Diary of a Racketaholic

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

  1. JGads

    JGads Hall of Fame

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    I like to think of it as the Jesus Stick. It's just perfect. Plow. GOAT Feel. Precision. Control. The ability to hit some absolutely magical shots (ask Mad Dog about his running, down-the-line forehand with sidespin, which has become automatic for him; or about the running desperation slice I hit against him tonight from the back left corner of the court that slid cross-court to the opposite corner for a simply stupid winner)...

    But... that's groundies and rally points. Not true match play. I'm afraid I've only played one match with it because when I first got it, I tried to play a match and I just couldn't find the juice on my serve. The stringbed felt oddly dead to me then both on serve and groundies BUT, that was fresh from TW and the Tour Bite has become positively goaty in the frame ever since settling. I'm at about 9 or 10-hour mark of hitting with this Tour Bite in the 85 and it's still great, though I'm awaiting the imminent nose-dive that often comes with TB around this time. I haven't really tried to serve with this frame ever since, it's been a strictly for-fun frame for me (and dude, there is no frame that is more fun to play with because of the magical feel, maneuverable heaviness - i.e. it's a heavy frame that swings like nothing, etc.). I want to try it again in a match, though, now that I know that the initial dead/odd feeling of the Tour Bite when I first got the frame just needed some break in.

    I still doubt the 85 would ever be my go-to match stick when I have to win one -- for now, that's my Ace, which for me is the second-best feeling frame out there compared to the 85 and it's just so freaking consistent - I always know exactly what it's going to do and it has yet to let me down in a fight. But every time you hit with an 85, it puts a smile on your face as it's exactly what a tennis racquet is supposed to feel like. So I love having it in my bag to go to. Like someone said, it's like an anchor point for any racquetholic. Or our Fortress of Solitude.

    I believe, Fed, that you've demo'd the 85 so you probably know a lot of what I'm talking about. A good soft poly in the 85 - Mad Dog has Iontec in it, which to me feels amazing in there - is just awesome. Also, I think you're an open-pattern guy but even still, knowing the kind of feel and plow that you like to get out of your frames, would love it if the next time you get a demo box from TW, have them throw a Black Ace Mid in there just to check it out. It's just so sweet, very old school, very full all-graphite feel but it has enough plushness about it to where you can totally carve out the spin shots when you need to. ...

    Also, the 7G: another epically solid stick if you're after 6.1 95 kind of easy power (even on 70-percent swings); for me, when I ramp it up to a 100-percent kill-shot swing, the 7G occasionally overhits while the Ace more often than not clips the line or lands just inside it, so the Ace is currently my top dog because it's just about perfectly calibrated to my particular stroke. The result is that I swing out with it more than any other stick, never holding back, because I know the little guy will respond. The 85 has that same quality as well - you just don't fear letting it rip.
     
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2011
  2. JGads

    JGads Hall of Fame

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    Always cool to get the 360-degree view of a playtest; the feedback of the person on the other side of the net. And Mad Dog has seen me hit with all of my sticks and a few of the playtests now, so he's a great barometer. As for my take on MD, he hits a mean, spinny ball with the BC20 but anytime he switches to the 85, the ball is instantaneously heavier and I'm hitting off the back foot a lot more. And you do not want to face a Mad Dog slice coming off the 85. It just doesn't want to jump off the court; just stays low. My courts are pretty gritty and the ball usually bounces up, but not with an 85 slice. I think we both just love slicing with that frame. Pure butter.

    And Mad Dog is the reason I have an 85 in my bag. I wasn't even going to touch it until one day he comes over with one of his re-issue BLXs, I take it for a spin, and it was instant joy.

    Awesome hitting as always, MD.
     
  3. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

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    You have a PT57a? I think you're good..lol.

    But do try the TB if you want some serious grab on the ball.

    Gads, it sounds like we play a lot alike. I knew the PS95 would probably end up playing like that, but your in depth review takes away any curiosity so I appreciate that!
     
