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View Full Version : Ashaway Kevlar 17 vs. 18


nkbond
10-25-2006, 10:13 AM
All things being relative...is the Ashaway Kevlar 18 noticably softer or spinnier than the 17? I'm using a thinner, 17l, cross with Ashaway Kevlar 17 right now, and the crosses wear out before the Kevlar mains.

Probably, I can go 18 kevlar on the mains with little worry about durability, just wondering if I'll be getting a softer or spinnier response? (Again, this all relative, I'm not looking for anyone telling me that any kevlar is going to feel like a board, a plank, or any other wood-based product)...thanks!

psp2
10-25-2006, 11:10 AM
I use AK18 and love it, especially at LOW tension. If you want a softer, spinnier response you need to drop the tension by at least 5lbs. I strung up my Max200g with AK18 and TF Spinfire poly 18g at 45/48lbs. It feels SOOOOO good for such a "stiff/harsh" string combo.

For crosses, I wouldn't advise on using multi or real soft syn. gut. Try a very thin poly and lower the tension as described above.

nkbond
10-25-2006, 04:03 PM
psp2, thanks for the info...have you ever used the AK17? I do use a poly for cross strings (Signum PPP 17L). I do use fairly low tensions, usually 54/56, but not quite as low as your racquet. I am mostly interested to know if I'm going to feel any difference between the AK17 (I currently use) and AK18? I don't have any real complaint with the 17, but more spin is always a good thing for me.

psp2
10-25-2006, 09:57 PM
I have never used the 17g before, so I couldn't comment. I notice that AK17 is 1.2mm in comparison to AK18 at 1.1mm. If you have your own stringer, you may want to experiement with dropping the tension with the AK17 and SPPP 17L crosses. What is the headsize of your racquet? If it's a MP, you may not want to drop it too low. The Max200g (18x20) is only an 84" so I could get away with very low tension.

nkbond
10-26-2006, 11:08 AM
I've transitioned from 16 to 17 and now the 17l in the signum PPP. I have liked thinner every time. I've gone as low as 50/52 on my racquets (either 95 si or 97). I think I'll just buy a pack of the crossfire 18 so I can try the 18 without buying a reel (that I may not like). Thanks for the replies...there aren't many on this board that appreciate kevlar, but more than half the string jobs I do are Kevlar hybrids. People love the durability, and I've never had a single complaint about comfort, or lack thereof.

Midlife crisis
10-26-2006, 12:50 PM
All things being relative...is the Ashaway Kevlar 18 noticably softer or spinnier than the 17? I'm using a thinner, 17l, cross with Ashaway Kevlar 17 right now, and the crosses wear out before the Kevlar mains.

Probably, I can go 18 kevlar on the mains with little worry about durability, just wondering if I'll be getting a softer or spinnier response? (Again, this all relative, I'm not looking for anyone telling me that any kevlar is going to feel like a board, a plank, or any other wood-based product)...thanks!

According to the 2006 USRSA string guide, here:

http://www.racquetsportsindustry.com/issues/200609/200609stringselector.html

Ashaway 17 has a stiffness of 757 lb/in and the 18 has a stiffness of 671 lb/inch. In all reality, once you're dealing with strings this stiff, there's not going to be a whole lot of noticeable difference.

As a side note, both of these strings are among the three worst kevlar strings at tension loss, again maybe not that significant because the ultimate elasticity of kevlar is so low. These strings may be worse than other kevlar strings possibly because they're constructed differently. For instance, if they're braided rather than spiral wound, they will lose more tension because the angle of the braid can lessen without actually stretching the kevlar, like those finger toys where you put a finger in each end of a tube and pull and it tightens around your finger.

Pro_Tour_630
10-26-2006, 05:18 PM
Ashaway is a twine,just string them at low tension 40lbs and they are not stiff, the 18g has the best ball bite for spin period

travlerajm
10-26-2006, 11:25 PM
I've used all 3 (18g, 17g, and 16g). I noticed a slight difference in the stiffness. The thinner the gauge, the STIFFER it feels at the same tension, because the thinner gauge is under more stress at the same tension. So I string the 18g 1.5 lbs looser than the 17g, and I string the 17g 1.5 lbs looser than the 16g, in order to get equivalent power level. The thinner gauge has a more lively feel when it's strung a little looser to compensate for the higher strain. The weight difference is noticeable for me (the thinner gauge will give you a lower swingweight). So I would compensate by adding a gram at the 3-and-9 position when you decrease string thickness by 1 size (unless you prefer the lower swingweight).

I currently use 16g to get better durability. The 16g lasts about twice as long as the 17g, and the 17g lasts about twice as long as the 18g.

Pro_Tour_630
10-27-2006, 08:58 AM
The weight difference is noticeable for me (the thinner gauge will give you a lower swingweight). So I would compensate by adding a gram at the 3-and-9 position when you decrease string thickness by 1 size (unless you prefer the lower swingweight).

