View Full Version : cheap polys vs. expensive polys

Jay Welvaert
02-23-2004, 05:27 PM
Hi, I was wondering if there are any playing differences between like gosen polylon and luxilons line like big banger original? In terms of control, playability, spin potential, feel, and stuff like that?

Thanks, Jay

02-23-2004, 07:56 PM
I switched from Lux Ace to Kirsch Comp. it's not as crisp but still plays great so I'm happy

02-23-2004, 08:46 PM
I use Gosen polylon 17 mains with NXT 17 crosses, and life is good with that.

louis netman
02-23-2004, 10:14 PM
There's definitely a cost tradeoff.... Lux definitely has more "feel" and playability than say, Polylon, which is OK...you have to decide if it's eleven bucks better...

02-24-2004, 01:17 AM
I've got an all Polylon job now, and a couple of weeks ago, I had perhaps my best hitting day ever. I was hitting everything (well, almost). I know for an absolute fact that if I had Luxilon, or natural gut, or whatever high priced string in my racquet on that day, I would not have played any better. The same can be accurately said of any other day. That's the bottom line to me.

It's the player.

02-24-2004, 04:45 AM
There's a substantial difference in feel between ALU Power and Gosen Polylon. Just about anyone who has tried both will surely agree with that.

Is the ALU Power worth the extra ducats? Only you can decide that for yourself.

02-24-2004, 08:29 AM
ALU = overrated -- it works for some but overall there is too much hype -- the price isn't justified other than giving a try once. It's similar to the Babolot racquets - alot of initial hype then flattens out.

Big D
02-24-2004, 10:47 AM
poylon hits pretty well and it's cheap. There's a lot of difference between syn gut and nat gut, but is it worth the $20 savings. ALU is different, but I wouldn't say better.

02-24-2004, 12:19 PM
I have a friend who strings with me, a solid 4.5 player. He was breaking synthetics very quickly so I strung up some poly for him (hybrid). He broke that fast too, said he liked the poly feel but that's about it, wasn't overly impressed. Last year I strung up some Luxilon ALU for him and he was extremely impressed and immediately told me to order more. And it made a big difference in his game, I never beat him since :( So everyone has a different experience out there. I just would never say I couldn't play better with another string because hey you just never know unless you try it. My 2 cents.

02-24-2004, 11:31 PM
When you're hitting EVERYTHING, then you KNOW you won't play any better with more expensive string.

02-25-2004, 04:38 AM
IMO, strings make a big difference. Once you find a frame you can play with, the strings and tension either make or break the frame. It's been my experience that I play a ton better with Luxilon TIMO than any other string. I agree that is the player, but if you give a player two rackets identical rackets, one strung with a bad string choice and one strung like he likes it, the player will choose the racket strung like he likes it. There have been many cases of folks demoing frames that were strung improperly or with a string/tension they didn't like and as a result they didn't like the racket. It probably wasn't the frame, it was the string/tension.

I know that I have found the ideal set up for me. The C10 and TIMO 17 at 54 pounds (although when the V-Engine MidPlus comes out I will have to give it a run) is the ideal set up for me. Likewise, when I played with the Vilas, natural gut at 58 pounds was the perfect setup for it. I tried a couple of multis and natural gut was by far the better choice in the Vilas.

I know that I play better with that string/tension than any other setup I have tried. So, in my experience, it seems that having the proper string/tension is what makes all the difference in the world. The hardest part of changing frames is getting the string/tension combination right. The number of frames that you would ever consider buying is far less than the number of string choices/tensions that you can play with. Boris Becker once said that his racket merely held his strings. This implies that the strings make or break a racket. IMO, this is the gospel. A good string choice will lift your game through improved consistency and confidence. A bad string choice will send you into the land of demoing.

02-25-2004, 01:41 PM
Yes Rabbit, good post. That's why you really got to try a string to be able to judge how you would play with it.

Deuce, sorry but the only player I've seen hit everything was Roger Federer at Wimbledon 2003. But hey you don't have to try every string out there to be confident out there on the court. Sounds like you found something that gives you that confidence and that's good, you can't try them all right, I know I've tried, but they just keep coming out with new ones.

02-25-2004, 02:09 PM
I don't feel any significant difference of strings with the similar main materials, but newer string job feel much better than old one, so cheaper polys allow me to change string more often than Lux. line.

02-25-2004, 03:55 PM
oh for sure nothing like a fresh string job, only problem with fresh string jobs is that most strings stay fresh only for the first set or so; this all depends on your level of play and how hard you hit that ball and the amount of spin you use

02-26-2004, 02:51 AM
I don't know that similar always equates to equal. I've tried to find a good substitute for TIMO and haven't had any luck. I've tried all the new Kirschbaums and still....nothing. :?