  4. bad_call

    bad_call Legend

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    that's part of the training. ;) good thing i didn't order a reel of SS yet. :lol:
     
  5. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

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    yeah right? Well I think the SS is still the best overall poly and you will like it better. the TB suits my game just because of how much top I use. But I couldn't believe the level of confidence I had with it. Honestly it was insane.My 2hander, which had been worthless lately came back to life, and I was able to grind with it on that side and setup a big forehand. Also all my lobs stayed in as well, which is a first.

    Regardless, I will have to let you try it out and you can see for yourself. I knew the first 2 hours I had it in that it was a tournament level string, but now I am thinking it is a string I will use full time.

    On a side note, it is very cool how the string actually glistens. It looks sweet in a racquet.
     
  6. bad_call

    bad_call Legend

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    actually think those long sessions on the dirt help strengthen my calves which isn't a bad thing. curious if TB is similar playing to Blue Gear.
     
  7. JGads

    JGads Hall of Fame

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    Another player bitten by the beauty of TB. ... It's not as good in some stiffer, harsher sticks, but glad its solid in the 6.1. What gauge and tension, PP? I like 16L myself.
     
  8. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

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    I am at 1.20. I want to see how long it lasts because it is perfect if it can give me 8-10 hours.

    Can't believe how quick I started to groove with the string in pressure situations. But most important, the spin level allowed me to just push the opponent back. It really works at a 4.5 level because a lot of players do not have the confidence to take the ball early when I do that on hardcourt.
     
  9. bad_call

    bad_call Legend

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    ^ eek...TB reel is like $35 more than SS.
     
  10. TheOneHander

    TheOneHander Professional

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    I'm considering jumping back on the TB bandwagon myself. I love the phenomenal spin and feel, but the hour-ish break-in period is somewhat annoying. If that wasn't an issue, I'd kiss my BHBR goodbye.

    PP,

    How's the arm holding up with the 6.1 overall? I've been fooling around with my KPS88 more often and I just can't shake the feel difference between it and my Tours.
     
  11. Fed Kennedy

    Fed Kennedy Hall of Fame

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    ok, I cannot resist. Young rogi greatness.
     
  12. PED

    PED Legend

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    Nothing at all alike. BG very spinny but TB full of explosive goodness. Like a longer lasting alu. If you like alu, you'll love TB.

    I ended up enjoying the mystery green Lux demo string but mine only last 3.5 hours before popping. It was good but not that good...lol
     
  13. klementine

    klementine Hall of Fame

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    Picked up a cheap, cheap demo of the BLX 95 16x18 today... couldn't resist at $90. It was destined to be a strung demo sent out by Wilson. Bought it cheap (with no warranty) and it is literally brand new.. plastic still on handle and what not. Strung with hollow core.

    Also have a n6.1 95 ( 16x18 ) on the way from the 'bay. Looked to be in great condition as well.

    Should be fun to compare these two.

    Strung specs of BLX95 acquired (no damp,no og):
    350gr./ 12pts. HL/ low 330'sh sw--- this puppy will need some tweaking!
     
  14. Ross K

    Ross K Legend

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    Wow, klem, you really, really have had a...

    [​IMG]


    Good day.
    :)
     
  15. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

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    Yes klem, nicely done..let's hope they spec out fairly similar so you can put the same string jobs on both and tell us the differences.

    For the record it should weigh 357 with OG damp (samp damp, Wilson pro OG). that is how much both of mine weigh.

    as for balance and SW how are you measuring it?
     
  16. klementine

    klementine Hall of Fame

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    ^Oooh ah ..Ohh ahh... bu-bu-bu.... bu-bu-bu-bum.... bu-bu-bu-baa.. (reference to the ice cube song).

    Yes. A good day indeed. :razz: And I had a breakfast with no hog!!! Seriously though, two racquets for less than $200 is not bad at all. A gift to myself.

    Question for anyone with a n6.1 95 (or knowledge of). I've seen some that have a silver 'W' box (right above the grip on the bottom of the yoke) and others that have a black-sketched 'W' box. Any difference in reference to age?
     
  17. klementine

    klementine Hall of Fame

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    Thanks for the heads-up PP.

