Prince Classic Response 97 Racquets Customer feedback

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Please include any relevant information such as string type and tension, skill level and style of play.

Comments: This is one outstanding racquet! I am playing with it strung with Prince Topspin string at 54 lbs. I used to play with Wilson racquets (Sting and Pro Staff 85) and they gave me great swing and balance but a lot of vibration on my arm. Switched to Prince racquets, the CTS Lightning 90 which felt very light, so I added weight to the head but still felt I needed a heavier stick to cope with heavy hitters. This Response 97 is the perfect blend of a stiff good mass racquet and the great vibration absorption. It feels solid and extremely maneuverable. Added still a bit of lead tape at 3-9 position to adjust to my swing. And it's even better now! The racquet has enough mass so I can relax and don't have to hit that hard, which is nice! But when I accelerate the motion and go for an all out power shot, the racquet really gets things going fast and heavy. Easy to defend with its maneuverable control and easy to attack with its weight and possibility to fine tunning your perfect swing balance. Same thing on serves -- it's easy to generate good speed and spin without too much work, and if you're really serving strong, it is a cannon! Volleys are so stable it is amazing! Very easy to add different spins on the ball and hit flat as well. It is a comfortable, very responsive stick which really provides control, speed and lets you play with different spins and accelerations to the ball. I recommend it for players who like a certain weight to their racquet and like to fine tune their racquet. This is one great stick that can deal with heavy hitting and fast paced games.
From: Cris, 5/15

Comments: This is a great stick! I adjusted the balance with a little lead tape around 3-9 o'clock for my swing and wow! So nice -- the perfect weight for heavy hitting. It has enough mass so you can hit relaxed and it gives good speed and control, if you really accelerate and use power for hitting it will produce a mean ball for your opponent. Control is fantastic -- switching from topspin to slice to lobs with topspin is easy. Volleys and serves are so easy. This is a great too! Much smoother than my Wilson sticks and enough mass to really play against high level players -- enjoy!
From: Cris, 5/14

Comments: I recommend this racquet to any player at any level seeking a maneuverable midplus frame close to 12 ounces that provides a nice blend of heft, stability, and feel in one frame. It's an old-school stick reincarnated into the modern game, and the full graphite construction makes the racquet feel like an extension of one's hand. The balance and weight allows one to control swing speed in every aspect of any shot, and instills confidence in every result.
From: Ray, 5/15

Comments: For reference, I am a 3.0 player, and the racquet was strung with Ashaway Crossfire 16 II string at 50 lbs. This racquet is excellent for anyone who likes to take fast swings at the ball and apply some serious spin. I felt as if I could take more risky shots and keep them in, which I could not do with my old racquet (Prince Speedport O3 black). I think this racquet will match high intensity playstyles well. I played a bit too defensively since I had to play this way from using my old racquet where it felt as it every shot had a 60% chance of going where I wanted it to. I highly recommend this racquet if you like to hit the ball with a lot of topspin and power, because it is very consistent with staying in. It is also extremely maneuverable due to its balance, which makes it seem lighter than the O3, but also much much more stable. I can't personally say I found any downsides, but perhaps a bit more power/pop would have been preferable. However, I was using Kevlar string, and I was playing rather tentatively with it, so I cannot really fault the racquet at all for this. Excellent racquet for shot placement however, very accurate.
From: Brandon, 4/15

Comments: I'm a 4.0/4.5 level tournament player. I've been using this racquet for over a year now, and although I've demoed a number of racquets with similar specs, none have played well enough to replace this as my racquet of choice. In stock form, it failed to deliver the plow through and stability that the TW testers mentioned. However, after adding 2/10ths of an ounce under the butt cap, the racquet transformed into a ball crushing beast. After adding the 2/10ths (6 grams of lead), total weight with dampener and overgrip is now 12.2 ounces and the balance is 10 pts headlight. I own 4 of them. The first three were bought on two separate occasions and the weight and balance was exactly the same as stock. The 4th, bought on a 3rd occasion, was 1/10th of an ounce lighter and 2 pts more headlight. Even after adding 6 grams under the buttcap, it lacked plow through, so I added another 1.5 grams at both 3 and 9 oclock. The end result is that it is now weighs and is the same balance balance as the same as the other three and plays exactly the same.
From: Schills, 4/15

Comments: Oh yes, this is a stick that works off mass-based power and has awesome, classic raw and crisp feel. I find it great on both offensive and defensive shots and it suits my serve and volley and chip and charge game nicely. I have played with it for 5 months now. Strung with Weiss Cannon Silverstring works well for me. No arm issues. 5.5 level, 34 years old.
From: Adrian, 2/15

