Low, low tensions. 30lbs feels great. 20lbs pretty good, too

Discussion in 'Strings' started by TW Staff, Mar 25, 2010.

  1. corners

    corners Legend

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    I've done gut/poly at 50 and 40 and gut/syngut at 50 (a bit wild). Poly at 30 is fine. But my feeling has been that poly/syngut doesn't provide the spin of full poly or gut/poly. That's why I suggested going higher for control. But really, I haven't tried poly/syngut enough to know for sure.

    Maybe someone else can help.
     
  2. drak

    drak Professional

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    What may interest some folks is that if they have a frame they like but feel it's too powerful lets say on groundstrokes, they string it looser with a full Poly and the energy return becomes a good bit less. The lower Tension (40 or lower) will also soften up the sting bed the most and give them that plusher feel. A good option to try before switching frames.

    Drak
     
  3. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

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    Corners I saw you posted earlier that Federer strings at 40 pounds. Where did you hear that? I though he was in the high 40's, low 50s with a gut/poly hybrid.

    Anyway, I have some Dunlop poly reels sitting here, so I am going to string up a stick at 35#s full poly and then do a Poly/Gut hybrid at 44/48.

    For now, I will keep playing with my poly/multi stick strung up at around 37#s (after some tension loss from 40) and use that as a baseline.
     
  4. PED

    PED Legend

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    PP, you are correct, Fed is more like the 50 or 48lb level from all I've seen.

    What did you string your APD's at when you used them?

    I've been trying them for the last month in the XL length. I like them but I've ended up stringing them about 8lbs less than I did with the YT Rad Pro. I'm at 52/50 (versus 59/57 in the RP)now and am going to try 50/48 next week.
     
  5. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

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    APDCS for me were usually around 56#s full poly. It got old after a while. If I still used them, I would defintley try low tension. I think you really benefit from the low tension with player's sticks though. You have all that flex, and it just becomes a massive spin stick that you can still control.

    I hit yesterday with a 5.0 slicer and dicer. He had serious problems with my shots compared to usual. He could not chop them as easily and they kicked really hard so his timing was off. I also could get sidespin so the ball would not sit where he thought it would. He is a great player and adjusted to it after a while. But the on court temp was also 115, and after 35 minutes, I could not move my feet that well, so my shots got bad and he and I just tapped out after a while.

    Slice backhands are really lethal with this setup. You can drop shot people so well. Compared to my usual high tension, I had a lot more touch.

    I may play today for an hour or so. If I get the time, I will restring full poly at 35#s and see how that goes. I have Dunlop Explosiv.
     
  6. PED

    PED Legend

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    I posted this response in the wrong thread...lol
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2010
  7. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

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    ^^^

    Me? I am using a 11.6oz 300 Tour right now. It's a real nice weight.

    One thing I noticed on the low tension. It really helps to have your swing dialed up to when you drop the racquet, the tip is pointing down on both forehand and backhand. It gives you a ton of control. It is also easier to pick low bouncing balls and throw them with this motion and tension..most likely due to the dwell time.
     
  8. Mig1NC

    Mig1NC Professional

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    The string log that was published in Tennis magazine at the end of 2009 or begining of 2010 had Federer with Wilson (Babolat) gut mains and Luxilon poly crosses at 50/47 IIRC.
     
  9. ManuGinobili

    ManuGinobili Hall of Fame

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    In the interview with TW, Nate Ferguson mentioned between 44 and 50 I don't remember... he also says Fed comes into a match with some rackets a few pounds higher and some a few pounds lower
     
  10. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

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    Ok, got a hit in with the 44/48 hybrid. It was ok. Felt like a loss of control though. It must be due to the synthetic gut at a low tension. I hit pretty well, but did not get the spin from the last combo. The last combo was poly and a multi at 40 and probably now down to 36 or so.

    I still produced nice shots with a relaxed swing and early prep, but I felt like winners were tough to hit.

    The next move for me will be to commit and go full poly at 35#s.
     
  11. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

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    To add, I am going to go Full Poly with Big Hitter Rough. This will be my first full poly job in almost a year. If it was not such a radical tension change I doubt I would try it.

