Wilson PS85 discussion thread...

Moses85

Rookie
Bought two new ones in mint condition. Never used, plastic on handle, made in st. Vincent sticker on buttcap. Code is BSQ on both raquets. Has a "Fitted with a Fairway Grip" and a raquet instruction paper
with Chris Evert? picture hanging on the raquet. There seems to be some red color underneath paintjob.
What can you tell me about these ones?











 
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racquetfreak

Semi-Pro
JACKPOT! BSQ very rare find. if you choose to, don't sell for <$750 each. they are from the lot that sampras would most likely have selected his rackets.
 

Moses85

Rookie
JACKPOT! BSQ very rare find. if you choose to, don't sell for <$750 each. they are from the lot that sampras would most likely have selected his rackets.
I paid 175 $ each. Bought them from a former collage player who played in the late 80s. Was sponsored and had 2 unused left.
I plan to play with them, or one of them at least
 
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re_ipsa

Rookie
Bought two new ones in mint condition. Never used, plastic on handle, made in st. Vincent sticker on buttcap. Code is BSQ on both raquets. Has a "Fitted with a Fairway Grip" and a raquet instruction paper
with Chris Evert? picture hanging on the raquet. There seems to be some red color underneath paintjob.
What can you tell me about these ones?











This is something! Better keep it as is rather than converting it to "used". In my opinion the racket is really hard to master

Sent from my ASUS_T00J using Tapatalk
 

Moses85

Rookie
This is something! Better keep it as is rather than converting it to "used". In my opinion the racket is really hard to master

Sent from my ASUS_T00J using Tapatalk
Strung one of them with gut/poly hybrid at 55lbs, put a tournagrip on and racketsaver tape on the bumperguard. Best racket i ever played with.

Heavy, solid, powerful, comfortable and easy to swing. I really enjoy the feeling of this racket when I'm hitting the ball. Excellent on all the shots and all areas of the court.

Finding the sweetspot consistently on the forehand was troublesome at first, one handed backhand came naturally.
Now after playing with it for 6 hours i have no complaints.

Everything that I want in a racket I have now found, so no doubt this will be my main stick from now on.
 

open court

New User
I have about 4 to 5 inches of lead at 3 and 9 on mine and it's 351 g unstrung. Chinese made 90's model also.
Thank you for the very informative thread. Would be nice to hear your experiences of weight customisation to this frame. I have two Chinese versions and cannot get rid of these. Have tried multiple other frames but always come back to PS85. Also because I get easily shoulder pain with modern frames with poly.

Some weeks ago I added lead to 3 and 9, and weight also to handle to keep the balance point as it was. It felt good and more stable off course. Next, just for curiosity I added lead more to get similar specs than Sampras had (followed Greg Raven's page): 16g to 3 and 9, rest to handle. As an end result, strung weight is 384 and balance point 32.1cm. Now after playing two tours with this, I have mixed feelings. With the added weight, serving is even more easy. However, rallies in slow courts are more difficult, at least with opponents playing modern game with lots off top spin. Maybe there is too much power now, or I can't generate as much top spin than before. In hard fast courts I have no major problems, but feel that need more time to recover to the next match. I will probably go back to the "factory settings", but still feeling that the serving is easier with added lead. Do you guys have any experience of added lead? In general, are you able to compete in slow courts with this frame?
 

KaiserW

Hall of Fame
Just out of curiosity I weighed up my Taiwan version and was shocked to see it come in at 376 grams. Play with it once in a while. Moved on to the RF but the PS 85 tempts me once in awhile. I have so much confidence in where the ball is going and of course the feel.

I would have loved to see the RF with the same thin beam.
 

John

Rookie
You guys have some anti aging solutions? It’s getting hard and harder to recover for next shot. I had to admit I am old that I can’t speed up and set up after fire three shots.. my shots get slow and less power after multiple exchanges...
Ps85 is not as reliable as yesterday....... I know it’s not the racquet......

Recently I forced myself to change my forhand grip to full western, have many people here use this grip on a PS85?
I lost a lot control and feel after switch but I can’t just turn it back to eastern or semi western now. The ball would went through roof if I do without couple days or weeks of correction.

