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

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

  1. Fuji

    Fuji Legend

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    It's going to feel REALLY strange off the first few shots, then you'll be okay! :razz:

    -Fuji
     
  2. Rozroz

    Rozroz Legend

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    can you share this strangeness please?
     
  3. v-verb

    v-verb Hall of Fame

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    It took me one session to get used to my POG mid strung at 40lbs. I was hitting long, missing volleys etc.

    The second time I tried it, I was hooked. My serves had wicked slice, groundies were spinning crazy good and volleys had nice pop.

    So takes a bit of an adjustment but IMO it's worth it. I'm not going back - except for trying to figure out how to recapture the magic my Prince Boron had before I strung poly at 50 lbs....but that's another post.
     
  4. MikeHitsHard93

    MikeHitsHard93 Hall of Fame

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    Is stringing this low only good for poly?
     
  5. v-verb

    v-verb Hall of Fame

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    Well I played on my friends old CTS Graduate with Babolat Syn Gut 16. Got some amazing ball pocketing and junk on my serve.

    Didn't know why until I measured the tension. 33 lbs (very old strings). So it worked fine, no catapulting or anything. I think I prefer poly at low tensions but some syn guts will be fine IMO
     
  6. yourmailman

    yourmailman Rookie

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    When I went down to the low 40's and 38, I noticed a lot more spring than the 60 to 70#s I had been hitting. It took a few games to get used to it, as it did going down to 30#s. Now that I am there and have learned the characteristics of that tension, I like it a lot!
     
  7. Rozroz

    Rozroz Legend

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    I really feel like I've discovered a new world! It's just unbelievable.
    i just came back playing with BHB7 16 strung at 40.

    I will try to restore my experiences as accurate as possible:
    First of all, for those who don't like 'butter touch', there's no point in trying low tensions.
    I love it! Just as soft as melted butter! The first major thing that really stands out with this tension.
    It's as if you slipping into your favorite sweat pants after a whole day with jeans ;)

    And now for the differences in terms of the game itself.
    i'll probably say again what many said here over the thread including Chris.

    the spin is so enhanced it's just ridicolous, almost in every hit. slices and droppers become very easy, this is just crazy.
    forhands and backhands have quite a different feel. I do not know how to explain it. Clearly there's a lot more power, but it's still mysteriously controlled. hard strokes end up inside the court most of the times. i didn't feel unsecured at all. it also has a unique feel of pocketing the ball just enough for you to control it. you DON'T lose control and spring balls at the fence.
    The ball also gets an unexpected addition of spin in all sorts of directions, and it really killed my partner's game. He had to make last-minute adjustment many times (like Novak at the USOPEN LOL).
    simply unbelievable. i really had a different game.
    For serves, i don't know yet. I felt a change, but still not any significant improvement in something.
    but it's now possible to produce rather fast accurate flatters almost without effort.
    and now to the cherry at the top- my returns!
    Almost all of my returns somehow remained in the court. all i had to do is put the raquet at the spot and the rest happened by itself. ball returned deep with no effort, sometime with weird spin that made my partner make UE's.
    It was much easier to control slice returns and they simply ruined all the serve intimidation my partner had before.
    Pure pleasure!
    again i'll say that those who like a hard accurate strung stick might even hate this tension. But those who are accustomed to a soft and spoily multi will feel at home.
    I'm pretty sure that also my arm and wrist 'enjoy' hitting with less hard impact feel.
    i Recommend everyone to try a 30-40 tension with poly at least once.
    I sure did not expect such a unique experience.
    Of course there are some drawbacks. power shots with some inaccuracies may fly out. But for me it rarely happened. So I'm not sure it's right for those who like to hit with power toughness and accuracy.
    But if you manage to get used to low tension and learn how to master it's gentleness, the feeling is just addictive.
    The biggest advantage is the easy power, depth, and SPINNNNNN.

    Hope this honeymoon will last very long.
     
  8. v-verb

    v-verb Hall of Fame

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    Very nice Rozroz

    My POG and Boron are slowly getting into the 40's and I'm looking forward to it.

    The last time I hot with the POG was very very nice! I'm having a match tonight and will let you guys know.

