Different tensions with poly makes no difference

Discussion in 'Strings' started by DonDiego, Apr 12, 2013.

  1. DonDiego

    DonDiego Hall of Fame

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    Ok, title is a bit peremptory...

    But if I play with multis in my racquet, I can notice a 2lbs difference in tension. With polys, I could do a blind playtest with racquets strung at 54 and 59, and wouldn't feel the difference.

    Did some of you also notice this? Maybe it depends on which poly you use. I use mainly RPM Blast 18 gauge.

    I'm wondering if it's some kind of general rule -- that polys can be strung in wider tension range without making a noticeable difference in your feel.

    Agree or not?
     
    #1
  2. DonDiego

    DonDiego Hall of Fame

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    Really, Anyone? Am I crazy?
     
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  3. RogueFLIP

    RogueFLIP Semi-Pro

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    Sorry, I totally can feel a difference between 54 and 59...well, at least I can def SEE the difference. No, I can feel it too, lol.

    As as you can see from my sig, I use the same string and gauge.

    I guess everyone's sensitivity is different, eh?
     
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  4. gmatheis

    gmatheis Hall of Fame

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    you guys are nuts stringing poly that high ! :)
     
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  5. RogueFLIP

    RogueFLIP Semi-Pro

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    ^^^ not the worst thing I've been called :twisted:

    I first tried my RPM @ 50#. Hated it, just kept going up till I reached something I felt was right for me.
     
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  6. colowhisper

    colowhisper Semi-Pro

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    I agree, having discovered the bliss of lower tensions on my body and my game. With full admission of being a string and eqiopment junkie, and thanks to all the wisdom that can be found on this forum, I love poly in the 40s and gut/syn gut in the low 50s.
     
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  7. eidolonshinobi

    eidolonshinobi Professional

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    48lbs for polys for me.

    I can definitely tell between 48lbs vs 52lbs +
     
    #7
  8. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    Basically, poly is stiff compared to a multi at ANY tension. When I string poly on my dropweight machine, I can't even tell what tension I'm stringing it at because the drop weight doesn't drop at all - it doesn't even budge. I can set the weight to any tension and it just doesn't drop and pull the string to horizontal so how do I know what tension it's at? There's no resiliency in poly so I have no idea how much tension the weight in pulling on the string, if any.
     
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  9. marosmith

    marosmith Professional

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    Yes it is stiffer and the stringbed maintains stiffness with only a small difference in tension. Imagine with the tension loss in poly if it was very noticeable like with other strings, how could anyone play with the stuff for more than 4 hours?

    With poly you need to drop the tension in larger increments to really notice. 2-3 lbs isn't really noticeable.
     
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  10. pvaudio

    pvaudio Legend

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    With many polys, 4lbs can mean the difference between magic and simply atrocious. See WC Silverstring or SP Hyperion as a prime example.
     
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  11. danotje

    danotje Rookie

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    When I was still experimenting with string types and tensions, I ran across BHBR. My first exoerience with it was a hybrid at 58. Absolutely hated the way it felt--very stiff and boardy. The spin, however, caught my attention. After a few more random tests of other strings, I still hadn't shaken that spin of BHBR out of my mind, so I decided to give it another go. I dropped to 54, and it was like a completely different string. Much better feel and still producing that monster spin. I haven't played with a different main since. Now I string it at 30, and you can really feel the difference. Very lively, tons of spin and easy on the arm.

    I found this interesting because I'm curoius about what you mean. When I string syn gut on my drop weight, I need very little slack from the clamp to the gripper to get a full drop because it stretches so much (which usually winds up with me having to ratchet the arm back up to level a little). For polys, I'll pull down on the string from the clamp to the gripper about 2-3 inches before putting it in the gripper. This slack allows the arm to drop fully. I also stretch the mains while under tension by pushing down on the string about an inch for a couple of seconds. This causes a small drop of the arm, too. For the crosses, after they are under tension, I unclamp and leave it that way while I weave the next one which also gives me a small drop of the arm. After a lot of string jobs with the same string, I've gotten a feel for how much slack I need. This might've been unnecessary, but if you are having trouble stringing polys, hopefully it helps. :)
     
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  12. The Meat

    The Meat Hall of Fame

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    57-60 lbs, I don't feel a difference.

    But any tension below that I start to feel the poly being a little more springy, sometimes mushy in lower grade poly's.
     
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  13. Muppet

    Muppet Hall of Fame

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    I think there are at least two questions here

    1) Does the power change with changed tension?
    2) Does the feel change with changed tension?

