View Full Version : Cat8VE users - Current string/weight setup ?
SC in MA
01-04-2006, 07:40 AM
After going thru past Cat8VE postings, it seemed that there was quite a bit of customization/experimentation going on with lead and strings. So I was just wondering what sort of Cat8VE string/weight setups are currently being used, by users such as Rabbit, drak and others ?
About a month ago, I hit briefly with a friend's Cat8VE demo. I liked it enough to recently buy a used one for a more extensive trial. I've now done some drilling with it and also played a couple of sessions of doubles. I didn't add any weight to it and I used the strings (a non-imprinted 16ga syn. gut) that were in it when I bought it. I would guess the string tension is toward the higher end of the range (60?).
Overall, I found the racket to play like others have, and that is: Very stable for its weight, extremely maneuverable, very comfortable, a good blend of power and control, easy to hit groundstrokes with spin or flat, and absolutely great volleys. I also found overheads very easy to hit with power. Serves were surprisingly good for both power and spin.
Problem areas were limited. The biggest problem is an occasional flying forehand if I overhit without putting some spin on the ball. I also had some initial timing problems, mostly with serves. I think this is because the racket is lighter than I'm used to. Most of the time the ball strike feels solid (though with a strangely light feel to it), however, there are times (probably on slight mishits) when the ball strike feels very lightweight, hollow-like.
Going forward... To try to get a more consistently solid ball strike feel, I'm going to add a bit of weight at 3 and 9. For my next string job, I'm probably going to go with Yonex 850 ProSpin, which I'm very familiar with. I'll probably try Klip Legend gut in the future. I usually like to string at the higher end of the recommended range, but my understanding is that mid-range works well with this stick, though midrange (55lbs) scares me because of a possible trampoline stringbed.
Anyway, thanks for any insight regarding your own current setups.
01-04-2006, 08:18 AM
[quote=SC in MA]Problem areas were limited. The biggest problem is an occasional flying forehand if I overhit without putting some spin on the ball. I also had some initial timing problems, mostly with serves. I think this is because the racket is lighter than I'm used to. Most of the time the ball strike feels solid (though with a strangely light feel to it), however, there are times (probably on slight mishits) when the ball strike feels very lightweight, hollow-like.
I dont currently use this frame, but if these are your only issues, I would say just leave things exactly how they are. Forehands will fly if you hit flat because of the catapults, and that's true of many modern frames <that's a technique issue>..Otherwise seems like your really like this racquet. I would just learn how to use it to the best of your abilities.
01-04-2006, 10:03 AM
My frames have had about 1/2 ounce added to them. There are two strips of lead, one 4" and one 5", on either side of the string bed at the 3 and 9's. Under the grip, there is some lead both at the top and bottom of the grip. This is enough to give me the same balance on the frame, or move the weight just a little back toward the grip. I am at work and can't put my hands on the frames now. The last thing is a leather grip.
I can say that a leather grip makes this frame. I had a little trouble with the grip shape with the stock synthetic grip and when I added leather, it all went away. There was another poster who didn't like the grip shape (drak?) and when I suggested he try leather, he had the same experience as me. I've always liked leather grips, and this is no exception.
Stringing, I've tried several different set ups. Right now for winter, I'm stringing with Volkl PowerFibre 17 at 60 pounds. I am thinking about backing off that probably down to 55 pounds. I hit with a good deal of topspin, so I can't comment on flat balls trampolining on you. I can say that I don't feel that. I think the Cat 8 cups the ball extraordinarily well. One of the things I really like about the Cat 8 is the feeling that it cups the ball, almost holds it on the strings. I realize that it doesn't, but there is a very unique feel. The other thing that I really like is its play at net which is nothing less than outstanding.
I've tried TIMO in the frame, and may go back to it. Volkl makes a string called VRexx that I'm also looking at as it is supposed to be very close to ALU only 3/4 the price. I have tried gut in them and really liked it. I'm going to try some Klip 18 in them this spring. Right now, I'm leaning toward gut during the warmer months and PowerFibre during the colder ones. Tension-wise, I'm still playing with. I liked the higher ranges, but now am thinking that mid-range might do even better since I like the way strings feel right before they break. I'm also reading a tennis physics book which says that 90% of the people string their frames too tightly.
01-04-2006, 10:41 AM
. I'm also reading a tennis physics book which says that 90% of the people string their frames too tightly.
I agree with this..I dont know about 90% but certainly most string too tightly. Also many stringers dont know what say 58 pounds is supposed to really be. Modern stringing machines string significantly tighter given any reference tension compared to older machines, and is incumbant on the stringer to know what any reference tension should actually be on their particular machine. I cant tell you how many lessons come to me with their frames strung entirely too tight for them (along with other wrong setups and gear). It often causes a cascading type efect when they string too tightly..causes them to swing too hard..smaller sweetspot so they misshit more..so they add lots of lead for stability on misshits, and hit late and cant spin the ball and balls fly on them so they say the frame is too powerful.....
Weight: After going from stock weight at 10.8 oz up to 11.5 oz I have settled for now (after 2-3 months) on 11.1 oz and about 4 -4.5 pts HL. At this weight racket is as stable as I need it to be, it feels very solid and I can generate I lot of racket speed, and it feels very quick at net.
Tension and string: I went away from a gut/hybrid and tried some Poly's, played okay but just a bit underpowered. I like the gut hybrid at the 58-60lb range, given that I play at 3700 ft that is about right. If I played a sea level I'd probably drop it 3-4 lbs. I may try Rabbits Volkl Powerfibre - Rabbit if you can give me a brief review of this string I'd appreciate it.
Grip shape: After much playing around, as I don't like the Volkl stock shape, and leather was just too slippery - here is what I have done. I removed my 4 3/8 pallet and put some regular electric tape (2 strips each side) at the 3 and 9 o'clock positions. Put the pallet back on and Whamo - a grip shape I much prefer! For me I found that the Vantage grips are the closest (amazingly so) to leather for getting you those really clean bevel feels and they feel similar (not quite as thick) in texture to the great Gamma Hi-Tech grips.
Anyway, this set up is working very well for me. As Rabbit says, this racket is a volleying wand and does everything else very well. And is super comfortable on the arm and shoulder.
SC in MA
01-11-2006, 06:22 AM
Thanks for the responses guys. I've played a couple of more doubles matches with it without making any changes yet (no added weight, 16ga syn. gut strings that came with it). Here are my observations:
Overall, I think this is a great, net play doubles racket. It's light, stable and comfortable. I must say that there are times when the racket feels too light, such as sometimes when I'm striking the ball on a return of serve, however, the manuverabilty gain because of its light weight is such a big plus for quick net play. I've been able to make very difficult gets because I was able to get my racket on the ball. And it is soo good at volleys, overheads and quick reaction shots. I haven't committed to moving to this racket full time for doubles, but I seem to be moving in that direction.
One interesting note related to serve. I really feel like I've served very well with it, getting good placement and getting better velocity and/or spin than with my other rackets (at least it feels that way), however, my opponents don't seem to have problems returning my serves. I guess I must not be getting the velocity and spin that I think I am. I'm going to try to get a better understanding of this by serving to a friend using various rackets to see what he thinks.
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