    I silicone/tefloned the strings for fun and we'll see how the strings react with that witches brew

    Cheers

    nigel
     
  9. yourmailman

    yourmailman Rookie

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    Nice Rozroz!

    I have found the same. I am winning more games and having to use a lot less effort to get the ball back deep, and the exaggerated spin seems to drive most people crazy.

    The serve took a little getting used to. My spin serve now moves way more than it did at higher tension. One nice result of the lower tension on serve is that a lot of times it will look like it's going to their backhand (on a righty) and end up being a body serve. Also, I get a lot more pop on a hard flat first serve.

    Glad you are liking it.
     
  10. Rozroz

    Rozroz Legend

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    but how the hell did you like the complete opposite feel of stringing at 60??
     
  11. yourmailman

    yourmailman Rookie

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    I am loving it! No shock to the arm when striking the ball.

    As I mentioned earlier, I strung my mixed doubles partner's PureDrive 107 at 38#s, and she loved it. She said that it felt very comfortable, and "sounds so different". She adjusted very quickly and has now said she wants to go lower.
     
  12. Centerforward71

    Centerforward71 Rookie

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    No honeymoon it's not for everyone but if you like it don't see why go back. I've been here for 6 months. And I mess with other setups but nothing compares. By the way I use to and still like 60+ tension but most setups in the middle lack in someway.

    But now are you ready for a surprise ?? What if I tell you that 30 feels and performs even better. No I ain't kidding. What I do is I string at 35-37 and break in setup and stabilizes at 28-30 and there is where it plays the sweetest for me. It will play awesome for a while meaning 10+ hours but I have learned my lesson to cut out around that point. Now I play a stiff racquet and use a stiff poly but it feels like butter.
     
  13. yourmailman

    yourmailman Rookie

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    I played a match tonight starting off with the hybrid that has poly on the mains. It went pretty well until half of my lead tape come off. Tried to keep with it, but it was just not feeling right.

    I went to the all poly and never lost another game. I still like the feel of the all syn-gut, but the poly setup performed wonderfully.

    P.S. My tension app says it is now at 28 while the syn-gut is barely under 30.
     
  14. Fuji

    Fuji Legend

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    I was doing another round of demoing today and I had my Aerostorm GT strung with PHT @ 38lbs out. I won my match which is always nice, but I didn't feel comfortable really letting the ball go. Service games were a breeze as I didn't drop serve once due to a really nice second serve action with a ton of pronounced kick and slice, but off the ground I just wasn't happy with the results. I sprayed a ton of backhands long by about 6 inches, and my forehand had to have a really defined low to high action to keep within the lines. Slices were money though, really smooth with a ton of side spin.

    Definitely something I'm going to keep testing but I wasn't totally satisfied with my first low tension outing in months!

    -Fuji
     
  15. Rozroz

    Rozroz Legend

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    i think in a way it's almost as cheating.
    if i was strict about it i would say it's having an unfair advantage,
    because my game is unpredicted and i'm not really the one that make it so..
    what do you guys think?
     
  16. maxpotapov

    maxpotapov Hall of Fame

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    Please come back soon when poly dies on you and stringbed turns into a memory foam mattress :)
     
  17. Rozroz

    Rozroz Legend

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    what do you mean? poly dies anyway either in this or a high tension.
    in fact it dies quicker on higher tension so what's the difference?
     
  18. v-verb

    v-verb Hall of Fame

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    So I hit last night and the silicone spray messed up the balls big time:???: I blamed it on the dirty courts:twisted:

    So if my strokes were good, the ball went in very nicely! I didn't think the silicone spray made a big difference on spin, but since it will probably extend string life I'll use it sparingly.

    I'm a convert to low tension strings. It's easier on my wrist and shoulder. I think I lose some mph on my first server which bothers me, but it adds spin on my serves so it's a wash I guess.

    When my strings die I'll be stringing at 38 lbs initially expecting it to settle in at about 30 lbs. And we'll see how the strings react then. Presently my POG is 39 lbs and my Boon is 49 lbs

    I did play the POG mid and the Boron. LOVE those racquets, and I was able to drill 4 aces in my 2 sets last night, which is up from my usual 1 per 2/3 sets over the summer.