    1) Poly's power changes very little compared to nylon based and nat gut strings. Pro Red Code seems to me to have about the same amount of pop when strung @50 (dropweight) on my LM Radical OS or @45 on my AG200. Same PRC power that I know to expect now, even on different racquets at different tensions. This can be seen as being very helpful for us. Some of the variables have been removed from the selection process when choosing a poly string. Topspin Cyber Blue showed similar qualities.

    2) The feel can become much stiffer without much rise in tension. I wanted to state some numbers here, but because of the variety in characteristics of poly strings I decided it would be meaningless.
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2013
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  14. max pl

    max pl Rookie

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    60lbs RPM Blast 17 here.

    perfect setup for me.
     
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  15. mmk

    mmk Professional

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    When I used a Gamma dropweight, I started with the arm down, brought it up a bit above horizontal and rotated the clutch to take up the slack. I repeated this until the bar settled at horizontal. After a while I could judge how high to raise the bar, but it wasn't much. I'm using a crank now, and it is much easier to string poly with.
     
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  16. tlm

    tlm Legend

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    There is a point were I have found that multi's or syn. gut will really change as you go up in tension. It can completely board out with a 3 lbs. change if you are up at the higher range.

    But with most poly strings even at higher tensions they will still have some life to them. So I could definitely understand not being able to tell much difference between 54+59 lbs.

    But then again I like high tension so in the 50's is somewhat low to me. One thing that is not mentioned enough in these high vs low tension discussions is wether the player is using a 18 main or a 16 main racket.

    When I was trying some 18 main rackets 55lbs. of full poly was plenty high enough to obtain the control that I like. But in a 16 main I will need at least 63-65 lbs. So we should really be comparing 2 different sets of ranges to be accurate.
     
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  17. Relinquis

    Relinquis Hall of Fame

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    sounds painful... pros are low 50s lbs or lower and most of the top ones hybrid with natural gut int he mains...
     
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  18. jgrushing

    jgrushing Rookie

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    You do know that you need to load enough slack to allow the arm to get all the way to horizontal, right? This is true whether you're stringing multis, gut, poly or whatever. Poly is certainly more aggravating to string but can be strung accurately on a drop weight machine.
     
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  19. max pl

    max pl Rookie

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    oh so since the pros string lower, we all should too so we can play like em?

    besides federer, most mens pros dont string that low anyway so youre wrong.
    http://www.colinthestringer.com/pros-strings/

    its mostly women who string low so they can get power.

    tennis talk has way too many wannabees with bad recommendations. the whole 40 pound tension thread or whatever its called is a prime example.

    and no, its not painful as i'm a man.
     
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  20. pvaudio

    pvaudio Legend

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    The industry "average" tension is either 55 to 60lbs for synthetics. This is the general middle range for listed racquet tensions. Poly manufacturers write directly on their packages to string 8-10% less than the tension you used for a synthetic. If we follow Signum Pro's advice, then that's 49.5lbs to 54lbs. So please, are you saying the entire poly industry minus a few who list their recommendations as an exception to the poly rule (see Dunlop Black Widow) that their recommendations are wrong?
     
    #20
  21. Moz

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    Hi pv. I use SP Hyperion in the mains at about 49 - 51lbs, keep inching lower all the time. I'm wondering what you have found the magic and atrocious numbers for this string to be.
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2013
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  22. Relinquis

    Relinquis Hall of Fame

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    relax tough guy. i'm not insulting your manhood, nor am i making a recommendation. i just made an observation.

    re-read the list you linked to. Most of the top ranked guys are using hybrids. Most of the high tension guys are those that are full gut or hybrids.

    Very few "top" ATP pros are full poly at 60lbs or higher. they are the minority. Delpo has a wrist injury, maybe he should have stuck to a hybrid instead of trying to be a "man" like you.

    play with whatever you want. i couldn't care less.
     
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  23. max pl

    max pl Rookie

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    none of the strings i own state to string at 8 to 10% less than synthetic so thats baloney. babolat, tourna, volkl... none of these packages make any mention of that.
    and none would considering theyd be making the assumption, which they dont, that the player has a synthetic preference in the first place.
    you cant string 10% less than something you dont use.

    and why do we have a 1000+ post thread here about stringing in the 20s and 30s if the manufacturers recommendation is as youve stated?
     
    #23
  24. gmatheis

    gmatheis Hall of Fame

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    I'm sure you hit harder than jack sock, who strings at 40lbs, or maybe he hits like a girl and needs the extra power.