Comments: On sale, this is a no-brainer. A very honest racquet with surprisingly maneuverable feel for the weight. I haven't quite figured out the best string for it yet, have 17g synthetic gut on it starting out. I'm thinking with a softer co- poly it could really have some spin potential.
From: Nathan, 2/15

Comments: I am a 4.0 level player with a one-handed backhand. This is my first review of anything here on TW, and I have gone through a lot of racquets over the past year in search of "the one." I have been using a Dunlop Biomimetic 200 Lite with a leather grip and some lead so it weighed roughly 12 ounces. I really enjoyed the flex and the feel of the racquet, and it seemed to suit my one handed backhand. I did start to notice when playing better players, my returns and volleys were falling short, and my groundstrokes when hitting against deep balls also fell short. I went out on a whim and just bought a used Response 97 from TW based on the specs and reviews here. I am so happy I tried this frame. The larger beam, and stiffer (yet surprisingly comfortable) response has really helped my game. I am getting noticeably more pace on my serve and my groundstrokes are falling deeper and heavier. The best part of the frame for me has been the volleys. This frame is significantly easier to volley with than my Dunlops. Touch is good even when using a co-poly at lower tension (50 lbs MSV hex). The spin window for the racquet is rather large, and it is easy to transition to hitting flatter when needed. I am very happy I found this gem and plan on buying 2 more from TW and taking advantage of the matching service. I put a leather grip on mine and strung it is 12.3 ounces and 10 points head light with an over grip and dampener. Very easy to swing, and hits an annoying, heavy ball to my opponents. Hope this was helpful to anyone contemplating this purchase.
From: Marc, 12/14

Comments: This is the first time I've left feedback since most reviews say what needs to be said. But this racquet deserves a little more attention. I was looking for a more forgiving replacement for my Wilson K90, something that served and volleyed similarly while having a larger sweet spot to help my on service returns. While I love the K90 more than anything, I found I was giving up too many service return points. This racquet has been a revelation! It plays similarly to the K90 but I'd say it swings closer to the PS85 and volleys just as well. I did play test this against my friend's RF97. I really enjoyed the RF on the groundstrokes (such easy, controllable power) but I found that it didn't volley quite as well for me as the K90, PS85 or the Response. I also found the swing weight of the RF started to get to me after the 1st set, so you have to be in shape to play with it. Both the Response and the RF are great for one handed backhanders! Not as much power as the RF but great control. Don't let the 20 cross strings fool you. The 16x20 pattern generates plenty of spin and probably helps with control. At the sale price, this is the best players racquet for the money at the moment. One issue I did have with the racquet is the grip shape (straight octagon) but I guess that is just a preference. I changed out the synthetic grip for leather with an overgrip. Using the provided dampener with natural gut mains and Tourna BHS, my racquet weighs in at 361.1 grams (lighter than my K90 at 365 grams and heavier than my PS85 at 358 grams). Great stability on all shots but really easy to swing. I did not find this racquet to be any stiffer than any of the pro staffs. How come this racquet doesn't get much attention? I sure hope Prince will continue to bring back the classic line from time to time. For now, stock up.
From: Jeff, 12/14

Comments: I was able to demo this racquet for a couple hours and then had to return it because of all the rain we have been having in the San Francisco Bay area. TW folks were kind enough to let me keep the racquet for many extra days but mother nature is doing her thing. What little I used this racquet, I really liked it. Very solid and the control is wonderful. With that said, for me I wish it were just a little bit lighter. I'd love to see this frame in a static weight of 11.6 or 11.7. Perhaps 2015 will bring my Christmas wish!
From: David, 12/14

Comments: Love this racquet! I had come from using a Head Youtek Prestige Midplus, which I liked a lot, but which had some minor drawbacks. The Prince Response 97 is a better all round racquet for me. It has similar high levels of control, a comfortable swingweight, and a nice old school feel, with added stability, and a touch more power, which was exactly what I was looking for. Clearly superior on volleying and blocked returns in particular, and also easier to generate pace on serve, while maintaining accuracy. Excellent on one-handed backhands. No issues with stiffness or arm pain. Superb!
From: Geoff, 8/14

Comments: Feels like a hybrid between a player's and tweener stick. Swings like a sub 12 ounce tweener but the control of a player's frame. Very easy to generate head speed and hit through the contact zone so mobility was right up there. Was able to get back a few shots that were almost behind me when retrieving because it was lightning quick. Had to shorten my take back as it comes through really quick compared to my other sticks to avoid hitting long from overswinging -- kind of gives you a split second longer to decide before striking. Fantastic on 'reflex' shots that come hard, deep at you when you're a bit off guard (thanks to low swingweight). Fantastic directional control. Mine came in a bit under 12 ounces weighing at 337 grams with a dampener but still stable on contact but I wouldn't say 'rock solid stable.' Volleys like a charm -- solid and stable response at net. Quite comfortable for a stiff frame but played with string dampener to be safe as I felt a hint of jarring on my fingers with out one while hitting rallies -- serves were fine. Biggest complaint is the quality of the finish. In my session with it, I had a few bad shanks on the frame and the paint of the red/white lining actually got chipped off from the ball. Only millimeters but you'd expect more from Prince. More shanks to come in the future so expecting more paint to chip off. The matte finish looks classic but perhaps a gloss coat wouldn't hurt to protect the paint job.
From: Anon, 7/14

