Low Friction Poly X's For Gut Mains : Softer Alternative to MSV Co-Focus?

Discussion in 'Strings' started by ChicagoJack, Oct 13, 2012.

  1. ChicagoJack

    ChicagoJack Hall of Fame

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    Hi All,

    I'm on a hunt for a low friction, and most of all, comfortable option for a cross string with gut mains. I've been playing with Gut/Poly for about five years now, and Gut/Co-Focus for a majority of those years. But I'm searching for something a little more comfortable. I've cross referenced the string friction rankings [1] with string stiffness, as well as tension loss. Below is a list of demo possibilities that popped up based on those criteria. My approach is to use the available testing data only to trim the demo pool from the 900 or so commercially available string, down to a more manageable 20-30 to demo. Then I forget about the data entirely once I'm on the court, and I use what works best and feels right. I'll be updating my experience as time permits.

    March 17, 2014 Edit : Underlined means I've demoed it. The Grey Font just means it's a non-poly string. One of the surprise discoveries while fishing for slippery poly, was that there are a few nylon based string with very low COF living in the same neighborhood, so I gave them a special pass onto the demo list.

    ( stiffness lbs/in ) ( actual pre-test tension, reference tension was 62 lbs, fast swing ) ( inter-string friction )

    ( 086.3 ) ( 54.4 ) ( 0.103 ) .. Pacific Prime 16
    ( 089.2 ) ( 53.8 ) ( 0.180 ) .. Pacific Classic 16
    ( 092.6 ) ( 54.2 ) ( 0.173 ) .. Wilson Natural 17
    ( 097.7 ) ( 53.1 ) ( 0.147 ) .. Babolat VS Team 17
    ( 099.4 ) ( 51.9 ) ( 0.245 ) .. Wilson Natural 16
    ( 104.6 ) ( 54.3 ) ( 0.298 ) .. Klip Legend Uncoated 16
    ( 101.7 ) ( 51.1 ) ( 0.124 ) .. VS Natural ThermoGut 16 Touch
    ( 105.2 ) ( 54.2 ) ( 0.194 ) .. Klip Armour Pro 16

