Boris Becker (BB) London Club

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

  1. Pneumated1

    Pneumated1 Professional

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    I wouldn't. Keep the co-poly in the mains @ 52-53, and try the multi in the crosses at 50. You'll get better pocketing, feel, and pop.
     
  2. TimothyO

    TimothyO Hall of Fame

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    tried slightly higher tension on both mains and crosses...achieved lower power but I think I prefer the lower tension's feel. Playing with the higher tension tonight and in the am.
     
  3. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    What you are saying contradicts what I have read many times on these boards. You are saying copoly mains is softer and has better pocketing than natural gut in the mains? I am not sure that this is correct.

    Right now I have 2 racquets with identical, but reverse hybrids and I can tell you for certain the multi mains/copoly cross hybrid is softer and pcokets better than the copoly mains/multi cross setup. I imagine that substituting nat gut for the multi in the mains will yield similar if not more pronounced results.
     
  4. sunof tennis

    sunof tennis Professional

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    Yes, gut or multis in mains with the poly in the crosses will give more feel and power and putting the poly in the mains will give more spin and control.
    In essence, whichever you put in the mains will give more of what that string type is known for.
     
  5. skeeter

    skeeter Semi-Pro

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    Seems like I've seen similar suggestions that gut in the mains provides more feel and durability (and good for arm problems) while poly or co-poly in crosses (at a couple pounds less tension) is good for "toning down" a bit the gut and providing a bit more control, spin, etc. And I recall reading somewhere that it's good to keep poly out of the mains if any arm problems.

    I was also interested in the gut/poly hybrid for the London, so will be interested in what you find if you try this out.
     
  6. Pneumated1

    Pneumated1 Professional

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    No, don't misrepresent what I said. I'm not saying that co-poly mains are softer than natural gut mains. What dolt would make this type of statement? I was trying to state that I wouldn't put the softer string in the mains and the poly in the crosses. My point is that if you put the softer cross at 2-3 lbs. less than the co-poly you will maintain a soft feel (maybe not as soft as gut) and enhance the natural pocketing and dwell time of the frame.

    You can say that the ball pockets better with your co-poly in the crosses all you like, but you also complained previously about control problems with this setup. What that tells me is that the ball is too quick off the stringbed with the co-poly crosses, not pocketing or dwelling---which would give you control.
     
  7. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    Ok I see what you mean now. I just need to try several setups and see what works out best for me. I guess I was confusing pocketing and softness and that was my mistake. I am trying to find the right combo of power, softness and dwell time. The copoly mains/Multi cross had great control, but I missed some of the pop I had with the other setup. I just need some more time to figure out what works best.
     
  8. Pneumated1

    Pneumated1 Professional

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    I guess the way I originally stated it was a little confusing. I just meant that if you stick with the co-poly main, which will give you more control, the looser and softer cross string will give you more pocketing and pop than you're currently experiencing.

    I've also heard that a multi or gut main will create more power and feel, but I think that depends upon the frame. I think if you try a looser/softer cross, you will improve the feel, add a little pop, and enhance the pocketing.

    I can only speculate, but if you must go back to your original setup (multi/gut mains and co-poly crosses), you might do the same: drop the cross tension--perhaps even more than a few pounds. But I suspect that you'll lose a lot of control with this setup.
     
  9. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    It's a tricky thing....dropping the tension to achieve pocketing, without making the stringbed too powerful.
     
  10. g4driver

    g4driver Hall of Fame

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    Jack,

    I have a London Becker demo on the way, just for grins. Demos for my finance', so I asked for a Becker. I'm happy with the Wilson BLX Pro Open and don't see me changing.

    Try the Hurricane Feel 17g main / NRG2 cross setup. I personally like Hurricane Feel 17g / X-One 16g. VS Touch 16g / Hurricane Feel 17g was a great setup, but for the money, I'll stick with the cheaper setup.

    I have a unopened reel of NRG2 16g, and my next reel will be Hurricane Feel 17g. At $204.25 for each reel (with a 5% discount), I can get at least 33 (20') half sets when used for mains, and can get a slightly more half sets if used for crosses. The setup works out to $12.38 per frame at worse case.
     