Why do I want a western forhand? I am trying to hold the racquet more to to get acustom to the feel and use the grip for serve. I found I can get a much better angle with a back hand grip than Continental.

For those who can still add weights on the PS85, you have my respect. I am way too weak to think of it.
 

open court

New User
Recently I forced myself to change my forhand grip to full western, have many people here use this grip on a PS85?
Sure, think I have something between semi-western and full. For one-handed backhand, I like to use very classic continental. It feels more reliable than the eastern.

For those who can still add weights on the PS85, you have my respect. I am way too weak to think of it.
I went back to PS85 without weights, don't have confidence enough to play with the leads...Maybe I will leave the carefully made leading to one frame and try it again after some time.
 

re_ipsa

Rookie
Strung one of them with gut/poly hybrid at 55lbs, put a tournagrip on and racketsaver tape on the bumperguard. Best racket i ever played with.

Heavy, solid, powerful, comfortable and easy to swing. I really enjoy the feeling of this racket when I'm hitting the ball. Excellent on all the shots and all areas of the court.

Finding the sweetspot consistently on the forehand was troublesome at first, one handed backhand came naturally.
Now after playing with it for 6 hours i have no complaints.

Everything that I want in a racket I have now found, so no doubt this will be my main stick from now on.
After going through the rackets journey for months, these 85s are the best for me. The best term to be used; obeying rackets. The balls went to wherever I wish with them. Strung with blackwidow @55


Sent from my ASUS_T00J using Tapatalk
 

morten

Hall of Fame
After going through the rackets journey for months, these 85s are the best for me. The best term to be used; obeying rackets. The balls went to wherever I wish with them. Strung with blackwidow @55


Sent from my ASUS_T00J using Tapatalk
Are you sure those are 85s not 95s
 

morten

Hall of Fame
After going through the rackets journey for months, these 85s are the best for me. The best term to be used; obeying rackets. The balls went to wherever I wish with them. Strung with blackwidow @55


Sent from my ASUS_T00J using Tapatalk
Are you sure those are 85s not 95s
 

Moses85

Rookie
After going through the rackets journey for months, these 85s are the best for me. The best term to be used; obeying rackets. The balls went to wherever I wish with them. Strung with blackwidow @55


Sent from my ASUS_T00J using Tapatalk
Nice looking paintjob. I personally find my st vincent easier to use than ps 90 (2010?/2012 version) and the pro staff classic 25A.
 

Antónis

Semi-Pro
Gonna do some racquet porn here
I took some shots from my PS Mids. I have a very good condition St Vincents, and what I think is a late China production 6.0 85. The Chinese is the one I carry in my bag all the time, and at least once in a week I hit some balls with it.
Hope you like them, sorry about the photo quality, I have nothing but a cell camera

DSC_0058 by António Duarte, no Flickr

DSC_0059 by António Duarte, no Flickr

DSC_0064 by António Duarte, no Flickr

DSC_0065 by António Duarte, no Flickr

DSC_0061 by António Duarte, no Flickr

DSC_0063 by António Duarte, no Flickr

There's a bit of visible red primer here and there, buttcap code is KXQ, the original Balmforth leather grip and the stickers with specs are still there

The Chinese is less interesting, but I love her anyway so...

DSC_0066 by António Duarte, no Flickr

DSC_0067 by António Duarte, no Flickr

DSC_0068 by António Duarte, no Flickr

Buttcap code is GAV (looks like GAY in the pic, and that would cost me some laughs...), and has gray primer. The "ProStaff 6.0" font seems to indicate late Chinese prodution, like the ones Federer played till early 2000's, can anyone confirm this?

I did no customization on this one, just had the grip size reduced to 3/8. Weights 353 grams has it is, that's more than enough. Never weighted the St. Vincent, butt seems way heavier.
 

John

Rookie
Sure, think I have something between semi-western and full. For one-handed backhand, I like to use very classic continental. It feels more reliable than the eastern.


