"Hi I'm Ray's" String Reviews

Discussion in 'Strings' started by Hi I'm Ray, Jan 31, 2014.

  1. Hi I'm Ray

    Hi I'm Ray Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2010
    Messages:
    1,504
    I've been trying different strings and taking notes for clearer comparisons. I decided to post them after a few ppl suggested I do so. They're here to serve only as an extra set of opinions. I tried to keep the reviews short and concise so I used a rating of system of 7/7 with a few notes at the end, which should describe my opinions of a string pretty clearly without the need for long paragraphs of explanations. I use a lot of hybrids so the reviews will be labeled "mains" or "crosses". I'll add more reviews as I have time or after trying new strings.

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    Some boring stuff to get out of the way:

    The ratings here are subjective and my opinion only. What works for me, using my rackets and stringing method may not work for someone else. Personally I think the racket, tension, stringing method, and playing style used will make a noticeable difference in the way a string performs and is perceived.

    Everyone is entitled to their opinion but please don't start any arguments or debates here, this is not the right place for that.

    I string w/a 6pt mount, fixed clamp dropweight w/a bubble level attached to the tensioning arm & use long slow pulls until the bubble level stops moving for a few secs. Some hard polys continue stretching for a long time while soft strings like gut seem to stretch more readily and level out right away.

    Some terms used:

    Feedback and Feel: I use Feedback and Feel to describe different things. Here I use Feel to describe a positive or negative sensation on impact. Feedback is used to describe how much feedback I get from the strings after hitting the ball, leading to a feeling of connection and confidence or a lack of it.

    Hours: The number of playable hours I got out of the string. No comments mean I didn't put in enough hours, lost track, or otherwise N/A.

    I reserve the right to make any changes to the reviews.
     
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2014
    #1
  2. Hi I'm Ray

    Hi I'm Ray Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2010
    Messages:
    1,504
    Poly (full beds & mains in hybrids)

    Solinco Tour Bite 16L
    (mains)

    Power 3/7
    Control 6/7
    Spin 6/7
    Feel 3/7
    Feedback 4/7
    Comfort 2/7
    Hours Stiffens up around 9hrs but remains playable (see below)

    This along with TB17 are my go-to strings. Great spin, control, feedback, & longevity without any real weakness. I don't really like the feel & comfort in a full bed of TB but a poly/poly hybrid w/softer string like Iontec takes care of the issue. The weird thing about Tour Bite 16L/17 is that it seems like it is going dead and stiffens up, but then after about another hour of hitting it loosens back up and loses a little bit of spin but otherwise remains playable for a very log time. Holds its playing characteristics longer than any other poly I've tried.

    Rackets/Tension used: PDR, APDGT, VCore 100s, Juice 100, etc. @ 50-54lbs, and Various OS frames @ 55-60lbs.

    ----------------------------

    Solinco Tour Bite 17
    (mains)

    Power 4/7
    Control 6/7
    Spin 6/7
    Feel 3/7
    Feedback 4/7
    Comfort 3/7
    Hours Stiffens up at 7hrs, playable for at least 9 - crosses always break by this time

    Very similar to TB16L but I prefer it the 17ga in frames with lower power, shorter string lengths, or denser patterns where it felt more responsive and easier to generate spin with.

    Rackets/Tension used: Blade 18x20, VCore 100s, Pure Storm @ 51lbs, Various OS frames @ 55lbs.

    ----------------------------

    Kirschbaum Pro Line X 1.25mm
    (mains)

    Power 2/7
    Control 6/7
    Spin 4/7
    Feel 3/7
    Feedback 4/7
    Comfort 1/7
    Hours 8-9hrs

    One of my favorite strings. Incredible control and generates about as much spin as I can get from a round poly. Solid feel on impact. I noticed PLX starts off pretty firm but loses some tension and becomes softer after a break-in period, while still maintaining control.

    Racket/Tension used: APDGT @ 51lbs, an old flexy Dunlop 95sq in @ 35lbs

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    Volkl Cyclone 16 (black)
    (mains)

    Power 3/7
    Control 5/7
    Spin 5/7
    Feel 3/7
    Feedback 4/7
    Comfort 3/7
    Hours 10-12 before noticeable increase in stiffness, playable to 16-17 if in a comfortable enough hybrid

    Another one of my favorite polys. Cyclone vs Tour Bite: I usually prefer Tour Bite for its slightly better spin potential (TB is also playable longer although the crosses usually break way before it makes a difference). Cyclone has a softer feel & better comfort though.

    Racket/Tension used: APDGT @ 51lbs

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    Yonex Poly Tour Spin 1.25
    (mains)

    Power 3/7
    Control 4/7
    Spin 6/7
    Feel 2/7
    Feedback 2/7
    Comfort 4/7
    Hours 6-8

    Feels very firm, in cold weather it feels and sounds on impact like brittle plastic that is about to shatter, however there is surprisingly very little shock. Spin off the ground is very good, somewhere between Cyclone and Tour Bite, but I seemed to get even more spin on serves. Major drawback for me was a lack of feel/feedback much like Focus-Hex, which I felt lowered my consistency and confidence (-1 point on control from this)

    Racket/Tension used: APDGT @ 51lbs

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    Luxilon 4G 1.25
    (mains)

    Power 2/7
    Control 5/7
    Spin 3/7
    Feel 2/7
    Feedback 3/7
    Comfort 1/7
    Hours 4-6

    Plays very similar to Pro Line X, starts off very firm feeling, with slightly more power, comfort, and more responsive (also feels lighter and less solid). However, this string seems to continually stiffen up with use, becoming firmer, harsher, and lower powered with a shrinking sweet spot until it felt like a board with a sweetspot the size of a tennis ball.

    Racket/Tension used: APDGT @ 50lbs
     
    ----------------------------

    Babolat Pro Hurricane Tour 1.25mm (Crank Tensioner)
    (mains)

    Power 3/7
    Control 6/7
    Spin 5/7
    Feel 2/7
    Feedback 3/7
    Comfort 2/7
    Hours - remains playable until it breaks

    Very good Control, Spin, and Feedback. I felt very confident hitting as aggressively as I could with this string with excellent consistency. It has that same awful plastic feel and "bong" sound on impact as Polylon but with better elasticity and comfort which improved the overall feel for me. It lost a ton of tension but for me the string felt better as tension dropped.
    However when I strung it up using long, slow pulls it completely pulled all the life out of this string. It felt extremely harsh, dead, and unresponsive. Cut it out after about 30min of use over 2 days.

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    Gosen Polylon 17 (ice & yellow)
    (mains)

    Power 2/7
    Control 4/7
    Spin 3/7
    Feel 1/7
    Feedback 3/7
    Comfort 1/7
    Hours 4-6

    Firm and control oriented with good spin. A pretty decent string considering the price, however the major drawbacks are the awful, plastic feel, odd "bong" sound on impact, and short playing life. Feel/Comfort is much improved in a syn gut hybrid.

    Racket/Tension used: APDGT @ 54lbs, 37lbs, an old Yonex 95sq in @ 36lbs

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    Tourna Big Hitter Black 7 17g
    (mains)

    Power 5/7
    Control 1/7
    Spin 6/7
    Feel 3/7
    Feedback 1/7
    Comfort 5/7
    Hours 4 - tension became so low after 4 hrs that I cut it. It was notched so deep it was about to snap anyways.

