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Wilson K Six One 95 Differences

There has been much talk recently of fake tennis racquets from China flooding the international markets. Even in the US market where counterfeit and piracy is almost non existent we find cases of fake counterfeit tennis racquets being sold on eBay! I recently wrote an article about a fake Babolat Pure Drive that I have managed to acquire from a friend. The issue about fake tennis racquets are not only about how authentic they look up to the hologram labels that are issued with them, but more of the problems found with the cheap low grade composite materials they are made with resulting in poor weight distribution and balance. This might also potentially get you injured as well as compromise your level of play.

It is therefore recommended that you get an authorized tennis racquet from the original manufacturer to get consistent playing results and quality proprietary composite materials and patented technology such as Babolat's Aero, Woofer and Cortex systems, Head's Liquid Metal, Flexpoint and most recently MicroGel technology and Wilson's Ncode nanotechnology and K Factor kerophite black technology to bring out the best in your game. While all this may be considered just marketing hype, the important thing for any player as well as manufacturer is to get consistent results and that is where getting an official tennis racquet or product from the original manufacturer is important. Up till today, I had strongly advocated this belief, but what I discovered to my horror will make me think twice about this! While I am still for purchasing an official licensed product from the original racquet manufacturers I strongly suggest being careful about the quality.

Let's face it, most of the major tennis racquet brands and models are made in China. In the past, Chinese products have been known for being shoddy and have very poor standards of quality control. But in recent years, China has become a major supplier in the consumer markets for just about anything and everything including tennis racquets under license for the major international tennis companies. Their manufacturing standards and quality control are now second to none and they have now been able to compete on the world stage where mass production and manufacturing are concerned.

I remembered reading about Wilson's famed St Vincent process and why touring pros like Pete Sampras exclusively swears by his Wilson Pro Staff racquets that have been made in St Vincent due to the stringent quality control standards. It can now be no longer assumed that if you purchased a genuine official product from the manufacturer, you will get consistent quality. My test results below had confirmed this and the findings had astounded me!

After selling away the Wilson K Six One 95 team, (review of the Wilson K Six One Team here) I decided something with a little more heft. The most likely candidate naturally would be the Wilson K Six One 95. Which is a wonderful racquet to play with. My review of the K Six One 95 found here. I was so impressed with this stick that I decided to purchase my second one last week. I felt a slight variation in grip size at the tennis store but I attributed that due to the plastic wrap as well as the brand new white original grip that came with the racquet. I didn't think much of this until I started using the racquet. It felt slightly different and I was struggling with the grip size which now felt bigger and I couldn’t really grip the racquet well. I thought maybe it was the problem with the new replacement grip so I decided to replace with something thinner. I tried it out the second time round but the Wilson K Six One 95 still felt a little different. I then compared it with my original K Six One 95 and to my amazement, the grip size varied somewhat. I still though it was due to the replacement being still new. I decided to remove both over grips from both my K Factor K Six One 95 and too my astonishment when I compared both 4 1/4 grip sizes side by side without anything on but the just the solid wooden shafts they felt different!

The racquet grip size of my first K Factor K Six One 95 felt noticeably smaller than my newer K Six One 95. I was dumbfounded and shocked that this could happen. I then spoke to several of my friends to seek their opinion. I showed them the differences and they agreed with me that they felt that the grip sizes differed considerably when comparing both racquets. I then concluded that if the racquet grip sizes differed, there might be also a possibility of a shift in weight distribution to weight of the racquet as well. I decided to do a racquet balance test. I was right! Not only was there a variation in the grip size, even the racquet weight distribution varied considerably! I only heard about this issue with fake or counterfeit tennis racquets, never with a genuine product so this was a first for me.

Racquet balance issues with my genuine Wilson K Six One 95 (Asian Model). I have balanced both Wilson K Six One 95 racquets at the throat with a pencil. You can clearly see from the image that both racquet shows inconsistent weight balance. The one which is further to the back is clearly more head light and was my first racquet which I purchased. The racquet which is closer facing is the second K Six One 95 that shows a more evenly balanced frame. Take note, that I have also removed the original replacement grips and have used the same set of strings to ensure that both racquets are consistent in weight balance.

Images of the K Six One 95 wooden racquet shaft. The difference in weight balance is clearly evident from the images above.

The results I am getting seem to suggest differences in the racquet. I am unsure if this could have been an isolated one off incident or a problem with the manufacturing batches. Since I got both identical racquets about a month apart. It could be just a variation in the racquet manufacturing batches but still Wilson should be more rigid in its quality control and manufacturing consistencies. I sent an email to Royal Sporting House and Wilson with my complaint. To date, Wilson has not responded but Royal Sporting House had offered to replace my racquet at no cost. Royal Sporting House is the sole distributor for Wilson and Babolat tennis racquets and products here in Singapore. I went to one of the Royal Sporting House outlets here in Singapore to get my Wilson K Six One 95 replaced. I was happy with the service provided by the staff at Royal Sporting House and their willingness to help out. The staff there gave me around nine K Six One 95 racquets (4 1/4 SL2 grip size) to choose from.

