# Ashaway 100% Zyex monofilament

Discussion in 'Strings' started by corners, Feb 22, 2012.

1. ### travlerajmHall of Fame

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Actually, 10-20 lbs difference in tension can represent up to 7-8 mph difference in ball velocity.

How can this be?

The 2-3 mph difference typically reported by the tennis science folks represents a measurement taken in the racquet frame of reference. When you transform the ball velocity vectors to the court frame of reference, you need to take into account the effect of the difference in rebound angle.

As we know, a lower tension results in a higher rebound angle (for a topspin shot), so the ball rebounds in a direction more closely aligned with the racquet's swingpath (i.e, a lower tension delivers less of a glancing blow and more or a direct momentum transfer). This means that the higher the rebound angle, the more total momentum is being transferred to the ball. Some of this extra momentum goes into extra spin, and the rest of this extra momentum goes into extra ball velocity. But in the racquet frame of reference (in which the measurements are made), this fact gets hidden because the rebound angle's effect on the ball velocity is unaccounted for.

To accurately measure the effect of tension on ball speed, you'd need to do a tedious experiment where you held the rebound angle constant via a trial-and-error iterative procedure for each data point. That's not that practical in the lab unless you have a lot of time on your hands. But it is not too hard to get a rough estimate for the true difference in ball speed by taking ball speed and rebound angle data collected in the racquet frame of reference and then transforming it to court frame of reference. You also need to input values for the racquet speed and swingpath. You'd have to neglect the effects of different incoming impact angle (or else look for a way to correct for them), but you'd get a reasonable estimate. I have only done the calculation for a few conditions using data from the tennis science literature, and based on these, the true ball speed difference is usually 2-3x the published difference based on racquet frame of reference measurements alone.

Last edited: Apr 3, 2013
2. ### cornersLegend

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I was playing gut/proline II last year at 52/50 in a midsize. Proline II is similar to cofocus in terms of stiffness and tension loss. Just going by the lab data, I was initially thinking gut/ZX at 60/60. Then I read about Ashaway's recommendation to drop 10-20% tension and I was thinking 55. Now, after reading the various reports from guys that have actually been hitting this stuff I'm thinking 60 again. Even at 60 it should be more powerful than gut/cofocus, but not by much. As far as spin goes, I don't know. I hope it would give spin similar to gut/copoly but I kind of doubt it, just going off the reports on spin potential of ZX in full beds and in hybrids. It's real hard to predict these things though.

3. ### TimothyOHall of Fame

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Make this a sticky! Well said!

I'm very guilty of conflating power with launch angle in the past since the result is often similar: ball sails long. But they are very different things.

With a stiffer string bed and higher SW/mass (at least by general retail standards) I feel like I get more "controllable power".

Drop tension and decrease mass/SW and I feel like the balls are all over the place.

4. ### travlerajmHall of Fame

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Read my post 551 above. You're not guilty of anything. Softer stringbeds are in fact significantly more powerful.

5. ### TimothyOHall of Fame

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They're more powerful but of the two factors which do you find more important, their extra power or the launch angle?

The power is certainly there. When I compare CoFocus to 4G there's a definite difference in power.

But I find launch angle or deflection more of an issue.

With soft string beds I find it more difficult to control ball direction regardless of power level. It gets worse the harder I hit, I guess because the string bed deforms more.

With stiff string beds I find it easier to control ball direction even with a heavier, more powerful frame and when hitting really hard.

6. ### RelinquisHall of Fame

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7. ### PigPenSemi-Pro

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Interestingly enough, there is a review of the new Monogut ZX Pro string which is 17g by RSI. The playtest reviews were all over the map.

There is an introductory offer where can get 3 sets of the red for \$20.

8. ### cornersLegend

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There an earlier review of the 16g too.

RSI Blind Playtest of 17g Monogut ZX Pro, testers were advised to drop tension by 5-10%: http://www.racquetsportsindustry.com/articles/2013/03/12_string_playtest_ashaway_mon.html

RSI Blind Playtest of 16g Monogut ZX, testers were not advised to drop tension: http://www.racquetsportsindustry.com/articles/2012/06/12_playtest_ashaway_zyex_monog.html

Definitely the playtester comments range from the very positive to the very negative. And there are some puzzling ones too: Some players found it very much like natural gut in comfort and others found it hurt their arms Go figure. Speaks to how unique and unfamiliar this string is. Good to keep in mind that these were blind playtests, so most of the players assumed it was a very soft copoly based on its appearance.

