View Full Version : Multis overrated?

11-12-2005, 06:17 PM
I tried out some new multi's and didn't care for them too much, so I had some cheap synthetic gut (Ashaway Liberty) laying around for a while so I cut the strings out of one of my frames and strung up the Liberty at 60/57, my usual tension. Well, the first thing I noticed when putting it in is that it stretched more than any multi I've tried recently. I thought that might be a bad sign, but I played a doubles match today, and hit well with it. It feels comfortable with a softness to it that none of the multi's I've tried have. It was medium powered, and the strings didn't move around too much, about the same as most multis. Tension seemed stable for 3 sets(2 hours) which is good. I was worried that it might loosen up a bit as much as it stretched when I strung it. Most multi's I've tried, I tend to string them up a bit higher than what I want because they all seem to have a slight drop off in tension after hitting an hour or two. And with almost all of the multis I've tried the drop off in tension means too much power. I'm hoping that the Liberty will not be quite as resilient as the multis and so if it starts to drop tension maybe I won't get a huge trampoline effect.

Anyway, all the multis I've tried seem to be way overrated compared to this two dollar string. I mean I liked a lot of them, but this string is very comfortable when hitting hard, and isn't overpowered. At two bucks I don't care near as much about durability, so I think I may start sampling some of the cheap synthetic guts and see what I like. I was thinking that I might like to try some Signum Pro Poly Plasma as a main and Liberty on the cross to tone down the power even more. If the Signum is as comfortable as people say, and low powered then I should really be able to put a hurtin' on the ball. :-)

11-12-2005, 07:46 PM
My generic reply nowadays seems to be: "it depends."

Of course, it would be nice to have rules of thumb/laws for everything that comes along with strings/stringing, but that's just not how it works. I like it when a customer comes to me for advice, but i end up talking their ear off because there are so many things to consider.

I think the ashaway liberty is a highly underrated "syn gut" as well, but multifilaments have their own place in the strings/stringing world. I might all just boil down to "synergy." I.E. having the sum of both your racquet and your chosen set of string add up to something that is "better" or greater than each of them separately.

This means, maybe the liberty just works with your frame! Sometimes multifilaments are nice to tone down the power or stiffness of a lightweight boardy tweener, and sometimes polys are nice in players frames. I think there needs to be a balance of a ton of variables before deciding entirely to toss an idea/notion out the window.

I've been doing a lot more unorthodox experimenting lately to find out what's best in MY eyes. There is a lot of information and misinformation circulating on the boards, and that's not to say the board is getting worse. It's how it always will be, and how it's always been. Personal preference can't be properly described in words. The "feel" of a racquet may not be shared by others.

I think it's best to experiment and find out what YOU like. Of course, you might think syn gut is the best string in the world, and IMO, more power to you! (It's cheaper ;D)

I've enjoyed your posts in the past, and this one is no different. I think it's a great example of what i've been trying to say all along. No one is always right. It all depends on what YOU think. I think that's the allure of the strings/stringing world. There's always something else out there to try, and there's always those days where you feel great. Can't miss the ball.

11-13-2005, 03:08 AM
As a rule I've preferred a syn gut. (a solid core with multi wraps). In my experience the syn gut gives the best of both worlds ...... better tension maintenance, and durability. However, multis play very well also and they continue to improve ....... TF has continually improved their offerings. Multis, by nature, are usually softer and pliable. Although not always. For ex. I thought TF Bi-phase played firm and a little boardy, and holds tension extremely well.

11-13-2005, 10:37 AM
Flatspin, I notice that you play with Powergy. So far, I think Powergy is the string with the most feel that I've tried. I like it because it didn't have a lot of power also. I think I am maybe a bit tilted toward liking low powered strings because I played with Pro Blend for so long. Anyway, I wonder what it is about the Powergy that you like. Is it the feel that it gives, or something else?

I agree with diredesire and trying things out for yourself, that's one of the main reasons I post on this board. I like to hear what others have to say about different strings and also share my own experiences. I just think I may have gotten off on the wrong foot trying multis. It seemed there was a consensus that multis were the thing to try, other than gut, if you wanted excellent feel and comfort. So I started trying all these multis trying to get that sweet feel and low shock that I liked when I demoed the RDX. I found out that it is very hard to find a multi with the same level of comfort and control I experienced in the demo. So I kept trying more and more multis. The more comfort there was, the more power. That's the last thing I need. I tried some polys, and the power is less, but the comfort is worse, sometimes very bad. So anyway, I try this $2 string and it seems like I am closer than ever to finding that happy medium of comfort, power, and control. So I just thought there might be others who have had a similar experience or might be still hunting through the morass of multis out there looking for something that they may be able to better find in a cheap synthetic gut.