    Maybe we could start listing poly strings that are more compatible with this tension. I will definitley post my thoughts when I get a chance to string up again and hit.

    Off the bat, I noticed people had serious issues with my shots compared to when I was at a higher tension. The higher tension shots were clubbed hard and flat, but you can not hit those every time, and recovery shots can come up weak.

    With lower tension, I play a much more relaxed game, I do not swing as hard and my timing is better because of it. I have the bad habit of prepping late, and this really helped out. With high tension I would always feel the need to hit out, and now I am more focused on the preparation and setup for the next shot.

    Like I said before, the only thing I need to get comfortable with is open court winners. I can still hit them, but throw more spin on them now. I am interested in seeing if this feels better with full poly at 35 and hearing what other people exerienced.

    So far I liked the Tour Bite with the multi in the high 30s more then the 44/48 poly/sgut setup. I just did not feel the control I wanted, and I think that full poly would make the difference here.
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2010
  12. Uvijek Argen

    Uvijek Argen Semi-Pro

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    PP Don't go 30's with Big hitter blue rough!! (Hope I catch you before string it.) They are too soft already in the mid 40's. You be surprise how soft it is.

    Go mid 40's first. As I told you I do 48/46, and its softer than anything you can imagine. I dont even post about this strings in the forum cause I don't want anybody else to play with them....JUST ME!!:)
     
  13. PED

    PED Legend

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    Quoted for truth, I had the same issue last winter, I was stringing full poly at 62/60. The control was great but I felt like I was having to swing out of my shoes on every shot and as you mention above, that's hard to do.
     
  14. BC1

    BC1 Professional

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    I haven't come close to reading all of the posts in this extremely long thread, but I have followed it pretty closely over the past couple of weeks. So, this may or may not have already been covered...

    I'm just curious, has anyone found the racquet to be a factor in whether this whole "low tension" concept works or doesn't work? Meaning, will the benefits of going with a low tension poly be just as effective on a flexible player's frame as it will on a stiff powerful tweener frame? Does the racquet, or racquet stiffness, make a difference?
     
  15. PED

    PED Legend

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    That's a good question, I was using 59/57 for most of last year and this in a players stick, the ytpp. I just moved last month to the apd gt plus and i've dropped my tension to 52/50 to compensate. I think the 2 issues are the overall mass of the stick and the beam size. I've bumped up the weight on my 2 apd's up to 340g so i'm curious if I'll have to bump my tension back up again.
     
  16. bad_call

    bad_call Legend

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    ^^ down in the 40's with the MG PP (think this is considered a player's racquet)...effective for this player. :mrgreen:
     
  17. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

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    I think it is much better to have a lower flex stick with low power. Of course that is all I have tried low tensions in. But what I notice is that if you take a lighter control stick and play with low tension poly, you have the best of both worlds. You can still hit with good control, but now you also have very heavy shots.

    I still need to dial it in just right, but I definitley have played better tennis this past week with these low tensions. Much more consistent on ground strokes and even heavier spin.
     
  18. Don't Let It Bounce

    Don't Let It Bounce Hall of Fame

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    I recently tried a Tour Diablo MP with Alpha Gut 2000 18 mains (a stand-in for the natgut I'm unwilling to experiment with) at 35 lb, and Big Hitter Blue 17 crosses at 33 lb. The jury is still out, but there is an initial observation that reminds me of my failed experiment with low tensions in a POG OS with nat gut in the 80's: the unpredictability of the rebound angle. It comes off the strings at a variable and sometimes extreme upward angle.

    Both my experiments, today and long ago, were with very open patterns (the Diablo MP is only a 100, but it's a roundish 100), and the confidence-shaking lack of predictability reminds me of what guys who like closed patterns/small heads say about the 16x19 big heads that I like.

    So.... I'm now wondering what a denser string pattern would do with this kind of string set-up. Has anyone tried low tensions with both, and if so how does dense pattern/low tension compare with open pattern/normal tension, especially for rebound angle predictability?
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2010
  19. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

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    I made some more string orders. Here is what I will try :

    Big Hitter Blue rough at 44#s
    TopSpin Cyberflash at 35#s
    Polystar Energy at 50#s
     
  20. MomentumGT

    MomentumGT Semi-Pro

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    Anybody try a kevlar/syn gut at low tension?