I went back to PS85 without weights, don't have confidence enough to play with the leads...Maybe I will leave the carefully made leading to one frame and try it again after some time.
Thanks for your reply. I am taking a vocation off ps88 and PS85 and switch to k90 and prestige mid. K90 isn’t lighter but much easier to handle. Prestige is a bit lighter and give different feel as refreshment. Ps line is much better and it’s good to step away and compare.
 

dnguyen

Hall of Fame
Hi guys,

Just calling the St Vincent experts...

Please confirm the "GYQ" on the buttcap. It's a bumperless (early) St. Vincent model.

Thanks,

Danny
 

open court

New User
As to the rare Belgian frames, I think the Wilson engineer remembers it correctly, as these seem to all have codes starting with ‘H’ (‘HNB’, ‘HPB’ etc.), indicating the second year of production (be that 1984 or 1985). Furthermore, the pictures I have seen of Belgian-produced Pro Staffs seem to support the claim that they were meant for European distribution only
Some photos of PS85 which I just found from Europe. According to the information in several posts in this thread, this seems to be Belgian made, in 84-85. Clear differences to the same time manufactured early SV frames are the black primer instead of red and lack the sticker stating weight and balance in U.S. measurements. It is also bumperless. The strung weight is only 351g (seems to have some old syn gut) and balance 8 pts HL. Buttcap code is HNB. I’m bit worried about the crack at the throat, but will try to re-string and do some play test. Has anybody compared playability of the Belgian produced frames with the SV or Chicago frames?
Pictures here:
https://www.dropbox.com/sh/uvxjm6vmva8kv7q/AACpZPtgTJUXLHARa1-Xv2L5a?dl=0
 

John

Rookie
Some photos of PS85 which I just found from Europe. According to the information in several posts in this thread, this seems to be Belgian made, in 84-85. Clear differences to the same time manufactured early SV frames are the black primer instead of red and lack the sticker stating weight and balance in U.S. measurements. It is also bumperless. The strung weight is only 351g (seems to have some old syn gut) and balance 8 pts HL. Buttcap code is HNB. I’m bit worried about the crack at the throat, but will try to re-string and do some play test. Has anybody compared playability of the Belgian produced frames with the SV or Chicago frames?
Pictures here:
https://www.dropbox.com/sh/uvxjm6vmva8kv7q/AACpZPtgTJUXLHARa1-Xv2L5a?dl=0
Don’t bother to try or restring... it’s waste of time. This piece of shxt is not worth your effort.
 

CiscoPC600

Professional
I've been wanting to purchase a PS85 and see if I have any luck in my area with one of the coveted versions. Is there a page within this thread where buttcap codes (and other things to look for to determine the version) is thoroughly discussed? Thanks in advance.
 

Henry Hub

Rookie
You're a wizard, Henry.
I’m Hufflepuff at best - the above is someone else’s fine work.

It is pretty much gospel except it omits the Belgian PS85 (I’m lucky enough to have one). @Hannah19 summarised the specs as follows:

“Specs: Black primer, semi glossy pj, "B" as last letter in capcode, Midsize and Pro Staff printed on both shafts, gripsize sticker on inside only with 55-65 lbs tension range”
 

CiscoPC600

Professional
I’m Hufflepuff at best - the above is someone else’s fine work.

It is pretty much gospel except it omits the Belgian PS85 (I’m lucky enough to have one). @Hannah19 summarised the specs as follows:

“Specs: Black primer, semi glossy pj, "B" as last letter in capcode, Midsize and Pro Staff printed on both shafts, gripsize sticker on inside only with 55-65 lbs tension range”
I don't see anything about buttcap codes though. Do those offer clues on version?

Also, out of curiosity, anyone still use this as their primary stick?
 

Henry Hub

Rookie
I don't see anything about buttcap codes though. Do those offer clues on version?

Also, out of curiosity, anyone still use this as their primary stick?
Good point, hadnt spotted that codes weren’t covered. I am on perilously thin ice here as I’m on the Forrest Gump end of the spectrum on this topic, but the basic rule of thumb is that codes starting “G” are Chicago, anything with a “Q” is St. Vincent, anything ending “B” is Belgian and anything to do with Taiwan and China is beyond me.
 

