Ashaway 100% Zyex monofilament

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

  1. mmk

    mmk Professional

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    Tomorrow I'll be stringing up ZX full bed in a Dunlop 200G XL (95 in, 16 x 18). I have been playing with BHB7 @ 42 lbs. So would you recommend going that soft? I had been thinking going mid-range, which would be 60 lbs.
     
  2. Torres

    Torres Banned

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    I suppose I should have said 'normal' soft co-poly tensions, rather than this 'super low poly tension' stuff that people have been trying. Personally I think 42lbs would be too low for this string, but that 60lbs would probably be too high.
     
  3. travlerajm

    travlerajm Hall of Fame

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    Update: Under 40-lb constant load, the ZX has creeped more in 3 hours than the Poly did in 24 hours.
     
  4. newyorkstadium

    newyorkstadium Semi-Pro

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    Travlerajm, do you think pre-stretched poly or zyex plays better? I will playtest both, but I'm still interested to know your opinion.

    Could you look at my post on your mgr/i thread. That is my last post on that thread, as I have over analysed it to death.
     
  5. travlerajm

    travlerajm Hall of Fame

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    Deleted post.
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2013
  6. travlerajm

    travlerajm Hall of Fame

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    Interesting result:

    Note how the ZX curve starts off with much steeper slope than the poly in the first hour of the stretch. But after 5 hours, the ZX starts to level off faster than the poly (Prince Tournament Poly 16). The poly keeps on creeping (the creep rate slows, but really never hits a plateau). In contrast, the ZX starts to hold once it reaches its plateau (similar to kevlar, except that kevlar reaches its plateau much faster at a given tensile load).

    It's noteworthy that the ZX loses a lot more tension initially than the poly, consistent with my finding that it seems to require a higher tension than poly.
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2013
  7. travlerajm

    travlerajm Hall of Fame

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    Yes.
    I agree - you are overanalyzing things. I think your questions about MgR/I would be easier to answer yourself once you spend enough time experimenting against the wall or on the court. If you haven't gotten to the point where you can reliably tune your racquet to your optimum MgR/I value, then you are getting ahead of yourself.
     
  8. downunder

    downunder New User

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    Update after about six weeks using Monogut ZX (brown).

    The string bed feels a bit stiffer than it did at first. I think this is due to free string movement and snap back reducing and making it feel less soft. The strings still don't need to be manually re-arranged (still snaps back). The power is also reducing.

    This is still my favorite string!
     
  9. fgs

    fgs Hall of Fame

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    logged three hitting hours today of which i played one hour with my reference setup (mpp/mcs) and two hours with the monogut zx / mcs hybrid.

    up to now the experience is truly impressive - i get more power with the mgzx and i am "forgiven" for offcentershots. when i'm on the stretch i still can play rather effortlessly a deep ball - as a matter of fact, initially they were sailing a little bit long until i dialled my strokes in. spin is so far absolutely comparable and touch is definitely better - again, after having dialled in on the slightly higher launch angle. i also managed to hit some wicked droppers in the latter part of the session.
    the only area were i seem to have some trouble so far, but that is nothing which cannot be adjusted, is shortangled topspin strokes - due to the higher power level of the mgzx these went usually into the doubles alley, by some 10-15 cm, so this is definitely "adjustable".

    interestingly, the mgzx shows no sign of notching after two hours of intensive hitting, while the mpp for instance, which has logged only about one hour, has already slight dents.
    nevertheless, the surface in the contact area is not so smooth anymore, but this seems to have no effect on the performance so far.

    stabilisation loss was basically as expected, both strings have lost a little bit of the "crispness/freshness" of a freshly strung stick - i played some volleys about two hours after stringing and today was at my usual 24hrs rest period.

    looking forward to my next session on tuesday.
     
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2013
  10. corners

    corners Legend

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    Thanks for the update Downunder! You could try putting some lube on to test your hunch that increased inter-string friction is what is causing the stiffer feeling. Regular Armor All seems to be a good choice.
     
  11. corners

    corners Legend

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    Interesting. Looking forward to hearing how prestretched ZX plays. (BTW, we probably need some new jargon to differentiate your method of intensive pre-stretching from the manual method (tie to door handle, pull) and the pre-stretch settings on electric constant pull machines.)
     
