Playing with the Scorpion this evening.....

Discussion in 'Strings' started by Torres, Sep 15, 2011.

  1. Torres

    Torres Banned

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    .....specifically the Weiscannon Scorpion 17 gauge at 52lbs CP in a BLX 6.1 95 18x20 on an indoor carpeted court (fast, low bounce).

    Very nice string.

    Not what I expected at all. It's very controlled, comfortable, very smooth hitting, results in very measured consistent hitting, not overpowered nor underpowered - really quite a flattering string to hit with. 52lbs CP (maybe 53lbs CP next time) seems pretty spot on in this racquet.

    If I had to describe it, I'd describe it as the Granville Swope of strings - smooth, measured and controlled.

    It doesn't generate a tremendous amount of spin but its enough to be getting on with and it compensates with the amount of control it offers. I found myself playing a completely different type of game with this string - a more measured, control orientated game designed to move my opponent around the court. I didn't hit a single ball long in 2 hours with the string - everything was landing close or on the baseline - and apart from some experimental drop shots where I was trying to gauge the feel of the string, my unforced errors count during normal play (usually with BHBR17) must have dropped by about 50%.

    It's a completely different playing string to say something like BHBR17. That string is the James Blake / Gael Monfils of strings. Wild, crazy, all action, all or nothing, army marching down a mountain pass. BHBR17 generates alot more pace, spin and alot more unpredictable action on the ball - Scorpion doesn't come close - but Scorpion 17 is alot more controlled, more consistent and smoother. It's more balanced in its characteristics. When I play with BHBR17, I find myself trying to blow opponents off the court (with the associated unforced error count that that style of hitting entails). BHBR17 is also slightly springier, and definitely more powerful, which isn't necessarily a good thing.

    It's also a very different string to Weiscannon B5E 17. B5E feels more 'bitey', stiffer, and is lower powered than Scorpion. It's impossible to hit the ball out of the court with B5E. B5E is also harder on the arm (it doesn't feel that way when you play with it, but play with it enough and it can catch up on you). B5E is also noticeably more dead feeling than Scorpion.

    I've got a team match coming up on Sunday and I'm going give Scorpion a debut to see how it plays in a competitive situation, along with wind, uneven surfaces etc. But based on a two friendly sets this evening and a couple of hours hitting, I like it.

    Update #1 http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showpost.php?p=6012565&postcount=26
    Update #2 http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showpost.php?p=6034245&postcount=39

    For what its worth, I'll give it some scores (which are relative to other polys I've tried) and which I'll revise the more playing time I spend with this string:

    Scorpion 17
    - Power: 3/5 (this is good because it means its not extremely powerful 5/5, or underpowered 1/5)
    - Control: 4.5/5 (during the first 3 hours), 4/5 after that.
    - Spin/Action: 3.5/5
    - Feel: 4/5
    - Overall: 4/5. Based on initial impressions, its more than the sum of its parts, particularly during the first three hours.

    And for comparison purposes (applying my type of weighting)

    B5E 17
    - Power: 2.5/5
    - Control: 4.5/5 (though its different feeling of 'control' to Scorpion)
    - Spin/action: 4/5 (mostly forward spin rather side to side action and unpredictable trajectories off the bounce like BHBR17)
    - Feel: 2/5. Dead feeling, stiffish not particularly elastic string, and also bit harsh on the arm at 52lbs CP.
    - Overall: 3/5. Bitey, controlled, low powered but surprisingly one dimensional, potentially hard on the arm, and less than the sum of its parts.

    BHBR 17
    - Power: 5/5
    - Control: 3/5 (there is a playing window where the string provides good though not great control but this reduces as the string loses tension hence the 3/5 score. Directional accuracy could be better. Occasional hotspots in the stringbed.)
    - Spin/action: 5/5 (terrific amount of spin and action on the ball)
    - Feel: 4.5/5
    - Overall: 4/5. The crazy wild child of strings. 16 gauge of BHBR offers better directional accuracy.