John

Rookie
I've been wanting to purchase a PS85 and see if I have any luck in my area with one of the coveted versions. Is there a page within this thread where buttcap codes (and other things to look for to determine the version) is thoroughly discussed? Thanks in advance.
I think a lot people had replied already and there is a page focus on this topic. But let me give you my simple flow chart of how to determine the racquet.

Start->if racquet has bumper yes—> if butcapp end in “i” yes—->Chicago, no—> St. V. ( end in Q)
No—> if tension range 65-55 early St. V. ( buttcap end in Q”)
If tension 60-50 If damage area show redness late St. V.
If damage show grey Taiwan

If buttcap in red or black, it’s made in China. It’s eaither last version or replica. Ether way it’s no good.
It’s still a good racquet but it’s complete different. Taiwan play different too but it’s really not bad.
**** sell bumper st. v. A lot more than bumperless one but the bumperless ones are the true gem.
I really can’t tell much difference between Chicago and st. v. Since every st.v. Ones I have are different. You never get a matched pair without customization. Of course, I never get same batch.

Please noted that buttcap can be replaced. I bought parts rip from cracked racquet. I had put st. V. Buttcap on a head prestige classic 600 for fun. If you see the grip had been tampered, be careful. A lot racquet had been damaged from fire or water. If you see the buttcap expanded out, it’s been damaged as well. Some times pays a little premium to a resaler can save you a lot more from mistaken. An expansive one runs about usd 225. Pay no more than that. It’s flawless or very few mark on bumper only. Average good condition runs between 179-145. Some times you can find cheap one at 50 from non racquet saler but taking great risk. 4-5/8 Grip 5 runs about 50-60 from original buyer. Above price is for grip 3 4-3/8 that value the most. Button line, don’t use the buttcap the only way to determine a racquet origin. It’s used for verify only.
 

CiscoPC600

Professional
Thanks everyone.

I'm looking at one online from a local buyer, it has a white buttcap but doesn't have the china sticker. However, inside the decal with racket specs says:
- 50-60 lbs
- head size, etc.
- use Wilson sensation string and fairway grip
- US Pat No. 4,68,786

To the right it has the swing 6.0 index decal.

I'm assuming it's still a chinese version? Are the chinese versions not worth buying at all i.e., do not play at all like the St. Vincent versions?
 

John

Rookie
Thanks everyone.

I'm looking at one online from a local buyer, it has a white buttcap but doesn't have the china sticker. However, inside the decal with racket specs says:
- 50-60 lbs
- head size, etc.
- use Wilson sensation string and fairway grip
- US Pat No. 4,68,786

To the right it has the swing 6.0 index decal.

I'm assuming it's still a chinese version? Are the chinese versions not worth buying at all i.e., do not play at all like the St. Vincent versions?

If it’s. White cap, you are pretty safe even it’s made in China (Taiwan). The black or red buttcap is a different story.

The feature you can check is the buttom gromments. The original gromments are three twin tube pieces. The last batch from Taiwan and here after use a single piece buttom gromments. As long it’s three piece, you are safe.

Though the hitting experience is quiet different. But different doesn’t mean bad.

I hate the China and TW replica . Not because they are badly made. But the control is totally different and give a lot more power. I can’t switch between these without making adjustment against back wall for quiet some time.
But I can switch between Taiwan made with st. Vincent. Without much trouble. The feel is different but it does not require extensive adjustment. As earlier reply indicate, China version is easier to swing. Thus you got a total swing hiting timing etc all wrong if you switch.
 

CiscoPC600

Professional


Finally got my hands on one. It’s a china version but i still had fun giving it a whirl. Added lead tape last night and the leather grip, so gonna use again soon. First time playing with natural gut too.

Maybe now I’ll keep my eye out for a St. Vincent.


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CiscoPC600

Professional
Is the easiest way to identify whether it's Chicaco or St. Vincent vs. Taiwanese or Chinese simply whether it has a wilson string recommendation and leather grip below the tension range?
 