    ( 118.3 ) ( 39.0 ) ( 0.088 ) .. Ashaway Zyex MonoGut 16 Nylon/Zyex
    ( 161.2 ) ( 48.1 ) ( 0.085 ) .. Volk Gripper 17 Nylon
    ( 166.3 ) ( 27.5 ) ( 0.098 ) .. Topspin Cyber Flash 17L
    ( 171.5 ) ( 47.6 ) ( 0.079 ) .. Gosen Compositemaster II 16 Nylon
    ( 176.0 ) ( 50.4 ) ( 0.089 ) .. Head FXP Power 17 Nylon
    ( 178.9 ) ( 49.3 ) ( 0.080 ) .. Gosen Powermaster II 16 Nylon
    ( 180.6 ) ( 37.8 ) ( 0.090 ) .. Gosen Sidewinder 17
    ( 181.2 ) ( 49.1 ) ( 0.082 ) .. Volkl Synthetic Gut 17 Nylon
    ( 181.2 ) ( 48.8 ) ( 0.088 ) .. Gosen Nanosilver 17 Nylon
    ( 181.7 ) ( 30.0 ) ( 0.102 ) .. WC Silverstring 120
    ( 182.9 ) ( 48.5 ) ( 0.075 ) .. Gosen Powermaster I 16 Nylon
    ( 183.5 ) ( 49.7 ) ( 0.089 ) .. Gosen AK Pro 17 Nylon
    ( 188.0 ) ( 47.8 ) ( 0.081 ) .. Klip Synth Gut 16 Nylon
    ( 188.0 ) ( 30.9 ) ( x.xxx ) .. Yonex Poly Tour Pro 1.25
    ( 000.0 ) ( 00.0 ) ( 0.000 ) .. Weiss CANNON Mosquito Bite 18 (Not In TWU Data Base)
    ( 189.2 ) ( 44.7 ) ( 0.114 ) .. Technifibre Pro Mix 17Nylon/Poly
    ( 191.5 ) ( 34.3 ) ( 0.083 ) .. Big Hitter Black 7 17, edged
    ( 192.0 ) ( 34.2 ) ( 0.083 ) .. Big Hitter Silver 17
    ( 192.6 ) ( 32.9 ) ( 0.112 ) .. Polyfibre Poly Hitec 18
    ( 192.6 ) ( 30.2 ) ( 0.070 ) .. IsoSpeed Pulse 16
    ( 193.2 ) ( 33.3 ) ( 0.071 ) .. Gosen Polyon Polybreak 18
    ( 193.7 ) ( 33.1 ) ( 0.092 ) .. Head Sonic Pro 16
    ( 197.2 ) ( 38.3 ) ( 0.120 ) .. Babolat Pro Hurricane 18
    ( 199.5 ) ( 34.3 ) ( 0.090 ) .. Topspin Cyber Blue 17
    ( 200.0 ) ( xx.x ) ( 0.089 ) .. MSV Co-Focus 17L .. [estimated stiffness, USRSA digits n/a]
    ( 200.0 ) ( 30.9 ) ( 0.100 ) .. Polyfibre TCS 17
    ( 200.6 ) ( 35.3 ) ( 0.097 ) .. Kirschbaum Pro Line II 18
    ( 203.5 ) ( 33.4 ) ( 0.087 ) .. Head Sonic Pro 17
    ( 203.5 ) ( 34.9 ) ( 0.079 ) .. Topspin Cyber Blue 16
    ( 205.0 ) ( xx.x ) ( 0.072 ) .. Solinco Revolution 18 .. [corners estimated data]
    ( 205.5 ) ( 35.7 ) ( 0.075 ) .. Solinco Tour Bite 17, edged
    ( 206.3 ) ( 35.6 ) ( 0.085 ) .. Gamma Zo Twist 16
    ( 206.9 ) ( 34.9 ) ( 0.074 ) .. Gosen PolyMaster II 16, flat
    ( 210.9 ) ( 35.4 ) ( 0.082 ) .. Volkl Cyclone 18
    ( 210.3 ) ( 30.0 ) ( 0.085 ) .. Polyfibre Hitec Premium 16
    ( 211.5 ) ( 35.1 ) ( 0.083 ) .. Gosen Polyon SP 17
    ( 211.5 ) ( 36.5 ) ( 0.092 ) .. WC Scorpion 1.22
    ( 213.2 ) ( 36.3 ) ( 0.089 ) .. MSV Co-Focus 16L
    ( 214.3 ) ( 35.6 ) ( 0.074 ) .. Solinco Outlast 17
    ( 214.3 ) ( 35.9 ) ( 0.085 ) .. MSV Hepta Twist 17 edged
    ( 218.3 ) ( 37.4 ) ( 0.090 ) .. Kirschbaum Pro Line II 17L
    ( 222.3 ) ( 38.7 ) ( x.xxx ) .. Signum Pro Poly Plasma 17L , 1.18
    ( 227.5 ) ( 38.87 ) ( 0.101 ) .. Kirschbaum Pro Line II 17
    ( 228.0 ) ( 45.7 ) ( 0.069 ) .. Head Hawk
    ( 225.0 ) ( 39.6 ) ( x.xxx ) .. Tecnifibre Black Code 18
    ( 228.6 ) ( 39.6 ) ( x.xxx ) .. Prince Beast XP 16
    ( 323.6 ) ( 36.8 ) ( x.xxx ) .. Signum Pro Hyperion 17
    ( 237.0 ) ( 37.3 ) ( 0.098 ) .. MSV Focus Evo 17
    ( 262.3 ) ( 45.6 ) ( 0.071 ) .. Ltec Premium 4S 16L
    ( 273.2 ) ( 51.3 ) ( x.xxx ) .. Luxilon 4G 16L, 1.25

    Play Testing, String Review Links:
    1. 60/52 … Mains: Wilson Natural Gut 16 | X's: Yonex Poly Pro Tour Black (16L / 1.25mm)
    2. 60/52 … Mains: Wilson Natural Gut 16 | X's: Wiess CANNON Mosquito Bite (18g / 1.16mm) Red
    3. 54/54 … Dunlop Black Widow (18g / 1.21) (Rainy Day Back Up)
    4. 60/52 … Mains: Wilson Natural Gut 16 | X's: Gosen SideWinder (17g /1.22-1.24)
    5. 60/52 … Mains: Wilson Natural Gut 16 | X's: Gosen PolyMaster I (16g / 1.02-1.46)
    6. 60/56 … Mains: Wilson Natural Gut 16 | X's: Ashaway MonoGut Zx Red (16g / 1.27mm)
    7. 60/60 … Full Bed : Ashaway MonoGut Zx Red (16g / 1.27mm)


    Links: [1] String Friction Rankings , String Movement , Inter-string Friction , String To Ball Friction , Rank Strings By Spin Potential , USRSA String Selector Map 2012 , Gosen Sidewinder Video Review , Big Hitter Black 7 Video Review , Volkl Cyclone Video & Written Review
    - Jack
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2014
    #1
  2. Don't Let It Bounce

    Don't Let It Bounce Hall of Fame

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    I've been fiddling with Gosen Polymaster II as a cross for Pacific Classic and like it so far, but I have not tried Co-Focus as a cross. I went with Polymaster due to its shape, so that its flat profile would lengthen the life of the gut by not sawing into it as readily, but the ribbon shape also of course reduces friction: a full bed of it has a static CoF of 0.074, almost as low as it gets. Low stiffness, too: 172 lb/in (strung at 51 lb, fast swing). It's a little pricey for my taste, not being available in reels, but since I won't be cutting it out before the gut breaks I guess I can live with it.

