Ashaway 100% Zyex monofilament

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

  1. Torres

    Torres Banned

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    "Poly-Lite" is how I would be describing the playing characteristics of Monogut ZX at the moment.

    During hours 2-3.5 hours, tension within the stringbed seems to have evened out and I'm not noticing that big differential between the cental sweetspot and the area immediately outside the sweetspot anymore. Stringbed characteristics seems ALOT more consistent. The central sweetspot is no longer super soft nor the edge of the stringbed slightly boardy. It's much more even. Maybe the string has simply broken in, or the tension in the stringbed evened out, or the stringbed simply settled. I originally played with the strings in my first hitting session (1 hour) about 2 hours immediately after stringing which may have accounted for the unusual characteristics that I commented on previously during the first hour of hitting. Maybe you have to let this string sit for 24 hours after stringing? Or maybe it needs an hour of hitting to break it in? Either way, the stringbed characteristics feel much more 'normal' and predictable now.

    Now (during hours 2-3.5 of hitting) ZX seems to play with soft poly-esque characteristics. I really would describe it as a "poly-lite". It has elements of a soft poly feel to it, but doesn't have the firmness of even a soft co-poly. It's firmer than a multi but not ultimately as firm as even the softest co-poly.

    Its not massively overpowered like a multi might be but there is some power on demand particularly if you nail the ball in the sweetspot. Power is very controllable (though note the tension I used and the racquet its strung in). Power is less than a multi, but more than a soft poly provided you nail that central sweetspot. I think my opponent was suprised at how much court length I could get even from defensive positions. Pushed out deep and wide on the BH side I can still get depth and pace right into that cross court corner. You can moderate the power pretty well and adjust based on racquet speed and swing length. That 'volume knob' power modulation is still there, just less extreme at either end. It feels pretty good in terms of the way it plays.

    At no time does it feel uncomfortable (though though bear in mind that full bed co-polys are my usual choice of string). I would not describe it as soft pillowy string though (not at the tension I used anyway). It's not as soft or powerful as say Multifeel 17 but it is alot more controlled. It has poly-esque elements to it, and some characteristics of muti and gut in terms of feel and power, though this of course, is a question of degree.

    It doesn't quite provide the ultimate nth degree of spin/bite/action on the ball that you would get with a good grabby poly and ton of racquet speed - I certainly couldn't get my sliced serve curving out of the court in the same way I can with the grabby Genesis Black Magic 17 for example - but you can certainly feel that there is some grab on the ball (ALOT more than a multi or synthetic gut) and that the string is adding control to the equation, particularly on groundstrokes. I like how it feels and plays, even though its a somewhat different sensation to what I'm used to.

    I played some singles routines and patterns, playing at 90-100%, and I have to say that I enjoyed hitting with this string. Poly-lite characteristics in terms of a degree of control and grab on the ball (though not as much as the best 'grabby' polys), some useful power on demand to hit through the court and get the ball beyond your opponent, the ability to take a big swing at the ball and not hold back (though again, note the racquet that it was strung in), and a reasonable degree of comfort thrown in as well (less than a multi, more than a poly). I have to admit that I enjoyed the hitting session and how the string performed. I'm tempted to get another set and string my 'normal' racquet with this (Wilson JP) to see how it plays.

    Got a match on Sunday evening and I think I'm going to give the ZX/6.1 combo its first, full, competitive outing.

    I think the key to this string is going to be how long it lasts in terms of playability. If its playability life is noticeably longer than a typical poly without noticeable tennis loss, deadness, or other performance drop offs, we could have something really interesting here.
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2013
  2. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    My set of Dynamite also played much better at the end of the string life. I'm definitely curious about the durability of Monogut, so keep us posted Torres.
     
  3. Boricua

    Boricua Hall of Fame

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    Interesting string, maybe a midpoint between polys and gut/multis. I will keep on reading to see how it evolves. Thanks.
     