    Felt extremely plasticky and stretchy, reminded me of laffy taffy. Extremely unpredictable response, it felt like every other shot was a surprise and feedback was non-existent. Lost tension like crazy. Edges were completely worn off 3hrs or less. Thinner than most 17g strings.

    Racket/Tension used: APDGT @ 54-56lbs, PB10 Mid @ 53lbs

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    MSV Focus Hex 1.18 (black)
    (mains)

    Power 3/7
    Control 3/7
    Spin 4/7
    Feel 3/7
    Feedback 2/7
    Comfort 3/7
    Hours 8-9

    Very average and solid across the board, with better than average spin. However, there is very little feedback. I'm not sure how to describe it beside a feeling of numbness or a lack of feedback. For me its a deal-breaker because I feel very disconnected, which lowers my confidence and consistency. Has a break in period of about 1hr before it softens up, remains consistent up until the last hr where begins to feel very soft and all the good attributes seem to get boost.

    Racket/Tension used: APDGT & PB10 Mid @ 53-56lbs

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    MSV Focus Hex 1.10 (red)

    Power 3/7
    Control 3/7
    Spin 4/7
    Feel 3/7
    Feedback 2/7
    Comfort 3/7
    Hours 5

    Very slight improvement in feel and comfort, though not really enough to push the ratings to the next level. With the break-in period and the change towards the last hour within it's short 5hr lifespan, I felt like string's characteristics were constantly changing and thus felt very inconsistent overall. I prefer the 1.18mm version.

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    MSV Co-Focus 1.18 (blue)
    (mains)

    Power 3/7
    Control 3/7
    Spin 4/7
    Feel 3/7
    Feedback 3/7
    Comfort 3/7
    Hours 8-9

    Very average and solid across the board. Very similar to Focus Hex but feels less grabby w/less spin. However, feel is a slightly improved over Focus-Hex and for that reason I prefer Co-Focus. I gave the feedback rating a 3 but it's really more like a 2.5.
     
    Racket/Tension used: APDGT @ 53, 54lbs, PB10 Mid @ 53lbs.

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    MSV Co-Focus 1.27 (gold)
    (mains)

    Power 2/7
    Control 4/7
    Spin 4/7
    Feel 2/7
    Feedback 2/7
    Comfort 1/7
    Hours 8-9

    Very similar to Co-Focus 1.18 but much firmer, to the point of being borderline harsh. I felt a little bit more control with the 1.27 but the overall results were pretty much the same as the 1.18. I prefered the 1.18mm for the improved feel/feedback/comfort.
    Felt totally lifeless & inconsistent w/very little feedback when strung at 47-48lbs in an old Yonex 95sq in, crossed w/Gamma Syn Gut Duralast 16. Still not sure why that combo performed so poorly.

    Racket/Tension used: APDGT @ 50lbs, an old Yonex 95sq in @ 47-48lbs.

    ----------------------------

    Kirschbaum Pro Line II 17 (black)
    (mains)

    Power 4/7
    Control 4/7
    Spin 3/7
    Feel 4/7
    Feedback 3/7
    Comfort 4/7
    Hours - about 4-5 before losing to much tension

    Plays with a nice mix of characteristics and feels fairly soft & bouncy/elastic without being overly stretchy or mushy feeling. However, the downside is that it continually loses tension very quickly to the point where it becomes extremely loose feeling. And unlike Pro Hurricane Tour which retains a high level of control even after losing a lot of tension, PL2 starts to feel rather erratic.

    Racket/Tension used: APDGT @ 54lbs

    ----------------------------

    Kirschbaum Super Smash Orange 1.23mm
    (mains)

    Power 2/7
    Control 5/7
    Spin 3/7
    Feel 3/7
    Feedback 3/7
    Comfort 4/7
    Hours

    Surprising comfort is the stand out feature considering it is a control oriented poly with a firm response. Playing characteristics are otherwise fairly ordinary for a firm, control oriented, round poly when used as main, but I found it really stood out as a cross when used with softer mains.

    Racket/Tension used: Various frames from 90-110sq in @ 48-55lbs

    ----------------------------

    Topspin Cyber Blue 1.20mm
    (mains)

    Power 3/7
    Control 3/7
    Spin 3/7
    Feel 3/7
    Feedback 3/7
    Comfort 3/7
    Hours 8+. Longest I played it in a single frame is around 8hrs where it showed no signs of going dead. Swapped it out to compare some other strings.

    I used about a 1/2 reel of this stuff in full beds, in hybrids as mains & crosses, at tensions between 35-55lbs, and head sizes between 90-110. Good feel and comfort for a poly, soft-medium firmness, lively/springy, but maintains a bit of crispness where some of the other soft polys can get a bit too vague & mushy feeling. Seems to lose the crispness and become more muted w/use. Holds tension fairly well. The downside is I would've prefered a little more control, which I think a thicker gauge might provide.

    Racket/Tension used: Various rackets from 90-110sq in @ 35-55lbs.
     
    Last edited: May 27, 2014
    #2
  3. Hi I'm Ray

    Hi I'm Ray Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2010
    Messages:
    1,504
    Gut, Gut/Poly & Gut/Multi

    Some thoughts on Gut/Poly:

    I find gut/poly to be a good value despite the high initial cost. Pacific Tough Gut / SSO lasted me 22-24hrs (w/string savers). I get the playability of gut, the spin of full poly, and lasted more than twice as long as my usual Tour Bite/RIP Control hybrid. The time of restringing less often (& cost if you don't string yourself) is also a consideration.

    Crosses don't seem to experience nearly as much wear and use as the mains. I got only 4-6hrs out of 4G mains (APDGT @ 50lbs) before it felt too stiff/dead/harsh, while the 4G crosses (PD+ @ 53lbs) that I strung for a friend in a gut/poly hybrids still felt great and not at all stiff @ 19-20hrs. Get a good poly cross that lasts 8-9hr or more as mains w/good tension maintenance, and it should last 16-20hrs + as a cross.

    Use string savers at the first sign of a fairly deep notch or strands popping off. It really seems to stop the wear if you use it early enough. At the rate Tough Gut was notching @ 4hrs, I think I would've only gotten about 8-10hrs out of it. It lasted about 22-24hrs w/string savers. String savers increase the tension and change the feel a bit, so don't go crazy w/them and use only where needed. BTW I'm using Babolat Elasto Cross II.

    I've heard ppl advising poly users trying gut for the first time to use at least 1 gauge thicker than their usual string. I agree w/this and find it a more comfortable transition.