    All that said, I'm not sure how much guidance the friction tables are going to give us for poly crosses to be used with gut. TW Prof has noted in the articles about string friction that the full-bed CoF's are not reliable predictors to the friction between two different strings, even two polys, and the oils released by gut mains introduce another friction-affecting mechanism.

    A gut/Hepta-Twist 17 combination does appear on the friction tables, at the very top, and Hepta also has a lower stiffness rating than Co-Focus, so that seems worth looking into. Seems like the Hepta would shred the gut, though, doesn't it?

    I don't know what to think about nylon-based synthetics that have lower CoF than some polys. It does seem worth trying with gut, but it's an expensive experiment!
     
    #2
  3. kazamzaa

    kazamzaa Rookie

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    Looks like there is some other polys that seem to have lower friction and stiffness than MSV CoF 17.
    I would truly be interested to hear about the comparisions. I'm not willing to do the expensive tests myself. I am perfectly happy with the vsTouch 1.30 / Cof17 hybrid at 57/53.
    The big question to us who pays their stringing is the durability. And more precisely the question "how the poly ages?". This is where CoF really shines.
     
    #3
  4. Maui19

    Maui19 Hall of Fame

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    The Hepta Twist is a great hybrid with gut. I got away from it looking for more tension stability in a poly, and I don't think I am getting better performance from anything else I've tried.
     
    #4
  5. wmilas

    wmilas Rookie

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    I'd be very interested in this. I tried a zillion polys with OGSM as a cross when I was first testing polys. I always compared them to gut/CoFocus. I never tried to find anything better than CoFocus... mainly cause cutting out a bad string pair when gut is involved is pricey and just seems wrong :)

    I hated hepta-twist as a main, never tried it as a cross though.
     
    #5
  6. keithfival

    keithfival Professional

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    Not sure about the stiffness but a partner of mine uses the same setup and eventually switched from Co-Focus crosses to Outlast crosses after playing them side by side for a good while.
     
    #6
  7. wmilas

    wmilas Rookie

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    Just ordered some hepta twist 17 and some cyber Blue 17 to compare them. Both of these are lower stiffness than the CoFocus. Should be interesting.
     
    #7
  8. wmilas

    wmilas Rookie

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    Also Some sidewinder 17, Cyberflash 17l, and TCS 18
     
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  9. corners

    corners Legend

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    Hey there. I've been wanting to try gut/polymaster for some time. Would you be interested in writing up a full review when that stringjob is kaput?

    The Powermaster also looks interesting - very low CoF! But that's almost surely due to a coating rather than an intrinsic property, like with copoly, so the CoF might rise rapidly with play and scuffing. Also, the nylon strings tend to dent at the intersections due to low surface hardness. But definitely worth a try if money and time aren't issues.
     
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  10. corners

    corners Legend

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    One thing to note is that when comparing the same string model, the stiffness decreases sharply as you go down in gauge while the CoF stays about the same. This makes sense as the CoF is a function of the string material or string coating material and is independent of surface area. (Surface shape may be another story.)

    I've compared various models in different gauges and based on this I would estimate that Co-Focus 18 has stiffness of around 190 and CoF of .097.

    Other copoly strings to look at:

    Solinco Revolution 18 (estimated): (205) .... (0.072)

    Gosen Sidewinder (shaped string): (181) ... (0.09)

    This one is shaped, so might slice the gut mains, but is probably the most flexible copoly on the market. It also loses much less tension than the others, so the stiffness number is actually a bit deceiving: it's actually less stiff than the 181 number indicates! (I want to try this one in a full bed at low tension.)

    Gosen Polymaster II (flat string with 1.0 mm cross-section, equivalent to 20 gauge): (207) ... (0.074)

    The Polymasters remind me of the poster Mokongs method of gluing bits of aluminum to the gut mains at the intersections, which he said made them slide and snapback essentially forever:

    http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showpost.php?p=3169346&postcount=21

    http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=246634

    Studies have shown that it's notching of the mains that disables the snapback mechanism the most. If you can stop that you should be able to get maximum playable life and value out of your gut mains/copoly setups. There is the hypothesis that Don't Let it Bounce mentioned - that notched guts exude a natural oil that actually helps them slide freely on copoly crosses - and I think that that probably happens, but the CoF numbers we have for gut/copoly setups are taken prior to notching, so if we can avoid notching altogether it might be better on balance, even if we miss out on this self-lubricating function.


