there much much extra spin but Playsight showed 3-4% increase on both wings. Topspin drives felt easy and I was having a bit easier time hitting high groundstrokes, probably because I was able to hit with more racquet head speed. It definitely felt easier to swing through the ball, which required less effort.
There was a bit of adjustment to the launch angle and ball trajectory, since there's a bit more bite, however, it's a minor thing. Even though the RA is lower, the SV98+ felt as stiff, but more muted. That lack of vibration makes me feel like I didn't "feel" the shot through, even though it went where and how I wanted it.

Serve: Easy to swing and a bit extra spin on the ball. My ad court wide serve showed improvement 3% more in than the RF97A, and 4% for the deuce wide serve. No significant difference in speed for the T serves, but consistency went up 3-5% and spin 4%, which is great!

Net play: The SV98+ is not a very stable or good feel racquet at net, especially on low volleys. Felt like the RF97A with dead copolys. I think I need more time to adapt and soften my hands even more on reflex. Power volleys were good but off center hits felt weaker. Better than the RF97A for topspin drive volleys and heavy spin overheads, but control for punch and angle volleys was less precise than the RF97A, which felt buttery. Easier maneuverability due to lighter weight, sort of like I choked up on the RF97A a bit but actually have a bit more reach. The extra length does not bother me much.

Overall, the numbers say I'm playing better with the SV98+, off the serve and groundstrokes with less effort. Feel is definitely lessened. I think this switch would benefit my singles game more. I'll hold on to the RF97A still though for fast condition days where I need that extra bit of feel and control. Now I have to carry 4 racquets around!
 
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Boubi

Rookie
I dont agree with you on volleys, I thought SV98+ was extremely stable but this is also a question of string choice (and yet, mine is also strung with Volkl cyclone full bed @ 51/47 lbs)
Also amazing is the slice backhand
 

Sardines

Professional
I dont agree with you on volleys, I thought SV98+ was extremely stable but this is also a question of string choice (and yet, mine is also strung with Volkl cyclone full bed @ 51/47 lbs)
Also amazing is the slice backhand
Well you didn't have to disagree 3 times! haha I meant it wasn't very stable compared to my RF97A. The spin from the racquet is good.
 

bkr

Rookie
Good points and thanks for sharing it.

I'm also a fellow RF97 user looking for a similar heavy ball with lighter frame and extended length would definitely makes sense.I remember play tester Michelle also noted that she could hit similar and faster balls with Vcore 98+ racquet but less effort.
 

anfield

Semi-Pro
How about making the RF lighter by replacing the leather with a Babolat Syntec light grip and going with synth gut/19g poly stings. I took off 20 grams and that makes the RF swing much easier, especially with saving 5g in the string bed where that weight really matters.
 
I added a babolat leather grip over the original leather grip on mine, and top up with a kimony overgrip. Banging balls to the point of no return.

Sent from my Redmi Note 2 using Tapatalk
 

Sardines

Professional
How about making the RF lighter by replacing the leather with a Babolat Syntec light grip and going with synth gut/19g poly stings. I took off 20 grams and that makes the RF swing much easier, especially with saving 5g in the string bed where that weight really matters.
I've done all that and you're still looking at a 20-23g difference. My SV98+ are 331g and 332g all in.
Moreover, the balance is more head heavy then. So it's not optimal for everyone. I like it around 7 pts head light and also 345+ swingweight and also a high twist weight. So weight mods are in order to customize the racquet to my preferences, especially when you have multiple racquets and want to make them similar.
 

anfield

Semi-Pro
I've done all that and you're still looking at a 20-23g difference. My SV98+ are 331g and 332g all in.
Moreover, the balance is more head heavy then. So it's not optimal for everyone. I like it around 7 pts head light and also 345+ swingweight and also a high twist weight. So weight mods are in order to customize the racquet to my preferences, especially when you have multiple racquets and want to make them similar.
Hey, I'm right there with you but I actually measured one RF before it went to the stringer. It was 338g with a full bed of NRG2, the syntec light grip and one OG at 6pHL. I'll have him weigh it and balance it before stringing, and then after to make sure, but I don't see it coming back over 340g with 17g TNT and 19 Tour Bite. With the super light strings in the RF hopefully it will be a lot more HL with the lighter grip, I can always add a bit of weight in the trap door to get it to at least 8p HL.

