Diary of a Racketaholic

Discussion in 'Racquets' started by Ross K, Sep 11, 2010.

  1. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

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    Super Smash Orange sounds awesome. I decided I'd buy a Team today to match up to the Blades. Great racquet, very soft and has incredible feel. I think a lot of folks here would like it.
     
  2. bad_call

    bad_call Legend

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    which of the Babs has a weak neck/throat? read reports of some models snapping.
     
  3. Ross K

    Ross K Legend

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    PP,

    In the racketaholic way of how things roll in these parts, I can confirm I'm officially down to be investigating the Black Blade soon (could be end of this week/start of next.) Along with the 99s, at the end of last year these were the 2 frames I identified as being the ones I'd most like to look at, so, yes...

    BTW, like the truncated signature... "ing" indeed. :)
     
  4. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

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    I really think you will like the Black Blade a lot. It plays perfectly out of the box in stock form.

    You may also like this Pure Storm Team because it has ushered in the next phase of Holicing - Platform sticks.

    Ignoring all the team sticks really was a mistake for me. Most of them still don't fit want I want - mid plus, low flex, tight pattern, but I never would have thought about the Team a year ago. The first stick to open my eyes was the Tec 305. I would have bought one if it was not so stiff, but the Blade trumped it.

    Anyway, with these light sticks you can just slowly lead them up over time to whatever weight you want. It's a very fun option to have in the bag. If you know the specs you want for sure, TW has a customizing service that I think some folks in here have used.

    I know that if I get the weight how I want on the Team, I will take it to the next level and silicone the handle for sure.

    BC, I never had any problems with my past Pure Storm Tours in terms of build quality. But there is not a lot of info on the Team version so we will have to see what happens. I know the Pure Storm series of sticks has had weird buttcaps and typical Babolat QC fails for some people.
     
  5. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    Ross....the Blade is a nice stick, but I feel it's a bit much for our level of play.
    The smallish sweet spot and high swingweight are fine in casual rallying....but your overall competitve performance will take a hit. At least that's what happened with me.
     
  6. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

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    I think ross may love it. It's not that tough to play with. You have to remember he almost went to a Prestige Pro full time, and the Blade is easier to use then that.
     
  7. Fuji

    Fuji Legend

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    Hey PP,

    I know you really dig technifibre, do you know anything about the 295 VO2? It seems like a GOATy open pattern platform.

    -Fuji
     
  8. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    I loved it, but I feel it's more stick than a 3.5 or so like Ross should be playing with. FWIW The Prestige Pro is easier to use IMO...larger sweet spot. Something about the almost even balance of the Blade makes it very difficult for shots when your body isn't ready. If you have good form and proper footwork most of the time, then sure go for the Blade.
     
  9. rlau

    rlau Professional

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    Yes, for some reason the image of a goat only appears on Apple hardware....
     
  10. Murray_fan1

    Murray_fan1 Professional

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    I would have to disagree with Jack here. The prestige definitely is one of the most user friendly players sticks but at 12.2-12.3 ounces strung it can be a bit much for some over 2-3 sets. Swing weight on my Prestige is about 325 so not a huge amount out of difference. The thing I like about the Blade and now the Speed Pro is that it plays like a Prestige but In a more user friendly package. Bigger sweet spot, slightly larger head (I know the Prestige is listed as a 98 but it is well documented that is indeed a 95). I do agree with Jack though when it comes to recommending this stick. I feel it is better suited for a 4.5-5.0 type of player that has the necessary strokes and abilities to unlock it's potential. There are exceptions to this of course but I think the Blade is designed more towards the players end of the spectrum than the tweener category.
     
  11. Murray_fan1

    Murray_fan1 Professional

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    Gads,

    I would say the speed is somewhere in between hollow and solid if that makes sense? Not prestige like in the solidity but not Tweener like either? Feel is still fairly solid so no worries there but at 11.5 it doesn't have the Prestige type of pancake plow. It has more of an aero type of construction at the hoop and really seems to come through the air quickly as a result. What I lose in the plow department I gain back in RHS. The flex was the one thing that worried me going into the play test but I have to say it hasn't bothered me at all even strung with full poly. I would say if anything it plays a little more flexy than the specs would indicate.

