Ashaway 100% Zyex monofilament

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

  1. Jacklondon00

    Jacklondon00 New User

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    The braided Dyneema definitely does not have a harder surface than co-poly, the ZX crosses sawed through the 1.10 mm mains in just a few matches, much much faster than 1.10 mm Kevlar.

    Interesting observations by Trav about natural ZX and good to finally read that Tores tried Gut/ZX, will be checking to see how it plays over time.
     
  2. Torres

    Torres Banned

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    Wilson Natural Gut 16 / Wheat ZX 16 @ 60/56 CP
    Donnay P1 97/16x19 @ 340g

    - 2 days after stringing / hitting hours 2-3

    Had a hit with the Wilson Natural Gut 16 / Wheat ZX 16 stringbed again earlier today.

    It plays very, very well. Very much like a gut/poly hybrid but more comfortable. As corners predicted, the strings have lost a bit of tension compared to when I previously hit with it straight off the stringing machine. The characteristics of each string seem to mesh with each other better as a result. The gut feels more lively, elastic and powerful, the ZX feels less boardy than before but offers enough firmness to hold the gut in place along with some crunch/crispness.

    Like before, hit flat and you feel more of the ZX. Brush the ball more and you get the power of the gut. The ZX actually feels a bit low powered at this tension. The gut slides very well against the ZX crosses; it's particularly noticeable on sliced serves where you can really bend the ball off court. The gut mains stay in place and remain as straight as an arrow. Interestingly, the gut mains are starting to notch very slightly where they intersect with the with the ZX crosses. If you manipulate the ZX crosses up/down they will 'click' back into the part of the gut where the gut has notched. Not 100% sure but I think its the coating on the gut which is notching. Doesn't seem to affect the way that the gut slides though. Not noticing any notching on the ZX.

    Will update over the next couple of weeks but anyone who likes gut/poly hybrids but can't abide the tension loss of the poly and wants a longer lasting setup, will almost certainly want to try this. Assuming ZX holds tension, this could be a very promising setup for anyone who likes gut mains.

    I'm tempted to string up a second racquet with a gut/ZX hybrid to see how that compares. Will probably use Babolat BT7 16 / Red ZX 16, as Wilson gut is almost a bit too powerful at times in this stick but we'll see. This setup has also made me curious as to what a ZX/gut hybrid would play like.
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2013
  3. julianashaway

    julianashaway Rookie

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    Sounds great! Very interested to see how many hours of play you get from this set-up.

    Do you ever play with a full bed of nat-gut? If so, how many hours of play do you get from it?

    How many hours of play do you normally get from gut/poly?
     
  4. corners

    corners Legend

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    Thanks Torres! Finally, an encouraging report on gut mains/ZX crosses. Sounds like higher tensions may indeed be the ticket. I'll be doing Pac Classic/ZX Pro Red soon.
     
  5. Torres

    Torres Banned

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    It's years since I played with a full bed of natural gut but from what I can remember it lasted quite some time. It's quite sinewy stuff, so unless the gauge is very thin or the tension very high, it should last quite a while. Longevity was never my issue with natural gut - I just never felt it offered much spin compared to poly, and it also felt a bit overpowered at times. Lovely feeling string though.

    As for gut/poly, that depends on the poly. It's only as good as the poly holds tension in my opinion. After that the gut becomes overpowered with a loss of control.

    Definitely higher tensions. If I was going to do this again, I'd probably prestretch the Wilson gut a bit more to take some of that elasticity out of it, or use a slightly stiffer gut, and maybe drop the ZX by a 1lb or thereabouts. I'll see how it continues to play over the next couple of weeks even though none of my racquets are ideally setup for powerful mains (they're setup for full poly stringbeds in terms of weighting, lead etc). That gut does feel very plush though...
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2013
  6. julianashaway

    julianashaway Rookie

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    Using ZX in this way should prove cost effective despite its higher price tag because the string-bed longevity should rival full bed gut and outlast gut/poly.
    I believe it will last even longer than best tension maintaining poly. Not to mention the added benefits of increased power and comfort.
     
  7. corners

    corners Legend

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    Yeah, those are the reasons I've been plotting to try gut/ZX since you guys introduced the string. I'm finally getting some ZX Pro in the mail. (Couldn't wait any longer for TW to stock it.)
     
  8. SJSA

    SJSA Semi-Pro

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    Where did you buy ZX Pro?
     
  9. julianashaway

    julianashaway Rookie

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    Just out of curiosity, why did you choose the 17 gauge?

    What tension do you intend to string it at?
     