    This weekend I used a friends APD Cortex with the Ashaway kevlar/syn gut combo at 45lbs and it felt great. I think I got spoiled with polys not moving much while I play but the strings moved around quite a bit, kind of expected it anyways.

    The raquet also had no damper and it felt pretty solid and connected not like the same raquet at 60lbs with full poly. I generally feel that the majority of Babolats feel like crap and cheap but this set up felt pretty solid and gave me tons of control and spin. My 1st serve was also popping with little effort. For me to get the same results with my AG200 on the serve I would have to put max effort to get the same results at 60% effort with the APD Cortex.

    This set up was also surprisingly very comfortable to my shoulders as well. I'm almost contemplating switching over to the 'dark side' and picking up some used Babo's. :twisted:

    -Jon
     
  21. dak95_00

    dak95_00 Professional

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    I've been curious to try very low tensions since I picked up an old wooden racquet and an old T2000; both had very old 1970s string jobs. I figured the tension in each had to be very low yet I had really nice feel and control when I hit with them.

    I had just ordered some string from TW (cheap stuff) and decided to give it a try. I just strung my POG 90 at 32 lbs on my Ektelon Model D w/ Isospeed Control + Long Life. It is all black so it looks cool. It's midnight here so I'll give it a go in the morning. I did bounce a ball on the bed. It feels very springy and gives the racquet a vibration. I don't use a dampener.

    The last two string jobs in it were Prince ProBlend at 70lbs and Big Banger Original at 70lbs. Comparing the low tension to those two will be interesting. Besides, I really want to try the theiry that I have that if the tension gets too low you can't be gaining power but only feel and back towards control. At least I can hope! And if it stinks, I'll know not to try it again and I can quit wondering.....

    Tune in tomorrow! Errrr......I mean later this morning!
     
  22. nickarnold2000

    nickarnold2000 Hall of Fame

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    I use a leaded up Becker Pro(tweener)338g - but very HL and have strung in the mid 30s, poly mains/ syngut cross without much trouble. I've currently settled on 40/42(for a little extra control) and get lots of spin(both top & slice) out of this setup. I'm a 5.0 all courter BTW.
     
  23. BC1

    BC1 Professional

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    Thanks, but since you are a 5.0 player you would probably have great results with a frying pan, or a badminton racquet! :)

    Will an average club player (solid 3.5) benefit as well using this in a tweener frame? Or will the low tension make it uncontrollable in a 16x18 pattern?
    I'm thinking about trying this in a 4D 500 Tour, or a BLX Pro Open.
     
  24. nickarnold2000

    nickarnold2000 Hall of Fame

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    I think a lot of it depends on how much topspin you use and that directly correlates to racquet head speed. Play around with the tension(hopefully you do your own stringing!) but be patient because it might take a little time to get used to lower tensions but it's totally worth it.
    Good luck - this thread should get "thread of the year" honors, IMO! :)
     
  25. bad_call

    bad_call Legend

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    notifying all of nick's competition...this is what he does to hurt you. :)
     
  26. dak95_00

    dak95_00 Professional

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    I got out and hit w/ it for 3 hours. It was great. My wrist didn't hurt playing for the first time this summer. The racquet felt very soft, yet responsive and w/ control. I had no trouble hitting w/ spin and flat. As usual, my footwork let me down when I got tired but I felt I had as much control and power as I've ever had w/ this set-up. I don't know if I'd go lower but I am curious. If the strings break, I might go to 25 just for fun. It can't really hurt.

    pros:
    *less pain in the arm and wrist
    *more power and same control because I was able to move the ball w/ less effort
    *serve return against a big flat serve was much more effortless and same against spinning kickers

    cons:
    *tired swings could sail more and didn't fall in as much as usual (when they do fall in my opponents usually hit winners or set themselves up for winners next time)

    neutral:
    *serve control was simlar but kicks were unusual at times (kicks could be a pro)
     
  27. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

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    I am getting used to the lower tensions. I do not know if I will drop to 35#s or not. I kind of like how Bad call is slowly dropping. I am at 44 now. I think I will stay around there, but next time with full poly.

