Is string stiffness the same as string crispness?

Discussion in 'Strings' started by mikeler, Aug 4, 2010.

?

Is string stiffness the same as string crispness?

  1. Yes

    13.3%
  2. No

    86.7%
  1. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2008
    Messages:
    19,551
    Location:
    Central Florida
    Please explain why or why not.
     
    #1
  2. Keifers

    Keifers Legend

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2005
    Messages:
    5,119
    Yes. Incontrovertibly, my dear Watson.

    Because the experts say so.
     
    #2
  3. Kirko

    Kirko Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2004
    Messages:
    2,916
    "crispness" is personal thing >>

    what I think is crisp you might reject as crisp.
     
    #3
  4. larry10s

    larry10s Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2008
    Messages:
    3,976
    stiffness can be measured.
    crispness is subjective.
     
    #4
  5. fgs

    fgs Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2007
    Messages:
    3,356
    Location:
    Vienna, Austria
    of course not. as i'm not a native speaker i looked up the definitions in the websters and the conclusion is that these two words are not synonims.
    there are lots of players who refer to natural gut as providing a crisp feeling. i can agree with that. natural gut is very soft in terms of stiffness measurement but provides this crisp, fresh feeling. i may make another analogy - kfc sells crispy strips. well, there is nothing stiff about them!
    no matter what string and what material and gauge you'll use, if you string it very tight, you'll have a very stiff stringbed but not a crisp stringbed. it will feel dead - even with natty gut at very high tensions (35-40kg).
    glass is stiff but surely not crisp.
    crispness is to some extent correlated to stiffness, but there are also other factors that tune in. recoil speed of the stringbed for instance, which would give you this crisp, fresh, lively feeling.
    the problem with stiffness and crispness is that there are so many variables AND let's not forget that most lab tests are made on one piece of string - not a stringbed as we encounter on the court.
    therefore we sometimes find that these measurements do not correlate fully with the court experience - i played the pacific poly force extreme. according to rsi measurements it's one of the stiffest polys on the market but it played surprisingly "soft, elastic, crisp". same goes for the luxilon adrenaline. other strings which are quite considerably lower in the rsi-rating play much stiffer in the sense of dead, no liveliness, no elasticity - low recoil speed of the STRINGBED in my opinion.
    all these things depend on the stick you use, the balls you use, the temperatures you play at, the stringpattern, your swingspeed, your strokemechanics and the list can go on and on.
    i hit in the upper third of the racquet, so a string that performs well when hit in the sweetspot can be harsh with my stroke habit and therefore another player, even if having comparable stroke mechanics, the same stick and the same tension might love the string while i find it not to be fitting.
    stiffness ratings are not absolute and a tennis player will never be in the controled environment of a lab test!!!!
     
    #5
  6. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2007
    Messages:
    12,647
    Location:
    Bierlandt
    Stiffness can be measured, whereas I believe that "crispness" is more psychological and subjective, and cannot be measured.

    I have tried some strings that seem crisp and measure at a given number on the RSI stiffness scale. I have tried other strings that measure almost exactly the same stiffness, but do not feel crisp at all to me.

    Two examples are CF 1.20 and SPPP 1.18. CF 1.20 measures 236 on the RSI stiffness scale and does feel crisp to me. SPPP 1.18 measures 239 on the same scale, but felt quite mushy or squishy, IMO.

    Maybe in the future someone will invent a way of measuring "crispness." But as of right now, it is rather subjective.
     
    #6
  7. rodrigoamaral

    rodrigoamaral Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2010
    Messages:
    1,667
    it definately is not..

    how you can guys ruin "centered"'s day like this?? i see him posting by this afternoon and i expect to see some f-bombs thrown at us
     
    #7
  8. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2008
    Messages:
    19,551
    Location:
    Central Florida
    ^^^ I'm looking forward to seeing the "one" vote for Yes :)
     
    #8
  9. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

    Joined:
    May 3, 2004
    Messages:
    24,465
    Location:
    FT. Lauderdale, Florida
    as others have pointed out, stiffness could be measured.

    to me, a srting like BBO is very stiff, put I would hardly refer to it is a crisp string. More like a harsh,stiff string.

    To me "crisp" would be a string that is lively feeling, and provides excellent feedback without having that "harsh/dead/muted" feel.
     
    #9
  10. SteveI

    SteveI Legend

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2004
    Messages:
    5,333
    That sums it up for me.. TF X-1 is crisp IMO...but not stiff.
     