    [BHBR 16 offers noticeably more control than BHBR 17 and is noticebly less wild than the 17. Go for BHBR 16 if you find BHBR 17 too much.]

    Silverstring 1.20mm
    - Power: 3/5 (this is good because it means its not extremely powerful 5/5, or underpowered 1/5)
    - Control: 4/5 (though more in the sense that its low powered rather than in sense of pinpoint directional control) dropping to 3.5 after a couple of hours of play.
    - Spin/Action: 2.5/5 (not really a spin orientated poly)
    - Feel: 2/5 (this isn't a string for touch play)
    - Overall: 3.5/5 if you're baseline basher. 3/5 for anyone else. It's an intriguing string and will appeal to baseliners or anyone who dislikes elasticky strings and prefers a lowish powered string that has a very 'linear' response off the stringbed (as opposed to an elasticky or trampolinish response off the stringbed) but performance drops off too quickly for my liking. Not much spin so probably more suited to 16x18 or 16x19 sticks.

    Of the Weiscannon offerings I've tried thus far, I prefer Scorpion 17 for its blend of control, consistency and feel. Just a shame that it doesn't seem to last very long before going dead.
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2012
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  2. mixedmedia

    mixedmedia Professional

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    Nice review; it's in line with my experiences so far.
     
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  3. pvaudio

    pvaudio Legend

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    I agree with this assessment entirely. The only thing I'd say differently is that the feel of BHBR is probably identical to Scorp in my frame, but all 3 are superb.
     
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  4. Torres

    Torres Banned

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    ^ I only tried this this string because you keep on bleeting on about it....so I guess thanks are in order! ;-)
     
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  5. bad_call

    bad_call Legend

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    better to be late to the party than not at all...;)
     
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  6. jimmcdon

    jimmcdon New User

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    BHBR @ 48 Scorpion @ 48 in Prince Diablo Mid

    Picking up my Diablos tomorrow am with my first polys coming off kevlar blends strung at 55. After spending way too much time reading these threads I'm excited to see how they play.

    I was a little worried I went too low with the tension but after reading the "low tension" thread I'm already planning my own low tension test.

    That said I'm looking forward to the testing BHBR and WC scorpion after so many positive reviews here. I wanted to try B5E as well but TW was sold out at the retail store ( I live close to the warehouse/retail store).

    I'll post thoughts after hitting some over the weekend.

    McD
     
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  7. Torres

    Torres Banned

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    Going to be too low.
     
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  8. fgs

    fgs Hall of Fame

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    torres,
    i haven't yet hit with any weiss-cannon strings (have some on my coming order), but reading through your scorpion review it very much reminded me of why i fell in love with the mantis power polyester - no standout characteristic but a high-level blend. have you happened to play with it too?
     
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  9. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    Are you a Scorpion guy now or still with B5E?

    Torres, excellent review. I gotta have the spin so B5E is still for me. As for the feel and harshness aspect of B5E, I shall state again that a multi cross fixes both those issues for me.
     
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  10. bad_call

    bad_call Legend

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    still using B5E (mains) tho have other WC strings for cross testing.
     
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  11. klementine

    klementine Hall of Fame

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    Are polys, when strung at super low tensions, still detrimental for your joints and tendons?

    I'm wondering about this. I've strung-up polys in the low 40's before and loved the feel. They seem to last longer as well.

    Felt no pain/soreness whatsoever as well.
     
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  12. kaiser

    kaiser Semi-Pro

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    ^^^Same experience here.
     
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  13. GlenK

    GlenK Professional

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    I love Scorpion too and have it planned to replace Supersense as a cross soon as my supply SS runs out. I liked it in full bed too, but was looking for a cross. It's smooth texture and 1.22mm diameter seem perfect with the VS 17 1.25mm.
     
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  14. Power Player

    Power Player Talk Tennis Guru

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    I used scorpion in a YT Radical Pro a whiiiiile back and really liked it a lot.Very unique feel, but did not match my style of play (heavier spin to create angles, SW or W grip)

    Klem..the secret with polys strung low is they retain playability a little longer. Once they die, they lose elasticity and are bad for your joints no matter what the tension is.
     