    Experiences w/Titan Natural Gut 16g:

    Titan is supposed to be factory seconds from Klip and looks pretty nice compared to some econo-gut. I strung up 4 packs but the quality & characteristics of Titan Gut are not consistent between packs as they were all different. Pack A strung up fine, the coating looks a bit thin, has been in a friend's racket for a while and has been used quite a bit but is holding up very well w/very little wear. Pack B appeared very clear like yellow polylon and had very, very few visible fibers until tensioned. It snapped while tensioning the 2nd main @ 55lbs. The coating was very thick and the string was very brittle - if bent enough fibers break and pop out! I tried to use what was left in a stringing experiement and it broke another 2 times even at 44 & 48lbs! I could hear it creaking and cracking right before it pops - just horrible quality. Pack 3 had a similar appearance to Pack 1, and looks almost uncoated in some places. It lost a lot of tension very early on and the strands were seperating in 2 spots. It looked very good for the first 6hrs but then strings #3,4&5 on one side from the center mains shredded very badly half way through in the next hour! All the other mains still look good which leads me to believe the shredded areas are part of a weak spot in the string. Pack 4 seems to be a pretty high quality w/a generous coating. It has held tension very well and so far has outlasted Pacific Tough Gut!
    With 2 bad packs out of 4, it costs less to go w/Klip Legend or Pacific Classic.

    -------------------------------

    Pacific Tough Gut 16 (mains) / Kirschbaum Super Smash Orange 1.23 (crosses)

    Power 6/7
    Control 6/7
    Spin 7/7
    Feel 5/7
    Feedback 6/7
    Comfort 5/7
    Hours 22-24 (used string savers)

    An overall increase in power and spin on all shots (especially serve) except on my usual topspin shots, which just seem a bit more penetrating. Provides noticeably more power on slower swings than poly, and good comfort even in temps around 40F.

    Racket/Tension used: V-Core 100s @ 59/56lbs

    Update:
    The mains finally broke after about 22-24hrs of use. String savers made the big difference here in how long it lasted and I'm guess-timating based on the way the mains were wearing in the first few hours that it would've lasted about 8-10hrs w/out string savers. The strings felt & performed very consisitently throughout the life of the string job. The SSO crosses held up extremely well without any perceiveable loss in performance & comfort, and tension loss was negligable.
    I also gave the Control and Feedback ratings a slight bump up as I got more used to the response & power of gut/poly. The power level, response, and feel/feedback of gut/poly feels consistently high, where poly mains seem to have a sharper drop off in power, responsiveness, and feel/feedback when swing speeds drop, such as on volleys or defensive shots when stretched out wide.

    -------------------------------

    Titan Natural Gut 16g (mains) / Kirschbaum Super Smash Orange 1.23 (crosses)

    Power 6/7
    Control 6/7
    Spin 7/7
    Feel 5/7
    Feedback 6/7
    Comfort 5/7
    Hours

    Plays with similar characteristics overall to Tough Gut / Super Smash Orange 1.23 (see Tough Gut / SSO review for more detail). The packs of Titan Gut I got were pretty inconsistent (see the "Experiences w/Titan Natural Gut" paragraph near the top of this post), one of the packs I used in this hybrid lost a lot of tension and shredded after a short amount of time, the other outlasted Pacific Tough Gut.

    Racket/Tension used: Yonex V-Core 100s @ 59/55, Slazenger Pro Braided @ 55/53lbs.

    -------------------------------

    Klip Legend Natural Gut 15L
    (full bed)

    Power 6/7
    Control 4/7
    Spin 2/7
    Feel 7/7
    Feedback 6/7
    Comfort 7/7

    Great feel - solid, elastic, responsive & comfortable. Inter-string friction was pretty high so spin was a bit low. The difference in liveliness and power was very noticeable between the 15L & 17g. The 15L felt much firmer & controlled, and didn't feel nearly as stretchy as the 17g.

    Racket/Tension used: APDGT @ 62lbs (crank tensioner)

    -------------------------------

    Klip Legend Natural Gut 17g
    (full bed)

    Power 7/7
    Control 2/7
    Spin 1/7
    Feel 6/7
    Feedback 6/7
    Comfort 7/7

    The 17g version didn't really work out for me in a full bed. It lost a noticeable amount of tension (while the 15L didn't) and started to feel like a very powerful trampoline. The mains just seemed to move very far out of place on impact and get stuck, with very little snapback movement along the crosses and very little spin. Combined with the high trajectory and power level, very low spin, trampoline effect, and high temps (90's), this set up was very difficult to control. The string also felt too thin in such an open patterned racket and not nearly as solid feeling as the 15L.

    Racket/Tension used: APDGT @ 62lbs (crank tensioner)

    -------------------------------

    Mamba Supra 16g (Sheep Gut, mains) / Head RIP Control 16g (Natural, crosses)

    Power 6/7
    Control 5/7
    Spin 2/7
    Feel 6/7
    Feedback 6/7
    Comfort 6/7
    Hours: around 6hrs so far, string looks to be in good shape.

    This hybrid is reviewed in a ProKennex Kinetic 15G which has a larger head size, longer length, and is fairly new to me, so it will affect the review scores.
    I wanted to see if a multi cross could provide the kind of control and limit the amount the gut deflects backwards in impact in a very consistent manner the way a poly does, and RIP Control 16ga does a good job while keeping the stringbed comfortable (RIP Control 17ga might be too soft). Mamba Supra 16g is a super thick, econo Sheep Gut, which plays and feels very good, comparable to the usual beef gut. It also feels softer/less firm/less crisp on impact than normal gut. The response is of this hybrid is very consistent and predictable. The spin level is more like a 2.5 rating and is a little better than a full bed of Klip Legend 15L or a full bed of fresh syn gut, very similar to syn gut mains/poly crosses. I would say that the limited amount of spin is not an issue with Mamba Supra and is due to the surface of RIP Control not being as slick as poly. I have previously strung up Mamba Supra 16g / Lux 4G 1.25mm in a friend's Pure Drive and used it a couple of times - the spin is very good.


    Racket/Tension used: ProKennex Kinetic Pro 15G @ 58/58lbs

    About Mamba Supra: It's listed as 16g but seems closer to a 15g or thicker - the thicker sections of the string barely fit through some grommet holes and it really blocks up the tie offs. Its very "dry" and looks and feels almost like natural fiber twine. The "coating" starts to flake off badly after it has been run through a few grommets. I'm not sure what the "coating" material is but it seems like the flakey mess it leaves behind could present a health hazard if you have pets or toddlers that might get it on their hands/paws and ingest it, so be sure to clean or vacuum the area thoroughly after stringing. A set of Mamba Supra actually arrives as two half sets, which are barely long enough to string up the mains of a 100sq in frame and had to be bridged with a short length of string to pull the last two mains on my 105sq in PK 15G. While some parts of the string appear to be unraveling or fraying during stringing, 2 out of 2 half sets strung up without any breakage (55 and 58lbs). After all that, its a good thing it plays well.

    -------------------------------

    Titan Natural Gut 16g (mains) / Weiss Cannon Mosquito Bite 1.16mm (crosses, red)

    Power 6/7
    Control 6/7
    Spin 7/7
    Feel 6/7
    Feedback 6/7
    Comfort 3/7
    Hours: only 3hrs before crosses started going "dead"

    Playing characteristics are pretty similar to the Tough Gut / Super Smash Orange (SSO) and Titan Gut / SSO string jobs in the same racket, with the differences mainly being in the characteristics of the crosses. The Mosquito Bite crosses were a bit more firm and less comfortable than SSO even though it is thinner, with a crisper, more defined feel on impact. However, the crosses only lasted about 3hrs before going dead. (see the Weiss Canon Mosquito Bite crosses review in the post below for more detail).