    Another thing to consider is that all of these stiffness numbers are taken post-tension loss. The nylons lose much less tension than the copolys, so the numbers make the copolys look pretty soft. But I believe TWU's procedure for tension loss measurement is too aggressive. Basically, their tests make the copolys lose more tension than they would in the real world - basically they are testing them "dead" (although I don't believe strings go dead in the way people believe them to). Adjusting for that, the copolys are probably about 10-15% stiffer than they appear in comparison to the nylons.

    In my opinion, by the numbers, Ashaway Zyex Monogut (now called Monogut ZX) has the most promise as a non-poly cross option. It's almost as flexible as natural gut and like gut does not increase in stiffness when strung at higher tensions. Therefore, a gut/Monogut ZX hybrid could be strung at higher tensions and still be comfy. Since gut returns more energy at higher tension (maxing out around 60 pounds), a high-tension hybrid with this cross could give fabulous power and snapback. But I haven't had a chance to try it out, so don't listen to me.
     
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2012
    #10
  11. JT_2eighty

    JT_2eighty Hall of Fame

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    I've been comparing ToughGut/CoFocus to a ToughGut/WC Mosquito Bite setup. I think the TG/MB outperforms TG/CoF in terms of playability over time. In my dense, flexy racquet, strings take a long while to break, so I've logged plenty of hours on each. Both are very comfortable, but CoF became harder to control after a number of matches, while MB crosses maintain softness AND control over a very long span of time & matches.

    It would be interesting if twu decides to test MB to see where it falls in the spectrum of lab tests; however, from my experience MB has a more consistent playability over time, so while CoF crosses are just as comfy, I find them to get too springy after the same time period. MB wins the tension stability battle. CoF is a great second place. I've decided to settle on the tg/mb setup and end my string experimentation madness. Out of the handful of hybrids I've tried, CoF & MB crosses both stay the softest for the longest period of time. That's a tough attribute to find as most polys get a bit harsh if you don't break/cut-out the strings within a few matches.

    While I do agree that low string-string friction results in easier spin, I think the small differences between the various polys will result in negligible (if any) difference in actual rpms. Regardless of the poly, a gut/poly setup yields great spin and playability; after testing out at least 10-15 different gut/poly setups, to me the real decider is *playability over time*. Some setups you can feel the poly Die within a few matches and some even a few sets. Few setups stay soft or consistent for a long time, while most others become harsh and/or lose control match by match. Some setups create a mismatch of properties where the stiffness of the poly overshadows the feel of the gut. Some are great for only a match. All these factors and various *subjective feel* components that I've noticed have lead me to ToughGut/MB, but this may not work for others with different racquets, preferred tensions or preferred feel requirements.


    That said, if you like a dense, flexible frame, and employ a variety of spins and flat shots, looking for a good pocketing feel and consistent playability over time, I'd take a look at Gut/MB.
     
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2012
    #11
  12. kazamzaa

    kazamzaa Rookie

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    Very interesting!
    What gauge and tension in your ToughGut/WC Mosquito Bite setup?
     
    #12
  13. JT_2eighty

    JT_2eighty Hall of Fame

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    I'm using ToughGut 16L. Mosquito Bite is only an 18 gauge (1.16mm), and I'm using the blue version (some say different colored strings of the same gauge/type can play differently). This was compared to CoFocus gold 1.18
     
    #13
  14. kazamzaa

    kazamzaa Rookie

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    Thanks.
    Maybe 1.16 mm would not work in a 98" open pattern racket.
    Something softer than CoF would be nice though. I must consider this.
     
    #14
  15. JT_2eighty

    JT_2eighty Hall of Fame

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    If you are happy with CoF, especially as it plays over time (I do like that it remains soft, unlike most co-polys), then I would just stick with it. I really did enjoy CoF and thought it would be my new #1, but eventually the softness became more difficult to control than MB, for me.

    Many people do not have the same control-over-time issue as I do, with CoF, as it is a very popular cross string, and a close second on my list. CoF also comes in multiple gauges, so that is another benefit over MB, which only comes as a 1.16mm. Open patterns and stiffer frames may not get much mileage from MB's thin profile. Maybe just stick with what you have, I know I did get caught up in a very long and tedious experimentation kick... while fun and informative, also can make you go nuts sifting over all the possibilities and thinking of the 'next best thing'... hopefully I can finally take my mind of string changes (for at least a few months I hope?) :mrgreen:
     
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  16. wmilas

    wmilas Rookie

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    I know what you mean about going nuts trying different strings. I tried nearly every poly as a main trying to find something better than a gut/poly hybrid. I got burned out and when I could find nothing better than the gut/cofocus benchmark I stopped. I never tried experimenting with the poly part of the hybrid though. This should be interesting.
     
    #16
  17. Don't Let It Bounce

    Don't Let It Bounce Hall of Fame

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    Howdy, Corners. I'm happy to share any insight I may stumble across, but in truth the main thing I feel in a gut/poly hybrid is the gut. The variations between one poly cross and another seem subtle to me, and the only other time I've tried it was with Silverstring a year ago. That said, I can at least compare it to the full poly job I have in a sister frame.
     