    #10
  11. Keifers

    Keifers Legend

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2005
    Messages:
    5,119
    To all those voting "No" :

    How dare you??!!

    Go to your rooms immediately.
     
    #11
  12. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2008
    Messages:
    19,551
    Location:
    Central Florida

    Still waiting for the first dissenting Yes vote.
     
    #12
  13. DownTheLine

    DownTheLine Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2009
    Messages:
    2,406
    There ya go. :)
     
    #13
  14. Keifers

    Keifers Legend

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2005
    Messages:
    5,119
    You mean from The Dissenter?
     
    #14
  15. Keifers

    Keifers Legend

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2005
    Messages:
    5,119
    Idiot. We were saving the first Yes vote for The Dissenter.
     
    #15
  16. Centered

    Centered Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2010
    Messages:
    1,646
    Location:
    Vancouver
    In other polling:

    Spontaneous generation.
    Flat Earth.
    Geocentrism.
    Facts, do you believe in them?
    Measurements? Bah!
     
    #16
  17. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2008
    Messages:
    19,551
    Location:
    Central Florida

    OK, now I'm waiting for vote #2 :)
     
    #17
  18. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2008
    Messages:
    19,551
    Location:
    Central Florida
    Hmm, a flat earth poll might be kind of interesting.
     
    #18
  19. gflyer

    gflyer Professional

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2008
    Messages:
    880
    Location:
    NorCal
    Vote #3 :)
     
    #19
  20. Centered

    Centered Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2010
    Messages:
    1,646
    Location:
    Vancouver
    I'm was thinking of starting a poll about whether or not the moon is really made of green cheese, but I think instead I'll ask if Girl Scout cookies are made from real girl scouts.
     
    #20
  21. MarrratSafin

    MarrratSafin Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2009
    Messages:
    1,890
    No, IMHO. Luxilon Alu is stiff but I won't call it crisp, more like boardy and dead. WeissCannon Turbotwist is soft yet crisp feeling for me. Even the soft multi's like X1-Biphase can feel crisp.
     
    #21
  22. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2008
    Messages:
    19,551
    Location:
    Central Florida

    I'll vote on either of those.
     
    #22
  23. bad_call

    bad_call Legend

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2006
    Messages:
    5,422
    crispness ~ how ball leaves the strings...just a thought.
     
    #23
  24. Chezbeeno

    Chezbeeno Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2009
    Messages:
    773
    I think not. I view stiffness as a negative attribute whereas crispness is something I definitely desire in a string. Crispness is what gives you excellent feel on the ball (in my opinion at least) but a stiff string might very well feel quite dead on impact.
     
    #24
  25. donnygg

    donnygg Rookie

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2006
    Messages:
    262
    For me, a crisp string pockets the ball and snaps back. A mushy string pockets and slowly propels the ball. A stiff string doesn't pocket. So, to me, no, stiffness =/= crispness.
     
    #25
  26. bad_call

    bad_call Legend

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2006
    Messages:
    5,422
    yeah...i see you got the memo.
     
    #26
  27. kcjim

    kcjim New User

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2010
    Messages:
    83
    imo crispness is a function of how quick a string returns to its original position (and hence the rate of energy return to the ball) after being struck, whereas stiffness is a strings resistance to deflection when struck. They would have to be two different things, therefore.
     
    #27
  28. The Dampener

    The Dampener Professional

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2006
    Messages:
    1,325
    Hate to monkeywrench this discussion, but where does firmness fit in?
     
    #28
  29. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2008
    Messages:
    19,551
    Location:
    Central Florida

    Start your own poll pal! :)
     
    #29
  30. genius24

    genius24 Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2010
    Messages:
    741
    Location:
    chicago
    you need to ask Centered, the TTW resident expert on this...
     
    #30
  31. Centered

    Centered Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2010
    Messages:
    1,646
    Location:
    Vancouver
    I think you mean the Tennis Warehouse Professor, the people who write the Racquet Sports Industry articles, and every Engineer and Physicist on the planet. Find me a textbook, or even an academic paper, that discusses the properties of strings that supports the notion that there is a unique property called crispness.

    After all, none of those people have supported the claim that there's some mysterious property of strings called "crispness". However, what the Tennis Warehouse professor said is that stiffness is the only objective property for comparing strings. And RSI said stiffness and crispness are synonymous.

    People can pretend that polls affect reality and that expert-back facts don't exist if they want to. Please continue! So far no one in this forum has provided even a shred of actual proof that crispness is different than stiffness. Anecdote and the bandwagon and ad hominem fallacies don't cut it.
     
