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Replacement for Yonex Muscle Power 99
April 5, 2015
9:02 pm
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steve-williams
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My 10-year old Yonex Muscle Power 99 broke recently, however, Yonex no longer make this model.

Can anybody recommend a close equivalent?

I notice the new Muscle Power models are made in China, which probably means they are pants. My old one was Japanese.

I’m an intimidate all round player — doubles and singles.

I don’t have the hardest smash in the world, so need a little help from the racket here. I found the Muscle Power 99 to be excellent in this department.

Any recommendations?

Or does anybody know of a used one going for sale?

April 6, 2015
5:45 am
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AlexLaw
Canada
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Muscle power 99 actually isn’t a ‘power’ racket although it does have a slight tendency towards the head.

Similar options that are even/slightly head heavy, quite stiff are:
Arcsaber 10
Arcsaber 11
Nanoray 900
I know Paul’s mouth is watering over the current Victor jetspeed 10. It’s fast, but quite light.
The tk-9000 has come out and everyone says it’s a good all rounder with quite a bit of head weight.
(The tk-9900 is coming out soon though!)

The downside to all these options is that you can say goodbye to your wallet.

Though newer rackets don’t turn you into Chen Long, I do feel they’ve improved a little bit since 10 years ago.

April 6, 2015
9:17 am
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steve-williams
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Hi Alex

Thank you for the recommendations. To help narrow it down, I’m simply an intimidate all-round player — doubles and singles. So, a good all-round racket. I don’t have the hardest smash out there, so I need a little help from the racket, which would you go for based on what I’ve said?

Oh, I was hoping to keep the price under £100

One other thing, I have quite large hands and don’t need to shift grip positions with break-neck speed, so what grip size would you recommend?

Thanks.

April 6, 2015
11:58 am
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Paul Stewart
Cheshire, UK
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I’ve responded to so many emails asking this question.

MP99 was a very stiff frame and even balance from memory. Muscle power series was replaced by Arcsaber. That said the MP99 had a touch of head weight.

The difficulty here is finding a racket in current Yonex series that is remotely close. I tested your specs in Direct Badminton Racket Selector and had a few suggestions I wouldn’t agree with .

I also ruled out some of the selections made by Alex on the basis they were too expensive.

This left me with

Ashaway Atomic Hex 10
Victor Bravesword LYD
APACS Virtuoso Performance.

None of these rackets meet the same stiffness of the MP99 but perhaps the additional flexibility will provide more overhead power.

At the moment I’m unsure which characteristics in a racket feature highest on your list. Is it budget, stiffness, head weight?

Paul

April 6, 2015
12:07 pm
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steve-williams
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Hi Paul

Not being a professional I’m not totally sure what advantage/disadvantage stiffness and head weight offer.

I like the idea of having a little help from the racket with my overhead smash as I don’t have a great technique for smashes.

I like the idea of a bit of head weight so, I imagine, I get a feel of the head during shots.

Also, I imagine, not too stiff, though I’m not sure the advantage/disadvantage to a stiff of more flexible shaft?

Thanks for helping me on this and sorry to come across as a total amateur.

April 6, 2015
4:18 pm
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Dobbie98
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Hi Steve, Have you the opportunity of trying your club mates rackets? But probably the best way as I found out is to hire a court arrange a meeting with A racket demo rep. So you can have a hit with rackets in your price range and test the differences in head weight & stiffness. Then narrow it down to what you like by playing all the shots as in warming up prior to a match.

April 7, 2015
4:29 pm
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AlexLaw
Canada
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From my crappy knowledge:
more stiff=less power you lose as you get stronger. (Energy lost less due to bending of frame).
less stiff=easier to create a higher amplitude. So if you are strong enough, this factor doesn’t matter and you can pick more stiff.
You can see there’s no good answer to this question.
So as your playing strength increases, your racket should be more stiff.

More head heavy means more momentum (mass * velocity). Your weight is put out further from the center of rotation so that increases the effective weight of your swing.
Swing speed might decrease as it forces you to create more torque (if you can handle it!). This decreases kinetic energy if you are unable to create the torque the racket is supposed to need (KE=1/2*m*v^2).
Back to practical reality, it means head heavy helps overall power to some extent, but then if you pick overly head heavy (like the Z-force), then you might actually lose power since you can’t use it properly.

All that said, I agree with Dobbie. All this physics stuff doesn’t mean anything until you try a racket out.

April 8, 2015
9:51 am
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steve-williams
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Thanks, chaps. I don’t have any opportunity to try different rackets at my local club, only 6 or 7 guys. However, based on your advice (above) I’ve taken a punt on the Apacs Virtuoso Performance (buying from Direct Badminton online). Bought some PU Grip to go with it though as I’ve heard the handle is quite small.

April 8, 2015
10:42 am
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Matthew Seeley
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A bit more about racket head stiffness:
It needs to match your swing speed. If you swing fast, you need a stiff frame, if you swing slow you need a flexible one. As Alex said, the better you get, the stiffer the racket you will want. This is because generally speaking, as you improve, your technique will get “smaller” or more compact – you will generate power from a smaller swing, and the racket travels quicker through the air over a shorter distance. The racket will give some additional power to your shots if the timing is right. This translates into a racket feeling good when you use it.

Head heaviness is really just a preference thing, some people like it VERY heavy (me), some like a little heavy, some like it balanced, others like it to be head light. Note: the heaviness will make the stiffness more obvious. If I use a head heavy flexible racket, I feel a big big difference in the way I have to use the racket properly (because I like a head heavy stiff racket). If you imagine, as the racket is used it bends, and the heavier the head and the more flexible it is the more it bends and the slower it takes to “rebound”. My swing is a certain speed, and i want my racket to “rebound” at a particular time so that it feels good for me to use.

As others said: you will find the right racket by picking it up and hitting with it for a couple of shots – it will feel good, and thats all that matters. Good luck!

April 12, 2015
11:02 pm
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Paul Stewart
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Having grown up with stiff, weightier rackets I tend to stick to stiffer frames. Whilst i can play with light headed rackets, they’re not for me.

I been lucky to play with so many different rackets over the years it’s rare that a racket comes along that surprises me. It does happen though and I’m always so pleased when it does. From all of this experience I’ve learnt that nobody can know whether they will like a racket or not simply from specs, although there are certain aspects that can be off-putting. e.g. knowing my likes/dislikes, I wouldn’t select a light headed, flexible frame. Aside from that i need to feel a racket to know whether it’s good for me and this is what I recommend. It’s not easy and sometimes you have to take a leap of faith. If you’re wrong then sell and move on. If you get it right, then you’re delighted.

Paul

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