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  15. netguy

    netguy Semi-Pro

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    Depens on the poly and the kind of string bed (hybrid or fullbed):

    In full bed
    Silverstring and Scorpion play great on the arm at any tension in my experience.
    Tornado killed my arm last week

    In a hybrid set up, TurboTwist (Poly) and PowerFiber (multi) feel and play fantastic!
     
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  16. pvaudio

    pvaudio Legend

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    Indeed, it depends on the poly in question. Regardless, low tension poly is all around better for you if you're not a professional.
     
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  17. RyKnocks

    RyKnocks Semi-Pro

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    Hey Torres, how do you think Scorpion and B5E would perform with OGSM in the crosses? Also, might you be able to give a short comparison to SPPP?
     
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  18. R3dux

    R3dux New User

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    Like someone in some thread once said: Scorpion is a serious beast when you're in defending position. No matter how hard they hit the ball to you, you can always count on it going back to the otherside of the net.

    I've been playing with scorpion for a month or two and really loving it. Very nice ballpocketing, control and touch. Especially after the first hour of hitting, when the string has settled in... You just got to love the response you get when volleying!
     
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  19. jimmcdon

    jimmcdon New User

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    Not sure, although the first few forehands that blew into the fence may agree with you!

    Played one set doubles and one set singles (lost in tie breaker to a defensive specialist).

    Serve - obviously more power with less effort. Second serve was spinning in with ease and my opponent said he thought it was a bigger second serve from me.

    One handed backhand topspin felt amazing, slice was very good too.
    Forehand - Off the charts for the first 10-15 min until I got the feel. I feel like I can control with some more play. If there is tension loss from 48 It might just be too much power.

    Scorpion will get some play tomorrow.
     
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  20. TonyB

    TonyB Hall of Fame

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    Not to derail this thread, but...


    The "Poly at Low Tensions" thread is a great read. Lots of experiences there for low tensions using different strings.

    I loved Polystar Energy between 30-34 lb., but it lost tension way too fast. After 3 hours, they were almost unplayable.

    I liked Big Hitter Blue (not rough) at 34 lb. Felt a bit tight and offered a ton of control, but very little power.

    My favorite right now is Tour Bite 17 at 35 lb. in a midsized (94) frame. Very reponsive, with lots of control, and the power level is perfect. But the response is very crisp and feels almost like a synthetic gut strung in the low 50s.

    I would say that 48 lb. is definitely NOT low tension. In my experience, you need to get into the 30s before poly really starts to change its behavior in a good way. Anything above that and it gets unpredictable until you get it too tight (50+) where it starts to hurt your arm.

    I'm sure Scorpion is mentioned somewhere in the Low Tensions thread. Read what people think of it there.
     
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  21. Torres

    Torres Banned

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    OGSM is what, Gosen Micro? If so, I'm sure they'll be fine with Gosen in the crosses, though I've only actually tried BHBR/Gosen. More comfortable, slightly more power, but with less spin and action on the ball. Bear in mind that the different colored Gosens play differently - white (crisp), natural (soft), black (tension loss).

    I've also tried B5E17/BHBR17. That plays well too - the characteristics of each string helps to balance out the characteristics of the other.

    If you're thinking about trying a full bed of B5E, it should be strung lower in my view; around 10-15% lower tension at what you'd string a full bed of BHBR. So if my normal starting tension for BHBR17 is 55lbs CP, I'd probably be aiming at around 48lbs CP for the B5E. There's very little 'give' to a B5E stringbed, so lower tensions (or maybe a hybrid) is probably the way to go with that string.
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2011
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  22. Backhanded Compliment

    Backhanded Compliment Hall of Fame

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    Nice review.. how is the topspin and power compared to Silverstring?

    Your description sounded a lot like my experience with SS has been.
     
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  23. mixedmedia

    mixedmedia Professional

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    For me, the Scorpion was more controllable for both, but SS might have a little better...something. I can't think of what (maybe serving?), but it probably does something better than Scorpion. Any input?
     