    Racket/Tension used: Yonex V-Core 100s @ 60/56lbs
     
    Last edited: May 27, 2014
    #3
  4. Hi I'm Ray

    Hi I'm Ray Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2010
    Messages:
    1,504
    Crosses

    Cross string ratings: I have started giving the cross strings a rating to give a clearer understanding of how they performed for me. Edit: I'm now using the same 1 thru 7 rating as I did for the mains, but please note that since crosses and mains play a different role in the stringbed, I rate them differently. So don't be confused if 1 string has different ratings for mains and crosses. The "benchmark" or standard cross string against which I compared all other crosses, is Prince Synthetic Gut Orignal 17 (white). PSGO is considered the industry standard for syn gut and has very neutral characteristics compared to all the other crosses I've tried, even including a very normal, slight loss in tension.

    Crosses can make a noticeable difference: Some ppl suggest that the crosses contribute very little to the stringbed and make very little difference, but I'm in the camp that feels crosses w/different properties can make a big difference in the characteristics of a stringbed. Some examples:

    Start w/a full bed of hard poly, replace the crosses with:
    -Iontec Hexa (soft poly) - softer on impact, better comfort than hard poly, likely with similar spin
    -Syn gut - less spin and a more comfortable response
    -RIP Control (slick multi) - even more cushioning and comfort than syn gut
    -NRG2 (sticky multi) - mains get stuck in the rubbery surface and do not move/snap back easily, likely a noticeable decrease in spin

    Or

    -Full Gut - very stretchy on impact, high inter-string friction, somewhat low spin
    -Poly Crosses - you can feel the hardness of the poly on impact and how much more it limits the amount the gut will stretch backwards on impact. Much less friction and very likely a big increase in spin.
    -RIP Control 16 - less stretchy than full gut, slightly lower friction, and noticeably softer that poly crosses.

    Crosses can also make a huge difference in the overall durability and tension maintenance of the stringbed.

    --------------------------

    Prince Syn Gut Original 17 (white, non-Duraflex)
    (crosses)

    Power 4/7
    Control 4/7
    Spin 3/7
    Feel 4/7
    Feedback 4/7
    Comfort 4/7
    Tension Maintenace 4/7


    Has a soft and muted feeling which I liked and IMO goes pretty well with hard polys. The white colored coating is fairly smooth and I got a good amount of spin with PSGO as a cross. It feels like it loses a bit of tension early on but not as much as OGSM.

    Racket/Tension used: APDGT @ 54-56lbs

    --------------------------

    Forten Sweet 16 & 17 (gold & natural)
    (crosses)

    Power 4/7
    Control 4/7
    Spin 3/7
    Feel 4/7 (Firm)
    Feedback 4/7
    Comfort 4/7
    Tension Maintenace 5/7


    Strings up tight, holds its tension and playing characteristics for a very long time. For those reasons I usually prefer it over OGSM.

    Racket/Tension used: Various rackets from 95-110sq in. 48-63lbs.

    --------------------------

    Gosen OG Sheep Micro 18, 17, 16 (natural)
    (crosses)

    Power 4/7
    Control 4/7
    Spin 3/7
    Feel 4/7 (Crisp)
    Feedback 4/7
    Comfort 4/7
    Tension Maintenace 3/7


    Has a disctinctive crisp feel that other syn guts don't have for the first few hours but then loses tension and that crisp feel. I prefer the 18g version the most when paired with a poly in a 100sq in or smaller head size.

    Rackets/Tension used: APDGT & PK Destiny Comp @ 54-57lbs.

    --------------------------

    RIP Control 17 (natural)
    (crosses)

    Power 3/7
    Control 5/7
    Spin 4/7
    Feel 6/7
    Feedback 5/7
    Comfort 6/7
    Tension Maintenance 4/7

    The somewhat smooth and hard outer shell provides a fairly slick surface for a multifilament string, conductive to string movement/snapback/spin. Provides a more consistent and controlled response than the other "slick" multifilament strings I've compared it to (Prince Premier Attack - aka Prince Premier Control, and Genesis Thunderblast). RIP Control is my go-to cross for poly mains. Provides better comfort, feel, spin, and control than syn gut, but is a bit lower powered. Lasted 8-9hr mixing up flat & topspin shots, but only got about 5-6hrs when I was hitting softer but loopier/more spin. The outer shell contacting the ball wears down & tears away at about the same time my usual Tour Bite mains wear through the other side, so using a using a textured main isn't going to decrease longevity IMO. It is also a bit lighter that syn gut in a comparable thickness, which can be helpful in reducing the swingweight of a racket that is at the upper end of your comfort range.

    Racket/Tension used: Various rackets from 90-107sq in. 48-57lbs (17g)

    ---------------------------

    Head RIP Control 16 (natural & black)
    (crosses)

    Power 3/7
    Control 6/7
    Spin 4/7
    Feel 5/7
    Feedback 5/7
    Comfort 5/7
    Tension Maintenance 4/7

    Feels noticeably thicker and harder than the 17g version. I usually prefer the 16g version over 17g in OS frames. I recently had a chance to compare Mamba Natural Gut mains w/RIP Control 16 crosses to my usual Super Smash Orange 1.23mm crosses (poly) and I am really surprised find that RIP Control 16 provided about the same if not slightly better control for me, just with a little less spin. (see the Mamba Natural Gut / RIP Control review in the Gut section, the post above).

    Racket/Tension used: Various OS frames from 105-115sq in @ 56-62lbs (16g)

    ---------------------------

    Polystar Energy 17
    (crosses)

    Power 3/7
    Control 4/7
    Spin 5/7
    Feel 3/7
    Feedback 4/7
    Comfort 2/7
    Tension Maintenance 4/7

    I compared this directly side by side with Prince Syn Gut Original 17 (white, non-duraflex) as a cross string, using identical rackets and mains. It only provided a very slight boost in spin but felt noticeably less comfortable. It also went dead at some point while the syn gut did not. For a soft poly cross I prefer Iontec Hexa which is softer, slicker, longer lasting, and costs less.

    Racket/Tension used: APDGT @ 54-56lbs

    --------------------------

    Iontec Hexa 1.20mm (salmon)
    (crosses)

    Power 3/7
    Control 5/7
    Spin 7/7
    Feel 4/7
    Feedback 5/7
    Comfort 3/7
    Tension Maintenance 5/7

    Very soft, comfortable, and elastic for a poly. Has a very slick surface, decent-good control, good tension maintenance, and remains playable for a long time. I don't see much reason to use full beds of 1 type of poly when I can use this as a cross, at least in the low-mid 50's tension range.

    Racket/Tension used: APDGT & PD @ 56lbs, Pure Storm @ 54lbs.

    -------------------------

    Luxilion 4G 1.25mm
    (crosses)

    Power 3/7
    Control 7/7
    Spin 6/7
    Feel 4/7
    Feedback 5/7
    Comfort 2/7
    Tension Maintenance 6/7

    Provides very, very good control for gut mains, and a firm, crisp feel. IMO its a fairly stiff string that can become a bit harsh if the tension is just slightly high. I strung my own racket too tight with it & eventually replaced it w/SuperSmash Orange, but I tried my friend's gut/4G string job (that I strung) and it was still playing very nicely at about 19-20hrs without any harshness or signs of going dead (unlike when I used it in the mains).