    Regardless, I am hitting extremely consistent now that I settled in. The lower tension seems to suit my strokes since I hit with a lot of spin. So far I am really into it. I miss the power of the Solinco at 37#s though...it just felt a hair too low...so there is some fine tuning to be done.

    Is Cyberflash a string that is going to respond better at 35 then 40?
     
  28. corners

    corners Legend

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    Cyberflash is pretty stiff, around Alu stiffness, and significantly stiffer than the Cyclone that Chris plays at 35 - so I'd say, yeah.
     
  29. nickarnold2000

    nickarnold2000 Hall of Fame

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    You're right - I don't tell any of my opponents what I'm doing unless they're best buds! (ha, ha) :)
     
  30. dak95_00

    dak95_00 Professional

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    IDK......

    I switched back to my normal Microgel Radicals prestrung w/ Head Synthetic Gut (not made anymore) at whatever tension they came today. My POG just felt a little too loose today. I think 40 would be a better bet. Regardless, my backhand felt super and the POG did play very similar to the Head w/ just a little too much pocketing for my liking.

    (This will be a first too.) I'm currently sanding down another one of my POGs and am going to paint it a metallic gold. After it is painted, I will string it at 40 and give it a go. It should look awesome w/ black strings, bumper & grommet, & grip w/ the gold paint. I'm sure it will play great too.

    I really, really like how easy it is on my arm and body to have such a low tension. I'll definitely restring towards the low end of the tension range when my strings break on my Radicals next. I used to like stiff boards but now I'm getting into the softer ease of playing w/ looser strings.
     
  31. caprivi

    caprivi New User

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    Since I like gut (hybrid with syn gut) at higher tension and full poly at low tension, I'd thought I would try gut mains at ~60lb and a poly crosses at ~40lb. Anybody tried this combo yet?

    This is on an APDGT.
     
  32. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

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    60 pounds and 40 pounds? That is probably going to screw up your racquet.
     
  33. tennisace23

    tennisace23 Rookie

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    Yeah, 3 lbs +/- 1 lb differential between mains and crosses is considered acceptable. Beyond that, expect distortion of the head shape, which will change the properties/specs of the racquet.
     
  34. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

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    BTW, I strung up the Big Hitter Rough at 44#s. Hopefully will get to hit with it tomorrow.
     
  35. GPB

    GPB Professional

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    I wouldn't worry about it... Those strings at those tensions should end up giving you a pretty consistent stringbed stiffness level.

    Give it a try and report back! :)
     
  36. Kevo

    Kevo Hall of Fame

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    I wouldn't be surprised if the frame survived a stringing at those tensions, but I also wouldn't be surprised if it cracked in actual play.
     
  37. corners

    corners Legend

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    His frame will shorten by half an inch, which will reduce swingweight by about 20 units. He'll probably love it because it swings to easy now, but from what I've read that's not at all a nice thing to do to a frame.
     
  38. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

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    I like my frames so I would personally never do that.

    44#s last night with full poly. It is like a different experience. I am so used to full poly in the 50s (which sucks) that I was not prepared for how comfortable and controllable this would be. It really has changed my game considerably. Instead of swinging hard because of high tension, I can swing relaxed and still hit with good pace. When I do swing hard for winners, the ball is easily controlled and stays in.

    Hybriding in the 40s is not bad, but not ideal. It works, but is way harder to control. When you go to full poly, it changes everything. I think a good hybrid would be in the mid 50s, and I am now thinking that anyone who strings full poly over 50#s and is not a professional is doing it wrong.
     
  39. PED

    PED Legend

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    ^^Great thread all around. I don't think that full poly and the 50's is a bad thing across the board.

    Not everyone has arm or shoulder issues and it's also very racquet specific. I do like lower tensions in my apd gt due to the stiffness but loved higher tensions (upper 50's, low 60's) in both my Heads.

    For me, I've settled on 52/50 for now. That was 7 lbs less than where I was before. I used 50/48 over the weekend and it was fine but it had a little less control than I wanted.