Gaines Hillix
02-26-2004, 04:42 AM
I tried just about everything with my most demanding string breaker. He goes through a set of ALU Power in about 6 weeks of regular play. He goes through gut and syn gut in about 3 weeks. I tried lots of other durability strings, but he didn't like them as well as the ALU Power and is willing to pay the extra cost, so it's worth it for him.

Hit 'em clean
02-26-2004, 09:46 AM
Strings can make a difference, however, this varies greatly depending on what you're talking about. Strings types can effect feel, power, spin, and how your physical arm feels. Tension of string has the greatest effect on these. It's difficult to judge strings sometimes because a strings often play better at different tensions then perhaps the normal say 60lbs you've always strung at. Gage of the string also plays a role. Typically I've found that I look to different strings when I'm concerned with durability and feel at impact. As far as cheap vs expensive a lot of times I gravitate towards even cheap synthetic gut because the little extra I might notice in spin etc is so minimal that it's not worth paying 3 times as much for it.

Bottom line I think too many people believe a racquet or string will magically make them play better or add an element to their game they don't have. In each case the new element usually means you sacrifice something else (power for control, etc). The best racquets and string are those that compliment your swing style, swing speed, game style, prefernce for feel and spin the most. If it complements you and how you play then you'll have more confidence and hence play better. To improve your game you just need to work that aspect. Don't let a low price of string make you think that it's unworthy or that you'll play better with something more expensive.

02-26-2004, 10:01 PM
Well, it's been a while since I've used Gosen Polylon, and I still have a half a reel left of it. Now using a lot of TiMo Luxilon.

First off, although both strings are referred to as "poly" strings, they are made of very different stuff. Polylon is made of polyester, which is what used to be the only plastic referred to as a "poly". Luxilon TiMO is made up mainly of Polyether (or zyex, or Polyether ether ketone, or PEEK), which is a much different material, as well as some other material (presumably Ti and MO to give it more wear resistance - I'm just guessing here - TiMO wears better than the regular Big Banger).

Polyether is a much tougher and more elastic plastic than polyester. It is known for not losing its elasticity and is also used as a synthetic replacement string for gut strings in musical instruments (just like tennis racquets!).

Both Polylon and TiMO have excellent wear resistance, especially when used with a softer nylon cross-string in a hybrid. Both are relatively stiff strings and will feel very stiff at higher tensions.

Polylon has this very brief (maybe 1-2 hours or less of use) period of time after stringing where it actually feels somewhat elastic and powerful. After that, it goes dead, Dead, DEAD. Very little power after that.

TiMo retains its elasticity and power for a much longer period of time. It resembles gut strings in this respect, although it is not as forgiving or as powerful as a top quality gut string.

Stringing the two strings is also different. Polylon is much stiffer, and feels almost like stringing aluminum wire. Make a bend in Polylon, and the bend stays in the string forever. Polyester is a more brittle material as well, and so you have to be careful not to keep bending any part of the Polylon string too much or it will crack and break.

Polylon, is of course, dirt cheap whereas TiMO is priced at premium synthetic string levels.

So, bottom line is that if durability and price are the only considerations, then Polylon wins hands down. If you rather play with something that has a crisper feel and decent power AND also has great durability, TiMO is not hugely more expensive, and so is well worth it.

03-01-2004, 02:36 PM
Is Wilson Enduro Tour Polyether?

03-03-2004, 09:31 AM
Probably not primarily polyether. TW's description of it is that it's a softer polyester string made up of 28 polymers and additives. My guess is that it's got other plastics in it besides polyester to help soften the string, but that it's primarily polyester.

03-05-2004, 10:19 AM
Rabbit, can you give us a review/ compare Touch Turbo, Kirschbaum Competition with BB ALU or TiMo? NOw Lux has 3 new strings for you to try.

03-05-2004, 11:22 AM
I can tell the difference between the Lex and Kirs. But this is only when playing a very hard hit shot. You can feel something different at that point. With softer shots I can't tell the difference. If you are a heavy hitter you will like the Lex versus other poly, if not a big hitter but rely on placement, spin, etc it does not matter so save the money.

03-05-2004, 07:27 PM
To me, Kirschbaum Touch Turbo and ALU are very comparable. The two strings have great feel and good control. They are both what I term medium power strings. All around both are the best out there. When I say best all around, they both provide the best compromise in terms of blending power, control, playability and feel. I don't use either because I play better with TIMO. But, I do like the way both of these strings play.

Competition plays deader a whole lot deader than TIMO. But, it has a good buttery type feel and for the price is a good string. I prefer TIMO now because of the very thing I didn't like when I first started using it, it's hard feel. I have grown to love the hard feel that TIMO has. The whole reason to use TIMO IMO is the amount of consistency and control that it provides.

