"Changing" a racquet's stiffness with strings?

Discussion in 'Strings' started by Brian11785, Mar 3, 2013.

  1. Brian11785

    Brian11785 Hall of Fame

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    I have 2 RQIS 1 Tour XLs that I love. In my opinion, the best racquet ever made, for me. Perfect balance, weight and stiffness level. I realize that they won't last forever (....and I bought them used.) I also own 2 RQIS 1 Tours that I bought impulsively when they were on sale before I got the XLs.

    The problem I had with the 1 Tours (red/black) is that they were a smidge low-powered and not stiff enough to the extent that I had to swing harder (and thus, lose control) to create the level of pace I would get a little more easily than with the XLs. The two racquets are pretty identical in weight and balance (the XLs being, predictably, 1 or 2 points less headlight and a few tenths of an ounce lighter.) Fun to play with, but not something I want to go to battle with just yet.

    My question is, is there a way of using strings (whether that be higher/lower tension or a different altogether) to change the feel of the 1 Tours to match the feel of the XLs? Or is lead tape the best solution.

    Or more generally, does a stiffer string/tension on a flexier racquet make the RACQUET stiffer (feel-wise), all things equal, or are string stiffness and beam stiffness two completely different things?

    Hope I am being clear enough here.
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2013
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  2. HRB

    HRB Professional

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    A flexible racquet will always give up some power, therefore a flexible racquet, coupled with a tight (low powered) string bed will give up LOTS OF Power.

    I know flexible racquets are "arm friendly" but when you have to swing so fast and hard to get the same depth than you do with a slightly stiffer racquet, that alone can cause arm fatigue, stress, and bad shots.

    I like to play with as stiff as comfortable (not crazy old man oversize stiff) and just string a little looser. I loved my POG, but I just don't have to work as hard for heavy deep balls with my 6.1 Pro Staff 95's (all genre's).
     
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  3. Brian11785

    Brian11785 Hall of Fame

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    Right now, I use (and am satisfied) with the string set up in my signature line on my XLs. Cyber Flash, from what I understand, is a poly with a middle-of-the-road (for polys) stiffness and somewhat low-powered (for polys). Would the right move be to find a stiffer and/or more powerful poly for a hybrid in the lower-powered 1 Tours?
     
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  4. HRB

    HRB Professional

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    Poly will never equal power...if I'm reading you correctly the problem is these sticks are too flexible and weak compared to your XL's?

    If that's the case ditch them on the bay. They are pretty popular, and you'll find more of what you like (XL's). Put Syn Gut in those and they'll provide plenty of power, but less bite. Question is how much energy do you want to spend trying to make something what it is not?

    I spent (wasted) a good part of last year buying deals on the auction sight, trying racquets, adding lead, playing with tensions, etc.....all in the pursuit of trying to replicate my Pro Staffs...then it hit me..WHY?

    PS 6.1 95's are easily found, I like all genre's except the BLX 2010, so that's my stick.

    Granted it is fun to play around, but just keep in mind, mentally it'll never satisfy you knowing it is not your beloved XL!
     
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  5. Brian11785

    Brian11785 Hall of Fame

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    Totally valid point.
     
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  6. fortun8son

    fortun8son Hall of Fame

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    Judging by your sig, you could easily drop a few lbs of tension to loosen the stringbed.
    60 is a bit high for poly IMO
     
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  7. Brian11785

    Brian11785 Hall of Fame

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    Yeah, it is. But I really like it for the XL.

    Before I sell the Tours as suggested above, I definitely will try a syn gut (probably Prince Lightning) as a full bed. But wouldn't lowering the tension of the poly, along with upping the power, also lower the stiffness? I guess....is there a way to increase stiffness (or maybe "crispness" is a better term) and power at the same time, through a change in strings and/or use of lead? Or is it always a trade-off? That is why I was asking if a crisper poly might be the right move. I mean, if the poly were considerably crisper than Cyber Flash, I could lower the tension a little and it still feel how I want it to (right?). Something like Babolat Revenge (never used it but am aware of its reputation as super-stiff)?
     
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  8. Muppet

    Muppet Hall of Fame

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    I would think that stiffening the racquet with strings and tensions would depend on where the frame is most flexible. If the hoop is where it's most flexible, I'm guessing that you could more easily stiffen the racquet with a stiffer stringbed. If the flex is in the throat, you may be out of luck. If the flex is more even throughout the frame, you may have moderate success.
     
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  9. corners

    corners Legend

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    You're in a tough spot: you want a stiffer, crisper feel but more power at the same time. I'm sure you're aware that powerful strings are flexible and low-power strings are stiff.