    Super smash Orange sounds awesome. I read somewhere that is a update to the old string but with a little better tension maintenance and some more pop. I have yet to try 4g as can't get my head around the price (with so many good strings out there at close to half the cost)but I wonder if this might be a good string to try in the Steam? I may need to investigate this string soon.
     
  12. JGads

    JGads Hall of Fame

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    I think it could be great in the Steam, big question is how long it will last before breaking in that stick - like all strings in that frame. Definitely the 16L version. I Have the 17 gauge in one of my tgks now but moving to a 16L/ogsm hybrid in two others that I'm picking up from MD today. Note that TW lists a 16 gauge and 17 gauge but the 16 is actually a 16L, as you can see if you look closely at the packaging. Excited about that since 16L is my favorite TB gauge. Usually like my strings a bit thicker than 17 for the fuller feel.

    2-3 hours in I like the SS more than the 4G bed but the 4g bed got better and better and better the more it wore in and lasted forever in my Rad.. We'll see if the SS can come close to that but really liking it so far.
     
  13. Murray_fan1

    Murray_fan1 Professional

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    Yeah I am investigating some thicker gauged strings ATM but there isn't much out there in the poly world. Black Magic 1.33, Cyber Flash 1.35, Still in Black Resistretch 1.35, Black Code 1.32, Beast 1.35, Isospeed Baseline 1.35 an of course the 4g in 1.41

    Black Magic and Cyber flash are the only strings on the list that are of decent value but are only marginally thicker than a regular 16g. I am already starting to get cold feet about this incoming Steam as the string choices are not a plenty.
     
  14. PED

    PED Legend

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    TB 16g is working best so far. I've got stick #2 with 1.33mm Black magic in it and will post back when I get to hit with it. Rain forecast the next few days unfortunately.

    I didn't realize they made Beast in 1.35mm. I've heard good things about Beast, anyone want to chime in, I've never hit with it.

    **Don't bother with 4G in this, not worth the price IMO. Better strings out there.
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2013
  15. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

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    I got cold feet after the strings started moving in 30 minutes..lol. Great idea by Wilson though. It's just a wierd stick since it is made for people who can't generate a lot of spin, but it requires full poly which those people probably shouldn't even be using.

    Brand new Team is in hand. I will modfather this badboy today and try to hit with it tonight. Stringing it up with the classic Ice/OGSM combo.
     
  16. PED

    PED Legend

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    It's ironic but true :)

    However, I'm enjoying it quite a bit. Crosscourt FH is nasty. I like the extra bit of sidespin to take it off the court. I'm just hitting with the same stroke I used on the Prestige S, flattish with a full follow thru and it cuts through the court nicely. I do miss the pancake factor from the CAP grommets but not having any control problems.

    Looking forward to a dirty weekend coming up: five days on clay coming up with the Steam.
     
  17. mad dog1

    mad dog1 Hall of Fame

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    ain't that the truth!
     
  18. Ross K

    Ross K Legend

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    RHs

    Who knows how I'll fare with the Black Blade?

    Maybe I'll love it but find it a bit too demanding? Maybe it will be akin to the C10 Pro and N95 and Pure Control and not find it so very out of my zone or whatever? Maybe I'll be incapable of hitting three rally balls in a row? Maybe it will magically transport me into a different realm of aesthetic rapture and performance heights where all my past tennis playing wrongs can be righted?:)

    Seriously, as a racketaholic of some years who views previous experiences with racs like the PSC 6.1, the PT 630, the PC Swirly, the Rad Tour TT, the i. Prestige MP, RD7, Pro No 1, C10 Pro, 200G MW, TGK PP, and a few others as almost 'spiritual moments' , and not as someone who thinks he'll be winning Wimbledon any time soon, pardon me if I don't look forward to investigating a racket that has a great rep and that I've been curious about for a while.
     
