Discussion in 'Racquets' started by Tennisaurus, Jun 26, 2005.
Excuse my naivete - but why is a St. Vincent held in such high esteem?
The primary reason is probably that Pete Sampras used only frames manufactured at the St. Vincent factory in the Grenadines. For a short time, Prostaff 85s were made using Uni-Directional Graphite instead of the Braided Construction originally used, although all of the Chinese and most of the Taiwanese PS 85s(since probably 10 years ago) are made with Braided Construction. Even Sampras' stringer, Nate Ferguson, says that the Prostaff 85s made today are identical to Sampras' frames apart from the location of manufacture. Although, there are apparently two differences:
1. The St. Vincent had a very high level of quality control, meaning these racquets have a tighter spec tolerance.
2. The beams on most of the St. Vincents are .5-1mm thicker than current models since the frame molds became older and didn't close completely during manufacture at the St. Vincent Factory.
the level of stiffness is higher with a st vincent (1-2 points on an rdc machine i think)
it is supposedly heavier than regular 85's and was considered the most demanding 85 out of all of the different versions.
the overall feel of a st. vincent. when you hit/swing it feels so natural and buttery.
Get the **** off of my boards.
Pete Sampras. Hype. That's about all.
Its not just the Hype and Pete Sampras alone. If you were to compare hitting with a St Vincent PS 85 and a China PS 85, you can tell almost immediately that its different. The St Vincent 85 feels a lot more solid and stable especially on return of serves, not to mention when you serve with the racquet, as its overall more head heavy and heavier in terms of static weight as well. And there's definitely that "plough" thru factor when you hit groundstrokes simply due to the heavier mass of the St Vincent 85.
I think it's very similar to the situation you had with the Dunlop 200G and the various incarnations of that frame issued during the course of its production run. Although the materials are the same there is a discernible difference between models. Some play a bit stiffer, some swing a bit lighter and, for most lovers of the 200G the best version in terms of playability is the 1986-1988 model. Don't ask me why but it plays far better than the others. The iterations that came after that -up until it ceased production- were significantly different, almost like Dunlop altered the mix and kept getting it wrong each time.
I'd say the St.Vincent's version of the PS 6.0 85 is similar to that. Really shouldn't be different but it is. Plays a little better than other versions, a little better balanced overall and a bit smoother ( a far better word than 'buttery' if you look up the actual meaning) in terms of playability but probably only matters to those who really love the PS85 or have had the chance to use each model. Despite any differences it isn't worth 2-3 times more than a standard issue version unless you're a collector and even then I have my doubts.
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