    But, I'm thinking that full gut strung tight might be an option. Gut doesn't lose much power, if at all, when strung tighter - in fact, some say it's at its power peak around 60 pounds - but the feel will be crisper and the dwell time shorter when strung tight. I don't have much experience with full gut at high tensions, though. Maybe someone that has such experience can chime in.
     
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  10. Brian11785

    Brian11785 Hall of Fame

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    I got the feeling I was asking for competing qualities. I am going to get one of my tours strung with a full bed of Prince Lightning syn gut next time I take it to the stringer. And, when I can afford it (already have plenty of Lightning, plus already paid for annual stringing service....so stringing costs for me at this point are zero, unless I try to buy new string), I will try some Pacific Tough Gut or Tonic or something. I've never played full-bed natural gut. Only as crosses with Cyber Flash. Cyber Flash/Tonic was the best string set up ever (for all I know, full gut might be even better), but I simply can't afford it regularly at this point...particularly when it costs me nothing (or, more specifically, it is a sunk cost) for restringing labor.
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2013
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  11. Brian11785

    Brian11785 Hall of Fame

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    I figured there was a difference...that it wasn't as simple as just "a racquet is flexy or stiff." I get the feeling the flex is in the throat. BUT there isn't a terrible variance between the beam flex of my ideal frames and the relatively flexy ones. Hoping that slight adjustments can alter the playability just enough to get me where I want to be, stiffness-wise....which isn't TOO much.
     
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  12. BigT

    BigT Professional

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    I think a stiffer string and higher tension make a racquet feel stiffer, and vice versa.
     
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  13. Muppet

    Muppet Hall of Fame

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    Something else you could try is adding one or two grams of lead tape to the top of the hoop. It will make the frame feel more substantial. I added one gram at 12:00 on a racquet to give me more sense of where the top of the hoop was, and it ended up feeling a little stiffer and more substantial as well.
     
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2013
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  14. Valjean

    Valjean Hall of Fame

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    From what you've said, and what you are coming from, I think you might be happier starting out now with Tecnifibre's MultiFeel. There was once a Lightning Power string, which involved a blend of polyester and nylon, that would have been ideal, but Prince discontinued it.
     
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  15. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

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    I was going to say the same thing. I used the C10 for a long time, toward the end, I was stringing with gut at 60 to 63 and it did feel much firmer than when I strung with poly at low tensions.
     
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  16. JT_2eighty

    JT_2eighty Hall of Fame

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    I'd say the short answer is no, at least not by any exact way.

    Yes, a stiffer string or tension will make a racquet feel more firm, and softer strings may help soften it up overall, but the 'feel' you are looking for would still be elusive.

    I have a few frames of my favorite racquet, and one of them is noticeably "flexier" than the others. I've matched them and tested various strings, and this 'max flex' racquet definitely has a unique feel. If I try to put the softest of strings in my 'less flexy' sticks (same wt, bal, and racquet, etc), the *feel* is never the same.

    In addition, I can put real stiff strings in my 'uber flex machine' and it still has a unique feel of the racquet flexing all over the ball, etc. I can play stiff setups that normally kill my arm in the others, with no issue in the really flexible one.

    While there may be a magic formula that would allow "racquet a" to feel like "racquet b" by adding "string x" and "tension y", and in solving this formula you have two different racquets with the same "feel #N", it would still fall short of having two identical racquets with identically strung setups.
     
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  17. JT_2eighty

    JT_2eighty Hall of Fame

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    But also don't let my story dissuade you from tinkering!

    You may find something that is a workable solution, something that gives enough power to the more flexible frame so it's similarly playable enough that you don't have to think about the equipment during a match... I'd say a combo of some lead tape and a softer string or lower tension can definitely add some pop to a real flex machine. Also try a thinner gauge. That can be a realistic goal; but in the end, there will most likely be a 'feel' characteristic that always divides the two.
     
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  18. Brian11785

    Brian11785 Hall of Fame

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    Played a practice set of doubles with the RQIS last night (one of my XLs had lost too much tension and the other was strung with an unsuccessful experiment.)

    Really liked the feel of it, when I swung out. Seemed to pocket the ball better and felt more solid than the XLs.

    I think I just need to resign myself to, by the time that my XLs wear out, getting strong enough physically to handling the lower-powered racquet. Once I'm not exhausting myself swinging out, I could see getting really into a groove with it.
     
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  19. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    How low did you tension the polyester string? Was it a full bed of poly?
     
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  20. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

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    Yeah, for a long time, I played with Luxilon TIMO, but it really wore my arm out. It wasn't tendonitis, it was just plain fatigue. Then I went to Pacific XForce and XForce Xtreme. My tension on a lockout was 54 mains and crosses and when I went to a CP, my tension dropped to 50.
     
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