I loved my DR 100s and when I picked up the RF I made the switch, I just felt so much more control and feel. After the honeymoon period with the RF I'm now seeing my serves and forehand action taper off after a set. I'm waiting for the new lighter string setup to get back, but also demoing the new Radical Touch Pro and SV98+ this week.

I did not like the regular SV98, felt the upper hoop flexed too much. We shall see with the 98+. I love the Radical XT but it's just that bit too 'brassy' feeling, maybe the Touch version sorted that out, but man I hate that paintjob. If Yonex only made the Ezone 98 with a 67/68 RA and in the blue I'd prolly have my perfect stick. I tried the Blade CV and PS97 and they are just not as solid and I can feel them flex compared to the RF.

Are you having any issues with maneuvering the SV98+? I tried the DR98 and DR100 plus but they felt too sluggish.
 
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Sardines

Professional
Hey, I'm right there with you but I actually measured one RF before it went to the stringer. It was 338g with a full bed of NRG2, the syntec light grip and one OG at 6pHL. I'll have him weigh it and balance it before stringing, and then after to make sure, but I don't see it coming back over 340g with 17g TNT and 19 Tour Bite. With the super light strings in the RF hopefully it will be a lot more HL with the lighter grip, I can always add a bit of weight in the trap door to get it to at least 8p HL.
Are you having any issues with maneuvering the SV98+? I tried the DR98 and DR100 plus but they felt too sluggish.
Well, my RF97As come in at 356g with 17g gut/19g Cyclone, 358 with 16g gut, 353 with 19g Cyclone, with my weight mods. And I use Syntec Skin Feel, which is only 2g heavier than the lite.
 

anfield

Semi-Pro
Well, my RF97As come in at 356g with 17g gut/19g Cyclone, 358 with 16g gut, 353 with 19g Cyclone, with my weight mods. And I use Syntec Skin Feel, which is only 2g heavier than the lite.
@Sardines

This is just from an email from my MRT stringer. Keep in mind I have the Syntec Lite grip with one Wilson Pro OG, I might add some weight here and there.

"Here are the specs on the Wilson RF 97:

Weight and balance point with NRG still installed: 340, 8 points head light
Unstrung: 326, 11 points head light
TNT 17g & Tour Bite 18g: 338, 8 points head light"
 
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Sardines

Professional
@Sardines
Weight and balance point with NRG still installed: 340, 8 points head light
Unstrung: 326, 11 points head light
TNT 17g & Tour Bite 18g: 338, 8 points head light"
For me the main issue is polarity, swing weight and twist weight. The SV98+ gets me there with less added weight, much less.
 

anfield

Semi-Pro
I just got a few demos today, including the SV-98, felt hollow. The Rad Touch Pro feels amazing though. Waiting for the RF but if it does not work out, the new Rad is just that good. It's a really low static weight compared to swing weight and it feel so much more solid, and maneuverable than the SV 98+. But will give them all a go and report back.

I just wish the Rad had a better PJ, as amazing as it is to hit with. Not sure I could play it because how horrendous it looks. Seems vapid, and I've never even considered aesthetics a factor for a stick before, it's just that the Rad Pro is just that ugly, it could throw me off. Confidence is your stick is important and hating looking at it is a factor.
 

mctennis

Hall of Fame
I just wish the Rad had a better PJ, as amazing as it is to hit with. Not sure I could play it because how horrendous it looks. Seems vapid, and I've never even considered aesthetics a factor for a stick before, it's just that the Rad Pro is just that ugly, it could throw me off. Confidence is your stick is important and hating looking at it is a factor.
So really, you care what the racquet looks like over how it play? I am not looking at my racquet color when I hit, I look at the ball. I do not care how "ugly" the racquet color is as long as it plays well for me.
 

Sardines

Professional
I just got a few demos today, including the SV-98, felt hollow. The Rad Touch Pro feels amazing though. Waiting for the RF but if it does not work out, the new Rad is just that good. It's a really low static weight compared to swing weight and it feel so much more solid, and maneuverable than the SV 98+. But will give them all a go and report back.

I just wish the Rad had a better PJ, as amazing as it is to hit with. Not sure I could play it because how horrendous it looks. Seems vapid, and I've never even considered aesthetics a factor for a stick before, it's just that the Rad Pro is just that ugly, it could throw me off. Confidence is your stick is important and hating looking at it is a factor.
None of the Head rackets have 340+ swing weight @ 300-310g as far as I saw in the specs. Never liked the muted feel of graphene Heads, or the grip shape. Nor do I really care what the racquet looks like so long as I hit well with it. My priorities were playability and feel with specs of 335+ swing weight and less than 310g static weight and balance of at least 7pt light. Of all the racquets I tried, the SV98+ had the least demanding transition from the RF97A.
 

anfield

Semi-Pro
The Radical Touch pro is 330 SW @ 310g unstrung and you can feel the mass in the hoop and does this at a standard 27" length. For you desired specs everything would have to be extended length and I just can't get used to the extra length. The Rad Pro gets very close for a standard length stick.

