View Full Version : Does a lower tension stringjob's bed always depress more?

03-13-2004, 07:28 PM
I just bought a VI MP since I liked the way my buddy's played. His stringbed feels pretty spongy--it's Gamma syn @ 60# and it's a new job. Because of it's sponginess, I question the stringing machine's calibration (club stringer...not sure which model).

So I've strung mine at 53, 51, and now 49#...and I can't get anywhere near the playability/feel his stick has. No matter how low my tension is, my bed still feels more firm to the touch than his, and very board-like during play. I'm using Gosen OG vs his gamma syn.

Was wondering what's going on? I use a Klippermate base model. Should I just string mine up at 60# and see what it feels/plays like? As stiff as mine feels at 49# I'm concerned how 11 more pounds would feel.

Steve Huff
03-13-2004, 08:13 PM
I wouldn't. My guesses at possible causes for the differences:

1. You're stringing on a continuous pull machine while he's been getting his strung on a lockout crank machine.

2. One of the two machines is miscalibrated. Even your Klippermate could be way off. I used a calibrator to check an old ATS Superstring (a 1979 model). It's tension when the weight bar was 7 pounds off. It was stringing way too tight. Also, the other machine (if a lockout) may be older and need a new tension spring.

3. The string he's using is something other than the Gamma Synthetic. Maybe he just has a "Synthetic" sticker, but it's really something like Live Wire.

4. Maybe he's changed the grip to a softer, spongier one which gives the feeling of a softer racket face.

5. Maybe he's using a much thinner string than you are.

6. Finally, maybe the stringer he uses has very poor technique. Taking shortcuts, such as pulling 2 strings at once, or not letting a drop weight get to horizontal (if he's also using a drop weight) can cost you a lot of tension.

03-13-2004, 08:18 PM
7 - Maybe you're using Kevlar - which will make all other strings seem 'spongier'.

03-14-2004, 04:08 AM
Thanks, I think my initial take must be right then....one of our stringer's is off in tension. I know his strings are Gamma Syn 16; I use a spongier/built up grip. Guess the only way to know for sure is to use a calibrator....any recommendations on these? Price/performance?

Gaines Hillix
03-14-2004, 06:15 AM
BB, you have a couple of options here. If you are looking for a machine calibrator, check in the tools and supplies section here on TW. You can also use a digital fish weighing scale for this(needs to have a 50lb. range). Normark/Rapala makes a good one. There is also a little device called a Stringmeter that you can use to compare the stiffness of the strings in racquets. CK it out at www.stringmeter.com .

03-15-2004, 03:23 AM
Thanks Gaines. Great info. Before your post, I assumed calibrators allowed you to check the tension in the racquet, too--and I might've bought one mistakenly. The stringmeter's more what I need.

By the way, I strung the VI up at 60#, and surprisingly, it played softer than at 50ish, had great power/spin, no arm pain. In my relatively short experience with tennis/stringing f(3 yrs for both), it's totally converse to everything I'd ever learned. The lower I went, the worse the power was, the more my arm hurt, the less spin and touch I had. Maybe this frame's only meant to be strung high, so that's it's tweener technology can do it's thing...dunno. The only other difference was I strung it with Forten Nylon 16G...and liked it (gotta love it when a guy is so naive he doesn't appreciate the good stuff).

04-17-2004, 11:56 AM
I demoed a Volkl Quantum V1 OS and it was fabulous... power and control... Jedi light sword. Bought two. Tried string all over the board ... lately all the way down to 48#... and never got any power or much feel. Sold one and bout to sell the other then happened to play with bouncy balls... was great. But... everyone I know won't play "wilson balloons." Penns are... dead. Is your racquet a volkl and the "catapult" system? I have been told they are inordinately sensitive to tenions... just ordered the stringmeter.. remembered it from highschool instructor in the 60's. Thanks for you thoughts.

David Pavlich
04-17-2004, 06:02 PM
A stringmeter will work best for you if you are able to measure your strings as soon as you take your racquet out of the machine. That measurement will give you a good baseline.

The reason I say this is I've measured freshly strung racquets with string such as Live Wire or Sensation or Xcell. The reading is usually within a few pounds of the reference tension. These strings have one thing more or less in common...they are fairly elastic.

However, when I measure something like Prince Problend (Kevlar) the stringmeter goes off the scale! Kevlar has about 3% elongation, ie it's as stiff as a 2X4. It has a definate influence on the reading.


Robert Jones
04-18-2004, 10:28 PM
So a string meter is rather useless for measuring absolute tension. Maybe ok for relative readings. 60lbs kev vs 60lbs gut should be the same on the scale. What if you had a scale that measured your weight at 200lbs but if your pants were made of nyon it would measure you at 260 even though your still really 200.

Are there string meters that work better? I was thinking about purchasing one but not now.

04-19-2004, 06:26 AM
Are there string meters that work better? I was thinking about purchasing one but not now.

You could string a calibrator inside your racket, with obvious consequences.

I like the illustration of yours. :wink: I however still love my "inept" stringmeter.