    #31
  32. Centered

    Centered Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2010
    Messages:
    1,646
    Location:
    Vancouver
    I've said it before and I'll say it again:

    I am perfectly happy to see crispness as something different from stiffness once someone here does credible testing and provides some evidence.

    Or, just pick up an Engineering textbook and post a PDF of the relevant material, highlighted.

    Really, any sort of actual evidence will do.
     
    #32
  33. gflyer

    gflyer Professional

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2008
    Messages:
    880
    Location:
    NorCal
    Stiffness is a physical measurable property.
    Crispness is more a perception of stiffness IMHO.
    So crispness CANNOT be measured and it IS NOT the same thing as stiffness.
    But for one specific person the perception is always the same.
    So if I use two different strings, the stiffer one will feel crispier TO ME.
    So for one specific person stiffness and crispness are strictly correlated.

    Now, I am thinking how to come up with an argument to prove that the moon is flat. :)
    fun thread. Thanks.
    Cheers,
    g
     
    #33
  34. Centered

    Centered Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2010
    Messages:
    1,646
    Location:
    Vancouver
    By that logic, crispness and stiffness are the same.

    All you're saying is that crispness is a muddy understanding of stiffness. That's hardly impressive.

    And if the argument is that crispness is so subjective then it's a waste of time for people to comment on it, because it will only matter "TO THEM".
     
    #34
  35. Centered

    Centered Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2010
    Messages:
    1,646
    Location:
    Vancouver
    If there's no evidence for it, it's magic, not a physical property in reality.

    Saying something can't be measured is a cop-out and it won't fly. The emperor's new set of clothing can't be measured, either.

    You know, I've been through all this before. I don't care to repeat myself a dozen times.
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2010
    #35
  36. jmverdugo

    jmverdugo Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2006
    Messages:
    2,971
    Location:
    Houston, TX

    I am an engineer and I beleive they are different. I beleive that the stiffness is a property of the string and the crispness is refered to the whole stringbed. It may not be a property but it is the feeling you get from hitting with a given string at a given tension. By the way, the measurement of stiffness on a string is done to a single string. You can have a string in your hand and you can tell if it is stiff or not but you can't tell the type of stringbed it will produce. With some strings you get a stringbed that everytime you hit ball you feel like the strings "breaks" , it is a very distinctive feeling, that is IMO crispness. Can it be measured? I do not know, I know crispness in food can be measured, but honestly I really do not care.
     
    #36
  37. Centered

    Centered Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2010
    Messages:
    1,646
    Location:
    Vancouver
    Then, as I suggested in the older topic on this, perhaps this "crispness" has to do with foundational stiffness, as well as dynamic stiffness.

    In any case, it's still a matter of stiffness. The problem one runs into when dealing with issues of foundational stiffness is ambiguity, as the engineering text I quoted mentioned. There are a lot of variables, like:

    String tension. String pattern. Head shape. Racquet material. Where the ball was stuck on the string bed. And on and on. It makes things needlessly complicated when comparing strings unless all the variables are the same. And, how is someone going to practically measure foundational stiffness given the plethora of racquets and tensions used?

    Maybe it's worth doing, but "crispness" it ain't. It's still a matter of stiffness.
     
    #37
  38. Centered

    Centered Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2010
    Messages:
    1,646
    Location:
    Vancouver
    The problem with this "crispness" stuff is that even if it has something to do with foundational stiffness it can also be a matter of the dynamic stiffness in the way people use the term – mixed up. It makes things too muddy.

    There needs to be a way to separate foundational from dynamic stiffness in order for comparisons to be clear enough. And, I'd like someone to prove that this is a matter of foundational stiffness before I spend a lot more time musing on it. So far, no one talking about strings in an expert capacity has discussed foundational stiffness as being a significant factor.
     
    #38
  39. jmverdugo

    jmverdugo Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2006
    Messages:
    2,971
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    There are not a lot of variables, since I am talking about something I feel and it is relative, all I have to do to know the feeling of a given string is to string my racquet with it and go out a hit with it. The only variable is the string.

    Do you have any tests that show it isn't crispness? ... nevermind ... I am done with this discussion.
     
    #39
  40. Centered

    Centered Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2010
    Messages:
    1,646
    Location:
    Vancouver
    The Engineering encyclopedia says foundational stiffness involves ambiguity.