  19. Boricua

    Boricua Hall of Fame

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    "Maybe I'll love it but find it a bit too demanding? Maybe it will be akin to the C10 Pro and N95 and Pure Control and not find it so very out of my zone or whatever? Maybe I'll be incapable of hitting three rally balls in a row? Maybe it will magically transport me into a different realm of aesthetic rapture and performance heights where all my past tennis playing wrongs can be righted?"

    Poetry in motion, its like Shakespeare in tennis. Just try it, what the heck.
     
  20. Ross K

    Ross K Legend

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    @ mad dog,

    Finally nailed some Hexa 1.20. Am almost certainly going to hybrid with TB at some point as I can find TB a bit stiff, though I just love the combination of power/spin/control.

    Q. What other polys do you think it hybrids very well with?
     
  21. Ross K

    Ross K Legend

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    You know what I mean?! This thread is actually all about being a racketaholic. About loving checking out rackets. About the weird, geeky, OCD-ish love we all have and share in daily for this tennis racket malarky that occupies so much of our thoughts and deepest yearnings or whatever. If I ever start getting censorious and on people's backs - just give me a very sharp nudge, B.
     
  22. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    I think Beast 1.35 would be great in the Steam
     
  23. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    Glad to see you embracing your inner holic self PP! :)

    It's much more fun than counting the days that you have been soley using a certain stick.
     
  24. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    I'm down with that Rossy. It all depends on your goals. I love trying sticks, but I want to remain competitive at my level. I wouldn never stay with something that was was impacting me in a negative results way, purely for the sheer joy of hitting with it. I try to get the best of both worlds if possible :)
     
  25. Murray_fan1

    Murray_fan1 Professional

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    I totally agree. Trying out racquets is one of the many true pleasures in playing this game. I would never discourage anyone trying out a stick regardless of their playing ability or style. I hope my response to Jack's post on who the target audience is for the Blade is not the reason for your above comment as this was not it's intent. I bought a Steam out of curiosity knowing full well that it is likely not going to be a good fit for my game. I might get surprised and find it to be the "game changer" or I might not. Hearing all the good things about the stick on this and other threads peaked my curiosity enough to pull the trigger as demoing in my area is a little difficult.

    Now back to my OCD ish search for strings for the Steam. Narrowed it down to the Black Magic 15L, Topspin Cyberflash 1.35 and Signum Pro Megaforce 1.35. Leaning towards the Megaforce and Black Magic as they both seemed to hold tension very well.
     
  26. wanda

    wanda New User

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    Love this thread so felt compelled to post. I (the wife made me:) sell my old rackets including 3 pro staff classics, 2 prestige pros, 2 radicals and a 6.1 kfactor. I am currently about to demo the steam 99s but am dreading the experimenting with stringing. It took me about 6 attempts to find my current setup of x-one biphase/big banger rough@46lbs in my head prestige mp. I'm not sure i (or my wallet) can take another experiment :) we will see...
     
  27. Ross K

    Ross K Legend

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    Those are grounds for divorce there if ever I heard any. :)

    Know exactly what you mean re 'experimenting with strings hell' (see also 'lead hell' elsewhere referenced in this thread.) Wish I could tell you otherwise but the 99s and strings is just one heck of a minefield area.

    Glad you like the thread.
     
  28. Ross K

    Ross K Legend

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    No M. to that, not at all. :)

    Will be interested to hear how you fare with the 99s. Let us all know how it progresses.
     
  29. Meaghan

    Meaghan Hall of Fame

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    Hello, where am I ?........I get abducted for a few minutes and you're all talking Steam?? Good god!!
     
  30. Murray_fan1

    Murray_fan1 Professional

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    Welcome back my friend. How is it over in Volkl land? Still with the C10 or have you moved on?
     
  31. Meaghan

    Meaghan Hall of Fame

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    C10, x10, pb10 mid and hopefully soon the x10 mid, doesn't really matter which one.....
     
  32. JGads

    JGads Hall of Fame

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    This is why Ross is our Pope, and here's to hoping he will never pull a Benedict. Love that post. Love this thread.

    Just picked up two freshly strung tgks from MD. Could the orange Super Smash/ogsm hybrid look any better in my MG Radical paintjobs? No, no I think not.