  11. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    I can't imagine you won't like the London better than the Open. It will feel much more solid to you, with more plowthru. A little heavier maybe, but not much. The ball feel at contact with the London has to be felt to be appreciated. I am warning you...don't try it unless you are prepared to dump the BLX Pro Open :)
     
  12. g4driver

    g4driver Hall of Fame

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    The BLX Pro Open is working well for me. Lost one USTA match since switching, and won a USTA tournament last month. I'm getting games off of 4.5s. Got 11 of 15 games to deuce on Monday with one 4.5. I had three break chances, but didn't convert. :(

    Unless the BB London improves my serve without hurting my forehand, the BLX Open is my frame. :) I'm going to string it myself, so the demo is of the frame and not the strings. I'll let you know what how it works for me.

    The demo is really for a friend of mine who wants to try something other than his Head Radical.

    Just curious, did you ever try the Head Extreme Pro?
     
  13. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    If you are getting great results with the Open, then u probably shouldn't even try the London. When I first tried the London, groundstrokes were great but serve was the last thing that clicked for me. No, I never tried the Extreme Pro, but the Extremes were a little too stiff for me. Kind of like Head's version of the Pure Drive.
     
  14. TennisMaverick

    TennisMaverick Banned

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    There is only one reason to play with a BB/Volkl racquet: FEEL. Period.

    Volkl sticks should be strung in accordance to their design parameters, or else, by stringing the crosses too tight, you are really playing with a very under-powered paddle ball racquet. These sticks allow you to "feel" your shots in your hand, which gives you a greater margin for error and to make adjustments on-contact, regardless if you pressure, grind, or brush the ball.

    Stiffer, quicker, more powerful player frames are really designed for those with the footwork and racquet contact accuracy to make the required shot with a boardier racquet face, which provides for better accuracy, but gives less margin for error. Thus, if you are not very definite on contact, the ball is going jet off the frame, in the exact direction to where the racquet face is pointing. All you need to do is to watch slow-mo ball contact of Del Potro to understand what I am saying. So if you think that you play at that level, then by all means, play with a more powerful frame with a stiffer string bed, and dump your BB/Volkl.

    With that being said, assuming that poly is between 12-15% stiffer than a soft multi, and between 8-10% stiffer than gut, just factor those percentages into your hybrids, and no matter what numbers you arrive at, and then, subtract 2-4 lbs on the crosses--which is the Volkl standard recommendation for all DC/DNX frames. This will provide for the feel, softness, and dwell time for which the brand is famous. My personal preference is to find a balance between the crosses and mains where neither moves more than the other. This provides for a very consistent response off of the string bed.
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2011
  15. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    I have been stringing pretty low tensions so far......

    racquet #1) multi mains at 53 / copoly crosses at 51
    racquet #2) copoly mains at 50 / multi cross at 52

    I typically string the multi 2 lbs less that the copoly, but I forgot to
    substract another 2-4 lbs for the crosses per the "Volkl recommendation".
    I will do that next time one of these needs stringing.
     
  16. zumzool

    zumzool Semi-Pro

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    Has anyone tried synthetic gut in this racquet yet?

    I admit that lately, I've been preferring a heavier racquet and the London's have been sitting on the sidelines...
     
  17. rlau

    rlau Professional

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    I'd be interested to know how I should do that within 0.003 seconds (i.e. the time the ball is in contact with the strings)?
     
  18. coolblue123

    coolblue123 Hall of Fame

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    I've been playing with FT Ruff 17g at 55lbs. I love the feel of the strings. Very responsive.

    Other strings I am using is the Forten Sweet 17g. Very nice feel as well. I didn't like the Forten Sweet. However, I really disliked the Gosen OS Sheep 17g. It just moved way too much and the string surface was smoother than other syn guts out there.

    But nowadays, I've been playing with GS Maximals and Volkl Gripper. Nice multi's. Gripper really helps in that ball pocketing feature that many London users have found that love in this racquet.
     