But it's fairly typical of these blind playtests to have a very mixed bag of comments. For reference, the editors always put the positive comments at the top and the more negative ones at the bottom.

9. ### cornersLegend

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I think I follow your logic here Trav, but any chance you could dumb it down a bit to make it easier to understand?

Also, where are you getting the 7-8 mph figure?

10. ### cornersLegend

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Yes, tennis is exactly that easy. Let's shut down this message board; nothing left to learn.

11. ### cornersLegend

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Torres has been experimenting extensively with Monogut ZX, starting with full beds and now moving on to copoly mains and ZX crosses. Several other posters have reported that this is a good combo. This makes perfect sense given how popular the hydrid of copoly mains and syngut crosses is. But ZX, on paper, should make an even better cross for copoly mains than syngut does. It is significantly less stiff, so it should be more powerful and comfortable; it is slippery like a copoly, whereas syngut has a gummy surface prone to denting, so ZX should allow the copoly main to slide and snapback with more energy; and it is reputed to hold tension better than syngut, which would make for a more consistent stringbed over time.

Here's what Torres had to say (upthread) about his most recent trial:

Now, we know from TW University's most recent study on how copoly strings "go dead", that tension loss is one of the two main culprits and possibly the most important one. Everyone knows that copoly loses lots of tension. But some newer copolys have really improved in this area. I made the following list of the copolys that hold tension best using the TW University String Performance Database to help people choose copoly mains that might match the tension-holding characteristics of Monogut ZX:

You can see that there are only ten copolys that lost less than 15 pounds of tension in the lab. All of these strings were introduced to the market during the past two years. So there is some progress on this front. Luxilon 4G is clearly the top string, followed by the popular Solinco Tourbite 16L and the obscure Gamma Zo Verve.

We also know that the other characteristic that would help a copoly/ZX stringbed perform consistently over time is a low friction surface. 4G is not the best in this area, having a somewhat gummy surface that seems vulnerable to notching. Tourbite, Zo Verve, OS 16L and Pro Line X, on the other hand tested with very low interstring friction in the lab.

The last characteristic that I can think of that would be desireable for a copoly main is high ball-string friction. And Tourbite and Zo Verve are near the top of strings tested in their ability to "bite" the ball. Both also have very high energy return for copolys, which should also help them perform in the mains.

RSI recently did a blind playtest of Zo Verve: http://www.racquetsportsindustry.com/articles/2011/09/11_playtest_gamma_zo_verve_17.html

Just some info. Use at your own risk.

12. ### travlerajmHall of Fame

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A visual aid seemed necessary. This is a little bit of an oversimplication, but it should give you the basic idea. In the figure, I have added the racquet velocity vector to the rebound velocity vector for each of two stringbeds (representing stiff and loose cases) to transform rebound velocity from racquet frame of reference to court frame of reference (sorry the court frame of reference is upside down in the figure). Note that to exaggerate the effect, I have chosen conditions where rebound velocities in lab frame of reference are nearly equal, but the large difference in rebound angle results in large (~10%) difference in rebound velocities in the court frame of reference. Most real tennis impact conditions will not produce results this extreme, but 7-8 mph difference is realistic at some real-world conditions.

That is, VA2 and VB2 are nearly equal in magnitude, but VA2' and VB2' have very different magnitudes.

Last edited: Apr 5, 2013
13. ### BoricuaHall of Fame

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Used Zyex full bed in a Pro Kennex Q5 295. Strung at 47. Served very good. But groundsrokes were inconsistent. Too much power. Ball was a trampoline many times. Will cut it out and its a shame as I used it only twice.

Will try Tuebo Twist mains zyex crosses, TT is very powerful so I will string higher. Maybe go 56 mains 57 crosses. Any comments on this?

And Corners or anyone, what gauge would you use the Solinco Tour Bite and Zo Verve when hybriding with zyex mains? What tension considering my Q5? Would this setup of TB or ZV with zyex be not stiff?

