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View Full Version : Can Multifilaments go dead?


Speed Kat
12-06-2010, 10:52 PM
Can Multifilament strings go dead and would there be an inherent "arm risk" to us more sensitive elbow-ed lesser folk, as there would be with a poly?

I know there would be a tension drop and loosening up leading to "the trampoline effect" and wild balls spraying hither and thither but is that it?

Thanks knowledgeable forum browsers...!

Carolina Racquet
12-07-2010, 03:27 AM
In my experience, multifilament strings keep their playability longer, even after they start to fray, due to higher elasticity.

Your arm/elbow should be fine, but perhaps you might not like the tension loss that happens to all strings.

mikeler
12-07-2010, 04:03 AM
For me, multifilaments always break before they go dead.

origmarm
12-07-2010, 04:22 AM
The short answer is yes they can but it takes a long time. I've only seen one dead multi, was in a racquet that came from a friend of my mothers. She had been playing with the same string for 2+yrs and it was dead when I hit with it.

They tend to break or lose a lot of tension before they lose their elasticity though

fgs
12-07-2010, 04:23 AM
every string irrespective of material sooner or later goes dead. going dead in my opinion is losing the elastic properties. with multifilaments this happens much later than with polys. as i break strings in about 10 hours playing time, i have not experienced this in my own racquettes, but occasionally i hit with a racquet of somebody else boasting for instance that his string didn't break for 8+ months. while that was nice for his wallet it definitely was not nice from the playing experience - therefore i personally recommend to have your racquettes restrung every three months at least, even if your multifilament might still look good. i don't know of anybody having hurt his elbow from playing with a "dead" multi, but i can imagine that in the long run you might run into trouble, since the lowering of the elastic properties will most probably make you overhit in order to get that ball going, and then also the danger of injury comes into play.

SteveI
12-07-2010, 04:52 AM
Just like many folks, I have never played a dead multi. When they lose tension they become unplayable for me. I either break them or they lose too much tension and I cut them out.

NLBwell
12-07-2010, 11:01 AM
If they are left in the garage for several years.

Speed Kat
12-07-2010, 11:50 AM
how about used 4 times to play then left in the cupboard for 3 months?

The_Question
12-07-2010, 12:02 PM
I have never played a dead multi. When they lose tension they become unplayable for me.

Wait...wouldn't lose tension be the cause of lost of elasticity? Wouldn't loss of elasticity cause the string bed to feel dead? Now, wouldn't loss of tension cause of the string bed to feel dead??

Hapless
12-07-2010, 12:05 PM
I'm a 3.0 that plays with multis. I've noticed that they lose tension at about 4 hours of play, which is almost more of a break-in period. Then there's 10-20 hours of solid performance. After the 20 hour mark, I've found they don't go dead per se, but you'll notice a dip in performance and feel from the stringbed; I presume this is further tension loss.

Of course, this could be entirely a product of my imagination, and I'm using a lousy day's hit as an excuse to restring.

fgs
12-07-2010, 01:16 PM
tension loss does not equal loss of elasticity. of course the elastic behaviour is affected by tension, but a string is elastic when put in a racquet at 20kg as well as when tensioned at 28kg - it will definitely behave different though. a string which initially was pulled at 28 and let's assume will have lost tension up to the 20kg mark, can still be elastic, ie not dead.

coloskier
12-07-2010, 07:58 PM
For me, multifilaments always break before they go dead.

I can 2nd that. Breaks before it dies.

jyas
12-07-2010, 10:39 PM
Yes they lose tension and go dead.
No arm risk.
Yes that's it.

sansaephanh
12-07-2010, 11:17 PM
I can 2nd that. Breaks before it dies.

+1. Especially Head's Fibegel. Breaks fast if you go with a full bed. Great playability and tension retention

laboule
12-07-2010, 11:38 PM
For me, multifilaments always break before they go dead.

I second this. It's a paradox to the naked eye. Most people, that don't know what they are talking about, think a monofilament last for half a year if it does not break. This is also one of the bigger reasons to why people get tennis elbow; when the monofilament lose its playability you have to muscle the ball a lot more which also means you hold the grip firmer and tighten up upon impact and thus your body needs to absorb more shock.

So even that multifilaments looks more worn after a while it still is the most economic string, if you want to keep playing tennis. This is mainly for us amateurs though...

Tennis_Crazed
12-08-2010, 09:02 AM
For me, multifilaments always break before they go dead.