    #17
  18. corners

    corners Legend

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    Hey, yeah, I know what you're saying. I would be most interested to hear how the gut/Polymaster performs over time compared to round copolys. Do the gut mains continue to snap back for the life of the stringjob? Do you get as much spin with this combo as with round copoly crosses? If not, it might suggest the "natural oils" hypothesis is correct. Do the gut mains notch, or does the flat cross-section of the Polymaster really protect the gut mains? If they don't notch, how much longer playing time do you get out of this setup than you did with Silverstring crosses?
     
    #18
  19. tball

    tball Semi-Pro

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    I've been reading about this MSV Focus Evo Soft which just came out. It is not in the database yet, and I have not personally try it.
     
    #19
  20. siata94

    siata94 Rookie

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    I've been using full beds of Evo-Hex. When I ordered my reel of Evo-Hex from GGT I asked about the differences between the various MSV strings. I was told that anything w/ "Evo" in the name has a softer outer coating which makes it not only softer but it will also remains elastic (I have one set installed w/ about 40 hours on it and it's still elastic but control is long gone) and does not stiffen like most other poly. However, the softer coating is not as slippery so it does not snap back as well thus possibly reducing spin.

    There's no Evo Soft, just Focus Hex Soft, which I'm told is between Focus and Evo in softness and does not have the softer outer coating like the Evo.
     
    #20
  21. TenFanLA

    TenFanLA Hall of Fame

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    Gut/LTec 4S > Gut/CoF in softness, playability, longevity in my experience.
     
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  22. ChicagoJack

    ChicagoJack Hall of Fame

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    Wow. Lots of awesome replies, thanks so much. I've added a bunch more strings and links to the original 1st page post. Just a few candidates I missed the first time around, and mostly everything mentioned in the thread so far, as easy reference points.

    -Jack
     
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2012
    #22
  23. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

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    So far Black Magic feels absolutely awesome as a gut cross with only 2 pounds of overall tension loss.
     
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  24. mctennis

    mctennis Hall of Fame

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    I'm using the same set up- Tough Gut 16L mains and MB crosses. I have not tried the blue MB but I am using the white color one. I do like this better than just about any other set up.
    I just tried another set up just recently. It is the same Tough Gut mains 16L and Mamba Discho Iontec 1.25g crosses (black). I think this has a great feel and softness as well.
    I am doing a side by side on the above two string combinations. They have about 4-6 hours on them so far.
    I am so-so with the MSV Co-Focus crosses. It seems with even a slight mishit the string bed is jarring. Even with the gut mains in it.
     
    #24
  25. TenFanLA

    TenFanLA Hall of Fame

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    ( 213.2 ) .. ( 0.089 ) .. MSV Co-Focus 16L
    ( 214.3 ) .. ( 0.074 ) .. Solinco Outlast 17
    ( 214.3 ) .. ( 0.085 ) .. MSV Hepta Twist 17, edges, twisted
    ( 237.0 ) .. ( 0.098 ) .. MSV Focus Evo 17
    ( 262.3 ) .. ( 0.071 ) .. Ltec Premium 4S 16L

    WOW! JUST WOW! Maybe that's why my elbow's been hurting. I just came back from a 1 month layoff due to sore elbow and a work project. I played 1.5 hrs of doubles with Tonic/4s and my elbow is already sore. Ok, I may have to go with Tonic/Iontec Black. Too bad. Gut/4s plays so well with great spin, pop and control.
     
    #25
  26. ChicagoJack

    ChicagoJack Hall of Fame

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    Hi PP,

    I seem to remember (when we were both hanging in the PD Black Drive Fan thread) that you've used Gut/Co-Focus. How does Black Magic (as a cross for gut mains) compare in terms of comfort, spin? I tend to use the available lab testing just to whittle my demo choices down to a small pool of options. If not for Drakulie's comments about Black Magic "it enhances the feel of the gut, instead of deadening it" I would have completely overlooked it, as it sits right about in the middle of the pack in terms of poly stiffness according to the USRSA 2012 string selector digits. Is it one of those situations (and I've had lots of them myself) where the lab data just doesn't line up with what you feel on the court?

    -Jack
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2012
    #26
  27. corners

    corners Legend

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    Just wanted to note that Topspin Cyberflash 17L, which comes in as the least stiff copoly in Chicago Jack's updated list is quite a soft poly, but the stiffness number being so low is largely a result of how poor it is at holding tension. (The stiffness is measured after tension loss.)