    Racket/Tension used: VCore 100s @ 56lbs, PD+ @ 53lbs

    -------------------------

    Kirschbaum Super Smash Orange 1.23mm
    (Crosses)

    Power 3/7
    Control 6/7
    Spin 6/7
    Feel 4/7
    Feedback 5/7
    Comfort 3/7

    This has become one of my favorite poly crosses so far when used with a softer main string such as gut. Surprising comfort is the stand out feature considering it a control oriented poly with a firm response. I usually string up poly crosses tighter in a Gut/Poly hybrid than I would string up poly mains, so comfort is an important factor especially considering the crosses are shorter and strung tighter. Solid & above average marks across the board for a poly, spin friendly and very good longevity. There is a slight drop in tension near the beginning but quickly stabilizes. It also held its playing characteristics extremely well for 22-24hrs in a gut/poly hybrid without any signs of going dead. I'm liking this stuff so much I bought a reel's worth in 4-packs.

    Racket/Tension used: Yonex V-Core 100s @ 56lbs, Slazenger Pro Braided @ 53lbs

    -------------------------
     
    Weiss Cannon Mosquito Bite 1.16mm (red)
    (crosses)

    Power 3/7
    Control 6/7
    Spin 6/7
    Feel 5/7
    Feedback 5/7
    Comfort 2/7
    Tension Maintenance 6/7
    Hours 3 (see comments below)

    I read a several recommendations for Mosquito Bite as a cross with natural gut, so I decided to give it a try. Its only available in one thickness (1.16mm) and is noticeably lighter in weight than Super Smash Orange 1.23mm. TW described it as being firm and it certainly felt that way which was surprising given how thin it is. It also felt crisp and had good feel & feedback. Comfort is ok when fresh considering the tension used & the short length of the crosses, but certainly not as comfortable as SSO 1.23. It also held tension well during its short useable lifespan but it was a huge disappointment in the longevity department. It played fine for the first 3hrs but after that consistency started to drop, a feeling of stiffness/harshess started to increase along with discomfort in my hand. The strings did not seem obviously dead (probably masked by the gut mains I used with it) so I continued to use it, but I was confused about a slight discomfort I was developing in my hand and why my consistency was becoming worse with my main racket while my other misc. frames played fine. The drop in consistency and increase in hand pain became very obvious at around 5-6hrs. So really I only got 3 good hours out of it.

    Racket/Tension used: Yonex V-Core 100s @ 56lbs

    -------------------------

    *Max # of characters reached for this post, continued here: http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showpost.php?p=8145359&postcount=16
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2014
    #4
  5. Hi I'm Ray

    Hi I'm Ray Hall of Fame

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    Multifilaments, Specific Hybrids, Syn Gut & misc.

    Forten Sweet 16ga (mains, gold) / Kirschbaum Super Smash Orange 1.23mm (crosses)

    Power 4/7
    Control 2/7
    Spin 3/7
    Feel 3/7
    Feedback 4/7
    Comfort 4/7

    I've found full syn gut to play fairly well in more control oriented rackets. But in a racket w/a livelier response such as a tweener, I find an inconsistent response and a pretty dramatic variation in the launch angle, depending on how hard or soft the shot is. I tried this hybrid in a tweener to see if the poly crosses would add enough control but unfortunately the mains dominate the characteristics of the stringbed and it still plays very much like syn gut. The response & launch angle are still inconsistent, spin is improved but there is less comfort and a harder impact. I'm surprised to see how much more consistent gut/poly and some multifilaments are in comparison.
    I thought the lower friction crosses would cause less wear on the syn gut mains but they were still notching through very quickly.
    IMO a syn gut/poly hybrid might work for those who are already used to the response of syn gut but want a bit more spin or are using a more control oriented racket. But those who are looking for the consistent response, control, and spin of poly/syn gut or gut/poly will likely be disappointed.

    Racket/Tension used: Pure Storm GT @ 55/52lbs

    -----------------------

    Weiss Cannon Scorpion 1.22mm (mains) / Gosen OG Sheep Micro 16 & 17g (crosses, natural)

    Power 4/7
    Control 5/7
    Spin 2/7
    Feel 4/7
    Feedback 5/7
    Comfort 4/7
    Hours 6hrs, then loses control, 8-9hrs before becoming too stiff

    I rated Scorpion in a hybrid w/OG Sheep Micro crosses because I didn't enjoy the feel & feedback much w/the other set ups I tried.
    Even though Scorpion is a poly, I really don't find much spin w/it. It provides a lot of control & feedback and I like this hybrid most for hitting flat and hard. It seems to provide a more powerful, elastic response and crisp feel on harder strokes, but feels pretty soft, somewhat lifeless, & muted on slower strokes such as slices or defensive shots. On its own or paired w/a soft string like Forten Sweet, it feels too soft and a bit muted, but I thought this string paired really well with OG Sheep Micro crosses, which provided a crisp feel, really nice pop sound on impact, and much improved feedback.

    Racket/Tension used: APDGT @ 53/53lbs, ProKennex Destiny Comp @ 50/50lbs
     
    Last edited: May 31, 2014
    #5
  6. goeblack

    goeblack Rookie

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    Very shocked at your opinion or big hitter black 7. It does have a strange feel to it but perhaps you strung it too tight. I find the control very good and certainly get more than 4 hours great play out of it.
     
    #6
  7. Hi I'm Ray

    Hi I'm Ray Hall of Fame

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    ^^ Perhaps its a combination of different conditions. I had in the APDGT & PB10 Mid which has long mains for a mid and used it in hot summer conditions (mid day near upper 90 - low 100F). I did have one decent 1hr hit with it on clay but that was it.

    What racket/gauge/tension/temperture have you been using it at?
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2014
    #7
  8. 3fees

    3fees Hall of Fame

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    Thanks for sharing
     
    #8
  9. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    Agreed. Always nice to see new reviews.
     
    #9
  10. Hi I'm Ray

    Hi I'm Ray Hall of Fame

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    ^ Thanks for the positive comments!

    --------------

    Titan Natural Gut 16g / Super Smash Orange 1.23
    Titan Natural Gut 16g vs Pacific Tough Gut 16g

    (moved, to post #3)
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2014
    #10
  11. Hi I'm Ray

    Hi I'm Ray Hall of Fame

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    Polystar Energy 17 (crosses)
    Prince Syn Gut Original 17 (crosses)

    (moved, to post #4)
     
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2014
    #11
  12. Chotobaka

    Chotobaka Hall of Fame

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    Are you using NOS? Or, is Titan back? It was dirt cheap for NG back in the day and terribly inconsistent in quality, making it a very unreliable string.
     
