Boris Becker (BB) London Club

Discussion in 'Racquets' started by TimothyO, Dec 30, 2010.

  1. Pneumated1

    Pneumated1 Professional

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    I can appreciate that, which is why I tried to make my 300 Tours work for 2 years against better judgment, just because they were so precise. But with the London I personally don't lose that much precision/control, and I gain more pop, tons better ball quality, and the addictive BB feel.

    But honestly, if you competed again, you wouldn't consider a beefed-up London?:)

    I think that's why I see a clear distinction in the two lines. The "feel" of each respective line seems to be the drawing point for differing players at this point. I realize that there are clear performance distinctions as well, but you seem to prefer that crisper feel of Volkl more, while I clearly prefer the BB 11 and London--I would call both comfortable, but raw and responsive.

    Don't get me wrong though, if BB didn't exist, I'd likely hit a Volkl; it's the closest thing.
     
  2. TennisMaverick

    TennisMaverick Banned

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    I hit the ball very flatly, as my base groundie. I can do that to an extent with the PB 10 MP--I used to struggle with the C10 Pro for the almost year that I had to play with it as well--but I really only get the results that I want with the Mid, and if it were up to me, the Mid would have 18 mains. The PB 10 Mid is far softer than any other model, which is my preference. I'll know soon enough about the X10 325; they're due to arrive Tue afternoon.

    Leading-up the London, just doesn't work; it feels terrible. A 13.5-plus London feels so bad, that you would enjoy putting Stanley in a meat grinder more.
     
  3. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    The Legend was heavier swingweight and if I recall, lower powered. That would make it tougher to use. Usually "more demanding" means one or all of these 3 things:
    -smaller sweetspot
    -heavier (swingweight and/or static weight)
    -low powered

    Luckily...the London is none of these :)
     
  4. Pneumated1

    Pneumated1 Professional

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    I don't know that I've ever heard or read a negative comment about the PB 10 Mid, so it's on its way to becoming a classic in all probability. I wanted to demo it, but at my level, it didn't seem like a realistic option.

    I wonder, though, why you don't hit the Legend or the new Melbourne, unless, of course, the PB 10 Mid is more forgiving and comfortable? If I were a half to one level higher, I would definitely have bought the Legend and would be eyeing the Melbourne intently. I hit the Legend well in a demo, but to lug it around at my level, where I often have to create pace myself, I think it would prove taxing after awhile.

    As far as leading the London, I only put 6-7g spread out on the pallet, throat, and hoop (albeit in places other than where there was DC) and impact felt like a Pure Drive, imo. But just to clarify: its power was still London-like, but the "feel" at impact was like a PD. And as we all know, to hit a Volkl or BB without feel is a contradiction.
     
  5. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    Just strung up one of my London's last night with a Natural Gut/Copoly hybrid @ 58/54. Head nat gut and Polyfibre Black Venom copoly. Can't wait to try it out! I only tried nat gut once before in a different racquet and I was able to get a lot more topspin than with a typical multi. I am going for a little hitting session at noon, so I will report back in a little bit.
     
  6. dParis

    dParis Hall of Fame

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    Somewhere, the late board member Deuce is having a conniption fit provoked by your suggestion that a new racquet might become a classic.
    I could have sworn a few months ago that TM claimed DeltaCore was used throughout the layup of the BBDC racquets, a design difference from Volkl's DNX which is used in specific areas of the frame. I see that this claim has been dropped in favor of the material differences being in the resistance to torsional or longitudinal flexing.
     
  7. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    OK. Easily the best setup yet for the London for me and if it holds up for a few weeks, this will be my "go to". The gut/copoly combo was sublime. I just played a set plus a lot of rallying and was very happy with the way this combo felt and played. The nat gut give you much more spin than multi mains, but you don't give up any feel or softness. In fact, my elbow feels like I didn't even play at all. I think this is my ultimate setup, because you get the feel, touch and power when you need it and the extra spin helps bring the ball down and in. Today, I actually experienced that feeling of "grabbing" the ball and throwing it where you want at the last second. I had a short ball that I had plenty of time on and I held off like I was going inside out, but instead hit a angled, crosscourt topspin winner in the opposite direction. It was a thing of beauty :) So far, perfect power level, but lets see how it does in a few sessions when it drops a little. I was worried the gut would be too "springy" but so far it's fine. Highly recommend this setup for people who don't want poly mains, but want as much spin as possible with a soft and arm friendly stringbed.
     