The Rad Touch Pro was great playing in my advanced indoor clinic with fast courts where we do a lot of attacking. I was crushing serves, reacting to fast volleys and hitting nice angles. I'd say the Hawk Touch 17g @55 is a bit too powerful in this frame, which feels a lot better than the Rad XT.

Also with the oblong hoop you are getting some of the Yonex isometric advantage. The sweet spot feels twice the size of the RF and there is more control than than what I used to play with, the DR 100. Since graphene is so strong it has a much thinner profile, well, looks that way, but also keeps upper hoop stiffness, which I felt the SV98 and Dual 330 are both lacking.

I tell you what, I did not give a toss the way the Radical looked when I was playing it, I was too busy smiling from winning points. I still have yet to play my RF97 at 338g (with strings and OG) @ 8ptHL that got back from the stringer, other than hitting against a practice wall at 46 degrees F. I did notice my serve could dip a lot more. I could easily spin a ball to halfway from the net to service line and kick out wide on the add side -- something that was very challenging with the 360g RF.

I'd say anyone looking to leave the RF it's prolly for weight issues, get some light strings and babolat syntec light grip and drop 25g. But the other choice is the new Radical Touch Pro, it's just that good. Just wish they made it a 96 sq in. I also like the grip so much on the Rad that I might get my RF handles modified to have the flatter profile.
 
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Sardines

Professional
I'd say anyone looking to leave the RF it's prolly for weight issues, get some light strings and babolat syntec light grip and drop 25g. But the other choice is the new Radical Touch Pro, it's just that good. Just wish they made it a 96 sq in. I also like the grip so much on the Rad that I might get my RF handles modified to have the flatter profile.
Some people have found the stiffness of the RF97A too much. I have 3 RF97A, 2 '14s and 1 '16 black, I've measured all 3 and despite the savings from replacing the leather grip, 10-11g using the Syntec Skin Feel and using less than 17g gut and 18L/19g Cyclone, save maybe 2-3g over thicker strings, I can't duplicate 25g weight savings you claim. From your statements, you've saved maybe 14-17g, while shifting the balance point a couple of points down.
Demo PK Q+ 5X. It has all what the "big ones" don't have ....
Ha yeah, howitzer, puts hilarious pace on the ball
I am not familiar with that racquet. The specs look great and very similar to the SV98+. I'll have to check it out before moving completely to the SV98+... choices choices!
 

anfield

Semi-Pro
Some people have found the stiffness of the RF97A too much. I have 3 RF97A, 2 '14s and 1 '16 black, I've measured all 3 and despite the savings from replacing the leather grip, 10-11g using the Syntec Skin Feel and using less than 17g gut and 18L/19g Cyclone, save maybe 2-3g over thicker strings, I can't duplicate 25g weight savings you claim. From your statements, you've saved maybe 14-17g, while shifting the balance point a couple of points down. !
It's definitely stiff, but there is this amazing feeling when you hit with it, nothing like you would get from a stiffer frame like a Babolat PD or Aero. As far as the weight it can go down to. This is from my MRT stringer who I asked to weigh it with current strings, unstrung, and new strings. This is with the Syntec lite grip and one Wilson pro OG:

"Weight and balance point with NRG still installed: 340, 8 points head light
Unstrung: 326, 11 points head light
TNT 17g & Tour Bite 18g: 338, 8 points head light"

I had two really good hitting sessions with it, really crushing the ball, but the guy I'm hitting with has a RF too and we were trading some heavy balls. Did not really do any serving. When I did try out the Radical Touch Pro with him, with some lead, it could not compete with the RF.

