Multifilament mains/polyester cross hybrids are glorious. I think

Discussion in 'Strings' started by Sander001, Oct 13, 2013.

  1. Sander001

    Sander001 Hall of Fame

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    I'm trying out the Yonex 850 16g (non-Pro) multifilament in the mains with Pro Line 2 1.20 in the crosses. It gets better and better as the hours go on so much so that I'm now thinking of switching to a multi/poly hybrid permanently, after being a full poly user for nearly 15yrs.

    Excellent access to spin and great, controllable power. Super comfortable. I'm not the greatest volleyer around but this combo turns me into a splendid volleyer, I've been hitting all kinds of awesome. (I think perhaps my problem is that the other polys I usually use are shaped and they grab the ball too much, especially making volleys off somebody's heavy slice very tricky). Whatever, my confidence on the volley right now is soaring.

    Durability has also been very good, especially since there was heavy notching after 90min but it's still going strong after 6hrs. I strung it 54/44 and I guess the poly lost tension and that's why it's not sawing as much anymore. And that's why I'm liking it better; next time I may string it 54/42.

    Another racquet of mine is strung with full multi (Yonex 880ti 16g) and it's not nearly as comfortable especially as time goes by; the string do not want to slide against eachother.

    I should mention that I'm using this in my doubles league where power is needed and things unfold very quickly. I'm the only one i've ever seen who uses full poly on a midsize racquet in that league. In fact, very few use midsize racquets at all.
    In singles, I think I'll stick with full poly, especially vs pushers.

    Anyway. Any converts out there that would like to share? And what combos have worked or not worked?
     
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  2. Ramon

    Ramon Hall of Fame

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    Multi/poly plays fine, but it's not for string breakers. Compared to a full bed of multi, it will last a third of the time because the poly will saw through the mains.
     
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  3. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    I love multi/poly hybrids. Usually use NXT Tour mains with any round copoly as a cross. Really like Beast and Outlast.
     
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  4. RSPioli

    RSPioli New User

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    Sometimes I use Head Rip Control 1.30 mains and Babolat RPM Blast 1.25 crosses. I think this combo is perfect in power, spin and ball pocketing. The Rip Control lasts longer than regular multis.
     
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  5. treo

    treo Rookie

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    Shortest lasting combo I've tried. Two hours and the mains snapped.
     
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  6. edwincen

    edwincen Rookie

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    Tried TF TGV/YPTP, plays great but break in 5hours.
     
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  7. Phantasm

    Phantasm New User

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    Nice Thread.

    I'm a multi-user and am considering trying multi/poly hybrids so thanks for the input Sander001!

    Will keep following the thread to see what other combinations people have tried to get more ideas on what kind of set up I want to use.
     
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  8. seekay

    seekay Semi-Pro

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    I haven't found that with a smooth round co-poly (I like Co-Focus and Black Magic for that). I once strung a friend's racquet with Premier Attack/Big Hitter Black 7 (his request) and the BHB7 sliced right through the mains, but more sensible crosses have substantially outlasted full multi for me.

    When I play a full bed of multi, this tends to happen:

    [​IMG]


    The crosses' fuzzing impedes the mains' snap-back and everything gets weird. I much prefer the poly crosses, which allow the mains to perform right up until they snap.
     
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  9. BlueB

    BlueB Hall of Fame

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    Yes multi/poly is great. 10 to 12 lbs differential. Works great for me too.
    I like the X-code / smooth poly the most. Sensation has less spin but more power and comfort. Will try the Rip control soon.
     
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  10. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    Agree it's not for string breakers, but most rec players 3.5 or so, won't be breaking these setups prematurely. I can get a good month or so out of my multi/poly hybrids. The benefits are that you don't notice the poly losing playability so much and also when the multi starts getting springy, the poly keeps it from trampolining.

    I have had the best results with a "non-gummy" multi and a round and slick copoly.
     
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  11. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

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    Hybrids definitely are the way to go; even though mine are the reverse of the OP! I'm finding my newest hybrid to be not only very playable, but very cheap as well.
     