  4. Lakers4Life

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    I just realized something. In the picture that was posted earlier in this thread:
    [​IMG]
    It shows MG ZX red in 1.27 (16L gauge), but I've only seen red in 1.22 (17 Gauge). The 16 gauge is the light brown (poo) colored string.

    I just got a reel of 17 gauge from Ashaway via my client (semi-Pro) who is testing the string for them. I would have like to get the 16 gauge version for my Wilson Steam 99s, in red.
     
  5. corners

    corners Legend

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    TW has the 16g Red in sets and reels: http://www.tennis-warehouse.com/AshawayString.html

    BTW, if you feel like passing on any comments your client makes about the string we'd love to hear it.
     
  6. corners

    corners Legend

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    Finally! A review that supports the high expectations of this thread! LOL Thanks Torres for the great review and your contribution to this thread. It seems that this string could really be a winner for some players, me included.

    I've got my fingers crossed for durability. Are you getting any notching or strings stuck out of line yet?
     
  7. Torres

    Torres Banned

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    No notching, nor any strings out of line.

    Then again, the 6.1 18x20 rarely does that because of that closed pattern and the fact I don't think I've ever had strings in there for more than a few weeks, therefore limiting any tension loss (and any subsequent string movement).

    Had another hit the ZX/6.1 earlier this evening this time in a singles match, and I stand by my comments above.
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2013
  8. corners

    corners Legend

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    Great. Thanks Torres. String vetted, time to try it in the 99S :)
     
  9. Torres

    Torres Banned

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    ^ If 1.25 polys are snapping in 2-3 hours, I would have thought that ZX is going to snap even sooner in a 99S....that racquet seems to eat strings for breakfast.
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2013
  10. corners

    corners Legend

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    Yeah, I was mostly kidding, especially since ZX is limited to 60 pounds max tension. But, it might be a great replacement for natural gut in Lendl's setup. Choose a red copoly for the central mains and crosses and no one would be the wiser. [​IMG]
     
  11. Torres

    Torres Banned

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    Yeah, I wasn't sure whether you were joking or not!

    Something weird happened during my match this evening (well, probably not that unexpected actually) but its put a premature end to my ZX playtest. And before you ask, no, the strings didn't break. Pics to follow though...
     
  12. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    This will be thread of the year if you broke it over your opponents head. Oh darn, just reread your post. Hope you did not get injured.
     
  13. corners

    corners Legend

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    I'm hoping the same.
     
  14. Lakers4Life

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    I see that now, but according to the Ashaway website, red only comes in 17 (1.22), and the 16g (1.27) in the natural. Then there is ZX Pro, which only comes in 16. I was trying to call Ashaway to find out exactly what comes in what. I'll try again on Tuesday.
     
  15. Buford T Justice

    Buford T Justice Semi-Pro

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    I think it's worth a test in a 99s!
     
  16. corners

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    I was under the impression that Pro is what Ashaway is calling the 17g version. http://www.ashawayusa.com/NewZXPro.php
     
  17. corners

    corners Legend

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    You got one? String it up!

    But Monogut ZX is much less stiff than a copoly like 4G. People are already having problems with excessive string movement in the 16x15, which is most likely caused by tension dropping too low. Because ZX is so flexible, I think it would have to be strung over 70 pounds to be useful in the 99S. If the main strings stretch and slide too far they won't snap back in time to impart extra spin. Instead, the ball will simply launch off the strings at a high angle. 4G works very well because it is a very stiff poly and loses less tension than any other copoly string.

    The Lendl setup actually appears to exploit a very different type of stringbed, one espoused by the poster Travlerajm, which he calls Option C, here: http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showpost.php?p=5841296&postcount=1
     
  18. Buford T Justice

    Buford T Justice Semi-Pro

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    I've got two! I'm committed to these frames now.

    Yes there is excessive string movement in this frame and it gets worse with reduced initial string tension (as in one gets less playtime before strings move the lower the initial tension).

