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Wilson Staff Duo - a cynic's/skeptic's review

wilson staff duo

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#31 dcmidnight

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 06:20 AM

About a month in now and I've never seen one crack or even get remotely out of shape. The only ball I can remember cracking in 30+ years of playing is an old Maxfli Rev Tour.

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#32 Jag80

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 07:38 AM

View PostJag80, on 26 January 2013 - 06:33 PM, said:

I ordered a dozen after the buzz on here yesterday.  Will report back when I get some play in with the ball.  If they don't work out, I want my money back!  :censored2:

Well I've got a couple of rounds in with the Duo.  It does what's it's advertised to do..long and soft.  Spin is still in question.  Gotta learn to play roll out on chips.  I bought a dozen of the yellow.  Durability has been good.  Scuffed one of cart path and it was still playable.  I guess the yellow hides scuff marks better than white.

As of today, I can play this ball for a while.  Will work through the dozen I have and go from there.

#33 PJ72

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Posted 10 February 2013 - 04:19 PM

View PostFunkey, on 04 February 2013 - 01:18 AM, said:

View Postsobo, on 26 January 2013 - 10:43 AM, said:

I was reading that people were splitting the DUO in half or just cracking it during their first round.  Have any of you had this problem?  My local retailer stopped carrying it and I was wondering if this may be the reason why.
Thoughts?

There is a thread on WRX covering the ball cracking.  As I remember the cracking occurred after 6 or 8 rounds of use.  If it happened you could call Wilson they would replace any balls.  It also seems someone had talked to Wilson and they said there had been a bad batch of them.  

I have used the ball all of last summer and still am using it now.  Have never had a problem or have seen a crack.  I have a bag full of ProV1's and Hex Black balls. I much prefer to use the DUO.  Best ball ever for me winter summer or spring.

Jesus! 6 or 8 rounds! I'm lucky if i get 6 or 8 holes before losing it!

#34 Steel Dillo

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Posted 14 February 2013 - 10:34 PM

Absolutely love the Duo. Shot my lowest round ever this past summer with the Duo (74).

The only reason not to buy this ball is if you are one of those guys who likes to shape every shot. They just want to go long and straight.


#35 hogan234

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Posted 15 February 2013 - 08:07 AM

View PostPingTJ, on 07 January 2013 - 12:39 PM, said:

I've been wanting to try this ball, but can't see the difference from the Noodle+ easy distance when they are only $12/doz at Walmart.   The Noodle got very high marks from Golf Digest's Hot List a couple years ago for having excellent spin from a  2 piece ball.  I definitely can concur with the OP's skeptic remark, since it's taken a couple years for my buddies to even try a Noodle ball.  Don't understand why people won't just give a ball a try because of its name or price.  The Easy Distance ball is a 40's compression as well.  Give it a try.  It's almost half the price as well.  Although with the Duo going to yellow, now that might make me spend the extra dough....miss the orange ball more though, personally.

I have not tried the Duo, but agree about the Noodle. Surprising performance for my swing/game. ProV1x's are still my staple, but love it when I find a cheap ball that performs well.

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#36 Bkgeneral

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Posted 15 February 2013 - 08:58 AM

Ordered a dozen of these to try here in the midwest.  Early-mid Spring here ground is so soft, balls plug can be tough to find.  $$$ says Duo a good ball to try.

Also the kid in me wants to support Wilson.  When I started playing in late 70's early 80's Wilson Staff was the premier stuff I aspired to play.

#37 dijonr2

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Posted 15 February 2013 - 01:42 PM

I've actually tried this ball & in comparison to what I normally use which is a Bridgestone E6+ & I could not get used to it.  I used it for several rounds but I wasn't getting the results I wanted on my wedge shots.

#38 Jaybirdie

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Posted 16 February 2013 - 10:28 AM

View Postdijonr2, on 15 February 2013 - 01:42 PM, said:

I've actually tried this ball & in comparison to what I normally use which is a Bridgestone E6+ & I could not get used to it.  I used it for several rounds but I wasn't getting the results I wanted on my wedge shots.

What were the differences you saw compared to the E6?

#39 Talon_Bomber

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Posted 16 February 2013 - 05:02 PM

Just bought a dozen at Edwin Watts for $19 after reading this topic. Figured its worth the gamble at that price.

