Kevlar mains, Alu Crosses

Discussion in 'Strings' started by meowmix, Sep 20, 2009.

  1. meowmix

    meowmix Hall of Fame

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    I'm creating a new thread, because the other one has just gotten too cluttered with non-string related chatter. This thread is dedicated to a discussion of this particular setup. Please post reviews/opinions/questions about this particular setup, and please refrain from attacking other players.
     
    #1
  2. meowmix

    meowmix Hall of Fame

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    Originally posted by J011yroger

     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2009
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  3. Doc Hollidae

    Doc Hollidae Hall of Fame

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    I tried this set up for about a month when I was playing with the Radical OS Ltd. Forten kevlar mains and Big Ace crosses. It's not as harsh as some may think, but there's really no point to play with it as a recreational player. If you are having problems controlling the ball, it's more likely technique than needing the lowest powered stringbed. It's lower powered than a full set of poly. You lose a significant amount of pop and feel. The string bed is so dead that you really can swing for the fences at times. In singles it wasn't so bad with the set up, but in doubles the deadness and lack of feel really hurts when volleying, lobbing, and hitting touch shots. Since doubles involves a lot of reaction shots that don't give you a lot of time to take a good cut at the ball, the deadness of the stringbed often doesn't give you pop or depth you need on those shots.
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2009
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  4. Nanshiki

    Nanshiki Hall of Fame

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    No reason to use this setup unless you're an absolutely *massive* stringbreaker like Jolly. And FWIW I would bet that it would be far less playable on a racquet that didn't weigh 14 oz (at that sort of tension at least).

    Unless you just like *really* stiff string beds, although the comment about the linear bite is very interesting.

    OTOH, it could be really good at low tensions for the average player... since Kevlar is cheaper and more durable than ALU; it's also less likely to break prematurely on mis-hits on the edge of the frame.
     
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  5. alidisperanza

    alidisperanza Hall of Fame

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    Ugh... It's starting again.


    the set up isn't only for extreme severe chronic string breakers. It's got some fantastic spin potential and you can actuall feel the racquet "bite" into the ball.

    I hit with it for about an hour today @ 58 in a MG prestige mid. Great control, loopy forehands are definetly favored. You can rip into the ball but again, spin is more of a must here. Flat shots tend to deaden out a bit. Also one of the above posters was right. It's a dead string bed, If you're a poly fan this is a great try!
     
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  6. [d]ragon

    [d]ragon Hall of Fame

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    Why not use ALU in the mains instead to get more of its playing characteristics and use the kevlar in teh crosses for duability? For me atleast, ALU breaks really fast because the mains and crosses tend to cut into each other causing them to break quickly. With the kevlar in the crosses, it would not allow them to cut into each other and put more emphasis on teh ALU (mains dominate a strings playing characteristics)
     
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  7. alidisperanza

    alidisperanza Hall of Fame

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    A third point of view.

    So, since we're looking to get an actual discussion going sans lovely commentary about the "jollyrig" or Simply Ashaway 17g kevlar/Alu Rough crosses I figured I'd throw in my own little review.

    First and foremost. I've been stringing for over 5 years now and have come across quite a few combinations. Let me say this. I HATE stringing this hybrid. It is without a doubt one of the most frustrating, ball breaking, painful jobs you can accomplish. I'm talking spiky shark/gamma ruff seems tame compared to this. I'd rather string gut with all the precautions bells and whistles etc than string this set-up.

    So, Having said that, review time:
    I started by stringing the kevlar mains and the ALU Rough crosses @ 58 lbs in a MG Prestige Mid. Ashaway kevlar is a pretty rough, limp string. It can be a little bit frustrating when you have really small grommets and have to continually cut the kevlar or superglue the tips just to push it through. None the less. No problems here. Kevlar is one of the easiest things to string becuase it has almost literally no stretch / It's pretty darn hard to damage the string short of royally kinking it. Next the crosses. Those of you who've worked with ALU before know that it has an incredible wire-like consistency that's surprisingly flexible and malleable. Having such a rough texture It makes a horrible grating/sawing sound fanning out against the kevlar. If you're lazy and don't take the time to properly fan the crosses through, it sounds like you're revving a darn chainsaw. Not pleasant.