    The swing-weight is a guess-timation. The balance, well, I found the balance point and the mid-way mark and measured. Probably not the most accurate method but it's usually pretty reliant. Every 1/8th of an inch is a point (as far as I know).

    Maybe I'll swap out the Hybrid wilson grip (that I don't like anyway) and replace it with a wilson true-grip (which is one of my all time favorite grips). Should get closer to a 'normal' balance point and and maybe after a little lead at 12 (1-2grams) I should be there with a damp and og.
     
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2011
  18. Ross K

    Ross K Legend

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    klem,

    Seriously, I look forward to hearing your thoughts on quite how these 2 match up IYO. I've actually been looking recently in a few of the usual places trying to pick up a BLX 95 for a bit less than retail here in the UK. Finally decided to contrast with the N95 - a frame I never can quite shake off, as it were.

    On a different note, got my Exo back today strung with Savage @ 45. If that doesn't give me the power boost I crave though, I'm saying goodbye to the Prince, I think. Too many other temptations of course, and the not irrelevant fact I always seem to play a bit better with the N95 and APD.

    Right, just need to re-energize my chilled limbs, the Tuberculosis chest, the jarred knee and change around the general sense of physical wipe out that happened after I last played, before again venturing out in the grim, barren, treacherous wastelands of North London.:shock:

    "NOTE TO RHs IN SUNNIER PARTS OF THE WORLD": I'm bloody jealous - LOL!:grin:
     
  19. klementine

    klementine Hall of Fame

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    ^ Cold, damp weather is no-good for the knees. At 32y.o., I'm finding more and more recovery time is needed between matches, jogs, work-outs or... uhmmm.. extracurricular activities :smile:

    I suggest we all get an investment group going for a beach bar in Hawaii... or Fiji.... or anywhere but where most of us are at the moment.
     
  20. Meaghan

    Meaghan Hall of Fame

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    Personally I suggest italy, great food, wine, weather, women, landscape, art, culture, clay courts, women......
     
  21. mad dog1

    mad dog1 Hall of Fame

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    i, too, love the spin and agree the break-in period is annoying. for the 1st hr i can't hit anything in. it's either long or into the net. so annoying that i found IonTec which plays very consistent right off the machine until the moment it dies which is approx 20+ hrs for me. not quite the same amount of spin, but way better feel IMO and way better tension stability and it costs 41% less!
     
  22. Ross K

    Ross K Legend

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    Tell me about, just tell me about it... :)
     
  23. Ross K

    Ross K Legend

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    Re investment group for Beach Bar in Hawaii, Fiji, Italy, or my choice: Spain... I'm liking that idea, yes, indeedy:wink: ...
     
  24. Meaghan

    Meaghan Hall of Fame

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    Tour bite is good to go you just have to get the tension right....bc20 it was 58lbs, mg600 it was 52lbs, pb10 mid was 55lbs, melbourne 45lbs, no issues from the off with any. If you string it a little higher then you get longer out of it but you will have some settling I'm time, weigh it up boys.....
     
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2011
  25. TennisMD

    TennisMD Semi-Pro

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    I have both of hese rkts both in the 16 x 18 pattern.
    N code felt easier to swing, therefor better serves, ground strokes. Downside less feel and at times felt as if there was a hot spot, this could hae been string
    BLX pluses: better feel, maybe a tad more stable, bit more power
    Overall prefer N Code
     
  26. aimr75

    aimr75 Hall of Fame

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    Yeah, have been using them for a couple months now.. I tinkered a bit with weight and balance and have settled on 345g, 32cm. Great thing about these its not hard to do mods and match since they are all pretty similar to start with. Such a solid frame, easy on the arm.

    I have put TB in at 50/48 lbs and the spin is great, even it being 18x20, there is no trouble getting the ball to kick up. With TB, it has that "thick" feel on contact.. works very well in the pt57a. I have been trying a few other strings, PLII, polystar energy, ALU power.. I have cyclone, barbwire and Kirsch evolution to try still. Just getting a feel for how softer strings play compared to strings on the stiffer side. But TB currently is excellent

    these puppies are strung with TB

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2011
  27. el sergento

    el sergento Hall of Fame

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    Listen to the doctor :)

    Honestly, it's like someone on here said, it's hard to compare different iterations of Wilson's because each Wilson stick is unique, kinda like all of us tennis scamps around here.................. :)
     
  28. JGads

    JGads Hall of Fame

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    How was the PLII? I'm a TB man but had a set of PLII laying around -- can't even remember where it came from or having played it before -- so I threw it into my second Black Ace today.
     
