Old strings DON'T lose power and they DON'T lose resilience

Discussion in 'Strings' started by jackcrawford, Sep 15, 2012.

  1. jackcrawford

    jackcrawford Professional

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2004
    Messages:
    836
    The following is from Luxilon's sting expert, commenting on RSI's restring initiative - the article also points out pros restring frequently for strinbed consistency, not comfort. "I'm sure RSI won't mind me quoting from an article in their book (well, they might in this particular context) by Professor Rod Cross and the RSI's expert, Crawford Lindsey: "Most players will tell you that their strings lose their resilience with age or use. But our tests showed that they don't.... A two pound steel ball was dropped from a height of 100 inches onto the strings of several racquets, with old and new strings, with the racquet clamped to the floor... The ball bounced to a height of between 89.7 and 90.3 inches off ALL of the strings. This variation is too small the make any practical difference. So, that settles it. Old strings DON'T lose power and they DON'T lose resilience..."
    http://www.protennis.us/ExpertDetail.asp?id=2994
    Posters here love to quote Lindsey on string tension not affecting power, but they don't quote him on string age not affecting resilience - because it doesn't support their strange idea that 3.5 players should use midsize frames strung with gut:shock:
     
    #1
  2. pvaudio

    pvaudio Legend

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2009
    Messages:
    7,543
    I'm sorry, but I simply cannot buy those results without seeing exactly the conditions they used as they simply make no sense, just using common sense. If you perform the same test with a Pro Staff 85 and a Babolat Y118, both strung at the same tension and with the same string, even the most basic of physics will tell you that you will not get the same rebound height. The stiffness of the 85's stringbed is just so much higher. You don't need any science background whatsoever to see that there is a fundamental difference between the racquet Sampras uses and the one his grandmother would use. In essence what they're saying by using that result is that not only do strings never lose playability, but racquets make no difference whatsoever.
     
    #2
  3. Ramon

    Ramon Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2011
    Messages:
    3,576
    Location:
    Florida
    It's funny that this article is promoted by a company so infamous for making strings that die after 1 set. That's why the pros who use them always switch racquets after every set!
     
    #3
  4. pvaudio

    pvaudio Legend

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2009
    Messages:
    7,543
    Actually, let me qualify that statement a bit more. I'm not saying that his argument is not true. I'm saying that what he's arguing is not the same as the point he's trying to make. I'll do that via analogy. We have three variables here: racquet, string type and string tension. He's saying he performed this test a proof of no loss of resilience and power because all stringbeds caused the steel ball to rebound to the same height. Fair enough, I can see that. What I can't see is that this happened across multiple frames which is why I think there is something else missing. If you get the exact same rebound using a myriad of racquets, then that means that all racquets (at least in this instance) have the same amount of energy return. Were that the case, then there would be no need for people who cannot generate their own power to use "higher powered" racquets and those who can generate considerable pace to use more control oriented sticks. Unlike usual I'm not going to even get sciency, but that doesn't settle it at all IMO. There is too much unexplained for a single sentence to be sufficient to prove that the entire string industry is a complete sham.
     
    #4
  5. pvaudio

    pvaudio Legend

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2009
    Messages:
    7,543
    I'll further that: that statement is akin to saying that a player should use Luxilon poly as long as it isn't broken because tension loss aside, playability remains. I agree, the amount of energy return aka rebound height in this case should not change that much. That does not describe what happens on the tennis court.
     
    #5
  6. Bartelby

    Bartelby G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2005
    Messages:
    12,616
    Well, the strings seem stiffer and they notch into the cross string and click when moved as they age whereas fresh they seem softer and glide when moved.

    So do the main strings slide across the cosses less over time?

    Wouldn't that leave an impression of loss of resilience?

    A ball dropped from a height is not going to answer these questions.

    Or perhaps it does?
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2012
    #6
  7. Avles

    Avles Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2009
    Messages:
    1,505
    Location:
    The Peak of Good Living

    He didn't say a "myriad of racquets"-- he said "several racquets." No mention of whether they were different racquet models or not.

    No way of knowing for sure, but I suspect he meant several examples of the same racquet, with different string ages, as the experiment would make the most sense this way.
     