#40 mcilhitchcock

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Posted 16 February 2013 - 08:52 PM

Love the price of these as well :swoon:


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#41 Fourmyle of Ceres

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Posted 16 February 2013 - 08:58 PM

I found the Duo to be shorter than the e6. Not very much so with the wedges and short irons but noticeably shorter with driver down through 5-iron or 6-iron. Possibly a bit lower trajectory than the e6 but definitely shorter up to 6-8 yards shorter in carry distance with the longer clubs.

At the moment you can buy the e6 for about $23/dozen which isn't enough more than the Duo to make much difference. Even at $27/dozen for the new Bridgestones I'm not willing to give up 3-piece performance (ball speed) for 7-8 dollars a box.

It's been years since I last used a Noodle but the Duo seems to perform pretty much like a Noodle except maybe a touch softer.

Edited by Fourmyle of Ceres, 16 February 2013 - 09:00 PM.


#42 502 to Right

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Posted 17 February 2013 - 12:29 AM

View PostPJ72, on 10 February 2013 - 04:19 PM, said:

View PostFunkey, on 04 February 2013 - 01:18 AM, said:

View Postsobo, on 26 January 2013 - 10:43 AM, said:

I was reading that people were splitting the DUO in half or just cracking it during their first round.  Have any of you had this problem?  My local retailer stopped carrying it and I was wondering if this may be the reason why.
Thoughts?

There is a thread on WRX covering the ball cracking.  As I remember the cracking occurred after 6 or 8 rounds of use.  If it happened you could call Wilson they would replace any balls.  It also seems someone had talked to Wilson and they said there had been a bad batch of them.  

I have used the ball all of last summer and still am using it now.  Have never had a problem or have seen a crack.  I have a bag full of ProV1's and Hex Black balls. I much prefer to use the DUO.  Best ball ever for me winter summer or spring.

Jesus! 6 or 8 rounds! I'm lucky if i get 6 or 8 holes before losing it!

Why would Jesus care how many holes or rounds you get out of your ball?

#43 PJ72

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Posted 17 February 2013 - 02:48 PM

View Post502 to Right, on 17 February 2013 - 12:29 AM, said:

View PostPJ72, on 10 February 2013 - 04:19 PM, said:

View PostFunkey, on 04 February 2013 - 01:18 AM, said:

View Postsobo, on 26 January 2013 - 10:43 AM, said:

I was reading that people were splitting the DUO in half or just cracking it during their first round.  Have any of you had this problem?  My local retailer stopped carrying it and I was wondering if this may be the reason why.
Thoughts?

There is a thread on WRX covering the ball cracking.  As I remember the cracking occurred after 6 or 8 rounds of use.  If it happened you could call Wilson they would replace any balls.  It also seems someone had talked to Wilson and they said there had been a bad batch of them.  

I have used the ball all of last summer and still am using it now.  Have never had a problem or have seen a crack.  I have a bag full of ProV1's and Hex Black balls. I much prefer to use the DUO.  Best ball ever for me winter summer or spring.

Jesus! 6 or 8 rounds! I'm lucky if i get 6 or 8 holes before losing it!

Why would Jesus care how many holes or rounds you get out of your ball?


Why be so obnoxious?

#44 Fourmyle of Ceres

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Posted 17 February 2013 - 09:00 PM

Would Jesus be so obnoxious? Probably not. I'm just sayin'...

#45 Steel Dillo

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Posted 17 February 2013 - 09:48 PM

I've been loving me some Duo.

Played with it today & had a great round. The greens were soft today & every green I hit the ball just stopped dead in its tracks or even backed up a little. Hard to believe this is a 2 piece ball sometimes.

I just ordered a dozen personalized yellow Duos @ Rock Bottom Golf. $17.99 + $2.99 for personalization. Can't wait to play them.

Edited by Steel Dillo, 17 February 2013 - 09:50 PM.


#46 gvogel

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Posted 17 February 2013 - 10:11 PM

I played the Duo for a couple of weeks last fall with my hickories.  Some of the hickory players swore that the Duo was longer and better.

What I found was that it felt like a marshmallow.  It didn't go any farther, or less far, than a Pro V1 or a B330RX.  But the B330RX and Pro V1 felt better.  When I hit a really good drive, the B330RX and Pro V1 let me know that I caught one, the Duo not so much.

I must say, for pure distance, the Velocity was hard to beat.  But, it doesn't stop, and it feels too hard when it is cold.  I find the premium balls perform better around the green and on the green.

