Why change a good thing? That was probably the reasoning behind this update. Here is my Dunlop CX 200 Tour Review.
The Dunlop CX 200 Tour 18×20 has been one of my favorite frames since it came out in 2019. It’s easy to swing, offers room for customization and gives you excellent control. It’s a pretty demanding racquet, but when you move well, it gives exactly what you put into it. Now they have released the update and I was excited about this Dunlop CX 200 Tour Review.
The Dunlop CX 200 Tour is a typical “players frame” where you need to generate your own spin and power. Here are the unstrung specs:
Head size: 95 sq in
String pattern: 18×20 (also available in 16×19)
Weight: 315g or 11.1 oz
Beam: 20.5 mm
Stiffness: 63 RA
Length: 27 inches (standard)
Balance: 31 cm or 10 pts HL
Nothing has changed in the specs, but Dunlop has added Flex Booster technology which, according to the marketing, features high-elasticity, vibration-damping layers in the racket shaft that filter out vibrations. This gives players a less stiff, softer, more flexible feel without the loss of power to stay in control, however long your game.
I strung it with Dunlop Explosive Tour (RS Lyon and Alu Power-inspired) in the mains at 52 lbs and Dunlop Iconic multifilament in the crosses at 53 lbs. The combo works well together and suits a racquet like the 200 Tour.
My strung specs with over grip: 337g, 31.8 cm balance and 306.5 SW.
How does it play?
Most fans of the previous generation of the CX 200 Tour would like to know what’s different here. Well, not that much. I detect a slightly softer, more dampened feel, but the rest is the same. Which in this case is not a bad thing, but it might not warrant the update for you unless you love the new paint job. Talking about the paint job, it does look great in my opinion.
In my video review, I talk about the racquet needing some weight in the head. A 306.5 strung swing weight is not exactly Tour specs. I still found it fun to use as you could generate a LOT of racquet head speed in stock form. Still, against heavy hitters, you would ideally add some weight to it. I will make a video with a few customization options for the Dunlop CX 200 and the CX 200 Tour and give you an idea of what you could do and how it would affect the racquet.
Maybe the low swing weight is made on purpose as it is a kind of platform racquet or it is just a quality control issue. It seems like manufacturers take into account the weight and balance, but not the distribution of the weight resulting in strange swing weights. I have seen that with pretty much all manufacturers.
Anyway, this racquet plays nice in stock form, but needs some extra weight added for plow-through and stability. In stock form, it’s the whippiest control racquet on the market, tightly followed by the more powerful VCORE 95.
The CX 200 Tour 18×20 is for advanced players (NTRP 4.0 and upwards) who can generate pace and spin on their own and like a racquet that just does what you tell it to. Many players might want to grab some tungsten or lead tape and customize this one, similar to what most want to do with the Wilson Ultra Pro.
This racquet is not for a baseline slugger. It is for players who attack the ball with flatter strokes and who want the initiative. It’s fast and relatively stable at the net, offers great precision, a low skidding slice and a decent sweet spot for the head size. I actually found the sweet spot bigger than the HEAD Pro Tour 2.0, but that racquet is much more stable in stock form.
The feel is nice and comfortable and despite the low spec, I find this racquet hard to fault. Yes, it is too demanding for most players, but it does deserve the “Tour” name as long as you are open to slapping on a little lead tape.
The Dunlop CX 200 Tour is still one of my favorite control racquets. The update is relatively small, so I don’t think you need to upgrade if you’re happy with the old one. I do find the paint job to be much improved though, but that’s highly subjective of course.
I think the brands could be better at clearly stating that this is a platform racquet in their marketing. Some players might expect it to play like a pro level frame, but it’s far from that in stock form. Why not add your own branded Tungsten tape to the package? It would be a nice touch!
Dunlop are not alone in this, like I said, the Ultra Pro has the same issue. I think it’s fine to sell a platform racquet, but you need to be clear up front with what you’re selling. Those are my two cents.
That aside, this is subtle update that reminds me of how much I loved the predecessor. So if you’re in the market for a fast-feeling platform racquet with great control and feel – the Dunlop CX 200 Tour might be for you. PS. Kudos to Dunlop for offering it in two string patterns. DS.
Check out Dunlop’s official website here.
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