    #7
  8. Ronaldo

    Ronaldo G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2004
    Messages:
    14,232
    Remove those old strings and manipulate them next to a fresh set. Like dry spaghetti, old strings are brittle.
     
    #8
  9. pvaudio

    pvaudio Legend

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2009
    Messages:
    7,543
    Indeed it would, but it would also make the most sense to not just try it on one racquet. That's why I assumed that they performed this test on as he said, several racquets. Either way, who knows. All I know is that I'll keep advising my customers that if they can't break their syn gut, they don't need poly. Doesn't mean that they aren't high level players. Heck, my coach hits with PSGO, but hits very flat. Just means that there's no need to use it since you wouldn't benefit from it either as a string breaker or a spin player.
     
    #9
  10. JT_2eighty

    JT_2eighty Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2009
    Messages:
    2,477
    Hmm, all the Luxilon guy does is quote Crawford Lindsey in their 2004 book. I'd like to read more of that entire book to get the context because I would wager they did not do that test with a monofilament poly. I could be wrong, so hopefully someone with the text can elaborate for us.

    I would wager the test was done with a nylon solid core syn gut or perhaps a multi. Those strings do not lose resilience anywhere nearly as fast as poly. I'm pretty sure the same authors in later works have proven this as well (the difference in resilience between various string materials). I wish I had time dig all that up and add a better reply, but suffice to say, the quote used by the Luxilon 'expert' was misused to somehow 'prove' that poly can be played with until it breaks! Hah! tell that to all the TE sufferers out there who used their poly indefinitely.
     
    #10
  11. JT_2eighty

    JT_2eighty Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2009
    Messages:
    2,477
    Thread title should read "Old NYLON-based strings Don't lose power & resilience"
     
    #11
  12. maxpotapov

    maxpotapov Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2009
    Messages:
    2,519
    Location:
    Ukraine
    Wait, what?! So, we don't even know which string was used for the test? How then it can be used as an argument in poly playability debate?

    But anyway, idea about more friction/less snap back over time which leads to a harsher feeling sounds good to me.

     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2012
    #12
  13. JT_2eighty

    JT_2eighty Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2009
    Messages:
    2,477
    Exactly. And since he's quoting a text that was published in 2004... the test was probably actually done like 2002-03 perhaps? I'd wager plenty it's a nylon-based string. Worlds apart from a poly monofilament.
     
    #13
  14. maxpotapov

    maxpotapov Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2009
    Messages:
    2,519
    Location:
    Ukraine
    I read the article diagonally, it sounds more like a political anti-RSI rant. Very insensitive to ordinary players who routinely experience deadness of Luxilon and other polys.

    Why would I care about 2 pound steel ball experiment which negates all the differences between frames and stringbeds due to it's high mass and density only? We have to hit 2 ounces of air filled felt-covered rubber at 80 mph, bounce that!
     
    #14
  15. UCSF2012

    UCSF2012 Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2010
    Messages:
    1,922
    Stupid article. Stupid experimental design. The results of the experiment don't support their conclusion.

    A concrete floor has little resilience. Drop a tennis ball on the floor and what happens? ....it bounces. Drop a ball on freshly strung tennis strings...it bounces. Drop a ball on "dead" tennis strings...it bounces. Luxilon's experiment essentially confirms that you can still hit a tennis ball with dead tennis strings, and the ball actually bounces off the strings...instead of the ball adhering to the strings.

    Dumbasses pretending to be scientific.
     
    #15
  16. Hi I'm Ray

    Hi I'm Ray Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2010
    Messages:
    1,504
    Well I'm not going to dispute their data.

    But on-court it does seem strings do lose their power and resilience. I had two identical rackets strung up around the same time, one with Cyber Blue and one with Silver String, both in a similar gauge, with the same Forten Sweet 17 crosses and at the same tensions. At first they were fairly similar, with mostly a difference in feel. I've been playing mostly with the Silver String and not much with the Cyber Blue. 1 hitting session ago the SS started feeling firmer, today it felt firm with no power. I took out the Cyber Blue frame and in comparison it feels much looser, springier, and with more power. Obviously there is some very noticeable changes going on with the worn out SS. Most ppl would probably say its loosing its resilience, tightening up, and losing its pop.
     
    #16
  17. UCSF2012

    UCSF2012 Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2010
    Messages:
    1,922
    Dead strings don't lose power. We know that. Dead strings are actually quite powerful. Very powerful. My fastest serves come from dead strings.