    #12
  13. Hi I'm Ray

    Hi I'm Ray Hall of Fame

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    ^^ From the response I read from TW, it seems like they they don't get a constant supply of Titan gut since Klip doesn't end up w/as many factory seconds now. I got mine about 1 1/2 months ago and would just buy a few sets as needed instead of stocking it, as breakage seems high and it would it be hard to get a warranty replacement if the purchase was dated too far back. Yeah, while it looks nicer than other econo gut, I guess its not any more consistent when it comes to breakage & defects. The set that broke looks different and frays/strands pop out when bent enough, while the other two sets that survived stringing had some spots where the strands were seperating(!) but look and feel pretty good once strung up.
     
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2014
    #13
  14. Sander001

    Sander001 Hall of Fame

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    Nice reviews and good to see the distinctions between gauges.
     
    #14
  15. Hi I'm Ray

    Hi I'm Ray Hall of Fame

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    ^ Thanks! Yeah, I find that the gauge can make a significant difference in the performance of a string.

    ----------------------------

    Pro Line II 17 (mains)

    (moved, to post #2)
     
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2014
    #15
  16. Hi I'm Ray

    Hi I'm Ray Hall of Fame

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    Crosses (continued)

    Topspin Cyber Blue 1.20mm
    (Crosses)

    Power 3
    Control 4
    Spin 5
    Feel 4
    Feedback 4
    Comfort 3

    Has a soft-medium firmness and lively/springy feel while maintaining a bit of crispness. Although it does seem to lose that crispness and feel a bit more muted with use. Has a bit more "give"/deflects backwards more on impact than a typical hard poly, which can be a good or bad thing depending on what you are looking for in a cross.

    Racket/Tension used: Yonex VCore 100s @ 51lbs, Yonex Super RD Tour 90 @ 48lbs, old Dunlop 95sq in @ 35lbs

    ---------------------------

    Head FXP Tour 16 (ice blue)
    (crosses)

    Power 3
    Control 1
    Spin 1
    Feel 2
    Feedback 3
    Comfort 2
    Hours - cut out after about 1.5hrs due to poor performance

    The string looks very cool but this very likely the worse cross string I have ever used for a shaped poly main (Tour Bite). The mains cut a very narrow notch through the multifilament layer in about 30 min (like the way mains usually notch, but this time the notch is on the crosses). This locks the mains in place preventing string snap back and the spin it produces. But the worst part is the notched crosses only occured in a 4-5inch circle where the sweetspot is, which meant that contacting the ball in that circle, partially in, or outside of it resulted in completely different responses, trajectories, spins, etc., and this is in combination w/the usual drop off in power as you move further away from the sweetspot. This resulted in a very unpredictable response. I'm not sure how the multifilament layer on this string notches so badly because this doesn't even happen with soft multi's and syn gut crosses. The feel and comfort also weren't good even in the first 30min.
    Going to try the other half-set later as a main string and hope it does better there.
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2014
    #16
  17. BorderLine

    BorderLine Rookie

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    I like scale and reviews.
     
    #17
  18. polytheist

    polytheist Rookie

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    Have you tried gut/iontec hexa?
     
    #18
  19. Hi I'm Ray

    Hi I'm Ray Hall of Fame

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    Hey sorry for the slow reply, I've been gone for a while then pretty busy after getting back. I did try Titan Gut 16/regular Iontec 1.20 (its supposed to be the same string as Hexa, just different profile). I'm finding Titan Gut to really be a mixed bag, as in the product does not seem consistent between packs. The pack of Titan Gut I used for the Gut/Iontec hybrid seemed to lose a lot of tension and it affected the results. I first tried Titan Gut/Iontec 1.20 then Titan Gut 16/Super Smash Orange (same pack of gut) both at 55/53lbs in a Slazenger Pro Braided:

    -Iontec is very slick and the hybrid produced a crazy amount of spin, more than the other Gut/Poly hybrids I tried.

    -The launch angle was higher with the Iontec crosses, not sure if it was from the stretchier response of Iontec or the gut moving further along the slicker surface.

    -I was surprised to feel a slight bit of discomfort with the Iontec, but not with the Super Smash Orange crosses. (BTW the temperature was in the 40's and the Slaz is a very stiff racket).

    -The tension loss of the Titan Gut mains which resulted in very high launch angle combined with the even higher launch angle of the Iontec crosses was just too much. I had a hard time adjusting to it and only kept it in for two session before swapping it out for Titan Gut/SSO which had a slightly lower launch angle, felt a bit more controlled, and had better comfort.

    I'll probably revisted the combo later in thicker gauges.
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2014
    #19
  20. Hi I'm Ray

    Hi I'm Ray Hall of Fame

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    Super Smash Orange 1.23mm Mains and Crosses reviews posted in their respective catagories (post #2 & #4). SSO has a combination of comfort, control, and firm response. It's fairly ordinary for a firm, round poly when used as a main but really stood out as a cross because I can string it up fairly high with gut mains and it still remains comfortable.

    Pacific Tough Gut 16 / Super Smash Orange 1.23 review updated
     
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2014
    #20
  21. v-verb

    v-verb Hall of Fame

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    Great Thread Ray - thanks for sharing with us!
     
    #21
  22. Faker

    Faker Rookie

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    Hey ray. Do you feel like the 4g played a lot better as a cross in a hybrid or just full bed in your apd? Thanks in advance for your response!
     
    #22
  23. MikeHitsHard93

    MikeHitsHard93 Hall of Fame

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    Nice thread, Ray. I think you should try out Volkl V-torque as a main or full bed poly. It's got that pop that you like while providing unreal spin and control.
     
    #23
  24. Hi I'm Ray

    Hi I'm Ray Hall of Fame

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    Thanks!

    v-verb: nice frames in your sig!

    4G played well in the mains but just tightened up way too quickly for me. I preferred Kirschbaum Pro Line X as it has very similar playing characteristics (but different feel), lasts longer, and you can get a 4-pack of Pro Line X for the price of 1 pack of 4G. 4G was really good as a cross, so I guess I prefer it as a cross in a hybrid.
     
    #24
  25. Hi I'm Ray

    Hi I'm Ray Hall of Fame

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    Thanks! I actually just picked up some V-Torque from TW since they are having a 2 for 1 "Green sale". Looks pretty interesting, just waiting to try this in one of my main rackets.
     
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2014
    #25
  26. MikeHitsHard93

    MikeHitsHard93 Hall of Fame

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    Have you pretty much settled on the APDGT? And that's awesome I didn't know that was going on... However I'm not sure if I should be using full poly anymore in the first place so I'm gonna try out some hybrids myself. I'll be putting it in my pro open which is similar to the APD. Do you have a favorite other than tour bite mains that doesn't break the bank?
     
    #26
  27. danbrenner

    danbrenner Professional

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    Thanks Ray! That is the best post I have seen in quite a while. Just to pick you brain a lil, what would be your go to tension and string for a Wilson Steam 99s?
     