Jannick

Rookie
Latest RF85 (black) feel is different from my taiwan 85, RF85 is low quality racquet, dont buy
A racquet that costs $250 should be able to play well too.

How would you think adding half an inch to a pro staff 85 would change it's characteristics? Would it be beneficial to strong players?
 

Ultra 2

Professional
Is the easiest way to identify whether it's Chicaco or St. Vincent vs. Taiwanese or Chinese simply whether it has a wilson string recommendation and leather grip below the tension range?
The way I tell them apart is:

Chicago: starts G stamped in the buttcap (please correct me here if I'm wrong)
SV: Ends with a Q stamp in the buttcap
China: "Pro Staff 6.0" on the frame below throat
 

CiscoPC600

Professional
I didn't even notice the Pro Staff 6.0 on the front side of the throat--good call! Does that mean Chicago and SV only say pro staff on the front or only SV?
 

Ultra 2

Professional
^^ Yes, the only way you can tell those apart is the buttcap stampings. There are variants of the bumperless vs. ones with bumpers on the grommets with the SVs. I believe all of the Chicago ones didn't have bumpers. There are also a very few that were made in Belgium.. but those are unicorns.
 

CiscoPC600

Professional
Thanks @Ultra 2. Now I can find myself a SV or Chicago one with a bit more confidence.

Out of curiosity, what does everyone here string their 85 with? I'm currently using gut in my China version just to try it once, but after it breaks I'm planning on switching to a high-end multi to attempt to replicate the gut feel.
 

Ultra 2

Professional
I tried it at 62, 60 & 58. Due to the tight string pattern, you would need to go lower in tension on these than you would on other racquets. I normally hit with a 90 sq in Prince with a 14x18 pattern (strung @ 65lbs Kevlar main and Syn Gut cross) and discovered quickly that I needed to reduce tension by about 15% with these. I see that you're using a Prestige Pro so it would be similar (maybe go slightly lower on the PS) and you will be happy with that.

BTW- what grip size do you use?
 

morten

Hall of Fame
Thanks @Ultra 2. Now I can find myself a SV or Chicago one with a bit more confidence.

Out of curiosity, what does everyone here string their 85 with? I'm currently using gut in my China version just to try it once, but after it breaks I'm planning on switching to a high-end multi to attempt to replicate the gut feel.
Tecnifibre x one 16g
 

CiscoPC600

Professional
Tecnifibre x one 16g
I've read a lot about that one, and I was considering it heavily but heard the durability is awful. I hit heavy spin and with moderate to high pace, so I was worried of snapping it one hitting session. But maybe I should give it a try before knocking it. I was also considering Head Velocity due to how many supporters it has on this forum.
 

open court

New User
Out of curiosity, what does everyone here string their 85 with? I'm currently using gut in my China version just to try it once, but after it breaks I'm planning on switching to a high-end multi to attempt to replicate the gut feel.
I'm using Pros Pro Gutex Ultra, 16g, strung at 57-60lbs. It lasts only few hitting sessions, but doesn't matter for me since I string my racquets myself. Nice, soft feel and price is nothing.
 

morten

Hall of Fame
I've read a lot about that one, and I was considering it heavily but heard the durability is awful. I hit heavy spin and with moderate to high pace, so I was worried of snapping it one hitting session. But maybe I should give it a try before knocking it. I was also considering Head Velocity due to how many supporters it has on this forum.
Well i hit fairly flat. But it lasts for me. But suddenly it goes dead but i get a good 15 hours with it before that. I did not like Velocity, very muted and dead
 

CiscoPC600

Professional
^^ Yes, the only way you can tell those apart is the buttcap stampings. There are variants of the bumperless vs. ones with bumpers on the grommets with the SVs. I believe all of the Chicago ones didn't have bumpers. There are also a very few that were made in Belgium.. but those are unicorns.
Welp.. Already found one that contradicts what we thought i.e., it only says "Pro Staff" but the buttcap has a "China" sticker: https://sandiego.craigslist.org/csd/spo/d/wilson-pro-staff-60-midsize/6703977651.html

Thoughts?
 
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