    And regarding 'string hell,' was just telling MD that it's probably going to now come down to SS/ogsm vs TB/hexa -- or possibly a cross pollination of SS/hex down the road -- for my string preference supremacy and will just stick with what's best. Hoping the SS/ogsm wins because of price, but ultimately.. Performance supersedes price for me and TB/hexa is the present setup to beat. Rooting for these SS beds to hold up and keep playing as well as my current SS setup for a little while longer.
     
  33. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

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    Ok here is my official Pure Storm Team review:

    I set it up like this - 6 grams in the head at 3 and 9 and 8 grams of putty in the handle. Final weight is 325 with everything. This is an EASY mod. It took me 10 minutes.

    If you loved the Blade but found it too demanding, this is your stick. With the setup I have, it still swings faster and feels lighter than the Blade, but it hits a very, very nice ball that is similar to the 95D and the Blade. I could easily add more lead to this racquet and get it on par with the Blade in terms of power, but I like it where it is for now.

    In all honesty, we all know you can't have it all, but this spec setup is as close as I have gotten. Massive racquet head speed, very good power, lots of spin, lots of drive, tons of control.

    I put in some Ice mains and OGSM crosses and strung it at 48. I will probably go up a little more and set it up just like the Blade next time at 50/53, but the hybrid works like a charm.

    This stick is still 5 grams lighter than my Wilsons and the SW is 325ish instead of 333, so the stick was coming through real easy and fast. Once I got my timing down, this racquet was cracking balls almost as heavy as the Blade does. The difference is negligible, but the power advantage goes to the Blade. Which is good, I wanted something a little less powered and softer as an alternative racquet.

    I loved the Pure Storm Tour because it simply can do any shot in the book and the Team is the same way. I was sticking volleys, my backhands were good and my forehands were point and shoot. Spin was excellent. Actually a little more kick off the bounce than the Blade. The stand out shot is slice. Best slice stick I have used in a long time. I was approaching the net with DTL forehand slices and they were lethal. Heck with the "modern game" and the APD. If someone can hit bigger top than me, I have my answer and it is slice. The ball off the team stays low and is very tough to attack.

    The feel on the racquet is top notch. On the level of the Blade except softer. The Blade has more crispness and the Team is softer, but they are both excellent feel racquets.

    I can not discount the 1/4 grip. I had a better grip on my volleys and was switching grips a lot easier. So the Team grip, combined with the smaller size is awesome. If I get a new Blade, it will be a 1/4 size.

    Anyway, this is an amazing find by Gads. Really a racquet that you can make into your own. A 100 size thin beam stick with major control and exquisite ball feel in a light and flexy package. It is not a stiff, free power racquet like a PD or APD, but what it has is tons of control, and enough power to allow you to attack out of a defensive position. I spent some time with the 2013 APD, and the Team blows it away if you like control and feel, but don't want to lug around a 355 gram racquet.

    The main reason I have gone back to 325-330 is my serve. I serve better with lighter sticks as it is easier on my shoulder to swing out of the racquet drop. This racquet serves as well as my Blade and that is no small feat. The Pure Storm Tour was not a great serving racquet, but the Team is. Probably one of the best I have used for second serves, but flats are big as well.

    So is it better than the Blade? No. I think they are both right up there for me. I can use both and will. But I could see the Team edging it out if I am able to continue to hit slice and drop shots this well in mtachplay. When you can hit a big forehand into corners and pin a guy back for a few games, drop shots are insanely valuable, but you have to stick them and make them die fast. The Team is incredible at this.

    I give the Team a thumbs up and would suggest it to anyone who wants a players stick that is easy to use and finds the Blade too demanding. Even if you are like me, and don't find the Blade too demanding and love that style of stick, this would be a must try. It is pretty sweet to have both in the bag.
     