    #27
  28. Hi I'm Ray

    Hi I'm Ray Hall of Fame

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    I hit w/a pretty wide variety of frames but have been using the older Yonex V-Core 100s as my main racket for the better part of a year now - it was an easy transition from the APD and shares a lot of similarities. If you are looking for some comfort in your hybrids I'd recommend a multi cross, as the added comfort is pretty noticeable compared to a syn gut cross. Among multi's that are supposed to have a decently slick surface and are fairly durable, I've used Head RIP Control, Genesis Thunderblast, and I just recently tried Prince Premier Attack. Thunderblast felt the softest with the most give on impact, Premier Attack was the firmest and somewhat crisp compared to the other two, RIP Control was soft, a bit muted but still with good feedback, and IMO the most control oriented of the 3. I prefer RIP Control but that is just a personal preference. RIP Control 17ga should be thick enough as a cross for the Pro Open, and if you try Thunderblast I'd recommend going up 2-3lbs as it lost a noticeable amount of tension after a short break-in period.

    Cyclone, Pro Line X, and Super Smash Orange are all very solid and control oriented poly's with good spin, feedback, and last a pretty decent amount of hrs. I put reviews up on all 3. PLX and SSO are really cheap in the 4-pack (SSO 4-packs are still available if you look around) and Cyclone is discounted in the "poly packs."

    Thanks Dan! While I have played with the Steam 99s and 105s, I'm not familiar enough with them to give a string recommendation. I believe Mikeler now uses an open patterned spin frame and has been trying out thicker polys for them, so he could probably give you a poly rec for the 99s.
     
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2014
    #28
  29. MikeHitsHard93

    MikeHitsHard93 Hall of Fame

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    Thanks a bunch Ray! Keep up the good work :)
     
    #29
  30. Hi I'm Ray

    Hi I'm Ray Hall of Fame

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    Here's a Gut/Multi hybrid review for those interested in a Gut hybrid that's more comfortable than Gut/Poly:

    Mamba Supra 16g (Sheep Gut, mains) / Head RIP Control 16g (Natural, crosses) - moved, to the Gut, Gut/Poly, & Gut/Multi section (post #3)
     
    Last edited: May 27, 2014
    #30
  31. MixedMaster

    MixedMaster Rookie

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    Hey Ray have you ever tried Tecnifiber TGV? It sounds like it could be a very comfortable string for people who may suffer from some type of arm ailment.
     
    #31
  32. Hi I'm Ray

    Hi I'm Ray Hall of Fame

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    I haven't tried TF TGV before. I have tried a few multi's like NRG2, Sensation, RIP Control, Yonex 850, Addiction, NXT, etc., but since I started using econo-gut I find it play much better and will usually opt for the $20 econo-gut over a high end multi that's $16, $18, $20
     
    #32
  33. Hi I'm Ray

    Hi I'm Ray Hall of Fame

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    Titan Natural Gut 16g (mains) / Weiss Cannon Mosquito Bite 1.16mm (crosses, red)

    Power 6/7
    Control 6/7
    Spin 7/7
    Feel 6/7
    Feedback 6/7
    Comfort 3/7
    Hours: only 3hrs before crosses started going "dead"

    The quality between packages of Titan Natural Gut seems to be very inconsistent. The previous pack lost a lot of tension very fast, so I strung this one up a bit high to compensate, but it turns out this pack looks/feels the highest quality so far and has held tension very well. Playing characteristics are pretty similar to the previous Tough Gut / SSO string job in the same racket, so the difference in this one is mainly in the characteristics of the crosses (see below)

    Racket/Tension used: Yonex V-Core 100s @ 60/56lbs

    ---------------------------
     
    Weiss Cannon Mosquito Bite 1.16mm (red)
    (crosses)

    Power 3
    Control 6
    Spin 5
    Feel 5
    Feedback 5
    Comfort 2
    Tension Maintenance 6/7
    Hours 3 (see comments below)

    I read a several recommendations for Mosquito Bite as a cross with natural gut, so I decided to give it a try. Its only available in one thickness (1.16mm) and is noticeably lighter in weight than Super Smash Orange 1.23mm. TW described it as being firm and it certainly felt that way which was surprising given how thin it is. It also felt crisp and had good feel & feedback. Comfort is ok when fresh considering the tension used & the short length of the crosses, but certainly not as comfortable as SSO 1.23. It also held tension well during its short useable lifespan but it was a huge disappointment in the longevity department. It played fine for the first 3hrs but after that consistency started to drop, a feeling of stiffness/harshess started to increase along with discomfort in my hand. The strings did not seem obviously dead (probably masked by the gut mains) so I continued to use it, but I was confused about a slight discomfort I was developing in my hand and about my consistency was becoming worse with my main racket while my misc. frames played fine. The drop in consistency and increase in hand pain became very obvious at around 5-6hrs. So really I only got 3 good hours out of it.

    Racket/Tension used: Yonex V-Core 100s @ 56lbs
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2014
    #33
  34. ringwraith

    ringwraith Rookie

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    Great thread, Ray! I am trying gut mains with 4G crosses and really like the string job compared to my older multi mains/poly crosses and poly mains setups. I have 2 questions / comments -
    1. When you score these strings on feedback, does it mean a higher scoring string has better touch and feel?
    2. I actually thought that 4G as a cross to gut mains had lower spin than the only other cross I tried - Yonex poly tour pro (both strings were 1.25 gauge), although the lower power response and good control made it feel like spin was equally good. I am actually looking to see if I can get 4G like control and good tension maintenance with better spin with gut mains. Any suggestions for this? Sounds like I should try SSO.
     
    #34
  35. Hi I'm Ray

    Hi I'm Ray Hall of Fame

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    Thanks!

    From the first post:
    "Feedback and Feel - I use Feedback and Feel to describe different things. Here I use Feel to describe a positive or negative sensation on impact. Feedback is used to describe how much feedback I get from the strings after hitting the ball, leading to a feeling of connection and confidence or a lack of it."

    A string can provide enough feedback to let me feel connected & confident in my shots, but not have an enjoyable feel on impact - an example of this would be Gosen Polylon and to a lesser extent, Babolat Pro Hurricane Tour with their plasticky feel and odd "boing" sound on impact. An example of the opposite where there is there is very little feedback, I feel very disconnect to my shots and I'm often surprised about how shots are coming off is Big Hitter Black 7 or MSV Focus Hex but they actually have a decently stretchy, sort of soft feel on impact.

    I have a set of Yonex PTP 1.25 that I've been meaning to string up for a long time, 1/2 for mains and 1/2 for crosses w/gut. If you are not needing any more comfort from 4G you may not have anything to gain from SSO 1.23mm, as they are similar but with the difference being mostly in better comfort from SSO (& cost). Iontec 1.20 (round, salmon) did provide a slicker surface and noticeably more spin than the other polys crosses I tried, but not as much control. I just got a set of Iontec 1.30mm courtesy of "mad dog1" and may try 1/2 as crosses w/gut - if you'd like to give it a go before I do, I'd suggest going thicker than 1.20mm.
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2014
    #35
  36. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    I know where mad dog1 got that Iontec 1.30mm. :)
     
    #36
  37. Hi I'm Ray

    Hi I'm Ray Hall of Fame

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    Haha, I had a hit w/mads the same day you posted and there was mention of Iontec, B5E, & Thunderblast when I brought up the thunderblast crosses in one of my frames (which btw was from your recommendation)
     
    #37
  38. Hi I'm Ray

    Hi I'm Ray Hall of Fame

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    Weiss Cannon Scorpion 1.22mm (mains) / Gosen OG Sheep Micro 16 &17g (crosses, natural)

    Power 4/7
    Control 5/7
    Spin 2/7
    Feel 4/7
    Feedback 5/7
    Comfort 4/7
    Hours 6hrs, then loses control, 8-9hrs before becoming too stiff

    I rated Scorpion in a hybrid w/OG Sheep Micro crosses because I didn't enjoy the feel & feedback much w/the other set ups I tried.
    Even though its a poly, I don't find much spin w/Scorpion. It does provides a lot of control & feedback and I like this hybrid most for hitting flat and hard. It seems to provide a more elastic, powerful response and crisp feel on harder strokes, but feels pretty soft, somewhat lifeless, & muted on slower strokes such as slices or defensive shots. On its own or paired w/a soft string like Forten Sweet, it feels too soft and a bit muted, but I thought this string paired really well with OG Sheep Micro crosses, which provided a crisp feel, really nice pop sound on impact, and much improved feedback.