    I solved this problem by using the cheap trick mentioned in another thread....hand lotion. It works. There is not even a doubt. I have strings measuring low 40s on RT that snap back into place and play like new. To be honest, I like the way this frame feels with aged strings and hand lotion better than when freshly strung.

    The lotion also greatly reduces wear.

    So, perhaps this same trick applied with this much softer ZX will allow the string to have a respectable life in the 99S........I shall have to try this.
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2013
  19. maxpotapov

    maxpotapov Hall of Fame

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    Hand lotion? Should i wash tennis balls with a soap afterwards? :)
    And for 2HBH players, what about left hand?
     
  20. Buford T Justice

    Buford T Justice Semi-Pro

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    Max-

    Just in case you aren't pulling my leg.....hehehehehehe

    The hand lotion is for the stringbed. It lubes the strings and reduces string to string friction (so the strings last longer and play new longer).

    It's been posted about a few times in the past, but I think most folks don't buy it.

    But, I am 100% sure it works for me, and works dramatically well.

    It's 100% legal and there is not so much on the strings that it gets all over the ball, etc.
     
  21. maxpotapov

    maxpotapov Hall of Fame

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    I checked it out, it's not as greasy as I first thought :)
    Now that I switched to natural gut/poly hybrid, I will definitely try it. I wonder if cheaper non-coated gut will last so much longer with hand lotion... Thanks for the tip!
     
  22. Torres

    Torres Banned

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    Immediately post stringing. As I mentioned in my first post, I snapped the end of the string when I tying off the knot. Hmmm....

    [​IMG]

    I hoped it might have held but on the third outing, half way through the 1st set of my match yesterday, I noticed that all of my T serves were going long, and the serves from the ad side onto my opponents BH were going half way into the trams - which never normally happens as the 6.1 is pretty precise in terms of allowing you to hit your spots when serving. Taking a bit rip at the ball on groundstrokes sent the ball 2 or 3ft beyond the baseline.

    Bounced the stringbed against the base of my palm a couple of times and thought, 'The tension maintenance on this string sucks' as I was sure it felt spongier than what it was previously. Until I noticed this......

    [​IMG]

    Even strung as one piece wasn't enough to keep it playable, so a premature end to this playtest of this string :(

    The end of the knot disappeared into the grommet after stringing, so I couldn't really see what was happening with it until the end eventually slipped through the knot entirely, during subsequent play, as it turned out. Shame really, because I was enjoying the way the string played up to that point.

    That said, I like the string enough to try it out further, so have ordered another couple of sets of red ZX 1.27mm :)
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2013
  23. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    Thanks Torres. Now I'm going to buy another expensive string.
     
  24. maxpotapov

    maxpotapov Hall of Fame

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    But please try it in syn gut or multi or poly hybrid, enough with full beds!

    I'm waiting for outdoor season to try out mine. Will hybrid with shaped poly mains first, but have a suspicion it will bring worst out of Zyex.
     
  25. Torres

    Torres Banned

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    ^ From my experiences, I wouldn't be hybriding it, certainly not with a nylon string. I don't see the need given that it has some of the power of a multi, but not the stiffness of a poly. Just adjust the tension to suit preference.
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2013
  26. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    I like testing everything full bed first anyways. My arm just can't deal with full beds of polys so that is not a possibility.
     
  27. corners

    corners Legend

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    It might work. Lubrication works, of course, by reducing string-on-string friction. The 99S works in the first place because fewer cross strings means less total string-on-string friction, allowing the mains to slide further and faster than with a full number of crosses. But when the tension gets too low they slide too far and then don't have enough stored energy to snapback with the ball. If they snapback late they will actually reduce spin. But with lubrication, even if they mains are too loose and haven't stored an ideal amount of energy, they can still snap back because they encounter less resistance from the crosses.