I'll be playing Pro V1 with my moderns, and B330Rx with my hickories.  If conditions are soft, an e6 will work just find; and, into the wind a Velocity is very playable
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#47 Minarets

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Posted 24 February 2013 - 12:18 AM

Love this ball. I never thought I'd play a $20 ball again. I need/want some yellow ones now.
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#48 flyinjoe13

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Posted 26 February 2013 - 06:20 PM

I just bought a dozen Duos this past weekend to use for these late winter\early spring rounds when the temps are still low.  Thought they'd be good seeing as how they are low compression and I have a very slow swing speed.  I typically play the Sxrion Soft Feel in the summer because it's 70 compression.  After using it yesterday, I now can't wait to see how it performs when the weather warms up.  I'm not going to sit here and proclaim any great distance improvement with it, but I really think the low compression might work well for me since my swing speed is 80mph at best.  The ball just felt great coming off all of my clubs.  Maybe in warmer temps it might start to feel too soft, but it felt great in the colder weather I played in yesterday.

I did have to get adjusted to how it feels off the putter.  The first couple of holes it almost felt like I whiffed with the putter because I barely felt any feedback.  I adjusted after a couple of holes though and ended up liking the feel.  Probably helped that I had a great putting day with only 27 putts.  I may have felt differently about it if I had  more putts.

I think it's a great ball for slow swing speed guys like myself.  I can see how people with high swing speeds might not like it because they have the power to compress  a normal compression ball and the Duo might seem to soft, but for us regular folks, it seems like a real winner so far.

#49 10of14

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Posted 26 February 2013 - 06:36 PM

I have a SS of 102 and love it in all weather.  You are right; to each their own.  I can't play Titleist balls (Pro V); for some reason they don't perform for my swing.  Just goes to show you that there is a match out there for all of us.  I truly believe that the ball is the most important part of the game for those of us mere mortals.  In my opinion, I think too many golfers are playing the balls "the pros play" and can't figure out why they hit it with so much spin (side spin) and lack of distance...they then go out and buy a new shaft or club when they could buy a $20-25 ball and solve the problem.

#50 Old Hack

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Posted 27 February 2013 - 11:22 AM

View Postflyinjoe13, on 26 February 2013 - 06:20 PM, said:

I just bought a dozen Duos this past weekend to use for these late winter\early spring rounds when the temps are still low.  Thought they'd be good seeing as how they are low compression and I have a very slow swing speed.  I typically play the Sxrion Soft Feel in the summer because it's 70 compression.  After using it yesterday, I now can't wait to see how it performs when the weather warms up.  I'm not going to sit here and proclaim any great distance improvement with it, but I really think the low compression might work well for me since my swing speed is 80mph at best.  The ball just felt great coming off all of my clubs.  Maybe in warmer temps it might start to feel too soft, but it felt great in the colder weather I played in yesterday.

I did have to get adjusted to how it feels off the putter.  The first couple of holes it almost felt like I whiffed with the putter because I barely felt any feedback.  I adjusted after a couple of holes though and ended up liking the feel.  Probably helped that I had a great putting day with only 27 putts.  I may have felt differently about it if I had  more putts.

I think it's a great ball for slow swing speed guys like myself.  I can see how people with high swing speeds might not like it because they have the power to compress  a normal compression ball and the Duo might seem to soft, but for us regular folks, it seems like a real winner so far.


I have ss numbers close to you flyinjoe13. Top out at about 85mph.

Found one of these about a month ago on a rare warm day (bout 60). I was dubious of the Golf Channel ads by Wilson so I just had to try it. Surprise - DUO jumps off woods & irons, resulting in what seems to be about 5% greater carry than my 2 piece choice SoLo and a bit longer than my choice 3 piece RX. Haven't had a chance to test wedge spin since the grounds been so wet, a TFRock will stop.

I read many post about not much difference in balls for some people. I must disagree for us mortals or old folks with slower swing speeds. Some balls, regardless of advertised target market, result in longer drives for me. At 20$ a doz, with a bit of greenside spin, this can be a winner. The DUO, especially in yellow, may turn out to be my gamer.


