The Prince Phantom 93P is a gift to us from TW - My Review/AMA

Dartagnan64

Legend
I don't think I'll criticize Prince until I get to hit a few balls with these frames. I'm going to trust they know what they are doing. But I've become a big fan of 18 x 20 frames for control in doubles and a slightly more forgiving hoop size is potentially appealing. I can play singles very nicely with the 93P so I'm not sure a 14x18 would make that better. It certainly won't improve my doubles game as precision is what I need more than spin.
 

atelic

Rookie
The 93p plays huge because of the round head. No problems with singles play. Sweet spot is large @markwillplay you definitely gave someone an amazing deal in two 93p.
He sure did, haha.

Mark, I was playing last night and loved the feel of the gut mains. Certainly more comfort and power than full bed of poly. Was able to blast forehand returns at pretty insane speeds. I'd say that was the major difference in poly vs gut on strokes in the 93p. But I definitely lacked the control I'm used to with poly.

I'm sure it's something that could be corrected or gotten used to.
 

Dartagnan64

Legend
He sure did, haha.

Mark, I was playing last night and loved the feel of the gut mains. Certainly more comfort and power than full bed of poly. Was able to blast forehand returns at pretty insane speeds. I'd say that was the major difference in poly vs gut on strokes in the 93p. But I definitely lacked the control I'm used to with poly.

I'm sure it's something that could be corrected or gotten used to.
Can't imagine anyone lacking control with the 93P. I played a couple sets with it with full bed OGSM and still had great control. Better control with gut/poly but compared to any of my 100 sq inch 16x19's, the 93P puts them all to shame, no matter the string. The thing is surgical.
 

atelic

Rookie
Can't imagine anyone lacking control with the 93P. I played a couple sets with it with full bed OGSM and still had great control. Better control with gut/poly but compared to any of my 100 sq inch 16x19's, the 93P puts them all to shame, no matter the string. The thing is surgical.
Not saying that I was spraying, but there is a huge difference between full bed of poly at 42/42 and gut syn at 50/45.

Going for that 90mph winner forehand, going to take the poly over the gut with those tensions.

Open to string setup suggestions.
 
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Dartagnan64

Legend
Not saying that I was spraying, but there is a huge difference between full bed of poly at 42/42 and gut syn at 50/45.

Going for that 90mph winner forehand, going to take the poly over the gut with those tensions.

Open to string setup suggestions.
I never use full bed poly for arm reasons. Gut/poly is as harsh as I go. But I remember jumping on a FH DTL in doubles with the OGSM and it was probably the best FH I've ever hit. The net opponent didn't even move as the ball whizzed past. Doubt it was travelling 90 mph but it was moving.

I always find technique makes all the difference and strings tweak it. I'd hate to think that 50% of my ability to keep a ball in play came down to strings.

I've tried 3 gut/poly setups in the 93P and Gut/Cream is the most arm friendly, Gut/Max power is the most controlled and Gut/Proline is the most consistent.

So with your needs, Gut/Max power would be worth a visit. Tames the gut nicely but feels a little too harsh for my arm. 50/42lbs would be my suggestion. but you could go higher if you want less power and more control.
 

atelic

Rookie
I never use full bed poly for arm reasons. Gut/poly is as harsh as I go. But I remember jumping on a FH DTL in doubles with the OGSM and it was probably the best FH I've ever hit. The net opponent didn't even move as the ball whizzed past. Doubt it was travelling 90 mph but it was moving.

I always find technique makes all the difference and strings tweak it. I'd hate to think that 50% of my ability to keep a ball in play came down to strings.

I've tried 3 gut/poly setups in the 93P and Gut/Cream is the most arm friendly, Gut/Max power is the most controlled and Gut/Proline is the most consistent.

So with your needs, Gut/Max power would be worth a visit. Tames the gut nicely but feels a little too harsh for my arm. 50/42lbs would be my suggestion. but you could go higher if you want less power and more control.
Personally, I don't have any arm issues and can play full poly even at high tensions with no ill effect. Some players would probably make the argument that may even come down to technique. If you're arming the ball, taking it late, hitting off center, etc. your arm is going to get beat up. If you're coming through the ball properly with your whole body and hitting the sweet spot - poly can feel great. I'd also note that I feel poly to be less harsh the harder I'm hitting.