  12. wrxinsc

    wrxinsc Professional

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    tension recommendation please:

    i got the red colored thinner gauge string. seems to me this string will be very lively...

    i'm thinking 54 or 55 in a full bed for my volkl c10. open pattern, flexible old school plush players racquet, but it is very powerful.

    i play the c10's with very stiff poly mains and stiff/crisp syn gut crosses usually 50/53, and that can be too powerful for my swing speed and long strokes, but my elbow doesn't like higher tensioned polys. gut, syn gut, etc. - while i love the playability and comfort they just don't last more than a match or two for me.

    fingers crossed this will work for me to replace polys but be durable enough to work for my game.

    cross posting this from the playtest thread

    edit.... discussed with my stringer and we decided, because red, to go ahead and lower the tension the 10% recommended. Torres had noted in his reviews of the string he did not like at too high a tension, albeit in the thicker gauge, so that figured into our thinking. Went with 53 one piece. gotta say this is a very interesting string. i dig it. trained about 2 hours of singles last night. i can say that it is a very responsive string. could be that i went a smidgen too low for this thinner gauge string in my open pattern...

    oh and with a good rip with fresh balls you can smell the burn.

    durability is a key issue for me with this string so full review will be forthcoming next week.
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2013
  13. TimothyO

    TimothyO Hall of Fame

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    Based on comments in this thread (eg from Torres) I had pre-stretched ZX strung full-bed at 55/53 in a modified Pure Storm GT so I could compare it directly to my usual gut/poly setup in matched frames. It was strung on the same machine by the same MRT for a direct comparison.

    My MRT friend who did the stringing knows ZX extremely well since he uses it in his own frames and has spoken directly with Ashaway's owner about ZX at the RSS in Florida.

    My friend is a retired gentleman who prefers extra power and he gave me a heads up that I would find it more powerful than my usual gut/poly hybrid. He was right. I had trouble controlling depth, especially since its spin potential was so much lower than gut/poly. As we would say at a NASA spin-off where I once worked, "It's all thrust and no vector". :D A "compact", slow swing worked and I definitely didn't want to take a full cut at the ball.

    It plays precisely as one might expect given its physical composition: it's a monofilament that's extremely soft and springy. That means lots of power and less control.

    In other words, it plays a lot like a soft co-poly that has become very springy. Think Co-Focus after several hours of play.

    Unfortunately, it lacks a co-poly's spin potential and has nylon's propensity to become dented and rippled very quickly which increases string-on-string CoF (after just two hours it felt like 4G after many hours wrt denting and ripples). And it definitely lacks natty gut's feel and control. Mono "Gut" has to be the misnomer of the year in marketing.

    I only played with it a couple of hours so far but this is nothing like natural gut or polyester or, as Torres noted, even a multi. It is unique but my first impression is that perhaps it's not unique in a good way, at least for those used to taking full swings and hitting with lots of topspin.

    Maybe it's best suited for folks who swing slow and/or short without spin or pace and who are looking for extra pop from the stringbed.

    It will be interesting to see how it ages over the next few weeks.

    EDIT: Just reviewed travlerajm's tension loss data and it looks like I'm about to enter a period when ZX tension loss levels off so that should be interesting. Having read about ZX's power on TT I asked my friend to pre-stretch so maybe tension loss won't be as extreme? He metered the string bed right after stringing and we're going to re-meter every couple of sessions.
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2013
  14. Torres

    Torres Banned

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    ^ Unless its a cannonball setup, carry on playing with it and see if the characteristics change. If you're wanting alot of top from your strings, then the spin on this string won't improve - its somewhere between nylon and poly.

    If that 55/53 was on a LO, then that it would be tad low for me in a 98/16x20 Babolat PS which is why you may be finding more power than control. The string will not cause the ball to fly if you reach a sufficiently high reference tension. I don't like the boardier feel when the tension is too high but you won't be sending the ball long. At high/higher tensions, it does play more like a soft poly but with slightly more directional spray.

    From my experiences of this string, the optimum tension range is quite narrow for each individual player and racquet setup. There's certainly a "baby bear's porridge" aspect to tension with this string. I burned through 4-5 sets of this string just trying to find the optimum tension. For example 1.27mm @ 52 CP in a 6.1 95/18x20 was too powerful and was sending the ball all over the place, whereas 54 CP in the same stick played well. It seems to be quite tension sensitive WRT to the player, type of stick, pattern etc.
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2013
  15. TimothyO

    TimothyO Hall of Fame

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    Torres,

    Your comments make perfect sense to me even with just a couple of hours of play.

    It's definitely not a rocket launcher, just not what I'm used to. I guess I'm reacting to the contrast between my usual setup and full bed Zyex.