    Short of that it's a bit rough on the fingers. Quite textured. Not fun after a long day.

    I was in a bit of a rush to get out and play so I didn't get a chance to get an initial tension reading. Will definetly do that when I string another one for comparison.

    Hitting:
    After warming up for a bit I switched to the rig. Hitting has a great feel. The first few balls do have a break in period though. After all it is kevlar. Swing style is not for the feint of heart. Especially playing with a prestige, you can't exactly take short little chops at the ball or "backboard" it. To get the full effect of the strings it's best to take long strokes with some solid bat-speed. To qualify that, you are generating your own power with this setup. Hitting dead center does give you a nice response but is certainly not the power one would experience with gut. Accepting that, there's some decent bite on the ball. I found that balls that previously would have smacked into the tape were dipping over into the service box with some nice rebound. Balls were still hitting the baseline to my partner with pretty good height. Wristy top-spin is definetly well received (moon-ball galore!) Hitting flat needed a bit more adjustment than what I'm used to but was definetly do-able.
    Feel was definetly responsive. While the ball comes off the stringbed in a lively manner there isn't much "give" on the strings. Hitting with gut or multi gives almost a "cupped" feeling to groundstrokes. The rig... not so much. It's pretty direct and responsive. You turn your racquet face enough and you feel the ball going there. Mis-hits can be brutal. A buddy of mine has a wicked slice and catching the ball in the upper hoop on a return isn't entirely friendly.

    I've yet to do some serious serve and volley work but will update as I get the chance to play.

    Wear on the strings seems minimal; they're just starting to set into their respective places.


    Hope this gives some insight
     
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  8. sk8ing

    sk8ing Banned

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    sucks 2 b ur stringer
     
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  9. Nanshiki

    Nanshiki Hall of Fame

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    If you hit hard enough to make use of this string bed, you're probably a string breaker... if not, you should use something else.
     
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  10. mawashi

    mawashi Hall of Fame

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    I resorted to using a kevlar/poly setup cus I was restringing almost every week cus the syn gut cross kept getting chewed up.

    My current setup is the Forten 17 kevlar/vantage 17 poly. I felt forten is a getter choice than Ashaway cus it is coated n softer.

    It isn't the most comfortable setup but I does have great spin, durability n very nice touch.

    mawashi
     
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  11. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    although I love the feel of kevlar at high tensions, I wouldn't bother using it with a poly combination. If anything, and my purpose was to prolong the life of the string, I'd use a full set up of kevlar, at a lower tension.
     
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  12. alidisperanza

    alidisperanza Hall of Fame

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    It definatly does. I'm doing 6-10 racquets a week and that stuff hurts!

    Drak. I've tried the full set of kevlar and I found that the poly helps give the strings a bit more feel and pop. Also, With stuff like the Prince problend kevlar and Forten you're right. They "fray" rather than saw. So far with the Ashaway, the stuff saws straight through it's self. At the higher tensions, once it grooves into it's self it expires pretty quickly Throwing in a poly helps the strings slide just a bit. (Lol, not that the texture of Rough doesn't like to saw)
     
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  13. alidisperanza

    alidisperanza Hall of Fame

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    Point taken. Hitting dead flat with this stuff feels like you're giving yourself stress fractures.
     
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  14. mrmo1115

    mrmo1115 Hall of Fame

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    Doesn't seem like the setup I would try and use.
     
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  15. alidisperanza

    alidisperanza Hall of Fame

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    Update!


    Played about an hour of hitting last night then played a 4.5 league match singles on hard-true (Hate the stuff)

    Strings held up beautifully. This is the first chance I've gotten to actually play it out.

    Serve.
    Definetly NOT a 125mph racquet. Flat serves aren't exactly favored. Don't get me wrong. It's entirely possible to hit a dead flat serve but it's much much easier to mix some slice in there. 100mph slice? Totally do-able. With pleasure. *winces* [Wait, let me qualify this before someone tries to rip me a new one. I hit something I "call" a slice where it's half slice, half flat. The resulting effect is higher MPH, little break and a jump out left upon impact. It's not the curvy slice that most players can hit] the strings bite into the ball really well and the response is a nice slide across the cort. I had a friend with a really impressive slice hit a few serves with it and he was able to hook the ball from the T- to the other side of the box... It looked like an optical illusion. I found the best results from regular spin serves. A heavy penetrating ball was produced with great control. Average serve height was about 4.5 feet. Most importantly though,I was able to put the ball out wide, down the T or into my opponent's body with relative ease. It definetly helped me win my match.