Same here. If you're worried about multifilaments going dead before breaking, it means they are durable enough for you and that you should change out your strings more often.

timball
12-08-2010, 10:21 AM
I'm no expert here but I have played with various multi's for years and my experience is that, although they do not break and I am not a string breaker, they do lose enough tension that they just become rocket launchers. I have had this experience with X1, NRG, NXT Tour and K-gut. K-gut seemed to be the best but alas, it is discontinued. I string tight...60-64 pounds in a 18x20 pattern and I find that after no more than 5-6 weeks, playing 7-8 hours per week that the life of any muti is gone for me. I start hitting balls deep, less spin and just overall less control. I agree with others that X! is very crisp for the first hour or so and then it is awesome for probably 20 hours of play. After that it is WAY too powerful for me. I just had Rip Control installed in one of my rackets and I am earger to see how it performs given the praise I have seen on these pages.

I hope to find something that plays as well as any number of multis but performs longer and thus requires fewer string jobs.....although I am becomming so OCD about such that I think a Gamma or Neos is in my future!

TennezSport
12-08-2010, 10:48 AM
It's all about elasticity vs. resiliency in string that makes them perform the way they do. NG string has the highest level of both of these elements and thats why this string is by far the best string on the planet. Mathematically elasticity is the ability for a string to stretch and resiliency is the ability of a string to recover to it's original state.

The issue arises as no string is 100% resilient and cannot recover to 100% original state, so we see tension loss. With NG, multis and SG string the elasticity is high and the string will lose tension as resiliency is lost as we continue to play. This will continue until the string breaks or all resiliency is eventually lost and the string goes dead (for non string breakers). NGs resiliency is so high that it almost never loses it and will perform great until it breaks, after it settles in.

Poly and co-poly strings have very low elasticity and low resiliency, so they are stiff and lose tension quicker than they counterparts. Plus, poly/co-poly strings have a max stress point (varies by string makeup) where you can pull it so tight that the string plays dead from the beginning; it's surpassed it's resilient point and cannot recover at all; resiliency = 0 (kind of like when you bend a plastic card and suddenly see a whitish line at the bend; the line shows the plastic has exceeded it's recoverable state). Because you have a high stiffness index with low elasticity and resiliency in poly/co-poly string, stringing lower is crucial for the life and best performance from the string.

Cheers, TennezSport :cool:

SteveI
12-08-2010, 11:04 AM
It's all about elasticity vs. resiliency in string that makes them perform the way they do. NG string has the highest level of both of these elements and thats why this string is by far the best string on the planet. Mathematically elasticity is the ability for a string to stretch and resiliency is the ability of a string to recover to it's original state.

The issue arises as no string is 100% resilient and cannot recover to 100% original state, so we see tension loss. With NG, multis and SG string the elasticity is high and the string will lose tension as resiliency is lost as we continue to play. This will continue until the string breaks or all resiliency is eventually lost and the string goes dead (for non string breakers). NGs resiliency is so high that it almost never loses it and will perform great until it breaks, after it settles in.

Poly and co-poly strings have very low elasticity and low resiliency, so they are stiff and lose tension quicker than they counterparts. Plus, poly/co-poly strings have a max stress point (varies by string makeup) where you can pull it so tight that the string plays dead from the beginning; it's surpassed it's resilient point and cannot recover at all; resiliency = 0 (kind of like when you bend a plastic card and suddenly see a whitish line at the bend; the line shows the plastic has exceeded it's recoverable state). Because you have a high stiffness index with low elasticity and resiliency in poly/co-poly string, stringing lower is crucial for the life and best performance from the string.

Cheers, TennezSport :cool:


Great Post...Nice work TennezSport !!! Cheers

timball
12-08-2010, 11:13 AM
It's all about elasticity vs. resiliency in string that makes them perform the way they do. NG string has the highest level of both of these elements and thats why this string is by far the best string on the planet. Mathematically elasticity is the ability for a string to stretch and resiliency is the ability of a string to recover to it's original state.

The issue arises as no string is 100% resilient and cannot recover to 100% original state, so we see tension loss. With NG, multis and SG string the elasticity is high and the string will lose tension as resiliency is lost as we continue to play. This will continue until the string breaks or all resiliency is eventually lost and the string goes dead (for non string breakers). NGs resiliency is so high that it almost never loses it and will perform great until it breaks, after it settles in.