The other thing that strikes me is that the softness testing of strings that the RSI does may be the wrong way to look at the practical aspect of hitting comfort. I mean dynamite(which I like by the way) is supposed to be really soft, closest to gut, of all the synthetics, but I can tell you for sure that it is harder on your arm than a synthetic gut like Liberty, even strung at 10lbs. less tension. I'm not saying the RSI testing is wrong, just that when all the real world factors come together in an actual hitting situation, the regular nylon is better IMO for comfort.

So for all those people trying out multis that cost more than $10 typically, you might owe it to yourself to give some cheapo nylon string a shot and see what you think of it.

11-13-2005, 11:58 AM
I know some really good players who always use PSG or a similar syngut, they have no interest in experimenting or spending big dollars on high end string. And they kick everyone's *** on a regular basis

11-13-2005, 03:17 PM
Overpriced ? Yes, IMHO. Threaded nylon is still nylon.
I'm still using multi's and I'm aware of the high price
paid for just a little bit more resilience.
You can not beat playability/price ratio of the basic nylon mono....

11-13-2005, 03:19 PM
Kevo ...... I like the feel of Powergy specifically in dense string patterned frames especially mid frames. In these types of racquets the Powergy 16 softens the string bed some, gives that nice cushy ball-pocketing feeling and puts good zip on the ball. These are attributes that I like on mid dense patterned frames. For instance, I like the Powergy on my playing racquet (i Prestige mid @ 54-56lbs).
However, on the Wilson ntour 90 ..... I thought it was just okay ..... a little too mushy and moved around to much. I liked Gamma's Prodigy 16 ( And actually I'm not a Gamma fan) ....... a more firmer synthetic gut. Firmed up the string bed (more open string pattern) @ 60lbs. Powergy is average on tension maintenance but very durable and more powerful than most synthetics. I've been using Powergy in my Prestiges for almost 4 years running ...... I'm spoiled. lol!!!

11-13-2005, 09:02 PM
I agree. I find a cheap basic mono syn gut like Gosen OG Sheep Micro or PSG almost always works better in my player's racquets. I think the multis may work better in stiff tweeners because they soften up the racquet a bit so that it's less harsh and doesn't feel as stiff. However, in more flexible racquets, I find I can lose a lot of control using multis. You can't have both the head and the stringbed flexing at the same time because then the angle of your shot coming off the stringbed can become unpredictable. In more flexible racquets, I need a slightly stiffer string, like most mono syn guts, in order to maintain better control. Multis also tend to lose tension much faster than monos also. Thus, I find monos just a much better value overall than multis, especially at less than 1/4 of the price!

11-13-2005, 11:12 PM
Multi's in a tweener make it feel a bit more like a player's racquet.

Multi's in a player's racquet makes it feel a bit more like a tweener.

It doesn't exactly make sense, but it feels that way...

11-14-2005, 05:17 AM
I agree as well...for my game, multi's are overrated and overpriced. I've tried many of the finest multi's out there but I always come back to PSG w/D. Even though PSG w/D breaks within 3 hours of play, it feels better for those three hours (all three hours...not just the first hour) than any multi I've tried. The 3 or 4 supposedly best multi's out there get mushy feeling in a hurry and they certainly don't last any longer than my PSG. I also agree with Breakpoint that multi's (in general) are too powerful.....at least for me.

If I had arm problems I would still bypass multi's in favor of natural gut which is not that much more expensive.

11-14-2005, 05:40 AM
I know some really good players who always use PSG or a similar syngut, they have no interest in experimenting or spending big dollars on high end string. And they kick everyone's *** on a regular basis

James Jensen, the teaching pro who makes the Ultimate Tennis Video series, says he likes regular synthetic gut and a 16 gauge at that.

11-14-2005, 05:48 AM
I know some really good players who always use PSG or a similar syngut, they have no interest in experimenting or spending big dollars on high end string. And they kick everyone's *** on a regular basis


There are indeed many factors when picking a string. I have two basic guidelines.. I pick the string that:

1) Helps me win the most matches.

2) Will be the most kind to my arm, shoulder, wrist.. etc.. in the long run.

I try to balance these.. of course.. if you hurt you arm because of poor string selection.. #1 will not be an issue.


11-14-2005, 05:54 AM
I've been thrilled with the Prince Synthetic Gut Soft, aka Eketelon Power Play, which is a mono. Good-enough softness and a bit tougher than multis. I think it works better in my flexible frame, having a slightly stiffer string.

11-14-2005, 11:21 AM
Multi's in a player's racquet makes it feel a bit more like a tweener.