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  12. 0d1n

    0d1n Hall of Fame

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    Yeh...they are great for about an hour. Then they are...well...gone.

    P.S. I'm also in the camp that experienced earlier breakage in synthetic mains/poly crosses than in the full synthetic setups. Regardless if the synthetic is a multifilament or a basic syn gut, it lasts more in full bed than in that kind of hybrid for me.
     
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  13. coolschreiber

    coolschreiber Semi-Pro

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    I have switched to Multi/poly hybrid from full poly. I like it much better, I'm discovering it lasts longer than full poly.. plus its good pricewise too. I got my k90s strung at 52/48 and prestige ig mid strung at 50/48. Both rackets play great. I'm thinking going a little lower on my prestige mid next time, maybe 48/46.
     
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  14. 0d1n

    0d1n Hall of Fame

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    There is no way in h3ll a multi/poly hybrid will last more than a full poly.
    Not unless we're talking about very different poly's / different thickness strings.
    Maybe if the full poly is 1.16-1.18 mm, and the hybrid is a 1.35 multi with a 1.28 poly. Even so...it will be close.
     
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  15. g4driver

    g4driver Hall of Fame

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    My experience as well . The mains snap in half the time, when you put in the same multi main / poly cross. I much prefer the way the poly main/multi cross feel and it last twice as long.

    Black 5 Edge / X- One Bi Phase 16g user for over 3 years .
     
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  16. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    Yeah, I guess we are in the minority but I just like poly mains with a soft cross. Especially the Black 5 Edge as a main. ;)
     
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  17. emilyhex

    emilyhex Rookie

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    I'm always amazed at the number of string breakers on this forum. I rarely see a guy break a string on the court and I play, what most would consider, a lot. I hope these balls are flying in.
     
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  18. MikeHitsHard93

    MikeHitsHard93 Hall of Fame

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    Lol my thoughts too... I know a 5.0 teaching pro that doesn't break strings that often.
     
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  19. g4driver

    g4driver Hall of Fame

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    Watch any hard hitting 3.5 / 4.0 with a Steam 99S, and you will see strings a popping - ;)

    I hit roughly 10 to 15 hours a week, and I string three of my frames a month like clockwork. My stringer paid off quickly. Wish I had bought a Prince 5000 now instead of the Alpha Apex II -

    Mikeler, what cross do you prefer with B5E ?
     
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  20. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    Check out my signature. Thunder Blast is half the price of Biphase and it lasts longer. It is a good multi as a full bed but the best I've found as a cross by a mile.
     
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  21. g4driver

    g4driver Hall of Fame

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    I know several teaching pros that hit softly as they feed balls to their clients- and no they don't break strings either. Why would they? feeding balls isn't going to put much stress on a frame. One teaching pro as a "feed racquet" that is lighter than his hitting frames and strung with soft multi.

    I am on my 4th reel of X-one Bi-Phase in three years. 660 feet / 18 feet would yield me 36 sets of crosses which makes sense as I string three of my frames a month. If I use 16' for the crosses, I can get 41 sets of crosses out of the reel. It is a tight tie off, but 16' works in a Wilson Pro Open.

    I don't put X-One in any clients frames, but use NRG2 as it is slightly cheaper and I've had one client in three years not like it, so that X-one has all gone into my frames, due to breakage.
     
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  22. Engelworks

    Engelworks Rookie

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    I break strings every 3-5 hours of hitting. I use a full bed of multi though. There are a couple more strings I want to try in a full bed, and then I'll start experimenting with my favorites as mains with poly crosses
     
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  23. TimothyO

    TimothyO Hall of Fame

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    Given what I see on so many courts, no, those shots are probably flying long and they're followed by screams of anguish.

    The pros hit harder than any rec player and they don't even break strings that often. Nadal might use a couple of frames during a 3 hour match and at the end you'll see him return his frames to his bag with zero broken strings.

    Everyone breaks strings once in a while. I think a lot of that talk on TT is simply bragging and the vast majority is probably not true.

    It could also be really bad string jobs since pulling crosses too fast will cause premature notching which can weaken strings.