  29. JGads

    JGads Hall of Fame

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    Ah, yes. You'll have so much fun with it. I asked TW to pick out one that was as close to their average spec as possible, and it swings like a champ.
     
  30. mad dog1

    mad dog1 Hall of Fame

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    agreed that the right tension is important and that it's different for each stick, but the right tension is also different for each person. i had TB in the BC20 at 47/42 and it felt good after 1 hour of hitting. i strung up my PS85 BLX at 47.5/46 and it took a good 3 hours of hitting over the course of over a week before it started feeling good. basically TB needed to lose a good amount of tension in the PS85 before it was playable.
     
  31. JGads

    JGads Hall of Fame

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    I'm imagining a place with one wall of endless ales, and another with endless racquet demos.

    I'm in.
     
  32. aimr75

    aimr75 Hall of Fame

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    I strung it up at 50/48 as im trying to keep a reference tension with all these polys so i know how they play. Definitely softer and has nice pocketing. Less spin but i couldnt really complain in that department. Its overall a nice comfortable poly and despite it feeling soft, was not mushy. It accentuated the softness of the pt57a and not in a bad way. I havent had enough play time with it yet. Its currently in one of my frames and want to hit more with it, but thats my initial impression
     
  33. klementine

    klementine Hall of Fame

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    Italy is a fine,fine country... as long as it's northern Italy we're talking about. Anything south of Rome is too unruly for me... as if I'm in a completely different country.

    The food.. yes!! the women?... double yes!!! Problem with northern Italy.. is well... the weather.. and it's expensive and I'd like to actually enjoy the beaches... which is impossible to do in Italy.

    Still aiming for an island... being the born-islander myself. One day...
     
  34. el sergento

    el sergento Hall of Fame

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    Found it:

    [​IMG]
     
  35. klementine

    klementine Hall of Fame

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    ^Excellence has been achieved!!!!!! Like in Dubai and the Netherlands.... BUILD A TENNIS ISLAND!!!! Brilliant!!!





    Too much sensory overload!!!

    I'd like the bar for income (take shifts.. like soldiers.. nightlife drains you)... and the tennis a break from the break....

    I already have a name for the bar.... 'Tide Breakers'.... :smile:
     
  36. el sergento

    el sergento Hall of Fame

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    Plus they're super racist in northern Italy, in Italy in general, but in the North it's worse. Which is why I love this scene from True Romance:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=kXjcf47y-zk#t=82s

    Oh yeah, super NSFW language.
     
  37. klementine

    klementine Hall of Fame

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    ^ Not really racist as much as fascist (not all but a good majority). You know, Italy for Italians and only Italy exists.

    Driving through northern Italy and stopping at all the little 'AutoGrilles' (great coffee and paninis btw) will ensure a glimpse of 'Il duce'. Mussolini's 'pitbull' face on bottles of wine.. flags... lighters.. etc..

    The northern Italians (from what I understood) don't even consider the Italians from Naples, Calabria and Sicily to be Italians. They joke that if they're headed south... they make sure to bring their passport.
     
  38. el sergento

    el sergento Hall of Fame

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    I have family in northern Italy, it's worse, what they say is that south of Rome it's Africa.

    In Venice I witnessed the Carabiniery laying a major beat down on an African street merchant selling knockoff handbags on the street. It was pretty jarring.
     
  39. Fed Kennedy

    Fed Kennedy Hall of Fame

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    Gads, maddog, tell me about the iontec. Is it the salmon colored one?
     