Last edited: Apr 4, 2013
14. ### TorresBanned

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Cheers for compiling that. Food for thought. Just a shame that 3 of those strings are 4G, a string which I don't like (expensive, lack of spin, stiff, a bit dead feeling), though it may be better as a hybrid. Black Widow I like but personally I think its soft enough to use a a full bed. That said I do want to get a reel of BW 16g. Might try Tour Bite at some point, but I only have 16g and that is an arm killer in terms of stiffness. I think there's an anomally with the TW data for RPM Team as I can't imagine that it would ever be stiffer than 4G. From past experience, MSV Hex 1.18 is a great string when fresh but goes dead very quickly particularly in a larger open patterned stick. I don't think I have any of the other strings on that list!

Last edited: Apr 5, 2013
15. ### TorresBanned

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Brown Monogut ZX 1.27 @ 56lbs CP (Juice Pro 96/16x20)

Went for 56lbs in the end rather than 55lbs, but it turned out to a bit too high a tension in this stick. This string is a bit like 'baby bears porridge' - everything needs to be 'just right' for it to work...

I was expecting this string to be (noticeably) softer than the Red, as Ashaway say that the dye in the red makes it slightly stiffer. If the red is stiffer, I suspect its only marginal and probably doesn't warrant a +3lbs tension increase (my choice) over the 53lbs that I string the red at.
Stringbed isn't uncomfortable, just a bit boardy, low powered, and the sweetspot feels small. I would probably string this brown ZX at 54lbs or 55lbs next time.

Stringbed played okay, but it just felt like a very firm synthetic gut that had been strung at too high a tension. I wasn't really getting any effortless 'punch' through the court on groundstrokes like I did with the Red ZX 1.27 at 53lbs CP. Punched volleys were good though - good repulsion of the ball off the strings. Flat serves were good but suffered from the fact that the sweetspot felt smaller at this tension. Spin was okay, but would be probably be better at a slightly lower tension. The gauge actually felt a bit thicker than the red - felt like a 'meatier' string than the red. Maybe I've got a strange batch. Good for control and consistency and would probably suit a big hitter - in fact it feels a bit like a comfortable version of Luxilon 4G as odd as that may sound. I think I'm probably going to leave this stick in the cupboard for a week or two to see if it drops a bit of tension, though the downside will be that the strings will probably start denting at the intersections where the strings press against each other.

Reference tensions that work for me for comparison (all CP):

Black Magic 17 (poly) - 52lbs
BHBR 16 (poly) - 53lbs
Red ZX 1.27 (zyex) - 53lbs
Black Magic 17 / Red ZX 1.27 (poly/zyex) - 52/53lbs

Brown ZX 1.27 (zyex) - 56lbs (bit too high).

Going to string up a Pacific Polyforce Extreme 1.25 / Red ZX 1.27 hybrid next whilst this brown ZX stringbed loosens up....

Last edited: Apr 6, 2013
16. ### TorresBanned

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Question for Julian - the stringing instructions say that for double action clamps, the base should be released first.

Am curious as to what the rationale behind that is?

17. ### travlerajmHall of Fame

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Hit again last night. The kevlar/ZX in my re-tensioned Blade seems to be staying reasonably stiff at about 7h now. However, I'm not sure that I really like the way it's playing where it's settling. It's ok for flat shots, but for whatever reason, it's not very spin friendly. When I take a steeper swingpath at the ball, the trajectory is still flatter than I'd like, and the rebound angle goes higher unless I compensate by closing the face. It's just not giving me the curvature that I like.

The mains still slide and snap back, but the stringbed seems to be playing less spinny than kevlar/syn gut (which doesn't slide).

I also was testing out my Diablo mid shortened to 26-3/4 with kevlar/SPPP (the kevlar had a couple of hours on it and the SPPP was restrung fresh), and I was enjoying hitting with the Diablo more. It was spinnier (probably in part due to the string, and in part due to a little more flex than the wider beam Blade).

Not sure what to try next, but I'm starting to doubt the ZX is going to give me what I'm lookng for: a stringjob that plays great for 15+ hours after it has been broken in.