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  24. kaiser

    kaiser Semi-Pro

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    Says who? Have been playing with low tensioned polys for well over a year now and only restring once every couple of months. Never had any joint problems.
     
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  25. bad_call

    bad_call Legend

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    could you post what poly is that, how many hours on it before restringing and what racquet? thanks.
     
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  26. Torres

    Torres Banned

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    Just had another two hours of light hitting and indoors drills with Scorpion earlier today.

    It really is a lovely feeling, comfortable yet crisp sort of string. The feel actually reminds me of a crisper version of Gosen white but with much more control, and obviously the poly 'thwack' instead of the cannon shot boom of Gosen white. Gosen users should like this, but the difference is - and its a big difference - is that Scorpion feels like a Premier League string compared to more 'Division 2' like qualities of Gosen (which is still a good string in the context of nylon synthetic guts).

    Scorpion definitely doesn't generate the same amount of the pace, spin or action on the ball that BHBR does, which I noticed particularly on serves, but it does offer more control and greater overall consistency in stringbed response. This sting is more about constructing points and hitting pressuring shots to open up the court. My original comments remain the same but I may up the score for 'feel' by another half a point. I noticed a bit of tension loss by the end (total of 4 hours on the string thus far), with some shots feeling a bit loose. I will definitely go up to 53lbs or 54lbs CP next time. I hope that tension loss isn't going to be the fly in the oitment with this string.

    6 sets of team matches tomorrow, so that's where the real test will come.
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2011
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  27. Torres

    Torres Banned

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    I'll try and do a comparison with Silverstring in the next week or two using the same stick. The last time I hit with Silverstring was over a year ago and it wasn't my racquet.
     
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  28. mixedmedia

    mixedmedia Professional

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    I'm looking forward to it! Was it you who also tried WC MB crosses? Sorry, I never can remember who's tried what...
     
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  29. kaiser

    kaiser Semi-Pro

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    Tornado/Hyperion @ 17-20 kg, SP Hextreme @ 16 kg, Dunlop 4D200 Tour. I guess I'd average at least 15 hours of play before restringing. Recreational players in the Low Countries tend to string much less often than you guys at the other side of the Atlantic: I'm considered a frequent restringer!
     
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  30. Torres

    Torres Banned

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    Nope. But I do have a couple of sets of Mosquito Bite in the cupboard, and I'm not averse to mixing polys if there's son tangible benefit to it. Only reason I haven't tried MB so far is because, in my experience, tension maintenance on 18g polys tends to be pretty poor, and they stretch too easily at that gauge (limited longevity) unless they're ultra stiff to begin with, which is no good for comfort....who knows. I'm sure I'll get round to trying Mosquito Bite one of these days/weeks/months/years....
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2011
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  31. mixedmedia

    mixedmedia Professional

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    Okay, cool, just wondering since it would be nice to have your opinion on all three of WC's best crosses.
     
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  32. Torres

    Torres Banned

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    This thread has got me thinking that I really ought to be trying BHBR 16 and be comparing Scorpion to that rather than BHBR 17. If you accept the RSI measurements, BHBR 17 is around 1.20mm, and even thinner after stringing, which puts it into the 18 category, so it may well be that the 16 is closer to the diameter of Scorpion 17 and will be a better comparison.

    End of random thought.
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2011
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  33. bad_call

    bad_call Legend

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    that's very good for full poly...especially for that racquet. used to get 15 hrs or so with poly/syngut hybrid in the Prestige Pro. haven't measured the hours in the 4D100 yet but think it's around that same time.
     
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  34. parasailing

    parasailing Hall of Fame

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    I have tired both Scorpion and Silverstring as a cross with VS Team mains and find that Silverstring is a bit more crisp but offers better tension maintenance.

    Scorpion has more power and not as crisp as Silverstring and although it is good at maintaining tension, Silverstring was better in that category.

    The only downside of Scorpion was when the temperature dropped in the low 50s and I could feel it becoming more harsh than Silverstring.
     
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  35. mixedmedia

    mixedmedia Professional

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    Okay, thanks for the input. So which do you like best?
     