    Back on-topic: being the curious sort and always willing to experiment we have one of our PSGTs strung with Excel 16 / Focus Hex. It's actually for our son since he wanted to see if it would provide more control than gut/poly. He ended up hating it and went back to the frame with gut/poly. I kind of like it and have tried similar setups previously. The lower power is nice and while playing with it I don't have any comfort issues. The problem arises after hitting. I definitely feel the after effects in my hand, wrist, and a little bit in my elbow. Never experience that with gut/poly.
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2013
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  24. boinz

    boinz Rookie

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    Not challenging anyone but just to seek clarification.
    I thought there were many posts previously that mentioned that any multi/poly or syn/poly hybrids should be string with poly on the mains to soften the stringbed.
    Having multis on the mains will not see the same snap back effect exhibited by natural guts that imparts spin

    I'm kinda confused now....
     
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  25. MikeHitsHard93

    MikeHitsHard93 Hall of Fame

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    I'm talking about when he breaks out his Aeropros for a tournament (crushes the ball with topspin) wins the tournament, and doesn't ever break a string. Sure he uses a poly syngut hybrid, but jeez dude if this guy couldn't break strings that fast I don't know how 3.5/4.0s do so quickly as you suggest...possibly horrible stringing? LOL
     
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  26. g4driver

    g4driver Hall of Fame

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    Whatever dude - Nadal uses freshly strung poly for every match he plays- not a multi.
     
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  27. g4driver

    g4driver Hall of Fame

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    It's not horrible stringing. I hit mostly on Har-Tru. Clay tends to snap strings quicker than hard courts for me.

    Have you ever felt Weiss Cannon Black 5Edge ? have you ever felt X- one ? One is an edged poly - one is a soft multi. Snapping a soft multi vs snapping a poly = very different. The poly last months, the multi only hours. as far as syn gut, the syn gut last longer than any soft mult that I have used.

    Yeah, I just bought and used three reels of X-One at $225, 250 and $275 a reel because I like stringing and wasting money - It couldn't possibly be that I actually broke the strings. :rolleyes:
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2013
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  28. TennisCJC

    TennisCJC Legend

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    Been using nrg2 17G mains with TF Ruffcode 17G poly crosses 54/50 or 52/48 for last 6-9 months. I really like it. I like poly mains too but the multi mains are softer, a touch more powerful, volley a little better, and you still get good control and improved spin with the poly crosses. May not seem important but I also like that the poly keeps the multi from moving all over the place.

    I get about 12-15 hours and mains will either snap or be over 50% notched in several places. Best playability is first 10 hours.
     
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  29. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    Outside of Prince Pro Blend, poly/synthetic gut is the longest lasting setup for me. When I used it several years ago, I'd get around 20 hours on it before the poly or synthetic gut would snap. So I could easily play a tournament and not break that setup.

    I also hit exclusively on Har-Tru which is bad on strings. String type and racket pattern are everything when it comes to breaking strings. I've NEVER broken Weiss Cannon Black 5 Edge. The multi cross always breaks first, usually at the 10-15 hour mark depending on which string it is. I also play with a 16x18 pattern. If I used an 18x20, I'd probably cut the strings out before they broke.
     
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  30. emilyhex

    emilyhex Rookie

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    The guys (and ladies) I hit with tend to be 4.0+ with some current and former college players in the mix. Maybe they break more than I'm aware of. I'll have to ask the next time I see them.

    It was just an observation, I'm not challenging or judging anyone on whether they break strings or not.

    But back to the topic: I'm generally a poly main/multi cross person.
     
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  31. seekay

    seekay Semi-Pro

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    A smooth round poly cross will allow most any main string to slide back and forth across it pretty easily. Different main strings will perform differently, and you're right that few work as well as natural gut, but I've found that the right poly cross can help most any main string generate more spin.

    That's not to say that poly mains can't work. Poly mains moving back and forth across soft crosses will encounter more friction, increasing as the multifilament cross wears. Shaped polys, like Mikeler uses, will grab the ball better, and may well make up for the inter-string friction.
     
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  32. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    Wouldn't you be better off with a round, smooth poly cross?
     
