View Full Version : Help...looking for best tension holding NON-NATURAL GUT/NON-POLY

Jon Hampton
11-02-2005, 12:44 PM
I've been playing tennis for awhile now...almost 10 years. I started playing tennis with your basic, synthetic gut string, so most of my strokes are geared towards the feel and spin-potential of a synthetic. Every once in awhile, I get this crazy idea that I need to try out a new string, so I do. Just to name some and what I found wrong with them...

Babolat VS: Too expensive/too fragile/way too powerful
Babolat Hurricane (as a hybrid): I like the stiff feel, but my elbow doesn't; and the tension drops off after about 2-5 hours of hitting.
Gosen (or Gamma, can't remember) aramid, or kevlar (hybrid): not as stiff as the poly hybrid, but again I feel like the tension of the synthetic its paired with drops off too quickly.
PSGD: Good overall string, but I feel like about 5-10 hours of hitting the tension becomes unplayable and not soon after the strings snap.

So, here's a question to all you knowledable string people. I need to find a string that HOLDS ITS TENSION, but IS NOT A POLY/ARAMID/NATURAL GUT. So, basically, I'm looking for a synthetic gut string (mono or multi) that after a few hours of hitting won't feel 5 lbs. lower than what it was originally strung at.

Any helpful comments would be appreciated!

golden chicken
11-02-2005, 01:12 PM
try laserfibre supreme. you might want to go up a couple lbs. on your normal tension, because it's a little powerful, but it holds up well.

11-02-2005, 02:43 PM
USRSA rates Tecnifibre NRG 16 with pretty low tension loss.

11-02-2005, 02:57 PM
TF Bi-Phase or Babolat Xcel are both good choices. BTW, Babolat VS is not as fragile as you might think nor is it significantly more powerful than a good multifilament string.

Richie Rich
11-02-2005, 04:29 PM
most multi's lose 5-10% tension after strung anyway. some are better than others. i have people that really like tec biophase for having little tension loss. stay away from nxt. even nrg loses tension pretty quickly, regardless of what USRSA test says. i haven't tried the yonex multi's yet but people here say good things about them and they are pretty cheap too.

Jon Hampton
11-02-2005, 04:45 PM
BTW, Babolat VS is not as fragile as you might think nor is it significantly more powerful than a good multifilament string.

In my opinion it is. I ended up breaking it on a big forehand about an hour after I had it strung. And by powerful, I didn't mean in a good way. I meant it felt like a trampoline when I hit the ball...and I even strung it a few pounds higher than normal, but it still felt pretty springy.

11-02-2005, 08:50 PM
Hi Jon

I've dug up an old post of mine for you. This is data Ive compiled from the Bench / Lab testing done by the USRSA, not the blind playtesting results. It's an admittedly a small incomplete list, for two reasons. One, I don't want to give away the whole store for free, the USRSA is a member website. Two, its just my own personal study group, I've wittled down the myriad of strings to study a repesentaive sampling more closely.

The 1st number is stiffness, higher # = stiffer
The 2nd number is Impact shock, higher # = more shock
The 3rd number is dwell time, higher # = longer dwell time
The 4th number is tension loss, higher # = more tension loss

the whole system is based on 100 for natural gut as a baseline, so when you see 849 as stiffness on the kevlar/aramid strings, it means that string is 849% stiffer than gut.

From softest first, to stiffest last:
100-100-100-100 Pacific Prime Gut Imperial 17
108-101-100-89 Pacific Classic Gut 17
113-103-99-86 Babolat VS Team 17
113-103-99-85 Wilson Natural Gut 16
144-103-96-80 Klip Legend 16

152-104-99-145 Pro Kennex IQ-Element Z 17
169-105-98-153 Isospeed Pro 17
202-111-95-132 Technifibre 515 17
202-114-94-101 Babolat Xcel Premium 17
211-113-94-130 Gamma Live Wire 16
213-116-93-102 Technifibre X1 Biphase 1.24
213-116-93-102 Technifibre X1 Biphase 1.30
214-112-93-131 Wilson NXT 17
214-112-96-155 Gosen Biogut Poly Multi 16
217-117-92-97 Volkl Power Fibre 18
221-116-93-119 Dunlop max Comfort 17
222-116-92-103 Babolat Xcel Premium 15
226-116-92-126 Wilson NXT Tour 17
232-117-93-120 Prince Topspin 15
241-116-93-152 Babolat Conquest 16

251-115-93-170 Babolat Pro Hurricane 17
257-114-94-194 Pacific Poly Soft 16
260-116-93-182 Klip K-Boom 17
262-112-96-239 Wilson Enduro Tour 17
267-112-96-247 Wilson Enduro Tour 16
269-118-92-173 Luxillon BB Alu Power 16
273-115-93-203 Prince Polygut 16
273-115-94-217 Prince Polygut 17
277-118-92-173 Lux BB Orig 16
284-119-93-199 Gosen Polyon Comfort 16
290-118-91-165 Luxilon BB TiMO 17
296-118-92-194 Lux BB Orig Rough 16

568-148-82-186 Forten New Age 18
697-156-78-119 Forten Aramid Gear 15
818-161-76-181 Gamma Infinity 16 Hybrid between
849-161-78-270 Ashaway Crossfire II 16 Hybrid

I like to use this kind of data to narrow the field of strings to playtest, then I throw all the specs out the window, and buy what feels right. Please do not interpret this information as a list from "best" to "worst". There is no "best" string. It is simply a measurement of specific qualities which are neither inherently bad or good. Many players believe that a softer string will pocket the ball more, thus creating better control. Others will insist that a stiffer string creates more spin, and thus more control, or creates more control by reducing string bed distortion. You are free to process this information in any way you choose.