Edit: Not giving up on the kevlar/ZX yet. I took it to the wall tonight and compared the targeting accuracy and volley accuracy head-to-head against my diablo mid and my Warrior midplus (more opne pattern but strung with kevlar/syn gut). The Blade was less spinny, but it definitely had the best targeting of the 3. Volleying accuracy was certainly a step up. I'm going to keep the string in adn see how it holds - I still haven't had a chance to play a match with it since upping the tension.

Last edited: Apr 6, 2013
18. ### TorresBanned

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The problem with this string in terms of longevity of performance is that the surface coating wears. I commented on this earlier in this thread along with pictures. The glossy, presumably slippery, coating wears down to a matte rougher finish which presumably stops the strings from sliding as easily.

Ashaway would do well to put a thicker or harder wearing coating on this string to try and maintain sliding performance, particularly given the cost of the string.

Last edited: Apr 6, 2013
19. ### cornersLegend

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Good point. If a string's lubricity is a result of a coating than the lab coefficient of friction numbers become kind of irrelevant. But dent resistance is still important. How are you finding ZX to be in that respect, Torres?

As far as I'm aware, gut/copoly is the only string setup tested by TW University that becomes more slippery over time, rather than less. Presumably, this is because of natural oils in the gut seeping into the string intersections. This still might work with ZX crosses, if they don't get dented and chewed up at the intersections.

20. ### newyorkstadiumSemi-Pro

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I fielded this question to the professor, but haven't had a reply yet.

If it's the coating that is responsible for COF, claims like "Gut/poly is the slipperiest combination" is false, as strings of the same type have different coatings.

21. ### cornersLegend

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I think I get it. This might account for the slightly larger differences in shot velocities between lower and higher tensions seen in this study than in similar comparisons done in the lab: http://www.physics.usyd.edu.au/~cross/PUBLICATIONS/28. StringTEffects.PDF

7-8 mph, though, seems a bit high.

22. ### travlerajmHall of Fame

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You would only see 7-8 mph difference for shots having an extremely steep swingpath. The flatter your stroke, the less the rebound angle difference affects ball rebound speed.

I would be hesitant to draw conclusions from the paper you cite - if the stringbed is more powerful, the player might compensate by swinging slower.

23. ### mikelerModerator

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Too many variables to apply string science to real life unless some rich tennis guy will pay for a bunch of research. Data is limited, use it with reviews and go try some strings people!

24. ### newyorkstadiumSemi-Pro

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I agree that people should follow reviews, mikeler. Especially your detailed reviews. Trying to utilize the string science enables us to potentially unearth a hidden gem, though.

If it's the coating that is responsible for COF, claims like "Gut/Poly is the slipperiest combination" is false, as strings of the same category have different coatings. I also think the term "nylon strings" is too loose, as there are different nylon types like zyex, polyutherane and polyefin, which I'm sure all behave differently. So a "poly/nylon hybrid" should be called a poly/polyefin hybrid. Does anyone agree with all this, or am I talking bollocks as we say in the UK?

Last edited: Apr 7, 2013
25. ### mikelerModerator

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The science talk is cool. I'm just not finding enough correlation with match situations yet...

26. ### cornersLegend

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Yeah, definitely there could be all sorts of compensations made by the player unconsciously. The experiment you described in your first post on the topic - firing balls at stationary racquets while keeping rebound angle constant - would be required to get accurate data on this.

So the greatest difference in speed of shot would on extreme steep swingpaths, which would also result in lots of spin. Convenient. This would seem to help explain why Federer gets such good results with gut/poly strung so low.

Would this effect also come into play with low swingweight/mass racquets? Players often describe the tweeners are much more powerful than the lab-derived ACOR numbers would have it. Low swingweight also results in high rebound angle.

27. ### cornersLegend

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Some rich guy - Tennis Warehouse - is paying for a bunch of research.

The data has identified the string that is less stiff than any multi on the market. Why haven't you tried ZX yet Mikeler?

28. ### cornersLegend

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That's incorrect. It could be false, but the fact remains that gut/copoly is the only string or combination of strings that objective testing has shown becomes more slippery over time than less slippery.

[QUOTEI also think the term "nylon strings" is too loose, as there are different nylon types like zyex, polyutherane and polyefin, which I'm sure all behave differently.[/QUOTE] Zyex and polyolefin are not nylon. Neither is polyurethane.