Now, I'm not saying you have a technique issue. I'm just saying that I'm not 50% dependent on a string setup. And to that point, if you have been playing for a few weeks with full poly at 42 and get into a groove where you can really rip the ball, and you just try gut at 50 on a whim, you're going to hit some balls long.

Can you take some pace off, adjust swing path, and all that, sure. But -- and I'm really not an anal player when it comes to a lot of things -- once you have dialed into a certain setup, to the point where you are hitting massive shots comfortably, a change from poly to gut is not an insignificant thing. Nor is it insurmountable. It's just not immediate.

I do appreciate your suggestion on gut/max power. May go higher with the gut tension. Which gauges did you use?
 

Dartagnan64

Legend
I most certainly have technique issues. Well actually footwork issues mostly. I get my spacing wrong too often and that leads to a less technically sound stroke. I also have a reconstructed shoulder from football as a youth and so I tend to use too much forearm in my strokes to lessen the shoulder strain.

Gut / max power was 17 g legend and 18g max power.
 

Jannick

Rookie
Does the p93 play similar to the rf97?
It plays different but has similarities.
It cuts through the air instead of dragging, is a little bit lighter.
The head is smaller but forgiveness is similar.
Volleying and serving is a pleasure with both of these racquets, superb control and plow.

Aside from that they are ofcourse similar, arguably the rf97a fits the modern playstyle a bit better. And the 93p fits the agressive s&v attacking style.
 

Dartagnan64

Legend
Saying it again coming from the ps85 , didnt click for me .. too wide and round that headshape.
I think it really helps with the spin window and forgiveness personally.

I put on the Klip Legend black gut in my 93P and it gives a good idea where you hit the ball since the black dye wears off at the impact spots. I clearly can play with a 65 sq in frame since the wear is pretty bang on the center.
 

Mitch_1979

New User
Did anyone here have a chance to hit with the 14/18 yet?
... me too :)

I've customized my 93P's to be ~7pts HL, and sometimes feel like I spray a few too many shots when I swing for a little extra court penetration.
The spec'ed balance and extra depth/spin to be expected from the 14x18 might be exactly the thing for me.... but also not eager to spend another $500.
 

hurworld

Professional
So I played a singles friendly match and won tonight (6-4, 6-3) with the 93P. My opponent beat me in our previous encounter in 3 sets when I was using my APD2013 with Kev/ZX high tension difference. My service got better as the match went on - focused on chest stretch and loose arm from elbow down. Flat and sliced serves were bombs at times and felt magical. He commented later that my top spin serves had good top spin. Return rates were high as long as I focused on split-stepping when he served. I was also eating up his weak second serve with DTL or deep body shots. Sliced shots using radial-ulnar deviations stayed low and deep. Loved this stick. Even a number of shanks and framed shots some how went in.

After the match, we swapped racquet to play some rallies. His racquet is a Pro Staff 97 matt black version, strung with Yonex PTP (unsure of gauge and tension) that has been there for more than 6 months. Coming from the 93P, the PS97 felt less meaty (not as hollow as APD) and took more effort to hit deep balls. Balls flew to back curtain in the first few strokes as I adjusted to the higher launch angle. My opponent was loving the 93P. He grooved well instantly with it and commented on the good power (which I think he meant plough-through) with short strokes. During the rally I noticed he was hitting more consistently with less loopy balls but still cleared the net with 1-2 feet clearances. He was full of praises at the end of it, and took some photos of the racquet. I told him unfortunately the racquet is not generally available in the UK and can only get it from TWE or US or like I did from Asia. Hopefully I did my part to help get one more 93P convert.
 

graycrait

Hall of Fame
I think the review you really want @graycrait is Darren Cahill's review of the 14x18 93P.
Pardon me for being a rube, but are you serious? If Darren Cahill is playing with a 93P 18x20 I would like to know that. He is over 10 yrs younger than me with a better skill set - yeah, that would be good.
 

Grieeegoorr

Rookie
Pardon me for being a rube, but are you serious? If Darren Cahill is playing with a 93P 18x20 I would like to know that. He is over 10 yrs younger than me with a better skill set - yeah, that would be good.
I don't know exactly what he is playing with right now, he did however play a fair bit with the Graphite Pro 14x18 and I figure he could give a valued opinion on if the 93P is any better/worse.
 

graycrait

Hall of Fame
I don't know exactly what he is playing with right now, he did however play a fair bit with the Graphite Pro 14x18 and I figure he could give a valued opinion on if the 93P is any better/worse.
Damn! I love the Graphite Pro but I think after today I am leaning towards the Prince Advance Response 14x18. Almost interchangeable but the Advance Response is just a tad more powerful. Got a good hour hit with a current D1 conference champ today.
 