  19. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    lol. I'd be interested to know that one too! :)
    Is it even physically or humanly possible to "make adjustments on contact".

    I understand how some stringbeds are "quicker" and therefore the ball deflects off of it faster than others and some (like the London) have better dwell time and "hold onto" the ball longer than others, but this is all going to happen in microseconds. How can the player possibly have any addition effect on where the shot is going, other that aiming the racquet face at the ball? This whole concept of "grinding" the ball at impact really is beyond my comprehension and I'm not afraid to admit it :)
     
  20. OldButGame

    OldButGame Hall of Fame

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    Ok guys, heres one thing to consider, Ya know how they talk about strings/racquets that are 'catch and release' in nature?..I had an AG200 strung w/ Cyber Blue too low, and it was soooo like that. I mean, that ball would literally (so it seemed) sink into that string bed, and it did feel like i was almost 'throwing it' where i wanted it. Honestly i didnt like the feel and thought it was too, what others call 'trampoline like'. Point is,.. I cant speak for the London having never used it, but i think that dynamic of 'catch and release' exists given the right racquet/string. And with that (i harken back to that AG200) it really could feel like You were feeling the ball on those strings and almost 'throwing it' where You wanted. :)
     
  21. TimothyO

    TimothyO Hall of Fame

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    The ball has left the SB long after the brain even registers the impact, so there's no time to react. But the London definitely has a scoop-like feel.

    I hit for an hour yesterday and three today with the London. I had my VS17 mains strung at 51 and Xcel crosses at 53. When my hitting partner sent foreheands skidding a few inches off the surface I could lean over and scoop the ball with the end of the London and send it back just as hard and just as low.

    On floating shoulder high shots it feels like I can "grab" the ball and spin it deep into enemy territory with ease as my hoop rolls up and over the ball in a windshield wiper arc.

    And I feel like I can apply top spin with confidence to my one handed backhand.

    I've also tweaked the London. It certainly plays great stock but I added a few grams at 10/2 and more at the grip resulting in total mass of 11.6 oz and 7 points head light balance. Over the last four hours of play only one shot twisted in my hand...other silly miss hits on my part were salavaged by the London's forgiving nature.
     
  22. TimothyO

    TimothyO Hall of Fame

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    That describes the London perfectly!
     
  23. TennisMaverick

    TennisMaverick Banned

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    Grinding the ball....it is what it is....there's a need for a common frame of reference. But if the object is to have another thread removed....
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2011
  24. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    I agree with everything you've said. I just wanted to point out the difference between "feeling" something and actually having the ability to "make adjustments at time of impact". It seems like everyone is in agreement in that the latter is impossible.

    Tim. Your setup of gut mains and multi cross at very low tension must give you tons of pop. Do you ever have any issues with control? Do you take a long, fast swing or more of a compact stroke? Also, why didn't you lower the tension on the crosses like Volkl recommends (4-6 less than the mains)? I am going to try a similar setup of gut mains and copoly crosses soon. I played last night with my other racquet with copoly mains and multi cross and I felt it took away from of that nice soft feel I was getting with multi mains. That is what I loved most about the London. The soft, cushiony impact feel. The copoly mains take that away some. On the flipside, it was easier to swing away without hitting long.
     
  25. TimothyO

    TimothyO Hall of Fame

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    Didn't lower the cross tensions because I wasn't aware of that. Those relative tensions are based on relative tension loss between the VS and Xcel. Based on the TW friction research I'd like to try VS16 in the mains and NXT 17 Tour crosses...might consider that issue next time I restring then.

    At these tensions it certainly does have pop but I can hit with enough spin that it still allows me to hit hard and with tons of pace.

    I think one of the London's strengths, especially with this setup, is that it provides many situational hitting options. There's just enough (not a lot, but enough) pop for pretty good volleys. There's just enough power so that a moderate flat swing will produce an accurate shot with enough pace for "lower club level play". And there's more than enough access to spin that if you do have the chance and skill to take a big swipe at the ball the spin will keep it in bounds even with tons of pace (last weekend a hitting partner was shocked at the pace I was putting on top-spin shots with the London).

