Prince Classic Response 97 Racquets Customer feedback

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Comments: I purchased this racquet for the amazing sale price a few months ago and have been using it as my primary racquet in mostly doubles and some singles. A little background, I've played tennis for 6 years (am 26 now) using traditional midsize players frames with closed string patterns, thin beams, and 12+ oz weight. I love these types of racquets, but as I progressed, I began playing against opponents who hit heavy topspin with lots of pace. My midsize racquets just couldn't keep up. I tested about a dozen racquets and came very close to purchasing a Babolat Pure Control and a Pro Staff 97 Autograph. The Pro Staff was a great contendor, but I found it's lack of precise control and heavy swing weight too much to overcome. In came the Prince Classic Response 97. At 12 ounces, it's just heavy enough to hit solid ground strokes and volleys with fantastic plowthrough while still having manageable maneuverability. The 97 square inch head with the 16x20 string pattern is ideal for both providing topspin and the ability to flatten out shots. Control is still abundant and felt most on penetrating volleys. Serve is adequate, providing whatever it is you put in. It won't give additional help here, but at the same time doesn't give you anything unpredictable. Returns are much the same. Slice is easy and penetrating with the 12 ounce weight and 16x20 pattern. I use this shot often especially to set up my forehand. Lastly, I do find the Response 97 to be slightly too stiff for a traditional frame; however, a full bed of multi strings at 51 lbs helps alleviate any discomfort caused by the stiffness. Also, I have been struggling with touch volleys. I assume with more practice I will be better able to adjust for these types of shots. All in all, the Prince Classic Response 97 in a terrific all around racquet that does everything decently well. It feels like a good mix between a traditional and modern frame. If you loved the RF 97 Autograph but couldn't quite handle it like me, this is a great alternative at a much friendlier price.
From: Jeremy, 11/16

Comments: I'm a 4.0 all-court player who is quite fit, been playing for 4 years and probably had better potential if I started at 4-6 years old rather than 30! I was looking for a heavier racquet without putting out $200+ for the RF ProStaff. I also have the ProStff 90 but it's a very unforgiving racquet with great control and plowthrough power if you hit the sweet spot; frankly I am not going to be that consistent despite my speed on-court. For $69? This racquet is great for he 1HBH (RF style) and baseline plowhrough, net game is stable for me also, serve is stable and consistent. So it's as close to a ProStaff 12.5 ounce stick as it can get. I have to agree with TW reviews that it's a little light on the swing weight, the solution? Leather grip and leather power pads at the throat. I ordered another stick today with leather grip to replace the light base grip, will top it with wilson overgrip. I strung the first racquet with Gosen syn-gut OG-Micro 17G on the mains at 55 lbs, and Tourna Big Hitter 16g poly at the crosses at 53 lbs. My usual setup with my handy-dandy base stringer at home. Good feel when hitting the sweet spot and forgiving when not. It's a winner for me as the match stick, so I just hope I do not break strings twice in a match.
From: Ethan, 9/16

Comments: This is a fantastic racquet. My kids (yup!) absolutely love theirs. They call them "the Bangers" and have no problems at all swinging them, even wrist flicks, just had to learn to slow down their swings and let the racquet do the work. They're young teens and took a week of lessons a few weeks ago. The teacher's immediate reaction was "too heavy, needs to be under 10 oz., won't be able to swing them." Wrong! They hit harder and straighter than any of the other kids and didn't wear out since they don't have to swing fast. Periodically I have them try their old light racquets and they hate them now. As with most racquets, strings make a big difference. Synthetic gut (Wilson Control) seems a bit hard, smallish sweet spot, dead off center and stings a bit with a poor strike. Multifilament (Tecnifibre HDX Tour) is great; big sweet spot, huge power and soft feel. For some of our other racquets, exactly the opposite is true, so you have to experiment. With HDX Tour the Response 97 gives powerful serves; easy ground strokes; predictable volleys and overall good control. I also have a Classic Response 97 and it's the easiest to play with of any of the racquets I own.
From: Stevie, 7/16

