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View Full Version : Strings make a HUGE difference


TonyB
09-21-2008, 02:28 PM
As if most of you didn't already know, the selection of strings for each individual racquet makes a huge difference.

It has never before become so evident to me than yesterday, when I finally cut out the old, old, OLD stringbed from my newly-traded-to-me POG mid. It had some NXT Max 15L in there with what felt like about 40 lb. tension left in it. Suffice it to say, the feel and touch was incredible. Very low powered... I really had to put some pop into my shots if I wanted to hit winners. But drop shots... oh my god, they were like butter. I could grab the ball, hold it for a second, then just PLACE it anywhere I wanted. I played at least 4 sets of doubles with the old strings and I made my normally-competitive opponents look like rank beginners. Seriously. And the racquet just felt so soft, so squishy, it felt like 50 RA.

However, in my attempt to gain some power behind my serve and groundstrokes, I installed my old standby hybrid of Tonic+ (gut) mains and Silverstring (poly) crosses at 54/51, which I assumed would be fairly low. What a mistake!! Now the racquet is completely devoid of all touch and feel, but it does have decent power. When I hit a dropshot now, I have no clue whether or not the ball is going over the net or hitting the backstop. I feel totally disconnected from the ball. And the racquet feels like a piece of wood. I would swear that I've got a Babolat arm-breaker in my hands. It's horrid.

But I would have never, EVER, known about how good the POG can be with the right strings if I had just jumped the gun and cut out the old strings before playing with them. To that, I consider myself fortunate enough to have experienced the soft, controlled glory of the "old NXT Max 15L" strings.

Needless to say, I just ordered 3 sets of NXT Max (and some Ashaway Crossfire for R&D purposes) from TW today. I just hope and pray that I can recapture the feel of that original soft stringbed.

Oddly, now the POG mid feels almost IDENTICAL to my Yonex RDS 001 mids, now that they have the exact same string hybrid installed. It's wierd how close they are. Sure, they swing a little different, and feel a little different when striking the ball, but I'd guess that they're 90% identical, which is just plain wierd.

All in all, a good learning experience and something to keep in mind when either buying used racquets or demo-ing new ones. I guess I've always sort of known that strings can make a difference in how a racquet plays, but I would have never guessed that it would have been THAT much different. The POG was literally like a totally different racquet with the new strings... and not in a good way, either.

zidane339
09-21-2008, 02:37 PM
Good experience. I read somewhere that strings are like the "soul of the racquet".

Nanshiki
09-21-2008, 02:42 PM
You've essentially described why I love soft, low-powered strings...

The secret to power on groundstrokes and serves isn't strings... it's bodyweight. lol

Sort of like how boxers don't punch with their arms, they punch with their whole torso.

ls206
09-21-2008, 03:23 PM
thanks for sharing that :)

I've just moved from an OS racquet with open string bed to a 95sq in. with a dense string bed. It feels solid and is not horrible to hit with, but it's making me itch to put some poly/syn gut at about 50lbs
15L gauge is fairly thick though. will you restring with the same gauge? I was gonna go with 17

TonyB
09-21-2008, 03:35 PM
You've essentially described why I love soft, low-powered strings...

The secret to power on groundstrokes and serves isn't strings... it's bodyweight. lol

Sort of like how boxers don't punch with their arms, they punch with their whole torso.


Great. So what are your strings of choice? Have you found a soft, low-powered setup that you like?


thanks for sharing that :)

I've just moved from an OS racquet with open string bed to a 95sq in. with a dense string bed. It feels solid and is not horrible to hit with, but it's making me itch to put some poly/syn gut at about 50lbs
15L gauge is fairly thick though. will you restring with the same gauge? I was gonna go with 17


No, I actually ordered 16 gauge instead of the 15L. Only because I'm hoping to get a BIT more power out of them without changing the general soft feel of the original strings.

2nd_Serve
09-21-2008, 04:49 PM
Yes . Strings do make a HUGE diference.

Old vs new
Poly vs Multi
Andn a bunch of other stuff.

ronalditop
09-21-2008, 05:01 PM
i have a similar experience, and yes, strings are the soul of the racquet. now i got a psgd string for my lm prestige mp and im not sure what tension should i choose. i like my racquet low powered, but not to much to the point that i have to beat the hell out of the ball to make a winner.
any recomendations?

tennisfreak15347
09-21-2008, 05:28 PM
i have a similar experience, and yes, strings are the soul of the racquet. now i got a psgd string for my lm prestige mp and im not sure what tension should i choose. i like my racquet low powered, but not to much to the point that i have to beat the hell out of the ball to make a winner.
any recomendations?

what are the two extremes for tension recommendation on the racquet? I would say 3 lbs above mid-tension.

protege
09-21-2008, 06:29 PM
Nice post.

I also believe that strings can make or break a great racket.

To me, strings are to rackets what tires are to cars. I love driving on new tires :D The difference is like night and day.

davidahenry
09-21-2008, 07:52 PM
Yep - I agree with protege and the car/tire analysis. In addition to playing tennis, I am an avid road cyclist. In cycling, you can have a high-end carbon fiber frame with top of the line components, but if you only have mediocre wheels, your ride will only be mediocre. Wheels make a huge difference in a bike's performance.

Strings, IMO, are even more important to a racquet's performance than tires are to cars and wheels are to bikes. It has always amazed me that so many tennis players don't know (and don't care) about strings.

Nanshiki
09-21-2008, 09:12 PM
Great. So what are your strings of choice? Have you found a soft, low-powered setup that you like?





Not really...

Although it depends on the racquet.

Seems like worn out multis and natural guy do a decent job though... although that hurts you on the serve.

It seems that finding the perfect tension and strings can happen more by chance than by intention.

protege
09-22-2008, 01:54 AM
Nanshiki, here's what I'm doing to discover the right string for me:
http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showpost.php?p=2723660&postcount=4

and

http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showpost.php?p=2724407&postcount=35

BreakPoint
09-22-2008, 02:47 AM
Like Boris Becker always said -"The only reason I need a frame is to hold my strings". :wink:

suunnygirl
09-22-2008, 05:33 AM
You've essentially described why I love soft, low-powered strings...

The secret to power on groundstrokes and serves isn't strings... it's bodyweight. lol

Sort of like how boxers don't punch with their arms, they punch with their whole torso.

What strings are you using?

suunnygirl
09-22-2008, 05:39 AM
TonyB, I've been told to put the poly in the mains and the softer string in the crosses, but I see you do it the opposite. What is the benefit of putting the softer string in the mains and the poly in the crosses?
I'm trying to find a good setup for myself. I am not a string breaker.
Thanks.

TonyB
09-22-2008, 02:51 PM
My assumption in putting the softer string in the mains is that the majority of the power and feel comes from the mains. The crosses are really only there to add tension to the mains, as I understand it.

But evidently, the poly in the crosses really stiffens up the stringbed more than I originally thought. Either way, I'm going to try some softer multis and the low-tension kevlar in my racquet when I get them.