I wish some of the doubter will chim in regarding the difference in weight between string gauges and their affect on SW http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=125093

TonyB
10-27-2006, 02:47 PM
According to the 2006 USRSA string guide, here:

http://www.racquetsportsindustry.com/issues/200609/200609stringselector.html



That's great stuff, there. Thanks for the head's up, MLC!

BTW, it's interesting that it shows how good a simple nylon string is, performance-wise, compared to the others. It's amazing how much closer to the properties of actual gut that the nylon strings are as compared to poly, kevlar, or other materials (Zyex, etc.).

My favorite el-cheapo Ashaway Liberty 16 looks like it's got some pretty good specs. Low tension loss and good comfort, all for a-buck-eighty-nine.

nkbond
10-27-2006, 04:06 PM
According to the 2006 USRSA string guide, here:

http://www.racquetsportsindustry.com/issues/200609/200609stringselector.html

Ashaway 17 has a stiffness of 757 lb/in and the 18 has a stiffness of 671 lb/inch. In all reality, once you're dealing with strings this stiff, there's not going to be a whole lot of noticeable difference.

As a side note, both of these strings are among the three worst kevlar strings at tension loss, again maybe not that significant because the ultimate elasticity of kevlar is so low. These strings may be worse than other kevlar strings possibly because they're constructed differently. For instance, if they're braided rather than spiral wound, they will lose more tension because the angle of the braid can lessen without actually stretching the kevlar, like those finger toys where you put a finger in each end of a tube and pull and it tightens around your finger.

thanks for the RSI info...I like having the data telling me the 18 is softer (like you say, if it matters at these stiffness numbers). I've tried Forten before, and (for me) it's harsh and doesn't seem to be too spinny. I've always assumed it's the AK's braided construction that gives me the spin and comfort I like...? And I've never noticed any unusual tension loss either.

It's weird, the stiffest feeling string I've ever used is Prince Syn Gut w/ Duraflex, which felt extremely harsh and brittle to me. Guess I'm just used to the way the Kevlar feels...the only strings I've hit with that I noticed as being really soft were multis, and the string movement was so bad, I was going crazy looking at my stringbed...another advantage of kevlar/poly; it stays locked in place.

Midlife crisis
10-27-2006, 06:41 PM
That's great stuff, there. Thanks for the head's up, MLC!

BTW, it's interesting that it shows how good a simple nylon string is, performance-wise, compared to the others. It's amazing how much closer to the properties of actual gut that the nylon strings are as compared to poly, kevlar, or other materials (Zyex, etc.).

My favorite el-cheapo Ashaway Liberty 16 looks like it's got some pretty good specs. Low tension loss and good comfort, all for a-buck-eighty-nine.

When I got my stringer a year or so ago, I purchased a bunch of $1.50 Prince Tournament Nylon just to practice with. Darned if it isn't quite a decent string!

Just remember, when looking at the guide, that the stiffness ratings are for that one test condition only. Undoubtedly, the different string types play differently even if they have the same stiffness, and this is because at levels above and below the test level, different strings will behave differently. This continuum of stiffness responses from soft to hard shots is where the different string materials show their properties. The USRSA doesn't (and in practical reality can't) test over a wide range of impact forces, but I think the concensus is that within a string material, one which tests softer will be softer over the entire range of impact levels, but you can't make this same correlation between different types of string materials.

Midlife crisis
10-27-2006, 07:00 PM
thanks for the RSI info...I like having the data telling me the 18 is softer (like you say, if it matters at these stiffness numbers). I've tried Forten before, and (for me) it's harsh and doesn't seem to be too spinny. I've always assumed it's the AK's braided construction that gives me the spin and comfort I like...? And I've never noticed any unusual tension loss either.

It's weird, the stiffest feeling string I've ever used is Prince Syn Gut w/ Duraflex, which felt extremely harsh and brittle to me. Guess I'm just used to the way the Kevlar feels...the only strings I've hit with that I noticed as being really soft were multis, and the string movement was so bad, I was going crazy looking at my stringbed...another advantage of kevlar/poly; it stays locked in place.

Kevlar strings have very low ultimate elongation, so you can lose a fair amount of tension and still have your harder shots respond similarly. Since they're usually hybrid with a synthetic gut that isn't going to lose as much tension, softer shots are likely determined more by their tension than the kevlar's tension, so playability remains reasonably unchanged despite the measured large tension losses.

But I think the braiding helps a lot too. For instance, you can buy brake cables for bicycles in both spiral wound and braided configurations. The spiral wound ones have very little elongation and provide a lot of braking force and a firm feel. The braided ones are stretchy, reduce braking force (good when you have grabby brakes), and make it easier to modulate the braking force though the ultimate amount of braking is limited. The braided kevlar strings probably operate this same way in that they're a little more elastic, or at least that seems to be the concensus of those who use them, but I don't know why this isn't reflected by the USRSA tests.