I'll see how it performs in my indoor live ball clinic that's on fast courts with not as heavy hitters. The Radical did really well last week for this, but not sure if I want to carry two different sticks.
 

kramer woodie

Professional
I have 3 SV98+'s. 2 of them weigh in at 329 grams. The third weighs 326 grams, but I have not built up the butt cap as much yet. To keep
the racquets light, I have cut off the base grips at 5-1/2 inches above the butt cap, which removed 2 grams of weight. Then added a 1/2
inch wide leather strip around butt cap and 3 wraps of J&J 1/2 wide athletic tape over the leather. Then put on a Yonex Supergrap OG
all the way up the pallet to cover the portion of the pallet that has no base grip. Because I use a one handed backhand, I don't need the
full pallet wrapped with a base grip. Also, I am fond of the original dampeners, a #64 rubber band wrapped and tied around the 2 center
mains. Rubber band adds no weight. Therefore, Yonex QC is fantastic, 2 @ 11.6 ounces the third at 11.5 + and soon to be 11.6 with added
athletic tape.

Sure is a big change from the 3 330 gram Duel Gs I have. Lighter, but still great plow through. No twisting on off center hits. As much
if not more power and spin. The SV98+ racquet does the work, I just throw the racquet at the ball and the added swing weight brings the
head around effortlessly.

I should add, I have no problems with the extra 1/2 inch of length. In fact, have
never before played an extended racquet. Feels totally natural to me and I let the
little finger almost hang off the but cap. Therefore, I get the feeling I am playing a 28
inch racquet.

Aloha
 

mctennis

Hall of Fame
I have 3 SV98+'s. 2 of them weigh in at 329 grams. The third weighs 326 grams, but I have not built up the butt cap as much yet. To keep
the racquets light, I have cut off the base grips at 5-1/2 inches above the butt cap, which removed 2 grams of weight. Then added a 1/2
inch wide leather strip around butt cap and 3 wraps of J&J 1/2 wide athletic tape over the leather. Then put on a Yonex Supergrap OG
all the way up the pallet to cover the portion of the pallet that has no base grip. Because I use a one handed backhand, I don't need the
full pallet wrapped with a base grip. Also, I am fond of the original dampeners, a #64 rubber band wrapped and tied around the 2 center
mains. Rubber band adds no weight. Therefore, Yonex QC is fantastic, 2 @ 11.6 ounces the third at 11.5 + and soon to be 11.6 with added
athletic tape.

Sure is a big change from the 3 330 gram Duel Gs I have. Lighter, but still great plow through. No twisting on off center hits. As much
if not more power and spin. The SV98+ racquet does the work, I just throw the racquet at the ball and the added swing weight brings the
head around effortlessly.

I should add, I have no problems with the extra 1/2 inch of length. In fact, have
never before played an extended racquet. Feels totally natural to me and I let the
little finger almost hang off the but cap. Therefore, I get the feeling I am playing a 28
inch racquet.

Aloha
Sounds like you did a great job with these racquets. It would be very interesting to try these out. Nice work!!
 

Sardines

Professional
Therefore, Yonex QC is fantastic, 2 @ 11.6 ounces the third at 11.5 + and soon to be 11.6 with added athletic tape.
Sure is a big change from the 3 330 gram Duel Gs I have. Lighter, but still great plow through. No twisting on off center hits. As much if not more power and spin. The SV98+ racquet does the work, I just throw the racquet at the ball and the added swing weight brings the head around effortlessly.
I should add, I have no problems with the extra 1/2 inch of length. In fact, have never before played an extended racquet. Feels totally natural to me and I let the little finger almost hang off the but cap. Therefore, I get the feeling I am playing a 28 inch racquet.
Yes I "only" got 2 and they weren't matched. The unstrung weight were within 1g, swing weight 3-4 pts of each other and twist weights were 1 pt too. Balance were both 31.5pt. I can't argue about the QC. I can't say Wilson can boast that. I had my racquets matched and they were still 4-6g apart in weight, just to get swing weights/twist weights close enough. Balance was also spread over 2 pts. It's shocking, but fixable.

Have you sold the RF97A yet? I'm interested
Not sure if you're asking me, but as I noted in the original post, I'm keeping the RFs. Sorry.
 
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Sardines

Professional
Since Yonex seems to have discontinued the 2017 SV98+, I went on a rampage and bought 2 more, after playing best of 3 no-ad singles for 5 days in a row, 13 sets, 134 games. Still had difficulty on certain shots and feel, but overall I felt I turned back the clock a few years with the power and spin. It's not just about lack of power from the RF97A, which it has plenty of, but the ease of swinging. And I've added weight to bring it back up to 338-344g.
 