Comments: On the basis of about 6 hours of use: The racquet out of the box was a disaster. Strung with Sensation at 50 lbs with the usual dampener and it was very vibration prone with a smallish and hard to find sweet spot. I added a little weight (1/8 inch by 1/4 inch of lead tape both sides) at just above 9 and 3. This cut the balance to about 4 points headlight. The racquet is transformed into a useful Prince-like tool. Not a PS by any means. Still some muted vibration in the frame on miss hits, but a much larger sweetspot, and too much power for my taste. Not now a threat to wrist or arm, however. Frankly, I had trouble translating the TW review (the testers used a poly string set) into my world of syngut and multis. Maybe the racquet works much better with much higher tensions and poly strings, neither of which I can use. This 97 is promising enough to restring at a slightly higher tension with a little less playable string set -- which should improve slice/touch/feel from adequate to good. I am an experienced recreational player of many decades, knows the game, decent mechanics, prefers all-court play with placement, not power, relatively flat hitter. Currently about a 3.5 (too old for high pace and heavy balls.)
From: William, 6/16

Comments: Been using this for 2 years now and I have to say I'm not thinking about another switch. This racquet fits the bill for me. It's solid and stable with a crisp feel. Power on demand with the spin for control. Not to mention it's super easy to swing despite the 12 ounce weight. I use a rubber band dampener on mine and the combo with the double bridge keeps my arm happy. A generous sweetspot and a nice round head shape that makes you feel you're still swinging something closer to 100 square inches. Anyone that's wanted to swing a 12 ounce racquet but shys away from it due to the maneuverability should give this a go. It's stable enough to not twist in your hands against big servers. However, those looking for heavy plow through would need to lead it up a tad to achieve that 'bulldozing' feel of the ball. That's probably the one thing I feel some might comment about for a 12 ounce frame but then again if the swingweight was increased then it would not be as easy to swing around either so it depends on how much of a trade off you want.

Comments: I bought the Prince Response 97 from TW strung with Cyclone 16 in it and it has played great. It started to hurt my arm at a certain point, but once I took out a cheap vibe absorber and replaced it with a longer one, that seems to have gone away. I was struggling earlier this season with the Pure Aero, hitting a lot long even with fresh strings, which made me try to hit closer to the net and dump a bunch of shots. It was really messing with my head. That made me pick up the Response 97 in the first place and it has worked wonders. I love the low launch angle, plow, and blend of power and spin. If the Pure Aero is considered high powered (which I would definitely say so), the PR97 would be medium, but not low. If you want a higher launch angle with the PR97, try using a thinner gauge.
From: JonnyAbs, 6/16

Comments: I'm 5.5 to 6.0 player, with my serve, forehands and volleys being my the strengths. I like 12 ounce racquets and have demoed this racquet with a multi string. Lots to like about the racquet and some dislikes. The weight and balance is really nice -- almost at 12 ounces, not quite. I would have preferred 12.1 for my game without alteration of the balance point (personal preference). The head shape, string pattern and size for me was perfect. Great power, plow through, off-center hits were actually ok in the racquet and the racquet is stable not to flail through big hitting. The racquet responds probably even a bit more powerfully than I would have expected. The dislike for me was comfort. At times, the racquet felt jarring, stiff and uncomfortable, even if hit in the sweet spot. Overall, for me, I would have preferred a little heavier racquet with the same shape but a softer flex.
From: Boris, 6/16

Comments: The 2 frames I liked playing with most before this was the PCG107 (plowthrough, volley, 2HBH) and Ai98 (returns, serving, maneuverability). The Response combines what I enjoy from both these frames, and volleys much better than either. Lovely frame, great price I'm going to get myself 2 more. Too bad TW doesn't have 4 3/8 or 1/4 available.
From: Trey, 5/16

Comments: I have played tennis for over 20 years (serve and volley/all-around player). I tried so many different manufacturers racquets (Prince, Wilson, Head, but never Babolat) and generally the players frames. Given that my two favorite racquets so far have been the Prince Precision Response series (660 and especially the Ti Variant, TT Warrior). I bought a new Response Classic 97. Despite prejudices that the new model cannot be better than the previous. What a positive and pleasant surprise -- after adding 6 grams of lead below the top of the grip and replacing the synthetic leather with a Fairway leather, the total weight is about 365 grams and the balance 31.5 cm, strung with a multifilament at 26 kgs. After 5 months of play, this racquet inspires me more and more, especially on my serve, volley and slice. Compared to older Responses, the new Classic Response is noticeably stiffer with a more powerful sweetspot and plow through monster power. What was weaknesses of the PPR660 (too HH balance, softer handle with perforated rubber cushion) and the PPRTi (often unpredictable sweetspot and lack of control, probably due small amounts of titanium in the head of the racquet). If you take the best of the Ti Response and Wilson ProStaff St.Vincent 85, you will get the classic prince response 97. If you are a player who prefers the old school game, do not miss out on this racquet. But if you are a baseline player, this racquet might not be for you. Definitely the best racquet of all the time for me.
From: Anonymous, 5/16

