Different Tension for Mains/Crosses in Full Poly?

Discussion in 'Strings' started by TripleB, Oct 25, 2013.

  1. TripleB

    TripleB Hall of Fame

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    I've been using a poly/syn hybrid for a while now and have been having the crosses strung 3 pounds tighter. I'm now getting ready to go to an all poly ( Cyclone 18, TB Soft 17, or Black Widow 18 ) string bed in probably a Wilson Six.One 95S racquet.

    When stringing with a full poly, do you have the mains and crosses strung at the same tension?

    If not, how many pounds difference is typical when using a two piece stringing?

    Thanks for any info.

    TripleB
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2013
    #1
  2. Woolybugger

    Woolybugger Rookie

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    I've tried having the cross about 3lbs looser with the theory that it allows the mains to slide better and have more spin.
     
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  3. Shaun

    Shaun Rookie

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    Never tried it
     
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  4. Muppet

    Muppet Hall of Fame

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    I string my LM Radical OS crosses 1 lb. higher because the head is so wide. The tighter crosses narrow the sweet spot and give me better control. It feels more like my 95" racquets this way.
     
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  5. travlerajm

    travlerajm Hall of Fame

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    Stringing mains tighter than crosses definitely works to give more lateral freedom to the mains, enhancing spin. The advantage of differential in full poly is more noticeable in cases where the mains would not otherwise snap back. That is, a full poly that stops snappingback after few hours will tend to continue snapping back much longer if strung at a higher differential.

    I've been using 8-10 differential on my last couple of poly string reviews, and I definitely prefer this to stringing at the same tension.

    It works even better if you combine a very stiff main (like kevlar or stiff textured poly) with an elastic, but still slippery cross (mgz is the only one I'm aware of that fits this description and stays that way - nylon only stays slippery for an hour or so). I've been using 20-lb differential (as in my sig) for the current mixed league season with nice results.

    If you string crosses tighter than mains, it tends to lock the mains in place, which can add launch angle predictability and control at the expense of spin. Locked stringbeds work nicely for me on extremely open-pattern frames (like the TT Warrior MP) or flexible frames (which are naturally spin-friendly), but I don't find enough spin in stiff dense patterned frames (like my Blade) unless I use a stringbed that allows plenty of lateral motion of the mains.

    I you haven't looked at it yet, I created a thread devoted to the concept of increasing lateral stringbed movement - I referred to it as "ESP" (Extraordinary Spin Potential). In short, increasing main/cross tension differential can allow increased spin potential without the undesirable incoming-spin-dependent launch angle of softer stringbeds.
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2013
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  6. henman_fan

    henman_fan New User

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    If flexible frames are spin friendly, why are so many modern rackets (Babolat in particular) stiff? So, is ESP in a dense pattern frame better then an extremely open pattern frame, or ESP in an open pattern frame?provide more spin. I have a lot to learn with regards string patterns.
     
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  7. henman_fan

    henman_fan New User

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    #7
  8. henman_fan

    henman_fan New User

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    Off topic again, do you use a machine to get your rackets measured travlerajm? I've read some of your posts and you are very particular about the specs of your rackets. I would think there is a margin of error with manual measurements of swingweight, balance and weight.
     
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  9. phanker

    phanker Rookie

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    mgz cross you mentioned is ZX Monogut Natural?

     
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  10. travlerajm

    travlerajm Hall of Fame

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    I have a $20 electronic kitchen scale, and 200g calibration weight to keep it calibrated. I have metal yardstick for measuring balance. And I use just use the pendulum method with online stopwatch to measure swingweight, counting 20 oscillations at a time, and re-measuring until I get consistent times.

    Yes, I am extremely particular about my specs. The mass, balance, and SW can vary a bit, but the MgR/I has to be spot on for me to feel confident in my forehand. I keep MgR/I right at 21.0 for my forehand and Mg(R-10)/(SW) right at 22.55 for my 2hb. If I have league matches, I make sure I either tune against the wall or check the specs the night before (since specs tend to drift due to stringbed relaxation). If MgR/I drifts up to 21.05 or down to 20.95, I notice, but I usually bring a gram of lead tape in my pocket for fine tuning during warm-up, and I often end up adding or removing a 1/4 gram somewhere on the frame each time out to compensate for any drift. Some may think this is crazy, but it makes a big difference for me, and my league match record is much better since I started paying closer attention to my specs.
     
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2013
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  11. travlerajm

    travlerajm Hall of Fame

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    Yes. It's a unlike any other type of string. Slick like poly, but stretches almost as much as gut. Holds tension much better than poly, as long as you thoroughly pre-stretch it.
     
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  12. travlerajm

    travlerajm Hall of Fame

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    #12
  13. travlerajm

    travlerajm Hall of Fame

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    Before the advent of low-friction stringbeds (like poly), all stringbeds were pretty much "locked" stringbeds.

    When the stringbed is locked, a flexible frame is more spin-friendly than a stiff frame, if all other factors are equal. The reason is that the flexible frame deflects more during the ball impact, leading to a longer dwell time, with less normal deflection of the stringbed. The lower amount of normal stringbed deflection allows the stringbed to stretch downward more (assuming a topspin stroke). The increased downward stretch of the stringbed translates into more topspin for a given swingpath.

    But with poly strings (and other low-friction stringbeds in general), you no longer need a flexible racquet or an open pattern to generate a lot of spin. And stiffer frames have advantages over flexible frames (better directional accuracy, and more evenly distributed power potential across face of the stringbed).

