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View Full Version : What qualities of a mid give it its control?

02-24-2012, 06:54 AM
It has to be more than the small head size. what are the qualities that give it its amazing control because its more than increase going from 95-90 and its definitely not just the loss of 5 in^2.

6-2/6-4/6-0
02-24-2012, 08:29 AM
A distinct part of the difference is the length of the strings. Because the strings are shorter, the racket plays more precisely. The way the ball comes off the stringbed has to do in large part by the effective stringbed stiffness, which is higher at a given tension (with a given string and given racket flex) with either a smaller head or a more dense string pattern. Therefore as the stringbed is strung incrementally more loose (reducing from, say, 70 pounds down to 40) the stringbed stiffness of the smaller racket will exhibit a greater level of control, while the larger (or more open) head racket will exhibit less control.

Other aspects such as weight distribution in space also effect this, but in large part it is the stringbed. Of course this is complicated by the choice in strings, and nature of elasticity of the strings at the strung tension (Poly strings vs. Gut strings for example).

This is part of the reason that I always roll my eyes when people talk about the additional control of an 18x20 at (say) 58lbs vs. the same racket at 16x18 strung at 58 lbs - the stringbed stiffness will be different between the two, so to effectively compare, I believe that you should alter the tension of the open pattern higher to acheive the same stringbed stiffness when comparing the two versions... Same goes for talking about spin/dwell time/ etc...

02-24-2012, 08:59 AM
^^^Falls in line with what i experience. This is also how a mid feels better on serve right?:neutral:

02-24-2012, 11:23 AM
A distinct part of the difference is the length of the strings. Because the strings are shorter, the racket plays more precisely. The way the ball comes off the stringbed has to do in large part by the effective stringbed stiffness, which is higher at a given tension (with a given string and given racket flex) with either a smaller head or a more dense string pattern. Therefore as the stringbed is strung incrementally more loose (reducing from, say, 70 pounds down to 40) the stringbed stiffness of the smaller racket will exhibit a greater level of control, while the larger (or more open) head racket will exhibit less control.

i see what you're saying in regards to how a racket with a smaller head size or denser string pattern will have a higher stringbed stiffness in comparison to a racket with a large head size or open pattern when both are at the same tension. but i don't understand how lowering the tension would increase control in a mid sized racket in general, and then how lowering the tension would increase control in a mid sized racket but not an over sized racket (why an inverse effect?)

ChicagoJack
02-24-2012, 04:10 PM
^^^Falls in line with what i experience. This is also how a mid feels better on serve right?:neutral:

From my experience, mids are more effective on flat 1st serves. You have a much smaller window (height above the net and below the service line) to serve into, and thus control is at a premium. MP's seem to shine on second serves. The sweet spot is larger, which is needed because it's harder to hit the sweet spot on kickers and slices, as the racquet angle is more extreme. You loose some control, but the window is much larger on 2nds. You loose some MPHs on a kick serve motion, and the extra head size gives you a little extra oomph.

Also... +1 on 6-2/6-4/6-0's commentary on string length and deflection angles.

Xizel
02-24-2012, 04:32 PM
Mids tend to be in the 12 oz range, with very HL balances. This makes volleys very stable and thus accurate because of the high static weight and the extreme HL balance that gives it high recoil weight.

LeeD
02-24-2012, 04:56 PM
MID way between a small 85 and a huge 115. A compromise is always the best, although it doesn't do anything as well as the big or the small.

tlm
02-24-2012, 06:23 PM
Since i have been using a mid the biggest thing i notice is a more stable string bed, does not get the trampoline action like a midplus does after the strings are 2 hours old.

6-2/6-4/6-0
02-25-2012, 01:13 PM
i see what you're saying in regards to how a racket with a smaller head size or denser string pattern will have a higher stringbed stiffness in comparison to a racket with a large head size or open pattern when both are at the same tension. but i don't understand how lowering the tension would increase control in a mid sized racket in general, and then how lowering the tension would increase control in a mid sized racket but not an over sized racket (why an inverse effect?)

What I meant is that there comes a point where diminishing returns have been reached and stringing a racket any tighter with a given string will functionally make no change in the amount of control provided. Because the larger head size has innately more stringbed give, this point must be reached with the larger headed racket. If you take that point as your high reference tension and string both rackets the same and test (while both may feel brutally stiff) you will see that functionally they both have nearly identical amounts of control (this is abstract and simply argumentative, so go with me, ok; I know that functionally there is a point where you start going backwards on the amount of control you get from tighter strings, etc.). As you reduce the tension from that point, at any given increment the mid-sized head will exhibit more control than the oversized head because for the given stringing tension, the mid has a greater stringbed stiffness.

I am not suggesting that the mid has more control at a lower tension than the over at a higher tension (though this is true, and simply calculating the stringbed stiffness assuming identical rackets and string spacing, should give you the break even point where, for example, stringing the mid at 92% of the tension of the oversized racket will give you the same amount of control). This is, of course, all string dependent and in real life a bit more complex. But for the sake of a theoretical argument on a forum, I think it will work (thought if we wanted to turn this into an engineering exercise, we could get much more nuanced with this and really make eyes roll back in heads...).

02-25-2012, 10:10 PM
I am not suggesting that the mid has more control at a lower tension than the over at a higher tension (though this is true, and simply calculating the stringbed stiffness assuming identical rackets and string spacing, should give you the break even point where, for example, stringing the mid at 92% of the tension of the oversized racket will give you the same amount of control).

Ok, I think you're saying essentially that there is more of a buffer region of tension for mids than in oversizes. As in dropping tension from 60 to 50 in a mid will have less affect on control (or stringbed tension?) than if you were to do the same thing to an oversized racket.

But I want to clarify- in general, a mid itself will have more control at a lower, not higher, stringing tension, correct?

6-2/6-4/6-0
02-26-2012, 05:36 AM
Up to a point increased tension will give any racket more 'control'. Once you reach a certain point the increase in 'control' will be minimal from adding additional tension eventually leading to a point where there is zero increase in 'control' from additional tension. Then at another point greater than the net-zero point (where you have ceased to gain any control), you will actually start losing 'control'.

It is not likely true that a typical mid will have more control at 50lbs than 55lbs. However a mid at 50lbs may very well have more control than a 110 at 55lbs.

Hope this helps clarify

02-26-2012, 06:46 AM
From my experience, mids are more effective on flat 1st serves. You have a much smaller window (height above the net and below the service line) to serve into, and thus control is at a premium. MP's seem to shine on second serves. The sweet spot is larger, which is needed because it's harder to hit the sweet spot on kickers and slices, as the racquet angle is more extreme. You loose some control, but the window is much larger on 2nds. You loose some MPHs on a kick serve motion, and the extra head size gives you a little extra oomph.

Also... +1 on 6-2/6-4/6-0's commentary on string length and deflection angles.

Thats true. my speed pro hits better, more consistent kick serves than my redondo mid albeit at a lose of about 10 mph. But at least they hit the back fence 5ft up.:):twisted:

02-26-2012, 08:31 PM
Up to a point increased tension will give any racket more 'control'. Once you reach a certain point the increase in 'control' will be minimal from adding additional tension eventually leading to a point where there is zero increase in 'control' from additional tension. Then at another point greater than the net-zero point (where you have ceased to gain any control), you will actually start losing 'control'.

It is not likely true that a typical mid will have more control at 50lbs than 55lbs. However a mid at 50lbs may very well have more control than a 110 at 55lbs.

Hope this helps clarify

ok, are there general ranges for control on the different head sizes, outside of the recommended ranges on the rackets themselves?