Comments: This racquet didn't keep the good reputation of Response 660 and Response Ti. There is something very unpleasant when you hit the ball -- a vibrating/buzzing feeling that doesn't do well for the arm -- even with a very soft multifilament I am using. My 20 year old Response 660, beaten up from head to toe, performs a lot better. It has nice buttery feel, is very comfortable and the feel of the ball is much better. I don't know what is done with racquet material lately, but I would advise all youngsters to try out the sticks from 1990s. Where did the 20 years of technology go? Had the talk with my buddy that plays with a Response Ti recently he also switched to Classic 97 and notices the same. We were very happy when this "graphite" edition came out, expecting to get a reissue of a fantastic stick, but only thing they share is the looks, if you take out the paint job. I hope Prince will do another, proper reissue of this great stick.
From: Kedo, 5/16

Comments: Best racquet ever made!
From: Anonymous, 5/16

Comments: Abosultuely impressed! Pop, whip, power, plow through. Just a dream. A lighter heavy racquet if that makes sense. Give it a go, this stick will not disappoint!
From: Anonymous, 5/16

Comments: A little bit of good news, a little bit of bad news. First off, the specs that they have listed for this racquet are not accurate and are a bit misleading! This particular racquet is not 12 ounces (even with string and grip), and it's not 7 pts head light. It is more like 4 pts head light! When I ordered this racquet I was expecting it to be a little bit closer to my Pro Staff 90, but it wasn't. I was going to send it back, but decided to go ahead and give it a try since both Troy and Chris rated it well. (I'm glad I made that choice)  When I played with it I immediately noticed that this racquet is crisp, crisp, crisp! It definitely has vintage feel! I will say, if you have tennis elbow or wrist problems you might wanna think twice about this one, because it's stiff as a brick! (Ok maybe not that stiff) but this racquet is gonna be more useful for players with with long fluid strokes, those with short whippy strokes may have trouble creating power from the baseline. Overall I really enjoyed hitting with this racquet, especially volleys! Even though this racquet doesn't have a high swing weight, it makes up for it with its stiffness; when you get the ball in your wheel house the ball comes off the strings quick! I'd definitely recommend this one for serious players and anyone who like to attack with net play. I still prefer my Pro Staffs, but that's just because I used them for so long, I can do things with this racquet that I can't with my Pro Staff because of the bigger head size and easier maneuverability!
From: Wesley, 3/16

Comments: Great players racquet, maybe a bit too light. I'm used to playing with a POG Mid oversize and also Wilson Pro Staff 6.0. But the Response is quite suitable when I am playing doubles or when my arm is a bit tired. The Wilson Pro Staff and all my other Prince racquets (Oh yes! The CTS Approach, Precision, Synergy etc.) weigh a ton. And the Response is very headlight, so no regrets so far! My style of play: serve and volley player (nearly extinct type of play these days). And I strung it with Signum Pro Hyperion 1.24mm at 27 kgs.
From: Ton, 1/16

Comments: I love this racquet. I'm a 4.0 player and have been searching for the "perfect" racquet for years, and had resigned myself to playing my best tennis with old relics from the 80s, but then I picked one of these up used and couldn't be happier -- I ordered 2 more straight away. I've never been too particular about this, but I love the shape of the grip -- I have leather on it now, but it just feels good in the hand, I like the balance too, with a little lead at the tip. It's really made every aspect of my game better -- serve, forehand, backhand (slice and topspin -- one hander for both), overheads, lobs and volleys. Super solid, but easy to whip through the ball as needed. I feel like I can be more aggressive and still keep the ball in, which is always a plus. On top of it all, I like the super simple cosmetic -- nothing flashy -- just simple, but also elegant in its way. So happy!
From: Nick, 1/16