    I fully support your experiment with ZX in the 99S. :) However, keep in mind that Ashaway recommends staying under 60 pounds with this string. And from a couple of reports we probably know why - the string lacks tensile strength and will snap if strung above that threshold. So if you try ZX in the 99S I would string it right at 60 pounds. Using it only in the mains with a copoly in the cross might also be smart. I've recommended this in a couple places before, but it seems to me that Gosen Polymaster would be a perfect cross for the 99S. Polymaster is a flat, rectangular string with a cross-section of only 1.0 mm. Because it is flat, the main strings should slide back and forth along it without being sliced, as they normally would be by a cross-string with a circular cross-section. 4S, being "squoval" might also work.

    However, even with lubrication you might find the ZX to be too flexible to function optimally in the 99S, but definitely worth a try.

    However, I would think that even better than ZX in the 99S would be kevlar. The poster Travlerajm, and the TW Professor, have already experimented with kevlar mains and copoly crosses in 16x10 string patterns, before Wilson trotted out the Steams. Kevlar mains are very stiff, so would tend not to get stretched too far, even after losing tension. This should help with control and shot to shot consistency in the 99S. Paired with copoly crosses, maybe Polymaster, they should be free to slide and snap back very well, and since we're talking Kevlar, they should last much longer than copoly mains.
     
  28. corners

    corners Legend

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    Lubrication definitely works. The only downsides are 1) marks on the ball, 2) hassle of appliction, 3) it wears off quite quickly, so you're gradually losing spin and getting a higher and higher rebound angle the longer you play with it. If a player wanted to use this in competition, they'd want to have multiple racquets and rotate them regularly.
     
  29. corners

    corners Legend

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    That's a shame. But much better than the pics of a ruptured achilles I feared you would post. :)

    Happy to hear you liked it well enough to continue testing. This thread is finally picking up some steam.

    USRSA mentioned the problem of breaking knots in their playtest report:

    As mentioned above, when you first take Zyex MonoGut out of the package, your first impression is likely to be that it is a stout-feeling polyester. As you work with it, however, there are indications that it is not as it seems. Zyex MonoGut stretches more under tension than poly, and it’s easier to handle. With a pre-production sample, we gave Zyex MonoGut the “poly tug” when tightening the knot during tie-off and broke the string, as did a couple of our playtesters.

    http://www.racquetsportsindustry.com/articles/2012/06/12_playtest_ashaway_zyex_monog.html
     
  30. Torres

    Torres Banned

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    Restrung the last few crosses, pulling tension at 52lbs CP. There wasn't quite enough length, so I skipped the last cross before the tie off.

    Far from ideal, but its going to have to do until my replacement sets arrive. Will be interesting to see whether its playable or whether it plays like a dog (I suspect that there's too much tension loss or uneven tension in the stringbed now).

    [​IMG]

    Very relevant comments from the USRA. When I originally got it, it felt like a poly out of the packet, so I'm assumed it was like poly for stringing purposes when in reality its softer and more susceptible (than poly) to breakage if you're not careful. No breakage when I tied off on the occasion in the above picture. You just need to be a bit more gentle as it doesn't like cack handedness. The string also seems to weaken in any area along its length where it twists or bends onto itself alot eg. a knot.

    I experimented with the spare piece of ZX that was left over from not stringing the last cross. If you bend the string 180 degrees back on itself and deliberately kink it under pressure (I squeezed the bend using some pliers) and then flex the bend backwards and forwards repeatedly using your fingers (and we're talking trying to deliberately damage and break the string), it just disintegates like liquorice at the point of the bend. It breaks very easily when you force it to bend backwards and forwards over extreme bending angles.

    Doing exactly the same thing with a spare piece of RazorCode (Tecnifibre's new baby) and no matter how many times you deliberately kink it, crush the 180 degree bend with pliers, or wrench it backwards and forwards at the point of the bend, or wrench it with pliers, it just doesn't seem to want to break. Very tough string, though not sure how that translates to arm comfort - stiff probably (RazorCode playtest coming up but that's another story).