    Cheers

    nigel
     
  19. anubis

    anubis Hall of Fame

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    Wow, I may just have to jump on the bandwagon myself. I have a couple racquets to string this weekend, and a reel of BHB7. Should I take the plunge?

    My biggest fear is hitting the ball too long. When I string syn gut, I always have to string around 62-64 lbs just to keep it in. Anything less and that ball rockets away, even with my low powered "players" racquets.

    Do any of you low tension ppl experience any trouble with this? Do you find that you have to slow your racquet speed down at all when hitting ground strokes?

    I like to swing the racquet fast, and I'm afraid they'll sail long all day long.
     
  20. v-verb

    v-verb Hall of Fame

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    Actually the increased spin from low tension and a fast - low to high - swing will bring the ball in. If you choke your swing, it will sail out
     
  21. Rozroz

    Rozroz Legend

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    don't make a big deal. string one racquet low and give it a go.
    worst case you wasted a bit of string.
    i can only say that the pocketing is so good that you have the time to put enough control to retain the ball in court even in fast shots.
    however you CAN inject far less power to get deep.
    it's either you'll like it or not. very simple.
     
  22. sundaypunch

    sundaypunch Hall of Fame

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    If you read all the way through this thread from the beginning, you will see that the excitement that many felt when they first tried low tension eventually wore off and they went back to their original setup. I have tried everything from 50 on down to 25 lbs. I love the feel and comfort at very low tensions. I find that it plays amazing when I can really concentrate on brushing the ball. When I'm not careful (or really pushed) the ball has a tendency to sail long.

    I'm happy around 45 lbs or higher now. After a few months of this I usually will try something lower and am then reminded why I always go back.

    It's always a good idea to try it for yourself to see if you like it. You never know, it may fit your playing style.
     
  23. yourmailman

    yourmailman Rookie

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    Ditto. The increased spin keeps the ball in. I still use the same basic swing that I did at 60# and up, but the amount of topspin generated brings it down into the court quite nicely.
     
  24. Rozroz

    Rozroz Legend

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    played again today and now have a little more down to earth observations..
    as said above, in order to fully use the low tension advantage you gotta be very relaxed and concentrated.
    every attempt to 'power' your strokes has to be... how do i say.. delicate :)
    while higher tensions can "behave" well with more various amount of speed and power, low tensions are more "picky".
    it's like working with a more soft and refined tool. you can be very precise if you manage to have the ability to play relaxed and in high focus.
    whether this will work in a long term? can't say ATM.

    one more strange thing... from all the options, it's actually my SLICE serve that became less intimidating! wtf?
     
  25. sundaypunch

    sundaypunch Hall of Fame

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    That is a good observation. I think I could get used to it but would have to ride out some inconsistency for a while. I can see the advantages but it is hard to override years of hitting at 55-60 lbs.
     
  26. Rozroz

    Rozroz Legend

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    i guess that if letting your arm ease off on that butter feel is important to you,
    then you can handle the downsides.
     
  27. v-verb

    v-verb Hall of Fame

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    Anytime I can do a full tennis stoke I get the ball in. The problem is years of table tennis and the TT strokes just don't translate well to tennis!

    I'm trying to find a way to get my power back on my serves. If I could do that I would never look back to the days of 60lbs plus strings
     
  28. yourmailman

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    Try undercutting the ball a little. I have found that this tends to send the serve back deep, with lots of spin. I have found that the low tension has actually improved my return game.
     
  29. v-verb

    v-verb Hall of Fame

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    Thanks! I'll try that on my returns. any advice on how I can hit my occasional 100 mph serves again? I miss blasting!

    Before I cut the strings on the Boron (some red strings strung stiff - no idea of brand and tension) I nailed a bunch of aces in one set - probably 5 or 6? Against good players.

    Since I went to high 40's with RPM Team 17, I can still hit a couple of aces per set but the serves have plenty of spin and maybe 80 mph?
     
  30. Fuji

    Fuji Legend

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    This is by far the best way to sum up low tension poly. I have to consciously make sure I swing low to high and FINISH my stroke. Chopping it half way makes for a terrible ball sailing long.