Boubi

Rookie
Since Yonex seems to have discontinued the 2017 SV98+, I went on a rampage and bought 2 more, after playing best of 3 no-ad singles for 5 days in a row, 13 sets, 134 games. Still had difficulty on certain shots and feel, but overall I felt I turned back the clock a few years with the power and spin. It's not just about lack of power from the RF97A, which it has plenty of, but the ease of swinging. And I've added weight to bring it back up to 338-344g.
Are u sure they discontinue the SV98+ ??
 

Sardines

Professional
It's no longer on their website and removed from the catalog. Pretty sure that means it was a limited release or maybe a new one is coming.
 

time_fly

Hall of Fame
Interesting thread. I'm also thinking of making the switch to the SV98+, but in my case from the Volkl V-Sense 10 325g. The SV98+ just takes less effort to use, being a full ounce lighter, and has similar power and more spin. I should note that my SV98+ is strung with a full bed of V-Torque 18, whereas a I play the VS10 with a gut hybrid. I think gut would be wasted in a mute, stiff power frame like the Yonex. I really wish I had access to playsight to formally compare the numbers! I also feel like the SV98+ is a bit unstable off-center and a bit of weight at 10 and 2 or 3 and 9 is a good idea, although I haven't tried it yet. If the SV98+ is discontinued that would also be a big drawback for me, since the VS10 and successors very much like it will keep coming from Volkl forever.
 

Sardines

Professional
Interesting thread. I'm also thinking of making the switch to the SV98+, but in my case from the Volkl V-Sense 10 325g. The SV98+ just takes less effort to use, being a full ounce lighter, and has similar power and more spin. I should note that my SV98+ is strung with a full bed of V-Torque 18, whereas a I play the VS10 with a gut hybrid. I think gut would be wasted in a mute, stiff power frame like the Yonex. I really wish I had access to playsight to formally compare the numbers! I also feel like the SV98+ is a bit unstable off-center and a bit of weight at 10 and 2 or 3 and 9 is a good idea, although I haven't tried it yet. If the SV98+ is discontinued that would also be a big drawback for me, since the VS10 and successors very much like it will keep coming from Volkl forever.
I'll respectfully disagree with the gut/poly hybrid being a waste. I played like I was 35 again just last week using a hybrid. Playing on a fast court with fast balls, I was hitting service winners and aces, swatting quite a few forehand and backhand winners, even drop shots, with gut/hybrid, which also brought some feel I felt it lacked. I wish I had played on a playsight court to see how much I've transitioned, to see if it's not all in my head. I'll have to arrange to play again on the PlaySight courts to gauge.

Yonex 98 has huge sweet spot. All the shanking you did with Wilson rackets should be resolved now.
Haha I never really shanked with the RF97A. I just felt the weight was going to be a problem for me in the coming years and I wanted to get ahead of the slow but steady decline. The RF97A sweetspot wasn't small, and it's stabler than the SV98+. I still use it for days when I need more heft

@1990's Graphite
Thanks for that but I know it's still on sale. I said it was removed from the Yonex USA website and its catalog, not from the stores. I'm very grateful to TW for this great forum but they aren't Yonex. haha As you'll see on the official Yonex website, it's gone! Personally I think it's pretty silly that they dropped it from the website, but who can really understand what they think?

http://www.yonexusa.com/sports/tennis/products/tennis/racquets/vcore-sv-series/
 

tribesmen

Professional
I strongly recommend to test PK Q+ 5X if you want to replace the RF with easier to handle racquet, but keep stability, power and control. Also better feeling than Yonex although this is personal.
 

Sardines

Professional
I strongly recommend to test PK Q+ 5X if you want to replace the RF with easier to handle racquet, but keep stability, power and control. Also better feeling than Yonex although this is personal.
I did try it before I picked up the extra sticks. I found it to be less stable than the SV98+, and it had less bite and power, probably because of the 8 mains on the throat, vs 6 on the SV98+. It reminded me of the DR98+, although the comparison should be vs the 100+ models. The SV98+ is more like the RF97A in terms of spin and power, but easier to swing.
 