    I chose my tension based on your very helpful and detailed post and I can see how an extra couple pounds of tension would improve things. One caveat that I failed to mention and will do so in my final write up is that I received the thinner version. I nearly bumped tension a few pounds based on this but since my SW was lower than yours I decided to go 55/53. I was also considering your observation that ZX can be a little boardy at higher tension.

    After these initial two hours if I had to do it again I'd probably have it strung closer to 57/55 or a little higher.

    By no means is it a deal breaker for test purposes. I can still hit with this. But I definitely can't see switching to ZX from my current setup. However, after trying other full bed or synthetic mains I would say that about any other string. I just really enjoy natural gut mains and, to be fair to ZX, I can't see changing that.

    In any case your observations were extremely valuable in getting this initial setup at least close to something I could use. Your point about trial and error with this string is 100% accurate. It's not a string you can toss into your frame and expect perfect results immediately. Like an artillery forward observer you need to "bracket" your target until you find something just right (I wonder if Goldilocks was a FO?) :D

    I know that Ed uses a computerized machine but don't know the details. He's going to provide me with the nitty gritty details for the final write up. I know he's a very careful stringer and was already aware of the care required with ZX as he uses it in his frames. He mentioned that he let the ZX rest 10-15 seconds between pulls. He's one of those cautious stringers who even lets natural gut "rest" after opening the package and before handling it. You'll never see friction burn in his jobs, even on black VS Touch. His black VS Touch comes out perfectly translucent black with the text intact and the surface coating un-scuffed. What I like most about his work is its consistency and attention to detail. As a retired fellow who loves the art and science of stringing he's under zero time pressure and it shows.
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2013
  16. mmk

    mmk Professional

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    Then Goldilocks needed a TLDHS
     
  17. fgs

    fgs Hall of Fame

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    finally had some nice weather today and got my mgzx mains combo to four hours of play. spin is still nice and at high level, control is a little bit lower due to the stringbed having lost some tension. was regularly hitting returns long which during the prior session would still make it in. the stringbed is very lively, which basically is good, but if i'm a little bit late on contact then the ball sails some 10-20cm long. same thing applied to my serving, the percentage of first serves was lower, i rather constantly hit like 10cm out. with my 2nd kicker i had no issues though.

    "finally" there is some notching to see on the mains but it is very little. from this point of view, this will obviously be a very long lasting string.

    in spite of the fact that i'm doing pretty well with this combo i am tempted to think that the mcs-crosses are too soft in the long run. i'll string up the remaining half set in the next couple of days, with the mcs as cross again, but i will go up 1kg (~2lbs) and see how it does there.

    so torres, yes you were right - at 46lbs mains & crosses it is a little bit low for this string, specially when paired with a very soft cross.
     
  18. Torres

    Torres Banned

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    What do you normally use as a main, fgs?
     
  19. fgs

    fgs Hall of Fame

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    basically my reference main is the mantis power poly, but since i have embarked on my structured/shaped poly quest i have been playing like every second week another string. that is basically only poly, with the exception of my two tries with multi main and poly crosses which have been completely unsatisfactory in terms of durability (mcs broke within 15 minutes and head pwr fusion in a little bit more than an hour).

    i have also played some regular round polys as i did some playtests for stringforum.

    my favourites so far are obviously the mantis power poly, the genesis twisted razor 1.27, tecnifibre ruff code 1.25, polyfibre black venom rough 1.25 and kirschbaum competition 1.20.
    so far, the ashaway monogut zx does definitely make it into this "top"-category, even if i strung it too low. from the aforementioned i'd string the genesis about 0,5kg higher and the polyfibre black venom rough 1kg higher than i do the mantis - which i most like at 21kg. the ruff code would also most probably do better 0.5kg higher, but i'm not so certain about this as i am in regard to the genesis.
     
  20. Torres

    Torres Banned

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    Given your choice of main string(s), it suprises me that you should choose ZX in the mains with MCS crosses at a low(ish) tension.

    MCS is probably the most pillowy soft/comfortable synthetic string I've ever played with but for me, it lacks of bit of control because of the fact that its so soft.

    ZX is nowhere near the stiffness of any of those polys.

    So if you take out the poly from the equation and swap it for ZX with MCS crosses, you've softened the string bed and increased power noticeably.