    Volleys
    Very crisp. Very easy to snap the ball down and keep it low or penetrate the court. What I was a bit shocked to find was that I'm developing touch. (mind you, I'm a power/spin player and have never had anything even resembling touch) I was able to consistently, for the first time ever, hit drop volleys. SO excited to test this further out.

    Topspin-
    Generation is So easy if you have a longer, fast stroke. Variation between dropping the ball in the service box or a foot from the baseline was pretty easy too. Moon-balling, although something I usually don't do, is pretty controlled as well. I was able to throw up some nice lobs that landed within 2' of the baseline.

    Slice-
    AAAAH so much fun. The slice is where this baby shines. The balls zip off the frame for a sharp, low slice. My opponent was often hitting the ball 3-4" off the floor thanks to the crummy green-stuff. Made it very easy to come in and put the ball away. Hitting lofty floaters has a great feel as well. What impressed me most, again, was that I was able to hit drop shots fairly painlessly. I only missed 2 in 2 sets. Unheard of!!!

    Racquet condition-
    Figure I added a little over 2.5 hours to my playing time on this frame and it's safe to say that the rough around the 8-11 crosses is Pretty-much gone. The Kevlar center 6 mains intersecting those crosses are starting to take a beating. The texture isn't smooth or uniform anymore. The mains are definetly notched and visibly thinning. The only issue I've had thus far is some tension loss but I'm pretty sure it's due to my leaving my racquet in the car for the day(it happened to be darn hot for Fall =[ ). I didn't feel like dragging it around campus to class. Big mistake, I should know better.

    All in all, I'm loving it. A few tweaks here and there and I may have a new playable favorite. Will update as I play. For now I have to go to class.

    ~A
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2009
    #15
  16. TonyB

    TonyB Hall of Fame

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    I'd love to hear how many of you that switch to this hybrid start having arm/elbow problems after about 1 month of playing.

    Please reply back to this thread in a few weeks so that the rest of us can benefit from your experience.
     
    #16
  17. Nanshiki

    Nanshiki Hall of Fame

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    This is the primary reason why I said it's for string breakers only... if you can't hit a hard flat serve with a string, but you can with a different string, you need to use something else. That, or make your racquet weigh more.
     
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  18. Bud

    Bud Bionic Poster

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    This sounds like the Jolly Rig :-D
     
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  19. meowmix

    meowmix Hall of Fame

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    ^Wonder why. I simply created this thread because nothing was getting accomplished in that thread... except Jolly was getting bashed. Just wondered if anybody had anything productive to contribute.
     
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  20. alidisperanza

    alidisperanza Hall of Fame

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    I'm sorry I should have qualified that statement. Hitting flat serves isn't impossible, just not as comfortable as it is with the poly/natural combo I usually play with. I can still hit in the 110-115range, just that the racquet is less forgiving/springy. Also, I'm currently playing with a leaded KPS and a leaded Prestige.

    It is. Minus all the extra. We're trying to keep it strictly string related.

    I've had tennis elbow and wrist pain playing with my liquidmetal radicals some time ago. I found, though, that tennis elbow has to do primarily with your swing and then with your strings. Wristy topspin is liable to give the most durable of us problems =/ This set up is not as stiff as I expected it to be to be honest. As for elbow problems, I'm a regular x-life Hybrid user @ 62 lbs (Aramid/Mono copolymer with wraps)
     
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  21. mawashi

    mawashi Hall of Fame

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    Serving n playing with this setup is fine, it's the miss hits tt I'm worried about LOL! Jarring is an understatement!