    Here is Cyberflash 17L vs. Gosen Sidewinder (Stiffness) ... (CoF) ... (Total Tension Loss):

    Cyberflash 17L (166.3) ... (.098 ) ... (34.8 )

    Sidewinder 17 (180.6) ... (.090) ... (24.5)

    Both strings were strung at 60 pounds but after striking the strings with a hammer 20 times in a manner designed to simulate 20 120 mph serves, the Cyberflash 17L ended up at 27.52 pounds and the Sidewinder 17 ended up at 37.84 pounds. These are the tensions at which they were tested for stiffness. The Cyberflash had ten pounds less tension on it at that point - no wonder it tested so incredibly soft.

    If we use the TWU String Performance Database and sort by "Actual Tension", the actual tension it is tested at following the tension-loss simulation, we can do a more direct comparison of the stiffness of these strings:

    Cyberflash 17L (strung at 60 pounds, but tested at 27.2): (166.3)

    Sidewinder 17 (strung at 50 pounds, but tested at 27.85): (159.4)

    (Also, I think Nanosilver is a multi)
     
    #27
  28. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

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    Jack..yes so far this is the best feeling setup i have used. I have about 2 hours of hitting in, and off the stringer it has dropped from 57 to 53. So the tension loss so far is better then cofocus. The feel is also better, as black magic has incredible feel for a poly string. I still like cofocus, but as for right now i would pick black magic over it since it simply plays better for me so far. It is a very controlled setup that is extremely comfortable, yet the ball feel is absolutley perfect. The blx blade has some nice power, so to control it more i string at 60/55.


    The other thing to add is that while some people say the bm dies really fast, i find that i get 8-10 hours out of a full job. That should easily equate to 16-20 hours which is what i need out of gut poly in an 18x20 pattern to justify the cost.
     
    #28
  29. ChicagoJack

    ChicagoJack Hall of Fame

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    Corners -

    Cool. Thanks for the heads up. I figured that tension loss was a factor, I just had no idea the disparity, it's a huuge deal it would seem. I'm flowing the actual tension / pre test digits into the list now. I will keep the reference tension (62 lbs) and swing speed (fast) so that the parameters of the two indexes remain consistent. When I get those three sets of digits all stacked up, somebody a whole lot better at math than I am, ought to create some sort of formula to assimilate the implied meanings of the three factors (hint hint)

    -Jack
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2012
    #29
  30. ChicagoJack

    ChicagoJack Hall of Fame

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    Hi corners,

    Quick question fer ya. You've mentioned that when string goes down in diameter, string gets softer, and the CoF stay about the same. Your estimate for 18g Co-Focus has indeed a lower stiffness, but your estimated COF is higher at .097 vs the .089 of the 16g. I'm puzzling over that.

    Thanks!

    Jack
     
    #30
  31. corners

    corners Legend

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    Hi Jack, I think my estimate for the COF on CoFocus 18 was simply an error in typing or something. I would use the 16L number. Looking through the data, I haven't seen any significant difference in interstring COF between the same string in different gauges, which is consistent with the fact that COF is (counter-intuitively) independent of surface area. (I would estimate that CoFocus 18 would end up about 33 pounds at test, BTW).

    String-ball COF, however, is another story - the thicker gauges appear to grab the ball a bit better - but since we're looking at cross strings here we don't really care about that ... except from the perspective that a cross string with high string-ball COF might tear up gut mains more quickly. But that would depend on the shape of the string. The spiky ones, I think, are best avoided as crosses, but the flat (Polymaster) and square/squoval (Tourbite/4S) ones might be ideal.

    I wish I had time to playtest strings right now as it would be good to get some realworld input into this thread. I would really like to try gut/Polymaster II and gut/Zyex Monogut (Monogut ZX), as well as Monogut ZX/Polymaster II, which might be a great poor man's Fed setup.

    I'm also jazzed to try Tourbite 16/Polymaster II at pretty high tension in Wilson's new 16x15 pattern. The reduced number of cross strings should reduce the overall stringbed stiffness considerably, possibly making this pattern a legit full-poly option for those of us that have been sticking with gut/poly to play it safe with our arms.
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2012
    #31
  32. corners

    corners Legend

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    Nice work getting the actual testing tension into your table. It seems to me that, all things being equal, a copoly that loses less tension beats one that loses more. Unfortunately, the only copolys that hold tension at all well are the stiffer ones - 4G (the new champ), Bab Hurricane Feel, 4S, etc. If I used a really heavy racquet with high swingweight I would pair those with natural gut. But since I use a 12 ounce frame with moderate SW, and am always looking for some extra comfort and pop, I focus exclusively on the soft copolys. And one of the benefits of those is that you can raise the tension of the gut somewhat, which helps with snapback, I feel. I've been using budget guts strung around 55 pounds in a 95 and have found the gut to bag out and stop snapping back before it breaks, which is unacceptable :) Probably I wouldn't have this problem with Klip or Pacific guts, but I would really like a slippery cross soft enough to string at 60 pounds, which is the tension where gut is the most powerful (highest energy return and fastest snapback).