Comments: Disappointed! Pros: Fairly comfortable for being so stiff, very easy to swing despite 12 oz weight, good directional control. Cons: Stability is nowhere near as good as advertised by the TW review (sorry guys, you got this one wrong), the sweetspot much smaller than anticipated, and the dealbreaker for me: Spin was much worse than I expected. Sean mentioned in the video review he thought it was due to the heavier racquet not swinging as fast, therefore not creating the spin he liked. I think it's because the frame is so stiff the ball shoots off the fairly dense stringbed before it has a chance to really grab the ball. I'm confident with customization (lead tape and thin gauge textured string) I'd like it more. But I'm too busy to spend the time figuring out how to make a racquet work. Going to go for a stick with same beam thickness, roughly the same headsize and flex, with better spin potential: The Head Graphene Speed MP.
From: MJ, 7/14

Comments: Little bit of an arm killer, but the shots produced are quite nice. Ample spin. No hotspots on the string bed, so play is consistent. Not completely stable on off-centered shots. My arm just can't take it when paired with poly/lead tape.
From: Tom, 6/14

Comments: I have been playing with the old Response for 20 years. I was very curious to see what the reissue would play like. For those hoping to pick up a fresh new Response that they were used to, this will be a disappointment. This is basically another racquet that has the same head shape and the plastic insert at the bridge. This frame feels nothing like the old Response. I think the biggest problem with the racquet is that, though weighing 12 ounces according to specs, this frame lacks the punch of the old Response because this is very much a head light racquet. The old Response had a balance point closer to the head and thus packed more wallop. Perhaps the frame can be adjusted with more lead tape in the head, but I am not sure how many people will want to undertake this journey. The only favorable thing I can say about this frame is that Prince corrected the problem with the old Response's grip -- the old grip was made of a soft honeycomb mesh and would greatly deform over time. The new frame has a solid polyurethane handle. While the old Responses still continue to sell well on eBay, it will be interesting to see if this frame is as successful.
From: Mark, 6/14

Comments: Really nice, classic racquet. I moved from a Wilson Six.One 90 because this is much more forgiving, but still is very stable and has a lot of plow through. If your looking for a classic players racquet around the stats of the Prince Response 97, definitely try it out.
From: Kevin, 3/14

Comments: This racquet is easy to swing and has a solid response. It works well with all shots -- groundstrokes, volleys, and serves. I noticed a little more spin than with my previous racquet, which was a Wilson PS 90. Although the PS is a great racquet, I wanted a larger head and a slightly lighter racquet. I strung it with synthetic gut at 60 lbs since I like a firmer response. Be aware that you must string this racquet with two pieces. One-piece stringing voids the warranty. Also, I found that it was slightly difficult to push the string through the double bridge. Otherwise, stringing this racquet went fine. Overall, this is a great racket for someone looking for a classic feel and response.
From: Steve, 2/14

Comments: I've been looking for a stiff, headlight, big head racquet for a while because there aren't too many around. I just can't hold head heavy racquets. Also, I've been trying to find one in an open string pattern. This is the picture perfect racquet. The low swing weight helps me. Funny thing is, even though this racquet is heavier than lets say, a Pure Drive, it feels lighter because the Pure Drive feels head heavy to me.
From: Ashok, 1/14

Comments: This is a sweet frame. Practically identical to the old Response 97 that I used back in the late 90s. It's firm yet has great ball pocketing and is very soft on the arm. Keep it strung under 55 lbs with a multi or hybrid. It produced huge topspin from the back court while being very comfortable. Plays like a Prestige or Babolat PS TOUR with better vibration dampening and a larger sweet spot.
From: Lofty, 1/14

Comments: Outstanding racquet in all respects. Solid, hits a nice heavy ball from the baseline, yet very good at net. Serves had great pace and good spin. Hefty weight provides excellent plow through, with very little flex. Racquet did not feel stiff or jaring at any time.
From: Dave, 11/13

Comments: Warning: handle with care, this is a razor. The response is back (spin)! With all of its great specs. Serving and volleying is simply natural, and the weight is not too much at all. I'm happy that Prince is still producing more conventional racquets, along with all of its new technologies.
From: Anon, 10/13

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