Poly and co-poly strings have very low elasticity and low resiliency, so they are stiff and lose tension quicker than they counterparts. Plus, poly/co-poly strings have a max stress point (varies by string makeup) where you can pull it so tight that the string plays dead from the beginning; it's surpassed it's resilient point and cannot recover at all; resiliency = 0 (kind of like when you bend a plastic card and suddenly see a whitish line at the bend; the line shows the plastic has exceeded it's recoverable state). Because you have a high stiffness index with low elasticity and resiliency in poly/co-poly string, stringing lower is crucial for the life and best performance from the string.

Cheers, TennezSport :cool:

An awesome explanation and one that clears up much for me in my attempt to understand different string types and properties.

But now, I must ask, as you state clearly that low tension on poly's is mandatory for best performance. How much lower do you feel one should string a poly vs. a NG or multi? And secondly, do you support the common thread that all poly's go dead quite quickly and are really only appropiate for pro level players and/or ones that restring daily/weekly?

TennezSport
12-08-2010, 01:05 PM
But now, I must ask, as you state clearly that low tension on poly's is mandatory for best performance. How much lower do you feel one should string a poly vs. a NG or multi? And secondly, do you support the common thread that all poly's go dead quite quickly and are really only appropiate for pro level players and/or ones that restring daily/weekly?

Thanks SteveI and Timball for your kind response. However I cannot take all of the credit as the team here has spent a lot of time with some great string engineers to understand this mess. We recently spent a great week with Jay Cee where he dazzled us with his knowledge of poly/copoly string design; our heads were spinning.

Timball, you are asking very good questions and I will try to answer as best I can. JC told us that when they originally developed poly string it was for pro players only, durability was to be for one match or 6hrs max. Because of the higher stiffness index you could string lower and not lose control and it was harder to break, especially good for clay court players. The opinion at the time was for 5-10% lower tension than you would use for a NG or Multi/SG string. Tension loss was not a consideration because pros would restring almost daily.

However, when rec player heard about this "Magic String" that their fav players were using and they heard the word "Durable" they as you say "jump on it". Most poly manufacturers were not prepared for this and just sold the standard poly string as requested. The second problem was that most rec players did not adhere to the 5-10% reduction and strung at normal tension; elbow problems rose immediately. Several companies like Kirschbaum began to address this issue with the concept of copoly strings, trying to soften poly string and give them a longer playable life span for rec players. At one point Kirsch suggested not to string over 57lbs (25.9kgs). All companies are still searching for that soft, spinny, durable magic string today.

Finally to answer your last question, poly strings are better today and good for some rec players who understand that poly string has little more life than NG/SG/multi string in the sense of playabilty. You may not break the poly string but it does lose it's playable life faster than NG/SG/multi string. Poly string is good for you if it fits your game and your level of ability, as long as you understand how to properly use it and not hurt yourself. Hope this answers your question.

Cheers, TennezSport :cool:

timball
12-09-2010, 06:40 AM
Tennez.....once again, clear as a bell and made my decision to stay with multi's a firm one. I have been so tempted to try a poly as I seek better control than what I have been getting from multis.....after a honeymoon period of a number of hours and then the rocket launcher is bourn! My hope was that poly's, especially a softer copoly, would provide better control and longer life as I never break strings.I guess my best shot is to stay with multis, continue to test them all and restring once a month or so. Makes the decision to buy a stringer that much more sound.

Thanks again for educating me and others on this board!

NLBwell
12-09-2010, 09:08 AM
how about used 4 times to play then left in the cupboard for 3 months?

Probably aren't dead then. 3 months isn't that long and I'm assuming the cupboard doesn't have lots of temperature variation.

TennezSport
12-09-2010, 09:45 AM
I have been so tempted to try a poly as I seek better control than what I have been getting from multis.....after a honeymoon period of a number of hours and then the rocket launcher is bourn! My hope was that poly's, especially a softer copoly, would provide better control and longer life as I never break strings.I guess my best shot is to stay with multis, continue to test them all and restring once a month or so. Makes the decision to buy a stringer that much more sound.

You do have other options in the new multi/co-poly strings by several makers like Tec and Wilson to start. Tec makes Promix and Duramix along with Wilsons NXT Control. These strings are multi configurations with poly bundles included in the string. They are stiffer than typical multis but softer than co-poly strings and they hold tension much better than co-polys.