Boubi

Rookie
Interesting thread. I'm also thinking of making the switch to the SV98+, but in my case from the Volkl V-Sense 10 325g. The SV98+ just takes less effort to use, being a full ounce lighter, and has similar power and more spin. I should note that my SV98+ is strung with a full bed of V-Torque 18, whereas a I play the VS10 with a gut hybrid. I think gut would be wasted in a mute, stiff power frame like the Yonex. I really wish I had access to playsight to formally compare the numbers! I also feel like the SV98+ is a bit unstable off-center and a bit of weight at 10 and 2 or 3 and 9 is a good idea, although I haven't tried it yet. If the SV98+ is discontinued that would also be a big drawback for me, since the VS10 and successors very much like it will keep coming from Volkl forever.
I agree, gut is no help with this powerful racquet, it plays better with a poly like weisscanon or volkl cyclone
 

Gemini

Hall of Fame
I just recently made the switch from Yonex to Yonex -- Ai/DR98 to SV 98+ So happy that I did. I switched for different reasons other than trying to reduce weight. I've weighted my mine to 12.3 oz and 9 pts HL. That's before Yonex dampener and SuperGrap. With those added, I'm at 12.5 and the same 9pts HL. Not sure of the swingweight but it doesn't bother me even after a 2 to 3 hour hitting session.

Where the modded SV 98+ shines for me is on serve. As I've gotten older and have lost the desire to hit big serves, by sheer force of will, all match long, the longer and heavier SV 98+ allows me to crank heavy serves with less effort. I can use placement more readily and the serves still have a great spin/movement combo.
 
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Sardines

Professional
I just recently made the switch from Yonex to Yonex -- Ai/DR98 to SV 98+ So happy that I did. I switched for different reasons other than trying to redude weight. I've weighted my mine to 12.3 oz and 9 pts HL. That's before Yonex dampener and SuperGrap. With those added, I'm at 12.5 and the same 9pts HL. Not sure of the swingweight but it doesn't bother me even after a 2 to 3 hour hitting session.

Where the modded SV 98+ shines for me is on serve. As I've gotten older and have lost the desire to hit big serves, by sheer force of will, all match long, the longer and heavier SV 98+ allows me to crank heavy serves with less effort. I can use placement more readily and the serves still have a great spin/movement combo.
Well, 12.5oz(354g) is a little lighter my old RF97. I did experiment with blu tack with weight distribution and increases to "see" if I missed the heft. I found the 15-20g off helped a lot with "swingability". I can't say I miss the 20g. I'm serving well with less effort, which is one of the things I wanted. However, 355+ swing weight is what I like. Glad you found your balance too.
 

Gemini

Hall of Fame
Well, 12.5oz(354g) is a little lighter my old RF97. I did experiment with blu tack with weight distribution and increases to "see" if I missed the heft. I found the 15-20g off helped a lot with "swingability". I can't say I miss the 20g. I'm serving well with less effort, which is one of the things I wanted. However, 355+ swing weight is what I like. Glad you found your balance too.
I've found that I need both a relatively high swingweight (340+) and headlight balance (9 pts +) to really play well with a racquet. Racquet head speed is critical for me so that combo of mass and balance really works well. All the added weight in my SV 98+ is in the handle.
 

Sardines

Professional
I've found that I need both a relatively high swingweight (340+) and headlight balance (9 pts +) to really play well with a racquet. Racquet head speed is critical for me so that combo of mass and balance really works well. All the added weight in my SV 98+ is in the handle.
I couldn't find enough space under the butt, plus I can't stand to build up the handle area. In one of my sticks, there is a hole in the butt to put weight, but not the others. I don't want to drill into the handle to get the weight in. I use my old lead from older racquets and ball them up and mash them under the butt cap.

I've also been experimenting with other strings as a hybrid, with the Yonex PTP 1.20g. The initial set was soft and high launch angle, but the next bits came once it started loosing elasticity, the gut could move properly and it played quite well. The nice part is that I played 6 sets with it, serving and hitting well, and the wear looks like it's 3 sets with my usual cyclone 19g. Almost twice the longevity due to the smoothness. It doesn't have the same bite but it played very well. Quite surprising.
 

Gemini

Hall of Fame
I couldn't find enough space under the butt, plus I can't stand to build up the handle area. In one of my sticks, there is a hole in the butt to put weight, but not the others. I don't want to drill into the handle to get the weight in. I use my old lead from older racquets and ball them up and mash them under the butt cap.

I've also been experimenting with other strings as a hybrid, with the Yonex PTP 1.20g. The initial set was soft and high launch angle, but the next bits came once it started loosing elasticity, the gut could move properly and it played quite well. The nice part is that I played 6 sets with it, serving and hitting well, and the wear looks like it's 3 sets with my usual cyclone 19g. Almost twice the longevity due to the smoothness. It doesn't have the same bite but it played very well. Quite surprising.
Ah..that's where we differ for sure. I have no qualms about customizing my handle and have layed full strips of 1/2" width lead along the bevels. 36" in total. I also play a 4-1/4 grip size even though my true grip size is slightly bigger than 4-1/2. The 4-1/4 gives me room to alter grip size/shape as needed.