Mlenk

Rookie
Anyone here ever used the Babolat Pure Strike Tour? Its the heavy version of the 18x20 from 5 years ago. Can anyone compare the two?

Anyways, I've been using that for the last 4 years and I have a demo of the 93P coming in on Thursday. I don't really find the Bab PST lacking in anything but the 3 that I have are not in the best of shape so I was starting to look around for a replacement for them. If I don't gel with the 93P i suppose I could find used PST's on the bay.

Weighing and leading up the newer 18x20 pure strike's isn't an option for me because babolat increased the stiffness of the newer versions and the feel isn't there for me. I'm hoping the 93P is a better feeling and more precise Babolat Pure Strike Tour
 
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time_fly

Hall of Fame
Wow, the 14x18 is available now. Stealth release ... I thought it was just a rumor / upcoming product. No idea it had launched. Prince is reaching for that large untapped market of players wanting mid-sized heads with odd string patterns.
 

flanker2000fr

Professional
Wow, the 14x18 is available now. Stealth release ... I thought it was just a rumor / upcoming product. No idea it had launched. Prince is reaching for that large untapped market of players wanting mid-sized heads with odd string patterns.
Quite. I just commented in another Prince related thread that their products are great, but their distribution abysmal. I think that their marketing is on par with their distribution.
 

Grieeegoorr

Rookie
Damn! I love the Graphite Pro but I think after today I am leaning towards the Prince Advance Response 14x18. Almost interchangeable but the Advance Response is just a tad more powerful. Got a good hour hit with a current D1 conference champ today.
TW has to send you the 93P 14x18 to test, as I think you are the one who is now qualified to let us know if this modern incarnation is able to stack up to the classic mids of a golden era.
 

Dartagnan64

Legend
Gave my 93p To a friend using a Pure Aero for a whirl. He crushes the ball with it so the opponent says “give him back his own racket please”. My friend comments that it’s really nice for an old racket lol.
I tell him it’s new and he’s shocked you can still get 93’s and that he doesn’t think he’s good enough for it. I show him it’s just as wide as his Pure aero and he’s shocked again.
Might see a purchase in his future.
 

graycrait

Hall of Fame
I think you are the one who is now qualified to let us know if this modern incarnation is able to stack up to the classic mids of a golden era.
I don't think I am the right person.

Private lesson conversation yesterday between myself and my new instructor:

Me: "I want to focus exclusively on my one handed backhand."
Instructor: "So your forehand is so perfect you don't need to work on it?" This followed by laughter.
 

Ultra 2

Semi-Pro
I don't think I am the right person.

Private lesson conversation yesterday between myself and my new instructor:

Me: "I want to focus exclusively on my one handed backhand."
Instructor: "So your forehand is so perfect you don't need to work on it?" This followed by laughter.
If you're not THE right person, it is pretty close. I am currently in pallet building mode for the older head frames.. so I got a little sidetracked.

The CTS and the slight wider beam one the new 93P will have very similar playing attributes like the Response 90 you have. Now try out the Graphtech 90.. and I presume it will be compromise between the 2 frames.

1) 93 head size
2) Nice muted feel
3) open string pattern
4) Above average power
5) More stable on Volleys (and off center hits) than the Response, but less stable than the GT90
6) Slightly less weight than both

To me it's a winner. Can't wait to carve some time out to try it.
 
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ba4x

New User
Really enjoying the 93p after swapping out the leather with synthetic...it’s at 346 gms now strung with cyclone 18 @45..with leather I felt it was too much HL and little sluggish...it’s still very HL and easily manuerable as well...serving is really a delight especially the flat ones...
Just wanted to chime in and add my experience here. Been playing with the 93p in stock form for a few weeks, and swapped out the leather grip for synthetic yesterday. Went from 350 grams (leather+OG) to 342 grams (Skin Feel+OG). What a difference! It plays like an entirely different racket. Quite a bit more maneuverable, quicker when preparing for shots, running slices, volleys, etc. My serve feels a bit easier, especially top spin second serves. The racket is just easier to move where you want it. However, some solidity is gone, it feels lower on power... hard to explain why, but my shots are actually landing shorter in the court. It feels a bit more flimsy and "regular", just like any other racket. Even some vibrations and noises came out which I didn't notice before. I think the leather grip provides a lot of the solidity folks enjoy in this racket. I will add the Prince leather is something special, it is thicker and softer than any I've seen before.