    BTW, the large number of nylon strings with low COF in your table is interesting. I think we can conclude that when strung fresh these guys would make great crosses with gut mains. But we know from the Japanese studies that notching kills the snapback mechanism, and as far as I know all nylon strings notch and dent. The possible exceptions might be the flat Gosen strings - Powermaster and Compositemaster.
     
    #32
  33. TenFanLA

    TenFanLA Hall of Fame

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    I tried Tonic/Iontec Black at 52/48. It was pretty good overall but it does not match the feel, spin, pop and control of Tonic/4S. The dynamic pace, spin and ball movement I get with gut/4S has not been matched by any other cross except 0S and Alu. CoF, SPPP, Iontec Black, BHSR, etc. are all nice crosses but they are BMW's, Infiniti's and Mercedes compared to the Supercars Alu, 0S and 4S.
     
    #33
  34. Centerforward71

    Centerforward71 Rookie

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    Try a stiff poly like genesis twisted razor at 35-38 full bed
     
    #34
  35. corners

    corners Legend

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    I haven't tried stiff polys in a full bed at low tensions, but have played soft copolys at 35 pounds quite a bit and find them the best cheap alternative to gut/poly at 55 that I've found. But, copoly at low tensions is a bit unpredictable on volleys and returns.
     
    #35
  36. parasailing

    parasailing Hall of Fame

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    There's no way Pacific natural gut is softer than Wilson or Babolat natural gut. I tried a couple sets of Pacific and they felt much stiffer than Wilson or Babolat natural gut. Keep in mind I am talking about non BT7 Babolat gut here.

    I like Ltec 4s for it's tension maintenance and overall complements VS/Wilson/Prince natural gut mains. Kisrchbaum Evolution is also another good poly cross.
     
    #36
  37. Centerforward71

    Centerforward71 Rookie

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    I find the stiffer and textured poly much more effective at taking advantage of the low tension. The softer poly seemed deader. I.e. signum SPPP Give it a try genesis tws rzr is awesome
     
    #37
  38. Boricua

    Boricua Hall of Fame

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    I use an Aeroprodrive GT. Its a stiff and open pattern racket. I hit with spin all the time. Which gut/poly setup do you think would be better?
     
    #38
  39. JT_2eighty

    JT_2eighty Hall of Fame

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    Probably something you can get in a 16 or 16L gauge, depending on how quickly you break strings. I would think 16 gauge gut of your choice (I like Pacific but others may prefer a Babolat or Wilson feel), and then if you want a primarily Comfy cross with good spin... CoFocus 16L is a good one. How many hours are you looking to get? How quickly do you go through a gut/poly setup? Do you want comfort as your main attribute, or control or just pure spin?
     
    #39
  40. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

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    Just wanted to chime in that while I am not going to use gut/poly full time, the black magic cross is still performing excellent after 5-6 hours of hitting. tension loss is 4 pounds total.
     
    #40
  41. Boricua

    Boricua Hall of Fame

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    I have not used gut/poly in some time but I think I got like 4-5 hours before breaking. Im looking for comfort mostly as the APD is very stiff. But, my game revolves around topspin and a baseline game.
     
    #41
  42. ChicagoJack

    ChicagoJack Hall of Fame

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    Parasailing - Cool man, thanks for your input, much appreciated! Just a quick note on the stiffness data. In the sortable index there's quite a few variables at play here. Three reference tensions, and three swing speeds. The references I've used are the defacto std here at tw and the usrsa, 62 lbs and fast swing speed. That's way stiffer than anybody should be stringing poly, but that's the hand we are dealt. Gut is so tightly clustered together, with so little measurable dif btwn them in terms of stiffness, that any change in those parameters, has them change places in the ranking order. So for something unique like Pacific Tough Gut for example, depending on the inputs here at TW, you might find it ranking slightly softer than average, and you can also find it ranking as the stiffest, depending upon the test conditions. Also a bit of disparity btwn TW and USRSA. In the latter, the Pacific Tough Gut is ranked as the softest.

    Having said all of that, I think we all know the court is the court, and the lab is the lab. I think tour bite plays way stiffer than the numbers would indicate, and BHBR plays way softer than the data would indicate. The idea for me anyways is to just whittle this down to a manageable demo list and start picking em off from there. I just use the lab digits to kick start the demo process.

    -Jack
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2012
    #42
  43. ChicagoJack

    ChicagoJack Hall of Fame

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    Hi all,

    I've updated the opening post list with who has ordered what string to demo, and who has experience with what. Hopefully we can pool our experiences and that way we don't all go broke trying to figure this out ha ha. So far wmilas proven to be the most courageous test pilot. I'm eager to hear flight impressions, feedback.

