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View Full Version : What string feels closest to Alu Rough and will last twice as long?


justinmadison
12-18-2009, 10:45 PM
My son is a 13 year old junior player. His skill level is comparable to a USTA 4.5 adult. He has been playing with Alu Rough and VS Gut hybrid. He told me that his racquets feel great the first day and then the string goes down hill fast. He plays for 2 hours in the morning and 2 hours in the afternoon. I did not believe him at first but after reading this forum I have decided that he actually knew what he was talking about.

He has four racquets and I do not think I can manage to have them all restrung twice a week. He is partially sponsored by Babolat so the VS Gut is affordable.

What string feels closest to Alu Rough and will last at least twice as long?

lawlitssoo1n
12-18-2009, 10:55 PM
luxilon has a unique feel that is different from other polys.

i recommend you get your own stringer, and a reel of alu rough

ace0001a
12-19-2009, 01:11 AM
I can only speak of what I read here, but it seems to be very much the case that Luxilon BB Alu has a very unique feel when fresh that also doesn't last very long. Since Luxilon strings are always in such high demand, they really don't see a need to lower prices anytime soon. At 13, your son should still be at an age where it isn't hard for him to adapt to changes. If it's a high quality textured Poly string you're looking for at a lower price, I would suggest what everyone else here suggests:

- Genesis Spin-X
- Pro Suprex Blue Gear
- Kirschbaum Spiky Shark
- Signum Pro Plasma HEXtreme16L

On the even lower cost side, Golden Set Tennis (Internet Direct tennis string dealer) sells a string they call Hex Poly that is a rebadged Zons Polymo Hexplosion. Zons is a Taiwan based string manufacturer that OEMs strings to wholesellers and dealers as well as sell it with their own label in other parts of the world like South America. I've read fairly good reviews on Golden Set's Hex Poly and they sell a 660' reel of it for around $60 shipped. Also like the above lawlitssoo1n said, you should consider investing in a stringing machine as that alone would save you money in the long run...and you and your son can learn a new skill in stringing tennis racquets.

Richie Rich
12-19-2009, 03:36 AM
i loved ALU power for the first 2 hours. amazing string. then it drops off pretty significantly.

i think for any poly you are going to get that dead feeling after 10 hours of play. 20 hours max. the strings just lose their resiliency after that many hours. another problem with that is that after 10 hours the gut is still perfect and will last much longer. you may want to think about using a babolat multi instead of gut if you are restringing that often.

so with that in mind you need to make a decision about string but also, like lawlitssoo1n posted, about a stringer. you can get a good one for around $400-$500 and it will pay for itself in no time.

jazzyfunkybluesy
12-19-2009, 03:47 AM
My son is a 13 year old junior player. His skill level is comparable to a USTA 4.5 adult. He has been playing with Alu Rough and VS Gut hybrid. He told me that his racquets feel great the first day and then the string goes down hill fast. He plays for 2 hours in the morning and 2 hours in the afternoon. I did not believe him at first but after reading this forum I have decided that he actually knew what he was talking about.

He has four racquets and I do not think I can manage to have them all restrung twice a week. He is partially sponsored by Babolat so the VS Gut is affordable.

What string feels closest to Alu Rough and will last at least twice as long?


Try a full bed of Pro Supex Big Ace Micro strung at the top of his racquets recommended tension. A reel is 80 bucks and will give you at least 16 sets of strings. I have played the gut / ALU hybrid. I much prefer the B.A.M. setup.

Get a stringing machine. You can get a Klippermate machine for less than 200dollars. Or a better quality 6 point mount Alpha Revo 4000 for 600 bucks. I think both will pay for themselves within a year depending on how fast your son breaks strings.:)

PED
12-19-2009, 04:33 AM
I understand your plight, but I will add that there is nothing that really feels like ALU other than alu. Lux is coming out with Adrenaline in the spring and it plays just like ALU but it holds tension much much longer. I used a set of it in November and the claims are true.

The cheaper polys like Big Ace, Blue Gear, etc are fine but they play very differently than ALU. They're not bad, they're just very different.

Big Ace Micro at 1.15mm is very different to ALU at 1.25mm. Let your son try several of them out to see if he likes them; as the father of a 16 year old, it's important to involve him in the process as he will be the one using them :)

I'm in the same place myself and have gotten tired of the 2 hour Lux window. I'm retrying Big Banger Original which might be something he would like. It's a bit cheaper and usually works out to $10 a set in reel form plus BBO holds tension longer.

I'm also trying out Genesis SpinX, Topspin Concept Pure and Genesis Black Magic. At only $99 a reel, I would LOVE for one of those to be my answer :)

davidahenry
12-19-2009, 05:00 AM
I'm also trying out Genesis SpinX, Topspin Concept Pure and Genesis Black Magic. At only $99 a reel, I would LOVE for one of those to be my answer :)

Hey PED. Have you played with the Genesis strings yet? I'm interested to learn your opinion about them - as I am considering giving them a try. Not that I am seriously considering switching away for a full bed of Alu Power Rough - just kind of curious.