  40. JGads

    JGads Hall of Fame

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    Yeah. MD introduced me to it and I currently have it in one of my Aces and one of my 7Gs. Nice soft poly that's a great match or stiffer frames. I personally prefer the crispness and crazy grip of Tour Bite in most frames, but in the 85 the Iontec feels better, like butter. In my crisp/stiffer 7G, butter. But in my Ace it felt a little too soft for awhile -- 'gummy' was the word I kept thinking of - and then I discovered that when I removed the dampener, suddenly the stringbed seemed to come alive in a nice way. And not at all harsh without the dampener and the stringbed feels better and better the more I've hit with it.

    Just a good, solid, even string that lasts awhile (MD can tell you more about this, as he's played longer with it). I don't find it overly powerful/weak/soft/crisp, just nice and neutral string that's predictable. But for whatever reason, in the 85, it feels absolutely amazing. I'm not quite as in love with it as MD is (going to probably go with an Iontec/NVy hybrid in my next Ace stringjob to crisp that racquet up a touch) but it's very good.
     
  41. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

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    Iontec sounds like silver string..is this the case? Id imagine it does not match the tb in aggressive spin. If you want to win a match, what string are you using? I ask because the discho rep Is awesome and I am sure I could try some from him. He stopped by my place one time and dropped off demo strings for me to try. Anytime I see cheap strings I get tempted.

    1 hander. So far my arm is fine with the 6.1. No pain.

    Aimr..that is a hell of a collection..wow..I think everyone here should take a long look at those beauties!! Thanks for sharing.
     
  42. JGads

    JGads Hall of Fame

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    I'd have to play silver string again to really compare it to Iontec -- played it so long ago I seriously kind of forget how it played, I just remember liking it but didn't play with it again for some reason. And I do want to try SS again so I'll be ordering up a set with my next TW order. (the gift card is purring...)

    And I like Iontec enough to keep it in my PKs for now, as I'm obviously in a very experimental phase during this offseason from league play. And because I think the Iontec just lasts longer than TB. However, if I had to choose now -- and because in the end, I just love CRISPiness -- I'm still a Tour Bite man because I think its overall ceiling in terms of its feel and capability is just a little higher than the IT. But the Iontec just feels really good in certain frames - especially the PS 85 and also my 7G.
     
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2011
  43. aimr75

    aimr75 Hall of Fame

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    Thanks, they are all matched the same, so im pretty much set. Just experimenting with strings now. The weight/SW/Balance works very well for me. Not too heavy, but can feel some heft.. and rock solid. I replaced the leather grips with karakal PU grips. They are fairly thin so its almost in between the feel of leather and a cushy synthetic grip. Its soft on the hand but with nice definition with the bevels. Much more defined than say head hydrosorb. I wrap the grip pretty tight too.

    I hit for 1/2 hr with the polystar energy, put it down, then used it again for a short hit a few days later. Must have been a bit of break in, but it played much better for me.. very generous spin, pace and the sound! couldnt get over the loud crack it was producing.. im liking this string.
     
  44. klementine

    klementine Hall of Fame

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    ^Yes. Indeed. Very nice collection and quite an investment. I was checking that out on 'post pics' thread. What are the specs on those, if you don't mind me asking?

    Good to hear about the polystar energy as well. In fact, I just ordered some (along with some TB) to hybrid in my newly acquired frames.

    Thinking about using the TB as a cross and the energy in the mains.

    Well see how it goes. Been a busy day of burning up the paypal account for me. Got rid of all my exoT's (except for one) on the 'bay and invested in some sticks that require little to no customization. Tired of the lead and leather life. ;)

    Had demo'd pretty much all of september and october. Really an experience to get intimate with over 20 frames over a 6 week period. Every preconceived notion of what I thought were 'my specs' was turned upside down.
     
