More comfortable: 17g @ 58lbs or 16g @ 56lbs?

Discussion in 'Strings' started by asintu, Jul 8, 2006.

  1. asintu

    asintu Professional

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    Which one of the two would be a more comfortable setup?
     
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  2. travlerajm

    travlerajm Hall of Fame

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    Thinner gauge actually feels a couple of pounds tighter at the same tension because it has smaller cross-sectional area, so it is stressed more, and is therefore stiffer.
     
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  3. couch

    couch Hall of Fame

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    I would think the thinner gauge at a "slightly" tighter tension would feel more comfortable.
     
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  4. Kevo

    Kevo Hall of Fame

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    Depends on the string, but in general I would say that the 17g would probably be more comfortable. I have yet to actually play a 17g that feels stiffer at the same tension as it's 16g counter part, but I am sure that there are some strings out there that would be stiffer in 17g than 16g. I just don't think there are that many of them.
     
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  5. Roy

    Roy Semi-Pro

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    That's a good question. I've actually tried those set ups. For me, I found the 17g was more comfortable.
     
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  6. armand

    armand Banned

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    Man! You and your theories! If what you say is true, then wouldn't you also mean that 17g is less powerful than a thicker gauge as well?
     
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  7. snoflewis

    snoflewis Guest

    haha good point...and we know that is definitely not true.

    that would somewhat explain how 17g gives more spin, but that's not the reason because a thinner string leaves for a more open string pattern and as we all know, more open the string pattern = more spin.
     
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  8. travlerajm

    travlerajm Hall of Fame

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    It's not theory. Just laws of physics.

    And the answer to your question is no. You can't always tell whether a thinner gauge string will be more powerful, because the power level is determined by the deflection of the stringbed.

    Stringbed deflection is affected by string thckness in two ways, and these two ways counteract each other.

    Effect #1: Thinner gauge string has smaller cross-sectional area, so it is stressed more than a thicker gauge string at the same tension when you string it. The increased stress causes the string to be stiffer, decreasing power level.

    Effect #2: Thinner gauge string has smaller cross-sectional area, so it stretches more upon ball impact. The increased stretching increases stringbed deflection, which increased power level.

    Since these two effects tend to counteract each other almost exactly, the change in power level will be very small, and it will depend on a number of factors, including string material, the tension, the racquet flex, the hitting weight of the frame, and the relative ball velocity at impact.

    My friend who has been a professional stringer for 30 years recommends that you go about 2 lbs looser when you go one gauge size thinner with the same string type, if you want to maintain the same power level. From my own experience, I agree with him.
     
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  9. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

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    What about 1.5 pounds difference?
     
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  10. asintu

    asintu Professional

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    :mrgreen:
     
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  11. byealmeens

    byealmeens Semi-Pro

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    Totally agree! I have tried identical set-ups with the same string except one at 17 gauge and the other 18 gauge. Both felt to have about the same power level, but to my surprise, the 18 gauge seemed to have more control. Strung at the same tension, I've also found the thinner string to go "dead" a bit sooner, as though it were strung tighter. Now I string the thinner gauge a bit looser....
     
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  12. byealmeens

    byealmeens Semi-Pro

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    This is a very different issue IMO. Comfort is not something you can't really measure, and differs based on the player. I used to think all thinner gauge strings were more "comfortable", or "softer". However, I've found that thicker gauges can be even more so, especially at a bit lower tension. The one difference I did find is that the "break-in" period (I'm talking multis now) was different. The thicker gauge string seemed to take longer to settle and achieve maximum "softness" than the thinner gauge. Perhaps this is why some feel the thinner is more comfortable....
     
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  13. travlerajm

    travlerajm Hall of Fame

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    The biggest noticeable difference when you change string thickness is the change in swingweight due to the difference in stringbed mass. There is roughly 3 kg-cm^2 difference in SW for each gauge size. It's likely that the increased control you felt with 18 gauge was due to the significant decrease in SW (about 6 kg-cm^2 less than if you had 16 gauge). With most stock racquets, the lower swingweight would give you more "bite" on the ball.
     
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  14. byealmeens

    byealmeens Semi-Pro

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    Good point. That would explain that difference.

    Any idea why thicker gauges require a longer "break-in" period? Do they lose tension at a different rate than the thinner gauge?
     
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  15. ThePlungerMan

    ThePlungerMan Rookie

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    I know of one string that is stiffer in 17 as opposed to 16. BDE perf gut.
    I noticed a huge difference
     
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  16. rst

    rst Rookie

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    "Thinner gauge string has smaller cross-sectional area, so it stretches more upon ball impact."

    would higher tension on the thinner string then reduce the stretching on impact???
     
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  17. rst

    rst Rookie

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    does thinner guage string cut into the ball more putting more stress on the ball?? is th etennis bal mor elikely to give than the stringbed??

    does this offset the additional stress on thinner cross sectional string??
     
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  18. rst

    rst Rookie

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    so it is stressed more than a thicker gauge string at the same tension.........The increased stress causes the string to be stiffer......

    but not stiffer than thicker string??

    thicker guage stign gets stiffer when stressed too.
     
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  19. Hi I'm Ray

    Hi I'm Ray Hall of Fame

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    It might depend on how much actual difference there is between the two gauges. With some string the difference between 16 and 17 is maybe .04 or .05.mm, with others it may be a greater difference. I compared Co-focus 1.27/OGSM 18 @ 51/54lbs VS Co-focus 1.18/OGSM @ 54/54lbs - the 1.27 felt firm and the 1.18 felt a lot softer.
     
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  20. ricardo

    ricardo Professional

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    Softer strings are more comfortable than stiffer strings

    According to TWU String Performance DB (http://twu.tennis-warehouse.com/learning_center/reporter.php), for the same string strung at the same tension, i.e 55 lbs, the thinner string (17g) will be softer than the thicker string (16g).

    I know this to be true because I tried Babolat VS Touch 16g and 17g at the same tension. The 17g is much softer and much more comfortable than the 16g.
     
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