I may try some of the Polystar strings soon as well. Have you ever played with Polystar?

Thanks.

DH

PED
12-19-2009, 05:05 AM
David, my Genesis are supposed to be shipped out on Monday. I'll let you know how it goes. My man JCS Tennis has actually got me even more excited about Concept Pure from Topspin. It sounds like a great string too. I have not tried Polystar but hear good things about them-I like what Davydenko is able to do with them :)

davidahenry
12-19-2009, 05:13 AM
David, my Genesis are supposed to be shipped out on Monday. I'll let you know how it goes. My man JCS Tennis has actually got me even more excited about Concept Pure from Topspin. It sounds like a great string too. I have not tried Polystar but hear good things about them-I like what Davydenko is able to do with them :)

Sounds good - keep us posted on your playtests.

DH

aceinurface
12-21-2009, 09:52 PM
These are all good strings, but the two that everyone missed that play CLOSEST to ALU and are inexpensive are topsin cyberflash and unique tourna poly big hitter, both in 17g (1.25). Reel of cyberflash goes for $75 and you get 722' instead of 660. Big hitter is $74 for 660'. Make sure he tries those, there well known for being similar to ALU.

ace0001a
12-22-2009, 03:22 AM
These are all good strings, but the two that everyone missed that play CLOSEST to ALU and are inexpensive are topsin cyberflash and unique tourna poly big hitter, both in 17g (1.25). Reel of cyberflash goes for $75 and you get 722' instead of 660. Big hitter is $74 for 660'. Make sure he tries those, there well known for being similar to ALU.

Good point, but neither of those are textured as the OP is looking for an Alu Rough alternative.

mawashi
12-22-2009, 03:50 AM
My son is a 13 year old junior player. His skill level is comparable to a USTA 4.5 adult. He has been playing with Alu Rough and VS Gut hybrid. He told me that his racquets feel great the first day and then the string goes down hill fast. He plays for 2 hours in the morning and 2 hours in the afternoon. I did not believe him at first but after reading this forum I have decided that he actually knew what he was talking about.

He has four racquets and I do not think I can manage to have them all restrung twice a week. He is partially sponsored by Babolat so the VS Gut is affordable.

What string feels closest to Alu Rough and will last at least twice as long?

Sounds like you've got 3 choices, get a textured poly that plays the same and I doubt there's any out there... maybe MSV Hex or Weiss CANNON TurboTwist but I don't think they really play the same.

2. Try n get a non textured poly that plays a bit longer like SPPP, SPPPP, Cyber flash or polyforce.

3. Try n get him sponsored by Lux... that'll solve it all :)

mawashi

jrod
12-22-2009, 04:32 AM
I used to use Lux in a gut/poly hybrid but abandoned it since it died so quickly. I finally settled on Weisscannon Silverstring as a substitute for it. It's not as "bright" as Lux is to start with, but it retains it's tension and resilience much longer (~4x) than Lux.

forthegame
12-22-2009, 04:35 AM
Depending on your other commitments, I agree that getting a stringer (and learning to use it or getting your son to learn) would be a viable option.

skyzoo
12-22-2009, 05:26 AM
I understand your plight, but I will add that there is nothing that really feels like ALU other than alu. Lux is coming out with Adrenaline in the spring and it plays just like ALU but it holds tension much much longer. I used a set of it in November and the claims are true.

The cheaper polys like Big Ace, Blue Gear, etc are fine but they play very differently than ALU. They're not bad, they're just very different.

Big Ace Micro at 1.15mm is very different to ALU at 1.25mm. Let your son try several of them out to see if he likes them; as the father of a 16 year old, it's important to involve him in the process as he will be the one using them :)

I'm in the same place myself and have gotten tired of the 2 hour Lux window. I'm retrying Big Banger Original which might be something he would like. It's a bit cheaper and usually works out to $10 a set in reel form plus BBO holds tension longer.

I'm also trying out Genesis SpinX, Topspin Concept Pure and Genesis Black Magic. At only $99 a reel, I would LOVE for one of those to be my answer :)
Does the adrenaline play like the rough?

Blade0324
12-22-2009, 06:08 AM
If you are looking for something similar to Alu Rough I would suggest Superstring Viper V2 Rough. this is very similar to Alu and IMO it is better in almost every way. It's still not tops for me as poly goes but it's a nice string none the less.

davidahenry
12-23-2009, 08:47 AM
These are all good strings, but the two that everyone missed that play CLOSEST to ALU and are inexpensive are topsin cyberflash and unique tourna poly big hitter, both in 17g (1.25). Reel of cyberflash goes for $75 and you get 722' instead of 660. Big hitter is $74 for 660'. Make sure he tries those, there well known for being similar to ALU.