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#51 MagnumGolfer

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Posted 27 February 2013 - 05:32 PM

is the bounce it off the sidewalk test a scam?
my thoughts bare that would simulate a slow swinger. I wonder what would happen if you bounced the balls really hard

#52 Vintage1976

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Posted 02 March 2013 - 12:00 AM

View PostMagnumGolfer, on 27 February 2013 - 05:32 PM, said:

is the bounce it off the sidewalk test a scam?
my thoughts bare that would simulate a slow swinger. I wonder what would happen if you bounced the balls really hard
I facepalm my self every time I see that commercial. I like WS a lot but something about that stereotyped "bounce test" just makes me cringe. For the record, when I used them last fall I found them to be longer, maybe half of a club or so.
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#53 dffjunior

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Posted 02 March 2013 - 08:32 PM

WTB more Duo blems for $10 a dozen =/

#54 sonofagunn

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Posted 31 March 2013 - 07:32 AM

I just played a round with these and was not happy. I usually play Pro V1x. These were ok off the tee, but irons and wedges didn't spin enough.

#55 jeffyjeffmn

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Posted 31 March 2013 - 07:52 AM

good enough review for me to try.  I am not too proud to play a Wilson product, especially if the price is right and they perform well.  Well written piece and thanks for spending the time spreading the knowledge.


#56 stevopagolf

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Posted 31 March 2013 - 08:50 AM

I tried the DUO last week in Myrtle Beach.  I am an 8-9 index,  ss 95. Weather was cold (38 at tee off) and the wind was blowing.  The ball feels great off the driver and the irons. It stops well enough on full shots, feels great off the putter.  I found it difficult to get use to on chips around the green, they just seem to keep rolling out.  With some practice I could probably get used to it.  I think it was as long as anything I played last week.  I played Bridgestone RXS, New Titleists, Lethal, Srixon XV, the New Nike and the Duo

I also played the new Nike ball in the S configuration.  Did not care for it.  It sounds loud, like you are hitting a rock with the driver.  Overall performance was fine but I liked it least of the balls I played.

The new Titleists Pro V1 and Pro V1x play like the old, though I think the cover is more durable than years past.  My game doesn't warrant the $45 a dozen price, I can't see that big of a performance improvement for me.

I am a really big fan of the Bridgestone RXS.  Great in the wind, plenty soft, long enough, putts well.  Great overall ball that can be found for a good price.

The Srixon XV is also a very good all around ball that can be had for a good price these days.

I also really liked the new Lethal from TM.  Seems softer version of the infamous TP RED

Price/Value/Performance equation I would rate Bridgestone (paid 27 a doz shipped), then the DUO, Srixon XV ($27 a doz), Lethal, Pro V1 and then Nike.  One man's opinion, but few of us are really going to see $25 worth of improvement in performance of the Pro V1 vs. the Duo....

#57 Pack7483

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Posted 31 March 2013 - 09:16 PM

I find the duo to be a beast off a tee with a 3w. Hitting it further than with a driver. I think the low spin and desire to go straight works really well with the higher launching 3 wood.  Just high flying bombs. I also picked up distance with my irons. I have a mid 80's 6 iron speed for what it's worth. Took a few rounds to get used to it around the greens but started doing green side chipping with a 9 iron and the roll out was predictable. I like the feel off my white hot putter too. May stick with it all season.

#58 dcmidnight

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Posted 01 April 2013 - 12:58 PM

So as the OP of this thread and one that has been playing the Duo for a while I thought I would check in with an additional round of testing that I had done. About a month ago I got a free sleeve of the '13 ProV1x and was pretty impressed. I thought that it had a few plusses and minuses over the Duo but definitely warranted a further look. I bought a dozen and ended up putting it through its paces for a few rounds before deciding to order the 3/1 deal and do some longer term testing.

In the short term I had a chance to go through a more realistic on course test on a day that there was literally no one on the course. I had three holes in mind and 4 distinct tests. An uphill par 4 to test relative distance/accuracy off the tee. A medium length par 3 to test feel/control off the tee with an iron. This hole would also serve as my chipping/pitching test hole. Third and final test on the next hole was a shot from 100 yards which for me is a perfect 3/4 50* wedge - my absolute favorite shot. For the record I am an 11 index with a 108 mph driver ss, hit 8 balls for each test shot and played the course when no one else was there - lest to golfwrx ethics police get peeved I was holding up traffic.

Test 1 - off the tee with a driver

My results were exactly what I expected for me as a 10 handicap - completely mixed, statistically insignificant and absolutely inconclusive. Honestly, I always hate reading people who test one shot with each ball and say oh no, this ball is 2.5 yards longer, its clearly better. The only time I will trust distance "claims" for a ball is when a robot swings the same speed every time and hits the ball in the same place - every time - and hits 1000 shots and gives me an average. Otherwise, its idiotic to believe distance claims from an amateur tester.  I had 6 shots that hit the fairway and they were completely mixed - the Duo was the shortest shot but also the longest, all of them were fairly evenly dispersed and showed no clear pattern whatsoever.

