View Full Version : Newbies Guide to Strings

10-07-2004, 02:06 AM
OK, I know very little about strings... I know natural gut it supose to be the best, but is expensive, and doesn't last long. Thats pretty much it.

So can someone please explain the different strings and what their characters are.

From what I've read there are...

Natural Gut
Sythetic Gut

Jerry Seinfeld
10-07-2004, 03:12 AM
Gut is the top of the line. It is expensive...true. However, it can last quite a while when proper care is taken with it. It holds tension and remains playable longer than any string out there. Used in a hybrid combination it can be argued it is the best value...even though it costs a bit more than others.

Next to the top is Micro-Tissue. Some may classify these as multifiber, but the level of play is distinctively different so I prefer to give them their own classification. Not many strings in this category, the LaserFibre Supernatural Gut series is the only one I know of that makes use of this type of construction. Currently the Supernatural Gut Phenom is being reformulated, but the others in the line are about as close to gut as you can get in a synthetic.

Next is multifiber strings. These strings are composed of hundreds, sometimes thousands, of tiny micro strands to give the strings a very plush/soft feel when playing with them. They tend to fray like gut and durability/tension maintenance can be an issue. I find there are really two subcategories in here. Premium and Economy. The premium generally have better playing characteristics, but not always. Some examples of Premium include Wilson NXT, Technifibre NRG and Bi-Phase, Laserfibre Supreme, Prince Premiere with Softflex, and Gamma Professional. In the economy line you find similar playing characteristics. Some of these would include Wilson Sensation, Dunlop Max Comfort, Technifibre E-Matrix, Yonex Super 850 and Unique Tournafiber Irradiated (one of the best playing/most underrated strings out there IMO)

The next category is solid core. This category too can be broken into at least two subcategories...premium and basic. These strings generally provide a crisper feel and tend to hold tension better than the multifiber strings. String construction in premium would consist of a solid core with perhaps multiple outer wraps to add some softness. Examples include Prince Wrapsure, Laserfibre LaserLite XL, Gosen Supertec AK, and Gamma TNT2 Pro Plus. Next you will find solid core strings witha single outer wrap. Most of your basic synthetic gut strings are constructed this way...Prince Synthetic Gut, Gamma Synthetic Gut, Wilson Synthetic Gut etcetera. Some claim to offer the same construction with better playability, Gamma TNT series, Prince Lightning, and Laserfibre Tour.

The next category that is currently hot is Poly and Poly Composites. The advantage of these strings is durability. Some claim the control is phenomenal while others find them to be dead and harsh on the arm. While durability is clearly better than any previously mentioned string, playability suffers with most poly and poly composite strings as they tend to lose both tension and playability extremely fast. Current the hottest manfacturer in this category is Luxilon who has hit a home run with their ALU. There are many others to select from and a review of these boards will provide you with many opinions and a lot of feedback. (I'm getting tired of typing maybe someone else can chime in here.)

The final category is Kevlar. The stuff of which bullet proof vests are made. It is a string of last resort for chronic string breakers...IMO. Durability is the best of any string out there, but it has no resilency and can cause arm/elbow issues. It goes in dead and stays dead...though some people still use this stuff for reasons I am unable to comprehend.

10-07-2004, 04:15 AM
Thanks Jerry... so basically you listed them in order of playability top being the best... to durability bottom being the best?

Jerry Seinfeld
10-07-2004, 07:31 AM
Actually not really listed that way.

Every player has his/her own preferences. Some may prefer solid core to multifibers because they like the crisp response and multis feel "mushy" to them. All a matter of preference. Durability varies too. i.e. Gut is more durable than most multis and even some solid core strings, unless it gets wet or is left in extreme temperatures...then it is less durable. Kevlar is the durability king followed by poly and poly composites.

10-10-2004, 03:25 AM
I don't know about kevlar being the durability king. I really liked the playability in kevlar when I was a 2.0. However after 1 month of constant hitting they would shred and break. I also had string savers on the entire string bed. I find that poly lasts just as long as kevlar at a lower price with string savers on the entire string bed. Everytime I snapped a poly it was at the 12 o clock posistion. At the very top. Now I am currently using Babalot Pro Hurricane with string savers and they still haven't snapped on me for 2 months. I now suffer from a huge trampoline effect that I can still some how manage to control on ground strokes but my serve is suffering. However just a few days ago I managed to figure out how to control it and my secound serves started to land in. I have a plan to control my first serve, but I haven't had a chance to put it to the test due to the weather here.

In summary:

All Kevlar (not hybrid) lasted me 1 month at the 2.0 level.

All poly (not hybrid) lasted me 1 month.

Babolat Pro Hurricane 16G (not hybrid) lasted me 2 months and on going at 4.0 level.

To deal with the horrendous playability of the Pro Hurricane on the 2nd month of its life I attached 9 rubber bands on my racket to dampen and kill the feeling from the string, so that I would only feel the pressure of the tennis racket when I hit the ball. And I've never hit a better drop shop in my life from a sholder high ball(Note this was an accident I was trying to hit a slice forehand but I didn't put enough forward action on the ball). And super angle drop shots right beside the net tape were really easy to execute. Just enough pop to throw it over the net.

All the strings I've used were strung at 65 pounds. (Only exception was solid core synthetic gut called Head Tournament Nylon 15G which was strung at 45 pounds which lasted 3 weeks)