Several months ago, I got caught up in the hype about Cyberflash playing close to Alu, so I gave it a try. It was decent, but I didn't feel it was very close to Alu. To date, I have yet to find a poly that plays as nicely - when fresh - as Alu.

Like PED though, I am getting tired of the "two hour window" for Alu. (I actually keep my Alu Power Rough in my sticks for about six hours.) Therefore, I periodically look for an alternative - just haven't found it yet.

I am interested to learn of PED's (and others) findings about Genesis SpinX.

Take care.

DH

davidahenry
12-23-2009, 08:51 AM
Good point, but neither of those are textured as the OP is looking for an Alu Rough alternative.

IMO, if you are looking for an alternative to Alu Power Rough, then an alternative to Alu Power (non-textured version) will be almost the same. I play with a full bed of Alu Power Rough and have been doing so almost exclusively for about 1.5 years.

On occasion though, I have strung up a full bed of Alu Power. I feel I get more spin/action on the ball with Rough, but the difference is slight IMO. But... Since they both cost the same, I choose Rough.

Take care.

DH

PED
12-23-2009, 09:17 AM
DH, I going with some BBO tomorrow for the first time in about 6 months. I've never tried it in my Radical Pro but that open pattern should be tailor made for the BBO. I bumped my tension yesterday on my K Baum pl2 to 60/58 and it was magic.

It's fun to be trying strings again but also a pain if you know what I mean. I've got about 6 different strings coming in the next few weeks so I hope to have it narrowed down.

ebrainsoft
12-23-2009, 10:30 AM
Unique, Big Hitter
http://www.tennis-warehouse.com/Unique_Tourna_Poly_Big_Hitter_String_16/descpageACUNIQUE-UBIGHIT.html

J011yroger
12-23-2009, 02:17 PM
Several months ago, I got caught up in the hype about Cyberflash playing close to Alu, so I gave it a try. It was decent, but I didn't feel it was very close to Alu. To date, I have yet to find a poly that plays as nicely - when fresh - as Alu.

Like PED though, I am getting tired of the "two hour window" for Alu. (I actually keep my Alu Power Rough in my sticks for about six hours.) Therefore, I periodically look for an alternative - just haven't found it yet.

I am interested to learn of PED's (and others) findings about Genesis SpinX.

Take care.

DH

Have you tried "The Jolly Rig"? It is what I settled on when I couldn't afford to be breaking ALU in 1- 1 1/2 hours. I actually like it better.

J

davidahenry
12-23-2009, 03:39 PM
Have you tried "The Jolly Rig"? It is what I settled on when I couldn't afford to be breaking ALU in 1- 1 1/2 hours. I actually like it better.

J

Hey J. No - I haven't tried that yet. What exactly is the setup? A hybrid of kevlar and something, right?

Unlike you, I am not breaking my Alu Rough. I cut it out after about five or six hours of singles play because the playability is dwindling quite a bit at that point. Even at six hours per set, it still gets expensive for me, and I would like an alternative.

Take care.

DH

davidahenry
12-23-2009, 03:45 PM
DH, I going with some BBO tomorrow for the first time in about 6 months. I've never tried it in my Radical Pro but that open pattern should be tailor made for the BBO. I bumped my tension yesterday on my K Baum pl2 to 60/58 and it was magic.

It's fun to be trying strings again but also a pain if you know what I mean. I've got about 6 different strings coming in the next few weeks so I hope to have it narrowed down.

Sounds good. I hope it works well for you in your Radical Pro.

Magic for the pl2, huh? I know you've aleays been a fan of pl2. I never got around to trying it. I still need to.

Good luck narrowing it down. Still interested in learning about the Genesis when you get around to it.

I have a trial pack of Polystar strings on their way. I'm especially interested in trying Polystar Turbo - which is a shaped or textured (not sure) version of Polystar Energy - which I believe Davydenko uses. I am hoping it may play similar to Alu Power Rough. Have you ever tried Polystar?

Take care.

DH

coloskier
12-23-2009, 03:55 PM
Unfortunately I haven't seen a single poly that doesn't go dead in three weeks, so you are going to have to restring anyway.

J011yroger
12-23-2009, 04:37 PM
Hey J. No - I haven't tried that yet. What exactly is the setup? A hybrid of kevlar and something, right?

Unlike you, I am not breaking my Alu Rough. I cut it out after about five or six hours of singles play because the playability is dwindling quite a bit at that point. Even at six hours per set, it still gets expensive for me, and I would like an alternative.

Take care.

DH

Ashaway Kevlar 16M ALU Rough X.