As for strings, I tend to prefer shaped polys at the moment. I'm currently playing Solinco Tour Bite Soft 17 in my 1st frame. I'll be string my 2nd frame with Diadem Solstice Power 16 to gauge if it's as fantastic as I've heard it is.
 

Sardines

Professional
Yeah I'm having green guilt using all that lead! haha
I'm still a big fan of Cyclone 18L/19g. Plays well and lasts as long as poly lasts. For hybrids, I'm now searching for a smooth poly that plays consistently as a cross. YPTP 1.2 is great for life of string but not great for or spin.

Ah..that's where we differ for sure. I have no qualms about customizing my handle and have layed full strips of 1/2" width lead along the bevels. 36" in total. I also play a 4-1/4 grip size even though my true grip size is slightly bigger than 4-1/2. The 4-1/4 gives me room to alter grip size/shape as needed.

As for strings, I tend to prefer shaped polys at the moment. I'm currently playing Solinco Tour Bite Soft 17 in my 1st frame. I'll be string my 2nd frame with Diadem Solstice Power 16 to gauge if it's as fantastic as I've heard it is.
 

KaiserW

Hall of Fame
Yeah I'm having green guilt using all that lead! haha
I'm still a big fan of Cyclone 18L/19g. Plays well and lasts as long as poly lasts. For hybrids, I'm now searching for a smooth poly that plays consistently as a cross. YPTP 1.2 is great for life of string but not great for or spin.
Try Wilson Revolve 17. Very smooth with good spin. I prefer the white over black it is smoother. Haven't tried the orange.
 

iceman_dl6

Semi-Pro
OP, have you tried the SV 95?

Mine has a stock swingweight of 336 and plays awesome. For me, it does everything my RF97 has but in a more comfortable and more maneuverable package. However, the SV95 is quite string sensitive (with the wrong strings, it plays like ***p. I had to try many strings before landing on the right one).
 
hmu if you ever are looking to sell 97a

JK, but you would think that an extended racket would be better on volleys. Less chance of getting passed out wide

Did you consider PDR+ and if you did then what made the sv98 a better fit?
 

Sardines

Professional
Try Wilson Revolve 17. Very smooth with good spin. I prefer the white over black it is smoother. Haven't tried the orange.
Tried it and didn't like it as much as the YPTP 1.20 as a cross. I like thinner gauge for better feel. The coating on it does give it good slide against gut, but I get the same with silicone spray. I going to try the Yonex Poly Tour Fire next. That has a silicone coating but almost twice the price of PTP 1.20mm!! Saves me spraying the strings every week though. haha

OP, have you tried the SV 95?
Yes, I did. Didn't think like it as much as the SV98+ for me. It's easy to swing but definitely less stable and plow (power) and for me, a step backward. The SV95 I tried definitely did not have 330+ swing weight.

JK, but you would think that an extended racket would be better on volleys. Less chance of getting passed out wide
Did you consider PDR+ and if you did then what made the sv98 a better fit?
For me with volleys, it's about maneuverability, stability and feel. An extended racquet tends to feel a little more bulky at first, just as a bigger head racquet would feel much more difficult to control touch volleys. Extra reach is great, but it's really only 12.7mm, so it's not going to compensate for my lack of movement to get to a volley too much. I still have difficulty handling low volleys with the SV98 sometimes, but I think it's because I haven't drilled enough, instead trying to find my way through play, which of course, the long way to do it. I do find my overheads and high volleys have a bit pop.

The Babolat was too powerful and stiff for me, not to mention too big an adjustment phase. The SV98+ is just enough an upgrade in power, spin and ease of swinging, with minimal adjustment. The minimal adjustment with a bit more power were really the biggest factors in why I chose it.
 

Sardines

Professional
I wish Revolve did have an 18 gauge. Kinda strange they don't have it.
I think the Revolve process of coating with silicone is more expensive than the Yonex/Nanodax of infusing silicone oil into the material itself. It's the same process as for fish lines. To finetune a silicon coat onto a 18 or thinner gauge may be cost prohibitive. Or maybe Wilson doesn't feel there's a market?
 