Another option is to hybrid a soft rounded co-poly with a synth gut, multi or NG string (SG, multi or NG must be 4lbs [2kg] lower than the co-poly string). As the co-poly starts to die the synth gut, multi or NG will hold the string bed up and keep the soft feeling. Lots of options out there with over 1300 strings to choose from. Enjoy the quest and have fun.

Cheers, TennezSport :cool:

SteveI
12-09-2010, 11:28 AM
You do have other options in the new multi/co-poly strings by several makers like Tec and Wilson to start. Tec makes Promix and Duramix along with Wilsons NXT Control. These strings are multi configurations with poly bundles included in the string. They are stiffer than typical multis but softer than co-poly strings and they hold tension much better than co-polys.

Another option is to hybrid a soft rounded co-poly with a synth gut, multi or NG string (SG, multi or NG must be 4lbs [2kg] lower than the co-poly string). As the co-poly starts to die the synth gut, multi or NG will hold the string bed up and keep the soft feeling. Lots of options out there with over 1300 strings to choose from. Enjoy the quest and have fun.

Cheers, TennezSport :cool:


1300 strings.. what is the total # of conbinations if you hybrid???

TennezSport
12-09-2010, 01:51 PM
1300 strings.. what is the total # of conbinations if you hybrid???

That was the number of strings on the market today including hybrid combinations according the the national rep from Wilson. And, there are more coming, as current companies come up with new co-poly combos and new companies are introduced like Thunderstings in Europe. I know that we tested about 40 sets of new string this year for the USRSA and various manufacturers. Some made it to market and some did not, but def more to come.

Cheers, TennezSport :cool:

origmarm
12-10-2010, 03:47 AM
Tenez as always a pleasure, cheers for the info

Orig

0d1n
12-10-2010, 04:05 AM
You do have other options in the new multi/co-poly strings by several makers like Tec and Wilson to start. Tec makes Promix and Duramix along with Wilsons NXT Control. These strings are multi configurations with poly bundles included in the string. They are stiffer than typical multis but softer than co-poly strings and they hold tension much better than co-polys.

Another option is to hybrid a soft rounded co-poly with a synth gut, multi or NG string (SG, multi or NG must be 4lbs [2kg] lower than the co-poly string). As the co-poly starts to die the synth gut, multi or NG will hold the string bed up and keep the soft feeling. Lots of options out there with over 1300 strings to choose from. Enjoy the quest and have fun.

Cheers, TennezSport :cool:

Hmm this sounds contradictory to me...it seems that it would have to be the other way around (i.e. the more elastic/resilient string strung higher rather than lower).
That's the way I do it anyway...

Tennis16
12-10-2010, 07:26 PM
Multis tend to lose tension first.

maxplymac
12-11-2010, 09:23 AM
Can a string lose elasticity without being played much or does it just lose inherent tension? I guess what I'm trying to ask is can a string lose elasticity by not hitting balls with it?

TennezSport
12-11-2010, 10:54 AM
Hmm this sounds contradictory to me...it seems that it would have to be the other way around (i.e. the more elastic/resilient string strung higher rather than lower).
That's the way I do it anyway...

0d1n, you are absolutely correct, my bad, I did not check that before posting.
SG, multi or NG must be 4lbs [2kg] higher than the co-poly string. Poly string loses tension faster than a SG, multi or especially NG string but the poly stiffness index is higher. As the poly string goes dead the SG, multi or NG will hold the stringbed up.

Cheers, TennezSport :cool:

TennezSport
12-11-2010, 11:01 AM
Can a string lose elasticity without being played much or does it just lose inherent tension? I guess what I'm trying to ask is can a string lose elasticity by not hitting balls with it?

Strings lose tension (or creep) from the moment they come off the machine. The rate of loss will depend on the string type. One of the tests that the USRSA requires is to test the stringbed the moment the racquet comes off the machine and then to test again after a few hours of non play. String can lose 4-12lbs in creeping a few hours after stringing and not hit a ball.

Cheers, TennezSport :cool:

lethalfang
12-11-2010, 07:33 PM
Wait...wouldn't lose tension be the cause of lost of elasticity? Wouldn't loss of elasticity cause the string bed to feel dead? Now, wouldn't loss of tension cause of the string bed to feel dead??

Not necessarily.
Multifilament strings consist of many thin filaments. Let's imagine if we invented a material that will never lose elasticity unless it breaks. The multifilament string can reduce to half of its original tension when half of those filaments are broken, yet lose no elasticity because they are not stretched any more or less, due to the fact that the racquet frame does not change shape.