    Plus, aren't you using cyberflash? I can see why you're using the mid 40's ;)


    By and large, I'm using the newer gen co-poly's which tend to be softer and more arm friendly. I always found CF to be a bit harsh and it could def benefit from the lower tension you're using.
     
  40. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

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    Actually no. I am using Big Hitter blue rough. It is an incredible string. I have not used the Cyberflash yet at a low tension. I like the Big Hitter so much that I may stick with it for a bit to be quite honest.

    I don't think your tension is that bad. I am just saying that the benefits of dropping lower are tenfold. You will get the control back rather fast. Took me about 4-6 hours and now I am more consistent then I have ever been, plus I have more power and it's real good on my arm.

    Worth a shot.
     
  41. PED

    PED Legend

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    ^^Big hitter blue is a good deal softer than CF, you are right :) I've always heard it was the functional equiv of cyber power which was quite nice.

    I did some full spinX earlier this year at 62/60 and that was just a bit too far for me: you could really feel the elasticity gone from the string at that tension. It would "work" at that level but I felt it performed much better lower down.

    One more point that probably helps on the Dunlops vs the Bab's is the Dunlop's tighter 18X20 pattern vs the open 16X19 on the Bab. I owned an 18X20 stick (briefly) last year and really dropped the tension on it and really enjoyed it.

    18X20's naturally tend to have that lower trajectory so the lower tension would really help there I would think.
     
  42. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

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    Yes. I am going to do this with your racquet also to compare. I will get a regular apdgt and string it at the exact same tension , same strings and see how it goes.

    I agree with you about trajectory..etc. I also am interested in seeing how I adjust to the variables you are talking about.
     
  43. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

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    Ok, for now I have the apdgt strung at 40/42 with cyberflash. Weather permitting I will hit with it tonight. Has anyone gone this low on a racquet this powerful before? Only reason I am trying is because I hit with heavy spin and feel like I may be able to control it real well.

    The low tension feels kind of unfair to be honest. If I can control it with Cyberflash, it could get real scary with the big hitter rough when I get more sent to me. The spin I have gotten so far with the Dunlop 300T is substantial, so this could get real fun.
     
  44. PED

    PED Legend

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    ^^Sounds fun, can't wait to hear how it goes. I'm using the XL version which is nice and I've got mine leaded to 343g now. I couldn't break an egg with it at the stock weight of 323g ;)

    The ultra low tension will really help negate the lack of mass of the stock apdgt over your 300T. Have fun with it.
     
  45. joe sch

    joe sch Hall of Fame

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    Low tensions are really fun, I have hit many rackets recently in the 40 .. 45 lb range. Great for spinning but just need to be able to generate the extra racket head speed to keep the balls in the court.
     
  46. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

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    Yes, the racquet head speed has always been a strength of mine luckily.

    I noticed that I sometimes hit too low when I use the 300T at 44#s. For example finishing off easy sitters , I would sometimes clip the net trying to keep the ball down with spin. Good news is that is an easy adjustment.

    PED, I like the lack of mass. Ever since the wrist got messed up I realized how much torque I was putting on the ball with it. The thing about the apdgt is that it still seems to have a nice swingweight behind it, but it is very light. The 300T is the opposite..12.2ozs with a swingweight under 320. I have to figure out the easiest option on my bod and I am good. Either way, low tensions has made it so I can use full poly and actually enjoy the experience again.
     
  47. DrpShot!

    DrpShot! Semi-Pro

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    how do you deal with the string movement when you string in the 40's? my polys have moved all over the place when i string that low
     
  48. JT_2eighty

    JT_2eighty Hall of Fame

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    Yea, depends on the frame. A flexible one will warp considerably, but a stiffer Wilson or Babolat type frame would probably hold up ok. Be careful to not break your frame and blame any of us! :) You've been warned, as although the SBS should be ok, the sheer difference in main/cross *tension* can still cause issues.
     
  49. GPB

    GPB Professional

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    Hmm... so you're telling me I might owe a friend a new frame that I strung with Problend at 40/55? Let's hope his Wilson KTour holds up!
     
  50. beststringer

    beststringer Rookie

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    I did a 50/30 on a ps 88 that is very used and i can't sell. it worked out great.
     

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