  10. corners

    corners Legend

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    First reason is that my normal setup is gut mains/17 or 18g copoly crosses. Also, unlike some posters, I'm attracted to the low stiffness and power of ZX. I'm looking for a stringbed as powerful as gut but at a lower price, and hopefully with more spin and durability. So the 17g Pro version of ZX seems to fit my goals, as thinner strings are less stiff and more powerful at a given tension than thicker strings are.

    Additionally, I'm obsessed with lateral main string sliding and snapback, for three reasons:

    1. When the mains slide laterally during impact, dwell time increases and shock decreases. Even though gut mains/ZX crosses should be among the softest string combinations possible, more dwell and less shock is still welcome.

    2. If the mains snap back to their original positions quickly enough, while the ball is still on the strings, they can put additional spin on the ball. I'm hoping that gut/ZX will offer something like the spin potential of gut/copoly.

    3. Straightening strings is so 20th century!


    Now, in theory, thinner cross strings should allow the mains to slide and snapback laterally more easily, because the angle of the weave is less and therefore interstring frictional forces should also be lower. If the crosses were microscopically thin, the mains would be completely free to slide, and you'd effectively have a neo-spaghetti stringjob. Not sure how big of a difference 17g vs. 16g makes, though.

    On the other hand, JackLondon and I have been discussing an alternative POV - that flexibility in the cross string is not good for lateral main string movement. A more flexible string will deform locally, forming a "hill" in front of the sliding main string that it must continually climb. The TW Professor wrote about this a couple years ago. From this perspective, the stiffer and more rigid the cross string, the better the main string should slide along it, kind of like sliding on rails rather than along a rope. Now, one of the unique characteristics of ZX is that it is very flexible longitudinally, but is not pliable locally like a nylon string is. So it may be better as a cross than even a slippery nylon string would be, even though ZX is longitudinally less stiff than any nylon string. Even still, one would think that a thicker gauge ZX cross would be more rigid locally and serve better as a "rail." So I may be making a mistake in going with 17g Pro.

    As for tension, in this thread I posted deflection numbers for natural gut, ZX 16 and a copoly that I often use as a cross with gut mains, Proline II. I typically string gut/Proline II at 52/50. Comparing the deflection numbers, it looks like gut/ZX 16 at 57 might be about right to replicate somewhat the stringbed dynamics of gut/PLII at 51. Torres' recent experiment with gut/ZX suggests that 57 might indeed be a good starting point, but with the thinner Pro maybe I should go with 60. It will probably be a gametime decision.

    Longwinded post, as usual with me, but there it is...
     
  11. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    Corners also lives in a cold climate, 17g might be better there.

    Julian, why is Tennis Warehouse having such a shortage of this string? Selling like hot cakes? :)
     
  12. dParis

    dParis Hall of Fame

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    Here's the short story; I'm playing in a 3.5 singles league and since using ZX Red 16 I'm hitting the ball consistently deeper and with more spin. As I get used to the string's characteristics/power level, I'm gaining better control from match to match. Comfort is outstanding. After not playing all winter long, I started the Spring season full out and as a result felt a lot of discomfort in my wrist and elbow. Since switching to ZX, not only have I been able to play pain-free, it's almost been therapeutic

    I'm reading a lot about people searching for the right tension or hybrid for this string. As with most tennis equipment products, as a community, we are probably over-analyzing things. If one of the reasons you use poly is for its power deadening quality, then this probably isn't the string for you no matter the tension or hybrid, but if you need or enjoy using a mid to high-power string, then there are very few (no) choices that offer the combination of qualities that ZX does.
     
  13. Dimcorner

    Dimcorner Professional

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    Has anyone strung it at low tension (<45lbs)?
     
  14. julianashaway

    julianashaway Rookie

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    Maybe split the difference 58.5 lbs! Sounds like the string snap-back is going to be the key for you. I have no prediction here. Good luck.
     
  15. julianashaway

    julianashaway Rookie

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    I assume you are referring to the ZX Pro? Something tells me it will be available on TW very soon.
     
  16. julianashaway

    julianashaway Rookie

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    Very well said.
     
  17. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    Yes I am. It says available in 10 days on TW. Just curious, how come the half reel offers hardly any reduction in price versus buying individual sets? One more question, has any testing been done to compare prestretching versus 15 second pulls?
     
  18. julianashaway

    julianashaway Rookie

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    It wouldn't be appropriate for me to comment on TW pricing.

    I have no data comparing pre-stretching to 15 second pulls. Is it your hypothesis that they accomplish the same thing?

    I can tell you that we did consider selling the string already pre-stretched, but decided against it.
     
  19. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    No problem on pricing. I thought that was all controlled by the manufacturer MAP policy.