Comments: I think I only played one match with this when I first got it and then I had 10 hours of hitting the new racquet at a tennis camp weekend! The sweet spot feels large, plow through is great, and I'm really consistent with this racquet off the baseline or up at net. Lots and lots of net play at the camp and I was totally surprised that the racquets weight wasn't an issue for me. I'm a 3.5 and would highly recommend Tourna Big Hitter Silver 17's strung at 52 pounds. Note: I demo'd over 12 racquets before I settled on this one and even with the demo racquet I played one of the best games of my life against my perpetually difficult partner - it works for me that well! I only wish it was a little prettier. If Prince decided to offer it with an updated color scheme, I'd buy another.
From: Steve, 1/16

Comments: You can't please everyone but I don't know why the Response doesn't. Actually, I do. It's not a lightweight racquet with flashy cosmetics and a big promotional budget behind it. But it is a joy to play with and a very good frame. For a certain sort of player (placement over power, all court type) you couldn't ask for more...especially at the price. So I am looking to scoop up all I can from dissatisfied and disgruntled players that don't seem to know what they want. Keep it up, guys.
From: Jeff, 1/16

Comments: Perfect! Playing with it strung with Signum Pro Tornado at 30 lbs! Fantastic performance! Thanks Prince!
From: Andre, 11/15

Comments: Love it! It is very playable and maneuverable through the swing. It feels compact but with a generous sweet spot.
From: John, 11/15

Comments: This is one solid stick. Tons of weight behind shots. Great control. The stability of this racquet is truly impressive. I've never hit with a racquet that feels solid and soft at the same time. On groundstrokes, there is absolutely no stiff feeling. It's more of a stable feel. The weight isn't overbearing at all. Very easy to swing. Serves are great. Again, the weight alone is more than enough to serve bombs down the middle. If there are any downsides to this stick, I'd have to say that sometimes I miss the mark on the sweet spot. But I'm still adjusting to the headsize. Also depth was sort of inconsistent on some of my forehands from time to time. But I feel with more court time, I will be able to adjust that. All in all, a great stick. I'm still toying with string setups, but I think a hybrid would be great on it. (Gut on the mains, poly on the crosses). At this price, it's a steal.
From: Patrick, 11/15

Comments: Add a leather grip/overgrip, natural mains, ALU Rough cross strung at a low tension to unleash its beast mode. Excellent plow and control on all shots. Spin is outstanding.
From: JS, 10/15

Comments: I have been playing with the Classic Response 97 for five months now and enjoying it. Very confortable raquet all around the court. Excellent control and stability. With my personal customizations it weighs 370 grams and the balance point is at 32 cm. I can handle any kind of player with this configuration. Right now I'm using a hybrid but leaning towards a full bed of co-poly at higher tensions. Very satisfied, no arm issues. This raquet worked really well for me! Best raquet I have used for my game!
From: Cris, 9/15

Comments: I have been playing with the old Precision Response for more than 20 years. I posted my review of this frame about a year ago -- I was not impressed. My parting comment was that it would be interesting to see how this frame sells vs. the original Responses. I think the verdict is out. The frame now sells at a heavy discount of $69 which is close to what an original Response can be had for on eBay. So much for Prince's attempt reissue a classic. The previous model was around for years and still sells well. This model seems to be on its deathbed after one year.
From: Mark, 8/15

Comments: I'm age 25, never competed in tournaments or matches, but I have taken several "advanced" tennis classes and I've played since 17 casually. Loved the control of this racquet not to mention how the handle balance point causes the swing speed to be incredibly fast. All in all, a pretty damn good racquet. I did feel like the sweet spot was decently large, however it was right at the center or closer to the handle, I personally like the sweet spot to be a little further out.
From: Ben, 7/15

Comments: I demo'd this racquet six months ago and commented that I liked it for numerous reasons but did not buy it because it was just slightly too heavy for me. Recently I learned that Tennis Warehouse will search out a lighter frame for a nominal fee. I ordered this frame last week and asked that it not weigh more than 11.7 ounces strung (normally it is 12.0 ounces) Bingo! The fine folks at Tennis Warehouse sent me a strung racquet that came in at 330 grams, a little under 11.7. Perfect! Thank you Tennis Warehouse.
From: David, 7/15

Comments: Major plow though indeed! You may want to string this racquet at higher than the optimum tension (55 lbs), to compensate the "plow through power" to add more control. It is slightly too headlight in stock form, my shots tend to sail away just a bit. To remedy this, either replace the original grip tape with a lighter weight grip tape such as an overgrip or, just add a smidgen of lead tape at the head

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