Most powerful tension for natural gut?

Discussion in 'Strings' started by superstition, Jul 15, 2008.

  1. superstition

    superstition Hall of Fame

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    What is the lowest possible tension for 17 gauge VS Team gut that will provide the maximum power? I've read that the optimal tension is 60 lbs, but that seems high. McEnroe used to string his wood racquets at 47 lbs, I think.

    How low can a person go before power loss becomes a factor?
     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2008
    #1
  2. Tim W

    Tim W Rookie

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    It depends on the racquet and the player. McEnroe would go very low in a wood racquet because they are around 60 square inches.
    What type of racquet do you have?
     
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  3. stormholloway

    stormholloway Legend

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    I tried 54 with my sticks recently and absolutely hated it. For a very flat hitter I think it could work, like McEnroe flat. I like natural gut at a tension as high as possible without that jarring feeling. I remember really like 58 lbs. but obviously you're looking for a lower tension.

    I wouldn't go below the 40s.
     
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  4. [d]ragon

    [d]ragon Hall of Fame

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    i strung mine at 63 and thought it had good power
     
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  5. FreshStew

    FreshStew Rookie

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    58 lbs. sounds about right.

    I got mine strung at 60(max) on my k95 and after a couple of hours it felt perfect.
     
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  6. heycal

    heycal Hall of Fame

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    I use a Pro Kennex 5g, 100" head, and string 16g nat gut at 52 lbs, and there seems to be no shortage of power judging by my abiliy to hit a ball twenty feet past the baseline now and then.

    Doesn't lower tension give you more power? If so, I imagine you can go several lbs lower than my 52lbs without losing power. (Control may be another issue...)
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2008
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  7. SlapShot

    SlapShot Hall of Fame

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    I've found that with natty gut, you can definitely go higher in tension without losing feel or power - I string my hybrid of Legend and Pro Supex BA at 62/56 and the Legend still feels great, and has plenty of pop. With full gut, I don't know that I'd go much below 55 for fear of the string bed feeling too soft for me.
     
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  8. diredesire

    diredesire Super Moderator

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    As an above poster mentioned, the stiffness of his string bed was probably higher than expected because the length of his strings was much smaller than a modern day 100 si head. I'd wager in the 55 lbs range would be plenty powerful ;)
     
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  9. superstition

    superstition Hall of Fame

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    Thanks. Yeah, I'm familiar with the stringbed size issue. Borg, though, strung his standard wood racquets extremely tight, perhaps even tighter than Sampras strung his PS 85? That suggests to me that stringbed size isn't necessarily a huge factor, although this may not be true.

    Does anyone know how low gut can be strung in a 90 sq in racquet with a 16x19 pattern without power loss? I'm not concerned with control, just the maximum repulsion power available.
     
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  10. diredesire

    diredesire Super Moderator

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    The problem with the sampras/borg issue is that they probably weren't looking for maximum power. The stringbed size IS a very real factor (imho). They were probably trying to offset some of the natural characteristics of gut, namely the resiliency. However, they decided on gut (rather on a synthetic material, depending on 'era') probably due to the "pocketing" and tension maintenance.

    As far as stringing in a 90si, I would see no problems going as low as 45 with no "power loss." Once you go VERY low, strings typically start behaving very differently, though. If it were me, looking to maximize power, I'd start at about 50 lbs and go from there. There's no magic number, as it's wildly subjective as well.
     
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