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View Full Version : Strings for Dunlop 4D 500 & Volkl PB 8


Rusdude
11-03-2009, 07:10 AM
I'm getting back in the game after some years off. I tested a bunch of frames and can't make up my mind between Dunlop Aerogel 4D 500 Mid+ and Volkl Powerbridge 8 Mid+, so I figured I should just buy both of them for extended testing, so to speak, and then get multiples of the frame I like best.

However, I am utterly confused by the crazy amount of strings and new options currently available (i.e. hybrids). I read the guides and everything, but more information only makes things more confusing. So I thought I'd give it a shot by posting here.

I'm about 3.5, not a big hitter, never broke a string, not a top-spin guru (something on my to-do list to work on now). I'll be playing 1-2 times a week and the main attributes I am looking at are elbow-friendliness and consistent playability over a reasonably long period of time (I don't string racquets and am pretty busy with work, so I'd like to NOT take racquets for stringing every 2-3 weeks).

The strings on demo racquets were:
- Dunlop M-Fil Tour 16 on 4D 500 (liked its pop, a hair less control than PB8)
- Wilson NXT 16 (Tour version, I think) on PB8 (superb control but noticeably less pop on the ball than 4D 500).

Any advice on which strings and tension I should start off with?

Lefty5
11-03-2009, 07:47 AM
good ole fashioned Synthetic Gut is going to be your best bet.

M-fil's don't last long enough and are generally expensive.

cj6666
11-04-2009, 07:31 AM
Dunlop 4D 500 and PB8 are two very different racquets. You should be able to narrow them down pretty quickly. If you are concern about elbow, don't use poly or gut to start. Use inexpensive multi or even synthetic gut string at a bit lower tension like 55 lb on both raquets and see which suits your game better. For multi, try NXT 16/17, Volkl Gripper 17 and for synthtic, prince syntheic gut 17 with duraflex is nice. After you narrow down on one racquet, the long journey of finding the right string/tension can begin.

Personally, I finally narrow my racquet to PB8 and am testing different string combinations. I too have TE before so I am constantly struggle between comfort and playability. I got two PB8 and one DNX8 (the previous generation of PB8 ) and it's easier to compare when you got the same racquet. I got one strung with Volkl Gripper 17 at 57 lb and it is comfortable but slightly muted. I use this racquet as reference. Got another one with Babolat Tonic at main and synthetic at cross at 56 lb, it played very well but is not comfortable, lots of vibration...I will soon cut it out. Anyway, just my 2 cents.

Best luck.

Rusdude
11-04-2009, 11:47 AM
Thank you Lefty and CJ!

For the record, these are TW's recommendations (sent them an email earlier):

Wilson NXT 16
Tecnifibre NRG2 16
Prince Premier Softflex 16
Babolat Addiction 16

CJ - could you eleborate on how 4D 500 and PB8 are different? They seemed pretty similar to me, but maybe I didn't put them through all the paces. So if there are any scenarios where they are behave differently, maybe I can choose by demoing both again instead of buying.

FWIW, I was dead-set on PB8 and ordered 4D 500 mostly because it cost the same, so I was pretty surprised when it played very well. On the other hand, both Babolat sticks (ADP & PDP) seemed like junk.

nickarnold2000
11-05-2009, 04:48 AM
Thank you Lefty and CJ!

For the record, these are TW's recommendations (sent them an email earlier):

Wilson NXT 16
Tecnifibre NRG2 16
Prince Premier Softflex 16
Babolat Addiction 16

CJ - could you eleborate on how 4D 500 and PB8 are different? They seemed pretty similar to me, but maybe I didn't put them through all the paces. So if there are any scenarios where they are behave differently, maybe I can choose by demoing both again instead of buying.

FWIW, I was dead-set on PB8 and ordered 4D 500 mostly because it cost the same, so I was pretty surprised when it played very well. On the other hand, both Babolat sticks (ADP & PDP) seemed like junk.
Hey, if not's to late you should take a look at the Becker Pro. It's the sister racket to the PB8 and it's on sale now. Very wrist friendly but needs lead added if you're playing 4.0+ IMO.

cj6666
11-05-2009, 07:04 AM
Hi Rusdude,

The weight, swing weight, balance all are quite different. To me, adding only a few gram at handle or hoop will make the racquet feel like a different racquet and these two are almost 20 gram apart!

I forget where I saw the article, but there's an article about how to choose the right racquet for you and the number one important factor is you need to be able to put the ball deep consistently and comfortably. Both racquets will put the ball back into your opponent's court but which one can put the ball deep?

And then you can go on to see which one volleys better, look at the results (the ball that you return), which one causes more trouble for your opponent? Is the racquet easy to control depth and direction? And go on to do another aspect of test, similarly to what the play testers in TW do for their racquets.

Locally, one tennis store got a demo program that you pay $30 and can do unlimited testing (but two at a time) for a whole month. What I do is I narrow down the weight, balance, swing weight that I like and then I go on to try similar racquet for different brands. But demo them with a grain of salt, because of course, the string might be different, or the life of string might be different. Sounds like a lot of works, but the journey is half the fun :)

And of course, if you are the kind of person like my wife who pays absolute no attention to racquet/string yet is a better player than me, then please just pick a racquet and have fun :)

Rusdude
11-15-2009, 02:54 PM
Nick - I don't remember why Becker Pro wasn't on my list, but I will test it again with 4D 500 (reg & tour) and PB8.

CJ - thanks for the advice. I thought, both were about equal but I'll do one more round of testing (see above). In all honesty, I probably fall into the same category as your wife. At this point, I just feel that my game could be better improved by better technique.

And after spending way too much time reading everything I can find (incl. TW's and y'all's suggestions), I'm leaning towards TF X-One Biphase 17 which, from what I gather, is a little bit better than NRG2.

prjacobs
11-26-2009, 05:43 AM
I also demoed the Volkl PB8 and the Becker Pro, the PDGT, PDR... and ended up going with the dunlop 4D 500 tour. For me, the 4D 500 tour did everything better, by far. I decided to splurge and string with Babolat 17 gauge natural gut. I'd never tried gut, and after decades of playing, I wanted to experience it. I'm a convert. I've never played better. It's been over 2 months and the racquet still kills.
Good luck.