In summary, if I was an ALU addict, I'd swap it out with Touch Turbo easily. A buddy of mine, my doubles partner, used to use Spiky 17. He has fallen in love with TT. He likes it better, says it has better control and is easier on his arm.

Competition is a unique string. It has a different feel than anything from Luxilon or Kirschbaum IMO. Competition is a good string and I would probably have liked it had I given it more of a chance.

TIMO is my string of choice and I guess as long as I play with the C10, I'm hooked on it. I've found my frame, string, and tension. TIMO, for me, provides a level of consistency and control that I have yet to find in another string. I do plan on buying some Big Banger Original to try. A buddy of mine let me hit with his V1 and I really liked it.

Hope this helped.

03-07-2004, 12:41 PM
Thanks, Rabbit, your review is helpful. My tournamnet playing son loves the BB ALU and we tried to get the company to sponsor him but they said they only sponsor the top 5 in each country. SO we're going to try TT and if he likes it, we will switch as it is 1/2 the cost of ALU. Do I string it the comparable 10% looser like ALU recommends?

03-07-2004, 12:50 PM
You can string TT tighter than ALU. First string job, I would string it the same as ALU to get a starting point, but I believe you'll be able to go higher with no problem.

03-13-2004, 10:44 AM
Thanks, Rabbit. My 17 year old son played with TTurbo and ALU in his new Tour 90's. He liked the TTurbo better saing that it's softer and has more control. The ALU is too stiff in this racquet. He had TT at 56 lbs and ALU at 54 lbs. Last year he play with the ALU at 55lbs. in the Zone 7.1 racquet. I'll have him try Competition sometime this week. Looks like I'lll be saving 50% in his stringing cost.

06-08-2004, 01:42 AM
...Deuce, sorry but the only player I've seen hit everything was Roger Federer at Wimbledon 2003..
...So true Topsspin.
Especially the semi vs Rodick... So strong was Fed's 3rd round US open 2003 vs Blake...Some match!! Blake had played his best tennis ever on this match but finish each point 3 meters of the ball though... I've tape it and still watch it sometimes.

Steve Huff
06-08-2004, 04:16 AM
I don't use poly's much any more, to save my arm. But, some of the guys I play with and string for do. One thing I have noticed is that the Polylon makes a great sound when its new. It just sounds like it's really hitting the ball. The others, Lux included, don't have that same lively sound. A couple of the guys like Kirshbaum SuperSmash 1.20. They really like the feel of the thin gauge Super Smash. I generally hybrid it with a 17g OG Micro, and it has worked out well.

08-02-2007, 10:35 AM
I'm trying a bump on this 3 year old thread.

Now that we have much more choices of polys, I wonder how people
feel about this issue:

Premium polys are much better than cheap polys ?

Premium polys have very different base material compared to cheapo polys ?


Big Tigger
08-03-2007, 03:44 AM
yeah, Fastdunn.
IŽd also like to hear about this.

08-03-2007, 06:36 AM
I notice quite a bit of difference... especially in tension rentention and overall feel. Hve tried many... The Babolats and ALU's, etc... but found a nice poly from DUnlop (Dynamite) that is a Big Banger knock off but plays better and holds tension like no other poly I've hit before. It's a bit tough... give the 17g a try.

08-03-2007, 08:00 AM
I'm trying a bump on this 3 year old thread.

Now that we have much more choices of polys, I wonder how people
feel about this issue:

Premium polys are much better than cheap polys ?

Premium polys have very different base material compared to cheapo polys ?


I think the new "co-polys" give even better overall playability compared to the most expensive polys ie ALU. They hold tension so much better, have a nice soft feel to them, give just as good control, have more feel for volleys and come in lots of different gauges. They also play more consistently over time and dont seem to go dead after 2 hours like ALU. IMO SPPP and Topspin Cyberflash are the best polys and they both outperform ALU, Huricane etc etc in every catagory.

08-03-2007, 08:33 AM
i still use polylon because it is soo cheap. does not play the best, but definitely works!

08-07-2007, 05:13 AM
I still am using ALU and loving it. I have tried many of the other strings, including SPPP, Energy, and the new Weiss-Cannon silver string. I hope each time I try one of these others that I will like it as much as ALU, but they all end up being too "springy" for me. ALU hold tension much better for me than two hours. I do pre-stretch it (although most do not do this with poly). I also use it with a drop weight and take my time with it. I had someone string my racquet during a tournament with a regular crank stringer that was not a constant pull one. I can tell you that either they did not have it callabrated right or just did not go with my requested specs or something. It was way too lose by the time I used it. I have always thought that letting it sit for a few seconds at level made a difference. Also, when I have used some of the other strings (especially energy and SPPP) that if you take it to level, you can actually see the string "relaxing" and the drop weight continuing to dip for 10-15 seconds. The only set of ALU that I cut out after one play and event that was only two games.