    But that "feeling", this high level of subjectivity due to many variables, is hardly useful when comparing strings in an objective practical way. It's like my signature, with a quote from Brian Gottfried (paraphrase):

    I kept asking the technicians for a more flexible racquet, but after much trial and error nothing worked. After Warren Bosworth got involved I realized I actually wanted a stiffer racquet!

    That a tennis professional can be so clueless about stiffness suggests that highly subjective musing about "crispness" isn't very useful in comparison with objective testing/measurement. As the TW Prof and RSI make clear, stiffness is what matters.

    Not that again.

    Once again, when someone makes a claim that has no evidence to back it up, the burden of proof is on them. I have backed up my claims with hard evidence. Even my musing about foundational stiffness has an Engineering encyclopedia entry to back it up.

    The "crispness" stuff ranges from "it can't be tested" to "it is so subjective that only I can understand what it's like for me".
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2010
    #40
  41. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2008
    Messages:
    19,551
    Location:
    Central Florida
    Finally this thread has gotten going! My thanks to Centered for finally engaging.
     
    #41
  42. bumfluff

    bumfluff Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    May 1, 2007
    Messages:
    521
    Location:
    South England/Scotland
    My opinion is that stiffness is different to crispness.

    Stiffness is easily measured as the resultant rate of strain under an applied rate of stress when a material is not subjected to loads which cause it to deform plastically (ie. an unrecoverable deformation). This however is a static load test which is not the conditions when playing tennis, a dynamic load test on a string bed would vary not only due to string type but also string pattern, racket size etc.

    Crispness is not a quantity as such, however I believe it could still be measured but not in a situation which could apply to every player and every racket. Crispness is based on feedback to the player which in tennis would be in the form of vibrations from the string bed. It would be possible to measure vibrations in the handle and determine whether a string is crisp or not based upon some average string which would have to be user specific. My guess would be that a crisp string would give a larger amplitude of vibration giving more feedback to the player.
     
    #42
  43. gflyer

    gflyer Professional

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2008
    Messages:
    880
    Location:
    NorCal
    Chill out man.
    I just stated my opinion. I am not saying I am right...and to be honest I don't care if I am right. It is the least of my problems.
    I just come to this board for fun not to expand my ego.
    Cheers,
    G
     
    #43
  44. The Dampener

    The Dampener Professional

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2006
    Messages:
    1,325
    Posters egos can't be measured, but I'm pretty sure they exist.

    Anyone care to debate me on that?
     
    #44
  45. jmverdugo

    jmverdugo Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2006
    Messages:
    2,971
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    Years ago there were tons of things that couldn't be measured but smart people wouldn't dare to say that they did not exist, same thing happen these days, just because something can't be measured or isn't defined yet it doesn't mean that it doesn't exist, people need to leave open the posibility to new ideas - things change everyday. There is also the chance that some people have reached their top level of understanding so it doesn't matter what do you say they just can't get it, then any discussion becomes useless. Now I need some stairs to get down of my high horse ...:)

    [​IMG]
     
    #45
  46. Centered

    Centered Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2010
    Messages:
    1,646
    Location:
    Vancouver
    Going in circles once again. Someone wake me when some actual evidence is produced for your side.
    (The world's biggest eye roll.)
     
    #46
  47. rodrigoamaral

    rodrigoamaral Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2010
    Messages:
    1,667
    Centered: You are losing 36-6..maybe it's time to move on to another, more intelligent discussion?
     
    #47
  48. Centered

    Centered Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2010
    Messages:
    1,646
    Location:
    Vancouver
    The Tennis Warehouse article clearly states that dynamic, not static, stiffness is the main issue.
    Stiffer strings feel stiffer. Whether or not vibration is perceived differently will likely depend upon some of the variables I mentioned, like stringing tension, racquet material/shape, and so forth. A stiff string in a wooden racquet is not going to cause shock that feels the same as if it's in a Pure Drive.

    I'm done with the speculation. If someone wants to prove this crispness, write to the TW Professor and get him/her to post!
     
    #48
  49. Centered

    Centered Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2010
    Messages:
    1,646
    Location:
    Vancouver
    Your latter point is a good one, since the former shows just how paltry this "discussion" is. If you think truth is created by popularity I suggest re-evaluating that belief. There are more people in North America who believe in Astrology and psychics, too.
     
    #49
  50. The Dampener

    The Dampener Professional

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2006
    Messages:
    1,325
    No, of course not. The truth isn't created by popularity. It's created by categorically dismissing others and their beliefs in the hopeless pursuit of being crowned The Last Poster Standing.

    Sheesh, everyone knows that!
     
    #50

Share This Page