    Wouldn't upping the tension of both ZX/MCS considerably make it closer to poly/MCS? Or have a poly/ZX combination at a slightly lower tension to what you normally have for poly/MCS?
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2013
  21. fgs

    fgs Hall of Fame

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    i definitely think yes. i have already mentioned that i take "full responsability" for my choice, but tempted by your description that the zx plays similar to a soft poly, and the genesis, the polyfibre definitely are on the soft side of polys, i decided to give it a first go at my regular tension, mainly because of the tension stability of the zx everybody was raving about. it definitely keeps tension pretty well, no doubt about it, but the initial drop seems to have been more in the polyfibre range, so i should have gone slightly higher.
    i will do this with my remaining halfset.

    from the playing experience so far i would not put the 1.27 zx in crosses with poly, i would rather test that combo out with the zx pro, but this is a completely different story.

    if the zx proves to be a rather durable string, even the zx pro would be a tempting thing for the mains, of course at a slightly higher tension. so far the string has 4 rather intensive hitting hours on it and has just very slight notches. now, i wait and see how things develop, as i have already had some strings with a really tough coating, but once that rubbed off things accelerated really much and from what looked to be a longer lasting string evolved into a below average one in terms of durability (not talking playability here!).
     
  22. corners

    corners Legend

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    Just going by the few reports we have so far, it sounds like one of the strengths of ZX is notch-resistance, which would seem to make it a good choice for a main string. Other reports make it sound like a near-ideal cross string for someone looking for a soft and rather slippery cross. While the full-bed reports are a bit mixed. Strange string.
     
  23. fgs

    fgs Hall of Fame

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    corners,

    i don't think it is so strange - take for instance that i play a full bed of poly no longer than three hours till the mains pop currently. obviously i have gone tremenduously down in string lifetime, on hybrids for instance i used to get some ten hours out of them and currently i am at 5-6hrs. that also implies that when crossed with a multi, the poly in the mains notches less than when in full bed. interestingly though, with the few synguts i have experimented so far, i get more notching than with the multis, going through the poly mains in 4-5 hrs.

    since i do not play natty gut in the mains, for cost reasons obviously, i see no real use for me, at least for the zx (1.27mm version) as a cross string. i will eventually try the zx pro as a cross to poly sometime, but i have to confess that due to the good (but really very different) feel the zx gives in the mains, i would expect the zx pro to put one on top of that, of course with a little less durability, but if it gets to 6-7 hrs it should be fine.

    i really get a very good amount of spin on the ball with the zx as mains, absolutely comparable to the mpp as mainstring. have not tested it back to back with my favourite shaped ones, but i will eventually get to that sometime too.
     
  24. TimothyO

    TimothyO Hall of Fame

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    There was a report in another thread on using ZX as a cross with gut mains. The member wrote that the stringbed ended up "messy" and locked up just like any multi would.

    That's consistent with the full bed I saw a week ago or so and the one I'm testing. The surface is becoming dented and rippled with use inhibiting string movement and return to position. It's not as extreme as full multi in its "permanent" string movement but not nearly as a slippery as gut/poly or full poly either. Somewhere in between methinks.
     
  25. fgs

    fgs Hall of Fame

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    timothyo,

    after 4.5hrs of abuse as a main with mcs crosses (veeeery soft multi) i cannot confirm - the mgzx looks pretty fine with just minor notching at the intersections. of course, it is not as smooth and glossy in the contact area anymore but it still looks incomparably better than any poly mains after this time. the mpp i played as a/b-test to the mgzx popped after 5hrs, the mains being very heavily notched, obviously also crossed with the mcs.

    i have not played it as full bed, and i would definitely expect that, in the light of what i have written before, it would have been more notched in such a setting.
     
  26. corners

    corners Legend

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    I'm taking all reports with a grain of salt at the moment. Consider the two RSI playtest reports. Some of the playtesters said that ZX, strung as a full bed, didn't move at all; others said it moved a lot. In this situation I don't think we can take one report on gut/ZX and make a sweeping judgement, although the experience reported by the member you mentioned certainly was not positive.
     
  27. corners

    corners Legend

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    Yeah, I see what you're saying. The soft, compliant surface of multis probably cuts into mains less than any other string type, by virtue of that compliance, but probably more importantly because multis tend to lock main strings in place, or reduce their movement, which in turn reduces the amount of friction heat buildup and melting (notching) of the mains. Why are you using a multi cross with ZX mains, though? ZX is less stiff than even mcd. Are mains free to move not a priority for you?
     