  8. TennisMaverick

    TennisMaverick Banned

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    Firstly, the PB 10 Mid feels more like a nano carbon T10 VE, which fit more like an appendage than a tool. Secondly, smaller heads are better for flatter balls, handling pace, and for hooding high balls, all of which I prefer or have to do with the guys that I hit with. The only shot that I get hurt with is short hopping groundies, where a larger head would be more helpful, but the weight/mods in my sticks helps me to compensate.
     
  9. skeeter

    skeeter Semi-Pro

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    Nice to hear. Did you have any concerns with the gut being a bit powerful (as I hear it can be) or did you string higher than you normally do to compensate? Also, is that particular copoly round and smooth so as not to tear the gut? And how would you compare this setup to the full bed of NXT Control? Will be interested in overall durability; but sounds pretty good.
     
  10. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    I was a little concerned about the power, so I strung it above mid at 58, with the copoly crosses at 54. Normally I would string multi mains at mid or lower, so yes, I went a little higher. Also since I have a lower powered copoly (Black Venom) in the crosses, that also keeps it under control. Right now the power is perfect and if it loosens up a little will be even better. I am real curious how this setup plays after 2 weeks.

    Yes, I purposely used a smooth, round and soft copoly (Polyfibre Black Venom) so it hopefully won't saw into the gut. We shall see.

    Compared to the NXT Control....they both have a soft and similar feel and I will need more time to notice the finer comparisons, but the nat gut definitely gave me more topspin, as my kick serves went higher and when I swung out, I saw the ball diving down at the last second, right inside the baseline. Next time out, I will try both setups side by side to get a better idea of how they compare.

    BTW...does anyone know who makes Head Nat Gut? I heard somewhere that some other company makes it for them (Pacific?).
     
  11. Pneumated1

    Pneumated1 Professional

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    The DC material is the only gloss material on the racquet--the reddish/maroon substance on the hoop from 1:00-5:00 and 7:00-11:00 (approximately) and on and just below the throat. As long as the mods are put in these areas, all is well, although I have 3g on the top of the pallet as well.

    The London is a remarkably stable stick, but my experience does confirm that it does have a slight flutter on torsional mishits in the 3&9 area. But even then, it's forgiving enough to go in. Small amounts of lead in the hoop at 3&9 and 5&7 largely take care of this issue, which is really not a concern.

    As far as the PB 10 Mid possibly being a classic . . . I can't take the statement back at this point. Hopefully all will be forgiven if I'm proven wrong:)
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2011
  12. LightHeaded

    LightHeaded New User

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    Dwelling on gettin a London

    Pneumated1, you talk a lot about dwell time. Do you think that this stick is better for someone with a flat swing? Seems like someone with an aggressive low to high swing would get a lot of frame balls if the ball "dwells" too long.
     
  13. Pneumated1

    Pneumated1 Professional

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    I've been accused of hitting the ball flat and with a lot of spin. Knowledgeable posters on this forum would call it "grinding" or hitting a "flat roll"; nevertheless, I'm not a heavy topspin player and don't hit a loopy ball. I hit a flatter trajectory with biting spin, and the London is the best racket I've played for my swing/playing style. My ball quality is the best I've produced with the London.

    If you just hit the ball flat with minimal spin (called pressuring the ball), I would look at the new Volkl line or the PB line, as I personally don't see where a pocketing frame like the London would be that beneficial. But if you hit flat with a degree of spin for control, the London is worth a look. My recommendation would be to keep your stringbed soft and on the looser side of things. Hope this helps.
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2011
  14. coolblue123

    coolblue123 Hall of Fame

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    Agreed. I just strung some Forten Sweet 17g on my London at 59/57. It just didn't feel right. The thud sound and it felt like I lost alot of spin on the ball. I think I'll stick with my GS Maximals and Gripper until I can find something more cheaper.
     
  15. Pneumated1

    Pneumated1 Professional

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    The Forten Sweet should work fine, but I think I would try it at mid tension--maybe 55/52 to start. In my experience, low tensions utilize the dwell/pocketing characteristic of the frame much better.
     
  16. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    I would try mid or lower tension. Something like 56/54. Remember that there is always a large tension drop after the 1st day, so it always feels tight
    immediately after stringing. Also, if you don't swing hard and fast, you won't get any spin because the ball is deflecting off the tight stringbed without "sinking in" as much. Guys that swing hard and fast can use a tight stringbed because they will generate enough force to allow the ball to sink a little into the stringbed and allow the strings to work the ball.
     
  17. LightHeaded

    LightHeaded New User

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    I hit with heavy topspin. Maybe this isn't the racket for me.
     