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  36. kaiser

    kaiser Semi-Pro

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    Would be very interested in the results of that experiment, am considering to switch to BHBR... Have you ever tried a full bed of BHBR strung in the sub-40# range as described in the Low Low tensions thread? I like such low tension setups with Tornado and Hextreme very much in my 4D200 Tours.
     
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  37. kaiser

    kaiser Semi-Pro

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    I do note that the Tornado in the mains at 17-18 kg starts to move after 12 hours or so. Still plays OK comfortwise, but noticeably less control and spin than with a fresh bed of Hextreme at 16 kg. I may need to restring a bit earlier...
     
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  38. parasailing

    parasailing Hall of Fame

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    I prefer SPPP better than these two strings mainly due to the combination of being soft, offering similar tension maintenance to Silverstring, and better in colder temps than Scorpion.

    Scorpion was my prefered string until I tried SPPP. If you need a bit more power than go with Scorpion instead of SPPP.
     
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  39. Torres

    Torres Banned

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    Well, it was all too good to be true really.....

    Scorpion 17 @ 52lbs CP, 95 18x20:

    0-2 hours: Fantastic. String feels wonderfully crisp yet comfortable, offers so much control, precision and consistency from the stringbed. It's impossible to miss or hit the ball out with this setup. This is pure control central. You can fully hit out without fear of the ball sailing on you, and it gives you such a great platform for you to construct points, move your opponent around, and open up the court. It flatters you as a player and makes you look like someone with a very controlled, precise hitting, placement based game. Not a great deal of spin or action on the ball (though spin is there) but it compensates through the control that it offers and the platform it gives you in terms of ball placement.

    2-4 hours: The string is starting to lose some of its precision and consistency. By the 4 hour mark, the response off the stringbed is starting to feel slightly inconsistent and shots are occassionally 'loose.'

    4-8 hours: During this stage it feels as if it's lost a fair bit of tension. It's as it most of the 'goodness' and has already been squeezed out of the string. It still provides a reasonably consistent response off the string bed, but its not particularly crisp (unless you really hit through the stringbed). Its not as consistent as during the 0-2 hour mark, and it feels just slightly...dull and just that little bit 'rubbery'. It's playable but it feels as if its already gone past its window of peak performance. It feels a bit like a slightly stiffer version Gosen White.

    8 hours+: The string feels dull and shots don't feel as if they have the same sort of 'snap' as when the string was in the 0-2 hour window. I was crying out for more spin and action on the ball and wishing it just had just that bit more 'pizzaz'. It does feel just that bit dull and its not offering huge amounts of control as compensation. It really does feel not far off a synthetic gut like Gosen White after a few hours hitting, in terms of its performance.

    Overall, I'm going to adjust the overall score slightly to 4.5/5 for the first 3 hours, and then 4/5 after that. I'm not go change the 'feel' score either. It feels wonderfully crisp during the first couple of hours, but you really can't feel the ball particularly well for touch play such as drop shots or drop volleys. BHBR17 for example feels noticeably softer and offers better feel for touch shots and droppers. It's a very different feeling string to BHBR17.
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2012
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  40. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    Nice review Torres. Did you ever play with B5E for 10 hours?
     
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  41. Torres

    Torres Banned

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    ^ I used 2 sets of B5E17 at 53lbs CP and 51lbs CP until they were deader than deadaroo. I couldn't argue with the (match) results I was getting but I didn't like the feel of the string and playing 10 hours+ a week, I found it a bit harsh on the arm. In restrospect both tensions were probably too high for my setup.

    I also strung up a B5E17/BHBR17 hybrid at 48/50 which I much preferred to a full bed of B5E. The B5E offers the bite and the BHBR17 adds some pop and softness to the stringbed whilst not taking anything away from the B5E in terms of spin.
     
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2011
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  42. Maroon_Tenniskid

    Maroon_Tenniskid Semi-Pro

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    I've been using my B5E/OGSM at 52lbs hybrid for about 20 or 30+ hours and they're notched a bit but man I've been hitting well with it haha. Seems like there's something wrong with the way I play since my strings aren't broken yet! I play High school varsity and I hit with a SW forehand grip but these strings won't break lol. They don't feel that dead to me in my IG Speed 16x19. Not sure if it's the racket or what.
     