Actually, for me, multis in a player's racquet makes it feel like mashed potatoes. ;)

11-14-2005, 02:28 PM
Actually, for me, multis in a player's racquet makes it feel like mashed potatoes. ;)

Which multis and at what tension? Maybe I'm trying the wrong multis. I'm hoping by mashed potatoes that you are also implying almost no power? My problem is that almost all multis I've tried have so much unnecessary power to them that I end up stringing them so tight they are no longer comfortable. With Tecnifibre 515 at 60lbs after the hour or so break in period I think I could hit the ball 50 yards on a 3-quarters pace forehand. Now that's not all bad, but bank shots off the fences don't count in tennis! :-)

11-14-2005, 02:43 PM
No, I mean they feel way too mushy. I agree that most multis in heavy, flexible player's racquet feel way too powerful in most cases. I like a crisp feel so by "mashed poatoes", I mean they're too soft and pillowy and not crisp enough. Because they give so much, I feel that I can't control the ball as well, i.e., too much stringbed inconsistency. Stiffer strings just seem to work better, as in, more predictable.

Jerry Seinfeld
11-14-2005, 03:00 PM
Multis that hold tension decently are my personal favorites. They're the "cat's meow" baby!

11-18-2005, 02:26 AM
I agree with Jerry. Multi's are getting better and better. Poly's, to me, lack feel, loose tension quickly then feel "dead". Tension maintenance and durability in multi's haven't been a problem for me.

11-18-2005, 05:17 AM
It's weird, but I find I get more power w/ a cheap solid core like ' Stamina' than a soft multi like NXT, having said that, I string the ' Stamina' at a lower tension.

11-18-2005, 07:28 AM
I havent hit all of the multi's, but have hit quite a few of them. For the most part, I think they arent worth the money and that you can get similar results, same or better durability, and good feel from a standard grade synthetic gut...crazy to spend 15 bucks on a multi when you can spend 5, and for the same 15bucks you can go gut hybrid and get noticeably better performence. Over the years, the two multi's i think have advantages over a basic syntetc are NRG2 although that one doesnt hold tension well and isnt durable and Klip Excellerator, which i think is a terrific string for a synthetic. I dont think strings like BiPhase or Laserfibre Supreme are worth it at all

Jerry Seinfeld
11-18-2005, 08:56 AM

I suspect the Supreme may have been strung too tightly when you tried it. It's a terrific playing string when strung at an appropriate tension. Sometimes, because of it's tension holding ability, the tension needs to be taken down from a standard tension, especially if you are stringing at the higher end of the range. That said, it is not my personal multi of choice. I do, however, believe it is one of the better multis on the market and I have many customers who are absolutely devoted to the string.

As for the same results from a standard grade synthetic gut...I don't experience it. The difference in feel is significant for many, but apparently not all. I do have a couple PSGD devotees. Common thread among them is age. All in upper 40's - low 60's.

11-18-2005, 01:33 PM
LF supreme was one of the 1st multi's I've ever tried and
it was very noticably better than synthetic mono or polyester.

If I tried many other soft multi's before LF Supreme, I probably
would have not been impressed that much. Coming from mono's,
it was one level up.

I think Supreme has that ball pocketing of premium multi.
Compared to it, nylon mono's can be soft(er) cushion but
not as much pocketing. Comparably, I feel like balls slip
out of polyester string bed....

11-18-2005, 02:16 PM
I read a lot of positive feedback on the LF Supreme. Hence, I tried 17 (57#) and 16 (59#) on my n61 team. I was not happy with them at all. It produced more power than I prefer. The last hour before they snapped was the worst experience for me. The high power throughout the life of the strings was consistent for me on both gauges. I would not buy this string again. :(

11-18-2005, 04:13 PM
Jerry no the times i've tried LF Supreme it was at moderate tension. it just didnt feel good to me..stiff not crisp, and no more ball speed than a cheap synthetic..really doesnt mimic gut much at all <to me> other than perhaps tension holding. i've prob hit with the stuff a half a dozen times or so. I really think the Excellerator is a multi that plays markedly better in many respects

01-31-2006, 03:23 AM
to kevo,

you game some help on one of my threads in the past, and i got the impression that you are somewhat looking for similar characteristics in strings as i am... (by the way, what are you actually looking for?)

i was wondering if you could summarize your thoughts and findings of what you have tested so far, and what you liked and didn't like. i think it would be useful for people who are finding similar strings...

and if you'd like to answer additional questions:
1) so what are you using now? have you settled on a string setup?

2) you did recommend fibergel power... i don't remember whether this string was consistent throughout it's life... how did you find it?

3) you mentioned you tried signum fiber exp... did it play consistently?

4) what was your conclusion with ashaway liberty? i have a pack in my cupboard but haven't used it... my previous experience with other brands of $2 strings is they settle to become dead in a while... don't know if liberty performs any different.

5) as a side note, how many hours do you get with a basic string vs a multi (for all the above)?



01-31-2006, 03:38 AM
I'm with Breakpoint on this one - I use Gosen in my Prestige and it worked much better than an NXT.

01-31-2006, 04:00 AM
I have come to the conclusion after trying a variety of stirngs the best way to go for price and playability is to string with Gosen OG-Sheep Micro 17 frequently. At less than $2 a string job you can't go wrong. Fresh 17g syn gut strings are better than an expensive multis that you keep on till they break.