    ZX is clearly alot softer and less durable than a typical poly. It doesn't resist brutal attempts to break it well. Then again, the trade off is that its alot more comfortable than a poly, and I don't see how during play the string would be subjected to repeated extreme angle bends backwards and forwards.
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2013
  31. Torres

    Torres Banned

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    I re-read that again and I have to say that I pretty much agree with all the positive comments. Not sure if RSI list the comments from positive to negative, but I pretty much agree with the first 26 comments, up to where that woman suggests its a stiff string. The guy who says that it bridges the divided between poly and nylon is right on the money.

    I do want to see what playability and tension maintence is like over 10, 15, 20+ hours though before coming to an overall conclusion. That I suspect is the key.
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2013
  32. corners

    corners Legend

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    Good on ya for salvaging the job. Hope it plays well enough to justify the effort. Those lower crosses aren't doing much anyway :) But I supposed you'll notice some extra heat if you hit a ball down there.


    Interesting. Thanks for reporting on your stress tests. I don't know enough about material physics to say, but it seems unusual that this stuff has low tensile strength (shown in your bending tests and by the fact that it seems to snap when tensioned above 60 pounds) but has a hard surface. I recall reading that tensile strength and hardness were proportional to each other. Maybe I misunderstood. But for us that surface hardness is the key, as it allows the ZX to slide around without notching and denting, which is really what differentiates it from multis with their soft, gooey surfaces. The high melting point helps too.

    Yes, I think they do list the negative comments on the bottom. And it's interesting that even with the highest rated strings that there are always some naysayers at the bottom. Hopefully a couple people scared off by some early negative reports will take a peak at the thread now and experiment with this stuff.

    I'm already pretty excited to try it, even if the lifespan isn't super. But if this stuff lasts 10-20 hours it will definitely be a winning option for people currently cutting out soft copolys after 8-10 hours.
     
  33. Buford T Justice

    Buford T Justice Semi-Pro

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    I played around this this today, and reapplying on every other changeover seems about sufficient. It takes maybe 10 seconds to apply (its obviously a very small amount). It can be stretched a little longer, but with older strings the drop off in performance with longer periods of time becomes noticeable.

    Marks on the ball were minimal (not noticeable really) but I was playing on hard court. On clay, this may not be the case....haven't tried it yet.
     
  34. Buford T Justice

    Buford T Justice Semi-Pro

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    I know for sure polys will last a lot longer with this method. The notching I monitored was reduced approximately in half if I had to guess.
     
  35. Buford T Justice

    Buford T Justice Semi-Pro

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    Damn the possibilities never end do they :)

    I have thought about Kevlar....but am a little bit chicken to try them due to the stiffness factor (and associated arm health). Some of the stiffness values for Kevlar on the stringforum are nuts! They make polys look like a strand of overcooked rubbery linguine.
     
  36. corners

    corners Legend

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    You just string at lower tension. Kevlar/Polymaster I at 40-45 should be ok.
     
  37. Torres

    Torres Banned

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    Played a match this evening with ZX/6.1/missing cross/ghetto stringbed.

    It played surprisingly well. Definitely leans towards the feel/performance of a poly most of the time than any natural gut. Rip the ball and feels like a poly with alot of that crunchy 'thwap, thwap thwap' sensation when striking the ball. But then there's also a pocketing sensation to the strings and also power on demand when you want it. Really quite a forgiving stringbed. Throw in the ability to also play the most delicate of drop shots and you have quite an unusual string because when you hit a very soft, delicate shot, the strings feel soft with good feel/feedback and control. Hit the ball hard and it feels soft poly-esque but with more pocketing. Alot of different facets to this string. For a set at least, I was on fire!

    Will need to get it restrung though, otherwise its difficult to tell whether any adverse characteristics are due to the string itself or the missing cross string and ghetto restring. I think I'm going to go slightly lower tension-wise next time.
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2013
  38. corners

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    On fire with missing strings. Sounds like a good player to me.

    Yeah, that's pretty cool - polys play very stiff with short dwell time even on slow swings/touch shots. Polyesque on groundies, softness and feel on touch shots - sounds pretty nice.
     
  39. travlerajm

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    Now this has me intrigued.
     