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  43. Torres

    Torres Banned

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    It will be the differences in our respective setups. I suspect B5E feels better at lower tensions or mixed with another string, as B5E isn't a particularly springy, elastic or soft poly. There doesn't seem to be much 'give' in the stringbed.

    You: 100sq", open 16x19, hybrided with Gosen at 52lbs, possibly on a crank. All of that will combine to give you a noticeably softer feeling stringbed.

    Me: 95sq", closed 18x20, full bed c52lbs CP. Stiffer, boardier stringbed. I should have gone lower really, but you never really realise this until you actually start playing with it.
     
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2011
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  44. origmarm

    origmarm Hall of Fame

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    Have you played with SPPP Pure? This is very similar to Scorpion to the point where I (and others) think it's the same string relabelled.

    I think this is spot on the SPPP Pure/Scorpion is softer and more dull in colder temperatures. It's also more powerful and has less of a crispness/hard feeling to it on impact. Both feature excellent tension maintenance.

    EDIT: Torres, if you found Scorpion dull after 5+ hrs (as I did) try SPPP. Very similar on the outset just a bit crisper/less power but settles in to a very similar feeling to "sharper Scorpion" around 2hrs and plays that way through to about 10hrs unless you break it first. The 1.20 and 1.18 gauges are the best.


    Some people like that "rubbery" feel that Scorpion gives after 3-4hrs and it's a key reason some choose it over other polys. All personal preference I guess at the end of the day
     
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2011
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  45. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    I use B5E/Genesis Thunder Blast at 52/56 (crank) in a PK 7G (16 x 20). The Genesis eventually breaks but not until about the 15 hour mark. Still have yet to break B5E. I can't tell much difference between a fresh bed of this setup versus one that is about to break. Since I only have time to string on weekends and play an average of 6 hours per week, I tend to play with this setup until about the 12 hour mark and then cut it out.
     
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  46. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    That sounds like an interesting poly/poly hybrid.
     
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  47. JT_2eighty

    JT_2eighty Hall of Fame

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    Same experience here!

    Both times I tried Scorpion, I had the exact same experience. First time cut it around 7-8 hours; second time I only gave it ~4hr until I felt underwhelmed by it and cut it.

    Just wasn't for me, not a bad string, but every poly does this to me: Amazing first few hours, then mediocre after that. Thus, I've settled on polystar turbo, and restring it every ~3 matches. Very cheap in a reel & softest poly on my arm. Fun.

     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2011
    #47
  48. Maroon_Tenniskid

    Maroon_Tenniskid Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2011
    Messages:
    628
    Ahh Gotcha. and it was done on a Star-5 machine at my pro shop btw. Still doesn't explain why I never break strings haha, but I'm not complaining :)
     
    #48
  49. Torres

    Torres Banned

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2011
    Messages:
    4,766
    Played another 2 hours on the same original string earlier today. There must be around 12-14 hours of play on this string by now over a period of about two weeks.

    Not sure whether it was because it was indoors and/or the hot temperatures, but rather unexpectedly, the string was playing pretty well. More powerful (though not overly so) and less control (though not uncontrolled) compared to the first few hours, but it still felt pretty good and rather oddly, was still very playable. My touch play was out of this world today, I'm guessing due to the tension drop off.

    I'm definitely going to have restring a few more racquets with this to figure what's what with this string and whether its one of those strings that needs time to settle.

    Anyway, I've ordered a couple of reels of stuff along with a reel of Silverstring 1.20.
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2011
    #49
  50. Torres

    Torres Banned

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2011
    Messages:
    4,766
    Thanks Origmarm. I've actually got a spare packet of SPPP lying about in a box somewhere. Can't remember what gauge it is, but if it isn't the 16 gauge (which probably won't be that suitable for 95/18x20), I'll give it a go at some stage.
     
    #50

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