If you are interested in the X-one Biphase, give me a holler. Ive got about a year and a half on it and have a pretty good feel for describing it.

Take care -Jack

Jon Hampton
11-02-2005, 11:50 PM
If you are interested in the X-one Biphase, give me a holler. Ive got about a year and a half on it and have a pretty good feel for describing it

Hey Jack, thanks for your great post. I've noticed a general trend with everyone saying the X-1 Biphase is the string to try, so go ahead and describe it the best you can, along with any personal observations would be great as well. Thanks again.

Richie Rich
11-03-2005, 02:52 AM
duh. i can't read so i deleted my post.

Tennis Ball Hitter
11-03-2005, 06:40 AM
When during my research a while ago to look for non-tension dropping strings, I came up with the following

Laserfibre Supreme
kirschbaum competition [its a poly and I am skeptical]
signum pro poly plasma [our whatever its called]
OG micro sheep JC 16

I have purchased all of them except the pro poly plasma one. I am trying lasefibre supreme at the moment. Its only has a few hours of play, but tension is definietly holding very well.

Just a side note, since someone mentioned it above, for me laserfibre supreme feels dead, no power what so ever, less power than the psgd17. Thats my impression so far at least.

I had them strung at 60 on a LM prestige mid.

it woud be good to know what your research brings up since I want to order the signum pro poly plasma and it would be good to have a few more strings to purchase at that time to test.

11-03-2005, 10:09 AM
Hey Jack, thanks for your great post. I've noticed a general trend with everyone saying the X-1 Biphase is the string to try, so go ahead and describe it the best you can, along with any personal observations would be great as well. Thanks again.

Preamble - I string my Tecnifibre X-One BiPhase at 58lb ( in my 98in frames ). If I ask for 58lb from my stringer at the club, and check it using my stringmeter on day one, actual tension comes in at around 55 in the mains and around 52 in the crosses. I know that the stringmeters are not 100 percent accurate. Thats a whole nuther conversation. I'm just adding this info as a way of suggesting my favorite stringer, the guy I drive 15 miles out of my way for, strings a pretty tight 58. At the club closer to me, if i ask for 58, I'll get something mid forties on my stringmeter, which is not all that unusual, I've come to learn. For me this (tight 58 on a 98 in frame) is just right. X-one is a very comfortable hitting string, and this is just enough tension to where it doesnt feel boardy, and they arent so loose you that youve got spagetti to straighten after every point.

Good Qualities - Holds tension almost as well as natural gut right up until breakage. If its strung too low to begin with, its going to be moving on you right from the start. It's not the most durable multifil nylon, but stays pretty playable the whole way. Find it to an absolute joy to volley with, nice feel, nice crisp little pocket without feeling like a trampoline. Very spin friendly, and super comfortable. One of the highest industry ratings ever for comfort, which is why I think you can string this multi on the higher end of your tension range.

My One Complaint - Durability / Price, I play about 3-4 times per week for two hours each. This translates into breakage times about every week and a half or two, or 16 - 20 hours on court. I must be a string breaker though. The USRSA sent this string out to be tested for five weeks by 34 playtesters, with NTRP ratings from 3.5 to 6.0. These are blind tests, with playtesters receiving unmarked strings in unmarked packages. Average number of hours playtested was 25.7. Out of the original 34, Six playtesters broke the test sample, one each at 5, 5.5, 7, 17, 26, and 55 hours. At some point I start thinking about all the posters here, who are getting 20-30-40 hours out of natural gut, and the Durability/Price trade off starts to look questionable to me.

The link to the playtest results I've just mentioned, can be found at Racquet Sports Industry Magazine which I've posted below. In addition to the lab testing I've already posted for you, you can find the comments from every one of the 34 playtesters at the very bottom of the link provided.

Quote: "Our playtester team loved this string, giving it the highest Power rating of any string we've playtested, dethroning Tecnifibre 515 16L (our previously highest rated string), and moving Tecnifibre NRG2 SPL 17 from second place to third highest of all time. They also loved the Comfort, awarding X-One Biphase our best-ever rating of all the strings we've tested. In addition, our team rated X-One Biphase third place overall both in Playability and in Spin Potential (the Biphase process in action?), and fourth place overall in Touch/Feel. For good measure, they also rated it well above average in Control. The average score was good enough to vault X-One Biphase into fourth place of all the strings we've tested." -RSI

Have a great day down in sunny Florida Jon, round a bout january here, I start to question why I still live here. Take care.


11-03-2005, 10:12 AM
LaserFibre Supreme is a great string. I also like Volkl PowerFibre.

Richie Rich
11-03-2005, 07:38 PM
Babolat Fibertour does a good job of holding tension for a multi and it plays pretty crisply too.

11-03-2005, 10:08 PM
LaserFibre Supernatural Pro Stock is as close to natural gut as you will find, in playability, tension loss, etc. It's also almost as expensive as nat gut. LaserFibre XRC Phenom is less expensive and holds tension very well, too, although its softer and not as crisp as Pro Stock. I have some LF Supreme but have never tried it. It's supposed to hold tension well but is reportedly stiffer than most multis. Personally, I'm addicted to nat gut. It is actually a good value, a smoking deal if you string your own sticks and buy it from TW. The Technifibre X-1 Bi-Phase holds tension pretty well and plays real nice, but it's stiffer and and feels a bit brittle compared to XRC Phenom, which is similar in price. TF Bi-Phase may be more durable than LF XRC Phenom.

11-05-2005, 02:08 PM
Laserfibre Laser Supreme
Signum Pro Fiber High Tec EXP
Tecnifibre X-One biphase

11-05-2005, 10:04 PM
i agree w/ the laserfibre supreme