How Much of What You Feel is the Racquet, and How Much the Strings ?

Discussion in 'Racquets' started by ibo, Dec 21, 2012.

  1. ibo

    ibo New User

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    ...that is the question.

    I just got done hitting with the ball machine using four demo racquets:

    Prince EXO3 100 Tour
    Prince EXO3 Rebel 95
    Volkl PB 10 Mid
    Powerangle Pro

    I picked these because of the higher arm-friendliness per the TW reviews. I got all four with multi-filament since that is what I will be using. The strings all looked in good shape (no fraying etc), but I still can't get past the thought that one racquet may feel better than the other because of some property of the string, and not so much because of the racquet itself.

    I am guessing there's no way of knowing, but I thought I would just put the question out there anyway...
     
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  2. Top Jimmy

    Top Jimmy Semi-Pro

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    I'd say it's a 50/50 split.

    Get the same racket strung with different strings, can play totally different.

    Two similar spec rackets can play completely different even with the same string.

    I'd say you're fine since they are all in the same string family.

    Probably the biggest difference for you will be string tension.
     
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  3. Povl Carstensen

    Povl Carstensen Legend

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    Hm, when my strings are fresh (Gosen OG micro) a lot of my rackets feel great. Maybe I should just bite the apple and restring every second time I play, but I don't want to/cant be bothered.
     
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  4. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    So each demo had a different string?
     
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  5. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    every racquet will have a distinct feel, no matter what the strings. But...different strings can alter or enhance this feel by quite a lot.
    I would say about 70/30 racquet/strings.
     
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  6. ibo

    ibo New User

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    Well, all I know is they're all multis. Beyond that, I have no idea about tension, age or whatever else.
     
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  7. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    Since you got 4 at a time, I'll make an assumption they are all Tennis Warehouse demos? If that is true, they probably are all the same string at the same tension. So now, the only variable is string age which is still important.

    I'm an Exo Tour user. Did you get the 16x18 or 18x20? Two totally different sticks IMHO.
     
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2012
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  8. ibo

    ibo New User

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    Yes, got them from TW.

    I got the 16x18 based on the assumption that an open string pattern may just that little easier on the arm. I have had arm issues as you have probably guessed. It's certainly much better than it was, but I still want a softer impact (been using BLX blade 98 for a year+).

    Thing is, I really wanted to like the EXO3 100 Tour after seeing how it has a dedicated legion of fans, and I did like it except that it didn't give me the solid feeling that I got from the Rebel 95. I still have a few days so I will try them out some more, but the Rebel has my attention for now. I saw the thread where people talk about adding lead weight here and there to add heft to the Tour, and I think I see why. The thing is I have no idea how that would be, whereas I think the Rebel is good in stock form.

    One slight worry I have is that it seems the Rebel is 12 oz. I hadn't noticed it being particularly heavy, but I am wondering if it may become an issue after an extended period.

    I've always thought that you have to just find something that you like and find a way of adjusting to whatever its peculiarities may be.

    So you are a Tour user. How does it compare for you with the Rebel ?
     
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  9. Stringers

    Stringers Rookie

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    Pretty sure TW puts NXT in almost all demos unless prince has a specific multi they put in their frame etc.
     
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  10. ibo

    ibo New User

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    The Rebel's string is black. Does NXT come in black ?
     
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  11. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    NXT does come in black. I don't like NXT. The Exo Tour has a unique feel. I think it is better for counter punchers. Not an offensive stick but it is so easy on my arm.
     
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  12. dgdawg

    dgdawg Professional

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    I absolutely agree with this.....but I also feel the playability can be enhanced with different string combos and tension. This is just my opinion tho. I have over 300 customers and some are quite neurotic, to put it mildly. Some are forever on a quest for string "nirvana". Most, after string/tension trial & error find what they're looking for. Some never will.
    I've played with Blade Team frames for quite a while (soon to switch to a 98") and know I can change the playability characteristics with a specific string combo & tension. But the overall feel of that frame is what feels best for me.
     
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  13. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    Only weirdos keep trying different strings. :)
     
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  14. dgdawg

    dgdawg Professional

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    Some can be weirdos, that's for sure! Do you string?
    I've found most "experimenters" are just neurotic.....obsessive to a degree, trying to find the right combo.
    Kinda like finding the right tires for your Lamborghini :shock:

    13,153 posts in 4 yrs. You have a lot of input, bro..... :)
     
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  15. Chotobaka

    Chotobaka Hall of Fame

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    Regarding demo string set-ups, I have demoed 4 racquets at a time from TW on at least a monthly basis over the past couple of years (the most weeklong entertainment you can get for $11 IMO). Some racquets are strung with the manufacturers' brand strings, the majority are not. Among the ones that are not using the manufacturers' strings, the strings are all over the place brand-wise. They all seem to be multi or high end syn gut. A few have been brand new but most have that lived-in look. Measuring DT, I found almost all to be less than the mid-point in the manufacturers' recommended tension range -- none significantly beyond mid-point. Actually, the most consistent thing are the Wilson grips that are predominately used to replace the original grips. The string sets ups, however, are close enough that I feel I have basically gotten the comparative feel of the racquets without great influence of the strings.
     