  28. fgs

    fgs Hall of Fame

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    corners,

    i think that the mains move quite well with the mcs as a cross, although i can easily imagine that there are some more slippery strings out there that would enhance movement, and of course snap-back, even more.

    due to my rather elevated point of contact on the stringbed i need something that gives me softness in the upper part and for the time being mcs in conjunction with poly mains is the one that gave me what i was looking for.

    i went for the mgzx as a mains with the idea of getting a softer response from the mains as well and basically i found what i was looking for. nevertheless, the stringbedbehaviour is obviously quite different than with poly but in a very adaptable way for me. i will most probably today string up the second halfset slightly higher and see if i can tune in better on what i am looking for in a stringbed. at 21kg mains the mgzx paired with the mcs is slightly too soft and i miss the pinpoint precision i get for instance with mpp at 21kg in the mains. this is no surprise though as the strings do behave pretty different as i have already described, so i would guess that raising tension to 22kg, or even 22.5kg on the mgzx mains (and the crosses as well!) would get me closer to what i want.
     
  29. fgs

    fgs Hall of Fame

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    today i played my second match with my "too soft" mgzx/mcs hybrid. this time i had a moonballer and i "struggled" a lot. trying to exert pressure i used to overhit and since the stringbed is so powerfull i had a rather high count of unforced errors. it might sound weird, but this string, at least at this tension puts a lot of stress on my footwork and proper setting up when i get no pace to play with. my other opponent was giving me rather good pace and i was just redirecting the ball controlling it with spin, while today i "sailed" quite a lot of shots 10-20cm out.

    still very little notching on the mains in spite of having slightly crossed the 5hrs mark.
     
  30. TimothyO

    TimothyO Hall of Fame

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    Good point, especially if we don't consider string pattern, head size, and reference tension.
     
  31. mmk

    mmk Professional

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    I play with a Dunlop 200G XL, 95 sq. in., 16X18, and until trying ZX had mostly been using BHB7 either full bed, or crossed with another poly at around 42 lbs. I strung up full bed red ZX at 52.5 on a lockout machine, and have 6 hours / 6 sets on it. It is just now getting to the point where it doesn't completely snap back. Not quite as good in that regard as a poly, but is still much better than when I've tried full bed OGSM, which took about 10 minutes before I had to re-position the strings, or the multis I've tried, which weren't much different than OGSM for movement. I don't know how much of my recent results are due to ZX, but I've played really well since switching, splitting sets with a 4.0 who had destroyed me previously, and beating another guy 4 and 2 who usually takes me 3 and 3.

    I decided to try ZX because of GE, and even strung 10 lbs tighter than BHB7, my elbow doesn't hurt near as much. I'm getting just a bit less spin than with BHB7 (I'm old, with old school strokes). I don't use a damper, and the first few hits during short court warm-up I notice a vibration that is different from poly, not unpleasant, but once we move back and hit full court it isn't noticeable.

    I've got a number of other strings to try, a few multis, a syngut and yet another poly, but as of right now I'm very happy with ZX. I just wish it didn't cost so much, but game results + comfort = a good chance I'll end up buying a reel.
     
  32. NE1for10is?

    NE1for10is? Semi-Pro

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    I'm considering trying this string, but it's still not clear to me how it compares to other string. So for those of you who have actually played with it for a while, how would you rate it for spin, power and control? How do these factors compare to other go-to strings you like?
     
  33. corners

    corners Legend

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    Yeah, it's tough without all the variables accounted for. Hopefully all the TW playtests will give us enough information to start making general guidelines for this string.
     
  34. corners

    corners Legend

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    I'm kind of obsessed with slippery strings - I just love the dwell time and cushioned feeling it gives to a stringbed. But I've never used MCS before so I don't know why I was questioning your choice of cross! Sorry about that.
     
  35. fgs

    fgs Hall of Fame

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    corners,

    nothing to be sorry about!!! i basically chose the mcs as my go-to cross due to it's softness and in my opinion rather neutral behaviour. as far as i remember, out of the few cross-strings i tried, the isospeed professional classic 1.20 was more slippery and played similarly well, but is quite considerably more expensive. i found it to be also a little bit more lively, but that could be due to the thinner gauge, although the mcs basically thins out to be a 1.25mm when strung, even at the lowish tensions i use.

    so, in a nutshell, the mcs brings softness to the stringbed but not at the expense of adding power and implicitly loss of control.

    this is one of the reasons why i think the mgzx would not be a good choice for crosses to poly, as it definitely adds up power to the equation. i rather think (but i might be completely wrong of course) that it is easier to control a livelier main than a too lively cross with a rather "dead" poly as a main for instance. with my steep brush over the ball a too lively main can be tamed by lateral movement of the string itself while a too lively cross would simply increase rebound angle too much.

    i am obviously always talking about what strings do or can do for me without having to adapt my stroking technique too much. for different stroke mechanics the results could be completely different (i have put up two very short vids on my structured/shaped polys thread if you care to look at).
     