    I agree tt TE is primarily caused by bad technique n having watched Novak's free coaching vid on youtube, I realized how smooth his strokes are.

    mawashi
     
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  22. Nanshiki

    Nanshiki Hall of Fame

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    Well, I don't mean so much that someone CAN'T hit a flat serve, but using very stiff strings, or very high tension makes it so much harder (or painful, when you have to try that much more) that any extra performance you think you're gaining on groundstrokes is somewhat negated by the lack of pop on the most important shot in the game (if it goes in. If not, it's the second serve, followed by the return)... hence, if I had to choose between a string that had great spin, power, and durability versus a string that had great spin, no power (on serve), and extreme durabiliy, I'd chose the former in a heartbeat. But then again I don't break strings except on mis-hits or pull-throughs.

    Plus, the heavier your racquet is, the more reasonable using this setup becomes. Your KPS is probably close 380 grams, or more...and I bet your Prestige is close to 13 OZ as well. At that weight level, a ~90-sq inch racquet with ALU mains and syn gut crosses at 55 will feel like it's strung with badminton gut. Slight exaggeration.
     
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2009
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  23. Nanshiki

    Nanshiki Hall of Fame

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    It's fine if you never, ever mis-hit... but then again, name a player who does that. :p

    And don't say Federer, because he does it to.

    FWIW, Novak uses a fairly heavy, very flexy (yes, flexy) racquet with natural gut mains and relatively soft poly crosses at a fairly reasonable tension (lower 60's I think), so it's not like he's using an armbreaker like Nadal does.
     
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  24. DownTheLine

    DownTheLine Hall of Fame

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    How do you like your youtek speed 18x20?
     
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  25. alidisperanza

    alidisperanza Hall of Fame

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    Lies! Dirty Lies!!! Fed is so good that Chuck Norris lent him his hair to weave into the racquet. It's so special it conforms to the ball to make for the perfect shot. Hence the six open tit...err... Oops? Guess not :lol:

    Ohyeah. I forgot to add, My prestige is a wee bit heavier than usual. I have some lead up at 12. Very Plow-y
     
    #25
  26. Confusedaboutgear

    Confusedaboutgear Rookie

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    i got that with my youtek SP it was reallly stiff past my liking ( i really like stiff strings and racquets but it was like 20 boards stacked together) it hurt my wrist after a few days but i couldnt decide if it was good or not since the kevlar was shredding
     
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  27. mawashi

    mawashi Hall of Fame

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    You do sound confused LOL! It hurts your wrist n is stiff like hell but you still can't decide if it's good for you LOL?

    mawashi
     
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  28. Confusedaboutgear

    Confusedaboutgear Rookie

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    the strings were used alot before i got them so yeah.. sorry i dont think i made that clear enough :] but yes i am really confused about strings and stuff :-?
     
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  29. mawashi

    mawashi Hall of Fame

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    Dude then say so that it's used n it's already frayed by the time you got to hit with it.

    Don't you think it's the wrong setup for you anyway? You're wrist hurts just after a few days, that's a good enough reason NOT to use it right?

    However, the Speed Pro is pretty stiff too so you're using a very stiff fame with a stiff string setup so it could be one or another?

    mawashi
     
    #29
  30. Confusedaboutgear

    Confusedaboutgear Rookie

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    Yup yup i changed the strings a few months ago so im ok now hah
     
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  31. alidisperanza

    alidisperanza Hall of Fame

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    Hahah I know this feeling... When you KNOW something's not good for you, that probably is causing more damage than anything else and yet it feels soooo good.

    Kinda like playing tennis with a hairline fracture in your left hand, knowing that the doctor is going to tell you to stop playing so you just avoid that whole nasty conversation. Don't go. Then learn to hit a 1 handed backhand instead :twisted:
     
    #31
  32. tlm

    tlm Legend

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    Exactly this set up is not just for string breakers as so many think it is. There is nothing that plays so consistent, control control and more control with great spin and it does not turn to crap in 3 hours like poly does.

    I do lose some pop off the court and power but I can play the most consistent tennis with this set up. All you have to do is put some slice on the serve and it is almost automatic, it really helps defensive play and it is deadly for drop shots and lobs.

    Plus I have total confidence on any short ball to go on full attack because of the built in restricted flight that comes with kevlar. I do get in trouble hitting to short if I get lazy or am getting rushed to much because there is no free power.

    Believe me this set up is not just for string breakers. I use gamma power play 18 gauge at 58 lbs. with yonex poly tour spin 17 gauge at 63 lbs. in the crosses and it plays fantastic.
     
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