All of them but one had a grip size which felt larger than my first K Six One 95 racquet. So I decided to take the one which was similar in grip size as my first racquet. The K Six One 95 has generally poor paint work and it doesn't have the high quality finishes like those of Yonex tennis racquets. My Yonex RDS 001 shows supreme and identical finishing in every aspect and its paintwork was superb. For the Wilson K Six One 95 it had a poor finish especially at the black and white edges you can see the paint actually running off the lines and slight smudges. That is perhaps the difference between a made in China racquet compared to one that is manufactured in Japan. If you however compare the finishes of other made in China under license racquets such as Babolat, Prince and Head the finishing as well as the quality control is fairly consistent.

Scratches found on the side of the frame not due to any mishandling but more of the paintwork peeling off itself.

The K Six One 95 racquet that I picked out already had scratches on the paintwork and this was not through rough handling but more of it peeling out itself. There were also paint bubbles in the paint work, and trying to rub it off will result in the paint peeling off. I had no choice but to take this racquet as that was the only one which fit my grip size. Well at least one of my problems with this racquet had been resolved. Unfortunately my new replacement Wilson K Factor K Six One 95 was more even balanced than head light resulting in the racquet having a different feel and swing weight. I could feel the difference in power when I was hitting with the replacement K Six One 95. It had noticeably lesser power than my first racquet. While going through the racquets to find a suitable replacement, I also noticed that most of the racquets had different balance compared to my first K Six One 95.

Different positions for the Registered ® logo found on the top left hand corner of the Wilson K Six One 95.

Again, I am not sure if this is a manufacturing problem or since the racquets came from differing manufacturing sources and factories some of the manufacturing standards differ. I did however notice that the serial numbers were different suggesting both racquets were from a different manufacturing batch, that is assuming that the hologram labels and serial numbers were placed during the exact time of manufacture or not until much later after the K Six One 95's were all sorted together and sent to the various distribution channels to be then shipped overseas.

Different positions for the Registered ® logo found on the top right hand corner of the Wilson K Six One 95.

The hologram labels were only attached later on so tracking the date of manufacture, place of manufacture and times might be virtually impossible.

Some slight differences printed on the racquet suggesting that both my K Six One 95 could have came from different factories or manufacturing batches.

I also noticed some slight differences on my new Wilson K Factor K Six One 95 racquet. Besides the differences in weight balance, I found more evidence that backs my theory that the Wilson K Six One 95 is manufactured in different batches and perhaps in different factory locations. Certain printed areas of the Wilson K Six One 95 contained Registered ® as well the Trade Mark ™ logo at differing locations. I have highlighted the differences found in the two versions of my Wilson K Six One 95 in the images found below.

One on of my Wilson K Six One 95 contains the Trade Mark ™ logo on the throat of the racquet

My advice is that you will need to do some quality checks on your own before you buy any racquet. Take into consideration the weight balance and grip size. Be patient and if possible try to run through the entire batch at the store to find a model that is most consistent in weight balance and grip size.

The other K Six One 95 Contains the Registered ® on the throat of the racquet.

Once you've selected a racquet that you're happy with, do a racquet balance test with the other similar racquets that you've gone through to see if the balance is identical. Use 2 to 3 racquets as a guide. If you have the intension to buy your second racquet, it’s highly advisable to bring your first racquet to make comparisons. There might be slight variations in the balance and weight distribution of the racquet. I am not sure if this might be an issue with just my racquet or with certain batches of racquets but as a matter of being cautious, I would highly recommend that you to do some comparisons test before you make a purchase.

Registered ® as well the Trade Mark ™ on the sides of the racquet suggesting that these two Wilson K Six One 95 racquets came from two different manufacturing sources or locations.

In terms of playability, the Wilson K Factor K Six One 95 is an excellent racquet to play with. My review of the Wilson K Factor K Six One 95 can be found here. Overall I have no issues with the performance of this racquet, except for the experiences that I've encountered here. More images of the Wilson K Six One 95 here.

Amazing analysis & an eye opener! I have several sets of the same racquets bought on different occasions, & they never felt the same even on the same grip size & strung at the same tension etc. Remembered that several years ago when they first launched the Pro Staff 90, Tennis-warehouse offered a "matching" pair service. Else, I think it's quite difficult to achieve similar touch & feel.

I have the same experience with rackets purchased in ASIA (Head, Babolats, Wilson and even Pumas bought long ago). Racket balance and grips sizes vary. But rackets I purchased from US seems to bemuch more consistent. Asia is probably a dumping ground for poor tolerance rackts cos the people here don't complain cos they get it cheaper. Maybe there's a reason why rackets from US are more expensive. I have stopped buying rackets locally. I get them only from US.