    In this configuration I'd call the London a slightly up-powered players racquet which provides plenty of control but which also demands good spin technique to tame the power when swinging hard.

    With a moderate swing I can hit all day with "thoughtless" precision placing balls exactly where I want them. But if I want to hit faster paced balls I do need to focus hard on technique to avoid hitting long. So IMO the London, when strung this low, can be a rocket launcher only if you're not careful when swinging hard. OTOH, hit with lots of spin and that extra power really shows itself in a good way!
     
  26. TimothyO

    TimothyO Hall of Fame

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    The travel time for sensory input from the hand to the brain is a fact of science revealed by, well, experts in human physiology.

    Tennis experts have also revealed that the ball is in contact with the SB for only a few milliseconds at best.

    Taking those two bits of data from two communities of experts the fact is the ball has left the SB well before the brain even feels the impact. So it's physically impossible to change technique based on the feel of the impact since you don't know how the impact felt until after the ball is heading across the court.

    But that's NOT to say that rackets and SBs don't feel or perform different ways or reward or punish different techniques. It's only saying that your pre-impact technique determines how the SB will interact with the ball since the moment impact relative to nervous signal travel times precludes feedback-reaction.

    So, imo, it's better to accept the hard data provided by tennis researchers and the scientific community over old wives tales and random bits of "conventional wisdom" posted on internet forums by random, anonymous users lacking scientific backgrounds in the relevant fields of physics and human physiology as it pertains to the central nervous system and cognitive science.
     
  27. Pneumated1

    Pneumated1 Professional

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    Exactly! People are entitled to their own opinions, so why are you always the first to go on the offensive/defensive when the discussion travels outside your knowledge base?

    And I'm not calling you dumb, but choosing to refuse information is dumb, in my opinion.

    And honestly, I don't care if my threads get yanked. But don't worry; keep your thread. I'll leave.
     
  28. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    Great explanation. My findings have been almost exactly the same.
     
  29. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    Now who's the one getting defensive? And I don't "refuse" any information. I read it, take it in and then use it or decide not to. I don't go on the offensive when the discussion goes outside my knowledge base. I question when things don't make sense. And it's not "my thread". It's TW's public forum for all to enjoy. You are the one who came in here and called 3 posters "ignorant and dumb" and now you are trying to backpeddle. It appears that your plan is to "insult and run". Personally, I think "appologize and discuss" is a far better plan, but you already stated that "you don't care", so I am not expecting much.
     
  30. Pneumated1

    Pneumated1 Professional

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    I appreciate your opinions and insights. But obviously, most scientists and physiologists are not professional tennis players, who are guided more by feel and instinct. Ask a professional tennis player about ball contact, and he or she will likely never discuss the physics, but will describe the feel and swing action.

    And for the record: I wasn't calling you or anyone on these boards dumb. I was just making a distinction between ignorance and stupidity. One is natural and the other is a choice. Perhaps I've overstepped my bounds, and I apologize to any offended.

    I think I've worn out my welcome on these London threads. So long.
     
  31. Pneumated1

    Pneumated1 Professional

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    Jack,
    I apologize if you were offended by my remarks, but again, you've misinterpreted my intent. I even included myself in the discussion; go back and look. And no, I don't have to backpeddle and run from words on a computer screen; I'm still here.

    I guess I just don't quite understand the point of some of these threads. And if that continues to be the case in the future, I'll keep my opinions to myself.

    Enjoy the London---I'm still without.

    I just saw after posting that you can't go back and look: it's already gone. Thanks for being the TW watchdog!
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2011
  32. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    Forget about it. Just a little misunderstanding. We're back on track now. It makes little sense debating certain things like what happens in the microseconds that the ball hits the strings anyway. Let's get back to discussing things that we can really use to improve our games and discuss our experiences with this great racquet and not get caught up debating minutia that has little real world application.

