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nvottennis
11-19-2010, 07:27 PM
Hey everyone,
I've been contemplating this for a while, and I've finally resolved to make a detailed record of my current journey to find my perfect string set-up. However, before I can choose a string, I have to find the tension. So, for the next two weeks, I'll be posting my input on the high vs low tension idea (62 lbs. vs 30 lbs.). Inevitably, I'll also be critiquing the string combination.

So, my first trial will be on a 30 lb. set up of a hybrid of Live Wire XP 18 (mains) and Spiky Shark 17 (crosses). I normally use a full bed of poly, but starting with a new slate, I'll be using the same hybrid at 62 lbs as my control since that's the tension that I normally use. Be back within the next two days on my first taste of this!

-Ted

By the way, to clear any confusion, the purpose of this first experiment is to comment on the general differences between the two tensions AND give a detailed review of the hybrid, which if I'm correct, is fairly new since I've heard of this (I'm just using these two since they are the only poly and multi's that I had in stock at the moment). This first experiment is simply based on the physics of tennis where the lower the coefficient of friction between the strings should create greater spin potential. My hypothesis is that the lower tension and the multi (mains)/poly (crosses) should do just this.

nvottennis
11-23-2010, 02:27 PM
Sorry for the delay. As a full time student, I've had a lot of recent school work recently. Anyways, This is my first experience.

My first impressions after picking up the racquet was that the poly crosses were starting to notch into the multi mains.

Conditions: 2 hrs on indoor hard surface courts
Racquet: Youtek Prestige MP 18x20 pattern
Overgrip: Wilson Pro OG
Player: I'm a 4.0 baseline player

Forehand groundies: Probably the worst aspect about the set up that I didn't not enjoy. My shots felt unusually shaky/unsteady. It didn't feel like the string bit the ball, but it still produced a decent amount of spin. Nothing too impressive. Also, the control wasn't that great. One thing I noted was that you could really feel the ball pocketing in thisI'd give this a 4/10
Backhand groundies: Surprisingly sturdy. I felt a lot more confident in hitting this. The only thing I didn't enjoy about this was that it was a bit too strong and so I couldn't hit the extreme angles. Now, I was either hitting the ball too long, or right at the base line, which is something I don't usually do since I'm predominantly a spin player and tend to hit a little past service line. Control was better here, although spin was a lot less than on the forehand. It's probably because I hit flat on my backhands. Anyways, this is a 6/10.
Slices: I didn't get a lot of time to try slices out since it frustrated me to the point that I needed to focus on my game play more using other tactics. The ball tended to float upwards or just get dumped into the net. I've had better on other full poly setups. 4/10
Volleys: I really liked it. It sounded and felt like my racquet didn't have a shock absorber, except for the fact that instead of the racquet shaking from vibration, the set up pocketed the ball well. Again, didn't get much of a chance to completely test this section since I'm a baseline player and am very cautious when approaching the net. 7/10
Flat serves: Absolutely the best part of this set up. I finally was able to hit consecutive 100-110 mph serves that would always land within inches of the previous. 9/10
Spin serves: This part was decent. My kick and top spin serves weren't jumping as I normally would get them, but I was able to get these in at a reasonable pace. Also, my slice serves weren't dragging my opponent off court as I would have liked. 5/10
General Comment: It took a few minutes to get used to it. The setup was actually a bit overpowering, but not by an insane amount that I couldn't adjust to. I expected that the spin would be amazing based on the reviews I've read about low tension, but it was a disappointment. The only thing that was true was that it played a bit contrary to what the normal tension trends would predict.

I'll be out the next few days to hit further with the set up. Maybe a little time to break in will improve its playability since for now, it's one of the worst setups that I've tried.

pvaudio
11-23-2010, 05:23 PM
I don't want to be PV Pessimistic, but do you honestly think that the huge discrepancy between your forehand and back hand ratings is due to the string and not that one is just your better stroke?

nvottennis
11-23-2010, 09:53 PM
I don't want to be PV Pessimistic, but do you honestly think that the huge discrepancy between your forehand and back hand ratings is due to the string and not that one is just your better stroke?

Yup, I've been having a big discrepancy between the two strokes, which is strange since my forehand is usually my dominant stroke. But nonetheless, there is an awkward aspect to this set up that makes it harder for me to execute the forehand, bad strokes or not.

nvottennis
11-24-2010, 05:31 PM
So I went out again today and hit with the same setup.
Conditions: 4 hours on hard court outdoors. Temp: 50 F, but it dropped to 40 at the end.

Sadly, the set up has been nothing but a disappointment. I did manage to fix my forehand stroke, but despite this, there is absolutely no control. The balls are always flying longer than I want, and when I do get it to hit where I want, I have to literally "push" the ball, thus sacrificing speed, power, and reaction time. Also, the serve no longer has the special aspect to it that gives it the extra pop/trampoline effect. In general, everything stated before today's trial has become worse.

On other matters, I will change the control from 60lbs to 50lbs. I feel like the extra 20lbs will be more than enough to provide more control while not sacrificing the power of the set up.

-Ted

nvottennis
11-28-2010, 05:02 PM
I figure that it's time to move onto the control. The 30 lb setup was just too uncontrollable/unbearable. I'm probably going to just cut it out. So, I should have a review on the control within this week (probably by next Sunday).

-Ted

nvottennis
12-16-2010, 08:36 PM
Hey, sorry about the delay. I had to put this experiment off for a while since I will be playtesting the December blind string once I get it. Anyways, I will also be stringing up tonic on my other racquet, so I should be able to give my impressions on it by the end of the week. It'll be the first time for me using a full bed of gut, and I hope it turns out well!

-Ted