  18. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    You may be correct. You might benefit more from a frame like the PB9 or the Becker Delta Core Pro or the new Organix 8 or 10-325 or the PB10 MP or Mid.

    I think the PB9 should be your first stop. Similar swing/static weight to the London, but more stiff and faster response that would suit a topspin/basliner more.
    That or the Organix 8 would be great choices.
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2011
  19. coolblue123

    coolblue123 Hall of Fame

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    Thanks! I'll try at 54/52. At higher tensions, my London felt like a washboard. I just cut up the strings right away. It doesn't help as well that Sweet is pretty mushy. Felt as though someone put novocaine in my racquet. Would you guys agree that this racquet responds better to crisp strings? I have put in some Pro Supex FT Ruff 17g and it felt pretty responsive as well. (at least for a $3 string)
     
  20. LightHeaded

    LightHeaded New User

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    I think you're right. Plus, I like to stay around 11oz.
     
  21. Pneumated1

    Pneumated1 Professional

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    The only reason, therefore, that you would consider using a Volkl/BB racket is because of its unique feel. If you like this particular "feel," there's always a racket within one of the lines that suits your swing/playing style.

    If you're not enamored with the feel of these lines, I would go with obvious, other choices: Babolat PD, APD, PS, AS, Dunlop 300's, etc.

    I wouldn't have cut it out; it would have softened after a few outings. As far as your question about crisp strings, I wouldn't go that far. I personally like soft strings, those that some would call mushy; therefore, I would probably like your Forten Sweet. I'm currently hitting a soft poly with Gosen OG Micro, and I like the feel, but I would prefer even softer. When you say "crisp" I think "quick," but I'm not sure that that's what you're intending. When I think of pocketing and dwell, I would think that the string would have to have a certain level of softness and elasticity to enhance this quality. I guess I would argue that the London would play best with softer, low-powered strings. I don't know if this helps you or not.
     
  22. coolblue123

    coolblue123 Hall of Fame

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    Just put in some Golden Set Maximals 16g at a low tension. (54/52). I gotta say, the racquet felt alot better. The only thing I complain alittle are my volleys which sailed long a couple of times.

    I guess it's the trade off between control and power is evident here. I got used to it after the 3rd game. I just put in alittle more spin and increased my margin of error on my shots. Definitely felt the ball alot better.
     
  23. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    Low tension + soft string on the London makes it pretty powerful. I wouldn't go below mid tension unless u have a poly in the mains. Also, you can't be lazy and swing out with a slightly open racquet face with the London or balls will sail on you. I try and picture myself "turning a door knob counter-clockwise" at impact, and that helps me with topspin. I like the fact that I can't get lazy with my swing with the London. It forces me to watch my footwork and control the race face at contact. Now that I have adjusted to the stick, it's just a joy to play with. I would highly recommend you guys try out (at least once) a nat gut/copoly hybrid at 58/54. Really fast swingers try 60/56. It's pure tennis nirvana :)
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2011
  24. Pneumated1

    Pneumated1 Professional

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    Too many players in this thread hit the London, myself included, at low tensions without the supposed "control" problems for me to believe that it's a frame/string issue. I'm hitting the racquet at 50/52 (soft poly main) and would like a little more loosening/softening to be happy. The demo that I hit was strung with a soft syn. gut at very low tensions, and the controlled power was excellent.

    Anyone struggling with the "power" of the London should look more at technique, playing style, and swing style----and away from string options. You have to know what string you like and what tension, and if that doesn't work for you in the London, I would walk away; there are too many frames out there.

    I'm experimenting with two different lead setups with my two Londons right now. Yesterday, I won a match 2,2,&2 using these two racquets interchangeably. At one point I thought I had the other stick than the one I actually had, and it made no difference; the response, ball quality, and excellent control were the same with both. The London works for me and all my preferences. I tried for 2 years to make the 300 Tour work for me, and it didn't work.
     
  25. goherd27

    goherd27 Rookie

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    String Switch

    I have to say that my switch from gamma live wire xp to wilson nxt control (based on recs from this thread) made a difference with my forehands. I was launching some forehands with xp. I don't think xp and the london are a good fit. I played two great doubles matches since the change.
     
  26. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    Glad to hear it's working out for you! I really like NXT Control in this racquet since it's soft but controls almost like a poly. You are correct that soft, powerful multi's like Live Wire are not the best fit for the London. Also, I hit a semi-flat ball that has low net clearance and is easier to hit out then a high, loopy shot. You can feel it if you are getting that "trampoline effect" with low tension/high powered multi's and it makes it much harder to keep the ball within the lines. Yes, better players can use ANY string at ANY tension, but why make it harder on myself than I need to? I found NXTC to be a great option for players (like myself) that don't want a poly in the mains and prefer a softer feeling hit. I found 58/54 to work well for the NXTC. I am also now trying a nat. gut/copoly hybrid that is playing nicely too, so now I have 2 options that work well for me.