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  16. matchmaker

    matchmaker Hall of Fame

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    I think the racquet contributes much more to feel than the string. I really think the type of string is not that important in a demo. OTOH, some racquets are very tension-sensitive. Such racquets only perform well at a very narrow tension range. So, if in any of those racquets the string tension is really off, than you might get a really wrong impression of the racquet.

    To give you an example, I have a Volkl V-Engine that really needs to be strung at the higher end of the recommended tension range to grab the ball well. String it lower and many balls will fly on you. String it at the tension range it performs well at, then you have a sublime control racquet that grabs the ball really well.

    From your list, I know the PB mid and I imagine that it will perform well at any tension. The Power Angle racquets OTOH, are known to perform much better at higher tensions as crosses are very long, basically they are like mains.
     
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  17. dgdawg

    dgdawg Professional

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    I'd have to absolutely agree with this (FWIW)
    After a player finds the "right stick", string & tension is pretty much fine tuning.
     
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  18. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    Much of the input is in 1 thread:

    http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=352048
     
    #18
  19. Shangri La

    Shangri La Hall of Fame

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    Eighty-twenty.
     
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  20. jnd28

    jnd28 Rookie

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    I have to be the contrarian here. I would say the strings are way more important than people here are giving them credit for. I would give the percentages at 70/30 with strings being 70. I have often thought that the first racket manufacture that invests in fresh strings for their demos will kick some major butt in the market.
    Jnd28
     
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  21. brownbearfalling

    brownbearfalling Hall of Fame

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    This is the most common way people approach tennis racquet and strings. Narrowing down a racquet is already hard enough that most players stop there. The frame itself will make the most drastic difference in the performance. Duh. To put it another way a frame can change the performance of strings more than strings can change the performance of a frame. Some might argue. I wouldn't dare post this in the strings section.
    Another reason why you should pick a racquet first: You are replacing strings more often than you are replacing racquets. Generally.

    OP:
    To answer you question about how much of feel is racquet vs strings: some aspects is racquet and some aspects is strings and then some are both.
    Aspects that are racquet:
    1. Weight and swing weight (balance etc)
    2. Maneuverability
    3. Grip size

    Strings
    1.feel of Impact of ball then trajectory of ball

    Both
    1. Stiffness

    By all means this isn't a completely break down but just a sample to give you an idea of how you can distinguishes a characteristic that is influenced more by racquet, strings or both.

    To help you with you search for a new racquet, you have know you preferences and have those preferences set. What I mean is that if you can slowly narrow down what you want in a racquet that will help you very much. Some common aspects are: Headsize, weight, grip shape, string pattern and stiffness. Using the listed specifications of the racquets you are trying helps you narrow down what you lie and don't like about the racquet rather than going off of overall feel. Receiving a demo from tw that is the perfect racquet, string and tension combo is like winning powerball.
     
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  22. ibo

    ibo New User

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    That makes a lot of sense. I suppose that in making my selection I have implicitly assessed these aspects anyway. I ended up going with the Rebel 95. The coming weeks will show whether that was a good choice for me. Hitting with a racquet a couple of times gives you a feel, but adapting and getting more out of it takes longer.
     
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  23. MikeHitsHard93

    MikeHitsHard93 Hall of Fame

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    I know I am a little late on this topic, but I agree that TW does not usually use the same multis for demo orders. I always get a mix. One time I demoed a ig extreme mp and it was strung with a yonex string...
     
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  24. MikeHitsHard93

    MikeHitsHard93 Hall of Fame

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    Great choice in my opinion. The rebel 95 is currently the only recent prince stick that I even like. The others are mushy to me. I used to be all for prince until demoing a couple Wilson's...I love traditional grommets...
     
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  25. yonexRx32

    yonexRx32 Rookie

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    50/50 or 70/30 unless it's 20/80. It depends

    Some rackets are relatively sensitive to strings, others aren't.

    I tried Technifibre poly in the mains on Dunlop Max 200g and the racket felt dead as a board, even though the string tension was 48lbs. The same racket strung with natural gut at 54 plays like a dream. Same with multi at 54-54lbs.

    My PK Redondo Mid+ has no issue with the poly.
     
    #25
  26. srvnvly

    srvnvly Professional

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    I say 69/31. I like my BLX Blade 98 much better with X1B at 2 or more labs below the bottom suggested stringing tension. I get more power and feel at this lower tension.
     
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