    Hope you can get your own London soon, so that we can share in your experiences with the racquet. Please stick around! No hard feelings whatsoever :)
     
  33. TimothyO

    TimothyO Hall of Fame

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    You grant me far too much power! :) I don't define the speed of neural impulses based on my opinions. They just are what they are.

    As far as ignorance and stupidity, I agree with your definition. But there's also willful ignorance and the inability or unwillingness to accept science fact when it doesn't conform to one's preconceived notions. At that point rational discussion becomes impossible and one is relegated to pure opinion based on fantasy.

    http://tennis.quickfound.net/training/tennis_science.html

    http://hypertextbook.com/facts/2002/DavidParizh.shtml

    http://c21.phas.ubc.ca/article/nerve-impulses

    Again, none of the science refutes a player's feel with a racquet or how a SB interacts with a ball. My friend's frying pan-stiff racquet feels very different from my London and if one takes the same stroke with both racquets one gets two different results. So feel is certainly "real", but that doesn't mean I as a player can travel backward in time to effect past events based on later information (ie the impact of the ball).
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2011
  34. TennisMaverick

    TennisMaverick Banned

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    No question that you are correct. However, there are pro players who cannot, and there are even players as low as 4.5 who can feel what the ball is doing on-contact and describe it to you, although that percentage is exceptionally low.

    Most pro tennis players have been around many good scientific professionals, and have heard all about the physics and the discussions about impact time, which have been around since Braden studied Borg, and even earlier--although the technology was lacking. But, as I said, there is a need for a common frame of reference, and that, very obviously, does not exist here.
     
  35. Beagle97

    Beagle97 New User

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    Science, physics, feel, it all works out perfectly. We just don't understand the majority of how the universe works. We can't even cure the common cold.

    I do know from personal experience, that my hands and body do things when I play tennis that my brain never participates in. I return volleys at the net that I can't even remember seeing with my brain. I always say it was luck, and then my tennis buddies say that it can't be because it happens too often.

    Therefore, aside from reason/logic/brain involvement, I think it's possible that some people can affect a shot while the ball is on the strings. Just my opinion.
     
  36. TimothyO

    TimothyO Hall of Fame

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    I don't believe anyone is saying that players, pro or amateur, haven't FELT what a ball did on contact. Even I can feel the difference between different racquets, different strings, and even different areas on my racquet, all based on swing speed, angle, etc.

    But it's all past tense, whether pro or amateur.

    In other words, past impact feel informs future stroke technique and production. "Hey, that felt great and the ball did X when I hit in this manner...therefore I'll hit that way to replicate that feel and that ball behavior in the future." And whadayaknow, it works! Hitting a certain way repetitively produces similar results and similar feel.

    That's a far cry from, "OOH, I feel the ball sliding a fraction of a millimeter up the string bed, change angle on racquet head NOW while the ball is still in the string bed."

    The former is done routinely by pros and developing players learning how to hit. The latter is physically impossible.
     
  37. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    That first article was very informative and a "must read" for any casual tennis player that wants to understand the basics of strings, tension, weight, size, etc. Thanks for posting! I'm always amazed at how little most of the guys I run into on the courts know about their racquets/strings.
     
  38. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    I guess you guys want to keep discussing this, so here is the original quote that started this whole debate.

    I don't think anyone is debating the fact that you can "feel" something going on with the ball as it deflects off the stringbed. I think the discussion was more about if anyone can physically do anything to effect their shot or "make adjustments on contact" as claimed above. That seems to be the concept that is difficult to grasp.
     
  39. Hominator

    Hominator Hall of Fame

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    Personally, I find this discussion of feeling the ball and whether you can make adjustments on the fly, interesting. Hopefully all sides of the debate will remain civil and we can agree or disagree with the concept without getting personal. I'd hate to lose the knowledge - and discussion - in this thread, too!
     
  40. skeeter

    skeeter Semi-Pro

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    While I appreciate the discussion on "feel" and "contact", I'm still a little unsure of the consensus, if there is one, regarding which poly/multi hybrid combination works better for this racquet (i.e., maintains or enhances the inherent design attributes of the racquet): polys in the mains or crosses (with crosses being strung a few lbs less regardless)? Or is it just a matter of personal preference?
     