    As for prestretching, I was talking to another stringer about the recommended stringing method and his comment was "I'll just prestretch the hell out of it" rather than wait 15 seconds per pull. This guy strings for multiple folks to make money. He does not want to add an extra 10 minutes to his stringing time. Guess I'll just have to try it...
     
  20. julianashaway

    julianashaway Rookie

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    Yes. We know a lot of professional stringers where time per racquet is an important factor. An aggressive pre-stretch may provide a similar effect. It is hard to say. Pre-stretching is far from an exact science.

    The reason behind the 15 second pulls is to give the best chance for a consistent bed because the string takes time to fully elongate. If the string is well stretched before stringing it makes sense that the variability in elongation between short stretches would be diminished.

    Let me know how it works for you.
     
  21. Ronaldo

    Ronaldo G.O.A.T.

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    How would you pre-stretch 15 seconds on a lock-out stringer?
     
  22. Torres

    Torres Banned

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    It's only June. The PEEK harvest is not until the autumn. Know your seasons mikeler! ;-)

    I don't like the sounds of that stringer at all. I can understand from a commercial perspective he doesn't want to spend more time on a particular job than he has to particularly if he's busy but what exactly does he mean by 'I'll prestretch the hell out of it'?

    If he's got an higher end electronic machine I suppose he could use the prestretch function but my understanding is that its not really a prestretch - more of an overshoot in tension, and I've never understood how it compensates for the greater friction against the mains when overshooting tension on the crosses and then supposedly reverting back to the reference tension.

    If I were you, I'd give it a hand pre-stretch (though it doesn't really stretch the string that much) or you're really inclined, use travalrjam's pulley method. Even though it sounds a bit bizarre, it actually does make sense and you have more control over exactly how much you're prestretching the string (I'm just too lazy to find pulleys and weights). The other alternative would probably be to hang a 6m length down a stairwell with a weight on the end of it.

    Julian will hate me for raising this :) but the other thing I'd personally be interested in hearing about is what people's experiences have been in reusing ZX. In my one and only experiment, it seemed to play pretty well as a cross and remained soft, albeit without any crisp/crunchiness.
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2013
  23. mmk

    mmk Professional

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    Other vendors sell the half-reel for the same price as TW, but charge more per set. For those vendors the half-reel is slightly less expensive than an equivalent number of sets. TW is giving us a break on the sets.
     
  24. maggmaster

    maggmaster Hall of Fame

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    Started using this string in my exo 3 tours. I like it a lot. So far I am 12 hours in with only slight notching and it does provide excellent spin. I am having an issue with my serve, I can't seem to find the groove with this string and I have been hitting a fair number of serves. Anyone have any suggestions?
     
  25. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    Torres, the PEEK harvest comment still has me laughing.


    Interesting, I thought TW was the only retailer for it in the USA.


    Crazy how long it lasts even in the Exo Tours. I served pretty well with it, what issues are you having?
     
  26. maggmaster

    maggmaster Hall of Fame

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    Consistently long, I guess maybe a higher tension, I put it in at 55.
     
  27. fgs

    fgs Hall of Fame

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    maggmaster,

    just try tossing the ball 10cm more in front of you. this is the easiest adjustment to make.
     
  28. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    Until you restring, this is probably all you can do.
     
  29. Ronaldo

    Ronaldo G.O.A.T.

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    Try adding string-a-lings. May firm up the bed.
     
  30. maggmaster

    maggmaster Hall of Fame

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    I already got 12 hours out of it, I can cut it out and feel fine.
     
  31. corners

    corners Legend

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    What kind of serves are going long? Flat serves? Kickers? The former could be due simply to greater speed, especially if you're coming from a low-powered copoly string. The latter could be a result of greater speed and less spin than you're used to.
     
  32. maggmaster

    maggmaster Hall of Fame

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    Yea I mostly hit kickers, I have not been having issues with flat serves. It is odd because I feel like I am getting a lot of spin and I see the ball come off the court well but its just a bit long. I will string one up at 57 today.
     
  33. julianashaway

    julianashaway Rookie

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    You can't do 15 second pulls on a lock-out machine. Just don't crank it too fast.
     
  34. Ronaldo

    Ronaldo G.O.A.T.

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    So hold it 15 seconds before locking out. Will try this technique.
     
  35. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    I just did slow pulls (not 15 seconds) and allowed the string to sit 15 seconds before clamping. If you just pull it for 15 seconds it won't be at full tension, so I don't know if that would be better than the way I did it.
     
  36. Ronaldo

    Ronaldo G.O.A.T.

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    Time to dig out the drop weight stringer.
     
  37. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    Nah, it played great for me. I'd be curious to hear your thoughts on it.
     