No, you're completely correct. Each string should be described accurately. This thread, as the title makes clear, is about 100% Zyex Monogut ZX.

People talk about 'multis' and most of them are nylon multifilaments glued together with polyurethane. The polyurethane is what makes them elastic, and also sticky.

29. ### travlerajmHall of Fame

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On Federer's relatively soft stringbed (compared to stiff stringbed guys like Djokovic, Blake, Soderling) gives him more velocity and action on the serve, and more action on forehands against sitters. But I've said it before: the achilles heel of a soft stringbed is dealing with heavy incoming spin. The softer the stringbed, the more sensitive the rebound angle is to heavy incoming spin. It's not coincidence that guys like Djokovic and Blake (in their primes) had no trouble beating Nadal, while prime Federer struggled, even though he was undoubtedly a better player against the field than than either of those guys. It's almost impossible to control the ball against Nadal-type spin with a soft stringbed, but with a superstiff stringed, it's easy.

BTW, just strung up my shortened EXO graphite mid with 19g gamma kevlar/18g OG miro syn gut at 45 lbs - will test it out today on court. A stringjob that only weighs 11.5 grams!

Last edited: Apr 7, 2013
30. ### cornersLegend

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Yeah, I'm pretty convinced that you're correct on this point.

31. ### travlerajmHall of Fame

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You don't have to take my word for it. Just look at Fig 5B of the 2004 Goodwill Haake paper. The slope of curve for rebound angle vs incoming spin is much steeper for looser tensions. It proves that tighter = more control!
Authors didn't mention it. There is also more spread in the rebound angle data for looser tensions, compounding the problem.

Last edited: Apr 7, 2013
32. ### cornersLegend

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I didn't mean convinced of the point of that low tensions result in greater rebound speed, higher rebound angle, and greater shot to shot rebound angle and spin variation. I think the research is pretty clear on those points. I meant I'm pretty convinced that you're correct that using low tensions becomes a problem for Federer when he plays Nadal.

33. ### mikelerModerator

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The Dynamite Tough was a pretty nice string. I'll get to it eventually.

34. ### BoricuaHall of Fame

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Zyex full bed pockets the ball well, especially on serves. I would like to see how it does at 55 tension in a Exo Tour 16 x 18 I plan to get. Zyex is powerful so it could blend well with the low powered Exo.

35. ### TorresBanned

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To me, ZX doesn't play as soft as a multi. I know the stiffness numbers suggest otherwise, but in terms of the way its feels, most of the time, it feels somewhere between a nylon synthetic gut and a soft co-poly in terms of stiffness.

To me, it doesn't feel as soft as say Tecnifbre Multifeel 17 at identical tensions for instance. It's never uncomfortable (not at any of the tensions that I tried) but it does have a certain firmness to it compared the softest nylon strings.

In terms of stiffness I'd say:

Natural gut < Multi < Synthetic Gut < ZX < Soft Co-Poly < Stiff Poly

[Edit: see my revised/additional comments on this post here http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showpost.php?p=7340324&postcount=621 ]

I think what might be throwing the stiffness numbers out of kilter is that the string 'gives' the more force you put through them. A synthetic gut feels soft for instance, but there comes a point where the string does not feel it wants to 'give' anymore, whereas ZX 'gives' more, the more force you put through it. Obviously, there's comes a point where you cannot force the string to 'give' anymore as there's a maximum limit to how hard you can hit the ball. It's hard to explain. It's obviously a very different type of material to nylon or poly.

Last edited: Apr 12, 2013
36. ### scotusLegend

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Let's throw out the terms like stiff and soft and talk about comfort.

Would you say ZX is not as comfortable on the arm as most of the multis?

37. ### mikelerModerator

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The dynamite tough was about as comfortable as a firm multi for me.

38. ### TorresBanned

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For me, neither string are likely to cause any arm discomfort.

In comparison, my arm and shoulder were on fire after several days of hitting with Luxilon 4G. More recently I've been hitting with Pacific Polyforce and even after a couple days of solid hitting, I can feel some very slight soreness in shoulder. Never had an issue with Black Magic, BHBR, BHB7 etc.

39. ### ginoHall of Fame

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Hey folks,

Read the better part of ~300 posts and I would like to say thanks to you guys for monitoring your progression with this string.