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  33. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    I think it does but clearly there are quite a few who think the opposite. Whatever works for the individual's game is what they should use.
     
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  34. purple-n-gold

    purple-n-gold Professional

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    I tried this combo recently with Tier1 strings, 16g triumph Ms and Durafluxx Xs. Really enjoyed the feel/playability of the stringbed but only lasted a week, snapped with on my 3rd outing, doubles matches at that, may have had 3 hrs on it. The Durafluxx is a shaped poly and may have contributed, think I'll try the reverse poly/multi and see how that lasts. I agree with the posts on syn gut lasting longer, any multi I've tried seems to break "prematurely" in my experiences with multis, but dang they play a whole lot better.
     
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  35. g4driver

    g4driver Hall of Fame

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    Thanks for vouching that Poly/Syn gut is long lasting compared to B5E/Multi. Funny that some people simple refuse to accept that at face value, especially on Har-True. Glad the B5E works for you as well. Next time you're up my way, let me know. I have know plenty of 4.5 guys who can hit on the weekend.
     
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  36. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    I may be up there in the spring. The USTA is trying to rate me a 5.0 so I'll beat up on lowly 4.5s. :)
     
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  37. Sander001

    Sander001 Hall of Fame

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    Tried NRG2 1.32 53lbs / Pro Line II 1.20 40lbs and it's superb in my BLX90. Control, power, feel, comfort and excellent spin. I'm surprised at how much spin I am able to get, it's like the multi absorbs the ball, slides along the poly and snaps back to launch the ball back with great vengeance and furious anger.

    I should've tried this a long time ago. The only thing is that compared to Cyclone 1.20 that I usually use, the swingweight has noticeably increased but that's ok since I don't need to swing as fast since there's more power.
     
    #37
  38. Sundan

    Sundan Rookie

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    I had one racquet strung with sensation 1.25 and co-focus 1.18 @ 24/22kg and it works well,soft feel and alot of spin. I have played a few hours now with it and strings are still returning even if i move them by hand.

    Its just that on serve the full focus hex 1.23 @ 23/22 is more accurate because its "deader",its easier to control the ball when aiming for lines so i tend to pick this racquet more often despite being stiffer and lower powered.

    However,perhaps increasing the tension to 25/23kg would help with control on the multi/poly setup.

    I will keep testing :)
     
    #38
  39. TennisCJC

    TennisCJC Legend

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    TF RuffCode is not that textured. It has just a small amount of texture and it seems to have a slick coating on it. I may try TF razor code next and it is smooth. I have used SigPro Hyperion 17G as a cross which is a smooth poly and it is good too. But, I like the RuffCode just a little better and the durability is about the same with either one.
     
    #39
  40. coolschreiber

    coolschreiber Semi-Pro

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    Well I'm using tech biphase 16g and some cheap smooth poly (according to my stringer).
    By not lasting long do you mean the string breaking? I'm not much of a string breaker, I brush up on the ball quite a bit. Plus it seems to be holding tension fine after about 10+ hours of play. The mains and crosses are aligned perfectly still and mains move back into position if I pull them with fingers. So I guess they are still retaining their tension. How do you tell if this type of a hybrid set up is dead? I know its easy to tell full poly is dead if strings dont snap back.
    I'm guessing poly lost tension already but again playability is mostly governed by mains right?
    I know poly looses tension pretty quickly at approximately 7-8 hours.
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2013
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  41. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    OK cool. I never felt RuffCode so I wasn't sure. I just know that round smooth and slick copolys see to pair up best with multi mains.
     
    #41
  42. sha

    sha New User

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    Can anyone explain why a multi/poly (or gut/poly) hybrid should play better than a full bed of gut? For example if I am able to play about 20 hrs without string breaking with a full bed of Wilson NG, is it really better regarding playability to use a cheap poly as crosses and Wilson NG only in the mains?
     
    #42
  43. TimothyO

    TimothyO Hall of Fame

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    I've played with full natural gut, fully poly, full multi, and hybrids of gut/poly and multi/poly. I've conducted these tests head-to-head in matched frames.