  34. mad dog1

    mad dog1 Hall of Fame

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    ^^ nice review. big kudos goes to gadsy for this discovery. gads was hitting some nasty, nasty slices w/ the PS Team demo stick for sure. since i hit w/ gads' demo, i've had an eye out for one of these myself. :D
     
  35. Ross K

    Ross K Legend

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    Haha, too funny! :) ... JG, you have been in award winning racketaholic mode for a while now. I predict come the advent of the awards season you may well be joining the ranks of many past legendary winners and picking up one of those much coveted statuettes.

    Incidentally, I hear multiple-award winner and recent recipient of the lifetime achievement award, Fed K is hosting. Will be good to se him again since adopting his Stanley Kubrick-inspired notion of only making a post every 5 years.

    BTW, I love this thread too.



    PP,

    Really nice little review there, really fascinating stuff. I predict from now on in a fair few more ppl will start checking the Pure Storm Team here on TT.


    Talking of award winning diary contributers... Now THAT is a true racketaholic's answer!... yes, the Meaghan is back!:cool:
     
  36. JGads

    JGads Hall of Fame

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    Victory!!!

    Obviously, I couldn't agree more with the review. Hidden gem, this one, for anyone who can hit the ball and likes to be responsible for most (not all) of the pop, with the frame acting as an extension rather than a different beast altogether in the hand. It's like the Pure Storm Ltd or Tour but not as difficult to use or serve with. PP's descriptions of serves and slices particularly apt.
     
  37. Meaghan

    Meaghan Hall of Fame

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    c10 is a great stick, pulled it out last time out as my x10 strings had gone west, it played beautifully, plays a different game to my x10 it asks you to do more stuff, angles, drops, cuteness, the x10 is a simple stick, more brutish but with more refinement than similar modern sticks.
    I now have four pb10 mids, to many I know but I'm most happiest using this racket, the slightly longer feel really suits my 1hbh and of course volleying is a treat, esp when my weak link is my fh volley, so it ticks all the boxes.
    The x10 mid will be interesting, the mp has a great ability to transfer the play down the line, I know the mid won't have that whippy old school feel because of the throat but it may be that perfect balance.
    My pb10 mids and c10's all weigh in heavy but swing so lightly, the x10 didn't need the weight it does the same slightly lighter. Tbh I can interchange game to game if I wish with no problem whatsoever....
    Love them all, I just stick my hand in the bag and see what comes out.....
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2013
  38. Ross K

    Ross K Legend

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    RHs,

    Wilson Spin Cycle,,, anyone played it? Have any views? Care to share some impressions? THX


    Gads,

    You've got mail.
     
  39. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

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    Fuji played spin cycle and switched to Ice I believe. Let's see if he chimes in.

    What do you folks think about Polyon? Especially the Steamers? seems like a cheap reel of poly that the TW testers liked a lot.

    http://www.tennis-warehouse.com/reviews/GPLY17/GPLY17Review.html

    You folks know how I feel about polybreak, and really Gosen strings in general. Just awesome quality. the Sheep micro is so good I may try a full job of it in a Blade while I jam out with the Team. I love syn gut. I can still get a ton of spin and string tight. Old school, like when I was growing up.

    I think the best way to handle all the issues with the Steam is to buy a cheap control poly like Ice or Polyon and restring a lot. Sounds like Super Smash should be on that list as well. But Polyon is $35 a reel, and honestly my experience with the Ice has been so good that I am starting to think that any poly over $10 should be questioned.
     
  40. McLovin

    McLovin Hall of Fame

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    Never used it, but a guy I string for likes the 17g Polylon Ice a lot. He uses the Dunlop AG 4D 300 and was tired of breaking TB 18 (he felt like he was putting my kids through college).

    So, we picked him up a reel of Ice & crossed it w/ OG Sheep Micro. No arm problems, and for him it seems to play just as long as other polys.

    And I agree on questioning $12-$15 polys, which is why I'm interested in JGads' progress on the Super Smash Orange. $4 a set is hard to pass up...
     
  41. PED

    PED Legend

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    IMO,I think cheap poly is a false economy, it costs less but it usually doesn't play as well either. I've never found one of these sub $4 polys that's worthwhile.

    I agree with you on the $10 level though. TB off a reel is $7.50.