I will probably put the leather grip back on, mainly to get back the large grip size (big hands). Maybe I will leave out the layer of adhesive plastic and the butt-cap-plug to shed 4-5 grams and get some of that maneuverability. My only complaint about the 93p was the sluggish feeling, especially with the racket overhead, and it was nice to see that can be changed.
 

Dartagnan64

Legend
Just wanted to chime in and add my experience here. Been playing with the 93p in stock form for a few weeks, and swapped out the leather grip for synthetic yesterday. Went from 350 grams (leather+OG) to 342 grams (Skin Feel+OG). What a difference! It plays like an entirely different racket. Quite a bit more maneuverable, quicker when preparing for shots, running slices, volleys, etc. My serve feels a bit easier, especially top spin second serves. The racket is just easier to move where you want it. However, some solidity is gone, it feels lower on power... hard to explain why, but my shots are actually landing shorter in the court. It feels a bit more flimsy and "regular", just like any other racket. Even some vibrations and noises came out which I didn't notice before. I think the leather grip provides a lot of the solidity folks enjoy in this racket. I will add the Prince leather is something special, it is thicker and softer than any I've seen before.

I will probably put the leather grip back on, mainly to get back the large grip size (big hands). Maybe I will leave out the layer of adhesive plastic and the butt-cap-plug to shed 4-5 grams and get some of that maneuverability. My only complaint about the 93p was the sluggish feeling, especially with the racket overhead, and it was nice to see that can be changed.
Interesting. I came to the 93P from rackets like the SW Blade 104 and POG107, so I didn't notice sluggishness at all. I think everything is comparable to what you are used to. 93P cuts through the air quite nicely for me, but I imagine if I was used to an 11 oz racket, it may be slow.

I've had the racket for about a year now and I can confidently say I'm pretty grooved to it and have few criticisms. Finally my 2HBH is coming around. It was the slowest stroke to master with the frame for me. In fact I pasted one down the middle in men's dubs last night that had my two opponents at the net caught flat footed and motionless. My partner looks back at me and says, "Wow, I thought you were just going to lob from back there, not hit that kind of shot!"
 

hescobal

Rookie
Mine came in today, planning on stringing tomorrow with klip gut and some thin poly in the cross. I'm going from a weighted up ezone 98 that weighs around an rf97a
 

Doaner

New User
ive played a 2hbh for 25 years and with the 93p. My body just wants to hit a 1hbh. Took a little awhile in the beginning to feel comfortable hitting my regular 2hbh. It wasn’t that the backhand was bad just didn’t feel second nature like the graphite 93 I was using. Anyone experience this?
 

hurworld

Professional
ive played a 2hbh for 25 years and with the 93p. My body just wants to hit a 1hbh. Took a little awhile in the beginning to feel comfortable hitting my regular 2hbh. It wasn’t that the backhand was bad just didn’t feel second nature like the graphite 93 I was using. Anyone experience this?
I think 1hbh likes more HL balance, and 2HBH preferes a bit less HL balance. Did you compare the balance points between your 93P and EXO3?
 

Doaner

New User
I think 1hbh likes more HL balance, and 2HBH preferes a bit less HL balance. Did you compare the balance points between your 93P and EXO3?
I didn't even think about that but I think you are right. the 93p is a lot more HL than the graphite.
 

Doaner

New User
Now now, lets not get carried away. It's still feels smaller than a 98.
hahaha. I put it on top of my radical and width wise it was pretty close to the 98. the 98 was just longer. I should have said for me it plays big cause i tend not to miss lower in the head.
 