    I have a personal preference for ESP in dense-pattern stiffer frames (I consider my Blade to behave like a stiff frame). This gives nice spin but with low launch angle that is more independent of the incoming spin. The softer the stringbed (and more deeply the ball pockets or dents the stringbed), the higher the launch angle, and the more the launch angle depends on the spin of your opponent's ball. The stiffer the stringbed, the better the control of the launch angle. The ESP method allows you to maintain the control benefits of a stiffer stringbed (at higher average tension that would ordinarily "lock" if strung without tension differential), while also getting the extra spin potential and arm-friendliness of a low-friction stringbed.
     
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2013
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  14. BlueB

    BlueB Hall of Fame

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    Nowadays I string everything with at least 10lbs differential.
     
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  15. henman_fan

    henman_fan New User

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    Won't ESP in an open pattern racket give you even more spin. Or are you put off by the lessened string durability? Plus, the strings may snap back too far with ESP in an extreme open pattern.
     
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  16. travlerajm

    travlerajm Hall of Fame

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    It might give more spin if the pattern is more open, especially if you upped the tension to compensate for the softer stringbed. But the whole point of the ESP concept is not to resort to a softer stringbed to get spin.

    While I am greatly appreciative of the TW Professor's work, I disagree with his conclusion that too much lateral stringbed freedom is the reason for less spin with overly open patterns. Rather, I think it has to do with the stringbed being soft enough that the stringbed dents too much (too much normal stringbed movement). Too much denting changes the force vectors acting on the ball so that force starts to counteract the spin and result in high launch angle. This is the whole basis for the ESP concept.

    In short, a more open pattern will generally give more spin, all other things equal ( up to a point), but at a cost of increased launch angle. The increased launch angle by itself is not the problem - the real problem with high-launch-angle stringbeds is that the rebound angle is highly dependent on the heaviness of your opponent's shot, which severely compromises your ability to counter a heavy ball. This problem manifests itself most on volleys and blocked returns, where higher fraction of the energy of the collision is in the incoming ball.

    For a report of an extremely spinny, low-launch-angle setup achieved in perhaps the densest patterned frame produced in the last decade, do a search for my Evil Drop-Shot Racquet review thread.
     
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2013
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  17. henman_fan

    henman_fan New User

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    Interesting. I've noticed a thread where you use reverse ESP - http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=347846

    Is this setup better then ESP for Spin or control? If not, Is it better then using a conventional setup where the mains and crosses are only up to 5lbs apart? I've noticed shroud has enjoyed this setup - http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=481217

    Could you have a look at my questions on this thread. if you have the time? - http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=417529&page=3? I get really bad indigestion, both in terms of reflux and more embarrassing bodily functions. I had been eating a lot of fiber, in the form of complex carbs(mostly just eat oats) and usually some beef.
     
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  18. Shroud

    Shroud Hall of Fame

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    Yeah such an open pattern is a revelation for me. Hope you dont mind me jumping in, but I have many related questions for Tjam

    But Travlrjam has me worried about countering a heavy ball.

    So trav with a 14x9 pattern, am I in trouble with the heavy ball, and remember I am using kevlar/poly at 20/35lbs. Would I be better off at higher tensions and to a point how do you compensate for the need to string the crosses much higher.

    FWIW I only tried ESP once with the tension you recommended 40lbs/26 with the Kevlar/zx . That never gave me noticeable spin increase. With the 14x9 pattern with kevlar/poly at 20/35lbs I AM getting major spin.

    Where can I take this?

    Also WHY does the 14x9 pattern even work with such low tensions? When I strung it up, I thought there was NO WAY this would work because the kevlar doesnt really snap back due to the low tension.
     
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  19. Shroud

    Shroud Hall of Fame

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    Travlrjam??? Can you chime in?
     
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  20. SCRAP IRON

    SCRAP IRON Professional

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    I would imagine that if there are less cross strings, then the tension should be a few pounds less. Is that conventional thinking?
     
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  21. travlerajm

    travlerajm Hall of Fame

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    Your string setup reminds me a lot about the "supergrippy" racquet I reported a few years ago. In hindsight, the extreme spinniness was largely due to the very low tension kevlar/poly stringbed (which had been in the racquet for a long-time, with almost no tension left on the poly).

    http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=279680

    These days, my goal is overall playing level. And the only league tennis I play these days is 8.0 mixed, where I rely on precision volleying to take over the match, and rarely hit groundies besides returns. So I can't use a soft stringbed. I agree that the superspinny setups are fun, but the launch angle is just too high for me to play doubles the way I like to play.

    The reason I use the my "ESP" so that I can get very good spin while keeping the stringbed crisp enough for the precision I want on volleys and blocked returns.
     
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  22. henman_fan

    henman_fan New User

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    Could travlerajm or someone else answers mine and shrouds questions please? I'm intrigued by shroud getting much more spin with a reverse ESP setup, than ESP. Thank you.
     
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  23. travlerajm

    travlerajm Hall of Fame

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    Comparing the 'ESP' setup I use and Shroud's setup is apples and oranges.

    Low tension kevlar/poly with open pattern will give more spin than anything. But the launch angle (on topspin shots) will be very high because the stringbed is soft enough to be dented by the ball.

    A high launch angle is is ok for serves and groundstrokes against flat incoming balls. But high launch angle is bad for directional control against heavy incoming spin, especially when you are volleying are hitting a blocked return.

    The idea with ESP is that it allows you to string at a high enough tension that the ball does not dent the stringbed, so that the launch angle is low. A low launch angle gives excellent precision on volleys and blocked returns, even against heavy incoming spin. Using higher tension in the mains makes sure that the mains are not "locked" (mains are free to slide laterally to give snapback for spin), even at high tension.

    At the superlow tensions Shroud uses, the strings will be unlocked no matter what tension you use. In fact, it's possible that they are "too unlocked" (too much lateral freedom) in the extremely open pattern. In that case, stringing the crosses tighter will help limit the lateral motion and keep it in the optimal range.
     
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