    -Fuji
     
  31. yourmailman

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    I have lost a little speed on my first serve, bit nowhere near the 20% you mention. Maybe 5mph at most. But tonight I clocked several aces that seemed just as fast as when I was using higher tensions.

    I have found that my placement is much better with the extreme low tension. Maybe because I don't have to use quite as much power to get the same (or almost the same) speed results.

    I know it has really improved my second serve. A lot more kick or slice.
     
  32. v-verb

    v-verb Hall of Fame

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    I have to agree my 2nd serve is better by far. I think perhaps I need to keep serving with it and I'll adjust. I can get a wicked screwball effect on my first serve sometimes now which I wasn't before.

    One thing to note is I'm not quite at the low tensions yet. My POG mid is 39-40 lbs and my Boron OS is 50 lbs. Each is 20 lbs below what I would usually use.

    It's possible that at the 30 lbs setting for the POG mid and say 35lbs for the Boron OS things could improve markedly
     
  33. yourmailman

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    V-Verb,

    You may be on to something there. I seem to recall that at around 46# 44# and 42#, my serve didn't have near the pop that I am getting now.

    Try the 30 and 35 and let us know.
     
  34. v-verb

    v-verb Hall of Fame

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    Yourmailman

    Shall do - thanks!
     
  35. fortun8son

    fortun8son Hall of Fame

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    I usually string poly 48-54 and syngut 54-68 depending on the frame.
    I've successfully gone to 43ish.
    Never gone lower. Maybe I can entice a client into the 30's IDK.
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2012
  36. yourmailman

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    This thread seems to have lost momentum, so here is an update.

    For Christmas, I got my girlfriend a new racquet, and strung it with Technifibre Red Code 18 at 30 pounds.

    She got to use it for one lesson, and then we played a few sets. She was a little hesitant at first because it "sounded so different" (where have I heard that before?). We warmed up for about 20 minutes. She settled in and started hitting some very nice shots.

    Once we actually started playing, I was amazed at the amount of topspin she was getting on her ground strokes. I can now see why people are having problems with some of my shots. The ball would hit the court and seemed to pick up speed after the bounce. She even hit a few that were going so good, they stuck in the fence at the back of the court!

    Her serves were popping pretty good, too. Her only complaint was high balls at the net. She was having a little trouble with those. I explained how I changed my shots at net with the low tension and she was good to go.

    She said she was actually surprised at how nice it felt, and at how few of her shots went long.

    I guess I have created another convert to the extreme low tension club. ;)
     
  37. v-verb

    v-verb Hall of Fame

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    very nice YMM!

    I've got 2 Donnay's coming in this week strung at 35lbs with Solinco Tour Bite 17 crossed with Solinco Barb Wire 17.

    I expect they may settle in at 30ish. Will let you guys know how it feels. Hoping they will be spin monsters!!
     
  38. yourmailman

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    I played a guy tonight and hit 2 backspin drop shots that bounced and came back over the net before he could get to them. I don't think I ever did that when I was using higher tensions.

    Yet another thing that I love about the extremely low tensions.
     
  39. Centerforward71

    Centerforward71 Rookie

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    For me it's the opposite every time I think I can get more out of my old higher tension setup I keep coming back. Regardless I can still play with the higher tension but there is so much less feel and less spin, feels stiff, harder on defensive shots etc etc. the one thing I can say is that the low tension will enhance most effects that includes enhancing poor strokes. If your strokes are sloppy and inconsistent then that's what you get from the low tension.

    I string for many and a player below say a 4.0 level of stokes I have seen more negatives than positives from low tension and usually don't recommend it if asked.
     
  40. yourmailman

    yourmailman Rookie

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    I will have to second that.

    For grins tonight, I started off with my one racquet that is still strung at 50/48. I didn't like it at all. My returns were sailing, as were some of my volleys that would have been clean winners with the 30# setup. The pop was gone from my serve (especially second serves), and I double faulted several times.

    After 5 games (should have done it sooner), I went back to my favorite (syn-gut at 30#). All of a sudden, I felt comfortable again. My serves had more pop, and were moving good. I was able to hit the ball with pace, with most of them landing well to the back of the court with lots of top-spin. It was like coming home.