    BTW did you read your own link? Here is a list of the men on your link listed UNDER 55 lbs

    1- Nikolay Davydenko Prince EXO3 Tour 18×20
    Luxilon Big Banger Original 51lbs

    2- David Ferrer Prince EXO3 Tour
    Luxilon Big Banger Original 51lbs

    3- Juan Carlos Ferrero Prince EXO3 Tour
    Luxilon Big Banger Original 53/51lbs

    4- Sebastien Grosjean Head Microgel Prestige Mid
    Babolat VS Touch 51lbs

    5- Feliciano Lopez Wilson Juice 100 BLX
    Luxilon Alu Power/Luxilon AceVS Team 51/46lbs

    6- Tommy Robredo Dunlop 4D 300
    Luxilon Big Banger Original 52lbs

    7- Greg Rusedski Dunlop Aerogel 200
    Babolat VS Team 48lbs
     
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  25. tlm

    tlm Legend

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    You do make some good points, many here say it is fine to string way below the recommendation but don't dare string above it. I to do not follow the low tension craze that exists here, I hate poly at low tensions.

    So many like to compare a lot of the pro players tension of in the mid 50's, but they always forget that most pro players only use their strings for about a half hour or so. I have found that a fresh string job in the mid 50's plays pretty well the first day, but not near as good the next couple.

    I use most polys on a 16 main frame at 63-70 lbs. with no problems. I am 57 years old and play at least 5 days a week and so far my arm has not fallen off. One of my hitting partners uses a blx 90 with lux bb ace at 70 lbs. He has been using this set up for the last 10 years with no problems.

    A lot of it depends on the frame and poly but many of the poly strings can be played at high tensions without problems as long as they are changed frequently. What I find amusing is many of the low tension zealots here have not really tried many high tension set ups but they know way more than I do about them, even though I have extensively used low and high tensions and everything in between.
     
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  26. danotje

    danotje Rookie

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    I'm down to 30 now and can tell you, it's no joke. I'm glad people are trying things out and reporting on them. With poly, there really isn't much more power there, just a different feel.
     
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  27. max pl

    max pl Rookie

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    i didnt say all men string high, did I? i said most dont string low, but some clearly do as youve outlined.
    if you go through the link the majority of men string high, however.

    the top women string high as well. the williams sisters and sharapova are all in the 60s.
     
    #27
  28. RogueFLIP

    RogueFLIP Semi-Pro

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    Recommendations are fine and dandy and a good place to start, but the player has to know how they FEEL with their particular setup.

    I started my RPM @ 50# as recommended at first, and I didn't like how it felt or played. I continually increased my tension until I found my sweet spot @ 58#. Won't work for everyone, but it works for me.

    I don't worry about what pros use as I'm not a pro.

    I'll take into consideration other people's opinions on tennis information (why I joined this board), and I'll take what I can FEEL works for me.

    What the player FEELs trumps all.

    My $.02.
     
    #28
  29. Fuji

    Fuji Legend

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    I can't stand RPM for the reason you stated. I feel as though it's one of the most overrated strings on the market, and the way it feels, to me at least, is terrible. I've tested it at 60lbs, 55lbs, 50lbs, and 38lbs. All of them felt equally bad to me haha. The huge downside was the comfort level was so low on them, no matter what I strung it at it still bothered my arm. It's the only poly I've used that bothers my arm in less then 30 minutes of hitting.

    No idea why, but no matter the tension I can't stand RPM Blast.

    -Fuji
     
    #29
  30. gmatheis

    gmatheis Hall of Fame

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    The reason pro's tension comes into the argument is not because we play like pros, infact it's because we DON'T play like pros.

    We all know that we dont hit with near the speed/power/spin of pros but there is this myth that when you lower your tension that your racket will become a rocket launcher and become uncontrollable.

    Since the pros hit so much harder than we do it would stand to reason that if low tension made your racket into a rocket launcher they would need much higher tension than we do. The fact that many pros use low tensions disproves this rocket launcher myth, and that is why we point to pros when talking about low tensions.


    I used to string around 57-58, and have slowly moved down to 40. The main difference I noticed is feel when I string low, not better or worse just different. Also, I believe the angle that the ball leaves my racket face is a bit different (I hit a fairly heavy topspin ball).

    Also some people do suffer from arm pain with poly , but not everyone does. For those that do, sometimes lowering the tension can help.
     