It is match playable for 2/3 of its life. Practice only for last 1/3.

Much more even response at all swingspeeds. The amount of bite increases in a more linear than exponential amount as swingspeed increases.

And the sound is OMG.

I like it better than full ALU.

J

jazzyfunkybluesy
12-23-2009, 06:30 PM
The sound is from your sw or the string setup?

Do you put the ALU in the mains?

ManuGinobili
12-23-2009, 06:50 PM
Ashaway Kevlar 16M ALU Rough X.



Jolly, the kid is 13....



I'd say start out with Cyberflash... there are people who write it off as an alt. to ALU Rough but also many who feel like it is. In my opinion it even has some better quality besides being highly consistent throughout its life. It is very cheap so why not? And if you like it, get a reel which equals out to $4 a racket.

J011yroger
12-23-2009, 08:02 PM
The sound is from your sw or the string setup?

Do you put the ALU in the mains?

Both. It made a heck of a sound with the full ALU and then with the addition of the Kevlar, just made it insane.

J

J011yroger
12-23-2009, 08:03 PM
Jolly, the kid is 13....

Was talking to davidahenry, not replying to nor recommending for the OP.

J

davidahenry
12-23-2009, 09:58 PM
Ashaway Kevlar 16M ALU Rough X.

It is match playable for 2/3 of its life. Practice only for last 1/3.

Much more even response at all swingspeeds. The amount of bite increases in a more linear than exponential amount as swingspeed increases.

And the sound is OMG.

I like it better than full ALU.

J

Thanks Man. Sounds interesting. I'm game - I'll give it a try soon.

Take care.

DH

mawashi
12-27-2009, 12:00 AM
If your son finds ashway a bit stiff, Forten 18 kevlar is softer imo. Lots of friends who've tried both find forten more comfortable.

A nice blend is forten 18 kevlar/sppp 17

Heck if he's sponsored by babolat he can jolly well use forten 18/natural gut

mawashi

Meaghan
12-27-2009, 03:45 AM
this is my favorite combination too. I like the Gut on the mains tho. The problem i have is not the poly going dead, its the time it takes to cut thro the gut main.
'Ive started to try smooth polys and ive found the spin and control to be pretty much the same.
At the moment alu power works real well as a cross string. Even tho these go a little dead on me the liveliness of the gut on the main makes up for it and it doesnt saw thro my main.
Winning hands down atm thi is Polystar Energy, a greasy poly which feels quite elastic, again the poly goes dead quicker but cos the gut is on the mains the stringbed remains playable longer. The geasy poly doesnt rip my gut main neither.

What I have noticed is the rough/hex/octagonal etc strings have maybe an initial period (very small) where the spin is fantastic but it then plays like a smooth poly. This means as a player you have to readjust, whereas if you start with a smooth poly the spin is still great but you dont have that readjustment til much later on.

My suggestion is VS Gut mains, smooth Poly cross like Polystar Energy, its also very cheap compared to Luxilon. Your son will benefit in a lot of ways with stringbed playability lasting a lot longer, he will also have to compromise a little, gut mains means more power, better feel and at the start he may be spraying balls all over the place.
Gut mains/poly cross also gives the best most diverse serves!

BigT
12-28-2009, 10:33 AM
this is my favorite combination too. I like the Gut on the mains tho. The problem i have is not the poly going dead, its the time it takes to cut thro the gut main.
'Ive started to try smooth polys and ive found the spin and control to be pretty much the same.
At the moment alu power works real well as a cross string. Even tho these go a little dead on me the liveliness of the gut on the main makes up for it and it doesnt saw thro my main.
Winning hands down atm thi is Polystar Energy, a greasy poly which feels quite elastic, again the poly goes dead quicker but cos the gut is on the mains the stringbed remains playable longer. The geasy poly doesnt rip my gut main neither.

What I have noticed is the rough/hex/octagonal etc strings have maybe an initial period (very small) where the spin is fantastic but it then plays like a smooth poly. This means as a player you have to readjust, whereas if you start with a smooth poly the spin is still great but you dont have that readjustment til much later on.

My suggestion is VS Gut mains, smooth Poly cross like Polystar Energy, its also very cheap compared to Luxilon. Your son will benefit in a lot of ways with stringbed playability lasting a lot longer, he will also have to compromise a little, gut mains means more power, better feel and at the start he may be spraying balls all over the place.
Gut mains/poly cross also gives the best most diverse serves!

Have you tried Energy mains/gut crosses?

Power Player
12-28-2009, 11:11 AM
Even though the Cyberflash is not textured. I would strongly reccomend buying a pack of it and seeing what he thinks.

If the new Lux was the prototype they sent out, then I tried it and it is amazing. That being said, Cyberflash is still one of the best strings out there IMO. The fact that it is so cheap makes it a must demo.