    The key advantage of gut/poly over full gut is access to spin. Obviously you first need to hit the ball in a certain manner to generate spin. If you don't brush the ball with good racquet head speed it doesn't matter what string you use when generating spin.

    The biggest advantage of gut/poly is its unique combination of "casually accessible spin", control, comfort, and tension maintenance. The poly notches into the gut while the gut glides freely over the poly making spin generation much easier with the appropriate stroke. Gut is also well known for its tension maintenance, comfort, and control properties.

    Over the last couple of weeks I once again tried some multi/poly hybrids. Good spin at first but the stiffer multi mains can notch the poly crosses and, more importantly, multi mains lack the touch, feel, and comfort of gut mains. My wrist and elbow hurt after two weeks of mutli/poly experiments. I went back to gut/poly for our group lesson with a tennis pro last night and all is well this morning.

    The biggest disadvantage to gut/poly is that the poly can cut through the gut quickly which is one reason I switched to Babolat 15L Tonic + Longevity. It's extra thick and durable and resists cutting better. So a cheap poly cross might reduce the initial acquisition cost of the string bed but you might re-string more frequently. On the other hand, if you're not a big string breaker, then gut mains with a poly cross could save money since playability remains more constant over time compared to multi mains, full multi, and full poly (Only full gut can beat gut/poly in longer term playability).

    Another potential disadvantage of gut mains are their power. You need a stiffer poly cross to tame that power or a small head or dense pattern. Federer uses gut/poly in his 90" frame at under 50# tension and both Djoker and Serena use gut/poly in their 18x20 frames in the mid 50s to low 60s. Serena pre-stretches her gut mains while Federer pre-stretches both the gut mains and the poly crosses for added control. I've tried some gut/poly combos in 100", 16-main heads that provided way too much power and too little control. So gut/poly isn't a magical panacea and works best under certain circumstances.

    If you enjoy the comfort of full gut and would like enhanced access to spin while taming some of gut's inherent power, especially in larger, more open frames with higher SWs, then I can fully recommend gut/poly. Just know that depending on how hard you and your opponents hit and your grip and style of play you may break strings more frequently.

    If you decide to try gut/poly I strongly recommend MSV Focus Hex as a poly cross. I've experimented with every low-friction poly (eg Outlast), the most popular polys (eg BBO and RPM Blast), and some new polys (eg Sonic Pro Edge) and NOTHING has come close to MSV Focus Hex for spin, control, and comfort in a poly cross. I do recommend a gentle pre-stretch on Focus Hex since its tension loss is a few pounds higher than gut but nothing as bad as most polys.
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2013
    #43
  44. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    full gut can be too powerful for some and it's also cheaper to hybrid gut mains with poly crosses.
     
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  45. 0d1n

    0d1n Hall of Fame

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    Yes, that is indeed what I mean by durability.
    I don't know how one can tell if a multi/poly hybrid setup is dead, that setup breaks too soon for me, so I never get the chance to experience the "dead feeling" in such setups.
    It is simply not a viable option for me as I would have to restring too often.
    I have found Poly/multi or poly / syn gut setups that are OK from the playability/durability perspective, and I sometimes use those, especially during the cold winter months, when dead balls and dead strings are not really kind on the wrist, so a more elastic cross helps with comfort.
    In the summer, I usually go full poly.
     
    #45
  46. anubis

    anubis Hall of Fame

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    Two words: spin production. To maximize spin production, you need to make sure your mains slide freely over the crosses.

    Full beds such as:
    • natural gut
    • syn gut
    • multifilaments
    • rough polyesters

    are not conducive to allowing the mains to slide well over the crosses. They get stuck in place through repeated use: the cross strings "notch", allowing the mains to sit inside those notches, preventing their movement. Therefore, topspin production goes down.

    Instead, if you take a very smooth poly string in the crosses, and a relatively smooth string in the mains (just not very rough), then what you'll get is zero string notching on the crosses. The mains may notch, but that's OK because they will still slide over the crosses uninhibited.

    What you get with that combination is extremely good string movement throughout the life of the string. This means that you'll get much more topspin.