Especially Torres, your honest insight is appreciated and thank you Julian for making an effort to connect with your consumers and potential market on this forum.

I am a Div. III college player recovering from golfer's elbow and this condition led to me to have to switch string sponsors, as well as, my racket of choice. I have to change to a frame with a lower flex and for someone who is in my position, is this string my best bet for the playability of a poly?

I was thinking a full bed is too harsh, so perhaps MZX in the mains and a syn gut in the cross will help my elbow?

Thanks

Gino

Last edited: Apr 7, 2013
40. ### BoricuaHall of Fame

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How would you rate zyex in terms of spin capacity if compared to other strings?

41. ### TorresBanned

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Its probably the closest string to some of the characteristics of a poly without it being poly or it having the stiffness of a poly, if that makes sense.

It's not something I've tried, but that might work.

More than nylon strings, but less than the best 'bitey' polys.

Last edited: Apr 7, 2013
42. ### BoricuaHall of Fame

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Full zyec in a flexible racket like Prince Exo3 tour should be plenty comfortable. No need to use synthetic gut cross.

43. ### ginoHall of Fame

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Thanks for the post. It does make sense and I appreciate the feedback

Thanks for your post, I havent looked much into the EXO3 tour line, but a RA flex of 52 sounds incredible for my arm.

44. ### mikelerModerator

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It is a very different frame. Don't expect love at first sight but comfort is terrific. You may also want to consider Head RIP Control. Best spin for any non poly.

45. ### travlerajmHall of Fame

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Update on the Kevlar/ZX in the Blade:

I got a chance to play in match situation vs my regular hitting partner for first time with these strings today. My friend is ex-D1 5.0, big-hitter with laser 2hb and heavy loopy forehand, so good test.

I was pleasantly surprised to find that the stringjob played with pinpoint control on groundies and volleys. I think hitting against a heavier ball really brought out the true character of these strings -- the harder and heavier the incoming ball, the more natural it was me to hit it back with heavy rpm. I hadn't unlocked this really neat feature when I was just practicing against the wall or rallying with the wife. Today I had excellent spin control and never felt like spin was lacking when I wanted it. Volleys and blocked returns were crisp and precise too.

Basically, this well-broken-in kevlar/ZX is playing very similar to fresh kevlar/poly. Fresh kevlar/poly has unmatched control for an hour or two, then gradually turns into a volleyer's nightmare as the poly loses tension.
If I can continue to get hours and hours of this type of playability, then I'm sold.

If it stays like this (and it's starting to seem like it might for a while), I may have found my new string.

The stringjob probably has 8-9 hours of play since I restrung it with same string at 55 lbs (after about 2h at 49 lbs and realizing tension was way too low). Not sure what the equivalent reference tension would be if I strung it from scratch - maybe 60? Strings still slide ok, no signs of wear of coating, as it seems just as slick as when it's new. And no denting of the ZX at all. I think maybe the soft braided 18g ashaway kevlar doesn't abrade the ZX very much compared to stiff poly. The kevlar is hardly notched too - with poly crosses, the kevlar would already be mostly chewed through by now (and the poly long dead too). The thumb deflection test still passes - nice and firm.

Last edited: Apr 7, 2013
46. ### RelinquisHall of Fame

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how was it when trying to crush sitters?

47. ### travlerajmHall of Fame

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My friend didn't give me many of those today, if any. He plays aggressively and doesn't give me any short stuff. But I did thread the needle nicely on some passing shots.

48. ### ginoHall of Fame

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For sure, just took a look at the review. Chris/Spencer did a good job - takes a bit of getting used to.

My top option is switching to HEAD IG Speed 300 and modding the hell out of it.

My that I mean ~8pts HL and around 12 oz with a leather grip. My only concern is the SW of 308

49. ### BoricuaHall of Fame

Joined:
Feb 22, 2011
Messages:
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Check the customer reviews under this racket. Most are positive.

50. ### ginoHall of Fame

Joined:
Oct 12, 2009
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Bay Area
Took a look and saw some good feedback. Most likely ill make the switch to the IG 300. Now I need to find some \$\$\$ on my college kid budget to grab a couple of these haha

Has anyone had experience with a hybrid setup of MZX and a syn gut or multi in the cross - I'm curious what you found