  36. corners

    corners Legend

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    Yeah, I'm inclined to agree with you about using poly mains with ZX crosses. That seemed to be the ZX setup that Torres was most enthusiastic about. Even if ZX is not as slick and slippery as many copolys, it is definitely smoother than most any syngut or multi, so should be a good substitute for those strings in a traditional copoly-mains hybrid.

    Regarding lively strings in mains vs. crosses, you might be right there too. I remember reading something from Babolat years ago on the RSI website - the gist was basically that the mains provide the spin and the crosses provide the control. Which makes sense, especially when the mains are free to slide and snapback. In that case, some of the energy stored in the mains strings gets expressed as spin, while the crosses are trampolining the ball in the line of the shot. I think this is why gut/poly is so popular at the top echelon of the pro game - Fed, Djoker and Murray all use this setup. A relatively stiff and low-powered cross like Alu keeps the trampoline effect down a bit, while the lively gut mains snapback with vigor, providing spin control.

    Yeah, from that perspective you're also following the old rule to only change one variable at a time, in this case your mains.

    Thanks for the heads up, I'll go check your vids now!
     
  37. corners

    corners Legend

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    Glad to hear it's working well for you in terms of results and arm health. You could try a BHB7 mains/ZX hybrid to get a little longer laster snapback action. I can't say that that will work, but it's worth trying. You shouldn't lose too much power or comfort, especially if you split the difference between your usual BHB7 tension and where you're at with ZX in a full bed.
     
  38. gtshark1

    gtshark1 Rookie

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    Play testing the pro version right now and had my first experience with the string for 2 hours yesterday. 1st impression not positive. Plastic feel and sounds are bothering me. The string makes a ticking sound on contact and when the string moves when I put them back into place. Similar to cheaper syn gut. Sounds like 2 pieces of plastic touching, rubbing, clicking.

    Feel is the same: not plush, soft, or crisp. Feels like unstable plastic contacting ball. Sounds like the string composition is very different than poly, multi, syn gut, and the feel matches the difference. I'll be testing it more but so far experience has been negative.
     
  39. travlerajm

    travlerajm Hall of Fame

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    I've played a couple of times with full bed of ZX Red 1.22 in my shortened diablo mid, pre-creeped to ~104% of initial length, 55 lbs.

    I got the tension perfect this time (I wouldn't go tighter or looser), but the experience is still not good.

    I did side-by-side comparison with my Blade, which has pre-creeped kevlar mains and ZX 1.27 crosses. The two racquets are weighted identically, with similar stiffness and similar stringbed stiffness, and the kevlar/ZX hybrid was superior in every category across the board.

    Some posters have described the ZX full bed as having hotspots, attributing it their technique. It's not the player, its' the stringbed. The problem with the full-bed ZX is that the ball slides on the stringbed -- and sometimes it slides more than other times.

    On very high-speed impacts, the problem is not so bad - spin is decent then. But on slow to medium speed impacts, the sliding is unstable and unpredictable. Sometimes the strings grip quickly and generate decent spin, and other times they don't, resulting in a high rebound angle and flatter trajectory.
    The problem doesn't manifest on every shot -- only 1 out of every 5 shots is noticeable. It's a subtle effect that less sensitive players might not notice. But if you're playing against a 5.5 grinder and it takes 10 precisely placed shots in a row to win the point, this is unacceptable.

    On the other hand, fully pre-stretched kevlar/ZX is a dream setup that doesn't really have any weaknesses. Better tension maintenance than any other string combo, excellent reproducible spin, good power and spin on fast-speed impacts, but nice touch too. Very precise and predictable response.

    Playing with full-bed ZX is like running around on wet grass or clay - most of the time you can get decent footing and push off well, but sometimes your footing slips and you hit the dirt.

    In contrast, playing with kevlar/ZX is like running around on clean gritty hardcourt. You always have confidence that every step will have predictable good grip and traction. You would probably get similar results initially with a shaped poly main like tour bite, but why would you? Poly has crappy tension stability, while kevlar has better tension stability than any other string (once properly pre-stretched). The best feature about the kevlar/Zx is that it avoids the poly tension loss issue.
     
    Last edited: May 7, 2013
  40. Rogael Naderer

    Rogael Naderer Semi-Pro

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    I'm using the 1.27mm Natural in a Dunlop Bio 100 at 48lbs and echo everything you have said.