    Maybe it's a mental thing, but I think I'll stay with the extreme low tension.
     
  41. Centerforward71

    Centerforward71 Rookie

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    Wow your using Syn gut. I have not tried that yet. I imagine you used poly at 30 also why did you go with the syn gut rather ? Now I gotta go lace up a stick because of you. I was thinking a stiff multi perhaps XONE biphase rather than such a soft syn gut ?? I have not read this thread in a while but have you tried to hybrid at the low tension ?

    For those that call it a fad. I have about six 4.5-5.0 level players and a couple of nationally ranked juniors playing with low 30s and not interested in going back.

    I will reiterate if your strokes are sloppy then sooner or later you shall return to the higher tension because the lower tension is not forgiving to open faced flailing at the ball which is very common among players with not fundamentally sound strokes. Please this is NOT a slight on everybody just a scientific observation, I mean that before I get attacked.
     
  42. yourmailman

    yourmailman Rookie

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    Centerforward71,

    Yes, syn-gut. When I strung my first low tension, I only had syn-gut and co-poly lying around. I decided to start with the syn-gut because that's what I had the most of. After trying an all poly and poly/syn-gut hybrid, I like the all syn-gut the best.

    Both of the other setups are nice, but I keep going back to the syn-gut. The only down side to it is that the strings move a lot. Not the case with the poly and hybrid.
     
  43. yourmailman

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    Just ordered some natural gut to continue the experiment.

    I'll post results once I get it strung.
     
  44. v-verb

    v-verb Hall of Fame

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    Sounds good YMM!

    Don't know if I mentioned it before but I was playing my late friend's Prince CTS Graduate with Bab Syn Gut.

    It played great, pocketed wonderfully and was an all round good racquet! I could probably still play it but I moved on to POGs and now a Donnay X-Platinum 94 which is like an even better playing POG at 18 x 20.

    I tested the Graduate on RacquetTune and it registered at 33 lbs - it's never been restrung in all those years.

    So SynGut at low tensions can play great - just beware it can launch if you don't use spinny strokes!
     
  45. yourmailman

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    Played tonight in the cold with my 30# syn-gut. 36 at the start of the match and 32 when we finished. My tension app says I am now actually at 28#, and my partner's PureDrive 107 has settled in at 35#.

    It seemed to me that the cold didn't affect the strings as much at the lower tension as what I experienced last year when I was in the 50's and 60's. Volleys were still nice and crisp, while the other team was having issues. I was also getting a lot of pop on my serve.

    Anyone else had similar results in low temperatures with low tension?
     
  46. Centerforward71

    Centerforward71 Rookie

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    Been playing with the low tensions for almost a year pretty much pain free except for the last couple of weeks been having wrist soreness and some symptoms of TE. Is it the low tension possibly ? I don't play string longer than 8-10 hrs already learned that lesson. Might just be me and poor warm ups and flexibility maintenance, any thoughts ?
     
  47. v-verb

    v-verb Hall of Fame

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    How low is the tension and what string including gauge are you using?

    I don't think low tension would cause it, but you may want to increase comfort by going to a smaller string and 30 lbs or so.

    I've had a bad wrist since summer (Super light hollow racquets - RipStick and Pure Drive - high tensions - 60+).

    I'm using Donnays and old Prince Sticks now. They are solid, 12 ounce sticks and 35-40 lbs tension with 17 ga poly strings. My arms and wrists are feeling tons better.
     
  48. Tennisguy3000

    Tennisguy3000 Semi-Pro

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    I wish I could try my racquet strung at my current 60 lbs & 40 lbs together (well... one at a time & switch between them ;-)

    Intrigued for sure ;-)
     
  49. Centerforward71

    Centerforward71 Rookie

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    Strung at 35 plays at 30 and below. Genesis twisted razor 16L on head ig speed 315 16x19
     
  50. v-verb

    v-verb Hall of Fame

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    Seems pretty good. Maybe try 17 ga or 18 ga string but the strings will break easier.

    Good luck, maybe take a few days off to rest it. I use KT tape on my wrist just in case and I think it helps a lot. Give it a try
     

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