KaiserW

Hall of Fame
I think the Revolve process of coating with silicone is more expensive than the Yonex/Nanodax of infusing silicone oil into the material itself. It's the same process as for fish lines. To finetune a silicon coat onto a 18 or thinner gauge may be cost prohibitive. Or maybe Wilson doesn't feel there's a market?
Did you try the Poly Tour Fire yet? Curious your thoughts if so.
 

Sardines

Professional
Thanks for this, loads of insights. For the moment trying out a barely ysef SV95 that I managed yo get cheap but will demo de 98 and 98+ if I can find it.

The Vcore Pros look very nice but I think for clay and the way my coach is moulding my game the SVs look a better bet on paper.
I tried a couple of hours on the clay and even though I'm not a heavy spin hitter, the SV98+ allowed me to drive heavy deep balls and the bite allowed so nice drop shots, even a few times, I didn't really feel I executed yet it did what I wanted it to do. Such is the compromise of this frame. Gut hybrid string brings back some of the feel. However, using textured/shaped strings eat right through the gut in less than 5 hrs, with such an open string pattern.
 

Sardines

Professional
Just played with Touch 16g (58lbs) with Yonex Poly Tour Fire 1.20mm(54lbs). A bit stiffer than YPTP, feel is a little more dead and less pocketing, but noticeably improved spin production from the "silicone infused" string (or is it the stiffness?). The spin bite lasted the entire 3 sets I played and the gut looks to be in good shape. Will be interesting to see how long it maintains this vs me having to use silicone spray, which usually wears off after 20-30mins of playing..
Compared to the Yonex Poly Tour Pro 1.20mm, which maintains decent tension but lacks good feel and only average bite, with VS Touch 16g. It's not great but not bad either. Sort of average for spin and good on power as a gut/poly combo, but lasts very long. I played 21 sets of singles against some tough 5.0-6.0 heavy hitters before it broke.
 

Simon_the_furry

Hall of Fame
For the last 1.5 months, I've been transitioning from the RF97A to the Yonex SV98+, primarily because I want the same swing weight with less overall weight. It's not my first foray into extended racquets. I'd played with PS85 with a custom extended grip by 0.5", which I loved until I had a serious shoulder injury, after which I'd switched to a PS90 frame to get more power.

Anyhow, the SV98+ has proven to be a viable alternative to the "mass"ive plow of the RF97A on many fronts.
Customization: I've strung the SV98+ with Cyclone 19/18Lg @ 49/46 and also VS Touch 16g/Cyclone 19g 56/52. Added 4 g at 10/2 for increased twist weight and 5g under the grip and in the buttcap, to balance.
I practiced with it for about 2 weeks/10 hrs then spent 6 hrs on a Playsight court to evaluate the results.
Groundstrokes: This is where the difference in weight felt the most different. I would say both have similar power off the ground, but the SV98+ is inherently less stable, despite the square head design. and found my groundstroke speeds to be similar to the RF97A. I didn't feel there much much extra spin but Playsight showed 3-4% increase on both wings. Topspin drives felt easy and I was having a bit easier time hitting high groundstrokes, probably because I was able to hit with more racquet head speed. It definitely felt easier to swing through the ball, which required less effort.
There was a bit of adjustment to the launch angle and ball trajectory, since there's a bit more bite, however, it's a minor thing. Even though the RA is lower, the SV98+ felt as stiff, but more muted. That lack of vibration makes me feel like I didn't "feel" the shot through, even though it went where and how I wanted it.

Serve: Easy to swing and a bit extra spin on the ball. My ad court wide serve showed improvement 3% more in than the RF97A, and 4% for the deuce wide serve. No significant difference in speed for the T serves, but consistency went up 3-5% and spin 4%, which is great!

Net play: The SV98+ is not a very stable or good feel racquet at net, especially on low volleys. Felt like the RF97A with dead copolys. I think I need more time to adapt and soften my hands even more on reflex. Power volleys were good but off center hits felt weaker. Better than the RF97A for topspin drive volleys and heavy spin overheads, but control for punch and angle volleys was less precise than the RF97A, which felt buttery. Easier maneuverability due to lighter weight, sort of like I choked up on the RF97A a bit but actually have a bit more reach. The extra length does not bother me much.

Overall, the numbers say I'm playing better with the SV98+, off the serve and groundstrokes with less effort. Feel is definitely lessened. I think this switch would benefit my singles game more. I'll hold on to the RF97A still though for fast condition days where I need that extra bit of feel and control. Now I have to carry 4 racquets around!
Good choice, my friend.
 
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