    For me it is not comfortable, it has hardly any feel, and it feels stiffer the faster I swing. The spin is there, but the trajectory is difficult to control to put it to good use, I feel like the Dunlop silk that was pre-strung in the Bio was more spin friendly and more powerful than this.

    My shoulder and elbow were also sore after the session tough not as much as a stiff, used poly would.


    I did double check the packaging to make sure I'm using the 'new' ZX Monogut and not the old Ashaway poly, It felt that bad that I'm amazed at the positive responses.

    One positive, if you hit the ball dead in the sweetspot with a medium-slow swingspeed the free power and control is impressive, however this exact swingspeed was the only time this string felt any good or did anything useful with ball over other, cheaper strings; this was distracting me as I want to focus on my footwork and let my swing come naturally to me whether that be super fast or a dink, this string did not cater for this.
     
  41. Rogael Naderer

    Rogael Naderer Semi-Pro

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    That's one too many!

    I congratulate your efforts of going beyond just testing a full bed and writing it off.

    Much in the same way I cannot use full natural gut, it's good that you have found a strawberries and cream setup of Kevlar/ZX, keep us updated o durability.
     
  42. TimothyO

    TimothyO Hall of Fame

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    I'm testing the pro version too and this is similar to my experience.

    Hit dead in the center and the ball takes off like a rocket (not in a good way). Hit just a little bit off-center and it dies. The result is that directional control is also tough. I don't have this issue with gut/poly or even full bed multis or full gut.

    I know that some folks are enjoying this string but I just don't see it. No feel, little control, whatever spin potential is present can't overcome the power off the center, and it provides a very inconsistent response off the string bed.

    Most importantly, at this price point there are far, far better multis and polys that do everything better. I'm only four hours into the test but I can't see things getting 'better'. I'm going to play some doubles later this week so I'm looking forward to how it plays at net.
     
    Last edited: May 8, 2013
  43. TimothyO

    TimothyO Hall of Fame

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    Well said Travlerajm!
     
  44. corners

    corners Legend

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    OK, we're starting to zero in on the virtues and downsides of ZX. Your impression that the ball slides off ZX mains helps explain why players have been less than ecstatic about ZX in a full bed. TW University tests string-ball and string-string friction. Here are the numbers for ZX:

    String-Ball Coefficient of Friction: 0.391
    String-String CoF: 0.088

    How does this compare to a string with good spin reputation? Let's look at Tourbite 16:

    String-Ball CoF: 0.573
    String-String CoF: 0.085

    So we see that Tourbite is much better at biting the ball (high string-ball friction) than ZX. However, the string-string CoFs are very similar. But various reports suggest that ZX might not slide freely on itself as a hard, slippery copoly like Tourbite does. The TWU friction numbers come from lab tests where the strings are rubbed over each other, so they are definitely valid. But the testing apparatus does not simulate the high forces pushing the strings together during an actual ball-string impact very well. So while these data may be very useful for comparing a copoly to a copoly, where the surface hardness of both strings is very similar, perhaps it's not as useful comparing a copoly to a totally different string material like ZX.

    We know ZX is roughly half as stiff as a typical copoly. There is often a correlation between stiffness and surface hardness, so we would expect ZX to have a softer surface than copoly. But one of the great characteristics of ZX seems to be that it is smooth, slippery and hard like copoly. So in theory, ZX crosses should allow a main string to slide tangentially (sideways) during impact on a spin shot and then snap back, giving us the spin benefits of a copoly. But various playtester reports suggest that ZX in a full bed might not do this very well.

    TimothyO reported his observation recently that two pieces of ZX rubbed together make clicking and scratching sounds. GTShark reported yesterday that ZX in a full bed "Sounds like 2 pieces of plastic touching, rubbing, clicking."

    This gives the impression that ZX may not be very hard after all and that when rubbed against itself, with pressure, that the two surfaces bite into each other. Not good.

    On the other hand, Travlerajm reports that Kevlar mains slide freely and well, and for the life of the stringbed, over ZX crosses. He's written that this may be because braided Kevlar strings have a compliant surface that may diffuse the surface pressure on the ZX crosses somewhat, smoothing the interface between them. In theory, gut mains might show the same behavior with ZX crosses, especially if the TW Professor's hunch that gut mains release lubricating oils during play is correct.

    Trav, can you think of any reason why gut mains/ZX crosses would not perform (in terms of tangential sliding and snapback) like Kevlar mains/ZX crosses, provided the tension is got right?
     