Here are a couple of *opinions* though on shots off the tee with a driver. First, the Duo is clearly much softer, if you are playing it for the first time it is so soft off the tee it may be offputting. The ProV1x has a good solid click to it, just feels great. The Duo also appeared to have a little bit lower of a ball flight. Again this is just an opinion based on 8 shots and no quantifiable data whatsoever - just an opinion. If you like a ball that feels really solid or clicky off the driver, you will hate the Duo.

Test 2 - 6 iron shot into a par 3

Again, the Duo is the much softer of the two. If there is one minus for the Duo - which I personally dont care about but some might - is that mistakes often feel the same as a smoked shot. With the ProV1x you definitely feel a bad shot, with the Duo, not so much. Results though, again, mixed. There was no clear indication that the Duo was more or less accurate or longer than the ProV1x.

I was sort of surprised and expected the X to be significantly longer but I did not see anything here that showed me this was the case.

Test 2.5 - chipping

So my short game is the strongest part of my game and I already knew from using the Duo how it would perform. I chip/pitch either with my PW or 6 iron so I prefer shots that run out and have a much lower run on them. This is something the X definitely does not do. It certainly lends itself to a much more aggressive short game where you want that initial grab on the ball or even a stop and hold. The Duo does not.

So I think here it really boils down to personal preference. If you prefer chip shots that stop dead or grab and stop or you want to be more aggressive and throw the ball closer the the whole - you probably are looking for a ball like the X. If you prefer a lot of lower shots or shots that run up to the hole, the Duo would be a better fit. Feel wise, again as with the iron shots, the Duo feels much, much softer.

Test 3 - 100 yards

My favorite shot to hit, a smooth 3/4 gap wedge - ended up hitting 13 shots from here. Here is where I like the Duo the most. I know from playing it the last couple months that iron shots and wedge shots drop and stop with the Duo - there is zero zip back on them. *But* there is also no flying forward with them - I think a misconception with older 2 piece balls is that this ball will hit and just fly over the green. Absolutely not the case, the Duo sits right where it hits or pulls back a few inches. The X definitely has a lot more zip on it especially if you are a digger with your wedges like I am - and you would expect this. Several shots with the X that hit close to the hole would pause for a second and then drag back 3-5 yards whereas the Duo stopped and just sort of hopped out of its own pitch mark but didnt go anywhere. Honestly I hate creating spin on these shots. There was a time where I thought it was really cool but after I got over that I realized it sucks hitting a great shot only to watch it suck back off the front of the green - especially for someone who likes to get steep into their wedges. Could I adjust my yardage calculation and add five yards? Sure, but why?

Couple of end notes - one noticeable effect of this spin was a couple of the Xs definitely scuffed up after one hard shot. I think this is a natural side effect of a cover thats going to spin back vs a 2 piece.

Also - I love the X on the greens, love it. Definitely feels - to me - better than the Duo. The Duo feels soft off the putter as it does off all the clubs. Whether thats bad or good is up to you but its definitely noticeable.

Summary - The '13 ProV1x is a great performing ball, it really is, I will be ordering more and continue to test it as the weather gets warmer. Anyone that tries to say the ball is crap is completely kidding themselves. This is a great, great ball. At full retail is it $29/dozen better than the Duo? I personally do not think so although I will be testing them both as the weather gets warmer.

I absolutely maintain that if you received the Duo in an unmarked box, with no markings and no idea it was a 2 piece ball - with a notice that you were testing a new ball from a major OEM, people on GWX would fall all over themselves at how amazing it is. But once they find out its a 1 - Wilson 2 - two piece ball with 3 - really terrible commercials, people sort of tap out on trying it. Its definitely not perfect and wont fit everyones games but it is definitely worth a shot.
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#59 Masque

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Posted 08 April 2013 - 02:37 PM

Thank you for this review, and the re-review. Given Oregon's weather, I hope they release a model of this ball that blinks. Sounds like it'd be about perfect then.

#60 sui generis

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Posted 11 April 2013 - 05:59 PM

I'm an old guy scrabbling for distance. I played the Gamer V2 for a long time until the Wilson Duo caught my eye. I gave away my remaining Gamers and played the white Duo, all the while wishing there was a yellow version. Boom, along comes the yellow one and what do I think? "It can't be as good as the white one."

I buy a dozen yellow Duos and what do you know ... they are just as good. Yeah!

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