    If you want to perform some experiments with cheap poly strings, just make sure they are very smooth. Maybe check this site out first:
    http://twu.tennis-warehouse.com/learning_center/COFreporter.php
    to verify that the string you have in mind has a low friction coefficient.
     
    #46
  47. sha

    sha New User

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    Thanks guys for your answers... :)

    But if I use poly crosses the poly will loose tension earlier and faster than the gut mains, that's a fact. Does anyone restring only the crosses let's say after 8-10 hrs playtime?
    Or maybe it doesn't matter if the crosses loose tension as crosses are much less important for the playability compared to the mains (I often heard "mains 80%, crosses 20%")?
     
    #47
  48. TimothyO

    TimothyO Hall of Fame

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    Welcome to Hybrid Hell!

    :)

    Yes, poly crosses often lose far more tension than the multi or gut mains.

    Two solutions: replace the crosses while maintaining the mains or pick the right poly and perhaps pre-stretch it.

    Some TT members report being able to restring the crosses alone. They clamp the racquet into the machine, cut out the crosses, and install the new crosses. However, retail shops will probably refuse to install the crosses only and I assume most stringers would too, at least without some sort of signed waiver. Whatever you do, do NOT cut our crosses from an un-clamped frame since that will warp/crack/destroy the frame.

    Another potential solution is to use a co-poly with lower tension loss and perhaps pre-stretched.

    For example, Luxilon 4G provides prolonged, outstanding control as a cross with gut mains since its tension loss is actually as good as many natural gut strings. But it's spin potential as a cross for gut is not as good as other polys.

    MSV Focus Hex starts out with lower tension loss, at least for polys. It's somewhere in the 15# range. I use it pre-stretched and its durability as far as tension maintenance is superb. My stringer uses a CP machine and uses it to apply a 5% pre-stretch to both the gut mains and MSV Focus Hex crosses. I had tried a manual pre-stretch but this approach is more consistent. As long as the mains don't break the string bed feels wonderful. Extremely comfortable, super easy spin generation, and I'm a control freak and still love this setup. We also tried a 10% pre-stretch but the result was rather harsh.

    I must stress again that all of these choices depend on your game, the pace with which you hit, and the pace of the balls you face. Gut/poly in a large, open head imposes natural limits on SW since balls can go long even with the poly mitigating the gut's power. Depending on the large/open frame you're probably looking at the mid to high 320s as a SW limit before depth control starts to suffer. Obviously higher skilled players have the timing to use spin to keep those shots down but even volleys can start to be a problem.

    To maintain control with a gut/poly hybrid options include a stiffer poly cross, a thicker/stiff gut main, smaller head, denser pattern, lower SW, a higher reference tension, pre-stretching the strings, or some combination of the above. Push one variable and another must naturally change.

    You can also ruin the benefits of a hybrid by stringing too tight and/or picking the wrong gauge for a given frame resulting in a loss of comfort or reduction in spin potential due to string bed lockup. And not all polys work equally well as a cross for gut or in the same way. I love 4G for its precision hitting flat and for its pop. But its spin potential is lower. I love Focus Hex for spin potential but it really needs to be pre-stretched for long term tension maintenance.
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2013
    #48
  49. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    You just have to try it and see. You may not notice the poly crosses loosing tension much at all, since the gut mains dominate the feel. Personally, I wouldn't restring only the crosses unless it was within a few days of the original stringing.
     
    #49
  50. TimothyO

    TimothyO Hall of Fame

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    You definitely feel it less compared to multi/poly but, depending on the poly, the poly can shows its character through the gut pretty quick. RPM Blast crosses show their dead feeling really quick through gut mains. And some MSV products can show their springy feel pretty quick too.

    On the actual topic of this thread, during this recent round of multi/poly testing I was shocked at how quickly and how much multi/poly changed playing characteristics as it ages. Each session felt extremely different compared to how gut/poly which changes slowly and more subtly, especially after gut's brief break-in period.

    In one test using Excel FO Edition mains and Focus Hex crosses the string bed went from firm to mushy to dead and very uncomfortable in just a few hitting sessions (again, this is compared to gut/poly which I've been using for two years now).
     
    #50

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