    But that's not the point. Dead strings tend to hook shots wide. Changing direction is more erroneous. There's a catapult effect. It's harder to curve a ball, because the slingshot effect tends to make the ball go straight. THAT's the effect of dead strings.

    Luxilon should NOT have tested how high teh ball bounces when dropped STRAIGHT ON the strings. That's useless information.

    Furthermore, resilience is defined as the ability to return to normal position. A dead string passively returns to neutral position. A resilient string actively rebounds to neutral. This occurs in milliseconds. The proper experiment measures the time it takes for a string to return to neutral. Measuring the height the ball bounces doesn't do anything. Wrong experimental design
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2012
    #17
  18. Bartelby

    Bartelby G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2005
    Messages:
    12,616
    That's my experience of polys. If they are not losing in power it would be interesting to know the reason why.




     
    #18
  19. fortun8son

    fortun8son Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2011
    Messages:
    3,144
    Location:
    The Desert
    It's how you define your terms.
    It is a flawed experimental model but the results are accurate.
    GIGO
    How many of you play with 2lb steel balls? ;)

    When we say Power here on TT, do we really mean Power as defined in Physics, or is it the more subtle, Perception of Power?
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2012
    #19
  20. Hi I'm Ray

    Hi I'm Ray Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2010
    Messages:
    1,504
    Another example is MSV Focus Hex or Co-Focus when it goes dead. For me it suddenly becomes very soft, loose, and with almost no power - kind of feels like hitting with a stringbed of loose, hand strung twine. Some may say that it is simply the result of tension loss, but I've had poly strung at 36lbs (which drops even lower with time and use) and it still has a lot of pop - the feel/response is completely different from a dead/loose poly.

    If someone went out and hit with 3 frames all strung with Co-Focus, one freshly strung at 52lbs, one thats 10hr old & dead originally at 52lbs, and one freshly strung at 30lbs, they'll likely find that the two freshly strung rackets have pop, spin, and a springy response. While the dead strings just sort of stretch back on impact, the springy response is missing, and are rather lifeless in comparison.

    Yeah, IDK exactly whats happening, but obviously there are some changes occuring as the string ages from use.
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2012
    #20
  21. Chotobaka

    Chotobaka Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    May 19, 2012
    Messages:
    2,518
    #21
  22. PKfan1

    PKfan1 Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2012
    Messages:
    430
    Location:
    Atlanta
    Also I would think that a two pound steel ball is insufficient weight to conduct such an experiment when hitting a tennis ball far exceeds that load. It has already been shown from the same guys experiments that strings react differently at different tensions and swing speeds. I completely believe the findings in this experiment, but in no way can it relate to a real-life tennis experience.

    Also there was like a 3in difference in bounce height, wouldn't that 3in difference be magnified under a greater load? Anyways I think that a lot of pro's could even feel that 3in difference. I think WSJ tested Michael Russel to see if he could pick his stick out of several of the same frame with slightly different weights, and he could tell a 1 gram or 0.5 gram(can't remember) difference.
     
    #22
  23. PKfan1

    PKfan1 Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2012
    Messages:
    430
    Location:
    Atlanta
    #23
  24. TimothyO

    TimothyO Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2010
    Messages:
    3,592
    Location:
    Baseline
    I just tried Pro Red Code as a cross with gut mains.

    On paper it should be relatively comfortable compared to strings like 4G and not too much stiffer than PHT. Spin should be anout the same as PHT.

    For the first couple of hours Pro Red Code has player fairly harsh compared to the much stiffer 4G and slightly softer PHT and doens't provide as much spin potential as PHT or 4G.

    These lab tests provide broad reference points but must be taken with a grain of salt since they clearly fail to capture other playability characteristics beyond mechanical stiffness and change in tension. Something else happens to strings as they age too. Some age gracefully, others become stiff, crusty curmudgeons, while others go out in a blaze of rocket launching glory. The human arm is not a steel ball...it has far more tendons and nerves.
     
    #24
  25. pvaudio

    pvaudio Legend

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2009
    Messages:
    7,543
    In this case, I agree with you completely. 100% more information is needed because the claim makes no sense otherwise.
     
    #25

Share This Page