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  31. tlm

    tlm Legend

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    Very few pro players use 40 lbs. tension. The pro players have excellent foot work, timing and a lot of spin. So your comparison is flat out wrong, they can actually control a more powerful set up better than most rec players can.

    And again all of you low tension promoters keep skipping by my point that the pro players only use their string job for about a half hour. So that comparison is again completely wrong. I love it when I hear these guys saying that I am using the same tension as this or that pro player, well ya you are for the first half hour.

    But you sure as hell are not the next day let alone the next week. Very interesting the way that this point is avoided by the low tension freaks. You are correct when stating the angle of the ball leaves the racket at a different angle at low tensions it leaves at a higher angle which takes away from the control.

    I hit the ball with a lot of spin and height and the low tension is to hard to control. It is no myth that lower tension gives more power and less control. The myth is that it does not.

    Anyone that really wants to know how low tension compares to higher tension needs to try it. Use the same racket with the same poly and string one at 40 lbs. and the other at 65 lbs. and go play with both the difference in control is night and day. Then tell me about myths.

    Of course over 90% of these low tension experts have never done this but they know way more about it than me and the guys I know that have actually tried both many times.
     
    #31
  32. roman40

    roman40 Rookie

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    It probably depends on which string you're using, different strings have different characteristics at the same tension, and those characteristics aren't directly proportional to tension. For example, you may not notice much difference between 58 and 56, but from 54 to 52 you will, but that may not be the case for a different string.

    Of course, as was already pointed out, most players don't restring on a daily basis, and given that tension behavior overtime is (negative) exponential (rate of tension loss is higher initially), and also depends on initial tension, you may end up with similar tension after the first few hours, even though you strung 2lbs higher for one racket vs the other.

    In my case, I definitely noticed improvement when I strung with Silverstring at 52 vs 55lbs (I would probably go a few pounds lower, if I cared to restring after a few hours). However, the difference is mostly noticeable initially. I think after 8+ hours, plus/minus a few pounds for initial tension don't matter as much.

    Basically, when you decide on what tension to use, you have to consider when is playability more important to you, in the first few hours, or in the time period after that (either medium or long term, although it's not a good idea to use poly long term). Generally, I don't optimize for the first 1-2hrs, because I never play a match with a fresh string job, I think about 12+hrs after that. I try to practice 1-2hrs with the rackets before I use them for a match. Tension changes are the most drastic during that time, and I don't want to have to worry about adjusting my game to that. Pros on other hand, don't use the new string job for more than 30min (maybe less), so for them, it's different.
     
    #32
  33. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    Using slack doesn't make much sense to me with any string which is why I don't do it with any string. When I string a multi or syn gut, I don't allow for any slack but allow the dropweight to pull and tension the string. If the string is really resilient, it will drop below horizontal so that I have to rachet up the rod one of two more times before the dropweight will settle at horizontal. Since the string is being pulled and tensioned the whole time, I have reasonable assurance that the tension on the string at this point is close to what I set it for. If I give it slack at the beginning as to allow the dropweight drop freely without pulling on the string just so it stops at horizontal, how do I know the string is being tensioned at the proper tension that I set it to since it never pulled the string to arrive at that tension? With other strings, I know it's fairly accurate since it pulls the string with tension until it stops at the proper tension when the dropweight stops at horizontal. With poly and if you give it slack, the dropweight will start and stop at the same location (horizontal) without ever moving so it never went through the process of pulling the string to the proper tension. Therefore, how can you know what the tension actually is when it stopped exactly where it started?
     
    #33
  34. mikeespinmusic

    mikeespinmusic Rookie

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    If the player's using a super dense dampener. They're not going to notice different tensions too much.
     
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  35. kaiser

    kaiser Semi-Pro

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    Please speak for yourself. I've played with full poly set ups in the low 60s for over a decade and have gone down to high 30s in the past couple of years. I have experienced no loss of control, on the contrary, I have gained touch and spin on all my shots. Not to mention the vastly improved comfort. So if it doesn't work for you, doesn't mean that it can't work for others.
     
    #35
  36. gmatheis

    gmatheis Hall of Fame

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    Ive hit with rackets strung at 65ish tension ... hated them.

    Lower tension gives more power and less control yes BUT the myth is the amount. It's not as drastic as people like you make it out to be and slight changes to your swing will account for it. I hit harder than about 95% of the people at my level and I still swing as hard as i ever did but i use a ever so slightly more closed racket face at impact to account for the change.
     