    Racket/Tension used: APDGT @ 53/53lbs, ProKennex Destiny Comp @ 50/50lbs
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2014
    #38
  39. ringwraith

    ringwraith Rookie

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    Got it thanks! For me I was defining feel more by feedback and ability to hit those touch shots / net volleys so that works good. My 4G crosses (with Pac classic 17 mains) actually have started spinning the ball more after a few sessions. The feedback isn't that harsh either so I think this could work.
     
    #39
  40. Hi I'm Ray

    Hi I'm Ray Hall of Fame

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    Head FXP Tour 16 (crosses) - moved, to the "Cross Strings Continued" section, post #16
     
    Last edited: May 27, 2014
    #40
  41. Hi I'm Ray

    Hi I'm Ray Hall of Fame

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    Here's a review of Cyber Blue, since there seems to be some interest in this stuff on the boards in the past couple of weeks.

    Topspin Cyber Blue 1.20mm
    (mains)

    Power 3/7
    Control 3/7
    Spin 3/7
    Feel 3/7
    Feedback 3/7
    Comfort 3/7
    Hours 8+. Longest I played it in a single frame is around 8hrs where it showed no signs of going dead. Swapped it out to compare some other strings.

    I used about a 1/2 reel of this stuff in full beds, in hybrids as mains & crosses, at tensions between 35-55lbs, and head sizes between 90-110. Good feel and comfort for a poly, soft-medium firmness, lively/springy, but maintains a bit of crispness where some of the other soft polys can get a bit too vague & mushy feeling. Seems to lose the crispness and become more muted w/use. Holds tension fairly well. The downside is I would've prefered a little more control, which I think a thicker gauge might provide.
    I compared this side by side w/WeissCannon Silverstring 1.20mm which had a similar level of comfort - I prefered Silverstring for it's more control oriented response.

    Racket/Tension used: Various rackets from 90-110sq in @ 35-55lbs.

    (Will post a review of Cyber Blue as crosses later)
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2014
    #41
  42. Hi I'm Ray

    Hi I'm Ray Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2010
    Messages:
    1,504
    Topspin Cyber Blue 1.20mm
    (Crosses)

    Power 3
    Control 4
    Spin 5
    Feel 4
    Feedback 4
    Comfort 3

    Very similar description to Cyber Blue mains: Has a soft-medium firmness and lively/springy feel while maintaining a bit of crispness. Although it does seem to lose that crispness and feel a bit more muted with use. Has a bit more "give"/deflects backwards more on impact than a typical hard poly, which can be a good or bad thing depending on what you are looking for in a cross.

    Racket/Tension used: Yonex VCore 100s @ 51lbs, Yonex Super RD Tour 90 @ 48lbs, old Dunlop 95sq in @ 35lbs

    -----------------------------

    *Added a small update on my experiences w/Titan Natural Gut after using a few packs, in the Gut & Gut Poly section (post #3)
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2014
    #42
  43. Hi I'm Ray

    Hi I'm Ray Hall of Fame

    Joined:
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    Messages:
    1,504
    Syn gut mains / Poly crosses:

    Forten Sweet 16ga (mains, gold) / Kirschbaum Super Smash Orange 1.23mm (crosses)

    Power 4/7
    Control 2/7
    Spin 3/7
    Feel 3/7
    Feedback 4/7
    Comfort 4/7

    I've found full syn gut to play fairly well in more control oriented rackets. But in a racket w/a livelier response such as a tweener, I find an inconsistent response and a pretty dramatic variation in the launch angle, depending on how hard or soft the shot is. I tried this hybrid in a tweener to see if the poly crosses would add enough control but unfortunately the mains dominate the characteristics of the stringbed and it still plays very much like syn gut. The response & launch angle are still inconsistent, spin is improved but there is less comfort and a harder impact. I'm surprised to see how much more consistent gut/poly and some multifilaments are in comparison.
    I thought the lower friction crosses would cause less wear on the syn gut mains but they were still notching through very quickly.
    IMO a syn gut/poly hybrid might work for those who are already used to the response of syn gut but want a bit more spin or are using a more control oriented racket. But those who are looking for the consistent response, control, and spin of poly/syn gut or gut/poly will likely be disappointed.

    Racket/Tension used: Pure Storm GT @ 55/52lbs
     
    #43
  44. Hi I'm Ray

    Hi I'm Ray Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2010
    Messages:
    1,504
    Hey everyone, sorry for the big gap in posts. I took a break to hike/climb Half Dome via the Cable Route in Yosemite, with a few weeks of training/conditioning leading up to it. The hike was 25miles round trip. Hanging onto a steel cable on the side of that huge rock and pulling yourself up the last 400ft at 8844ft elevation was actually a whole lot of fun. Btw if you slip off the cables you're a goner. Though I haven't posted in a while, I've still been hitting and trying out strings but also spend lot more time hiking up tails and mountains, now doing 5744ft in vertical elevation gain (1mile straight up = 5280ft) & down over 13miles distance in a day, and working up to doing more.
    Below is a review of Prince Premier Attack/Control:

    ----------------------------------------------

    Prince Premier Attack (AKA Prince Premier Control) 17 (white) (crosses)

    Power 4/7
    Control 3/7
    Spin 4/7
    Feel 3/7
    Feedback 4/7
    Comfort 5/7
    Tension Maintenance 5/7

    Despite the generally positive feedback and recommendations this string usually receives, IMO as a cross string it plays very similar to plain synthetic gut with only slightly better spin and comfort. Actually, after more than 10hrs of use in 2 different rackets and different playing conditions, I feel that my consistency and control are noticeably worse than with plain syn gut crosses. So much so that I haven't played with my main racket for over 2 months because this string is in it. It starts off with a crisp feel but quickly loses it with use, much like OGSM, and becomes a bit hollow feeling like many other multi's. It also doesn't dampen harsh vibes as well as other multi's I've tried. For reference, it strung up feeling about 2lbs tighter than Head RIP Control. The good thing is that it has maintained tension very well. Given the choice between this and plain syn gut like PSGO, Forten Sweet, or OGSM, I'd pick the syn gut.

    Racket/Tension used: Yonex V-Core 100s @ 51lbs, Slazenger Pro Braided @ 47lbs
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2014
    #44

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