Dartagnan64

Legend
ive played a 2hbh for 25 years and with the 93p. My body just wants to hit a 1hbh. Took a little awhile in the beginning to feel comfortable hitting my regular 2hbh. It wasn’t that the backhand was bad just didn’t feel second nature like the graphite 93 I was using. Anyone experience this?
As I mentioned in a few posts above that the 2HBH was the one stroke that struggled the most and I think its because I was playing with a higher SW racket previously (Wilson Blade 104 SW). My 2HBH seems to like a little more HH balance and 340 SW. But my serve, volleys and FH's like more HL and 330 SW. Too bad you can't change rackets from shot to shot like you can in golf :p

Anyway what's helped me is making sure my grip is loose so I can get freer hands through the stroke and trying to setup with a little less spacing from the ball. That seems to encourage a stronger inside out swing that gets more RHS developed.

But I agree that the thing really encourages a 1HBH stroke.
 

Boubi

Rookie
Tested 93P (weighing in at 343 g strung) and RF97 (361 g) in parallel
RF was better in the back of the court mainly because of great plow through, very good at net as well; returns of serve good but not as good as the 93P
93P better feel, better confort, maneouvrability excellent and absolutely perfect on returns of serve (really incredible), good on serves due to its maneuverability, nice at net (if you hit right you will fell the racquet bending under the effort) => typically a "ship and charge" racquet
I tended towards playing inside the court with the 93P and attacking first serves of a 6.0 nrtp (that never happened before, this is my usual partner); some of my returns with the 97RF were winners though (but not with the 93P)
Both had a good slice, the 93P delivers very bad slice if you have proper technique
I found the 97RF a bit stiff and possibly difficult to play for over an hour whereas you need to have good footwork with 93P and move forward
93P was strung with Prince tour XP 17G and 97RF with an hybrid (could not read what it was, possibly gut crosses and a poly in mains)
So in summary, 93P slightly wins over 97RF in my opinion
 

Dartagnan64

Legend
Tested 93P (weighing in at 343 g strung) and RF97 (361 g) in parallel
RF was better in the back of the court mainly because of great plow through, very good at net as well; returns of serve good but not as good as the 93P
93P better feel, better confort, maneouvrability excellent and absolutely perfect on returns of serve (really incredible), good on serves due to its maneuverability, nice at net (if you hit right you will fell the racquet bending under the effort) => typically a "ship and charge" racquet
I tended towards playing inside the court with the 93P and attacking first serves of a 6.0 nrtp (that never happened before, this is my usual partner); some of my returns with the 97RF were winners though (but not with the 93P)
Both had a good slice, the 93P delivers very bad slice if you have proper technique
I found the 97RF a bit stiff and possibly difficult to play for over an hour whereas you need to have good footwork with 93P and move forward
93P was strung with Prince tour XP 17G and 97RF with an hybrid (could not read what it was, possibly gut crosses and a poly in mains)
So in summary, 93P slightly wins over 97RF in my opinion
I really liked the RF when i demo'd it but just found it a tad unwieldy for 2 hour matches. It's a great racket if all I had to play was one set. The 93P has many of the features I liked in the RF (stability and feel) but without the sluggishness. SO I agree the 93P wins largely because you can play all day with it.
 

time_fly

Hall of Fame
Quite. I just commented in another Prince related thread that their products are great, but their distribution abysmal. I think that their marketing is on par with their distribution.
No mention of the new Prince racquets on TW's front page, no reviews ... another poor marketing effort by Prince. Their only hope for the Phantom 93P (14x18) is to make it sound so much better than the 18x20 that current 93 owners try it. I doubt there are too many customers sitting on the sidelines wanting to buy a retro-spec 93 but waiting for the right string pattern. Just my guess.
 

Dartagnan64

Legend
No mention of the new Prince racquets on TW's front page, no reviews ... another poor marketing effort by Prince. Their only hope for the Phantom 93P (14x18) is to make it sound so much better than the 18x20 that current 93 owners try it. I doubt there are too many customers sitting on the sidelines wanting to buy a retro-spec 93 but waiting for the right string pattern. Just my guess.
I think the 93P 14x18 is for those that thought the 93P had great specs but don't like tight string patterns. I personally don't think the 93P was ever meant to be more than a niche model much like the re-releases of the classic POGs.

Prince likely makes most of their money on Beast and Tour lines which follow traditional modern specs. Phantoms are for those seeking a comfort players frame which is probably a small segment in the tennis market. But sometimes finding an unmet niche and filling it makes you some more money and allows you to keep going. Its hard to compete directly with the tweener forces of nature Babolat, Wilson and Head.
 
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