  45. Ross K

    Ross K Legend

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    OMG klemmy baby!... Bitterschern, lead has its purposes ya ya... und Bruno could NEVER tire of ze leather life!... NO VAY!:)

    [​IMG]
     
  46. mad dog1

    mad dog1 Hall of Fame

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    hey FK, yeah, IonTec is the salmon colored string. I've found it to work well for me in very different sticks. works as wonderfully in my soft BC20 as it does in the stiffer smaller headsize PS85 as Gads already mentioned. contrary to Gads, i like a softer string. Tour Bite worked pretty well in the soft BC20, but was pretty awful in the PS85 for the first 4 hours of hitting. only after i let the stick sit in the bag for over a week did TB start to feel better. when i say feel better, i mean i could actually feel the ball pocketing on the string bed. it still lacked feel & touch especially on volleys. IonTec on the other hand is not overly soft or overly stiff or overly crisp or overly powerful or overly anything for that matter. it's just a fantastic round co-poly that offers incredible feel, touch, control and comfort compared to all other co-polys i've tried to date. it also maintains tension extremely well. plays well as soon as it comes off the stringing machine to the day i cut it out which is generally around 20+ hours. even when it's "dead", it still remains very playable. you just lose some spin production. it doesn't feel "plasticky" or "mushy" like many other polys i've tried. it's not super soft or overly stiff but more importantly, i've got a sensitive wrist and a messed up shoulder that doesn't tolerate polys well. ie. they start to complain pretty loudly w/ most polys i've tried. been playing w/ IT since mid October about 2.5 months now and no issues w/ the wrist or shoulder. i've also had some of my sticks strung w/ TB and after 2 hrs, my shoulder will let me know it's not pleased w/ me and TB. that's just not the case w/ IT. i get a bit more spin w/ TB vs IT, but all the other pros of IT outweigh the slight spin advantage w/ TB. and to top it all off? IonTec is SO affordable. it's $79.99 for a 660' reel while TB is like $130 for a reel and only lasts like 10 hrs before it goes dead and i'm forced to restring. so for me IonTec is all positives and no negatives. i just haven't found anything to beat that!

    oh and i forgot to mention, i've never broken IonTec before. i've broken Lux ALU power before. i've had other polys break on me. so far not IonTec. it resists notching so it doesn't break easily.

    so to summarize...the stringbed is predictable from start to finish. very little tension loss. longer life than any poly i've tried to date. best feel, touch and control of any poly. nice feel (not too soft and not too stiff). very good spin only lags behind tour bite and not by much. and it's amazingly affordable when compared to other high quality and high performance co-poly strings. if you have any other questions, just ask away. btw, i am in no way, shape or form associated w/ Mamba Tennis. I'm just a super happy customer about to place an order for my 2nd reel of IonTec. :)
     
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2011
  47. Fed Kennedy

    Fed Kennedy Hall of Fame

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    The iontec sounds fantastic. Have you guys ever tried hyperion 17. That haz been my go to for wilsons.
     
  48. aimr75

    aimr75 Hall of Fame

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    specs on each are 345g strung with overgrip with balance of 32cm, not sure what the actual swing weight is. There is the standard silicone in the handle and lead on the hoop. I have lead at 3/9 and 12 o'clock

    each one that came in had a different spec, the radical pjs were different to the YT's and again different to the prestige pj. I tried each spec as is. I found the swing weight too heavy with the rads and found there was some lead on the handle too. Removed that and then added the karakal grip and found i liked the feel of this the most out of all the setups. I matched the others to that. The other rad was the same so was easy. The prestige was actually pretty close as well, but had lead only located at 12 o'clock. I found this setup a bit unwieldy. When i changed the lead setup of the prestige to the rads, i didnt have to remove any silicone since the balance and weight ended up being the same with just the lead change. With the youteks, a little more work. Once again changed the lead (well the YTs actually had no lead), but i did have to remove just a bit of the silicone to get the same weight and balance, not much though.. so overall, the mods werent painful. I did all the mods with the racquets in hairpin form. From what i recall, the spec in hairpin form was something around 291g and a balance of 28.9cm or so.. all of them strung up swing and feel the same now

    Ive gone through a multitude of racquets and though these are a decent investment, they amount to less than the amount ive spent buying and trying, then buying and trying some more :)
     
  49. Timbo's hopeless slice

    Timbo's hopeless slice Hall of Fame

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    where did you get them, mate? (and would you like a hit during teh open?)
     
  50. aimr75

    aimr75 Hall of Fame

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    Picked those up through the string forum

    Yeah a hit would be good. My email is aimr75@hotmail.com
    Can try work something out closer to the open. I am going most likely the first couple days of the first week too
     

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