  45. PigPen

    PigPen Rookie

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    As I have posted earlier, I have tried the NG/ZX hybrid. I like the setup very much except for the pinging sound and the string movement. Has anyone found a way to alleviate the pinging? The vibration dampener does not seem to help. Also, I do not hear much about excessive string movement in the crosses. Are others experiencing the same issues?
     
  46. Torres

    Torres Banned

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    ZX on ZX will stick (though nowhere as much as nylon) ie not slide as freely and make a squeeking sound with use. They slide easily when they're fresh. It will probably be more obvious in an open pattern and at a lower tension.

    http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showpost.php?p=7257342&postcount=362

    Poly mains on ZX doesn't really do this, even with use. ZX on ZX probably has more abrasion than poly on ZX.

    Poly on ZX does seem to be the most easily accessible performance setup, providing you're looking to add some pop and comfort to an all poly setup.

    I loved the feel of full bed red ZX 1.27mm but only at certain times during its string life eg. 3 hours in, 10 hours etc but does seem to be tension sensitive. Stringbed characteristics/feel of full bed ZX does seem to change during its string life, and I found it somewhat elusive trying to replicate that 'window' of sublime balance of feel and control, with subsequent string jobs. It seemed to be moving feast during the string's playing life.
     
    Last edited: May 8, 2013
  47. corners

    corners Legend

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    Lubrication might help the pinging sound. Are you saying that the crosses are moving down/up and getting stuck? I saw that someone reported seeing that on the TW Customer Reviews section for ZX 16.

    My guess on this is that ZX is so flexible that the crosses are deflecting further than they normally would above and below the ball, and then getting stuck like that. This happens with gut/poly too - notice that Federer sometimes straightens his crosses, not just his mains. But with a very flexible string like ZX the crosses are going to deflect above and below the ball further than with most other cross strings. I was looking at the deflection data in the TW String Performance Database yesterday and noticed that ZX deflects further than pretty much any other string. Very flexible stuff.
     
  48. corners

    corners Legend

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    Thanks Torres. So poly mains slide well on ZX crosses and Kevlar mains also slide well on ZX crosses. But Pigpen reports that gut mains are getting stuck out of line with ZX crosses. Why?

    Travlerajm has suggested raising tension with gut/ZX and I think this is the thing to do. We know that gut, being very flexible, deflects a relatively great distance, but then snaps back with vigor due to how elastic and resilient it is. ZX is nearly as flexible as gut. What I think probably happened in Pigpen's gut/ZX setup is that the ZX crosses were so flexible that interstring friction was reduced to the point that the flexible gut mains were able to stretch and slide too far sideways, and then not have time to snapback in time. The TW Professor has documented that this can result in several different outcomes, one of which is that the strings get stuck out of line.

    Gut snaps back wonderfully with poly crosses, but poly crosses are much stiffer than ZX. Comparing gut/poly vs. gut/ZX is very similar to a small experiment that the Professor did in this paper: http://twu.tennis-warehouse.com/learning_center/spinandstiffness.php

    In the section on The Role of Cross Strings (Figure 10), he showed that reducing the tension of the cross strings by half in a very open pattern resulted in a 40% reduction in spin. Since a typical poly is twice as stiff as ZX, this experiment might provide some insight on gut/poly vs. gut/ZX. If this is correct, the problem for Pigpen was not too little string movement, but too much.

    Here is the professor summarizing his findings from that paper in the conclusion:

    5. CONCLUSION
    The optimization rules for spin appear to be "Goldilocks Principles": the stringbed must be not too soft and not too stiff, not too closed and not too open, and not too rough and not too smooth. You can have too much or too little of each. Stiffness helps keep movement in check in open patterns and helps to overcome friction in tighter, higher friction environments. But stiffer materials and higher tensions also create greater inter-string friction and may too severely constrain lateral string movement, thus not getting the maximum spin benefit.​


    Did you get a more consistent performance out of poly/ZX? Or did the tension loss of the poly main also cause performance decline?
     
    Last edited: May 8, 2013
  49. Torres

    Torres Banned

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    Performance followed the playability string life of the particular poly main.

    For example, full bed Black Magic (poly) starts going dead / feeling crap for me after about 5-6 hours of hitting. Black Magic / ZX will also begin feeling the same after 5-6 as the mains doing alot of the work. Probably doesn't feel as bad, but once those poly mains 'go off', no cross can really save it it. It's playable but it doesn't feel like a performance setup anymore, and personally I want cut it out. The poly feels like its lost too much tension, gone a bit mushy, and simply doesn't feel as good as when fresh.
     
    Last edited: May 8, 2013
  50. corners

    corners Legend

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    LOL, got it.
     

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