    Goherd...what tension did u string the NXTC at? Also, do u notice more spin with NXTC than with the XP?
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2011
  27. goherd27

    goherd27 Rookie

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  28. Shangri La

    Shangri La Hall of Fame

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    I've been really enjoying Pacific classic gut/WC Silverstring at 52/50 - exceptional feel and full poly like spin. No problem with control whatsoever. It really enhances the London's playing characteristics for me.
     
  29. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    Great to see someone else enjoying a nat gut/poly setup with the London.
    Pacific Classic is know as a "firm" playing gut, which is why you are good with the lower tension. Also the Silverstring poly cross is helping to tame the power as well. I am really like my gut/copy hybrid also right now. I just have to see if it lasts before I decide.
     
  30. TennisMaverick

    TennisMaverick Banned

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  31. skeeter

    skeeter Semi-Pro

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    Jack, have you considered stinging up with gut mains and the NXT Control as a cross? Or is that just making things too complex (i.e., a hybrid stringjob with a "hybrid" string as a cross)?
     
  32. Pneumated1

    Pneumated1 Professional

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    ^^^^^^^That would make a good ad: The Boris Becker London: replace stringer bite with ball bite!

    (Referencing TM's statement; Skeeter snuck in on me there)
     
  33. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    lol. It would be a hybrid-hybrid :)

    Gut mains with NXT Control wouldn't make a lot of sense to me. If I just wanted a soft cross to go with gut mains (which a lot of people do to keep costs down), I would just go with a syngut.
    But, I guess if you wanted a little less power than a full gut setup, this would do it. But it's an expensive string to just use as a cross like that. Rip Control would do the same job at less than half the price.

    Copoly crosses work great with gut mains because they tame the power, leave the feel and add spin. They also allow the mains to snap back, adding even more spin potential. NXT Control plays like a multi/coply hybrid in one string, so what would make sense is a NXTC mains/copoly hybrid. It would be good if full NXTC is too lively for you (which it's not for me). Remember, the main string in a hybrid gives about 75-80% of the overall playing characteristics of the overall package, due to the longer lengths.
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2011
  34. neverstopplaying

    neverstopplaying Professional

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    I hit today with VS Team mains and Beast XP x's (57/52). Very nice - lots and lots of controlled power - great feel. I wouldn't look further for indoor tennis.

    More powerful than my usual full Cyclone, not quite the as much spin. I don't use gut in the summer months playing on clay only, as I often play in light rain and it kills the gut - and I prefer maximum spin of a poly.
     
  35. vantageboy

    vantageboy Rookie

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    my London was strung with vs gut @ 53lbs-didnt last but 5 doubles matches before it broke but again i had no control problems what so ever.it has a touch of extra power for a light flexible racquet-make no mistake it is a control stick. mav is right, poor stringing will give you power/lack of control issues(yes playing level 2) just strung mine this time with nxt control mains 55 and vs gut cross 52. the sweet spot is larger now than before and touch/feel way more enhanced as i was able to really take a aggressive cut on my bh approach shots getting them deep. love this set up.(dare i say it-better comfort 2)-thank u t-mav for the great tech insights on this frame.
     
  36. TennisMaverick

    TennisMaverick Banned

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    That choice of string tends to work well in Volk sticks with the string length to width ratio, and it does last. I frequently recommend a syn main and a multi or gut on the crosses for those with arm problems wishing for a little durability.

    Going through gut that fast; can I assume that you're playing on clay of Har Tru? Or are you using a gauge thinner than 16? Or are you using uncoated string? If it is none of those, perhaps you sawed the mains as you pulled the crosses through, or, wore the surface of the crosses off as you pulled them though the mains? Do you wax your mains with paraffin before installing the crosses?

    On a hardcourt, I will easily double the lifespan of any multi, and it will last longer than any synthetic, and that experience is going all the way back to gut versus Leonia 66 or Blue Star in a Dunlop Maxply, circa 1970. Just don't get it wet, after using, rub the dust off the string bed with a dry towel, spray the frame each time after play, and if you live in a humid climate, sprinkle the gut with talcum powder, or put the talc in a plastic bag, since we no longer get covers, and place the head of the racquet in the plastic bag. Shake the stick while it's in the bag, and then put into Mega or whatever pack--you don't want to remove the plastic bag and get talc all over your gear. Do this and your gut will last a long time. Strung and cared for properly, when factoring string costs or time, it is actually more economical and plays better as well.
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2011
  37. TennisMaverick

    TennisMaverick Banned

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    You need to relocate to Madison Ave.!
     