  41. danix

    danix Semi-Pro

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    I'm a happy London user. Still searching for the ideal arm-friendly string setup (I have TennisMaverick's suggestions somewhere). Not since the Tour10MP Gen 1 have I been this happy with a frame.

    Dwell time, sure. But today I ripped a forehand shot that shocked me. It wasn't the heavy ball that I was used to with the T10MPG1, but in some way it felt like it accelerated even more quickly.

    Anyway - I don't care why, but the longer I use the London, the more I like it.
     
  42. TennisMaverick

    TennisMaverick Banned

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    "With that being said, assuming that poly is between 12-15% stiffer than a soft multi, and between 8-10% stiffer than gut, just factor those percentages into your hybrids, and no matter what numbers you arrive at, and then, subtract 2-4 lbs on the crosses--which is the Volkl standard recommendation for all DC/DNX frames. This will provide for the feel, softness, and dwell time for which the brand is famous. My personal preference is to find a balance between the crosses and mains where neither moves more than the other. This provides for a very consistent response off of the string bed."
     
  43. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    I don't think there is a magic formula for the London. Like any racquet, strings and tension are personal preferences and what works for you may not work for me. That said, I think what you are looking for with the London, is a string setup that will allow you to use the dwell time without it getting too trampoline-like. You want the strings loose enough to pocket the ball, but not so loose that the power is uncontrollable. Whether or not that means a poly at 45-50 lbs, or a multi at 50-55 lbs or a hybrid, the only way to achieve this is to experiment a little. I played a singles match today and really liked my multi mains/copoly cross setup. It had enough pop to hit a medium speed deep rally ball. I had to be careful though and if my swingpath was bad or my racquet face too open, a fast swing would send the ball sailing. The multi mains give me a lot of power, so I think next time I will up the tension a little on the mains and leave the crosses lower....maybe something like 55/51?
    This setup is 52/50. It's close and works pretty good, but a little less pop would be perfect.
     
  44. ragingbull1980

    ragingbull1980 Rookie

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    My London demo is coming in the mail Tuesday and the guy said it is strung with NXT @ 58. I have been playing with a full poly for the past two years and can't see my self playing anything else as of now. So I'm thinking of using TW's Chris suggestion of Volkl Cyclone at 52 pounds. Anyone else enjoy a full bed of poly with this racket? Seems like most of you use a hybrid set-up. I have a BB 11 MP which I really love and usually always string around 52-54. Anyhow I'm pretty excited but it will have to blow me away for me to switch from the BB 11 MP. Very curious to see how stable it is after what I've read and also serving will be a big key for me liking or loving this stick because that's one area where I struggle with the BB 11 in a long match.
     
  45. TennisMaverick

    TennisMaverick Banned

    Joined:
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    Messages:
    4,293
    The NXT at 58# should work fine. Most stringers are not super diligent, and lose tension as they string the crosses, which in this stick, is preferred.

    The London is more stable than its predecessor, the BB 11, and provides for tons more bite on spin serves. It is the perfect upgrade.
     
  46. ragingbull1980

    ragingbull1980 Rookie

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2010
    Messages:
    100
    More bite and stability. Wow don't get my hopes up. I'm really excited about the 16/19 pattern as well nice to add a little more spin with baseline rally's. Time shall see.
     
  47. Shangri La

    Shangri La Hall of Fame

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    I've tried Cyclone in the London at 52/50. Ball bite is TREMENDOUS. If I were to use full poly Cyclone would probably be my choice.
     
  48. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
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    Volkl has a new copoly now. I think it's called V-pro It's supposed to be even better than cyclone.
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2011
  49. Shangri La

    Shangri La Hall of Fame

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    I like the yellow color. But couldnt find any reviews in the string forum..
     
  50. zumzool

    zumzool Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2010
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    I too tried Chris' suggestion for Cyclone at 52 lbs. And I too think the spin and ball bite is tremendous.
     

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