  38. corners

    corners Legend

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    Remember that a high, explosive bounce with a kicker can be caused by either lots of spin or lots of speed. The best, highest-bouncing kickers I ever hit were with a gut/syngut 18 setup strung at 50 pounds. Not particularly spin-friendly, but the extra speed meant that the ball exploded off the court.

    So it could be more speed, or less spin, or both, that's making your kicker land long. Hard to tell. But ZX, because it is so flexible and deflects a lot during impact, also will hold the ball longer - longer dwell time - than most strings. When the ball is on the strings for an extra millisecond, it will travel a greater distance on the stringed, which can significantly change the launch angle from what you're used to, because the racquetface is moving and rotating during that millisecond. So it might be this also - the launch angle is higher than you're used to, and so your serve lands deeper than usual.

    Tightening the strings will help with that, but even at your current tension I would think that you could adjust to the launch angle, speed and spin with a little more playing time logged.
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2013
  39. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    Wow, now the red reels are no longer available on TW and the red sets don't even appear on the site anymore. These babies must be moving like hot cakes!
     
  40. mrmike

    mrmike Rookie

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    What is the reason for the red being preferable? Does it play that much different from the natural?
     
  41. corners

    corners Legend

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    Some players have reported that the red is more slippery and/or that it is slightly stiffer.
     
  42. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    Since I did not try out the natural version, I don't know if they are all that different. It just seemed like the red got more love in the playtest thread.
     
  43. Torres

    Torres Banned

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    I don't understand why TW have got rid of the red sets. I would have thought that the 'man in the street' would be more likely to buy a jazzier looking red string than a more common brown/beige string particularly given the price.

    Red reels are still available it seems, just out of stock.

    I wonder if there's a supply issue going on with this string, or whether TW are simply holding back on their purchase orders? I'm surprised that TW aren't holding more stock given the current interest in this string and the recent playtest etc.
     
  44. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    I just bought 3 sets on the big auction site. My intention was actually to buy a half reel today from TW but it was not available. There is also a wholesaler that has quite a bit available. It is out there, just not on TW. Perhaps all the discussion on the TTW forums wiped them out temporarily. So good for Ashaway, TW and Julian. Thinking of trying out B5E with Monogut crosses. I know B5E is not your string but those two together could be "it" for me.
     
  45. Torres

    Torres Banned

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    (Continued from #942 and #952)

    Had a brief hit with the natural gut/ZX setup earlier this evening.

    The racquet in which its been strung in has been sitting in my car for the past 9 days in hot temperatures without being used. The setup is still playing perfectly well. Doesn't feel like its lost tension much if at all since the last hit. Still playing very nicely. You can feel the comfort of the gut when hitting the ball, and if you hit harder, you get more crispness coming through. Doesn't feel like the gut is trampolining either. The two strings seem to have settled and meshed very well with each other.

    If you want a long lasting, natural gut mains setup that offers comfort, feel, power, forgiveness etc, I'm pretty sure this is going to be best setup you can have - I think it plays better than full bed gut, and is longer lasting that a gut/poly setup.
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2013
  46. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    I thought I ordered 3 sets of the red recently but I opened up the package last night and to my surprise 3 sets of the natural were there. So I guess I'll try out 1 set of the natural and return the other 2 if I don't like it.
     
  47. julianashaway

    julianashaway Rookie

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    I will be interested to see if you think there is any noticeable difference. Will you be using the same conditions as you did with the red? Racquet, tension, pre-stretch, full bed?
     
  48. julianashaway

    julianashaway Rookie

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    Sorry I just re-read your previous post. You are going to try a hybrid set-up with B5E. That will also be interesting. You will probably get a an idea about difference of red vs natural even though the variables will make it a less scientific comparison.
     
  49. SJSA

    SJSA Semi-Pro

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    Good to know this hybrid setup is better than gut/poly. I still have elbow pain playing in gut/poly. I want to see you comparing ZX red version hybrid with your current setup. Thanks.
     
  50. Torres

    Torres Banned

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    Looks like TW have got everything back in stock including the red sets and red reels on their way.

    I'm not generally a natural gut user as my sticks tend to be leaded up or have high swingweights, so if anything I lean towards strings that are slightly lowered powered and/or spin based. I also tend to restring every week so polys going dead is not so much of an issue.

    That said, I will probably get round to putting some gut/ZX in my main racquets at some point as I have some half sets lying around and it would be interesting to see how they compare, particularly as gut/ZX does seem to be a lovely feeling string combination provided you get the tension sufficiently high and that free power is kind of addictive. It's also an amazingly comfortable string combination on the arm/shoulder/body.
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2013

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