  38. goherd27

    goherd27 Rookie

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    Going through gut that fast; can I assume that you're playing on clay of Har Tru? Or are you using a gauge thinner than 16?

    TennisMaverick,

    It has been a long time since I have had racquets strung with gut. I have had my share of elbow issues though I am relatively pain free now and have been for a while. Want to keep it that way. Do you believe that there is a significant difference in arm friendliness between 16 and 17 guage gut?
     
  39. vantageboy

    vantageboy Rookie

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    TMAV thanks for the tip/help--you know your stuff--har tru in florida-16g vs touch coated at 53 so tension was low --my guy strings for kendricks/pernfors so hes very good--i always have been hard on my strings and always played with 18x20 volkls--my elbow has me using 16x19 now as it just feels better health wize.really like this current set up even over my all gut set up.really digging this racquet.fyi my unstrung london was 303gr
     
  40. TennisMaverick

    TennisMaverick Banned

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    GOOD STRINGER>THEN>Make sure that you get the dust off, SPRAY IT with gut protective spray, clear polyurethane from a hardware store, or even hair spray sans water--important. You don't have to use the talc, but if you don't, as humid as it always is in FL, the strings will get mushy, stick together, notch, and then cut.
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2011
  41. TennisMaverick

    TennisMaverick Banned

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    Yes, but the difference in durability is much greater than the difference in comfort. You may not get 2 hrs out of 17 gauge on Har Tru before it breaks. 16 gauge, if taken care of as I mentioned above, will last me 20 hours on hardcourt, at least, but I do hit really flat. I would get 3 hours on a hardcourt with 17 gauge.
     
  42. skeeter

    skeeter Semi-Pro

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    Thanks; good input. Once my current strings break, look forward to trying the gut/copoly setup.

    Looks like Vantageboy is trying the gut/NXTC mix, but with gut in the crosses (see below).

    Curious why you are going with gut in the crosses versus the mains...
     
  43. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    Gut in the crosses doesn't make a lot of sense to me. You don't get the primary benefits from gut that you do in the mains. All it does is soften up the stringbed and add some power, but you could do the same with any run of the mill multi for a fraction of the cost.

    Personally, I think NXTC was meant to be played as a full bed, since it's already an "internal hybrid". JMO.
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2011
  44. vantageboy

    vantageboy Rookie

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    always played with one piece string job with soft multi. or gut(never tried hybrid string job) -used gut cross just for the added comfort. must say i like this better than my all gut string job. tmav's advice on lowering the cross by 2-4lbs is really why it feels like the sweet-spot grew.
     
  45. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    The NXTC in the mains will give you more control than an all gut stringjob.
    Plus it will feel A LITTLE softer than a all NXTC bed. But you are still mostly feeling the NXT Control in this setup.
     
  46. mattymatt

    mattymatt New User

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    It's been 4 weeks since I switched to leather grip and added lead weight. I am really liking my racket every time I am on the court.
    My true grip size is 4 1/2 (the length from the tip of my ring finger to the bottom lateral crease of my hand) but I am using 4 3/8 with Wilson Pro over grip tightly wrapped. I can hit better serves with smaller grip, but if I go too small, my ground strokes lose some consistency. I became ridiculously sensitive to the grip size, I notice even a slight change in the over grip thickness. I would like to know how you selected your grip size and if you use over grip to fine tune the size.
     
  47. LightHeaded

    LightHeaded New User

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    I use 4 1/2 with a wilson overgrip. I too am sensitive and noticed the improvement in serves with a smaller grip. I'm thinking about switching to 4 3/8 with the same overgrip. I think it will also give me more strength on my 1hbh.
     
  48. TennisMaverick

    TennisMaverick Banned

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2010
    Messages:
    4,293
    I always advise basing grip shape and size around one's dominate stroke, since, you will use it the most, and to cause the most damage.
     
  49. jnd28

    jnd28 Rookie

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2006
    Messages:
    313
    Location:
    SF Bay Area
    Based on the prices of the Beckers in comparison to the volkl it would appear that the volkl is the Lexus!
     
  50. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2009
    Messages:
    14,125
    Location:
    Roswell GA
    That analogy really doesn't apply here. Both lines offer different types of racquets for different types of players. Although the Volkls you see more in stores than the Beckers. Seems like Becker's marketing team is non existent.
     

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