    #36
  37. tlm

    tlm Legend

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    Okay great, but it is far from just me it is everyone I know that try's high vs low tension. Except of coarse here on this site there is more control at lower tensions, and now you can drastically improve the amount of spin you get by spraying silicone on your strings.
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2013
    #37
  38. danotje

    danotje Rookie

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    Wow, this thread really got crazy. I don't know all the rights and wrongs of tennis, but I do know that I like BHBR at 30 more than 54. Interesting, others at low tension also seem to like BHBR. Seems like ELT is like The Vibram 5 Fingers of the tennis world. Some people love'em, some don't.

    SPPP has a recommendation to string 10% lower on its package.

    Breakpoint, once the arm is level on a drop weight, you are pulling at the right tension. At least, that is the way I understood it.
     
    #38
  39. tlm

    tlm Legend

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    Okay I agree with what you are saying here. And yes on the forehand by closing the grip more you can tame the lower tension poly some. But the problem I found was when rushed and having to block a fast shot or serve back the ball will carry long. Also I use the backhand slice a lot and that is were low tension does not work well, the ball wants to float long way to easily.
     
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  40. pvaudio

    pvaudio Legend

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    You've got to be joking. Please do learn what you're talking about before telling others they are wrong. I have six reels in front of me saying what has been said for years. The recommended tension range on the inside throat of your stick is because of synthetics and natural gut which are strung at said higher tensions. It makes no sense to "string 8% less" as WeissCANNON advises if you don't have a starting point. Seriously, there is no way you're this ignorant.
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2013
    #40
  41. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    But if you start and stop with the weight in the same position without moving, how did the weight pull anything to the right tension? What I mean is, if stopping at horizontal depends on how much slack you give the string before you drop the weight, how do you know where the weight would have settled on its own while pulling the string to the correct tension? The correct tension should not be correlated with how much slack you give the string before applying tension.
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2013
    #41
  42. jgrushing

    jgrushing Rookie

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    The pulling process is irrelevant; only the ending position really matters. When the arm of the machine is at horizontal, it is applying the set tension to the string. You clamp at that point and your job is done. I think you're making this more complicated than it is.
     
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  43. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    I disagree. Only when you're pulling the string with tension and it stops pulling at horizontal do you know it's set at the correct tension. If there's no pulling at all and the weight is at horizontal because that's where you set it initially and not because that's where it settled on its own after pulling and reaching the correct tension, then I think the tension has not been accurately achieved.
     
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  44. jgrushing

    jgrushing Rookie

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    Sorry but that makes no sense. On a drop weight, the physics says that if the arm is at horizontal, the set tension is being exerted via the gripper, cam, etc. How much "pulling" was involved in getting it there has nothing to do with it. You are applying X lbs. of tension. I believe your thinking here is flawed.
     
    #44
  45. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    Then what you're saying is that when stringing poly, since the amount of slack you initially give the string determines whether or not the weight starts and stops at horizontal without ever dropping to apply tension, then the tension is dependent on how much slack you initially give the string? Because too little slack and the weight never reaches horizontal and too much slack the weight falls below horizontal, all without first applying any tension at all to the string.
     
    #45
  46. jgrushing

    jgrushing Rookie

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    If you allow enough slack that the bar stops above horizontal, give it a little more. If it goes past horizontal, take up a little slack. As you have said, poly is not very elastic; it will not stretch much. Therefore, you have to allow enough slack for the bar to reach horizontal, which is the main end in mind. I am not sure how else to say it.
     
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  47. Muppet

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    The bar doesn't have to be moving to be applying tension. When it's at rest at horizontal, it is applying the intended amount of tension. How much or how little slack there was and how much or how little the string stretched only gets you to the end point of a stationary, horizontal bar.
     
    #47
  48. jgrushing

    jgrushing Rookie

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    Well said...I was hoping someone else would help to say this in a different way than I have. Thanks.
     
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  49. Bartelby

    Bartelby G.O.A.T.

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    I can't say if done enough casual experimentation to be conclusive but poly under 51 feels better to me to poly over 57 and that difference translates into better play.

    If you've intellectually convinced yourself that high tension is good, then you may have the opposite experience.

    This is an area where blind testing is needed, and no one does that.
     
    #49
  50. danotje

    danotje Rookie

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    Yeah, this is it. When the bar is horizontal, it is applying the correct tension. You're only looking for a horizontal bar in order to clamp and go on. This is why there is a ratchet in a lot of systems--to take up excess slack. The stringing forum will better serve you here.
     
    #50

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