    Regarding restringing the Steam, you don't have much choice lol, it mows through strings :)

    It will be nice if Black Magic 1.33 works out: at the reel price, it works out to be $5 a set.
     
  42. Boricua

    Boricua Hall of Fame

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    Volkl Cyclone is not mentioned alot in this thread. Its only 7.99 per set and 120 per reel. I will use it for the first time this week. TW playtesters like this string very much (see review) and use it as their primary string.
     
  43. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

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    I agree and disagree. Some cheap polys die and suck so fast that it is not worth it (*cough cough* pros pro for example).

    The Dunlop Ice I have was $44 bucks for a reel and is extremely close to 4G for me in terms of performance. I have a strong suspicion that Polyon will deliver. I may get a pack when my Ice reel gets low and do a comparison. If it is as good as Ice, then it's a no brainer for me. The spin and control I get with Ice is up there with the best of them and it lasts longer than I thought.

    Black Magic is a fantastic string for the price. Its just a soft launchy poly and you have to like that. I prefer the control polys. They just perform far better for how I play.

    Actually I mentioned cyclone a few times as I was trying it out before I discovered 4g and Ice. Great string, but soft and launchy for me. It plays much better if you hybrid it with a syn gut like OGSM. The reason is that OGSM gives back some of the control.
     
  44. McLovin

    McLovin Hall of Fame

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    Huh, so there's a Dunlop Ice and a Gosen Polylon Ice. I wonder if there's any difference, or if its like Cyberflash & SilverString.
     
  45. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

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    I was wondering the same.

    But I never thought SS played like CF either. More spin from Cf, more feel from SS in my experience.
     
  46. McLovin

    McLovin Hall of Fame

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    I've never hit w/ SilverString, just read posts on TT saying they were effectively the same, so my analogy may be off.
     
  47. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

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    Yeah, those posts were wrong..lol. CF is a very very good spin string. Stiff, old school.

    SS is more of an all around poly with excellent feel.
     
  48. Fuji

    Fuji Legend

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    Aug 30, 2010
    Messages:
    6,591
    Haha you are correct good sir!

    Spin Cycle would be the only poly right now that I would switch to from Ice. Spin Cycle in a full bed felt great on my arm and shoulder, and provided acceptable playability. It's a fair bit softer then Ice in my experience, but it doesn't have the same "grab" that Ice does on the ball. Definitely a great cheap poly, but it just doesn't perform as well for my game as Ice. That being said, Spin Cycle volleyed freaking amazingly well in the hot summer nights. I could hit touch shots for days and be great. A touch springy because of the softer feel, but it's still poly and poly is on the stiffer side for most. I'd probably recommend SC for all court / doubles players over Ice, just because of how much I loved it at net. Ice is definitely the string IMO for a grinding baseliner though. I think SC would hit extremely nice in the Steam however, as it's got that softer feel and would really help with the comfort aspect of a 69 stiffness frame.

    Speaking of Polylon! I actually tried it last week when my stringer used it instead of Dunlop Ice. (They are both clear like fishing line) It played pretty darn similar to Ice IMO, but it's even stiffer then Ice. Aggravated my elbow right away, and when I actually looked on the string and it said "Polylon" it made sense. It's harsh and stiff feeling, but plays really well. I hit a couple monster forehands with it.

    I ended up also using a Polylon/dIce hybrid at 53Lbs in the Blade. It played pretty well like a full bed of Polylon with an ever so slightly softer feel. Awesome playing Poly/Poly Hybrid in my books. If you ever are down to a half set of either string, they are so similar you can probably just hybrid them and get your standard playability.

    The biggest thing with Polylon is the stiffness though, as Ice is right up at the top of my arm's comfort requirements, and Polylon is just past that threshold. I definitely recommend trying both out side by side though!

    Any more questions just ask! :)

    -Fuji
     
  49. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
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    Good call fuji. I don't think I can go past Ice in terms of stiffness. It is about perfect for me. So I will stick with that.
     
  50. Fuji

    Fuji Legend

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2010
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    6,591
    No worries! It's a stiff string for sure haha.

    -Fuji
     

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