    Jack
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2012
    #43
  44. ChicagoJack

    ChicagoJack Hall of Fame

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    Just a quick update. I've been playing with VS Team / Polyfibre Poly Hitec 18 for about 5 days (10 hours) and I'm loving it. It plays very similar, but is quite a bit more comfy than co focus 17L. I felt the comfort factor within the first few hits. Will post more when the tournament wraps up and I get back home.

    -Jack
     
    #44
  45. Torres

    Torres Banned

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    If you ask me, looking solely at inter string friction misses the point, because there are many other factors involved in determining what would make a good poly. Tension loss, firmness of the string, resistance to going dead would be other key considerations IMO. I'd rather have a poly that is strong in all those areas if its at the slight expense of inter string friction.

    I'd also suggest trying 4G as a cross. I've only just started a playtest of that string but on initial impressions, it potentially has some interesting characteristics.
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2012
    #45
  46. ChicagoJack

    ChicagoJack Hall of Fame

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    Hi torres,

    Thanks for the input, but I think you might be missing the point of the thread? Im searching for a more comfortable option to co focus, comfort is the key attribute. 4G is a great string for tension maintinence, but waay too stiff for me. All the frames at the wilson demo event I attended were strung with 4G, me and the buddy I went with were icing up and hurting the whole way home. 4G is somewhere in the 220's. Im shopping in the 180's lbs. Per in. range

    Jack
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2012
    #46
  47. Torres

    Torres Banned

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    I understand what you're saying, but you started the thread talking about CoF. What I'm suggesting that there are many factors at play here, not just CoF and softness.

    If you want a gut + poly stringbed that's soft that's really not difficult to find. If you want a slippery poly, that's not difficult to find either. If you want a poly that has both, that's not difficult to find either. What I'm saying is that neither of those factors are determinative of outright performance or playability. One really needs to also take into account tension loss, stiffness over time, resistance to going dead etc. Really depends what's most important to you and what playability factor(s) you want to compromise on.

    I have to say that I don't find 4G stiff. It's firm and it doesn't have much give but oddly - and this surprised me - it doesn't feel uncomfortable on the arm. My initial hitting with it was as a full bed with racquet with an RA over 70. Maybe the racquets you tried were strung to tight or were the stiff Babolat jarring type of sticks, but arm discomfort, I haven't detected any so far, though I've only been hitting with it for an hour or so. I can't imagine how adding gut mains would make arm unfriendly when its going to be gut mains doing the vast majority of the donkey work on groundstrokes.
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2012
    #47
  48. The Big Kahuna

    The Big Kahuna Semi-Pro

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    The MSV Co-Focus in the 18 gauge is extremely hard to beat as a cross with the Gut mains. It is the best combination of playability and value out there and is the reference cross string for a number of us who hybrid. You can pay more and do a lot worse.
     
    #48
  49. Torres

    Torres Banned

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    I don't know why people keep on mentioning Co-Focus on these forums. Starts off pretty well, but after one hitting session, it starts to turn rubbery, loses a load of tension, and generally starts turning the stringbed to crap.
     
    #49
  50. ChicagoJack

    ChicagoJack Hall of Fame

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    Hi Torres, thanks again for your input, much appreciated. Read the title of my thread. That's what my thread is about. It is a narrow search, down a very particular path. By the way, you might have missed it, but I have posted initial tension loss data for for all of the demo candidates on the opening post.

    Super cool, if you have any suggestions, feel free to lay 'em on me.

    I understand, but kinda feel like you are clobbering me over the head with this point, which I'm not contesting. That there are numerous factors surrounding overall string performance is so plainly obvious, it scarcely warrants a mention.

    Aha, Bingo! I've chosen what is important to me, and now I am looking for it. Priority 1 = Softer than Co-Focus 17L. Priority 2 = Low Friction, Priority 3 = Low Tension Loss. This is why is have 3 data columns for each of these three factors on the opening post.

    Maybe this will help you understand where I'm coming from. I got my first ever case of TE using a 2012 Babolat PD+ Strung with Gut/Co-Focus, and I've been playing tennis at a decent level with technically sound strokes north of 30 years. I've since switched to a more arm friendly frame, and I stopped playing for 6 weeks, to focus exclusively on off court PT. My hard work has payed off. I'm now 90% pain free, even after having just played 2-3 hours a day for 6 days straight tuning up for and playing in a big tourney. However, I'm still understandably cautious about even 1/2 beds of poly.

    I dunno, maybe I'm just being oversensitive, but I'm kind of getting a low level, overall disdain for the premise of the thread vibe. I'm sorry if the mention of Co-Focus is a pet peeve of yours, but I think it's awesome, just hunting for something a little more comfy with at least comparable tension maintenance. Perhaps you value tension maintenance over comfort, or your search is a little more broadly based, but that's your deal not mine. Different saddles for different butts.

    Thanks again

    - Jack
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2012
    #50

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