Thank you so much for the info. NOw I am clear with my problem. I experienced exactly the same situation as you did (wilson ksix one team). I purchased them about 9 months apart. Different grip size feeling, different weight distri, differnt TM and R signs....I ended up with using lead tapes to adjust the weight and balace, but the flexibility differences are some what still there. Next time I will go for Yonex or Fisher though I am kind of satisfied with the result so far.

I frankly can't see what you're talking about. The differences in batches, slight modifications in balance and weight could be due to anything. Its not like brands need to use exactly the same artwork throughout the life of the product. The difference in balances could be due to different strings used on the racket due to availability or some other factor. You're analysis is inconclusive at best!!!

Amprak, I'm sorry, but you'll need to me more specific mate... I use the exact same strings - Toalson Ultimate 115 unless you're saying the strings I am using are of different batches or weight. Can you be more specific as to the "Some Other Factor" you're referring to, as clearly, I don't believe it's in the strings. Thanks for your feedback though...

Yup, in that case it should'nt make any difference if the guts are the same. I really wonder whats the difference in playability if the composite material of the racquets are different. Some other factor could be a minor modification in the design or the weight balance based on feedback or new studies.

BTW I haven't ever used a Toalson Ultimate Gut, what's it like?

I'm not sure if this is your problem but I have heard that there are different versions of the K 6.1 95. There is the standard US version and then an Asian version which is slightly heavier towards the head. This might seem stupid but have you checked the specs on the inside of the racquet throat? There is the possibility that they are actually different and you have just assumed that they would be the same.

Hope I helped.

Hi Amprak,

The Toalson Ultimate 115 Hybrid Control strings are fantastic to use. I have been using them for close to 8 years or so. They are very thin 18 gauge hybrid (Nylon/Aramid) strings which gives me excellent feel and control great for wicked top spins. Only problem if you're a string breaker it tends to break easily. But from the time you use it till it breaks, it plays very well and I highly recommend these strings that is if you want great feel and don't mind strings which break easily. I am not a string breaker, so I have no issues with the string durability of the Toalson Ultimate 115 Hybrid Control.

http://www.toalson.co.jp/ENGLISH/TOALSON/STRINGS/string.html

Hi Zilduli, Thanks for your feedback. Both my K Factor K Six One 95s that I reviewed in my article above were the Asian specs 310 grams (unstrung) version. I think you missed out the part where I mentioned that they were both (Asian) specs in my review. Anyway, the more hefty US version of the K Six One 95s are not available in Asia unless you specially order them from the US.

Hey Nawin,
I have an Asian version of K90 but I got it cheap on e-bay and I am not sure if it is authentic Wilson or not. It plays not bad. It weighs strung about 11.5 oz (after putting two overgrips and vibration dampener on it).
Are there any tell tale signs T should look for it to see if it is a fake?? Thanks.
-hassan

Hassan,

If your k90 is weighing 11.5 oz. strung then there is something wrong, because the k90, according to tennis warehouse, is weighing around 12.5 strung on average. 11.5 is a big difference.

Hi,

I am in the UK as I'm reading this review. I only became aware that the lighter Asian version of the K Six One 95 exists. Can anyone provide some critical comparison between the regular version I find here in the UK and the Asian version?

also, I'm not sure if Wilson openly admits this, but Babolat does: Some of Babolat's rackets of same model differ in weights by as much as 14 gram. Babolat itself says that the median weight is 300 grams give or take 7, which means the difference between the highest and the lowest possible weight is 14 gram.

Add this discrepancy to the weight distribution, and you could get an altogether two identical rackets with different feel.

Obviously the easiest way to avoid this is insist on try before you buy

Where is your actual review on the K Six One 95 and what made you decide to go with this over the Yonex RDS 001 ?

Hi,
I'm planing to visit singapore soon.
I'm wondering if is it cheap to buy a Wilson tennis racket in Singapore... Where can I buy Racket??
Thanks in advance.

Hi,

I just sent you a comment via another one of your post. Forgot to ask: which tennis shop in S'pore will allow me to try out a demo racket for 1-2 days before i decide if it is suitable for my play?

FYI, i'm using a rather old Prince TT Scream Midplus racket. good balance and feel.

Cheers!

Harry

Thanks a lot for this analysis. I am planning to buy one at Lai Sports in Lucky Plaza. Can you tell me if they sell genuine ones? And do you know how does this racquet compare to the Dunlop 4D 300?

so, in the last picture, which is the fake racket?

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  • I'm Nawin from regentville
  • Residing in Hougang Singapore
  • Racquets: X2 Prince EXO3 Graphite 100 (Main) X3 Wilson K Blade Tour 93 (Backup) Strings: Toalson Ultimate 115 Strung @ 48-50 pounds. Plays: Right Handed (Single Backhand). Shoes: mi Adidas Barricade V Apparel: Lacoste & Adidas Favourite Players: Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic

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