  40. Torres

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    Not sure if I was imagining this but the stringbed seemed slightly stiffer this time round. I hoping that was just due to having removed a number of the crosses and re-pulled tension on them rather than the strings starting to go dead. The last cross above the gap also showed a bit of movement this evening without going back into the place. The other strings were okay.

    I'm going to have restart this playtest with a new set. Bit annoying really because at various times, I was really enjoying hitting with this string/racquet combination. During my first set hitting with the ZX earlier today, it actually crossed my mind that I hadn't had this much fun with the 6.1 since the time I strung it with a Wilson NG / Alu Rough hybrid. The ZX/6.1 combo was that satisfying.
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2013
  41. corners

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    I'm not one that subscribes to the "going dead" theory. Strings continuously lose tension and thus become less and less stiff as they age are are played with. I would be more inclined to think that the slightly increased stiffness you felt was related to the string movement you noticed. If the strings are getting stuck out of line it means they are starting to slide less freely. They could be dirty, scuffed, have lost too much tension to slide and then snapback. Hard to say. But if they aren't sliding and snapping back you'll get less dwell time and more impact shock. I actually think this is what happens when people say polys "go dead." But who knows?

    Sweet
     
  42. corners

    corners Legend

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    Only 20% stiffer than natural gut and max tension of 60 pounds. How would you use it in the massive sticks you play?

    I was thinking it would be great in place of gut in the Lendl setup since it's more slippery than many copolys and seems to have good surface hardness, despite its low tensile strength.
     
  43. Buford T Justice

    Buford T Justice Semi-Pro

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    Im also not sure what going dead means.

    Losing elasticity?

    I would be curious to see some tests done which demonstrated what going dead actually signifies.
     
  44. travlerajm

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    Curious how it would play as a cross with Kevlar mains.
     
  45. maxpotapov

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    Yes, losing elasticity. I'm not sure why people talk so much about tension loss, even though I understand those are correlated. Loss of control and harsh impact is due to elasticity loss in my opinion.
     
  46. fgs

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    in my understanding and playing experience, going dead can mean two different things, basically both related to a loss in elasticity, or better said resiliency.

    1. a string that after a certain amount of time just gets like a board so you have to hit faster and faster in order to get the ball over the net. stringbed deflection is a minimum but recoil time is also delayed as in case no.2.

    2. a string that turns into a slingshot, that is apparently still has elasticity left but responds with a certain time delay to the impact and makes the ball basically uncontrollable. in this case there is still enough stretch in the stringbed, but it has a very delayed response. it also seems that dwell time would be higher, but this is not beneficial in such a case.
     
  47. Buford T Justice

    Buford T Justice Semi-Pro

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    Are there tests out there that demonstrate the loss of elasticty for different strings?
     
  48. maxpotapov

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  49. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    1. Going Dead
    2. Tension Loss
     
  50. fgs

    fgs Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2007
    Messages:
    3,353
    Location:
    Vienna, Austria
    mikeler,

    there is a certain "death" i refer to in no.2, which is rather related to the ability to recoil within a certain time. i have done this experiment several years back with kirschbaum pro line II, a string that "dies" as a slingshot and not as a board. by that time i was playing the 106 nblades and was usually strining the mains at 23kg. i played with one stick about 5 hours, as that was the time that second tension drop occured with that string and turned it into a slingshot. i strung a fresh stick much lower, ie at 19kg mains and 18kg crosses and took them to court. apparently the stringbedstiffness was comparable by way of the pinging sound they made when you struck them to each other. but they played completely different - the fresh one was soft but still very controllable, the launch angle was considerably lower than the "old" one and it had a completely different "touch".

    so i assume, absolutely intuitively and anecdotal as our "beloved" cat would say, that we are looking at a loss of resiliency also in case no.2. as there is no scientific name for "the death of a stringbed", i just intended to make you understand what i meant. maybe my use of the word slingshot produced a wrong image in the sense of acceleration whilw i was rather trying to associate it with lack of precision/control.
     

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